February was jam packed with extra events at the dojo. From belt promotions and buddy week to our third degree Black Belt test and Star Wars night our students were busy and having fun at every level!
BELT PROMOTION DAY
February started off with the promotions ceremony for our under black belt students. Sensei had the pleasure of promoting more than 50 students from yellow to brown belt. Families were able to come into the dojo to hear feedback about their child’s progress at the dojo and see Sensei tie a new belt on them for the first time. Mr. Winkelman joined Sensei for the ceremony and assisted with demonstrations after all of the students received their new belts.
Promotion day is a great opportunity to see Sensei demonstrate technique; he takes the time to set students up for what they are going to see and relates what he is showing back to skills that the students are learning in their classes. It was an exciting occasion – you could see the pride on all of the newly promoted students in attendance.
3RD DEGREE TEST
The first Sunday of the month saw yet another black belt test at the dojo as we had 4 candidates test for their 3rd degree black belt. All 4 of these students started out in Junior Magnus and now serve as leaders in the dojo and assist in classes. The test was 3 hours in total and was packed with advanced content. The candidates had to demonstrate their knowledge of kata, kicking and striking, throwing and take downs, and participate in a large ground grappling section. Sensei felt it was the best demonstration of martial skills at the dojo to date.
All four students have passed their 3rd degree test and will receive their rank mid-February. They join an elite group of Magnus Karate students who have been promoted to this rank by Sensei bringing the total of Magnus 3rd degree black belts to 9! We could not be more proud of this group.
Offered three times throughout the year our buddy weeks give our Junior Magnus and age 7+ beginner students the opportunity to bring a friend to the dojo to experience karate class with them. This month we welcomed about 10 buddies across the week’s Junior and beginner classes. We even had multiple buddies who enjoyed the experience so much that they contacted sensei to enroll. We always love to have buddies come to share in our fun!
Our first Parents’ Night Out of 2023 was a dojo favorite – Star Wars Night! We had more than 40 kids join us for a fun night of movement. We started with some light saber training and moved into a glow Nerf party. The night was capped off with watching Star Wars Episode 1 while enjoying some pizza and pretzels.
Once again our monthly grappling intensive classes were well attended. A new dojo favorite for age 7+ beginners, green/brown, and brown/black class levels. All of our Friday night grappling classes were supported by our Leadership Team students and Teaching Team. The students in the beginner and green/brown classes focused on mount retention and escapes, while our advanced class worked on back control and body locks.
This month we held our 6th all levels team training for our Leadership Team. This session was taught completely by Mr. Lippiatt-Cook, Ms. Merinova, and Mr. Werk. They focused on beginner kata and intermediate level one on one protection coaching. These all level trainings are the backbone of our Leadership team. It is here that our Leadership students learn to engage in public speaking in a safe controlled environment with the support of Sensei, teaching team mentors, and teammates.
We also held our 6th coaching workshop of this Leadership season this month. Taught by Sensei, Mr. Lippiatt-Cook, and Mr. Werk the leaders in attendance worked on coaching strategies for beginner and green/brown level students. They focused on kicking and striking drills and ground grappling coaching. All of these lessons can be used when the leaders come in to assist during regular weekly classes.
IN HOUSE LEADERSHIP LEARNING TOURNAMENT
This month Sensei held our first ever in house learning tournament for our Leadership Team students. It offered an introduction to the tournament process for the leaders with an interest in future competition.
Prior to the learning tournament Sensei hosted 3 prep sessions to help students to understand the unique style of martial practice that should be displayed at a karate tournament. Overall we saw 30 participants who competed in kata and sparring. All of the divisions were judged by our Teaching Team and Level 3 Leaders giving them an even deeper understanding of the tournament process.
It was a great experience for our Leadership students. All are looking forward to the opportunity to hopefully attend tournaments in the spring!
February saw a weapon arts intensive for our beginner and green/brown and our youth black and brown belt students. We also held an advanced practice workshop for our most experienced black belt students. All of February’s weapon arts sessions focused on single stick eskrima and sai practice.
Our second set of monthly sparring intensives this year were taught by Sensei. The Leadership Team students heavily supported the beginner/intermediate session by acting as sparring partners for the students in attendance. This group worked on offensive attack strategies and had tons of live sparring work. Our advanced sparring intensive also focused on offensive attack strategies. It was attended mainly by our black belts and black belt candidate students who are Leadership Team members.