Dec 23, 2015
The Mount Shasta Martial Arts Program’s 8th Open House and Holiday Food Drive on December 10 featured martial arts demonstrations, over 25 raffle prizes, and a food collection for the Senior Nutrition Program.
“This is always a fun way for us to ring in the holidays,” said MSMAP executive director and head instructor Chuck Buhs. “It allows us to celebrate this festive season with the community in our own uniquely energetic way.”
The evening began with awarding new belt ranks to those who passed their promotion exams this past fall followed by the Tiny Tigers, ages 4 and up, showing their kicks and forms.
Emily and James McIntyre, attending their first Open House, “really enjoyed watching everyone perform” especially their two sons, Brayden, 7, and Dylan, 6. “We thought the boys did an amazing job and were proud of them for showcasing their newfound skills.”
“I see changes in both of the boys since starting taekwondo,” continued Emily. “Dylan has always been shy and I see him coming out of his shell more. I see more confidence, better flexibility and balance.”
With regards to Brayden leading the group in forms at one point, Emily noted that “James and I liked seeing Brayden taking charge. I think he has found some confidence that he has lacked in school and some other sports in the past. He likes to boss his brother around, but otherwise he isn't usually the take charge type of kid. Brayden leading the group has helped him feel important and has enhanced his loud and passionate personality.”
“Tiny Tigers is fun, challenging, and easy all at the same time and makes me feel awesome!”, Brayden exclaimed.
“It makes me feel like a black belt,” added Dylan.
Six adults and teens demonstrated a few yongmudo skills including rolls, falls, throws, and sparring.
One participant, Cale Duplichien, 16, started yongmudo simply “to get a workout. It’s a chance to not think about school, to let out my anger and stress, and it’s fun. I’m slowly getting stronger while learning a lot of grappling and how to defend myself although that’s not my first reason for training.”
“Things like rolling helps to know where you are through proprioception,” he explained. “I’m hoping it will help me improve in the pole vault this season. The blocking and trapping drills help improve my reflexes. It’s not fighting where everyone is angry and uncomfortable either. We’re martial artists, and we’re pushing our bodies to the limits.”
Throughout the evening, raffle drawings were held with prizes donated by local businesses.
“We are extremely thankful for this expression of kindness extended by our merchant neighbors,” said Buhs. “We work hard to keep our program going, but this kind of support reminds us that our efforts are appreciated. It definitely inspires us to not settle for average and to constantly improve.”
Recognition was also given to three families. The Tynsky family, Nova, 11, Modoc, 8, Rain, 6, and their mother, Autumn, received an original Bozo Bop Bag in appreciation for their participation and assistance at every MSMAP event held throughout the past year.
Colter Cohen, 9, received a pair of sparring gloves for participating at several events and also for overcoming his fear of sparring.
Riley Witherell, 15, received a self-defense device for her leadership and help in addition to her continued dedication towards achieving her black belt.
“These individuals and families are representative of so many others that contribute to MSMAP,” said Buhs. “This ongoing support and enthusiasm by each and every family is the reason why we keep our doors open year after year.”
Continuing a tradition suggested by Nuria Llovett at the 2nd Open House in 2009, MSMAP collected nearly 10 bags of food that was delivered to the Mount Shasta City Park kitchen on December 17 in time for the holidays.
“We like to contribute and give back to the community,” noted Cale.
”The generosity shown by the students and families of the Mount Shasta Martial Arts Program is impressive and heart warming. Our homebound seniors will be treated to an unexpected Christmas gift of shelf-stable items for their pantries,” said Mount Shasta Recreation qne Parks District Administrator Mike Rodriguez.
Rodriguez shared that “our program is dependent on the continuous support from our community partners, not just during the holidays, but all year-round. Donations to the Mount Shasta Senior Nutrition Program are always appreciated and enables our program to continue the much-needed senior meal services provided throughout our south County communities.”
The Recreation & Parks District is the official provider for the senior meal program thru a contract with the CA Department of Aging and Planning & Service Area 2 - Agency on Aging. Year-round donations of food and money for the Senior Nutrition Program can be made by calling 926-2494.
MSMAP is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit. More information is available at www.MtShastaMA.org and on Facebook.