On Saturday,September 24, instructors and staff for the American Martial Arts Institute traveled from across New York State and New Hampshire to meet at the main location in New Hartford, New York for a staff meeting and training session led by Grandmaster Crandall. In order to teach American Eagle Style, you must have earned the rank of 1st Dan or higher, be 18 years of age or older, and complete an annual certification process. Part of the certification requirements involve participating in staff meetings where school events and programs are discussed for the coming months. It is also at these staff meetings where Grandmaster Crandall instructs the staff as a whole and reviews teaching methods. The purpose of these meetings is to maintain consistency and the high standards of the school. The staff was also informed in greater detail about the school's 1st Annual Seminar Weekend for black belts which will by held in May 2017 at Niagara Falls.
Following the staff meeting, the instructors traveled to the Harts Hill Inn to recognize new black belt ranks at the Ceremonial Black Belt Luncheon. When an individual tests for a new black belt rank in American Eagle Style, they are informed whether or not they passed immediately following the testing, and they are presented with their new belt or red tips (indicating degrees of black belt). However, they do not receive their certificate, signed by Grandmaster Crandall with offical seals ("chops"), which actually grant the rank, until the ceremonial presentation. The presentation may be attended by instructors, black belts of all ages, and adult brown belts (18 years of age or older). In addition, new first degree black belts may invite family and friends. 50 instructors, students, and guests gathered together to recognize 8 individuals from the past 6 months who have earned new ranks. Grandmaster Crandall took the time to elaborate on the growth of the school and the excitement of these new ranks. The staff meeting and ceremonial luncheon were another demonstration of the strength and continued growth of the American Eagle Style.
The next staff meeting and ceremonial luncheon will be held in April 2017.