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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.

New Master Instructor, 7th Degree Black Belt Promotion

Instructor Gisella Stalloch Earns the Rank of 7th Degree Black Belt and the status Master Instructor

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, Grandmaster Clifford C. Crandall, Jr. (10th Degree-black belt, founder, and head of the American Martial Arts Institute), promoted Instructor Gisella Stalloch to 7th-Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in American Eagle Style. This promotion was awarded to Master Stalloch after she successfully completed a year-long testing, meeting all of the high standards of her new rank and status. The announcements comes after she completed the last of her requirements on February 1, 2024.

In the American Eagle Style the status of Master is earned and added to the student's name at the rank of 7th-Degree Black Belt. This is not an administrative title. Unlike a chief or senior instructor, which is an appointed title denoting a level of responsibility within the school, the status of Master in the Style is earned and linked to the rank of 7th-Degree Black belt and comes with a permanent certificate signed by the Grandmaster. While the demands of earning this rank mean that it will only be earned by a select few, there is no limit to the number of individuals who may earn this prestigious distinction.

The requirements to earn the prestigious rank of 7th Degree Black Belt are rigorous, and they require the

demonstration of katas, self-defense skills, and advanced techniques, extensive research, teaching and instructional skills, and the completion of two pages of additional objectives.

Master Stalloch is the eigth American Eagle Style student to successfully complete the requirements for 7th-degree and earn the status of Master. She had to know 44 empty-hand black belt katas, from America, Korea, Japan, and China including advanced forms such as So San Hung, Hwarang-hyung, Se Jong Hung, Arena, Hansoo, Sil Lum, Cheongwon, Sip Jin, Bassai Sho, and many others. This also included the demonstration of skills and katas with all twelve weapons required by the American Eagle Style such as naginata, bo, sai, escrima, cane, tonfa, sword, eku, and others. The testing also involves the demonstration of a vast variety of other skills and knowledge in self-defense, ippon kumites, hanza escape techniques, and others. The physical aspects of the testing take place of the course of serveral different days.

Some of the additional requirements that Master Stalloch completed included: co-producting and instruction the forthcoming DVD Self-Defense Techniques and Awareness in a Changing World, which is with the editor for final revision prior to official release in the near future. An annoucement regarding this DVD is forthcoming but it is two hours in length and includes fundamental blocks, kicks, escapes from grabs, knife, gun, rifle, ground fighting techniques, and awareness sections such as home security. Another requirement was, the development and documentation (in writing and on DVD) of a black belt level kata (Asymetry, which becomes a requirement for those preparing for 8th Dan), and the promotion of American Eagle Style and Grandmaster Crandall internationally.

Master Stalloch has been training under Grandmaster Crandall since 1998 with her direct instructor being Master Cheryl Freleigh. She is also a an advanced student in Takenouchi-Hangan-Ryu-Matsuno-Crandall Iaido. She has assisted in numerous seminars, and been a team member for our school's trips, training and performances in Japan, Italy, Australia, the Caribbean, and is attending the school training trip this summer to national parks. These are only a few of her accomplishments with Grandmaster Crandall.

Master Stalloch will be formally recognized at the next ceremonial black belt breakfast in April.

Congratulations to Master Gisella Stalloch and her direct instructor, Master Cheryl Freleigh.


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