Karate and Hiking Mt. Whitney

BlackWhitney (Experience of a lifetime for Becky Black, a sixth dan black belt of the Pacific Martial Arts.) When I was asked by Master Devine to contribute to the PMA blog about the connection between my karate training and hiking Mt. Whitney, I had to think long and hard in order to analyze how and if the two were separate. In my mind, my karate training is such an integral part of my life that I take it with me into all my endeavors, whether it be my personal life, my physical training or my professional life. I have done so for so long that I no longer even think about the difference. When we look at the Conduct Code we realize that while it teaches us how to behave within the dojo, the concepts apply to life outside, as well: treat others as you would like to be treated, communicate openly, train with consistency and dedication, etc., so it only makes sense that it works seamlessly into my everyday life and that it certainly applied to my taking on this goal. And thus, my hiking and karate are inseparable.

BlackWhitney 4To hike to the top of Mr. Whitney is a veritable challenge, since it is the highest peak in the lower States at over 14,000 feet. The hike takes you over rocks, steep trails, lots of dangerous cliffs, and through weather ranging from hot and dry to cold and windy. It took several days for me to do it, and I planned ahead for a full year of preparation and training. There is 45% less oxygen than at sea level, so one’s legs get heavy and slow, the head gets light, and it is an effort just to breathe.

In my training for this “pinnacle“ hike (meaning the highest peak and in this case the ultimate goal for me), I knew I had to put everything I had into the physical preparation, but most importantly, I knew I could NOT do it alone. I needed help to get into top physical shape. In karate, we don’t follow the path alone. The Samurai who separated from their lord (Daimyo) were considered Ronin and had to fend for themselves. My karate training has taught me to rely on others to assist me along the way, whether as teachers, training partners or as moral support. So, I went back to my previous in-depth preparation for tournaments and put together a plan that involved conditioning, strength training and aerobics, and a team to train with me. I had a personal trainer who provided weekly sessions and hiking partners. I also had fellow karateka who worked with me (thank you Javed Osmani for the upper body workout, much needed, though I did protest!) and karate classes where the training is demanding enough. As much as I hate to admit it, those push-ups were a necessary evil, as they are the full body workout that is required! All of this was needed to deal with hiking with a 45 lb. pack, 10 plus hours on the trail and the altitude.

BlackWhiteny3The most important aspect of my training, though, was the mental conditioning. When you want to give up is when you have to dig down deep and draw on your mental reserves. Our karate mantra is, “never give up”! My personal trainer, who also works for the Navy, informed me that the Seal Team uses the phrase “40% more”, meaning that when you think you have nothing left, you still have 40% more in reserve. As the air got thinner at 14,000 feet and the trail got longer at 10 miles straight up and with little sleep after a 4 am start, I was sure I had nothing left. But, the mantra kicked in, “Never give up!” My thoughts crept back to a Summer Camp in 2000 when Luke Altenau led us through 2000 punches in kiba dachi to celebrate the new millennium and to the quasi Death March in Borrego Springs in the 116 degree heat for Summer Camp that year. I realized then that I had survived those events, so I knew I just had to take a step and breath and that I could survive this. My mental state, while degraded, was what got me to the top.

BlackWhitney2Getting nearer and nearer to the top got harder and harder. Numerous times I stopped to gather my strength and my breath, I climbed a little slower with each pace, but always forward and upward. The stops on the way were stunning in beauty, and reaching the Summit House with a sigh of relief, I casually strolled about the peak and wondered how I ever got there. Standing at the “top of the world”, with the majestic Sierras surrounding me, I was in  awe!

(Becky Black has been training for thirty years with Pacific Martial Arts in San Diego. She is currently sixth dan in karate-do and a second dan in kobudo or weapons study. She is now a retired teacher having thirty five years of dedicated service in her field of special education. She currently teaches the AECS junior program of karate. )

 

PMA team competes at Irvine California

PMA Irvine teamThe PMA karate team entered the AAU Southern Pacific district championships and again performed very well as they gain more and more experience in tournaments.

Results of the AAU qualifier tournament in Irvine CA on Saturday May 13th.

Ms. Izotov: 1st kata, 1st kumite
David Chell: 1st kata, 1st kumite
Mr. Malouf: 2nd kobudo
Mr. Morris: 3rd in kata
Mr. Shinkre: 2nd kata, 2nd kumite, 1st kobudo
Ms.  Mishra  team manager
Mr. Kaminski and Ms. Graves were referees and also acted as coaches for our team.

Free August self defense clinics!

