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

PMA students earn scholarship recognition

 

 

scholar awardsOn February 27th about sixty PMA students gathered at Old Town to receive both a special shoulder patch and a beautiful academic certificate to reflect their good standing in school. Students were able to earn the reward by turning in a copy of a good report or other sources of community service. About 100 parents and friends were on hand to support and applaud the students. In the PMA conduct code it says that outside achievement reflects on the whole dojo and the scholarship day of awards is our way of reinforcing that concept. We let the students know that we appreciate their striving and efforts at succeeding. The awards were presented by three Sensei black belts, Michael Brown who currently is a math professor at Mesa College, Rebecca Black who recently retired from teaching at Coronado High, and Rosado Sensei who was an original karate founder and also algebra student in Master Devine’s math class way back then!

Following the tournament day and the awards ceremony, parents created a sumptuous pot luck luncheon with some very tasty food and an abundance of desserts.

Winterfest tournament & Scholarship Awards

Scholar medalOur annual awards day and the Winterfest tournament are being held on Saturday, February 27th at the Old Town dojo. Students who turned in either deserving report cards or community and citizenship summaries will be receiving the special shoulder patch to wear on the gi along with a certificate award from the PMA. A pot luck luncheon will follow the award presentations. One of the items in our conduct code is that outside achievement reflects upon the whole dojo and this ceremony is a way of recognizing those accomplishments.

The Winterfest tournament which includes kata and kumite is a practice event that helps students develop in experience as they prepare for the big Stars and Stripes Annual Championships on April 23rd. It also helps to give the referees more practice in judging.

Winter camp is coming soon!

The annual winter camp starts on Friday Feb. 5th and runs to Sunday. This year we are holding it at the Mt. Empire High School near Campo. We take over the school campus and run classes in the gym, on the fields and do academic seminars inside. This year the emphasis is on perfection of technique in detail. Black belts will get new katas and focus on academic material as well. Lower belts will be learning a wide variety of material including special sparring techniques taught by guest instructor Grandmaster Floyd Burk.

The Japanese term Kangeiko means training in the coldest part of winter but given our geography it will likely be 65 degrees and sunny. Some years however we have snowstorms during the camps.

These major PMA camps are held both in winter and summer and this is the 38th winter camp. Students are coming this year from San Francisco, LA, Portland and of course San Diego. Training starts at 730 AM with a meditation walk, then workouts, seminars that run until 11 PM at night. There is even a star gazing class. Plan ahead for the summer camp next August!

Special advance thanks go to some of the organizers for so much behind the scenes work to get this ready. Plaudits go to Heather Graves, Becky Black, Mac Low, Marc Adams, Jeff Platt, Allison Smith and Jim White.

 

 

Historic black belt weapons awards

weapoonsgroupThe last promotion for black belt in kobudo or weapons was made in 2007 at the PMA. On January 9th six new black belt awards were made. Earning a degree in weapons is usually done by a small minority of the black belts. It takes specialized training and mastery in three or more weapons areas such as the bo, the bokken, hanbo, sword, and more. This moment is a great historic accomplishment and indicates the depth and dedication of students to study long years to reach a new goal.

Current active dan holders are Michael Brown Sensei (4th dan), Eric Rosado Sensei (2nd dan) and Becky Black Sensei (2nd) dan and recently awarded, and of course head instructor Master Devine. The new first dan holders are Peggy Teng, Marc Adams, Yuri Gorokhov, Andrew Vaughn, Peter Grootenhuis and Seth Brown. The study of weapons in the PMA is quite distinct and although in the general classes we do teach the short stick hanbo and long staff bo, generally separate classes are held for the other weapons. At the current time students must hold a black belt in open hand karate in order to advance to black belt in weapons study. Everyone on the list has at least thirteen years in karate studies. Seth Brown is the youngest at seventeen years to earn this rank in weapons.

The ceremony to give out the awards was held at Island Palms Resort on Shelter Island Sunday January 17th. Each candidate picked a special friend or family members to award the certificate in conjunction with Master Devine. This award concept is to let the friends and families know we appreciate their large supportive role in the progress of the students.

The ceremony featured a short dedication of karate to the new awardees by some junior members that included Sarah Brown, Ian deGrood, Ethan and Brandon Diep, Isaiah Brown, and Emma Rose Denton. The Polynesian buffet was outstanding.

It’s 2016 for you Polar Bears!

Pacific  Martial Arts always starts the new year with a Polar Bear class and this one was at Coronado. Hardly polar since the thermometer hit almost 70 degrees under sunny skies. The class was traditional stance and kicking drills on the grass of Sunset Park, with partner drills of the Kata Garuma series. About 35 students and 30 parents showed up for the event which was followed by pot luck. We played the emperor game with foam combat swords  where teams defend their royal leader against the attackers. Then we all trooped down to water’s edge where groups braved the cold water up to waist level to do punches, kicks and kata. The finale was doing push ups in the water.

Master Devine spoke briefly to the students about the need to strive for excellence rather than just ‘good’ or ‘average.’ Since we often fall short of our goals, it is better to shoot for excellence or more in every training session, because when we fall a little short under stress, at least we will be good to excellent in all we do.  It was a great day for karate. Happy New Year.

(The pictures tell most of the story, can you find your self in these?)

 

December gets busy at PMA

Many activities in the dojo happen in December. On Sunday the 13th are two holiday parties at the main dojo for the PMA karate students. The first is the junior party at noon with lots of food, games and song. Later at 4 pm the senior party begins.

