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passingthetorchOn February 4th, 85+ people gathered to celebrate and thank Grandmaster Paul Munchbach for his nearly 34 years of service as the head instructor of the Galway Karate Club. In December he stepped down as the head instructor and turned over those responsibilities to Shihan Chris Malley, Grandmaster Munchbach's first black belt.

Besides students from the Galway Karate Club and Golden Eagle martial arts, we were joined by family and friends of Grandmaster Munchbach and Shihan Malley and some past students. We were also pleased to host some black belts from the area. Master Michael Campos and Sensei Tom Grecco from Zen Do Kai, Sensei Roland Lavigne from Eight Star Martial Arts/Red Dragon Karate, and Tony Collins from Pil-Sung Martial Arts were there to congratulate both men. Our own black belts in attendance included: Master Joe Sagarese (founder of the Galway Karate Club), Master Al Blakely (Galway), Sensei Theresa Sagarese (Galway) Sensei Steve Hull (Galway), Sensei Matt McSain (Webster), Sensei Guy Sowle (Galway) Sensei Dean Guenther (Galway), Sensei Beth Malley (Webster), Sensei Mike Lilley (Webster), and Sensei Caelynn Prylo (Galway).

Several of the black belts presented Grandmaster Munchbach with gifts of recognition and shared some memories of Grandmaster Munchbach. Sensei Theresa Sagarese decorated a cake for the event that included the original logo of the Galway Karate Club. Shihan Malley presented him with a card from the students that included several gift cards, thanks to the donations from the two schools. He was presented with framed pictures of the Galway and Webster class that were surrounded with congratulations from the students and families. The final gift was a signed certificate from all thirteen Galway Karate Club/Golden Eagle Martial Arts black belts that are under Grandmaster Munchbach. The certificate is surrounded by some of the patches used over the years by the two schools. The outer frame has the kanji characters for honor, integrety, humility, and warrior burned into its face. Shihan Malley then shared his comments which were followed by Grandmaster Munchbach's comments. He expressed his surprise at the many people that came and his gratitude for everyone. After that we all enjoyed the cake.

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articlebuttonWe are always interested in finding ways to help our students and instructors train, even when they can't be in the dojo. We are takin advantage of the tools that YouTube offers for us to share videos not only of tournaments and demonstrations, but of the many aspects of our training.

We have created several channels on YouTube. Please subscribe to each channel that interests you. When we add a new video to that channel you will be notified. Some of our videos are for training and development purposes only and are accessible through this website to students and instructors that have logged in.

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{jcomments on}First tournament victoryOn Saturday, October 19th several travelled to Herkimer County Community College for the Diamond Valley Classic, hosted by Bailey's Karate School - Herkimer. We were joined by a few of our fellow students from the Galway Karate Club as well as Sensei Beth came up from Binghamton University.

Everyone had a great time as we brought home many medals and cup trophies.

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usa ifkk logoOn Saturday, September 20th, our students particpated in the annual American International Karate Championships at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY.

Events at this year's tournament included kata, weapons, breaking, clicker fighting, semi-contact fighting, and knockdown fighting. Our students competd in kata and clicker fighting. There were competitors not only from the Rochester and Finger Lakes area, but also from several different states, Canada, Russia, and South Africa.

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Sportmanship is mentioned often in athletic competition and many times in non athletic situations. One of things I am most proud up is how those I have coached and taught exhibit "good" sportsmanship. That is so true after the most recent American International Karate Championships.

Several students competed for the very first time. No wants to win more than I do and no one wants to see my students win more than I do. The most important thing is that you compete honorably and respectfully regardles of whether you win or lose. Honestly, if you perform and give your best than there is no losing, especially if you are determined to do better the next time.

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I've been around the martial arts for a long time so I've seen a lot of different marketing tactics to attract students. The things I see most advertised, in many ways are no indication of the kind of instructor you might get. Marketing ploys I see most include master instructors, championships, certifications, whom they have trained with, and how many black belts they have. If you think about it, those points really say nothing about an instructor's ability to teach.

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Some of our students competed at the 19th American International Championships on October 10th, 2009. The event was held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Sempai Mike competed in the Men's Senior Brown Belt Division for kata, weapons kata, and clicker fighting. He brought home third place trophies in weapons kata and clicker fighting. Sempai Chuck also competed in the Men's Senior Brown Belt Divisions for kata, weapons kata, and clicker fighting. He brought home a third place trophy for kata and a second place trophy for weapons kata. Sempai Taylor competed in Female 11-12 Brown Belt Divisions for kata and weapons kata. She brought home third place for each.

Congratulations to all. Next year's tournament will be October 9th.

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nobulliesBullying is a terrible act and unfortunately it has brought attention to the Rochester area recently. This recent incident has made it clear that no one is immune to it and it doesn't just happen to kids.

We need to use this as a teaching moment for everyone. If we witness such an act and do nothing then we become a victim of it as well. We have a choice at that moment - stand up for the person directly or get someone that can. That doesn't mean that we resort to violence. After all that is not what we train for - physical altercation as the absolute last resort.

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usa ifkkThis was a packed weekend for Golden Eagle Martial Arts. We started with a shodan (1st degree black belt) test for Sempai Mike and capped it off with an all day/all night affair at the American International Karate Championships.

On Friday evening a testing board was convened, which included Sensei Chris, Sensei Nik, Sensei Matt, and Sensei Beth. The test began about 7:10 and lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. Sempai Mike performed technique combinations, demonstrated power techniques, defended himself against nearly forty different attacks, executed empty hand and weapons katas, and finished off with several rounds of sparring  including the five man circle. At the end of it all he was rewarded with the rank of shodan and shall now be called sensei. Be sure to congratulate him.

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