 

SDcmmiHow is your SDQ or self defense quotient? Free back to school clinics so you might be better prepared to look after yourself.Do not neglect this part of your back to school! Aug. 23, 24, 27, 29th

  • College Kid Self defense strategies!
  • Help prevent the quiet bully action against your child!
  • Family awareness!

This summer the PMA is offering a series of free clinics for you and your kids going back to college or to regular school to help them be more aware and have some usable skills to protect themselves.

If your college kid is going away in a few weeks they can use this material or even as a refresher to their current knowledge to make them more confident and ready for bad situations.

For elementary and high school kids, they can face the bullying aspect that occurs at school and can endure this for a period of time without saying anything or being ill equipped to handle it.

Come to our safety and awareness clinics this summer and be more ready. The clinics are fun and very empowering.

You will need to sign waivers, be in good health, and have a cooperative attitude.

What do we teach you? We show you defensive skills such as escaping from grabs, choking, on the floor attacks, and threatening situations. We also teach the mental side of self awareness such as being alert, what to look for, how to extricate, recognizing possibly bad situations and more.

Join us at 2266 San Diego Ave in Old Town on one of these dates!

Aug. 23, 24, 27 of 29. You need to register at least two days ahead of the date, no walk ups.

pma@pmakarate.com or 619-752-7515

 

Camps and Trips

Just returned from Florida after competing in the national AAU championships are Yuri AAUteamGorokhov, Margaret Izotov and Heather Graves.  Heather was the coach and manager. Margaret managed to take a 2nd in sparring and Yuri got through to later rounds in kata. The competition was tough with over 60 national level black belts from around the country taking part. Meanwhile the dojo gets ready for the annual summer camp at Julian CA to be held July 20th to the 31st. Many students will come up a day earlier and train a day later as they immerse themselves in karate activities such as workouts, seminars, entertainment and good food. Days are hot which is why we call it ‘schochugeiko’ which is a Japanese term for training in the hottest art of summer. PMA has always used the theme that ‘black belts are born at camps’ and the camp really does challenge one in all aspects of endurance and mental stamina, not to mention getting the equivalent of several months of material packed into a short time. This year students will be housed in nearby houses and sleeping on floors as well.

Jeff Platt earns his black belt

Platt2On July 11th Jeffrey Platt was presented with his new black belt, the culmination of 10 years dedicated training in the PMA. Mr. Platt has been a driving force both in class and at the schools outside events such as camps and tournaments.He has worked his way through  athletic injuries and more and always find the time to commit to regular training. Behind the scenes he is a great organizer in setting up work details at the many camps ranging from cooking, set up, clean up and transportation. He is a regular attendee at the Sunday informal workouts in the parks. Mr. Platt first was introduced to martial arts in LA where as a child he started in judo some fifty years ago. He likes the art of breaking and excels when given the chance to compete.  He is the 91st PMA black belt promotion in the PMA history. In the photo we see part of an outstanding karate demonstration at his ceremony before about fifty guests who were intrigued by the power performances, as Colin Metcalf takes down Seth Brown. Excellent food and beverages followed the event. 

Platt

Great weapons tournament

 Back by popular request is the video of the rollovers! The hanbo rollovers are performed by Yuri Gorokhov (bearded) and Seth Brown at the recent Conway Sensei Memorial Tournament as part of the demonstration displaying various weapons. In the hanbo rollovers one gets to see elements of karate, jiujitsu and weapons in the performance. This demonstration on May 21st was part of the show that involved bo staff, shindo wooden sword, tonfa, and rattan escrima by the PMA students.

Services were held for Master Chaney

Chaney service 2Memorial services were held for Grandmaster Chaney  at Pala, CA just north of San Diego. In a celebration of life ceremony attend by hundreds of family, friends, and students, service had various ebbs and flows from fond memories, sad moments and uplifting moments. Pastor Tim Bales from Las Vegas gave the opening remarks and spoke of the spiritual nature of Bob Chaney, He admired the efforts of Master Chaney to always try to reconcile differences he my have had with individuals in his life and that was one of his many strength. He spoke of the strong connection between Master Chaney’s christian beliefs and his relating these to his martial arts day to day actions. Next The five Buddhist monks from Thailand led by Wat Ratanapanya gave an enlightening speech followed by a beautiful haunting  chant that had the large audience somewhat mesmerized and feeling tranquility and harmony. The monks were present because Mrs. Chaney’s spirituality also lies there and Bob Chaney had great appreciation for the culture. The podium area featured a very large formal portrait of Master Chaney, flanked by flowers on one side and flanked by the urns of his ashes on the other.

