2012 Southeast Black Belt Camp

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 8:55pm — webmaster

The Southeastern region of the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation had its second annual Instructor’s Symposium on Friday, November 2nd & its 10th annual Black Belt Camp on the weekend of November 2 – 4, 2012. Everything was held once again at Camp ASCCA in Jackson’s Gap, AL. The Instructor Training Symposium (ITS) & Camp started on Friday morning November 2nd at 9 am with approximately 175 Masters, instructors, and instructor trainees coming together to learn, grow, and share. This was our largest camp to date with people attending from as far away as Texas, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.


The Black Belt camp continued on Friday evening with the fall cycle black belt test with over 70 testing or mid-terming to black belt or advanced black belt rank. Best overall test went to Anna Segars for the children and John (J.J.) Arnold for the adults both of Birmingham Academy of Martial Arts. Everyone was particularly proud of the overall sprit displayed throughout the over three hour test. Those students who didn’t participate in the test were treated to an early dinner and classes in self-defense (rolls and falls), empty hand forms, and staff (Bong) which were taught by the Master’s candidates.  

The next morning, camp started in earnest with a warm-up and basics class. While this was going on, Kwan Jang Nim and several senior Masters conducted an Instructor’s exam for thee (3) candidates who successfully tested to certified instructor (Kyo Sa) in the Federation. Afterwards, the campers split out to train with the masters on their testing forms. The rest of the day, everyone was given opportunity to train with all of the masters in such disciplines as sparring, breaking, ho sin sul, and weapons. In the late afternoon, campers were able to choose from several recreational activities including archery, zip-line, miniature golf, and or some extra training in the pavilion. Probably the largest class of the day consisted of judge’s certification training seminar overseen by KJN and led by Mr. and Mrs. Hebert from Dover, New Hampshire. Mr. and Mrs. Hebert serve on the APTSDF TAC Committee as co-chairs of the program development committee and are Master’s candidates. Also assisting was Senior Master Jason Duva who serves as the New England Regional Director and chair of the APTSDF legal committee.

Saturday evening’s program started with a fabulous steak dinner and then Kwan Jang Nim St. James gave a talk on the special relationship between Shim, Neh, and Weh Gong. After that, campers were treated to another concurrent session with multiple classes covering everything from the fan, sparring, self-defense from a punch, to escrima, and the art of the sword. Later, the children got to see a movie, and the teens had their best teen party to date with use of the game room and pavilion for basketball and dodge ball. Some of the adults communed in front of a big screen TV to watch the LSU and Alabama game in the cafeteria while others joined the larger group out at the bon file. By the end of the night almost everyone had met by the bon fire to share tales from their long day of training. It was a great night to form bonds with people from approximately 17 member schools.

On Sunday morning Kwan Jang Nim and the Masters did their traditional morning classes reviewing everything from empty hand hyung to the new cane form for advanced Master’s rank. After breakfast, more classes were offered including ho sin sul from a weapon taught by Master Allison. After that we were treated to a session of forms training (Bassai) to the drum by Kwan Jang Nim. This has become a camp tradition, and teaches everyone to really become one with the selected form. Finally, we ended with a graduation ceremony which consisted of many black belts being presented with their embroidered belts, ranking stripes, and or certificates. This group had successfully completed a six month probationary or look see period. The highlight however was Kwan Jang Nim promoting Masters James K. Allison to 6th Degree (Yuk Dan), and Masters Michael Jett and Luis Parra-Flores to 5th Degree (Oh Dan). This was done with the formal sword ceremony with well over 250 watching on.


By Senior Master Deborah Jett, OH Dan