BLACK BELT DINNER - OCTOBER 10, 2009
Finally, certificates have been created, signed, stamped, and framed. Now all they need is to find their rightful owners. We had our 1st Black Belt dinner at Cinzetti's Italian Market to award certificates to Ms. Sherri Feeley, Mr. Phillip Willett, and Mr. Bill Feliss. It was a beautiful day, and their families were there to show their support. We all know how important it is that the family supports the training, the missed hours at home, the chores not getting done, etc. All set aside to allow the student to train for that once in a lifetime achievement of earning their Black Belt. It's an important day for the students, but it was also an important day for their instructors as well. To see them do well is how we rate ourselves as instructors. If it's reflected from our students - man, we're awesome! Congratulations to you all and hope you have a special place to hang the certificate, and that you're proud of yourselves every time you look at it. You deserve to be proud and congratulations Black Belts.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONALS - CKA SEASON FINALE
OCTOBER 3, 2009
So this is it, the last tournament of the 2009 season; a AAAA tournament; the deciding tournament on who will be State Champion. Held at the Crowne Royal Plaza Hotel with the smell of hair spray in the air (that's right, hair spray!), everyone showed up with their game on. With the awards being belts instead of trophies, students were excited. Representing Five Star Martial Arts were Shaylene Wilkinson, Cole Worth, and Senseis Bill Feliss and Jeffrey Stenson.
Shaylene Wilkinson starts her morning as a Rock Star performing Musical Forms. As always she performs with grace and style and does that girl know how to feel the beat! On to traditional forms and point sparring. Now she has a cartwheel in her musical form but you should have seen the cartwheel in her sparring match. Down by 5 points she throws a cartwheel (her idea), and talk about the perfect way to earn a quick 3 points - that was the way. Should've been worth 6 as both feet came down on the head of her opponent. The crowd went wild. Great way to end the 2009 season.
Cole Worth starts his afternoon (yes, he gets to be lazy in the morning), with his Weapons Form. He's got the moves, he's got the attitude, and yes, he's got his staff. With a form that begins as strong as we've ever seen, he does a beautiful weapons form. It's been a rough year with all the crazy moves he's capable of doing, but he hangs in there. Finishing off strong even though he dropped it for one last time (I say that because I know he got all of the drops out of his system this year), he moves on to Traditonal Forms. You've had to fight hard all year to keep up in the standings and it looks like you've made it Cole. Great way to end the 2009 season.
Sensei Bill Feliss starts his morning with Traditional Forms, which by the way he asks our stand-in videographer not to record. I specify stand-in because our normal videographer wouldn't have listened and would've taped him anyway! Fighting illness and injuries pretty much all year (and this was his first year competing as a Black Belt) he competes in Point Sparring. Man, a couple of great fights he had and there was no sign of pain. His motto "never let them see you cry!" - ok that's my motto, but he definitely showed no pain. He's feeling it afterwards though, but did he end the 2009 season with a bang.
Sensei Jeff starts the morning with, as always, incredible forms. Running from one ring to the other to perform Creative Forms, Musical Forms, and Traditional Forms is always a test in endurance. Will he remain standing or bent over a trash can is always a question. Well not only did he remain standing, he went on to fight in continuous and point sparring with probably some of his best moves of the season. Most notably for the day was a hand stand to avoid being scored on in point sparring. Congratulations on a great tournament Sensei Jeff.
Next is the CKA year end awards banquet and I'm sure after all that is said and done, we have a few State Champions in our midst. You'll have to wait until after the banquet to see who.
TESTING - SEPTEMBER 16, 2009
Testing, testing, one, two... On September 16, 2009, Ms. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Lloyd Worth both performed a first. Ms. Bennett tested for the first time. She was testing for her Yellow Belt. Now, for a test that lasted maybe 20 minutes, Ms. Bennett was tired. Oh, by the way, to add to the stress - she tested alone. That's right, one brave soul showed up for the beginning test. So, as she's staring at the 3 Black Belt judges, she performs awesome techniques and passes with flying colors. It's obvious that she loves self-defense moves. Actually, I think she loves it all!
Mr. Worth had a first also, he tested for his Blue Belt in his first advanced test. Mr. Worth has had to overcome some medical issues but he shows up for class 3 times a week and hasn't let them stop him from his training. A determined Mr. Worth also was the only one testing but at least he wasn't alone. His son Cole, also showed up for his test. So in front of 4 Black Belt judges, Mr. Worth is the lone tester and does a fantastic job. His determination carries him through classes and it carried him through the test as well.
