_ Wow! Saturday’s ceremony was one of our biggest and best belt promotions ever! It is great to see so many students working hard and making so much progress. The outstanding techniques, sparring, and board breaking reflected the focus and dedication that our students have put into their training.
We started using more challenging boards for the board breaking portion of the test, in an effort to challenge our students even more. I am extremely proud to write that even though many of the breaks required numerous attempts, all of the students that broke boards were ultimately successful in doing so, never giving up until their goal had been achieved. These students were completely undeterred if the board didn’t break on the first 5 tries, realizing that each kick or strike had the potential to be the one.
It really is amazing to see what our youth students have accomplished at such a young age. Two of Maryland Martial Arts’ first youth Black Belts achieved progress stars towards their 2nd degree Black Belts. We have been very fortunate that so many of our first students worked so hard to develop their skills to such a high level, which has set the bar extremely high for all the new students coming in, and those new students seem more than up to the challenge. No matter how advanced they become, the senior students maintain and attitude of modesty and respect, always willing to help others reach the next level.
If our students were just a wonderful group of kind and compassionate people (as we discussed in last week’s blog) that would be pretty great. However, make no mistake about it, our students possess some serious skills. Watching two students spar, giving 100% effort to gaining an advantageous position, yet with no animosity towards their partner, (on the contrary) pushing their partners to reach the next level, is really something special to watch.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a part of such a great martial arts family.
Several of our adult students were also promoted to their next levels, and their techniques were equally impressive. It was hilarious and fun to listen to the youth students call out techniques and tips while our talented adult students demonstrated some stellar sparring. Our adult program has grown rapidly over the past several months, showing that any age is a great age to begin martial arts.
Finally, I want to give a big congrats to Sensei Ines on earning her Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blue belt. As you know, Sensei Ines has already achieved Black Belt levels in Kung Fu and San Shou. To be able to start over as a white belt, in an art that she decided would complement the skills she already possessed, reflects a deep understanding of the martial arts and humility that makes her such a great instructor. A blue belt takes a long time to earn in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and, in my opinion, reflects a level of skill and training that is actually higher than Black Belt in most other styles of martial arts. She has worked extremely hard in preparation for her Blue Belt test, all while studying hard during her final semester of law school. We are all very proud of you, Sensei Ines!