Belt Testing on October 3rd at PMA Karate

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Whether competing in a tournament for facing the challenge of belt testing, it builds confidence. Students are formally testing on October 3rd for their belt. Testing is always exciting for many reasons. Testing ranges from enjoyable to stressful to anxious to relief in its completion. There is always pride and satisfaction. Grandmaster Bob Chaney of Temecula wrote the following in an article on why we have testing.

“To elude mandatory regular testing can be motivated by fear of failure, rebellion, misunderstandings, or perhaps the results of financial hardship. One of the very purposes of testing is to help students discover and measure growth in the qualities and characteristics which the martial arts system teaches. Without the test one student would presumptuously rank himself higher than his training would allow, while another student would perceive his achievements as failures. The test levels the playing field for both students. Both are validated by rank which is commensurate to their training. Both may eventually hold the rank of black belt and earn the same level of respect and honor, providing both are loyal to the system which molded them. …. it is possible for the student with lesser skills and athleticism to be worthy of higher honor because the student is measured by their conformity to the system. They embody and propagate the system as long as they continue to be loyal to it and those who are responsible to preserve it.”
Surviving belt tests is part of the step by step growth of facing challenges and obstacles and overcoming them. The steps are every fourth months but reinforces the student’s resolve and perseverance. This clearly has a carryover into other areas in life such as academic studies at school, job employment, other sports, and goals that one sets for oneself in life.

It is important that family and friends support the student in the challenge of testing. By showing support and encouragement, you enable the student to feel pride, to feel like he has an obligation to do well for you, and that he has accomplished something you also can value.

Weapons, sparring and jiujitsu

Saturdays at 9AM  feature the new junior level sparring classes combined with jiujitsu techniques. We are offering both the traditional sparring style of the AAU, and then we add the jiujitsu elements to come up with mega sparring, the PMA version of what might be similar to MMA.

Weapons classes start at 10AM and feature a wide range of the classical weapons such as hanbo, shindo muso ryu, rattan, and bo.

This Saturday Sept. 19th Brown Sensei visits the LA PMA dojo to teach basic weapons classes to the Los Angeles students.

What are the systems and styles of martial arts?

tim3The term martial arts encompasses a vast set of fighting styles but generally most center on the systems coming from the orient. This type of fighting is markedly different than the western styles of fighting which involved boxing, wrestling and western style weaponry.

Asian styles often have a stylized format, salutation forms, are meant to develop mind and spirit, and often have sets of codified conduct and rules. These styles involve using all parts of the body in striking and in defense such as the feet, knees, hands, elbows and more. Throwing, evasion, submissions locks and pressure points are also inherent to the Asian styles as opposed to western fighting.

Styles developed based on the regions they came from. For example Karate is from Japan, Taekwondo is from Korea,  Kung Fu would be from China, and Muay Thai would be from Thailand. Today in America there is a wide diversity of fighting systems and many of them are even merging. The term mixed martial arts involves drawing out strong points from several style and making them into a sport with contact in the ring. Some advocates prefer to limit themselves to just stand up fighting, or throwing style fights such as judo, or perhaps grappling. There are so many things to learn that it becomes questionable whether one could possible master more than just a part of several styles.

For those who wish to add a character or philosophical side to the various martial arts, many styles codify their systems and require the students to abhere to rigid codes of conduct. This conduct generally means using the art form for the good of the community and to protect others. In  Japan a person would then study karate-do (pronounced doh) as a path or way of karate.

Many classical Japanese styles have this suffix ‘do’ to indicate they are more than just a technical fighting system. For example, judo, aikido and kendo all have inherent conduct codes built into the learning. These more classical systems are in contrast to modern approaches that emphasize the martial arts as sporting activities with competition for medals as the key goal.

PMA karate starts fall term

Welcome back to all the fall classes. PMA is now on four school campuses including Blessed Sacrament, The City Tree, Albert Einstein Charter and Old Town Academy Charter. We are holding classes in the Carmel Valley area as well as at our headquarters of San Diego at the Old Town dojo. The new Saturday class at 9AM features sparring and megasparring (jiujitsu) for all junior belts and ages. At 10AM the specialty weapons class is held at Old Town. Good training and remember ‘we teach attitudes first.”