Happy Chinese New Year! As always, there’s a lot happening at CMAA! Please review the following information on:
School Closings – CMAA Spring Break Kungfu Sash Test Chinese New Year Performance Recap CCC Chinese School Pictures Student of the Month – Jacob “Big Brother” Raphael Saying Goodbye to CrossFit Coach Kyle Roddy
As usual please stay tuned for more exciting action at CMAA!
Shifu School Closings CMAA Spring Break: March 16th – March 21st.
Kungfu Schedule: CMAA will be closed Monday March 16th- Saturday March 21st. We will hold a makeup Kungfu practice for all levels on Sunday, March 22 from 12-2pm. Please note that Saturday’s Combatives class from 2-3pm will be held as regularly scheduled.
Modified Tai Chi Schedule: Thursday AM class will be cancelled. All other classes will be held as regularly scheduled.
CrossFit: 9-10am morning sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday are cancelled. All evening and weekend classes will be held as regularly scheduled.
The word is out- CMAA is THE school associated with authentic Chinese Martial Arts. Not only do we have the most qualified instructors (if I don’t say so myself , we have an impressive young performance group! Based on our previous performances at the Egg , SUNY Albany, RPI, Clifton Park Community Center and Library, Schenectady Gazette Parade and more, we are now inundated with requests by many local organizations and groups to showcase our rising talents! In fact, I have had to turn down several of the requests due to time and scheduling constraints.
This year, we showcased our talents in several Chinese New Year Celebrations. Please enjoy our performance at this year’s Chinese Community Center New Year Celebration, hosted by the Capital District Chinese Community Center and SUNY Albany’s Confucius Institute at SUNY Albany’s Performing Arts Center!
Kungu Sash Test We will be holding our quarterly Sash Test on Sunday, April, 12th at 10:30am. If you are not sash testing you are still encouraged to come participate and support your teammates (no charge of course).
You know exactly what we will be testing but if you have any questions, check the Sash Requirements page on the website and feel free to clarify things with me during class.http://www.martialartsalbany.com/kungfu-sash-requirements/ If you are unsure whether or not you (or your child) are ready to test, please speak with me before or during class, via email at AlbanyCMAA@gmail.com or by phone (518) 755-7512.
Remember, you will not “get” your sash at CMAA – you will EARN it! There is a big difference. It’s important you (your child) learns the value of their sash- the value of hard work! Let’s stay focused and step up our training so we’re fully prepared for the test!
White/Yellow/Green/Blue: $25, Red/Purple/Orange: $50, Light Brown/Dark Brown/Gold: $75
Student of the Month – Jacob “Da Shi Xiong (“Big Kungfu Brother”) Raphael Wushu Kungfu is not a kids martial arts specifically. However, because the physical requirements of Long Fist are demanding, and similar to gymnastics, younger people tend to adjust to the training more readily. The flexibility/mobility required for low stances and high kicks, and the emphasis on jump kicks and tumbling become particularly challenging as we age. For Jake, who is one of our “big kids” has readily accepted the challenge and risen to the occasion, excelling in Long Fist with grace and power. In addition, he is a leader. Without being asked, he naturally organizes the younger students and helps keep them on task and focused on their training.
Shifu: When did you initially get involved in martial arts? Chinese Martial Arts? Jake: I’ve been studying martial arts in one form or another for over twenty years! I started my training at a Taekwondo school in East Hartford, CT where I learned the fundamentals. My passion for Chinese martial arts was sparked much later in college. During my sophomore year, my best friend Andrew Law encouraged me to join the fledgling Brandeis University Lion Dance Troupe and a very fun journey ensued. We toured from college to college, performing in a variety of cultural shows and celebrations. Our performances were a mishmash of martial arts and lion dancing, often times with a comedic result. After graduating, I became more serious by joining the Chinese Merchants Association in Boston, MA and my training really took off. This time of year, I’m always nostalgic for the New Year celebrations in Boston when we would lion dance throughout the city.
Shifu: What drew you to martial arts? Jake: I am a very independent person and, at least initially, I enjoyed the self-reliance that comes with practicing martial arts. With many classical sports, the emphasis is typically on being a strong part of the team. With martial arts, I liked that I would be responsible for my personal progress and that I could be my own “team” without relying on others. Through my years of training however, I’ve happily come to the realization that this is not the case. While I do prize my personal growth, I now treasure the opportunity to work with others who share my goals and aspirations. A good martial arts school is indeed a TEAM in every way.
Shifu: What are a few of the main things you have taken away from your time training? There are so many! I’ll just say practice both fast and slow. When I run through a form slow, I can carefully assess every step. Is my stance correct? How’s my posture? Are my hands positioned just right? When I practice fast, I find out just how well I really know a form (plus it keeps me in shape). Practicing fast exposes your weaknesses and areas for improvement very quickly.
Shifu: What’s your favorite part of training? Jake: My favorite part of training is learning and practicing forms. I love the combination of mental and physical exercise. When a form just “clicks”, there is no better feeling. Learning the applications for each movement is also amazing. I love that forms can be both beautiful and practical at the same time.
Shifu: As a professional, husband and father, how have you adapted to keep martial arts a part of your life? Jake: I’d say that most of the credit goes to my wife for understanding that martial arts training is very important to me. She helps me carve out the time needed to practice and attend class, despite her own incredibly demanding schedule (she’s a surgical resident – yikes!).
Also, as Shifu often points out, you can train almost anywhere and anytime. I stretch while studying, practice forms while watching the news and I am particularly fond of running through forms in my head, just visualizing the movements, whenever I have a moment.
Shifu: If you could give any advice to someone (older or younger) who has a passion for martial arts, what would it be? Jake: First, I’d say that persistence and discipline are your two strongest assets in martial arts. Never focus on where you are now, focus on where you’re going. Don’t worry about how “good”, strong or fast you are right now. What matters is your plan for the future. If you set the right goals and work towards them persistently, you WILL improve. Over time, you can achieve anything. This is especially true for the younger students; time is on your side!
Second, I’d point out that there is always room for improvement. Even the most talented among us have areas to work on. Always strive to be better. This doesn’t just include leaning new forms and techniques, it is about refining the things that you have already learned. I will be practicing Five Stance for the rest of my life and it still won’t be perfect.
Lastly, I’d advise all students to help others and let them help you, in training and in life. Give constructive advice to your peers and listen closely when they return the favor. You have a wonderful resource in CMAA. The students are terrific and your Shifu is a great coach who is committed to your success. Listen up and do your best!
Thanks for all your positive energy and hard work Jake!
Saying Goodbye to CrossFit Coach Kyle Roddy We’ve all fallen in love with his quiet professionalism and warm smile. Next week will be Coach Kyle Roddy's last week at Latham CrossFit. It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to him. Sad he won’t be with us motivating with high quality coaching, but happy to know he’ll move on to an opportunity which will better allow him to reach his full potential. Please join us this coming Saturday as we organize a Latham CrossFit send off for our good friend.
As usual please stay tuned for more exciting action at CMAA!