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Black Belt      O n May 6th, Grand Master Martin hosted the Wyoming Black Belt class at his dojang.  Spring weather has finally hit Wyoming, and yet there was an impressive turnout for class.  As Grand Master Martin said, we were all there doing what we love.  Mr. Jordan McDill was the guest instructor for the day.  He focused on the joint lock pattern and falls, specifically a front fall.  He stressed the importance of using extreme caution with the joint lock pattern, and how with repetition, we would learn to identify the appropriate stopping points to avoid breaking our partners' wrist.  Until then he urged we take it slow and easy.  He asked what the purpose of a joint lock is.  One student said it was to exercise control while another answered it is to break the joint.  He explained both answers were correct.  As black belts, we need to exercise control, especially in the dojang against our peers.  However, in the event of an attack on the street, we need to use our best judgement to decide the appropriate amount of force to use against an aggressor.  That can be simply controlling the adversary to more employing more direct force if absolutely necessary.  From wrist locks he moved on to falls.  As a frequent testing partner, he is comfortable with falling, and has developed his own method for taking some of the fear out of falling.  He explained that he starts from the ground up, having his students begin with lying on the ground on their abdomen and forearms, to get them used to the feeling of the floor against their arms.  From there he has them pop up and land on their forearms while turning your head to the side to avoid doing a face plant.  He stressed the importance of breathing as you fall.  Mr. McDill told us that holding your breath while falling is very painful and you need to forcefully exhale as you make contact with the ground.  He had us practice falling from the ground, up on our knees, then from a kneeling position.  It was extremely informative and interesting.  Our thanks to Mr. McDill for his instruction on Sunday!  Class ended with a pair of presentations, one from Master Sisco to Mrs. McDill for her stepping in to keep his class running, including getting everything ready for the April testing, while he works out of town.  The second was from Master Johnson to Ms. Garretson for also stepping in to keep his class running and the April testing while he was out with knee surgery.  Kudos to both of them!  All in all, it was a very good class and a good day.  Wyoming rocks!

Mrs. Linda Story
3rd Dan, USTF 3-1294

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     O n September 10, 2016, Sereff Taekwon-Do hosted a Grand Master promotion for Sr. Master Martin & Sr. Master Weiss to Grand Master Martin and Grand Master Weiss.  Sr. Grand Master Sereff promoted both Grand Master Martin and Grand Master Weiss.  It was a truly memorable moment and one that will not be forgotten by any who attended.  Grand Master Martin and Grand Master Weiss, in a tribute to Sr. Grand Master Sereff, combined forces to make a donation to support our troops over seas in his name.   Our sincerest congratulations to both gentlemen!

As well as the Grand Master promotions, we were privileged to watch the promotion of Master Joseph Bosse to Sr. Master Joseph Bosse as well as the promotion of Mr. Gerald Sisco and Mr. Craddock to Master Sisco and Master Craddock.  Sr. Grand Master Sereff presented both Master Sisco and Master Craddock with a sword to commemorate the occasion.

Additionally, Sereff Taekwon-Do hosted a black belt testing with a total of thirteen students on the floor.  Mr. Rose called the testing, doing an excellent job of keeping things going and making all the testing candidates feel comfortable.  Many thanks to Grand Master Renee Sereff and her dedicated staff who made the day such a joy to participate in.  To all who tested, congratulations!  

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     O n April 30th, Mr. Flynn, 5th degree and head Instructor for the Rock Springs School hosted the April testing for Wyoming.  Over 30 students tested for color belt, with Mr. Connell from Sheridan, WY testing for his 3rd degree black belt.

Wyoming has had a long time honored tradition of having state wide testings for both color and black belt testings.  This testing was no exception.  Students from all over the state were there to test with Mr. Connell.  CONGRATULATIONS Sir.

Standing with the USTF standard of high test scores.  The results are as follows:

  • Best Pattern, Mr. Mason, Sr. Master Martin
  • Best Break, Mr. Nichols, Sr. Master Martin
  • Best Ho-Sin-Sul, Mr. Binks, Sr. Master Martin

Congratulations to all who tested, and all who made the trip, in another Wyoming spring storm.

Mr. Gerald Sisco
6th Dan, USTF 6-153

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     W Ms. Gandy & Mr. McDill yoming is proud to announce the opening of a new school!  On Sunday, April 2nd, 2016, Mr. Jordan McDill hosted a contingent of Wyoming black & color belts for a demonstration to promote his new school, Snowy Range Taekwon-Do.  Here are a few words from Mr. Sisco concerning the day...

"On Saturday April 2nd, Wyoming had their monthly Black Belt Class in Laramie as a demo for the Grand Opening of Wyoming's newest school, Snowy Range Taekwon Do.  This brings the total number of schools in Wyoming to eight.  Mr. Jordan McDill, 4th degree black belt is Head Instructor.

