“Race for registration” winter camp

image001With each winter or summer camp there is a race for registration. Pride and bragging rights come with being the first to register officially. This year’s race was indeed close when the doors opened to registration for the Feb. 5th winter camp at Mountain Empire. In fact the first three came on line at 11:42 AM, 11:48 AM and 11:51 AM on November 19th. The actual order of finish will be announced at camp. The top three will all receive an extra camp T-shirt as a bonus prize.

However the main prize is to sit at the first dinner at the head table with Master Devine. These seven students  will be served first, by waiters, and get the first desserts!

PMA thanks you all for being so enthusiastic and getting your registrations in so timely. It helps the organizers greatly.

PMA team competes at the Floyd Burk Tournament

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Competitors lining up for start of competition

The PMA team participated in the 34th annual Floyd Burk Invitational tournament on Nov. 7th and took about two dozen trophy awards. This is a small but outstanding tournament for attitudes, respect and competition. PMA was part of the show and along with our twenty parent supporters.

Special thanks to Becky Black Sensei who coached and managed the team, and to David Chell (injured) but who served the tournament by scorekeeping over four hours without a break! Ms. Sedlacek also refereed for many hours. Master Devine was singled out as the honored guest and was presented with a ceremonial sword by Master Burk.
PMA team and Parents
PMA team and Parents
 Here are the individual results.
Kata 13
1st Place in six different divisions were won by: Y Gorokhov, Sarah. Brown, E. Morris, B. Northrup, E. Diep, I. DeGrood 
2nd Place: R. Shinkre, E. Denton, A. Northrup
3rd Place: A. Vaughn, Isaiah. Brown,
4th Place : C. Metcalf
5th Place: Malouf

Sparring 12
1st Place: A. Northrup, Diep
2nd Place: Gorokhov, I. Brown, 
3rd Place: Vaughn, S. Brown, Shinkre, DeGrood
4th Place: Morris, Malouf, Denton
5th Place:  B. Northrup

Weapons 5 (PMA only entered 5 students in the weapons divisions)
1st Place: Gorokhov, I. Brown
2nd Place: S. Brown
3rd Place: Metcalf
4th Place: Vaughn

Advanced belt symbols represents one’s training

MaloufAn advanced belt symbol from nature is chosen by the student to represent his training. When Mr. Malouf chose ‘gale’ or ‘kyofu’ in Japanese  he expressed strongly the relationship between his approach to training and what a gale can be. The student goes before the class, reads his short essay and then dedicates a performance kata to the symbol chosen. In the photo, he displays the kanji for the Japanese word which he then gets to stencil onto his uniform lapel.

Later, the student will choose a character symbol, something like integrity, honesty, perseverance and others that represents a relationship of his training to that word. This more extensive essay is usually done around the time one is ready for brown belt.

In his presentation of gale, this student writes prosaic words … “my fellow warriors of PMA remember me when you see the wind blowing your banners as you charge into battle,  and think of me when a child is filled with wonder seeing a kite fly.”

Choosing symbols to represent one’s training in the dojo causes the student to reflect on his training in depth, why he is  are training, the benefits of training, and the good that his training might bring to the community. For many teens and adults, presenting a symbol is often a first time event and a nervous one usually, to get up in front of peers and seniors and express concepts of training. It might be akin to the knights of King Arthur’s day standing up to proclaim their honor and duty to the causes of being a knight. Students take this seriously and I believe it reinforces not just their training, but their other undertakings in life, even if they do not have to choose symbols. For example a student who chooses diligence as representative of his character symbol, by publicly outlining what that means is a way to establishing that virtue in other undertakings such as job, school and family.