After a beautiful song dedication by Scarlett Derousse, eight speakers came to the podium in turn to tell their personal recollections of Master Chaney. They were long term friends and colleagues and each was able to relate to his background. Their seemingly common theme that more than all the hundreds of trophies won, the skill, the producing of champions, the success in business and more, that is was the Bob Chaney of care and sharing that he brought to everyone’s lives. Also disclosed among the talks were his propensity for the prank, or his incredibly speeding driving, or inability to locate a location. His daughter Erica and two grandsons JT and Robbie also spoke their emotional goodbyes from the podium. Then Mrs. Chaney thanked everyone for their support and presence. She spoke fondly of some past memories, like how she first met her husband and when she first had the job of being a translator and a bodyguard for him. This grew to be a loving and life long relation. The ceremony ended with a video review of many events in his life showing the many friends and students as well. Finally  all the many current and some past students dressed in their uniforms formed an honor guard march in front of the assembled guests and gave reverent and respectful salutations and bows to the Grandmaster, the family and the guests.

The service ended on a most comfortable note, with attendees lining up to pay personal respects and comments to Sarinda Chaney. It was truly a feeling of having had our lives made better by having Master Chaney in our lives.

(With special appreciation for the many students and volunteers who worked behind the scenes to set up this memorial service. There were ushers, food preparation people, student helpers, as well. We want to note that many teachers, colleagues, friends and others were on hand. The constraints of time obviously meant that only a small number of speakers would have to represent the assembly in making the formal comments. Among the masters, promoters, friends, students who spoke formally were Burt Ward, Dennis Warner, Allen Sarac, Eddie Flash Newman, Terry Wilson, Jerry Devine, Cecil Peoples, and Nick Blumberg.)

 

Master Chaney passing is a great loss to all of martial arts

It is with great regret and sadness that we let you know that Grandmaster Bob Chaney has passed away and this is a truly great loss to all martial artists. His fifty years in the arts saw him rise to the top as a competitor, a teacher and a promoter. His expertise was in several areas that included karate, taekwondo, muay thai, kickboxing, and full contact. He was highly noted for his endless energy and his great patience in teaching students of any age. At the PMA Master Chaney would come to the winter and summer camps and teach all levels the joys of learning how to kick better, practice strategy and perform katas. Every student was equally important to him so it is no wonder he earned and valued the respect and appreciation that was directed his way. He personally touched the lives of so many PMA students and will be very missed.

He was a great promoter, often holding huge tournaments and also being involved in major professional and amateur full contact matches throughout the US and Thailand. He was an excellent coach and produced many widely recognized world champions  in karate and in the full contact and muay thai fields.

Bob Chaney was a mentor to the PMA, passing along many wonderful techniques and concepts. He helped guide the dojo forward. He traveled extensively around the world doing seminars. At one point in Las Vegas he directed seven karate studios. Later he moved back to the LA area, then on to Murrieta with his talented wife Sarinda Chaney, a most talented and accomplished martial artist as well.

The memorial service is being held Saturday April 9th in Pala, CA. Many outstanding and dedicated teachers,  colleagues, friends, past and present students will join in remembering and honoring his memory and legacy. Master Chaney will be truly missed.

Stars and Stripes on April 23rd

The annual Stars and Stripes karate tournament will be held on Saturday April 23rd at the Coronado High School Gym. PMA students gather and in a unique format, the c62f6-1students are drafted onto teams that compete against each other over several rounds. This gives everyone a lot more things to do such as several katas, several kumite matches and also partner pairs. “Players” get points for their team when they win their various matches. Students are generally matched by age and belt rank to make it all fair. MVP players are also picked by a panel so that there are awards for best kata and best kumite in the various age divisions.

The PMA may be the only dojo that does this type of unique event in the whole country. It allows all students a chance to be on a winning team.

PMA junior team competes at LA

As we approach and prepare for our annual tournament Stars and Stripes on April 23rd, I wanted to share what our tournament team was doing. The PMA  team sent some students to the Lynwood City Championships in LA. As your karate kid makes progress, I hope he or she will one day be on the team as well.LynwoodKarateTour_0014

The tournament was fairly high caliber. Three of our seven students came home with medals. Shown here doing kata are David Chell, Colin Metcalf and Manuel Lacarra. Others on the team  were Javed Osmani and junior members Ethan Diep, Eli Morris and Elias Malouf.Most of the PMA students were basically first timers in outside tournaments and learning the ropes as they faced the best performing students from LA, Las Vegas and other

southern California schools. LynwoodKarateTour_0039

Meanwhile here in San Diego our teachers are getting all our students primed to compete in kata (forms), sparring, and partner pairs. Plan on having all the family and friends join us in April for this large and fun event. Demonstrations, competition, prize draws and more.LynwoodKarateTour_0056