"Mr. McDill has been attending classes at the University of Wyoming in Laramie for a couple of years.  He has worked very hard to find a location that would allow him to start classes, without much success.  He has been conducting classes informally at different facilities around town, mostly with a lot of resistance.  Recently he hooked up with the Laramie Dance Center and they were very excited to have a TKD class in their facility.

"Since this was a demo instead of a regular Black Belt Class, Sr Master Martin invited color belts to participate as well, so we had green and blue belts, as well as our red belt and above for a normal Black Belt Class.  All of the Schools in Wyoming were represented for this opening demo.  Martins Casper TKD, Rec Center TKD, Wyoming TKD, and Casper College TKD all from Casper.  As well as Sheridan TKD, and Rock Springs TKD.

"This is not the first school in Laramie.  Back in the 90's Mr. Jason Armstrong from Rock Springs, WY started Laramie TKD while attending classes at the UW.  After Mr. Armstrong graduated, Ms. Colleen Thompson from Sheridan continued the classes until her graduation.  Finding ourselves without an instructor to continue, the classes faded, leaving several students without an instructor.  One of those students, high blue belt, attended the demo with her two children, and is very excited to start training again.

"Mr McDill has had several people interested in starting classes, including the owner of the facility.

"We wish Mr McDill and the Snowy Range TaeKwon Do the very best of luck and the greatest success.  Congratulations on being the newest school in Wyoming, as well as the USTF."

Mr. Gerald Sisco
6th Dan, USTF 6-153

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     W spring flowers elcome to springtime in the Rockies!  After a long winter with more snow than many of us care to deal with, we've been blessed with some truly beautiful days.  We all know we're not out of the woods yet, but what a way to celebrate a taste of warmer weather by training together.  Mr. Sisco shares what class was all about today...

"On March 6th, 2016, Sr. Master Martin conducted the Wyoming Black Belt Class at his dojang.  There were twenty-nine Black Belts on the floor, ranging from 1st dan to 7th dan, all lined up to train together.  Class is held on the first Sunday of each month, and we started March off with a bang.  Sr. Master Martin began class with basics and kicks, then focused on kicking balance and balance recovery for the 1st half of class.  After a short break, patterns dominated the second half of class.  He focused on cadence, and staying together as a group.  He took the time to make a point of how we all react differently to cadence changes in patterns according to the encyclopedia, such as slow or fast motion, etc.   Additionally, he discussed kicking timing in patterns and how we all react differently for cadence.

"We finished class by doing patterns by rank.  With 11 1st dans doing Po-En as a group, timing was a bit shaky.  Sr. Master Martin had the senior black belts spread out and line up with them to do it a couple more times.  Things smoothed right out.  It's great training for all of us, regardless of rank, to train with people we don't get to train with on a daily basis.  Spirits were high and all showed up with a good attitude.  What a great afternoon of training!"

Mr. Gerald Sisco
6th Dan, USTF 6-153

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     O n December 7th Sr Master Martin conducted the monthly Black Belt Class in Casper.  Red and Black Belt students from Casper, as well as Sheridan, Laramie and Rock Springs were in attendance.

At the beginning of class, Sr Master Martin asked how long we've been doing Black Belt Class.  I asked if he would qualify whether that was in his school or from the beginning.  He said both.  After class I discussed this with him, my guess in his school was 1998.  He told me he bought the building in 1999.  I also would like to note that there is a picture of the first Black Belt Class with the date hanging on his wall by the entrance to the changing rooms.  I made it a point NOT to look at that picture before I talked with him.  My next comment was that I could not answer the second half of that question, because my first black belt class was in 1989, and it was going on then.  Master Johnson said his first Black Belt class was in 1987, and it was going on when he started.  When I told Sr Master Martin this, he kind of laughed and told me "Keep askin' ".  Mr Lemmons is the oldest student training I know of, and it was going on when he was eligible.  So now we have a trivia question here.  "When was the first Black Belt Class in Wyoming?"  As Sr Master Martin said to me, "Keep askin' "

Class started off with out warm up.  Sr Master Martin made the comment that if you are challenged on the street, you're not going to have time to stretch and do calisthenics before a fight.  So warm ups were kicking up and down the floor.  Hand techniques were added quickly.  As class progressed, he started talking about how to disguise your kicking techniques with your lift.  Either by lifting right next to your lead arm, or your opponents lead arm to give you that extra quarter second head start on your opponent.  We spent the bulk of the first hour on practicing this type of lift.

The second half of class was spent on patterns.  Going over the patterns from the Class B Seminar recently held at Headquarters.  As students reached the top of their rank, they were sent to the back to work on testing kicks as the seniors continued to do patterns.  All the 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and 4th degree patterns were done.  Great Class!!!

