On Saturday, February 10, 2018, the American Martial Arts Institute held its annual Adult Seminar Day at its main location in New Hartford, New York.
As a traditional school, we follow the historic etiquette of a "chain of command," for accountability and training. The student-instructor relationship is a critical factor in perpetuating the style unaltered from one generation to the next. This means that students first inform and seek clarification from their instructor. When their instructor is not present, in some cases they may seek out a Master Instructor. However, the opportunity to speak and learn directly from the Grandmaster is rare and a unique because the Grandmaster must approach the student or the student must be brought the Grandmaster via their instructor. Therefore, students look forward to the Adult Seminar each year because it is their opportunity to learn directly from and speak with Grandmaster Crandall.
This year Grandmaster Crandall was assisted by Master Stalloch and the other four Master Instructors and several additional black instructors throughout the day. The seminar began at 9 am with Grandmaster Crandall going over the day's agenda, followed by brief stretching. This year's topics included seiza waza techniques, a weapon's competition, board breaking class, katas, tai-jutsu, a philosophy class including concepts of shugyo, do, commitment, sparring, and more.
The next adult seminar will be held in February 2019.
ABOUT THE SEMINARS:
The American Martial Arts Institute strives to offer the martial arts in a variety of programs for men and women of all ages that will arm their minds with knowledge, their bodies with skills and excite their emotions. One way the school implements this philosophy is by holding three annual seminar events, based on age, to meet the understanding of the students in those age groups.
The "Winter Funshop" and "Summer Funshop" are held for students ages 6-12; the Teenage Seminar Day is held for students ages 13-17; and, the Adult Seminar Day is held for students ages 18 and older. These seminars provide a tremendous opportunity for growth within the style, and many areas that are not ordinarily taught in classes are covered. They are essential events for each student's training, especially at the brown and black belt levels.
Out of 365 days in a year there are only two days that give all of the Master Instructors the opportunity to see all students over an extended period of time, interacting with fellow students and the instructors. For adult students, one of these days is the “Adult Seminar Day”
We realize that the communities and employers have put many demands on these individuals but these are the only two days out of the year we have to evaluate who has the qualities to be a brown belt or black belt aside from the basic physical skills. This day covers topics, not ordinarily covered in class, which appear on black belt exams. With the Master Instructors carrying a greater role in the strength and direction of the school and its future, it has become imperative that they know the brown belts and how they came to be brown belts.
Our school will be teaching for years to come and many of today's brown belts will be tomorrow's black belts and future instructors, committed by their own path to uphold these standards of tradition and quality. Therefore, for students who are blue belt or higher, the annual adult seminar has become an essential part of their training.