July 31

Trinity Training Center Demo for St. Jude a Hit

The Trinity Training Center in Peoria put on what I believe was its first benefit for St. Jude this past Saturday at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Peoria.

The event featured several talented and knowledgeable instructors presenting information about a variety of arts, mostly Chinese in origin.

I was invited to participate as a member of Aldus Martial Arts, where I’ve trained in tai chi chuan and Hsing-i chuan for the past three years. The Alduses and several students presented a short piece of the old Yang style tai chi chuan form and the five Hsing-i element forms, but the audience was stunned when they began seeing the self-defense applications. They were literally “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing when Mr. Aldus showed practical applications on me and his top student. Mr. Aldus showed empty-hand applications, as well as applications with escrima sticks and a cane, before ending his allotted time with a spear form.

Other instructors showed some great arts, as well.

Audience members and students alike participate in a group stretching session during Trinity Training Center's St. Jude benefit

Audience members and students alike participate in a group stretching session

One whose name escapes me (please forgive me if you read this, or leave a comment and let me know who you are), led a stretching session for about 30 minutes to begin the day. Both students and attendees were invited to participate.

Mr. Ed Parker, the emcee of the event, brought up audience members to teach them several self-defense techniques, including an armbar and a wrist turn.

His uncle, Mr. Dexter Parker, showcased the abilities of his students, and later demonstrated five-animal hung gar kung fu on his nephew.

Ms. Vera Harrison, whose seminars and tournaments are coming up quickly, demonstrated some taekwondo sparring techniques before delving into some self-defense and jiu-jitsu work.

Two more students of the senior Mr. Parker invited members of the audience out for some breathing exercises, which I enjoyed.

I also participated in a challenge with the host school’s students in which we had to balance on our left leg for 10 minutes while holding our right knee at our belt level. I made it nearly 7, and I applaud the students who soldiered through 10 solid minutes. Afterward, many of the same students participated in a horse stance competition for the same duration.

I was honored to participate in this demonstration with so many other talented martial artists. Next year, I’d like to bring Metamora Martial Arts into the event and perform some Okinawan martial arts.

September 2

This month in history: September

2003

Metamora Martial Arts participated in the annual Homecoming parade.

2004

September 10, 2004 – We performed our first varsity halftime football game demonstration in front of a rowdy crowd at Malone Field.

2006

September 1, 2006 – Aaron Ruder endures his black belt test, becoming the seventh person to do so in our program. During the test, Metamora Martial Artists performed at our third varsity halftime football game demo.

September 2, 2006 – Aaron Ruder’s promotion is made official during an outdoor ceremony at Black Partridge Park. With Aaron’s promotion to shodan, Adam Bockler becomes the sempai.

2009

September 11, 2009 – Metamora Martial Arts performs a demonstration at Fiesta Del Rio on the Peoria riverfront. The demo was led by Mr. Chianakas, whose translator was Adair Rodriguez. Jake Potter, Chris Schirer and Adam Ulbricht also attend.

September 13, 2009 – Adam Bockler leads a demo at the Art Rod Festival in Metamora, accompanied by Jake Potter, Elizabeth Breitbarth and Chris Schirer.

February 1

This Month in History – February

2002

Mr. Chianakas formed Metamora Martial Arts as an after-school program. Deshi Adam Ulbricht was the first student, as well as the first promoted to first-degree and second-degree black belt.

2005

Feb. 26 – Master Anthony Marquez, who played Kung Lao in Mortal Kombat movies, hosted a seminar on the Chinese martial art known as wushu. He also introduced us to the chain whip and three-sectional staff.

2006

At our 4th anniversary party, Mr. Chianakas announced he had been promoted by Mr. Walter Fricke to 4th-degree black belt.

2007

Feb. 17 – Mr. Chianakas led a demo at a Boy Scouts banquet in Peoria.

Joe Chianakas

We also did a demo for the MTHS varsity basketball halftime game.

2008

Feb. 9 – We performed a varsity basketball demo at halftime.

2009

Feb. 7 – For our 7th anniversary, we had dinner at Kobe Steakhouse.

We also made appearances at Metamora, Riverview, and St. Mary’s Grade Schools preparing students for ISAT week with motivational speeches and demonstrations. Speakers included Joe Chianakas, Adam Bockler, Andy Seidel, Caitlan Rohman, Tiffany Robertson, Adair Rodriguez and Jake Potter.