Congratulations to you both on earning your belts, and many thanks to our judges Senseis Bill Feliss (who showed up and wasn't feeling well), Sherri Feeley, Kevin Feeley, and Jeffrey Stenson. You're a hard bunch to impress and these two did it!
We'd like to see some of you others come for testing also. If you come to class, you're ready to test. Remember, testing is offered every 3 months so we'll see you again in December.
JUST SOME NEWS
Just wanted to let you know about some things that may interest you.
Where's Phillip? No last name required! Phillip started playing football this year so his hard work and dedication is being placed elsewhere for the season. His team is doing well - they are the Spartans Silver team. Phillip has been missed and asked about by many. Hope to see him back real soon (hear that Phillip).
Elvis is Alive! Just ask Cole. We've been watching Cole struggle with catching all of his fancy tricks he does with his staff so we took them out before the finale. During class I happened to ask him when the last time he listened to his Elvis song. He said a long time. We played it, laughed, and made fun. Guess what - Cole was catching his tricks. Who believes in superstition - Cole does now!
Where's Shaylene? Man, as these young people start getting older they think they need to expand their horizons. Shaylene has been playing volleyball for the Prairie View team. Her team is currently undefeated (of course it is, they have our Rock Star on it). She thinks she may be interested in basketball and definitely soccer - I'm not sure I'm going to let her!
COLLEGE - Yea, some of these kids think they need an education. To name a few Elias Heard went back for his 2nd year to Fort Valley State University in Georgia for a degree in Engineering. We were glad that he spent his summer with us and was able to help out at a couple of tournaments. Always good to see him and what a nice young man. Alyssa Keil is beginning her 1st year at Denver University and has found a Tae Kwon Do club there. She's also working in the finance office at DU (in her spare time). She also came back for the summer and helped out at the tournaments. It was good to see her and Elias together again as they trained together for several years. She also helped us out hear during the summer with the class with 5 year old boys. Best kind of birth control! I sure appreciated her help and glad she's back into enjoying martial arts classes. Sensei Jeffrey Stenson is back to school in his Senior Year at Johnson and Wale University in Denver. He earned his Associates Degree in Business and is going for his Bachelor's Degree. He's also working and has therefore been unable to make as many tournaments, or practice the way he would like. He shows up when he can and that is appreciated. I'm glad that so many of our students are continuing their education. Wishing them all much happiness and success. Hope they keep some time for martial arts even if it's in the future.
BLACK BELT DINNER - We will be having our Black Belt Dinner on October 10th at Cinzetti's for those that have earned their Black Belts: Ms. Sherri Feeley, Mr. Phillip Willett, and Mr. Bill Feliss will all be receiving their certificates - finally. I apologize for the delay but knowing what I wanted the certificates to be in my head and creating them were not as easy as one would think. I appreciate the patience (a must for any Black Belt), and we look forward to celebrating with them.
MONDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE - The 6:00 class is now a class filled with 5-6 year old boys with their Mothers. Not sure how it happened that way but it did and I'm having a blast (most of the time!). I've asked our Black Belts for help with this because I'm not Superwoman (I know - you're surprised by this!). Like I say, patience is a must for Black Belts! I remember that many of our students started out at 4-5 years old and look where they are now at 9+ years. I wish I would've started at 4 instead of 40 (well almost!). So if you see any of these new, young students (yeah, their Mom's are young too) - please welcome them and remember they are the Five Star Martial Artists of the future!
I reserve the right to add new news in this section at any time!
MILE HIGH SHOWDOWN - SEPTEMBER 5, 2009
And then there were 2 (and one of them was sick!). That's right, a tournament on Labor Day Weekend and Five Star MA had two representatives. Cole Worth and his family (thank goodness for all of their help), and me! And Cole was not feeling well at all - what a trooper. I didn't even have Marcia there to help me out. It was a low turnout overall, but I had a great time. Enough people showed so that the competition was still good - just ask Cole. It gave time in between divisions to some visiting which doesn't happen often so I had a great time. If Cole would've been feeling better he may have enjoyed himself a little more but he was a happy camper as always. He's not one to whine!