On January 1st we have the annual Polar Bear beach class at Coronado and karate families are encouraged to join us for the class, the wade into the surf and sharing some food.

Many juniors are being belt tested in December and January. Those being tested will receive nomination papers.

Currently testing over several days is taking place for six students trying to earn their black belts in kobudo or weapons studies. They demonstrate knowledge and skills and three weapons are tested…. the hanbo or short stick, the bo or staff, and finally the bokken (wooden sword) paired with the four foot staff.

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.

Autumnfest tournament results 2015

The Autumnfest in house karate tournament was held on October 24th and the results posted below.

The day featured both competition and a hot dog barbecue to celebrate the 37th anniversary of the PMA as well. Unfortunately the grill broke down so our responsive volunteer parents and students managed to boil up the hot dogs and everyone got fed chips, hots dogs and sodas.

This event is a practice event that gives students experience in competing so they can later do well in the bigger Stars and Stripes tournament of the PMA in April. It also opens a pathway to be a member of the PMA competition team that competes in outside tournaments that includes the national championships.

A final thought for all students to know about competing, when you spar or do kata at your current level, you may not be the best at your level just yet. You are improving day by day in karate so at some point in the future you may very well prove to be among the best competitors. Tournaments however cannot measure properly your self defense skills, the best kicker, the best puncher, your willingness to help and teach others, your sense of respect that you gradually are learning, your developing self confidence, and much more. Tournaments should be enjoyed for what they are, a fun event of competing with classmates for the day…. much like we might get together and play cards, shuffleboard, a baseball game, etc. What you learn from entering is far important.

Results:

♦Red belts: kata in order were Isaiah Brown, Ethan Diep, Emma Rose Denton and Elias Malouf

In sparring: I. Brown, E. Malouf,  E. Denton and E. Diep

♦Advanced Boys:

Kata were Ian DeGrood, Adam Nguyen, William Herman and Kieran McConchie

Sparring: I. DeGrood, Wm Herman, Sebastian Salazar, Frank Abellon

♦Ninja White kyu  Belt Boys:

Kata: Isaac Cook, Levi Johnson, Aryk Saldivar, tie 4th were Chris Boksanske and Nick Popa

Sparring: I. Cook, L. Johnson, A. Saldivar, tie fourth were N. Popa and C. Boksanske

♦Ninja Advanced belts:

Kata: Brandon Diep, Brian Herman, Parker Simpao, and Joshua Thompson

Sparring: B. Herman, P. Simpao, B. Diep, J. Thompson

♦Girls Divisions:

Advanced belt Kata: Kaavya Senthil

Advanced sparring vs boys: K. Senthil

♦Lower belt girls

Kata: Edith Robinson, Hayley Smith, Coral Popa, Christiana Caldera

Sparring: C. Caldera, E. Robinson, H. Smith, C. Popa

♦Shogun Advanced Belts below Brown:

kata; Rohan Shinkre, Eli Morris

Sparring: Eli Morris, Rohan Shinkre

♦Shogun Lower belts:

Kata: Aarya Mishra, Neel Mukavilli, Nitya Mukavilli

Sparring:  A. Mishra, Neel Mukavilli, Nitya Mukavilli

♦Black Belt division

Executive division winner in kata and weapons Carol Sedlacek

♦Open division:

kata… Yuri Gorokhov, Seth Brown, Javed Osmani

weapons…

Black belts did not spar.

Autumnfest karate tournament

AUTUMNFEST KARATE PMA 2015
CHAMPIONSHIPS

Here is Margaret Izotov (black belt) showing off a trophy won at the national competitions this year. You can develop to this level as well. It all starts with these smaller in house tournaments.

Izotov trophy

At the Old Town studio where we have the space to run things quickly and all at once. (2266 San Diego Ave. 92110)

October 24th Saturday
From 2:00 PM to approximately 3:30 PM

A PMA tournament with competition in kata (forms) and kumite (sparring.) Come and cheer your favorite students to victory. Competitors must be current members of the PMA as this is an in  house tournament.

Juniors= ninjas or samurai 6 to 12. (White belts without stripes are not yet ready to compete.)
Seniors= shoguns 13 and up

♪Sparring gear, helmets and gloves required., boots optional

Students compete in age relevant and belt rank relevant groups.

Registering on time:
in order to make up competition lists and draw sheets, awards, etc. we must have your entry by Wednesday, Oct. 21st. On line applications are done  by using pmakarate.com payment link.

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You can enter two events, and if you a senior, up to three.

Kata ¨ Kumite (Sparring) ¨

Shogun option Special kobudo weapons ¨ for seniors only, a 3rd optional event

COST: $15 total

Options to pay or register:

1. go on line to pmakarate.com and use a credit card

2. or write a check or cash in an envelope to PMA and give to instructors or use the drop box provided in the lobby.

3. YOU CANNOT REGISTER AT THE DOOR, NO ENTRIES WILL BE TAKEN AFTER October 21st.

♪Competition can be great fun. Autumnfest is intended to give everyone extra practice and preparation before the big and mandatory Stars and Stripes tournament to be held in May next year. Keep in mind that winning only means you had the best kata that day in your division. It does not mean you are the best warrior, the best student, or the next black belt. Have fun first! Learn from being first or tenth! It’s part of life and part of training.