UMAC Raises over $30,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: The year started out with an incredible event last March with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Kickathon where we raised over $30,000 for the cause. It was an amazing event where all students took part in helping; especially since two students of UMAC are fighting and winning the battle against Blood Cancer. Seeing our youngest children kick 1000 kicks because they knew they were making a difference in the lives of others was one of the most rewarding parts of the day. March of 2013 we will be having another Kickathon/Championship/Demo Competition and all the schools are going to be joining us!
UMAC Team Hikes the Grand Canyon for Leukemia: Myself, Mrs. Berlow and Mr. Moy hiked the Grand Canyon and trained every weekend throughout the winter for the cause. Yes, I love hiking but when you connect a purpose to the hike, it is amazing. The day we hiked in and out the Grand Canyon, we hiked over 15 miles into the Canyon and out with boundless energy because we were doing it to help others. One of the most powerful moments of my life! We are looking forward to creating a new UMAC team for 2013 to train for the Yosemite hike on June 15th (Any takers?)
UMAC voted Best in Westchester in 2012 for Childrens Martial Arts: This was a complete shocker of the year and we are incredibly grateful! One day, I received a letter at the school in this really fancy gold envelope. (Which I normally would throw away) There was something special about it and I opened it. It said that we have been voted "Best in Westchester" for Children's Martial Arts. I was blown away and honored considering there are over 110 martial arts schools in Westchester. This has inspired me to make sure that we earn the right to hold that status and it is our promise to all of you that we continue to do so.
UMAC Demo Team wins Big: We did it again! We were the 1st place winners at the UMAC Championships this June with Grandmaster Kim being one of the judges. Our team was on FIRE! We then traveled to Virginia again and did an amazing showing with a 2nd place finish. (We still had the best demo but, next time) Our team has taken demo competition to a whole new level and we are looking forward to a repeat in 2013.
50 New Black Belts Graduated in 2012: In 2012 we graduated over 50 Black Belts from 1st degree to 4th degree. We have certified Six Instructors and one Master Instructor. Pretty incredible statistics considering in the old days only 1% of students who started would become black belt in their training. We have taken training to a new level and continue to inspire our students to improve physically, mentally and spiritually so we can be living examples of martial arts values!
Master Bellantoni to open UMAC Ardsley: Both a happy and not so happy occasion. Master Bellantoni who is the most dedicated student any Master could have is now ready to go on his own. It is awesome because we get to expand our UMAC impact to another community! It is not so awesome because we will lose one of the very people who makes UMAC Briarcliff so special. The great thing is that Master B will be with us all the time at events, seminars, graduations and retreats. You will just have to get used to me being back teaching a lot of the classes.
"It's Not about the Belt" becomes Best Seller: Well, considering this was just a few days before the new year; we get to squeeze it in for 2012. I am very humbled and excited about the response from my students, friends, family and mentors. I could not believe that we achieved this goal. The book is to help the mission of spreading Martial Arts Values to as many people as possible. If more people lived with Respect, Self-Control, Integrity, Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit; our communities and society would be much more positive. Thank you for believing that to be true and the more we can inspire to train in Taekwondo; the better off we will all be.