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Indiana Martial Arts
Martial Arts Indiana
Martinsville Martial Arts
Martinsville Karate
Martinsville Indiana
Taekwondo Tae kwon do

   dedicated to the cultivation of the martial artist

Subject: GMA April Newsletter

--------------------- Black Belt promotions ---------------------
Congratulations to Shaun Watts and Zach Boardman, who became the first group of GMA black belts in Hapkido on April 6th after the USHF seminar. Their ceremony was held that evening. Mr. Boardman and Mr. Sieg will be receiving their TKD belts at a ceremony this coming weekend in Louisville.

----------------- Upcoming testings -----------------
TTCA testing has been scheduled for Friday May 3rd at DePauw University at 5:00 pm. We apologize for the early start time but with the time difference it was necessary to get GM Choi home at a respectable hour. Our preliminary list is very large so we will focusing a lot on testing these next couple of weeks. It is important that students do their best throughout this entire pretest period. USHF testing at DPU has been set for Mon, May 6th and Wed. May 8th. Logistics will be announced closer to the events

--------------- Upcoming Events ---------------
April 26th: Graduation dinner (tentative). GMA wants to show our thanks to our seniors (both college and high school) who will be graduating this spring. We are planning on going out to dinner after classes at Martinsville. While it is to honor our senior scholars, everyone is welcome to make it a truly social event.
April 27th: Bill West will bring his unique perspective on Hapkido (a result of his experience in law enforcement tactical training) to a rare civilian seminar hosted by DPU Hapkido from 12-4. Topics include liabilities and legalities of response, pressure points, alternative directions of response, and the realities of multiple attackers. This is truly a unique opportunity to learn from a person who is definitely battle tested. Cost is free to DPU students, $10 to GMA students, $20 to USHF members, and $25 for nonmembers. Driving directions to the Lilly Center on the DPU campus can be found on the GMA website.
May 3rd TTCA testing (see above)
May 4th. Breaking seminar, Project Action Break-a-thon, and picnic. We will be raising money for martial arts scholarships by having a break-a-thon. Pledge sheets are being handed out in class. Special thanks to Bender Lumber for donating the materials. We will have a short breaking seminar starting at 11:30 with the break-a-thon to follow from 12-1. After the philanthropy, we will be having a picnic. Note that ALL events will be held at Nash Park (off Home Street), Shelter house 5. Please sign up for the event so we can anticipate how many will be attending. GMA will supply the grilling, students are responsible for the following: 1st class: Drinks and ice, coolers, etc. 2nd class: side dishes, salads, chips, etc. 3rd class: deserts We will be having lots of games/events planned (tug of war, limbo, etc.) but sports equipment and other games are also encouraged. May 6th and 8th: Hapkido testing (see above)
May 18th: Chin-na seminar in Louisville KY. KY Tai Chi Society is sponsoring a seminar with Dr. Yang Jwing Ming in Chinese joint locking. Some GMA students/teachers have attended these in the past and plan to attend this one. If interested, see Mr. Sieg or Mr. Miller for details. TTCA summer camp dates are set. Mark your calendars for
June 28-30th.

--------- Misc News ---------
Mothers Day Pass:
Out of respect and appreciation for all that our Martial Arts Moms do, we would like to extend our thanks during the month of May. Look for our coupon to receive one month of free lessons for all your support.

New Testing Requirement Sheets:
Starting this coming test, you will notice another piece of paperwork: We are implementing a checklist for activities outside of class to reinforce some of the values we are trying to instill within the dojang. We do not mean to interfere with any existing policies or systems you have in your own households, but rather we are merely trying to assist. We will be happy to work with you to make this exercise more valuable for you and your family.

Theater notes:
This weekend is the opening of Fuddy Meers at DPU, starring GMA student Derek Thayer. Black belt Zach Boardman was in charge of the fight choreography for the production. Derek and Catie Roe will also be performing in Valparaiso later this spring.

Fire update:
Thanks for your concern for students at DPU regarding the dorm fire. Our students have been relatively unaffected, although there are three that have suffered various degrees of loss. One current student lost a lot due to water damage. A collection for textbooks and similar needs is being taken; see an instructor if you would like to assist.

---------- A Fraternity of Martial Arts ----------
Anyone who attended the black belt testing in March had the opportunity to visit with a sorely missed GMA black belt, Tracy Charlton. It would be a severe understatement to say her family has had some rough times lately. She and her fiance are left to pay for their wedding on their own and have given up any honeymoon plans. Tracy drove 7 hours to watch Mr. Boardman and Mr. Sieg test; she stayed a total of three hours and then proceeded to drive another 7 hours back to Chicago during the middle of the night because she couldnt afford to take another day off work on Saturday. Several people were surprised by this effort. I wasnt. I was extremely happy to see her, but not surprised. Tracy long ago had adsorbed one of the qualities that I am most proud to see GMA students possessthe concept of brotherhood.

During college I was quite involved in my fraternity. Several people who know me today seem a bit surprised to hear that I was in a frat. I guess I dont fit the stereotype (whatever that means). To me, joining a fraternity was a natural thing to do because I had already been bonded in the fraternal order of the martial arts. As I went to college, I looked for that same type of closeness that comes from a common bond and cause. In retrospect, the college fraternity, despite having lofty ideals (at least in theory), fell way short in comparison.

The martial arts is one of the most powerful activities to bring people together that I have ever witnessed. As a student and now as an instructor, I see all types of people. Under normal circumstances, some of these types wouldn't give each other the time of day. But I see all types of people become best friends because of one common bond -the martial arts. Similarly, as an instructor, I find myself coming to care a great deal about people I wouldnt normally get along with because of their commitment to me as students.

This is natural when you think about the level of intimacy we have. We experience victory and failures with each otheron a daily level and a larger scale at testings and tournaments. We trust each other to use control and not to injure us. We quite literally trust our partners with our health and even our lives as they execute nearly full force techniques. It is impossible not to strip down stereotypes and other social barriers and gain a genuine, sincere respect for the other person under such circumstances. It all stems from one common respect that we are all using the martial arts to make us better people. That is why we bow.

When I was a teenager, the closest thing I had to brothers were my fellow black belts. I had best friends outside of the martial arts, but the bond with those that shared my martial journey was different. It was more serious. We were warriors, at least in mindset, and we would go to battle for one another, although thankfully this was figurative not literal.

GMA instructors are like that. They are here because of the family. They are here because they believe in GMA, something that I see is bigger than all of us. They are part of the movement, whether they actually stopped to think about it or not. But I have thought a lot about it and it makes me proud. In Tracys words from her black belt paper:

Becoming Gentry meant more than wearing polo shirts and warm-ups to TTCA functions. It meant being part of a team, and of a family. I was forever inducted into a brotherhood I would always be willing to aid and defend, and my actions stood not only for me, but for us all, as testament to our combined character. It was the first time I could call myself a part of a social group I would never be ashamed of. It was the first connection, outside of my family, so strong that I could never deny it. To a young woman in search of her identity and its meaning, the overwhelming power of being Gentry was - and remains - a source of constant comfort and courage. It is the one identity I have that I believe can never be expunged.

POSTSCRIPT. This article, inspired by Tracys show of support in March, has taken even deeper meaning as we face the challenge of the DPU dorm fire, our Project Action fundraiser, and other events that are sure to challenge our common bond. ---BLS

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Last modified: July 05, 2012

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