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Martial Arts Family School Schedules Black Belt Exam

Martial Arts Family Fitness (MAFF), a family-owned-and-operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, has announced that grandmaster Dave Wheaton will oversee the school’s semi-annual black belt test and promotion in the art of dynamic circle hapkido.

Testing for their first dan are two youth students and one adult. Seven students are testing for advanced black belts, and some 30 black belts will test for advancement within their current rank.

The black belt exam and promotion will be Saturday, May 19, at the school, 122 E. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara. The public is invited to attend the free event that begins at 10 a.m. with the advanced test, followed by the in-rank test at 11 a.m. and new black belts test at 12:30 p.m.

"Twice a year our community of students and instructors look forward to this day with great excitement and joy," said Wheaton, MAFF founder/owner.

"But this test is a special one in that we have one student testing for his fifth dan and another testing for her fourth, making her a master in our art,” he said.
“Black belt tests are very exciting events for our students, their families and their friends,” said Austin Curtis, director of martial arts at MAFF. “In order to obtain their black belt, our students train through a very rigorous curriculum, and must prepare for this day physically and mentally.

"For most of our black belts this day is just the beginning of a life-long journey in the martial arts. Saturday will be a very exciting day for our students and our school.”

To qualify to test for a black belt, students must exhibit proficiency in various areas of training, including basics (hand strikes and kicks), self-defense techniques, takes downs and throws, and sparring, including individual and multiple attacker scenarios.

“Unlike other martial arts, there is no difference in the black belt earned by a youth student or an adult in our school. Adult and youth students train the same techniques exceptionally hard and earn their rank,” Wheaton said.

“As a black belt, each student is encouraged to continue practicing and making the art their own," he said.

"We have a 17-year-old student that has trained at our school for close to twelve years, and she is testing for her fourth dan, making her a master," he said."We also have a master testing for his fifth dan. This is going to be another amazing black belt test.”
Testing for 1st dan:
Stephanie Lopez, 12
Sergio Pincheira, 51
Kai Urbany, 14
Testing for 2nd dan:
Rachel Burke, 20
Ray Janik, 52
Dena McCague, 62
Karen Prato, 64
Testing for 3rd dan:
Martin Brown, 56
Testing for 4th dan:
Kailea Hieshima, 17
Testing for 5th dan:
Master Bill Keiran, 52

For more information, visit www.kickboxers.com or call 963-6233.

— Alex Rodriguez for Martial Arts Family Fitness.


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