"Summer Camp" - The Summer Funshop
The Summer Indoor-Outdoor Martial Arts Program, better known as the "Summer FunShop", is an annual educational program for students of the American Martial Arts Institute of all ranks who are between the ages of 6 and 12. Students develop improve their martial arts skills, communication skills, social skills, and challenge themselves to learn new things while having fun.
This two day event is taught by Grandmaster Crandall, Master Stalloch, and Master Freleigh with assistance from the black belt instructors and "red tops" (junior rank black belt class assistants in our leadership program). This year was the first ever Summer FunShop and was filled with excitement and learning. Below are some of the details and pictures of the event. The following instructors assisted with this year's FunShop: Master Moller, Mr. Freleigh, Chief Instructor G. Stalloch, and Mr. T. Stalloch. The following Red Tops assisted with this year's FunShop: Aidan Uvanni, Douglas Hotvedt, and Ryan Payne.
The Summer FunShop is unique because some of the classes occur outdoors on the training hall premises, in areas supervised and secured by the instructors. The second day also includes activities in the community including swimming, tennis, and the Utica zoo, with transportation provided by Bernie Bus.
Group Picture and Information about the Day’s Events: Grandmaster Crandall and Master Stalloch covered the morning’s events, rules and procedures for the Summer FunShop. This was followed by brief stretching and a group picture.
Basic Kata 1-3 and Japanese Counting: Students learned how to count to ten in Japanese. They were also taught basic kata 1, 2, and 3. Students then practiced these kata as a group while counting out each technique in Japanese. This class took place outside in front of the training hall in an area cordoned off with security tape.
Introduction to Kendo: Master Stalloch an introduction to kendo class. This included information about the three major aspects of the sword: iaido, batto, and kendo, and a comparison to kata, breaking, and sparring in the empty hand style. Students learned about the different types of armor, etiquettes, and rules. Then students practiced basic strikes with shinai. Four brown belts who could answer the most questions from the kendo class were given the opportunity to wear the armor and participate in their first kendo matches, overseen by Grandmaster Crandall.
Martial Arts Geography: Students learned more about America, Japan, Korea, and China, including the location and sizes of the countries. Some basic geography was covered, and styles of martial arts were briefly discussed.
Origami Class: Chief Instructor G. Stalloch presented an introductory class on origami, and the students had time to create traditional origami animals.
Lunch. Students either brought their lunch or had pizza. During lunch students had the option to work on origami or practice kata.
Yoga: Master Stalloch taught an introductory informational class on yoga including a few of the most common, universally recognized poses (such as mountain pose, plank, downward facing dog, upward facing dog, three-legged dog, warrior, archer, and cat pose) as a warm-up for the afternoon’s activities.
Stations Course: Students rotated through stations outdoors which involved jogging from station to station to complete different tasks. These included takedowns, moving kicks, kata the grass, shoulder rolls, and a written exam station.
Whack-a-doo 2.0!: Back indoors in training room 3, the students played a special version of the cardiovascular, teamwork game known as whack-a-doo. It was team elimination, with the winners getting ice cream. One point was awarded for getting the balloon over the line, and two points were given for getting the balloon in the goal.
“Be Safe” Self-Defense: The book Be Safe Physically and Mentally with the Crandall System has many self-defense techniques. Six of the techniques not commonly done in class were covered and practiced, many from the teenager’s self-defense chapter.
Written Exam: students completed a written exam on the day’s events before going home for the evening. The exam covered questions from each of the day’s classes, and a prize was given for the highest score.
Transportation by Bus: Students left the training hall at 9 a.m. on Bernie Bus for the day’s events. The bus was loaded with the students’ bags of training gear and changes of clothes and uniforms. The first stop was swimming.
Swimming Safety Class and Swimming: Once at the Seymore City Pool in North Utica, students received a swimming safety class then had time to swim. Beach balls allowed the students to socialize and enjoy the water. Near the end of the hour, it began to lightly rain. Students changed into clothes for tennis in the locker rooms before leaving by bus.
Tennis Class: Students received a tennis lesson from coaches at the Utica Recreational Center on the game’s rules and terminology. The courts were too wet to play on safely, so following the class, the students played board games before changing into their uniforms and heading over to the Utica Zoo for lunch.
Martial Arts Demonstration: students put on a public demonstration at the Utica zoo including punches, kicks, basic forms, kata, sparring, weapon’s katas and more. Grandmaster Crandall and Master Stalloch demonstrated self-defense and meditation. Iaido and the American Cane System were also demonstrated for the crowd.
See the Animals: Time was taken to tour the zoo and see the many animals on display.
Animals and their Defenses: Zoo staff gave a private demonstration of some animals and their defenses. Students filled out an instructional worksheet and had a chance to touch many of the animals including an African millipede, a tortoise, a hedgehog, and others.
Scavenger Hunt: Following the class, students went on a scavenger hunt through the zoo searching how different animals were adapted for their environment.
Transportation by Bus: Students returned to the training hall by bus for a group picture and presentations.
Presentation: Presentation of three special awards were made by Grandmaster Crandall and Master Stalloch.