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American Martial Arts Institute sponsors Community Event for Children alongside Cane Competition

The American Eagle Cane Style is a traditional martial art for adult men and women who seek to improve quality of life. Students train with a walking cane and learn self-defense techniques, katas, basic forms, strikes, partner drills, and more.

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, the American Martial Arts Institute hosted its third annual cane competition "Cane Armageddon."

The competition has grown since its inception and this year was an event for the whole community, especially for children 12 and under. The event featured a bounce house, face painting, icecream and cookies, balloons, and more, and all of it was free and open to the public. In addition, day began with a public performance by our youngest students, called Superkick (ages 3-5).

Following the children's demo, the competition began with opening remarks from Headmaster Eric Stalloch, the 10th Dan and head for the American Eagle Cane Style, and a introduction to the days events by Grandmaster Clifford C. Crandall, Jr., the founder and head of the American Martial Arts Institute, and 10th Degree for the American Eagle Style (empty hand martial art).

The American Eagle Cane Style was founded by Grandmaster Crandall, Headmaster Stalloch, and Master Lynn Jessee. The three founders judged the three tournament divisions. The weather was beautiful and the entire competition was held outside in the school's parking lot.

The first division was katas. Katas (also called "forms") are a series of moves that fight off multiple imaginary attackers. They assist the student in establishing a foundation for growth within the style as the forms challenge the balance between mind and body, power and flow, and their relationship to timing. The katas incorporate directional changes, stances, techniques, breathing, and a variety of other essential aspects. The American Eagle Cane Style has numerous traditional katas, documented in the style's textbook, including Basic Kata, Reflection 1 through 5, Natural Walk, Anvil, Autumn Wind, Valley, Briar Patch, Old man with a Cane and others. There were two divisions this year: white belt through purple belt and brown belt through black belt ranks.

The competition continued with the breaking division. Competitors had the option to break boards, concrete blocks, or bricks to demonstrate the power of the cane and their skill in its use. A variety of techniques were demonstrated including breaks on boards supported between two blocks, free standing boards, clamped boards, hand-held boards, power breaks, and more. In addition, the competitors could execute up to four individual breaks with points awarded for each successful break, the complexity of the break, and the overall presentation of the break and skill demonstrated. The competitor had to choose between two methods of demonstration. Option A was to present up to four individual breaks. Option B was to do up to four breaks in a combination that represented blocks or strikes in application to a self defense scenario. For example: if two attackers were defended against by blocking the arm, striking the attacker's knee and then turning to strike the second attacker in the head, then the breaks would represent these impacts against boards in a constant flow. It was an exciting demonstration for the spectators, judges, and students alike. The division took place in two rings, allowing one competitor to set up their break, while another completed theirs. The judges moved from ring to ring, keeping the event faced paced and exciting.

The final division of the day was self-defense. Students used their training canes with a partner. Similar to the breaking division, competitors could demonstrate their skill by two different methods. Option A was three individual techniques. Option B was three different attackers in a constant flow approximating an actual attack scenario. The most important factor was safety for the partners, students, and spectators. Mats were used, and at times partners wore padded safety equipment. Key to the judging was concern and appropriate power demonstrated toward the partners. Competitors could choose to demonstrate against grabs, punches, kicks, knives, and other common methods of assault. All training implements were rubber or padded replicas.

Each event ended with awarding plaques for first and second place for each division A group picture was taken with the competitors and of each division with their awards.

The day was a lot of fun and it was clear that it built camaraderie for the students. Next year's cane competition will be held in May 2024!

American Eagle Cane Style classes are offered weekly at the American Martial Arts Institute for men and women ages 18 and older.

Headmaster Stalloch and Grandmaster Crandall organized the event, but the strength of event was the heart and dedication of the students and of the many volunteers who came together to make the day run safe and smoothly. Special thanks to Master Nathan Morris for coordinating the volunteers for set up, safety oversight, and clean-up. To Paul Lilley for assisting in bringing in the Bounce House. To Ryan Payne for the drone footage. To Vincent Siegfried for event photography. To Erica Miscione, Shana King, and Neil Grant as black belt student volunteers to work as event staff. To Ryan Payne, Isaiah Handy, and Joshua Gray as students who served as parters for the entire self defense divisions. And to all the instructors and students who volunteered in numerous ways. It is greatly appreciated.


KATA DIVISION: White through Purple Belts

1st Place: Michael Schermerhorn

2nd Place: Margie Hanna

KATA DIVISION: Brown through Black Belts

1st Place: Edna Rodriguez Plate

2nd Place: Kay Silvestri

BREAKING DIVISION: White through Purple Belts

1st Place: Greg Mitchell

2nd Place: Margie Hanna

BREAKING DIVISION: Brown through Black Belts

1st Place: Peter Hotvedt

2nd Place: Kay Silvestri

SELF DEFENSE DIVISION: White through Purple Belts

1st Place: Carol Hanna

2nd Place: Michael Schermerhorn

SELF DEFENSE DIVISION: Brown through Black Belts

1st Place: Peter Hotvedt

2nd Place: Kay Silvestri


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