Adult Seminar Day 2021
The American Martial Arts Institute offers its students opportunities to enhance their training and grow within the Art beyond regular classes. One of these events is our annual "Adult Seminar Day."
Instead of competing in tournaments or hosting guest speakers, our school seeks to offer opportunities that will most directly assist them in both their own personal growth within our style but which will also increase the camaraderie among our students and strengthen our school. Our school is not isolationist or closed to the world. On the contrary, our school has traveled the world for teaching, training, and competing; ur school has published article in magazines, appeared on television, and published/produced instructional books and DVDs; our school has hosted guest speakers in the past. However, events such as the "adult seminar" have had a great positive impact on our students, and it is an event that is looked forward to each year.
With the global pandemic of Covid-19 still a serious concern, we looked to maximize safety for our students while still holding this important event. At the time of the event, the NYS guidelines allowed for our students to gather while following some common sense precautions. All students were temperature checked, used hand sanitizer or wash hands periodically throughout the day, and wore masks the entire time in the building. In addition, the size of our professional facility allowed for students to reasonably distance. There was no contact among the students for the activities, and lunch was held on their own out of the building so that they could safely eat.
You will see that in some pictures there is contact between instructors. These individuals were either family members or both had received full covid-19 vaccinations. Even then masks were worn and hands were washed after demonstration. In one photo, Grandmaster Crandall and Master Chuff (both full vaccinated) briefly removed their masks for a photo before putting them right back on.
With this in mind, here is some of the excitement from this past years seminar:
The day began with a stretching session followed by punches, kicks, and basic forms, getting all of the participants up and active. Time was then taken for an important presentation.
The American Martial Arts Institute offers four separate and distinct styles under one umbrella (school). The American Eagle Style is an empty hand martial art style, with its head and founder being Grandmaster Clifford C. Crandall, Jr. Grandmaster Crandall has designated Headmaster Eric Stalloch as his eventual successor to this style. American Eagle Cane Style is a traditional martial art which utilizes a walking cane for self defense and personal development. It is under the direction of Headmaster Stalloch with support from its other co-founders, Grandmaster Crandall and Master Lynn Jessee. Takenouchi-Hangan-Ryu-Matsuno-Crandall Iaido is traditional samurai sword style with a 300 year old lineage under Headmaster Clifford C. Crandall, Jr. Headmaster Crandall has designated Kyoshi Nathan Morris as his eventual successor to this Art and Style. Finally, there is the Americanized Eagle Kendo Style, founded by Grandmaster Crandall and documented in the book: Kendo For Fun: American Eagle Kendo, 3rd edition. This bring us to the special presentation:
Grandmaster Crandall promoted and designated Nicholas Chuff (already and American Eagle Style Master Instructor) to the position of Master Instructor and eventual successor for the Americanized Eagle Kendo Style. He was presented with a certificate and hanku (chops). A copy of the certificate also hangs on display at our school.
This was a significant day for the American Martial Arts Institute as all four styles are now secured with designated, documented successors to one day continue to lead each style into the future for the next generations.
After the excitement of the presentation the day's action continued. Students trained in the ippon kumites, escape from defensive hanza techniques, and standing waza. Those who did not know all of these learned more, and black belts learned advanced applications. Students then learned and practiced more of the high katas required for their rank before a special seminar on pressure points and immobilization techniques.
Students then had an hour for lunch to eat on their own outside of the building.
After lunch the seminar continued with a review of our style's 10 fundamental self defense techniques, which are expected as a minimum at rank testings. Our school teaches hundreds of techniques over the course of years, but these are the ten required to be demonstrated consistently by all students. Some students chose to have their katas filmed by Headmaster Stalloch. Those students will have an opportunity to get feedback from Grandmaster Crandall or Headmaster Stalloch in the coming weeks by viewing the files together. Students who wished to keep a copy were able to bring in a USB drive to get a copy of their demonstration.
Following these very active physical seminars, students sat down to learn more about the questions typically asked on written examinations for brown and black belt ranks before getting back to the action with a challenging obstacle course that involved, tumbling, agility exercises, punches, jumps, kicks, weapon's use, push ups, ab rollers, a trampoline, sliders and more.
In addition to the 18 students who participated this year, several instructors came to assist and learn as well.
We look forward to next year's seminar in 2022!
Until then, the training continues in our regular classes.