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Indiana Martial Arts
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Martinsville Martial Arts
Martinsville Karate
Martinsville Indiana
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Subject: GMA May Newsletter

---------- Break-a-thon Exceeds our Expectations ----------
Thanks to all who participated in the break-a-thon and picnic. Your support of the event exceeded our expectations, and we hope you enjoyed the festivities surrounding it. Thanks again to all who provided grills, rope, etc. to make the event so much fun. The grand totals: over 150 boards to raise approximately 1,300 dollars in scholarship money. Cory Pierce deserves special recognition for raising over 500 dollars alone. As discussed at the break-a-thon, we feel it is important to give back to Tae Kwon Do for all it has taught us by helping others improve their lives in the same manner. We are proud to see you agree and support our efforts.

---------- More Seminar and Event Dates ----------
May 14 - Hapkido testing at Martinsville school.
May 18 - Chin-na seminar in Louisville with Dr. Yang Jwing Ming. A great way to supplement your Tai Chi and Hapkido training. See an instructor for details
June 8 - Hapkido demo and seminar at Relay for Life, 1:00 am.
June 15 - Summerfest demo 1:00 pm.
June 28-30 - TTCA summer camp. Applications are available from an instructor and are due in advance.
June 29 - TTCA testing at summer camp

---------- A note about summer travels ----------
Summer is always a more irregular time of the year with vacations and other activities. It is no less so for our instructors. In a one month span over the summer, Mr. Sieg will be traveling to California for Hapkido training, Boston for Chin-na summer camp, Florida for the National Association of Professional Martial Artists Conference, and Pennsylvania for additional FAST defense certification. Mr. Miller will be joining Mr. Sieg on the latter two trips and will also be traveling for his sisters wedding. Fortunately, GMA has several students qualified to cover classes in their absence, so classes will not be affected. A martial artist is never finished learning. GMA feels that continuing education is essential to improving our current programming and future offerings. We hope you understand that any inconvenience short term is far outweighed by the professionalism gained by our travels.

---------- Two students are awarded GMAs highest honor ----------
High ranking students who also show an exceptional dedication, loyalty, and service to GMA and the martial arts, and who live their lives according to the martial way and gentry ideals are awarded GMAs highest honor: the gentry-man certificate. Congratulations to Katie Roe and Derek Thayer on their achievement.

---------- Congratulations to all of our seniors ----------
GMA has several students graduating for either college or high school. Congrats and best wishes go out to the following: From DePauw: Tania Serrano (Hapkido), Reas Bowman (Hapkido), Tim Miller (Hapkido), Jenny Dill (TKD), Jennifer Stanley (TKD). From Martinsville: Tyler Sipla (TKD and Hapkido), Josh Stetcher (Hapkido). Also, DePauw hapkido student Nate Swim will be leaving school to study counter-terrorism in the military. To all seniors and anyone who might leave our ranks, we ask that you stay in touch and stay a part of the family, no matter how extended it becomes.

----- Misc. -----
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the fund for our student affected by the DPU dorm fire. We raised over 100 dollars to help replace items lost due to severe water damage. GMA and GMA Martinsville got incorporated! We are making changes to our structure to accommodate our growth. Hopefully, this will also make some paperwork and billing issues easier for you in the future as well. We will let you know when we officially change over.

----------------- Mr. Siegs Top Ten -----------------
Recently, interest was sparked by a special Top Ten Martial Arts on the Learning Channel. Several students have mentioned the program, and it started an interesting discussion. In our opinion, the programs top ten were questionable and no real rationale was given for the ranking. As an intellectual exercise, I came up with my own list, which I thought I would share. ---BLS

Here is the programs top ten: 1) Shoalin Kung Fu 2) Karate 3) Muay Thai 4) Ninjitsu 5) Juko-Kai 6) Aikido 7) Tae Kwon Do 8) Krav Maga 9) Kali 10) Brazilian jujitsu.

Here are mine:
1. Tai Chi -A billion Chinese people cant be wrong! It has a history and tradition as strong as any other. It is the most sophisticated in strategy and technique that I have encountered, and the true masters of Tai Chi really do set a benchmark for the term mastery. In addition it has health and relaxation benefits built in. Lastly, because it does not rely on speed or power, it is one of the few arts that you can genuinely continue to gain in proficiency throughout your entire life, even into older age.

