I am writing this quarter’s article on the heels of an inspiring 30th anniversary celebration held at Golf’s on November 12th. Almost 200 people were in attendance to help celebrate the Academy’s big milestone that opened with a dynamic performance by our Lion Dance Team!
Congratulations to Sifus Benny, Isabelle, Jeremy, Cristina and Adam who were presented 1st Degree Black Sash. Immediately following, in a tribute to the late Grand Master Pan, the Black Sashes performed two of the forms he passed on to us. The greatest strength of our Academy is our diverse team of instructors. With over 30 of us actively teaching and training, we are extraordinarily fortunate. Amongst us, we have an average of over 16 years experience at this Academy. Please don’t ever take for granted what it means to have this many quality black sashes passionately giving their time to pass this art on to you. I am very grateful to have the support of such a fine team of individuals, each bringing a unique talent to the Academy.
The celebration included shows by our Demonstration and Performance Teams. Sifus Lorna, Anne and Sarah have put so much heart and soul into making them what they are. They extended the Demonstration Team season for this event and it was a very good thing!
We presented awards for all four of our age programs, plus Fitness with a Purpose. Congratulations to all the winners, including Sifu Lloyd, who was presented Instructor of the Year! In addition to running his own program, teaching classes consistently, and assisting with countless gradings, Sifu Lloyd has been cracking the whip as the Academy newsletter editor for longer than I can remember—at least 26 years. I feel that this newsletter communicates invaluable martial arts and life lessons. It has an archival value—containing much of the happenings over the past 30 years. Fu for You serves an important purpose and without him, I don’t think the newsletter would exist!
I cannot express my gratitude enough to everyone for making this such an enjoyable place to spend my time and invest my energy. The Academy is filled with inspiring leaders bound by a mutual love for kung-fu and everything that comes with that word. Hard work. Discipline. Serious fun. Loyalty. Spirit. Relationships here are built on respect. This is a community I am proud and fortunate to have my children grow up within. I am eternally grateful to Sifu Bob Schneider and the vision he had back in 1987. I don’t know if at that time whether he could have fathomed the positive life impact this Academy has had on so many, for so long.
As we step confidently into the next 30 years, I can’t help but finish by quoting Canada’s poet laureate, the late Gord Downie:
Done and done
If I had a wish
I’d wish for more of this
I wish everyone health and happiness as we close out 2017 and embark into 2018!