As class was closing, Sr Master Martin made the announcement that the Jalazakovs from Sheridan will be moving to Oregon, both first dans.  They will be greatly missed.  After the group picture, there the customery "gauntlet" followed by a brief reception of bak lava and chocolate.

Mr. Jerry Sisco, 6th Dan, Wyoming State Director

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     S Group Picture ometimes it seems as if spring will never get to our part of the country.  We wait in anticipation for warmer weather, for sunshine, for green grass, and when we start to get a glimpse of it, we all get a goodly dose of cabin fever.  We’re like young colts, wanting to kick up our heels, run through the prairie and play.  When faced with the choice of enjoying our newfound freedom or attending Black Belt Class, sometimes it can be a difficult decision.  Yet, on June 2nd, Sr. Master Martin’s dojang was packed full with senior instructors down to red belts, all foregoing that siren call for a few hours to train.  Was it worth it?  Oh yeah…the sunshine will come and go, but the time spent honing our techniques and learning from Sr. Master Martin is irreplaceable.  Here are a few notes from Mr. Sisco regarding class:

“On June 2nd Sr. Master Martin taught the monthly Wyoming Black Belt Class.  The main focus of class was upcoming Nationals, to give both students and instructors more tools to work with and to fine-tune our skills for the competition.  We started out with basic warm ups and stretching, moving quickly went into kicking combinations, both hands and feet.  Sr. Master Martins objective was to get students to kick and punch in the balance core.  With the emphasis being on sparring, he wanted us to concentrate on not extending beyond our center of gravity.  He demonstrated what happens if you try to execute a technique with improper balance, and what impact that reaction force has on our own bodies.   Several times he commented, "You won't have as much effect on your opponent if you’re not in balance."  As a result, we worked a lot on sparring techniques, such as lead leg inward downward kick and reverse hook kick.  He made it a point to demonstrate that most of our head kicks are designed for hand range.  Most people seem to think they need to be 1 stance back to get in a reverse hook kick to the head…most of them have never spared Sr. Master Martin!  

”After kicking we went to patterns.  We had a hard time getting everyone on the floor at the same time, so we broke out in groups.  Personally speaking, sometimes doing patterns by count can be one of the hardest things we do.  After patterns we worked on breaking for Nationals.  We discussed the rules for breaking as well as different approaches for the required breaks.  We came up with 4 or 5 different ways to do a power hand break, all correct, and effective depending on the person breaking.  Side kick and 180 back were pretty much the same.  We also discussed that a double jump on the 180 back is a disqualification.  Master Johnson demonstrated his method for each of the breaks, and was followed by each of the prospective competitors.  *Editor’s note:  It was totally awesome watching the breaking demonstrations.  You get to witness the incredible amount of destructive force we can generate with the proper techniques…it makes a person very glad not to be on the receiving end!

”We finished with a group picture and a gauntlet for Mrs. Connells birthday.  We also had the pleasure of having Mrs. Connells mother, Mrs. Blatt, visiting to watch class.

Thanks for all who attended!”

Mr. Jerry Sisco, 6th Dan, Wyoming State Director

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     O n May 8 the Casper College TKD class had their final testing for the semester.  Mrs McDill, head instructor for the class, had eleven students testing for new rank.  Eight new students tested for 8th gup.  Three from previous semesters tested for 7th gup. Mrs McDill has only 50 minutes twice a week to get the students ready for a full TKD Wyoming testing.  Sr Master Martin directed the testing, and Mr Sisco and Mrs McDill assisted on the testing board.  Mrs Linda Story from the Rec Center, called the testing, and did a very nice job of keeping the students relaxed and focused.  The College is a new program in the Wyoming TKD originazition, but the quality of the students, especially for the amount of class time they get, was outstanding.

Congratulations to Mrs McDill and the students for such a fine job.

Mr. Jerry Sisco, 6th Dan, Wyoming State Director

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Group Picture      O n Saturday, April 20 the Rock Springs Family Rec Center hosted the April quarterly testing.  Twenty one students tested from White Belt to Second Dan.  Mr Rick Spann tested for 2nd dan.  He had an outstanding test.  Congratulations to Mr Spann as well as Mr Flynn.

    Wyoming has decided to conduct Color Belt and Black Belt testings together for quite awhile.  This practice has proven to be contageous.  The color belts can't wait to do "THAT".

High Test Score winners are as follows:

  • Best Break, Travis Brokaw Rock Springs
  • Best HoSin-Sul, Hollie Hazelnutt Rock Springs
  • Best Pattern, Quinlan Valdez

    Congratulations to all who tested, and to all the Instructors who put in the time to make this happen.

Mr. Jerry Sisco, 6th Dan, Wyoming State Director

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