The New Millennium,
By Sensei Brian Chmay.

Welcome to the new millennium. 1999 has come and gone. Here are some of the many highlights I enjoyed throughout the year.

Sensei Peter Ruch's tournament in January at Ft. Erie was the start of the year's tournament circuit. Many of our students and instructors attended this tournament and participated in others throughout the year. Some of those tournaments required travelling to towns and cities such as Simcoe, Delhi, Wawa and Timmins. Our own inter-club tournaments, held at Grimsby and St. Catharines, were very well attended by our students and their parents. I know that all the instructors were amazed, impressed and proud of all their students. Many thanks to all the students and their parents who attended and participated and to all those people who helped run those tournaments so smoothly.

Black belt clinics and workouts took place on the second Sunday of each month in Welland. Different instructors taught different techniques at each class. It was a real opportunity to learn something new, or to work an old technique in a different way.

Katas were reviewed and consistency is maintained from club to club. And it's a great way to meet new instructors an up-and-coming brown belts and to keep in touch with instructors you came up the ranks with. Other clubs across the province also held clinics in which some of our instructors attended, as well as the Karate College in Virginia.

In 1999, the responsibility of warming up the children's classes in Grimsby was handed over to our high-ranking children. Anybody who thought they were in for an easy warm up was in for a big surprise. Just ask any of the adults! Keep up the good work kids!!! Towards the end of the year, those same high ranking children were introduced (with parental approval) to the use of weapons of self defense, namely the kobaton and the shindo. These weapons can be easily incorporated into the techniques they have already learned in class.

As in the regular class, any parent is invited to attend to see what and how their child is being taught in this class. We are looking at including the parents in any future kobaton class coming up in the New Year.

Last July we held an interclub soccer game at the school by our club. The teams consisted of both students and parents. I can't remember what the score was, but I do remember seeing spots before my eyes from all that running up and down the field. It's one of those games you have to pace yourself, and I found out my pace was a little slower than the kids. We all enjoyed hot dogs and cold drinks afterwards.

In the fall, we were back to our regular workouts. Some of the children had really sprouted up over the summer. It is one of an instructor's privileges to watch his students grow up and progress through the ranks.

The Christmas party capped off the year for many of us. We had a lot of fun playing games and then afterwards munching on pizza, chips and pop.

These are only a few highlights I enjoyed through 1999 and I look forward to sharing many more with my students and friends in the New Year.

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