Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Year in Stick Chicktivity 2017

2017 was a banner year for the Stick Chick in the martial arts.  Here's an overview of what I did, month by month.  I'll just cover the "big" stuff, not the daily ins-and-outs of acquiring bruises for funsies.


January started off right as we knuckled down to prepare our black belt candidates for their test later in the year. I attended the monthly Kobudo program class, and  I attended a Texas Modern Arnis Coalition (TMAC) gathering in Houston. We also got to go to the Johnson Space Center while we were there, which was really fun.

New blog posts made in this month can be found HERE

Me at TMAC in Houston, with Sal Todaro teaching.


Outside of all the normal stuff - teaching at Mid-Cities Arnis, attending Presas Arnis classes at Hidden Sword, and Kobudo - it was a light month. We had a women's self defense session at Mid-Cities Arnis, but this was one of the few months I wasn't running around like a chicken with my head cut off!

New blog posts made in this month can be found HERE

Teaching sinawali is SERIOUS BIZNASS.


Started the month off right by attending the World Modern Arnis Alliance first-ever Texas camp here in town, with Datu Tim Hartman, which was awesome.   Hidden Sword was a participant at our AKATO seminar and we put on a demo, which is a first for us.

New blog posts made in the month can be found HERE.

Me beating on children, as is my wont.


We started the month with MAPA11!  Later that month, we held our school's first ever FORMAL Presas Arnis Black Belt Test (remember, Mr. Chick and I were secretly tested and promoted).  We promoted two people to Lakan Isa (one adult, one junior) and Mr. Chick and I were promoted to our 2nd degree black belt ranks (Lakan Dalawa and Dayang Dalawa). 

New blog posts in this month can be found HERE.

Hidden Sword's Black Belts (center is our instructor, Mark Lynn)


Super busy, as we hosted the Stick & Steel Seminar with GM Art Miraflor and Professor Dan Anderson (which ROCKED). Then I attended a Paiho form (White Crane Kung Fu) and Eku seminar by Shihan Dean Chapman down in Waco. We taught another women's self defense session, and I helped out with my teacher's Arnis Instructor's program.  I remember this month as being CRAZY!

New blog posts for this month can be found HERE.

Dan Anderson using me as uke, which was a real honor, by the way.  I love it when I get picked!


HUGE month.  The beginning of summer is always busy when you have kids and family in, right? We competed at the Monica Lopez tournament (yours truly took 3rd).  We taught women's self defense, but the big event was my teacher and I attending the Ernesto Presas Legacy Camp in Colorado.  I got to meet TONS of amazing people, learned so very much, and the ramifications of the friendships made there are still being played out.  Great camp!

New posts on the blog can be found HERE.

Attendees and Instructors at the Ernesto Presas Legacy Camp. I think I'm the only female in this picture (really).


Went to Lawton, OK with my friends at Shotokan Karate of Lawton to teach them Anyos (and for them to intro me to sparring) to start off the month.  Then, I got to attend a fantaboulous two-day seminar by Rich Parsons in Balintawak, which ROCKED!

New blog posts from this month can be found HERE.

Rich explains that I can't just punch people in the face all willy-nilly like.  Spoilsport.


My student competed at a tournament (I volunteered as a ring judge this time around) and did really well.  We taught another women's self defense session.  And I did get to see some of that neat-o eclipse.  A good month, a little less hectic than normal, but I do recall that it was in August that I knuckled down and started nearly-daily kobudo practice, which really paid off in the end.  And oh, I turned - gulp - 49 years old. Gaaah.

New blog posts from the month can be found HERE.
Me & other ring judges from the tournament.


Not as hectic as summer was!  As y'all may remember, Texas was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Although I was far from any problems up here in Fort Worth, lots of my martial arts friends were affected by the storm. Thus, we dedicated funds from MAPA 12 to Harvey Relief, and we ended up donating $605.00 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.  A great seminar!

New blog posts from this month can be found HERE.
The badasses of MAPA 12.


Relatively normal month, except we got to go down to Bryant, Texas (and dang, it was hot!) for our second TMAC (Texas Modern Arnis Coalition) gathering.  So fun!  I love TMAC!  Practiced my rear off in kobudo, though!

New posts from this month can be found HERE.
I can hit with a big stick, too!


My original Arnis/Ryukyu Kempo teacher from Memphis (David Jones) came in to town and we got to train with him for a night and it was great.  I miss him so much! Oh, and I might have finally earned my shodan rank in Kobudo after three years.  I also got to go on a trip to my home town and see lots of friends from days gone by.  A pretty awesome month overall.

Posts from this month can be found HERE.
I'm in the front row, third from the right. And I haven't worn my white gi since.


Like most years, December was a relatively light month training-wise, but it was still busy.  I got my new nunchaku I bought myself for my black belt present. We promoted our green belts to blue belts at Mid-Cities Arnis. I helped my teacher examine and promote participants in his Presas Arnis Instructor's course (and saw some really sharp people in the bargain).  Taught the last women's self defense course of the year.  Went to Trinity Treetops Adventure Park (which was a blast). 

New posts from this month can be found HERE.

Our new Blue Belts at Mid-Cities Arnis.

2017 wasn't as busy as 2016 was, but it was still a year of some pretty important milestones for me, personally.  When you write a post like this, and you look at the calendar, and at all the pictures and Facebook events and social media posts, you realize just how much this little weird hobby of ours can take up so much of your time and your life.  2017 marked my 9th anniversary in the martial arts, and I had no idea, back then, how important this would be to me in the future.  No idea at all!

I recommend that you take the time to review YOUR year in the martial arts, note all that you did, what you didn't, celebrate your accomplishments, and make some new and cool goals to achieve next year.

I'm very happy and excited about the people I met and trained with and the new connections and relationships I made. That's one of the biggest gifts we in the martial arts community get, and I don't think we celebrate it enough.

To all of you who taught me, trained with me, learned from me, communicated with me, shared my blog content or interacted with me online... thank you.

2018 is going to be a big year of changes for yours truly (and my family, as my oldest daughter is graduating from high school). Some of the coming changes I can't share yet, but when I can, I will.  I'll still be doing Presas Arnis, and Kobudo (I start the kama class in January), and I've already got a schedule of seminars I'll be attending up up through the first half of the year that I know of (and I'm sure I'll get booked for lots more, as that's just how I roll, y'all).

I hope your 2017 was fantastic, and your 2018 is even better.