May News! 2021

No Classes Monday 5/3/21

Sorry for the short notice everyone, but there will be no Virtual Classes Monday, May 3rd, 2021.  Otherwise, classes will be as normal for the rest of the week.  Again, I am very sorry for the short notice.

Tuition Review

Please review our tuition prices below and make sure that you are not under or over paying.  Families that have children who train in different types of classes (kids class vs. teen/adult class), please note the difference in cost.  Also, all students who pay for “in-person” classes, get virtual classes included in their tuition and do not need to pay extra for virtual classes.

  • Virtual Class Tuition = $50 a month.
  • Parks & Rec. Kids 1 class a week = $50 a month.
  • Parks & Rec. Kids 2 classes a week = $60 a month.
  • Parks & Rec. Teen/Adult 1 class a week = $60 a month.
  • Parks & Rec. Teen/Adult 2 classes a week = $70 a month.

Parks & Rec. Class Space

For those of you who would like to get back to training in person, although somewhat altered, we have class spots open on both Tuesdays and Thursday at the Parks & Rec.  Thursday is the most open with spots in every class.  Tuesday’s openings are mostly in the second kids class (5:15pm).  If you are interested, please message or email me for more info. 

High Rank Testing Reminders

As we start to get back to a more “normal” training situation, I thought it would be a good idea to address this subject.  It has some good knowledge for lower ranking students as well, so please read on. It has also spawned an idea/discussion about a much bigger subject which we’ll save for another time.

Testing for new ranks should always be a challenge in martial arts.  Students need to able to demonstrate that they are putting in the time and effort to make improvements in all aspects of their training.  For higher / advanced ranks, much of the challenge is having patience and being honest with themselves.  Honesty on whether or not they are truly putting in the effort to get better, and patience because the time between tests can get longer and longer. 

We have always had a base amount of 14 classes to become eligible to test for each belt. This hasn’t changed since I first started teaching at the YMCA over 15 years ago.  Please note that it only makes a student eligible to test and doesn’t guarantee that they will gain permission from their parents or myself. Currently, I will often recommend to students who are going to be testing for black belt, or who just got their black belts, to wait about 6 months before testing. If a student is nearing a big test, this extra time should be spent learning, fine tuning, and training to make themselves ready to test.  If a student just earned black belt, for example, they may use this time to adjust to their new requirements and responsibilities before focusing on testing again.

All students who are coming back from a break need to understand that they will more then likely not be allowed to test, until they have achieved at least 30 classes.  Higher ranks may need to wait longer, this would be based on their rank.  Why?  Simple, achieving a new rank should not be easy. It should not come as a surprise that taking time off extends the amount of time it takes to achieve a goal.  However; if a student can demonstrate that they have been practicing while away, this amount of time will be decreased and the student will be allowed to test sooner.  But again, they need to be able to demonstrate that they have been keeping up with their training and working towards their goals.

As an example, below are our current wait times between junior black belt and black belts tests.  (These do not include refresher/star tests):

  • Bodan to black belt = a minimum of 1 year.
  • 1st Degree black belt to 2nd degree = a minimum of 2 years.
  • 2nd Degree black belt to 3rd degree = a minimum of 3 years.
  • And so on.

Martial arts training and gaining a black belt, is a process.  For me to allow students to rush through the ranks and test before they have truly improved, cheapens the achievement for them and others.  In a way, belts do a great misjustice to martial arts practice, students become obsessed with the belt/rank and not the process of learning and improving. I am currently a 5th degree black belt and have passed my 6 year wait period for my 6th degree about a year or so ago.  At this point in my training, it is more important for me to actually be good, rather then test for my 6th degree.  In other words, the process is more important then the rank itself everyone.  (A much larger subject that we can go into at another time.)

Please don’t be discouraged, I understand how life is.  I know that sometimes we just need a break, and I certainly know what this last year has been like.  But the process of becoming a black belt, a good martial artist, or good at anything really, doesn’t change.  So be patient, focused, and never give up.


With the NH Renaissance Faire (Renathon this year) getting closer, I will finally have time to get this project done!  However, there are still some teens and adults who need to get their videos to me.  I have had an issue with getting some videos from Facebook messenger, so sharing with them with me from a Google drive is a better idea, and emailing them to me also works.  (Please remember, no Vertical recordings.)  If you need a refresher on what your shot instructions are, just shoot me an email/message and I will get those to you.  

Thank you for your patience on this everyone. It’s gone from a winter version to a spring version.

The New Hampshire Renathon 2021

It’s almost time!  Here is a nice picture to help remind you.  

Just in case!

As this was a VERY long newsletter, just a reminder, there are no classes on Monday May 3rd, 2021.  I look forward to seeing you all in class the rest of the week.