Kevin Meisner started martial arts training in karate at the age of 14 in 1979 with C.M. Bookwalter and Dave Salyards at the Hollidaysburg PA YMCA. In 1982, Kevin started assistant teaching, and in 1984 started his own class on the rooftop of Mitchell Hall at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He has trained and taught continuously ever since (see below for a bit more).
Christine (Cunha) Meisner started training in karate in 1992 with Kevin Meisner in Arlington, Virginia. When Christine and Kevin moved back to Connecticut in 1997, Christine started assisting with the teaching, eventually offering karate and self defense classes of her own.
Zach Meisner started training in padded weapons fighting around 2005 with his dad Kevin Meisner in Uncasville, Connecticut. Since then Zach has been active in Chanbara and Fantasy Quest, and brings a unique blend of those padded weapons fighting styles to the students.
BELT ACHIEVEMENT SYSTEM
Belts may be earned over time through attendance, hard work and a demonstration of skill as follows:
White Belt - Beginner
Blue Belt - 6 months training after white belt + skill test
Purple Belt - 6 months training after blue belt + skill test
Brown Belt - 1 year training after purple belt + skill test
Black Belt - 2 years training after brown belt + skill test
Note: Black Belt = "first degree black belt" - additional degrees may be earned over time.
Note: Belts only have meaning within the martial arts club you belong to. Earning a belt is a solo exercise, and having a belt does not mean that you are invulnerable or even that you will be more skilled than a person who has not yet earned the belt you have earned. Your belt means that you have trained hard for a certain period of time, and that you have met the standards that your teacher has set for you within the context of your own individual ability. Such ability can be effected by age, health, and many other factors. If you have questions, please ask your teacher.
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Some Thoughts After Many Years
by Kevin Meisner
For some of us, martial arts becomes a lifelong pursuit. I’ve done a fair amount of seeking.
I’ve studied the karate I learned from C.M. Bookwalter, Dave Salyards, and Tom Handest (and some of their senior students including Ginny Bowman, John Franks, Doug Hoover, Joe Keller, Larry Sutt Sr., Bill Melton, Steve Winterstein, Rowdy and Glen Kagereis, and others).
I’ve learned some Isshin-Ryu (Angi Uezu), Uechi-Ryu (George Mattson and Jim Maloney), American Kickboxing (Peter Rogers), Reeders Kuntao (Joe Gionti), Kosho Shorei Ryu (Bruce Juchnik, Dave LoPriore and Frank Smith), Tai Chi (Tai Yim Kung-Fu school in Northern Virginia), Okinawan weapons, Western weapons (Josh Simon and others), adrenalized stress conditioning (Impact Model Mugging), grappling, use of firearms (LFI-1 Massad Ayoob and others), practical self defense (Marc MacYoung and others), Chanbara (Dana Abbott and Tim Vandenover), Dagorhir, and more. I’ve also extensively read and researched many different martial arts styles and forms from all over the world.
All of this activity was sparked by various incidents in my youth where I felt weak and unable to handle a verbal or physical confrontation. Having eventually sorted that out, the quest for me now is an activity that keeps me in reasonable shape/health and not bored (so I keep at it). I’ve run and I’ve lifted weights and had various exercise routines, all of which come and go and return.
Today my practice consists of certain exercises and techniques that I like, mostly for exercise and fitness. I very much enjoy generating power (hulk smash), regularly unleashing the fury on kick shields, focus mitts and heavy bags. Finally, I enjoy sharing my practice with other people. I literally started doing that immediately upon learning, even before I earned a white belt.
So, all of that is me. We each have our own individual reasons for practicing and learning. The trick is to figure out what it is that you like, find it, do it. That may change over time, all depends on you.
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