Local Martial Arts Academy Focuses on Positivity, Self-Discipline
Yvonne Van De Wiele- Cooper
Who knew chopsticks, the kind used by those skilled enough to eat with them, are also lethal weapons?
15-year-old Amber Beauregard knew.
The grade 10, BCI student brought home a silver medal in weapons from the recent International Congress of Martial Arts (ICOMA) competition using – chopsticks.
Bryon Davis, instructor and owner of D & D United Martial Arts Academy explains, they were once the weapon of choice for female assassins, who would wear them in their hair.
Sharpened, they do as much damage as a knife or a dagger.
Overall, D & D students cleaned up again for Team Canada at the ICOMA competition, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, bringing home 20 medals.
Sempai Kelsey Cooper – 2 bronze (forms, synchronized)
Amber Beauregard – 1 silver (weapons) and 1 bronze (forms)
Cole VonLukawiecki – 1 gold (open weapons), 2 silver (weapons, sparring), and 1 bronze (forms)
Adrik Whittam – 2 gold (forms, chanbara) and 2 silver (weapons, synchronized)
Colton Green – 1 gold (weapons) and 2 silver (forms, synchronized)
Hunter Green – 2 bronze (weapons, forms)
Curtis Creery – 3 silver (weapons, sparring, chanbara)
“We usually do well overall because the kids work so hard,” said Davis.
But he insists he doesn’t put pressure on students to win, only to perform as well as they can.
He points to brothers Hunter and Colton Green, both who have medical challenges and began at the club about three years ago.
Hunter now seven-years-old, suffered from speech delay and hypotomia (low muscle tone) while nine- year-old Colton was facing both a respiratory and muscle- skeletal condition
Both were part of “Team Canada” at ICOMA and both brought home medals, but the progress in health and confidence for both boys has meant the most.
90 percent of success in martial arts competition is based on mental strength and confidence and Davis helps students deal with the fear of competing by encouraging lots of practice.
Meantime, many parents are hoping martial arts can instill discipline and respect in their children, but Davis stresses that needs to start in the home.
“I’ve literally had parents come in asking – can you fix my kid?”
But he tells them, “It’s not just a here thing, it’s a home and school thing,” which needs to be practiced consistently in all aspects of life.
Davis also believes in using incentive to help kids advance.
“It’s easier to use a carrot than a whip,” he says.
He points out, “If you’re not behaving in class, there’s no way I’m going to teach you weapons and if I can’t trust you with your bare hands, I’m not going trust you with weapons.”
Davis, a fifth degree black belt, who also acts as a judge at ICOMA, got the martial arts bug at the age of 11 after watching popular Kung Fu movies of the day.
“Just watching the Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris movies and going, that looks cool, that’s something I want to do!” he said.
He never actually planned to make a career out of it, but began teaching at the age of 18 and the rest is history.
Much of the D & D program involves exercise, building muscle strength and endurance and many parents who bring kids in for lessons, wind up joining classes themselves.
Davis’s own wife Linda began classes with their two daughters to keep in shape, and hasn’t looked back.
Daughter Kelsey is an assistant instructor who helps make up the team at D & D, along with several other qualified and accomplished individuals.
Students at D & D Martial Arts Academy on Stanley Street in Brantford currently range in age from 3 to 56.
Annual trips to compete in exotic locales for the ICOMA world championships are funded by the Martial Arts Athlete Fund (MAAF) a non-profit organization, established by D &D Martial Arts.
For more information on D & D Martial Arts Academy, check out ddunited.com.
Special thank you to all these donors!
Adam “The Marshall”, Re/Max Realtor, Al’s Shoe Store, Amy & Dave Harris, Arrowdale Properties, Best Western, Britech Automotive, Cineplex, Custom Colour Tees, D & D United Martial Arts, Dave Levac, MPP, Family Care Chiropractic, Gemini’s Diner, Gord Cribbins, Grand Bayou, Green Family, Hair Dressor on Fire, Hardie Family, Heads or Tails Gaming, Heather Bejian-Sager, Holistic Healing Arts, IPC Investment Corp, Bayside Resort Long Point. John Whittam, Royal LePage Realtor, Kneeded Care, Moksha Yoga Brantford, Mr. Paws, Napa Auto Parts, Phil McColeman, MP, Sanderson Centre, Starbucks, Sweet Bakery, Sydhol Photography, The Beat Goes ON, Tim Horton’s, T-Pee’s, Wekken Electronics, Whole Body Health, Wooden Edge, Your Neighbourhood Credit Union