Cole in his weapons form was hardly recognizable - his form that is! All the fancy throws and catches he does, took them out because he could barely stand up without being dizzy. He still placed 4th. In traditional forms he looked awesome. I should know I was his judge! Normally I never place one of our students in 1st when judging but I did him. He threw his incredible jump side kick, nailed his 360 and had all the power and attitude I've ever seen. He placed 2nd (still 1st in my book!).
Me, getting back into competition is an awakening. I need to practice - gosh where have I heard that before? In traditional forms I placed 2nd. In sparring - well that's another story! If you know Kris Pilgrim you already know I didn't win that fight! She's awesome. The only thing I can stay is I manged to stay away from her a little better this time than I did the last time! They say the third time is a charm, maybe I'll find out at the finale (yea, like that's going to happen!).
Anyway, congratulations to Cole. Miss Jean Worth and her Dad, Mr. Lloyd Worth, were acknowledged several times for keeping their ring going smoothly. What a team. Everyone else was bailing at the end of the day and there they were. They weren't leaving until it was over, talk about commitment.
I know many of our students were there in spirit, and wanted to be there in body! Family comes first, jobs second, and fun (that's what I call it) always comes in last. You were missed and there's always next time. We look forward to seeing you there -
SUMMER FISTIVAL - AUGUST 15, 2009
Wow, what an excellent day! Mr. Coppock's tournament had a great turnout and brought out some competitors that we hadn't seen for awhile, Ruselis Perry and Jesse Menegdeg to name a couple. Hope that trend continues because, as they say, the more the merrier!
I want to especially thank our videographers, past and present (and sometimes substitutes), because as I'm making the videos I get a second chance to see everyone. Sometimes its the first chance. In putting the video together from this tournament I learned (or was reminded of) some things; like Shaylene Wilkinson is becoming quite the fighter; Cole Worth is becoming a Master of the staff; Sensei Bill Feliss is learning patience in recovering from injuries and competing is fun; Sensei Jeff Stenson is learning that being an adult and having responsibilities (like a job), he doesn't get to make all the tournaments so he's having some fun instead of worrying about points and placements; and me - I'm learning how wonderful and special you all are. I've known these things but watching it on the video just reinforces it. I've always encouraged people to go to the tournaments either to participate or to watch. Either way it's incredible how many people you meet, friendships you form, and meet people you come to respect. Sometimes it just stands out more than others what a learning experience these tournaments can be.
So on to the news: Shaylene starts off with her ever strong Rock Star musical form which was very nicely done. She wins 2nd place. Then for her traditional form she performs Toi Gye which she does not only once, but I think they wanted to see it again in a tie-breaker. She wins 4th place. Her sparring matches are incredibly close and she deserves more than a trophy for her fights. Not only are her competitors nothing to be reckoned with, but Shaylene shows no fear. In between matches she's talking to me about testing coming up - what is she thinking??? In a couple of the best matches I've seen her fight in, this has to be rated some of the best. She places 4th. Congratulations Shaylene!
Cole Worth has some pretty fancy stuff going on in his weapons form and lately he's been dropping the staff during tournaments. Well, today he broke that trend and catches all of his tricks. In a very nice weapons form, he wins 5th place. On to traditional forms where he performs a powerful Choong Moo. Today is his lucky day (and ours too because we get to see this form not only once, not only twice, but three times!). Yep, you guessed it - another tie-breaker. So we watched him perform it for the 2nd time and he looked amazing. Judges thought so too - he placed 1st. So guess what - we'll see it again in the Grand Champion Division! Third time was no exception - an excellent form. No Grand Champion today but soon! Congratulations Cole!
Sensei Bill Feliss begins his morning performing the traditional form Choong Moo also. With a numb leg (yep, and he's still out there!), he skips the 360 and struggles just standing, he wins 4th place. That shows what determination and love of the game can do! After judging all day (and remember - he's standing on a leg that he can't feel, pain in the lower back, etc.), he puts on his sparring gear. I'm thinking he's crazy but if you know Mr. Feliss you know that he loves to spar. He's standing there getting ready to go in and finally convinced, he bows out (your Dr. thanks you!). Congratulations Sensei Bill!
