Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 6:35 pm | A Few Clouds 58º


Multiple Martial Artists Testing for Advanced Black Belts at Martial Arts Family Fitness

Martial Arts Family Fitness (MAFF), a family-owned and operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, announced today that Grandmaster Dave Wheaton will oversee the semi-annual black belt test and promotion in the art of Dynamic Circle Hapkido.

Testing for their first dan are six youth students. Additionally, six students, including a father and son, will test for their third dan, three students will test for second dan, and over 25 black belts will test for advancement within their current rank.

The black belt exam and promotion will take place at the Santa Barbara school’s facility at 122 E Gutierrez Street Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, and the public is invited to attend.

The promotion will begin at 10 a.m. with the advanced test, followed by the test for new black belts at 11 a.m. and the in-rank advancement test at 1 p.m.

"As always, our black belt test and promotion looks to be a very exciting day for our school," said Grandmaster Dave Wheaton, founder and owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. "We have several black belts testing for a full rank, a very impressive group of black belts testing for advancement within their current ranks and several testing for their first black belt. Testing days are a day of great pride for me and our school, and a day that is special for everyone.”  

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

“Black belt tests are a very important and emotional event for our students,” added Austin Curtis, director of martial arts at the center. “They train through a very rigorous curriculum and prepare for this day physically and mentally. For most of our black belts, this day is the beginning of a life-long journey in the martial arts. Our advanced students have trained for many years to get to this point in their lives. Saturday will be another special day in their life-long journey.”

While gaining the recognition of black belt is a momentous achievement, it marks a stepping stone in the lifelong journey of the martial arts student.

 “In our school there is no difference in the black belt earned by an adult or youth student, all train the same techniques exceptionally hard and earn their rank,” added Grandmaster Wheaton. “As a black belt, each student is encouraged to continue practicing and making the art their own. It is always a thrill to watch our students grow, and this is just one of the many days we celebrate their achievements.”

Students testing for third dan include Derek Carlson (43), Kailea Hieshima (15), Karina Muñoz (33), Alex Rodriguez (51), Joey Rodriguez (16) and Sara White (28).

Testing for second dan are Allison Escoria (20), Mara Sanchez (13) and Nolan Takis (13).

Those testing for first dan include Savannah Arcuri (10), Keean Elliot (8), Landon Hellman (10), Maya Holmes (11), Rhys Zemeckis (11) and Zane Zemeckis (12).

— Alex Rodriguez represents Martial Arts Family Fitness.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Elizabeth Wagner
"I consider myself to be an up front and honest agent and willing to talk my clients out of purchasing a property that isn’t right for them or won’t meet their needs in a year or two."

Full Profile >