It’s hard to believe we are almost through the Fall!
On the topic of work ethic, September was the culmination of years of dedication for 15 individuals. On the 12th we held our Advanced Adult Grading – which was a milestone day in WKFA’s 28 year history as we welcomed three Sijes (April, Cristina and Isabelle), six Sihings (Adam, Austin, Jeremy, Karna, Harry and Ryan), and four Sifus (Arya, Liam, Sammy and Spencer). Sifu Craig was presented 2nd Degree Black Sash and Sifu Lloyd 5th Degree. I wish heartfelt congratulations to everyone! It was a pleasure working alongside you towards these ranks and I look forward to the years ahead! Our new instructors are already hard at work developing their experience teaching. All of our instructors at the Academy also continue to train. In an essay Sifu Sarah recently submitted to me, she aptly summarized: Black Sash is a verb not a noun.
If I can digress from Kung Fu for a minute, October was a great month; especially for Blue Jays fans (and I now know there are a lot of them in the WKFA family). My favourite playoff highlight was the performance of pitcher Marcus Stroman and his lesson (which is Kung Fu applicable): Height Doesn’t Measure Heart. Special thanks to those of you that discreetly provided me with score updates during the gradings we held on Sept.26 (Youth) and Oct.3 (Adult). Here’s to next season!
November wrapped up with a really energetic Youth Grading; thirty-three students were successful. This particular grading we emphasized the importance of regular practice. Depending on your rank, the expectation is that you practice between 10 and 20 minutes daily. This consistency really goes a long way in obtaining a firm grasp of our curriculum and most importantly, developing a Kung Fu work ethic. For each student that qualifies to grade, we send home a grading letter that candidates need to return before the grading. Parents, this is your chance to reinforce with your child the notion that behaving and training like a martial artist is something that needs to happen more than just twice a week in the kwoon. It is always your prerogative to not sign the letter if they are not meeting these expectations (in which case, they can test in the next grading, which is typically about two months away).
Huge thanks to everyone that lent a hand the afternoon of Nov.14 when we held a maintenance afternoon to do some painting and repairs around the Academy!
If you get a minute, check our Facebook Group page for a photo/video recap of the Axe Throwing event we had at BATL on Nov.15. Safe to say, we will be doing this again soon!
Congratulations is due to Sihing Adam Volpe who, on Nov.13, won a silver medal in Continuous Sparring at the WKC World Championships held in Orlando. Sihing put in a tonne of effort this year preparing for this event and it certainly paid off! WKFA is proud of you!
Many exciting events are coming up, including a special Junior Grading on Dec.12 that includes Michael and Charlie testing for Junior Brown III! The first gradings of 2016 are Jan.30 for Youth and Feb.6 for Adult Novice II’s. Prepare accordingly. Our kids awards party is Jan.9 and the adult awards party is Feb.20. We will be holding our annual Five- Animal March Break Camp too!
I sincerely hope that everyone has a great finish to 2015 and an even better start to the new year!
There’s still plenty of time to pick up Kung Fu related stocking stuffers in the store, or put a new uniform or sparring equipment under the tree. Maybe a recent grading suggests that a student in your life might need some new gear or weapons to complete the requirements of their new rank. Drop in and browse our selection of Kung Fu gear for the martial artist on your gift list.