Sensei Jeffrey Stenson begins his morning with 3 divisions scheduled to go at 9:00, 9:00, and 9:15. No endurance needed here! He begins his morning with creative forms where he does a beautiful form and it must've been good because we get to see it again in yet another tie-breaker (judges must've really liked Five Star's performances today because they kept wanting to see them again). Sensei Jeff wins the tie-breaker and wins 3rd place. On to musical forms where he performs a very energetic form to Crank That and wins 3rd place. In traditional forms, ready to perform another very strong, leg killing kata, no one else signs up and he wins 1st. On to Grand Champion for this young man and with Professor Menegdeg and Ruselis Perry competing, Sensei Jeff made quite the showing but no Grand Champion today! In continuous sparring he has a couple great matches and wins 4th place. In point sparring, after judging all day, he again has a couple of great matches and wins 2nd place. Congratulations Sensei Jeff!
OK, now you can laugh, because after several years of not competing, I decided I'd get back into the ring for the day. In traditional forms I remembered my introduction and yes, even my kata! I win 3rd place (I was just glad that I didn't embarass myself or our students!). Then on to sparring in the afternoon and with Sensei Jeff at my back I win 2nd place. Teaching is a little different than training and I better get back into the training mode because the competition out there is tough! Now I remember what our students go through every tournament. I had a great time but it's much easier manning the CKA booth and cheering on our students.
It was a great day and everyone always leaves with a smile on their faces. That's what it's about. Competition is good, but you need to enjoy it to appreciate it. It's not for everyone but I'm so glad that there are venues out there to allow martial artists to show off what they've been training for. Always entertaining, always fun, always exhausted by the end of the day!
SUMMER JAM - JUNE 27, 2009
Yes, I know it's already mid-August and I'm just writing about June's events. Time flies when you're having .....! Where did the summer go? So, let's get to the good stuff:
And then there were 3 - Congratulations to Bill Feliss, Shaylene Wilkinson, and Cole Worth. Those were our three competitors for the day. Please keep in mind that the tournaments couldn't run without the help of the volunteers, and boy did we have volunteers. With much thanks and appreciation to Marcia Connon, Elias Heard, Alyssa Keil, Jeff Stenson, Brenda Tucker, Jean Worth, and Lloyd Worth. Of course we couldn't catch it on tape without the help with our videographer, Bev Worth. Please know not only how much I appreciate all of you, but how much the CKA appreciates your help as well. It was great to see Elias and Alyssa get involved while they were on Summer break.
In killer performances by all, the morning starts with Sensei Bill Feliss in Traditional Forms. His intensity, focus, and power are always present, and today was no exception. In a powerful kata he places 5th. Sparring in the Black Belt division has opened up a whole new world for Mr. Feliss. Today he draws and wins the opportunity to fight against Mr. Dave Coppock. Mr. Feliss gives Mr. Coppock a run for his money and it's a very good match. Mr. Feliss places 5th.
Then Shaylene Wilkinson performs her always entertaining, always strong "Rock Star" Musical Kata and places 2nd. On to Traditional Forms where her "how low can you go?" stances show up the best, and she places 4th. In point sparring she had the highlight of her sparring career when she wins a match against a young lady from Five Knuckle. A close match it was, but she pulls it out. Both fighters were incredible (of course they were, they fight like girls!).
And here comes Cole Worth who performs magic with the staff (well, most of the time it's magical!). He just can't catch a break (or his staff). The trend will break and then watch out! This young man's getting attitude and has some mean tricks up his sleeve. Then on to Traditional Forms where Cole has some of the best stances with the legs that go on for miles, always performs a mean kata. He places 4th.
If you have never been to one of these tournaments, I encourage you to go. To watch these competitors, whether they're from Five Star or somewhere else, is just incredible. You can enjoy the day surrounded by people with martial arts in common, be entertained, and you may learn something! As always, I am so proud of all of the students and pleased to have you representing our school. Thank you and congratulations to the competitors. Until next time...
COLE WORTH GETS ONE STEP CLOSER
TO A BLACK BELT! On June 24, 2009, we saw a few students sweating like crazy and Cole was the only one testing. First let's give kudos to Krystopher Pajka and Shaylene Wilkinson for being brave enough to go through the test with no reward in sight (other than a tremendous workout and great practice for their next tests). Cole shows up and in probably the warmest evening of the year flies through the test like he has wings. Boards - no problem. He must have realized it doesn't hurt (so much) if you break them! Testing and earning his Brown Belt with Black Stripe, we proudly congratulate Mr. Cole Worth. Can't wait to see what you've got stored up for your Black Belt test - it's coming soon.
