Mariah Moore, Onaway High School Onaway Michigan Filipino Weapons Demo


To learn more about me, what I do, and what I live for, please read my older posts. There is a lot of insight into my life and my work, not just as a martial artist, but as a human being.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bedard Black Belt Center, Tae Kwon Do

Flying Side in a very tight space!
Grand Master Marcel Bedard and I

A student taking a minute to read and enjoy her certificate.

Instructor Dennis Bedard with one of his youngest students

Me, Sonnie, Master Bedard, Instructor Dennis Bedard

I think you can see where I'm headed with this!

On Tuesday, I had the honor of performing for and speaking to the students and martial arts family of Bedard Martial Arts Black Belt Center. It is a family owned and operated school. Grand Master Marcel Bedard, Mrs. Bedard, and 2nd Degree Black Belt Dennis Bedard are clearly dedicated to teaching all ages and especially children through positive interaction, reinforcement, and encouragement. I was invited to watch their very first belt testing in the new school and I was so impressed with the way in which each student was treated. Traditionally, proper technique is critical in early testing. Here, students are praised for their courage and confidence and for finishing what they started. Masters and teachers praise each individuals strong features and teach and direct without the pressure of unrealistic expectations. It is recognized when students do their very best and make the effort and try. Do not misinterpret what I'm trying to say. I think we can all agree that there are many "McDojo's" out there that turn out black belts like McDonald's does burgers because the focus is on quantity not quality. Bedard Black Belt Center is not one of them. With the wisdom of Grand Master Bedard to lead them, they are achieving something wonderful. They build amazing athletes with incredible skills (trust me! I saw for myself!) through positive and gentle instruction. Every student took something positive away from their belt testing. Every student felt more confident, more capable, and excited to learn more. A very strong sense of "Family" runs through the Bedard Martial Arts students, instructors, and their families. I wonder if the students and families know what a wonderful gift they have in the patient, gentle wisdom of Grand Master Marcel Bedard and his family. I can't wait to introduce Grand Master Bong Jornales and Grand Master Marcel. Different styles, same gentle yet powerful ways.

PS...I think I forgot to mention the young yellow belt students who jumped several people in a flying side kick to break a board held by Instructor Dennis Bedard all in a very confined space. I WAS STUNNED AND AMAZED at the skill level and control! I won't say "I can't do this...but I will say, I haven't learned this yet!"

Thank you to everyone at Bedards, for sharing your first testing and your martial arts family with me. I look forward to seeing you again in January!

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