Saturday, 15 November 2014

Crispin Autumn Shiai 2014

I was eight months removed from the DNBK tournament at Queen’s University. I was set to participate in Crispin’s annual Super Shiai in Georgetown, Ontario in May. Unfortunately, the week before that event, tragedy had hit my family, my mother passed away and I withdrew from competing in that event. I sacrificed time from private weekend training to spend her last days in the hospital with her. Even after her death, I took time off from the dojo, but I still found some time to train myself. I know deep down inside of me that my mom never wanted me to give up Karate, it is something I love, but at the same time, I know that family comes first. I will never forget that over 10 years ago, my mom and my older brother enrolled me in Karate as a Christmas gift. My mom supported me, showed up to a few of my gradings, and tournaments. In November 2009, I will never forget that my mom and the rest of my family were there to see me receive my black belt after performing a four hour grading. Many memories I had with my mom was at times she sewed up the dojo’s crest on my gi, and ironing my gi when it appeared to be wrinkly. Now my mom will be with me in spirit, always. I had the will to come back to the dojo as I promised everybody instead of leaving it all behind.
The year had been a dark cloud hanging over me, but it was a test from above to persevere through thick and thin. Going into this tournament as always, I knew I was the underdog loved and looked up to by many people. I was viewed as the man who would never give up and the man who is willing take on challenges. I didn’t want to think for one second to say to myself that I am going to win this tournament for my mother because I would put myself in that position to put all the pressure on myself and my mother don’t want that, she prefers more of me thinking of having fun and performing the best katas I can do in this tournament for her.
Later in the day, the black belt division began. My rival, Michael Toms was getting warmed up to compete, I was getting warmed up too, practicing my kata. In my mind I was saying “This man is going down.” When it is the 30-39 division’s time to compete, my only disappointment was that the audience has lessened, only a few of Michael Toms’ students and a couple other students and instructors, especially two hockey boys that walked in after hockey practice next door to check out the black belt division were left. It would’ve been nice that some more young kids that me and Michael judged recently that day would hang around and watch how we can steal the show, especially that little girl who came and asked me for advice on how to improve her skills after judging her weapons kata. However, most of the kids are tired after a long day and that it was on a Sunday and they needed to go home early and into bed for school the next day. Despite the regularly low crowd numbers in the latter part of the competitions, there is room for one fan in the heavens looking down on me performing at my very best.
The weapons division was only me and two other competitors, one of them was Michael Toms, he was doing an XMA style double Nunchaku kata, the other was doing a traditional Bo kata and I was doing a traditional Tonfa kata Matsu Higa no Tonfa. The judges was an elderly lady who is a Kung Fu practitioner, my Sensei as the center judge, and the tournament promoter Debbie Crispin. I was up second to perform before Michael. I did an intense weapons kata. Then Michael Toms did his kata performance which is not bad for a man in his late 30’s. While watching him perform I was hoping that he would drop his weapon (the small humourous part of it), but he didn’t. The scores for that was close, but Michael got 1st place and I got 2nd place. Several minutes later was the kata division. I was competing against 5 other black belts in the 30-39 division. I knew I had no sort of competition rust after a 9 month hiatus from competition, since training was always in my mind. Originally, I was planning to do Heiku, a kata that this territory hardly sees. However, within a few weeks prior to the tournament I decided to do a Goju-ryu kata Shisochin, 27 hands because I was working on that kata mostly with a fellow classmate. I performed a very nice kata with such intensity, with a determination to win or go out in a blaze of glory, if this was going to be my defeat…so be it. Michael Toms did Seiyunchin, Attack, Conquer, and Suppress, and in nearly midway through the kata I noticed that he bobbled a bit. The result was that me and Michael tied for 1st, and Debbie decided not to have a sudden death tie breaker to determine an undisputed 1st place winner maybe because she sees us as the biggest competitors in her division.
There is no doubt that Toms’ students were in awe of our performance, we tore the roof off. We told a story of a mere underdog Senior Student representing Durham Martial Arts vs. a regular competitor, dojo owner, and promoter from Orangeville. I am a well-liked guy by Toms’ and his students, they like seeing my traditional katas and the power I put into it. There is one thing in my heart that I do know, my mom who is in heaven would be proud of me for continuing his journey in the Martial Arts, and bring home some trophies this that night and bringing inspiration to my up and coming Martial Artist.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Facebook Post on African Martial Arts

This post I found on facebook is written by brother Teanis Tillmon give good knowledge on the Africa's forgotten Martial Art system.

(1) Teanis Tillmon - Okay, so......I am I just imaging things or has...

