Arthur’s Black Belt Ceremony this Sunday!

Arthur is making Bo Fung Do history!

Earlier this month, Arthur passed the third part of his Master’s Test.  On Sunday December 2nd, surrounded by friends, family, and fellow warriors, he will receive his Black Belt.  He is the 79th person to receive this honor, and at the age of 64, he is also the oldest.

All are welcome to attend the ceremony this Sunday.  We ask that attendees arrive at 12:30 pm.  The ceremony will begin promptly at 12:45 pm.  Immediately following the ceremony there will be a Black Belt Class.

Internal Workshops this Week (September 2012)

Warriors recognize that there is a balance between body, mind and spirit.  This week we will dig deep into the mindset and the spirit behind being a warrior during the Internal Workshops.

Past workshops have achieved deep, thought provoking conversations amongst the student population, of which we have students still in high school through senior citizens, law enforcement officers, parents, teachers, and everything in between.  Everyone is given an opportunity to contribute and voice their opinions about topics that are pertinent to being a warrior in today’s modern world.  Past dialogues have focused on what it takes to be a leader, honor, commitment and taking action.

We are greatly looking forward to this upcoming forum.

Bud’s Black Belt Ceremony has been Scheduled

Two weeks after passing Part III of his Master’s Test, Bud will receive his Black Belt at a ceremony this Sunday August 12th at 12:45 pm, immediately following the A Group Class.  He is the 78th person to earn the distinction of Black Belt in the art of Bo Fung Do.

The Master’s Ceremony is a moving account of the trials and triumphs that the candidate endured on their journey towards earning their Black Belt.  Each Candidate must pass three separate tests–body, mind and spirit– designed specifically to target their particular weaknesses.

At the ceremony the three test authors will give details about what the test entailed, why it was written for this person, particular challenges the candidate had faced, and so forth.  This is a great opportunity for attendees to learn more about the history of the art.  It is truly inspirational to realize just how much a person can overcome with a goal, determination and hard work.

 

Not Today: An Assistant Instructor’s Account

Not Today

           “My lead instructor in the “D” group, Joanne Lombardi, was going to be teaching the 8 week Women’s Self Defense Course and I wanted to assist.  I was happy when Joanne told me that now, as a Yellow Belt, I would be allowed, and she welcomed the help.

Since this would be my first time as an assistant, I was a bit nervous about doing a good job.  I wasn’t concerned about myself in general, but for the women that came to the class for self defense instruction and relied on me to help them.  Although I would be monitored by senior instructors, I felt that it was a personal responsibility to ensure that each student that I worked with understood the techniques.

The first class (Week 1) was a majority of questions and answers pertaining to the legalities of physical force used against an attacker.  All the questions were detailed and no one left without an in-depth answer.  Some of the answers seemed unsettling because of the violent nature of the force that may be required to defend one’s self.  In reality, this was all necessary discourse before hands on instruction was to begin.

Phil Messina, founder of the art of Bo Fung Do and owner of Modern Warrior, explained the legal details involved in a potential conflict while making it clear to the class that they have an “absolute right to defend themselves”.

Several women needed to be re-assured over and again that it was ok to save their own lives.  This is not an un-common reaction because most of us are taught to run away when possible…but that is rarely an option and not realistic.

We prefer peaceful solutions and a non-violent approach to any situation, but in truth, we must understand as these students were made to understand…you are in control of your life, you have the power to stop the attack, and you must be the one going home safely to your loved ones!

Week 2 brought less questions about legalities, and the hands on explanation and techniques taught to these women were being applied.  I watched faces and attitudes change.  As they developed each technique, I saw a new sense of confidence and a more relaxed and controlled group of women.

As the weeks passed, this group of 12 had changed dramatically, they wanted to learn, they wanted to get better and none gave up. As a first time assistant, I grew with them and was so proud to be a part of their transformation.

The final week (Week 8) was a class designed for the students to test the techniques they had practiced and the confidence they had gained inside themselves.  Confidence goes a long way out in the street when predators choose their targets.

One week prior, Joanne explained in as much detail as possible, what to expect.  She explained that some students will get nervous, some may get nauseous, and others may become afraid.  But she urged all of them to fight through it and stressed the fact that fear changes a potential victim into a dangerous weapon.

(Week 8) June 12, 2012

Joanne gave the women final instructions and a brief summary of the techniques along with what was to be expected of them.  While this was going on, 4 “Bad Guys” were suiting up in padded suits and protective head gear assisted by other instructors.  I sensed tension, anticipation, and fear.  But these 12 women didn’t realize that they had already beaten their first fear…they showed up for the fight.

Now, the anticipation was over, the four “bad guys” emerged from the adjacent room and silently marched to the rear staring quietly back at the students.  They were unrecognizable and daunting.  Their huge protection gear made them taller, wider, and seemingly unstoppable.

In Modern Warrior fashion, the surroundings also transformed.  A brightly lit gym was now dark, foggy, and cold.  Along with other “surprises” a friendly atmosphere was now a stage set in reality.  The women were ready to be called up one at a time while each of the four intimidating figures waited for the signal to engage.

Game On!

Now, with my curiosity peaked and my expectations high, one by one each woman started the fight from the ground as the attacker was called…”Bad Guy in”, by Joanne.  And from the ground, the students had incredible mobility, far reaching limbs, and enough strength in their legs to send the bad guys flying.

As everyone cheered encouragingly, the intended victim turned attacker pursued the former threat using their feet, elbows, finger jabs, open palm strikes, and knee kicks.  The women were instructed not to stop until Phil Messina yelled “break”.

The students were attacked on the ground and from behind in a standing position.  Some were grabbed high; some low, pulled by their hair, and lifted from the ground.  Every one of them turned ferociously against their attackers and fought back.

An emotional rush went through me as I shared this feeling of victory with all of them, to be part of it all, and play my small part helping this class of 12 become aware of the tremendous ability inside them.

And…if ever anyone of them are in a situation where someone is trying to prevent them from going home to their loved ones, that voice in their head is going to scream two words very loudly….NOT TODAY!”

-Account written by Phil B.