April 2, 2016-
It's been a long journey.
Uncle Jeremy demonstrating a side kick in our living room after a Thanksgiving meal
Even before we started taking classes, we started learning martial arts every time my Uncle Jeremy would come over for a visit.
From learning how to redirect butter knife thrusts,
to bracing for a one inch punch demonstration (and holding a phone book against your chest),
we always enjoyed learning about self defense.
More than anything else, it's thanks to the hard work and dedication of these two men,
Sifu Jeremy and Sifu Pat
who have freely invested their knowledge and countless hours of their time into us.
We've progressed through the ranks...
...continually learned new skills...
...and teaching other students.
Today's the day that we test for our Black Belts.
Family and other Whole Armour Martial Arts students
Panel of judging black belts
Reciting our Scripture memorization
Chi sau - a sensitivity hand drill - with our eyes closed
Showing our Escrima/Kali drills
Breaking boards (note the pile on the bottom right)
Demonstrating knife defenses
Working the wooden dummy that Wing Chun uses for training and conditioning
"This next bit's going to be a bit more...'interactive'..."
Getting out of a rear grab
I have no idea what they're doing here.
Hair pull defense
Gearing up to spar
Benjamin in a full mount
Andrew working from a side mount
Sparring with our instructors
It wasn't long before we were both on the ground and tapping out :)
Sparring with the other black belts
We were both exhausted and sore by the end of the sparring
Removing and folding our red belts before we don our black belts.
This moment actually has more significance than may meet your eye. For years, we've had to turn away from all black belts before we even adjusted our belt - as a sign of respect. So, trust me when I say it was odd to completely replace our belts while facing six black belts.
Left to right:
Sifu Pat Jorden, Sensei Tina Little, Sensei Roy Pilger, Benjamin Wong
Master John Ingoldsby, Andrew Wong, Sifu Rick Pesek Sr, Sifu Jeremy Tucker
Benjamin and I were tested and sparred by these black belts last Saturday and were presented with our very own black belts. Thank you so much to Sifu Jeremy and Sifu Pat for the years of selfless dedication to our training.
Our testing was all the more significant because we are Whole Armour’s first black belts and were presented the certificate by Sifu Rick - our teachers’ Sifu.