Friday, 4 April 2014

Parents being too Controlling over their Children

Throughout my ten years of training in Karate I have seen or heard of parents being too controlling of their children in Karate. This occurence is not only in Karate or any Martial Art that parents enroll their students into, it is also in recreational sports such as hockey, baseball, gymnastics all across the board. Especially in the field of performing arts such as acting, music, kiddies version of beauty pageants. I do remember hearing about a reality show about little girls not even in their teens being in a beauty contest and their mothers are being too controlling on their daughters, forcing them to go through such rigors from strict dieting and putting so much make-up on. Parents who keep pushing their children too hard in anything can discourage them from doing something that they have loved, or lead children too destructive means by simply being overly competitive. What children go through is hell, and their childhood can be extraordinary but also abnormal due to the parents pushing their children too much, I don't know if its for an everlasting financial security, therefore it is for their own good, or is it for the financial gain of the parents.

I remember doing some acting at a summer camp, and doing a few Christmas pagaent plays at a church I attended when I was kid, and I don't even recall having my parents forcing me into it, or putting high expectations on me to be the best actor that they ever hope to be. My dad was into the dramatic arts in his youth. I was never forced to follow in my dad's footsteps; never in my life I have been told that I have lots of shoes to fill. I did what I loved for a while. I was blessed to have a good childhood, which was never taken for granted. I was never treated #1 or #2 or lower, me and my siblings were loved equally. These days, or maybe for a number of years, parents who have multiple children can treat the eldest, the middle child, or the youngest child as #1 and the other as #2, although I wouldn't say #2 and I would say as the one who is overlooked, and all the expectations are put on the shoulders of the #1 son or daughter, and this is so tragic. In my opinion, in the long run it can cause a family dysfunction. The prime example of this is that your child gets the straight As in school while the other child tends to be coming up short the mother or father loved the child with the straight As more than the other child that is the struggling B or C student. When parents force their children to get better in any activity they do and put so much expectations on the child will suffer from psychological abuse. The child can be in so much under pressure to live up to expectations that are placed before them.

There can be so much drama in Martial Arts tournaments when parents can act like coaches and so many judges don't like that. I constantly end up hearing like, "Come on Timmy throw that kick in, score that point" and so on and so on. It can get so annoying that tournament promoters say before the tournament starts, "There will absolutely be no coaching at ringside from parents." I have been reminded a few times that Karate parents can come up to you and complain about unfair calls from the judges and so forth, or get accused of playing favourites. Thank God I did not have any yet, but I may have my day of hell. For those who run and managae a Martial Arts school can get complaints from parents about their child getting board of the training, not training hard or putting pressure on the Sensei or Sifu about putting their son or daughter into the grading to get a new belt rank, whether or not he or she is ready can be a fine line between do as the parents wish in order to keep the students long and hopefully make it to black belt or for the Sensei to put their foot down and explain to them the reason why he or she is not putting their best effort in classes or why he or she not ready yet to grade. For those black belts that wanted to own and manage their own school should think long and hard about it. It's not easy to run a Martial Arts school. It is not only obtaining knowledge of your art, it's also about inter-personal communication skills in order to handle these situations to the best of your ability along with being business savvy, and making and distributing flyers in order to draw in clients. Beware or be ready to confront the hot headed Karate mom/coach. It doesn't matter if the mom or dad ever donned a gi (uniform), walked into the dojo and trained for a long period of time or haven't took any Martial Arts at all.

The subject I write about is primarily about the Martial Arts world, but this is also for those parents who have children in any activity they are enrolled in. It is time to stop playing the parenting coach, it is time to stop putting psychological torment on your children, it is time to stop putting one child on a high pedestal and treating the other that he or she is worth nothing in life. The creator of the universe has called you to be a parent to your children not a heartless coach to your children, for we must put the positive frequency into our children in order to encourage them to pursue in anything they are passionate in what they are doing. They shall grow in time to be confident, to have integrity and to have honesty to others in the world. If you plant a seed in the ground, the plant would not grow overnight, it takes time, proper care and nutrients to let the plant grow. Now that's how parents got to be to their children, loving, caring and supportive.

Recommended Article: 
  How to be a Good Karate Parent be Jesse Enkamp

Ma'at Hotep,

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Bodhidharma Shaolin Myth - YouTube

I draw to the conclusion that the infamous Bodhidharma story is a myth. If you try to percieve this story a historical fact then it won't make sense for one individual to invent all styles of Martial Arts in the middle ages. If you use your critical thinking. Martial Arts originated in military battles. How many historical wars happened before this Tamil Monks time? China had many indigenous combative systems centuries before the dark ages.

Check out this video version, I recommend you pause the video here and there for reading purposes. 
Bodhidharma Shaolin Myth - YouTube

Recommended Reading:

They Came Before Bodhidharma
Origin of Martial Arts: The Real History
African Contributions to the World
Who is Bodhirharma?

Jonathan Bynoe