Ms. Lanell Dodd who received an award for Distinguished Victim Advocate of the Year from the Brighton Police Department. Congratulations Lanell - we always knew you were special.
GRADUATES OF 2009
I have always been so proud of all of our students, past and present. Needless to say when the graduation announcements started coming in I was excited to hear from both former and current students. Wishing them all much success (which there is no doubt!); but the most important, a very happy future:
Aaron Jordon - Graduated from Colorado University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering (yes, he really is a rocket scientist);
Alyssa Keil - Graduated from Brighton High School and will be going to Denver University in the Fall;
Aleisha Laliberte - Graduated from Brighton High School and has enlisted in the Army;
Justin McMahon - Graduated from Mountain Range High School and will be going to the Air Force Academy;
Zach Peterson - Graduated from Thornton High School.
Congratulations to you all and best wishes!
RAGE - MAY 30, 2009
It's a bird, it's a plane, no - IT'S THE FLYING DRAGONS!!! If you are looking for entertainment, this is the ring to visit. The 3-5 year old, up and coming martial artists, are hard to miss. There may not be music, no high flying flips, but these young one's are incredible. Five Star Martial Arts had its first competitors in this division - 5 year olds Jayden Ball and Peter Pajka. When Jayden arrived in the morning, quiet and a little afraid, it didn't take him long to get the attention of his friends (and his karate family). He found Mr. Bill Feliss right away; then the experienced Cole Worth, Shaylene Wilkinson, and Phillip Willett, Jr. were right there to help him out. Peter had his brother (and first time competitor) Krystofer, to help him around but Peter showed up like a born competitor, in his usual confidence he knew exactly what to do. All of the children in this division were eye catching. As we were sitting there watching and cheering on all of the competitors, Shaylene said "I want to be in this division". Everyone was so encouraging as they watched, and the best part of it, they were all having fun. Jayden and Peter both performed their first kata. When watching Peter you would have thought he had done this hundreds of times before. He knew all of the moves and did his introduction saying "I like karate". Jayden was a little less confident but after he began, he knew what to do. By the way, did I mention that Mr. Phillip Willett, Jr., was a center judge for this division? He was offered money to let our competitors win but he stuck to the rules - no bribes for Phillip! He took his job seriously and will make a great center referee for Black Belts some day. Many thanks to the students who helped make them through their first tournament, they needed that from you. Congratulations gentlemen - you were GREAT!
Mr. Bill Feliss (a.k.a. Sensei Bill), feeling better than he had at the last tournament, performed his traditional kata. Always performing strong, he did a powerful kata. Well, he didn't place in the top 4 but he's always number 1 with us! The Black Belt divisions take some getting used to. Different competitors = Tough competition! So then after a long day of judging (and trust me, it's long!), he finally gets to spar - once! Of all the people in his division (about 12-15 competitors) he has to draw a competitor who's 8 feet tall (ok, maybe Dave Schneider isn't 8 feet tall, but it probably seemed that way to Mr. Feliss!). I know that he was already thinking of what he needs to do differently next time because that's the way his brain works. That's where the mental part of martial arts comes in! He did a wonderful job and he's a great judge - give it up for Sensei Bill!
Was someone missing from the Black Belt division at RAGE? I believe that Sensei Jeffrey Stenson was a no-show competitor. After having some medical issues, he was unable to compete. He stayed around until about 1:00 judging before he had to leave for work. It's tough being a sick, employed adult with other responsibilities when you're heart wants to be out there competing. At least he was there for a while and the rest of the time, his heart was there - give it up for Sensei Jeff!
First timer (was it really his first time?) Krystofer Pajka had what some may call beginners luck. I call it talent!!! In a very strong traditional kata, he placed 1st. What - at his first tournament??? Krystofer is built like a tree trunk, solid! So imagine his opponents' surprise when he begins his sparring matches? It's hard to train a 9 year old on controlling power and Krys knows how to pack a punch. After winning several matches (and losing one that he should've won - scorekeeper error!), he placed 4th in sparring (after a tie-breaker that shouldn't have happened). Welcome first time competitor and give it up for Krystofer!
