Our goals for the next few years is to have a martial arts, visual arts and performing arts as a part of our programs, reaching children where they are, building character, confidence and contribution. Here is our first program in the visual arts – ART IN MIND – developed and presented by Jen Selby, black belt candidate 2013. Please JOIN us on February 18 for a preview. Invite your friends to be a part of a revolution for all students. CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW THE PREVIEW WENT FOR THE ART IN MIND CLASS
Operation: BuddyPack was a huge success! Thank you to every student and family who contributed for the backpacks to be filled with toiletries, school supplies, and games or toys to pass the time! Thousands of children in the New Jersey and New York area are without homes and all of the comforts that a home usually brings. Thanks to you, 10 additional children have been given a backpack full of practical supplies, and comfort. Mr. Joe and I cannot express the gratitude we have for all of you – the families at BLS – that helped put a smile on those children’s faces. We owe a very special ‘Thank you’ to Caroline S. and her family for bringing Operation: BuddyPack to the studio. And another special ‘Thank you’ to Max and Joey P.’s family for providing two completely filled packs to our collection!
It has been very heartwarming to see how quickly our students and parents were ready to sign-up to go out of their way to purchase and bring in brand-new supplies! I got so many replies, “Is that all?” from families that were so willing to donate more. Hurricane Sandy left behind a path of destruction, but in that wake, our Mid-Atlantic region has been able to witness the power of community connection!
Each of the Black Belt candidates wrote an essay about their journey. The winning Best Essay will be read at the closing ceremony on April 22, 2012 at Camp Letts. In the mean time I thought it would be nice for all to see some of the excerpts from all of them. We are looking forward to all come out for the testing and seeing both the physical and mental skills of these students. Here is the Essay compilation.
Two Evan’s both with a last name that starts with a W. and both of them 6 years old. Oh yes and they take class together here at Balanced Life Skills. One of them put together this service project of collecting cereal for children who do not have homes. The box he decorated and supplied was getting filled up and then on Saturday it got really filled.
The other Evan W. had a birthday party and he asked his friends to bring a box of cereal to the party in lieu of gifts. Now look at the results. The box is flowing over and so many children will benefit. Those children who brought in the cereal benefit too. When they take the time think about what it would feel like not having a home or something to eat for breakfast, it makes them more aware and grateful for what they do have.
Thank you to both Evan’s for a job well done. A great project and a great collaboration of efforts.
A demanding full-day test of endurance. A difficult personal interview. A sincere four-page essay on what a Black Belt means to you. Momentous service projects finished after a year or more of preparation. A critical pre-test determining your ability to go forward. Intense hours of sparring, stances, footwork, technique, forms, and demonstrations finalized with wooden board breaks.
Could you do it?
Eight current red belt students are about to find out. It is possible that not all of them will be performing at the Black Belt Candidate Test and Demonstration on Sunday, April 22, 2012. Balanced Life Skills is inviting you to attend the demonstration and see what these martial artists are made of — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Black Belt Candidate Test and Demonstration will be held at YMCA Camp Letts dining hall located at 4009 Camp Letts Road, Edgewater, MD 21037. Please feel welcome to arrive as the Black Belt Candidates begin their final portion of their test at 11:30 am with Mr. Joe.
The exciting main event of the program will occur from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. During this timeframe, you will see impressive physical skills and demonstrations, as well as learn about each student’s project and character. You do NOT want to miss this!
Watch to see what six or more years of training at Balanced Life Skills can do for your child.
Experience the confidence. Witness the determination. Celebrate the achievement!
Here is a great photo of a student who is testing for his yellow belt making a great board break. This part of the test is not about just the physical ability and technique – but more about breaking through the fear one person may have in anything that they may have ahead of them. The next time Noah has a task he is not sure he can do, he knows that if he works hard, practices correctly he will be able to accomplish anything he puts his mind too. Great Job Noah.
During the month of October Balanced Life Skills students made presentations at 3 schools in our area on bully prevention. Mr. Joe was able to speak at each school and engage them in conversation about what it means to be a good friend. The schools that have heard the message were Chesapeake Montessori, Chesapeake Academy and South Shore Elementary. The students demonstrated courage by standing in front of their classmates and making a stand against bullying behavior.
After the presentation each student received a brochure and bookmark. Would you like to have a presentation at your school? Just ask Mr. Joe and he will make the banners available to you and help prepare you for your presentation. He will even visit your school with you making the presentation. Learn more about bullying and creating a culture of peace in school and community by joining us at Bully Prevention Partners and LIKE our Facebook page.
Joey S. gets it. He has been working so hard over the last year as he trains in tae kwon do and in his personal training too. Joey has become one of the physically strongest students in class – in fact one of the most improved too. This summer he accomplished a very tough goal – biking the Great Alleghany Passage Trail from Frostburg to Meyersdale and back. A total of 32 miles. His goal was a 25 mile trek. What a great accomplishment.
In addition he has not forgotten the importance of doing for others. For the past 4 years when he has a birthday party, Joey invites his friends to make food donations to the Lighthouse Shelter instead of gifts. This year was no different. His family and him delivered the food this past Saturday. Happy Birthday Joey and congratulations on your bike ride this summer.
Colin and Gavin are brothers. Colin started training 2 years ago and Gavin watched until he was old enough to start just 3 months ago. Gavin had stood on the side wanting so bad to be in class and he copied everything his brother did. Today Colin received his Tiger Tot Black Belt & Gavin received his Yellow belt. We were all so proud of both of them.