Tuesday Thought: The Big “T” Word

We have a lot of students who will be testing soon, so today I’d like to offer some insight into how NWSMA handles rank testing/grading. I’m going to talk generally about the subject and at the end, I’ll offer some thoughts about what every martial arts student can do to make the most of their training.

How students advance through the ranks can be quite different from school to school and style to style. NWSMA instructors aim to tailor our approach to each individual student’s particular capabilities and situation.

At NWSMA, as a student satisfactorily learns the requirements listed on their sheet, we give them colored tape stripes (blue for kicks, yellow for hand techniques, etc). This allows any instructor to see what areas a student needs to work on, and it gives the kids a tangible mark of achievement.

When it comes to actual testing, though, the #1 school rule is that

Continue reading

Weekly Update 12/10-12/15

This week’s schedule is normal on Mon, Thurs, Fri, and Sat. Wednesday is cancelled; all Wednesday classes are cancelled for the rest of December due to holidays and the Masons’ schedule. Our schedule is also available on Facebook; click the top right “Calendar” link.

Weekly Challenge: Go through your Arnis requirements, practice them, and bring your questions to class to prepare for the upcoming Arnis seminar. Stay tuned for more announcements about this event!

Weather Policy Reminder: If school is cancelled for the Stanwood-Camano public schools due to inclement weather, class will also be cancelled. If you’re not sure, you are welcome to call Sensei.

December cancellations: 12, 19, 22, 26. Only 1 class, 4-5 pm, December 31st.

Toy and food drives are still running. Thanks to those who have already donated! If you haven’t donated yet, think about bringing an extra item from your pantry. All donations stay in the Stanwood area, so your gift will reach a neighbor in need. Every little bit counts.

December 30th is breakfast at the Mason Hall from 9-11am.

Monday Musing: The Importance of Form

Forms. Patterns. Hyung, kata, poomsae, teul. Whatever you call it, you’ve probably learned a few. And you’ve probably also learned that nothing frosts your instructor’s cupcakes like when students forget their forms.

Today I’d like to talk about the importance of form.

What I don’t want to do is get into that pesky form vs. sparring discussion, which is a huge and controversy-inducing topic in the martial arts world. Both are valuable in their own right.

A martial art without forms is like Continue reading

Weekly Update: 12/3-12/8

Prospective students: Crab Cracker special is running for new students who sign up in December 2012 or January 2013. Check out our About Us and FAQ post. New Year’s is a great time to start a new exercise program! Welcome to NWSMA!

Current students: This week’s schedule is normal, Mon-Sat. Pizza Night is normally the last Friday of the month, but due to the holidays, we’re going to have Pizza Night this Friday. $5/person.

Good job to everyone who participated in Sensei Louis’ class Friday night!

December cancellations: 12, 19, 22, 26. Only 1 class, 4-5 pm, December 31st.

The holidays always complicate our schedule, so please check your calendar carefully. The calendar is now available on the NWSMA Facebook page (top right “Calendar” link).

Coming up in January: Arnis Seminar with guest instructor from TMA! The seminar is not covered by regular tuition, so there will be a small seminar fee. More details and a sign-up sheet will be available soon.

Toy and food drives are still running. Thank you so much for your donations! Help support the Masons by attending their monthly breakfast on December 30th (always the last Sunday of the month). $7/person, all-you-can-eat, 9-11 am.

Happy December!

See Our Ad in the Crab Cracker?

If you saw our ad in the Crab Cracker, click “Read More” for new student information and FAQs. Also, check out our About Us section.

For the holidays, we’re running an introductory special for new students. 2 months + 1/2 off the 3rd month, and free uniform for new students who sign up in December 2012 or January 2013. Offer expired.

Beyond Black Belt

What happens after you earn a black belt?

Some students can’t see beyond black belt. This type of student often quits after getting their black belt.

What is the meaning of the belt if it just sits on your shelf?

I have two thoughts to share with new (and maybe not-so-new) black belts.  Continue reading

Weekly Update 11/26-12/1

Normal week! Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Sat are all business as usual. Friday is pizza night. Woo-hoo! $5/person.

Weekly challenge: practice your newest form at least two times each day this week.

Beginning December 1st: New Student Recruitment, Crab Cracker special (applies only to new students who sign up in Dec and Jan), and Book-a-thon. Book-a-thon sheets will be handed out Friday.

The Masons are still running food and toy drives in December. Donated goods will stay in the Stanwood community. Help a neighbor in need–bring in your donations today! Big thanks to those who have already donated!