So some people are martial artists and some people are baseball players. Can you imagine being both? Well, that's Phillip Willett, Jr. We haven't seen Phillip consistently in class because with the rain, he's been making up baseball games. He still wanted to compete and he gave his competitors something to watch out for! First, let me acknowledge those young advanced/Black Belt competitors there who are all incredible. Watching them make us all wish that we would've started so young! So the fact that Phillip can occassionally show up to class and still place 1st in Creative Forms says alot. He also placed 3rd in weapons and 4th in traditional forms (after a tie breaker which he won!). He also competed in continuous and point sparring. Oh and by the way, his father (who is normally our videographer) had to dodge out early to Coach Phillip's baseball game which Phillip didn't make it to. Do you think he has a busy life? Give it up for Phillip!
Do you ever hear a song and immediately know who's out on the mats? Well, kind of like Charlie Kellar with his Flogging Molly, there's Shaylene Wilkinson with Pink's "Rock Star". You hear that song and you know who she is, it's just a matter of redirecting your eyes to the center of her ring. Always a strong competitor, she's having another good year (so far!). She placed 4th in her musical forms, 4th in traditional forms, and in an "oh so close" fight, and with a smile on her face, she had a great day. Give it up for Shaylene!
The sky is falling, the sky is falling - no it's Cole's staff! For the first time ever, Cole Worth performs a #1 staff kata and gets through the fancy stuff, and he's looking great, he's got attitude and... he drops it!!! It happens to the best of them and it did. But a true trooper, he picks it up and finishes off his form in style (well almost in style). After the reaction of dropping it, which was classic by the way, and then dropping it again! You'll get it next time Cole! So he places 4th in weapons (with a 7.0 score for dropping it), 4th in traditional forms, and also competes in point sparring. By the way, in the absense of Phillip's Dad as our videographer, Mr. Worth gladly offers the assistance of his wife to record the performances. All is going well until she looks at her screen while she's recording and says "what's this red blinking light?" Now I'm afraid!!! She was out of tape but we got her fixed up and she was back to recording in no time. Unfortunately it had to happen during her son's traditional form! Anyway, thanks to her for the attempt! Give it up for Cole!
As always, I'm always very proud of all of our students and it takes a special mentality (not to mention the dedication) to take classes and compete as well. Competition is not for everyone. Just remember, if it's not fun for you - don't do it anymore! If you choose, you can still be involved in many other aspects that don't require extra practices, ask me how! I'm proud of you whether you compete or not. Five Star has the best students and the best families and I'm honored to be a part of this family.
As much as this was a great day for a tournament, it was also a sad day. At about 8:20 in the morning, I received a phone call that Sensei Jeff's Great Grandmother had passed so I'd like to pay tribute to a wonderful woman. She was 97 years young until the last couple of months and she became 97 years old. One of the lovliest people you will ever meet, she loved her family but especially her Great Grandson Jeffrey. Jeff and her were always pinnocle (aka peaknuckle!!!) partners and had several inside jokes - ask him about the cheetos! They shared a bond like no other. She will be remembered with loving thoughts and the many memories will keep her in our hearts - God Bless You Grandma, we will miss you!
COLORADO STATE MARTIAL ARTS OPEN
Was held on Saturday, March 21, 2009, at the Parker Field House. Wow, where did the time go? Considering the last tournament was in October 2008, you would think that would be more than enough time to get ready for March. It was down to the wire for some in figuring out what they were going to do on Saturday (right Sensei Jeff?). It was the first tournament with continuous sparring and we had three individuals signed up for that, we were all curious to see how that would go. We had a new judge representing Five Star - that would be our newest Black Belt, Mr. Feliss who showed up not being able to see straight and still stayed all day to judge. He didn't compete (at least I wouldn't call trying to walk through a form competing) but he stayed standing upright so that was a plus! And what a couple of great young ladies in Mary and Amy Willett who took over the trophy table which was a great help. And how much can I say about Marcia - what would the CKA table be without her (empty most of the time!). Special thanks to all of you.
So, the numbers for the tournament were about the same with about 300 competitors. However, because some of you continue to get older and/or advance in belts, the competition was different for most. We'll call it new and improved! Continuous sparring was originally scheduled for two 1 minute rounds, however due to the high number of competitors registered (over 100), it was changed to two 30 second rounds. Good thing because we didn't get out of there until about 6:30 pm. Good call Mr. Cordova!
