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Welcome to our news and archives.  Please note that all test results are posted for the current year, but may not appear in the archives.  Full records are kept at our main office.  In addition, photographs and news releases prior to 1997 are kept in our school library at our main location dating back to the 1960s.

Funshop 2024 - Annual Midwinter Break Indoor Martial Arts Program


It’s mid-winter break and school is out, but the learning continues for Central New York Students at the American Martial Arts Institute’s Indoor Martial Arts Program.  On February 19 and 20, 18 local students, ages 6-12, attended an all-day martial arts program taught by Grandmaster Crandall and Headmaster Stalloch with assistance from our school's staff.

The Funshop is a fun and educational experience that can help students succeed in the martial arts.  It is a structured atmosphere

that allows greater time to be spent with students as individuals.  Students receive one-on-one, lengthy attention to improve their techniques, kata, and knowledge in the martial arts, which can accelerate their skill level.  They learn about a variety of topics that are not covered in regular classes such as chess, extension tools, specialized self-defense, through fun, engaging, educational activities that improve their teamwork and collaboration skills, listening skills, and leadership potential.  This is all done with the overall aim of improving their confidence and self-esteem through friendly competition events focused on fun.  One of the greatest assets for personal safety and self defense is confidence. When students are having fun, students are learning, and this makes them feel better about themselves and their place in the world.


Congratulations to Casen, who was promoted and presented with his Orange Belt on Tuesday moring at the FunShop by Grandmaster Crandall. The FunShop is a unique opportunity for Grandmaster Crandall and Headmaster Stalloch to see the students demonstrate their martial arts attitude, knowledge, and skills over two full days (8:30 am to 5 pm).

And, it is a chance for those same students to grow in their own skills and knowledge, as the instructors work with them in classes on special topics in small groups and one-on-one. Sometimes it results a student being ready to test for their next rank sooner than if they only attended regular classes.

This was the case for 10 students at the FunShop this year who were put up to test on March 12th as a result of what Grandmaster Crandall and Headmaster Stalloch saw them demonstrate at the FunShop. These students were given testing paperwork with a special green AMAI sticker, and they will test on March 12.

Occassionally, Grandmaster Crandall sees a student who he believes should be promoted based on their attitude and skills, and he will present them with their new rank without testing formally before a judging panel. This was the case for Casen. This type of promotion typically happens very infrequently. Congratulations to Casen and the students who will soon be testing.

Here is just some of the fun and excitement from this year's Funshop:


Team Formation. The day began with thestudents will being put into their FunShop teams, which were chosen by randomly drawing names by rank so that each team would have a range of ranks. The students took time learn each other’s names and choose Team Name.

Following stretching the students were divided into groups by rank for a class on Basic Forms. Our style has 36 required basic forms, and the students worked on improving their overall skills or learning new ones.

Chess Class. Students will learned the rules of chess, demonstrated with large chess set by Headmaster Stalloch. Competition rules were reviewed, including rules for castling. Time was also taken discuss how chess is similar like life. For example, each decision can affect the next and that our choices have consequences.

Chess Competition. 1st ROUND. The students played a round of chess to earn points for their team. After playing their first competition round, they played additional students and team members for casual rounds.

Lunch After the mornings excitement, the students sat together for lunch at tables in observation area of the training hall.

Punches. An energetic session with ¼ and ½ turns, hops, high-middle-low punches, cross punches, jumps with turns!

Mats, Belts, Bags, and More!  Student teams wored together to complete different tasks expected as skills to test for brown and black belts.  This includes how to assemble mat patterns, belt tying, setting up bags for workouts, class section commands, and more.  These was done in a competition style series of challenges, and time will be spent to discuss these areas and how to improve on them.  Focus on collaboration skills and discipline development. This was the first competion where students earned points for their teams.

Floor Skills Class:  Students learned and practiced the shoulder roll and “Meet Mr. Floor”, which are required during testings in our school.  Some students also practiced cartwheel, round-off, and backwards roll based on proficiency with shoulder roll and Meet Mr. Floor.  These skills are rarely taught in public school phys. ed. class, and are testing requirements for color belt ranks and higher.

10 Fundamental Self Defense Techniques: Students learned and practiced our style’s 10 fundamental self-defense techniques which are required to test for green belt and above.  On Tuesday, these techniques were be applied in an activity called "The Guantlet!"

Sparring Competition Round: Students will learned and reveiwed the rules for sparring.  They then completed in the first round of the sparring competition.  White belts and Orange Belts worked on ippon kumites, hanzas, and other areas they need to test.

Sumo Wars!: Students used the “bubble suits” on the mats in an exciting competition to see who could move the balloon from one end of the training hall to the opposite team’s goal.   Additional sparring and safety gear was worn.  Bubble sumo is rarely done in regular classes and is a favorite activity each year.

Skill Improvement Time:  White belts and Orange Belts practice testing requirements, going through a goal sheet with an instructor.  Green and Above worked on kata, ippon kumites, or hanzas as ain small groups and in some cases one on one with instructors.


Kicks: After stretching students were helped to improve kicks required to test for Brown Belt.  Students who didn't know them were shown more. Emphasis was on quality of execution, power, and balance.

Katas: Katas are the backbone of a traditional style.  At a testing, a student only receives 3 attempts to perform the kata correctly and to the standard of execution for the rank.  If they cannot, they will not pass.  In addition, they must know and be able to do all of their previously learned katas well.  Time was taken to improve students’ highest form.  In addition, time was also taken to inform students about some of the essential aspects of kata including, power, flow, timing, breathing, looking, and “breathing life” into the kata (visualizing the attackers and what the techniques are doing). Lengthy one-on-one attention was spent with students in this important area.

Chess Competition: 2nd ROUND.  Once students complete their first round, they may were able to play more chess, use the giant connect four set, practice golf putting, or work on katas with an instructor.

Sumo Wars! – Same as day 1.  More fun, excitement, and team cooperation.


Extension Tool Class: Students leaned about the extension tool our school offers such as the bo, tonfa, sai, kama, sword, and others.  They also learned about how and when they can learn these tools, about where the katas are documented, and how and where they can practice them if they choose to do so.  Time was spent to discuss our annual school tournament, it’s benefits to them, and to how to present at the divisions.  This helped them better prepare to participate in the school-wide event this fall in October.

Obstacle Course.  Students raced through a challenging obstacle course using the agility ladder, mats, push up bars, and more.  Fastest times earned points toward the team competion.

Sparring and Whacker Sparring Matches

Whack-a-doo Karate.  Students worked as teams using double-ended padded “whackers” normally used for blocking drills to move a balloon to the other team’s goal.  The activity requires coordination.  A great cardiovascular workout! The winning team got icecream!

Run the Gauntlet! It was time to put their self defense skills to the test.  Stations were set up down the center of the training hall on two sides.  At each station a student was assigned to do a specific grab, knife attack (rubber knives), or punch.  The student going down the “gauntlet” had to do a correct technique at each station before going to the next, trying to get through the gauntlet with the fastest time.  This is where they got to use their 10 fundamental techniques learned/practiced on Monday.

Chess / student pick up. 

It was another great year. The next Funshop will be held during February break in 2025!


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