On April 18, 2009 seven of our students ventured up to the 32nd annual Maine Martial Arts Challenge Karate Tournament in Winthrop, Maine. This was our first time to the tournament. A matter a fact it was the first time for six of the seven students to ever compete in a tournament who. Several parents and a couple of our others students (Justin Collander, Tyler Horning, and Issabelle Cushman), came along to watch the tournament. In the end our students had an extremely successful day. Yellow Belt BenjaminSchade started of competing in forms. He competed against 9 0r 10 other competitors in the beginner 10-12 year old boys division. Many of his competition were of higher rank and had competed before. When the dust was settled Ben took 2nd place for his demonstration of hyung (form) Pyung An Cho Dan (1). Emma Slocum and Christine Skroski competed in the girls 10-12 begginer division. Emma took second place and Christine took third place. Truman Slocum and Kevin McCaloney competed in forms but struck no gold for their great effort. Truman next competed in the boys intermediate 12-14 fighting (sparring ) division. He one his first three matches pretty convincingly. His fourth match was a tough challenge and he did not come out on top. He took a second place in this very competitive division. Zechariah Thomas competed in forms and fighting. He did not have as many competitors as Ben or Truman because I think they knew he was coming. Zechariah performed Pyung An 3 and took second place. He also took second place in fighting. One of his first points was an incredible spinning side kick that was right on the money to his opponents head gear (face). Madeline Skroski missed her initial appearance for forms but was allowed to demonstrate her for Kummu 1 in front of the judges and was awarded 4th place. Overall it was a great day of learning, competition, friendship and fun. We celebrated by eating lunch at the Round Robbin restaurant in Augusta. Job well done your preparation paid off!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Monday, July 21, 2008
On July 12, 2008 we held our third test since 2005. Four students tested for their yellow belts Benjamin Schade, Gavin Robinson, Emma Slocum, and Ian Alexander. I (John Skroski) tested for my brown belt. Sabumnim Jeff Vanoudenhove 4th dan travelled up from MA again and brought a friend. I was very surprised when I saw Bill Daigle a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a current practitioner of Go Ju Ryu Karate and Kobudo weapons. I trained with Bill when I started taking Tae Kwon Do in Easthampton, MA back in the mid 1980's. The test was long and hard but we all made it. The four white belts were proudly promoted to yellow belt. I earned my brown belt which was quite a personal accomplishment as I last tested for red belt in 1989 (19 years ago). Well needles to say the next day I could barely roll out of bed! I am very thankful for the all the effort everyone gave. I much appreciative of the time that Jeff and Bill gave to help our program move forward. After the test Jeff started to teach my first new form needed for advancement to 1st dan Chulgi 1. We then went out to Spinney's in Popham for dinner. What a great day!
We held a car wash/bake sale fundraiser at the Fire Department to help our class purchase tee shirts. Many parents were concerned because the weather was light rain and gloomy skies. We didn't cancel and persevered. In the end we washed many cars and sold plenty of baked goods. Our class raised $353.00. All the kids who participated in the car wash will get a free shirt when they come in. Good team work guys and gals!
In June with the permission of Popham Beach Park Manager Brian Murray we held a class on the sandy beach. The weather was beautiful and it was great work out. I think some of the students found it more difficult work out on sand than on a hard wood floor! We broke a pile of boards which the class had fun with!
On April 19th 2008 Phippsburg Tae Kwon Do - Chung Do Kwan held its second advancement test since the start of the program in Phippsburg in 2005. Sabumnim Jeff Vanoudenhove 4th Dan of Chicopee, MA travelled up to conduct the three hour test. Three yellow belts were testing for green belt Mikey Macaloney, Truman Slocum, and Zechariah Thomas. Three other students were testing for yellow belts Justin Collander, Andrew Schade, and Christine Skroski. They all worked extra hard and earned their belts. Some of the students had been studying for a couple of years to earn their belts. I am very proud of their efforts and look forward to working with each student on their new forms, three steps, advanced basics, and sparring. Good Job!