2. Judo -It is the original 'Do'. All martial arts owe a lot to judo. It was the first discipline to use the term do and promote the virtues we associate with living the martial way todayincluding mutual welfare and benefit of practitioners. Judo was the first to use the belt system that virtually every martial art uses today. It was the first to create a competitive sport aspect (for better or worse) and was the first Olympic martial sport (at least of Asian origin). It was one of the first martial arts to be practiced in the West. It has had the greatest impact on police and military combatives both in Japan and in the West, especially after WWII. Technically, it is a beautiful yet effective art that is based on easy to understand yet profound principles.

3. Karate -It gave us the Karate Kid afterall, forever changing the demographics in martial arts schools. Combining all styles and schools, there is a mass of history and tradition within the art of Karate. Its rich literature provides lots of the stories about great feats of skill by great masters, and an equal amount of philosophy is also present. Karate styles have influenced or spawned several other martial arts, including Tae Kwon Do. When studied with form applications and pressure point techniques, it is a formidable, complete system.

4. Western Fencing and Daito Ryu-Aiki-jujitsu (tie) -Ok, hear me out. Western fencing has influenced a myriad of martial arts: modern boxing, jeet kune do (Bruce Lees brother was an elite fencer), Filipino kali systems, and more. The aristocratic etiquette born out of fencing governed the concepts of fair play and legitimated sport in the West much like the tenets of budo (the martial way) did in the East. Daito Ryu Aiki-jujitsu is one of the most prestigious lines of that discipline and so represents the traditional empty hand systems of Japan. In many ways it is also the parent art of both Aikido and Hapkido, and therefore deserves more prestige than its derivatives, both of whom are prominent martial arts in their own right.

5. Tae Kwon Do -The most popular martial art in the world. It is also the most visible, bringing martial arts and all their benefits into the public eye more than any style. Becoming an Olympic sport also deserves much credit, although there are both pros and cons to the emphasis on sport. Many TKD practitioners have reached new heights in kicking prowess, making TKD famous for their aerial kicking displays.

6. Kung-fu -A rich and varied conglomerate. Kung-fu is a generic term that can describe a host of martial arts systems from China. Some are quite prominent like White Crane and Praying Mantis; others are quite obscure. It is this fragmentation that keeps the martial art low on the list, because not any one style can be said to have that great of an impact. Taken collectively, however, its impact is equaled by its rich and varied techniquefrom animals styles to kicking styles to punching and trapping styles. Unique weapons and weapons routines add to the flavor. Of course, this group also gives us Shaolin Kung-fu and the Shaolin monks, one of the great images and emissaries of Asian Martial Arts. History has romanticized the birthplace of all martial arts being Shaolin temple, so the tradition is a strong one.

7. Aikido -Beautiful and peaceful. While Daito Ryu must be given a lot of credit, Aikido in own right has done much for the martial arts community and has become immensely popular around the world. Its emphasis on peace and harmony and minimizing conflict has resonated throughout the martial arts (not that it unique in this regard, but it does become the poster-child if you will). It is an aesthetically beautiful martial art to watch. Like Tai Chi, its technique are not limited by physical prowess and proficiency can be gained at all stages of life.

8. Kendo -It represents the art of the samurai. The tenets of Bushido and the martial way were forged at a time when the combative versions of Kendo dominated martial arts study in Japan. Much of the literature on martial arts philosophy originated in this genre, such as the Book of Five Rings and the Unfettered Mind. Indeed, much of the spiritual aspects of martial arts training can be attributed to the sword arts. Kendos lack of popularity in the west hurts is its ranking, but all serious students of martial arts have taken lessons from its tradition. 9. Muay Thai -A passionate national sport of Thailand. The traditions are intertwined with the history and culture of its parent country, making the sport a true spectacle. Known to be brutal and punishing, it is unique and very formidable as a ring sport and as a martial art. This led to it being incorporated in many an eclectic martial artists repertoire.

10. Kali and Silat (tie) -Because they are cool. While not as visible or powerful in terms of numbers, impact, or political clout, these styles deserve recognition. They are a great cultural export for their parent countries. Their fighting styles are creative and effective. The weapons (sticks and knives) are crude in manufacture but extremely sophisticated in application. Then there is the just plain crazy stuff like sarong techniques (a traditional piece of clothing). They are jewels of the martial arts world for their uniqueness.

And the moral of the story: There is no ultimate martial art. What matters is that you have fun learning a given style with qualified teachers, in a safe, friendly training environment. In the near future, GMA hopes to offer a martial arts summer camp that will serve as a sampler for a variety of martial arts that we teach and some that we normally do not. It is our hope to give our students more exposure to and appreciation of the martial arts world in general.


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Last modified: July 05, 2012


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