Of course the representation from Five Star was, as always, superior. It's not necessarily the performances, although most times those are superior also; but the attitudes and the support they show is always something that makes me proud. So you know, others notice and comment also. You're the best!
So with new katas (traditional, creative, and musical), weapons, and continuous sparring; and still point sparring; we had some very busy people. Mr. Feliss showed up and we were wondering why when his eyes started closing if someone moved too fast (ok, that's probably an exageration, but not by much!). Mrs. Wilkinson was dreading her musical kata (which is supposed to be fun!), and I was hoping that Sensei Jeff knew what he was going to do. It worked out well, it always does:
So let's start with Mr. Feliss who really was dizzy. With the room spinning, he bowed out of continuous sparring (good call), and attempted a traditional kata. He was dizzy all morning and he began performing when he jumped, did a 360, landed, and decided it was time to finish his form before he fell over! Instead of going home like most people would, he stayed to judge. He commented that he wasn't going to center - his first time judging, but when I walked by his ring guess who was in the center referee position? Thank you, not only do I appreciate your help, but you know the CKA does too.
Shaylene "Rock Star" Wilkinson shows up with her Red Belt and realizes that she will now be competing with Black Belts. That's what happens when you advance belts. She performed her new musical kata to Pink's "So What". With a Rock Star pin she performs her moves with style and attitude. What a great job she does, she places 2nd. Then on to traditional forms where those darn Black Belts show up again. With tough competition she places 5th. On to point sparring where she "kind of doesn't feel like fighting". Well, she shows up to the ring and with a heck of a match, she lost her fight by 1 point, but she walks off with a smile on her face. I was proud, but nobody was prouder than her family, her #1 support group. Nice job Shaylene.
Shawn Wilkinson is a nervous wreck thinking about her musical form which she has never done one before (and she still hasn't!). First, her traditional form goes really well, she places 2nd. Then her point sparring also goes really well - she also loses her last match by 1 point, and she places 2nd. That gives her just enough time to start sweating over the dreaded musical kata. She shows up and she's the only one in that division. Normally she would still have to perform her kata, however since the ring has been running so far behind, she wins 1st place without performing. You deserve the 1st place - you had the guts to show up and you were ready! Nice job Shawn.
Phillip Willett was born to compete, always cool, calm; a mini Sensei Jeff. With a new creative kata that he does incredibly well, he places 2nd. With a new weapons kata using kamas, he also does incredibly well, he places 2nd. On to traditional kata where he is knows for his outstanding techniques and he has another new kata (you can bet his mind's spinning), he places 2nd (no 1st; no 2nd). With some confusion, Phillip actually placed 2nd, but his kata, as always, was a first place kata no matter what his placing turned out to be. Moving on to point sparring - after winning his first match and fighting a few more, he ends up with 5th place. Then the new event of continuous sparring - Phillip was there of course and wins 4th place. Nice job Phillip.
Cole Worth has also grown older and has new competition. It's always incredible to see how these young men can move and the talents they possess. Cole competes in traditional forms and does a great job. He competes in point sparring and after blocking with his face, he gets a bloody nose, where his opponent is DQ'd. He went on to fight another round and places 2nd in point sparring. You would have to check with Cole, but I think his matches usually draw more blood than the Adult Black Belt divisions where it's legal! Cole is still swinging his staff in his weapons form and on a good day, you should see this form. Well, it was a good day and again, with tough competition, Cole places 4th in the weapons division. Nice job Cole.
Sensei Jeff figures out a form for musical and creative about 2 days before the tournament (nothing like cramming). Hmmm, I wonder if he'll remember it, after all this was the person that all last year never used the same form twice! Well, he does remember, and not only that, he does it well. In musical forms which he is performing to the Superman song (aka Soulja Boys' Crank That), he places 3rd (should've worn the tights and the big "S" on his chest). Then in creative forms, he places 1st; and in traditional forms, another 1st. On to continuous sparring where he has some new competition and he does a great job. In point sparring - he got ripped! Actually, all three were very good fights. He wins his first fight and loses the 2nd fight. The 3rd fight was his and it went to overtime. He loses in overtime and places 4th. With being a student, having a job, teaching, (and he still wants to have fun!), he did great. Nice job Sensei Jeff. He better be working on getting into the top 20 again this year as we have several of the younger students who want last year's cup!
