The annual instructors meeting reported that most branches are holding mostly the same numbers while there is good growth at HQ and a couple of others. Even though we have to wind up in Melbourne, Opotiki, Henderson and Picton, we have started up Invercargill Central, Newmarket, Ponsonby and Newcastle (UK). We discussed what we need to do to make the new classes successful. Those who were present reaffirmed their commitment to Chans Martial Arts while some who sent in their apologies for the meeting sent in their reaffirmation earlier. Master Simons raised the topic of the 40th anniversary and proposed a black tie dinner and publishing a book to document our 40 years history. We would like all Black Belts to write an essay for the 40th year-book. Those who have vintage or recent photos should also submit it to Master Simons.
The Annual Black Belt Grading went very well. The candidates which was comprised of a wide range of ages were on the whole well prepared and performed with good spirit and skills. We are happy to promote the following to 1st degree:
Amanda Ellis - Parklands
Anthony Pyers - Nelson
Chris Ludi - Lumsden
Xuan Au - Lower Hutt
Morgan Fitzgerald - Parklands
Alan Speck - Blenheim
Theuns Verwoerd - U of Cant.
Hayden Woods - Sydney
Shane Chalmers - Sydney
and the following to 2nd Degree:
John Titter - Lumsden
David McQueen - HQ
Aaron Lavack - Kelburn
Yan Zeng - Newmarket
The Annual Dinner at Madam Kwong’s Restaurant was very enjoyable in both quality and quantity. We also enjoyed the awards back at HQ which included Master Marcus Simons being awarded the coveted Penelope Lake Trophy. It was great for the newer students to get to know the various seniors from far and wide and for everyone else to catch up with old comrades.
It was one of the best functions we have had for some time. It may be that we have finally settled into our new HQ and have put most of our problematic issues behind us. Another reason may be that most black belts are appreciating our technical direction and are making good progress. Many have said they cannot wait for the special 40th anniversary celebrations next year.
The 40th anniversary camp will be in Queenstown the 28th, 29th & 30th August 2015. Please book your accommodation as soon as possible if you have not done so already. All the relevant information is available on our website.
Speaking of which, we are about to revamp our website. It should be a lot more attractive for visitors and will eventually have an online shop which has discounts for registered members. Those who wish to contribute can write a couple of sentences about your training experience that we may use.
Most branches had their end of year event. HQ had our usual barbecue which had about 70 attending. There was plenty of food and everyone had a good time.
We look forward to 2015 with anticipation for a productive year of training. We now have good keen students throughout the whole range of ranks. If they continue to train consistently we should have a good number of well trained black belts achieving that level in the next few years. We also expect the current black belts to make good progress in ‘in-fighting skills’ after working hard to achieve a high standard in the ‘long range skills.’
Our formula for success is: learning the technique/drill, understanding the concepts involved and then practising regularly till the technique becomes a conditioned reflex.
There are many common problems with training. They may be easily fixed or in some cases take considerable time and effort. Some of them are: 1) not perceiving the technique or drill correctly - ask the instructor if you are not sure 2) trying to correct more than one point at a time 3) forcing kicks higher when flexibility is limited - regular stretching is prescribed and not to force techniques.
Acquiring a technique or skill can be divided into four stages: 1) learning 2) checking 3) training 4) application. You must know which stage of the process you are in. Common mistakes are jumping into stages 3) or 4) when techniques are not learnt correctly or not having left stages 1) or 2) when you think you are in 3) or 4). You must repeat the sequence when you are refining the technique though the process becomes a lot quicker.
Meditate on the balance of ego versus self esteem, be patient with your stretching and practice the patterns and speciality techniques.
Have a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year.
May Chi be with you,
Chans Martial Arts