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22

March

A cool dozen testers to do their best

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

We've got two handfulls of students testing tonight at the academy:

  • Six students will test for first degree (decided) black belt!  Congratulate them and wish them luck as they leave the Color Belt corps!  Should they continue as Black Belts, they will learn the rest of shim jun.
  • Two students will test for their second degree (recommended) black belt.  If they pass, they can try for second degree (decided) in three months.  They'll also start to learn the first half of jung yul.
  • Four of our first-degree (decided) black belt students will be midterm testing on their way to second degree (recommended).

Each of these martial artists will test using their respective form (first half of shim jun for the current color belts, full shim jun for the others), sparring, and board breaking (one hand and one foot break of their choice).

Please come by 6:30 p.m. this evening and cheer them on!  Color Belts, you're going to be here some day.

26

February

Sore and tired and happy

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

Our instructors have returned from Black Belt Instructor Camp.  As usual, it was physically draining, but also mentally refreshing.  They learned more not only about their forms and taekwondo, but also techniques in ju juitsu, krav maga, and yoga (which started at 5:45 Saturday morning).  Working out with the region's masters and learning from them was a highlight of the camp, as it is every year.  It was also great to see old friends and make new ones as they worked out together.

22

February

The instructors become the students

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

Some of us instructors are heading to Region 114 Black Belt Instructor Camp today at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp near Milford, Iowa.  Starting this evening, we will spend the next 24 hours learning from the best instructors in the region.  We expect to get a good physical workout and a mental workout, too, as we learn and improve teaching techniques to pass on to their students at their respective schools.  We'll also get to work to improve ourselves as taekwondo students.  Each camp is different in the themes and techniques presented, but it's the same in that we see the same people that we enjoy seeing every year.

And it's not just instructors:  Anyone who's enrolled in the instructor trainee program (i.e., their uniform has a red collar) and is at least 13 years old is eligible to come.  And, of course, all black belt students are invited, too.

When we return late Saturday, we'll be tired and sore, but it'll be a good tired and sore.

22

February

Packed with talent

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

We graduated 146 students to new belts tonight.  This is the fourth testing in a row in which we saw more students graduating than the time before.  We packed that cafetorium, and we rocked it!

We instructors felt the students did very well tonight!  It's apparent that everyone has trained very hard over the past three months.  But tonight starts the first steps on the next part of their respective journeys to becoming Black Belts.  Let's get ready for our next graduation in May.  Yes, we can!

21

February

Good luck, testers!

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

Our color belt students will be showing off their stuff at our first quarterly color belt graduation of 2013.  We've got one of our largest crowds graduating tonight: nearly 150 students.  The instructors are looking forward to watching them demonstrate what they've been learning about and training on during the past three months.  They are so proud of our students and the hard work that they put into their training!  Good luck tonight, everyone!

13

February

Testing for Color Belts, Training for Black Belts

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

Our Color Belts are training hard this week and next for their upcoming graduation next week on February 21.  The beginner, intermediate, and advanced color belt students been sharpening their skills for Songahm 3, In Wha 1, and In Wha 2, respectively, and we instructors are looking forward to seeing how their martial arts techniques and power have improved over the past three months.  Beginner students will also show off their performances of the first Songahm 3 one-step, and our leadership students will present what they've learned about the ssahng jeol bong, self-defense, and breaking boards with a round kick.

Coincidentally, the next day starts our region's two-day instructor/black belt camp at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp near Sprirt Lake, Iowa.  One hundred fifty to 200 of our region's black belt students - including the high-ranked instructor-students in the region - will be telling us about the latest in the ATA and show us a lot of training and teaching techniques.  It's our chief instructor's favorite ATA event of the year, and other instructors at our academy enjoy being there, too.

8

February

Upcoming events

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

Our academy has some events coming up in the next two weeks.  These are all open to the public.

We hope to see you!

1

February

Pennies and positivity

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

During January, we've been focusing on positive thinking and actions.  There are two parts to this that we've been talking about in our classes:

"Garbage-dump thinking":  These are negative thoughts and words that come from within you and from others.  They limit your growth:  What grows in a garbage dump?  Just as you don't want garbage dumped at your feet and into your mind, don't dump garbage at others.

Positive words: People generally are quick to criticize, and there is a place and time for that.  But it's still criticism, even if it's meant in a good way.  Genuine, positive words spoken by you to someone about them can also help by letting them know directly from you how much they mean to you.  Examples of this can be (but, of course, aren't limited to) statements such as these:  "I'm glad you were in class today! It was very enjoyable to practice with you today." or "Your front kicks looked really sharp!  You seem to be catching on nicely!" or "Your great attidute today helped perk me up." But just saying the words to say the words isn't good enough.  You need to mean it and show you mean it, and that also means not saying it and expecting something in return.  Your kind words might be the only nice things that person had heard about themselves all day.

In the school, at the desk is a red cup with pennies in it and a clear jar with pennies.  We're asking our students that when someone tells them something kind or good about them to move a penny from the red cup into the clear jar.  When the jar fills up, we will celebrate with pizza party.  Let's make that party come sooner than later!

26

January

To the competitors: Good luck!

ATA Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Lakeville

Good luck to all the competitors in our taekwondo in-school tournament today!  We applaud your courage for standing up and showing what you know!  Do your best, stay safe, and, of course, have fun!  And in your classes next week tell your fellow students how much fun these are so they can join you next time.