Well, that was a long day but a very good one. Everyone had a great time and they did their best. We're looking forward to a couple of new competitors in future tournaments - double the students, double the fun!!! See you next time -
AND OUR NEWEST BLACK BELT IS...
Mr. Bill Feliss. On Thursday, March 5, 2009, we had more Black Belts in the room than under belts. Those were the judges were there to watch as Mr. Feliss, Ms. Paula Cline, and Mr. Cole Worth (who was just there as a good practice) moved up and down the floor in a "hurts so good" sweat. The test is not an easy one; it tests not only physical ability but mental as well. Actually, it's mostly a mental test because when you think you can't go any more you need to dig deep within yourself not to give up or question yourself. Oh yeah, there are also a few surprises in this test. The requirements for passing this test are also tougher, not only does it need to be the best performance you've ever had, only very minimal mistakes on katas are acceptable, boards need to be broken, and "special sparring" when you're absolutely exhausted. There is a reason that not everyone is a Black Belt!
Paula Cline who's been trying to mix school, a job, classes, and, oh yeah a family, did better on the mental side of the test than she normally does in class. She didn't second guess herself (or if she did, it didn't show). I was very proud of her and we will be working on the other things. It's her goal to earn that Black Belt and there's no doubt that she will.
Bill Feliss also had the goal of earning his Black Belt. Exhaustion did not get in his way and when he woke up the next morning looking at his hands to wonder where all of the purple ink came from (they were actually bruises from breaking), at least he had his Black Belt to help with the pain. We're all anxious to see what the future holds for Mr. Feliss in his Martial Arts world!
I would also like to thank our judges: Ms. Sherri Feeley, Mr. Kevin Feeley, Mr. Eric Figueroa, Mr. Phillip Willett, Jr., and Mr. Jeff Stenson. With all of your knowledge and experience, it helps to show me what I also need to work on. The input you have is invaluable and we couldn't do this without you. Thank you.
They say that it's the mind, body, and spirit that need to be in sync to guide a martial artist. All of the students here have at least one of those qualities. It makes me proud when a new student walks through those doors as a White Belt and sticks around long enough to earn the Black Belt. I will promise every person who makes that journey that it will be worth it. Remember that it's not the destination, it really is the journey.
CONGRATULATIONS TO COLE WORTH
Who on Monday, March 2, 2009, walked up to me and announced "I want to break my board tonight". So after some stretching, we all watched as Cole did indeed break the board that's been haunting him for months. I was very pleased to hand him his Brown Belt and watched as he proudly put it on. Congratulations Cole, we knew you had it in you - that was awesome!
HAPPY NEW YEAR...
AND IT COULDN'T HAVE STARTED OUT BETTER THAN WITH TESTING!
On Monday, January 12, four students were ready for the beginning belt test. It should have been five students but due to an injury, Ms. Lanell Dodd wasn't able to do anything but watch. We gave her plenty to watch - her son, Tanner and husband, Davie were among the testers, as was Ms. Shawn Wilkinson and Mr. Lloyd Worth. Given the white faces and lightheadedness during some of the classes, it could've been a very interesting evening. Everyone showed up with confidence, endurance, and their best techniques and were ready to go. Needless to say they all passed with flying colors. Congratulations to: Tanner Dodd - Yellow Belt; Davie Dodd - Orange Belt; Shawn Wilkinson - Green Belt; and Mr. Lloyd Worth - Green Belt. This was Ms. Worth's and Ms. Wilkinson's last beginning test and they're ready.
On Wednesday, January 14, two students felt that they were ready to test - Mr. Krystofer Pajka was testing for Blue Belt in his first Advanced Test and Ms. Shaylene Wilkinson was testing for Red Belt in her first test where board breaking is required. Of course we have a student who just can't stay away from classes (Great for Him), Mr. Feliss showed up to go through the test just as practice. After a many techniques, katas, push ups, and sparring we're so proud to announce that Mr. Pajka passed his test and earned his Blue Belt. Ms. Wilkinson sailed through both boards, one with the foot - one with the hand, and earned her Red Belt saying "that was easy". Because she was tired during the test, we can only imagine that she meant breaking boards was easier than she thought - she was a pretty worn out puppy until the hand sailed through the board. All exhaustion left and she was flying high with excitement.
Congratulations to you all, it has been a pleasure to work with you and watch you grow into the fine martial artists that you're becoming. Keep up the great job!