Dear Amazing Families at MRBBA,

First, congratulations to all of students who tested and promoted this week. I was impressed with the intensity you showed. In conversation with our staff and ITP, we agreed that the level of motivation and discipline has improved just since this summer. I also noticed a general improvement in the quality of techniques. Keep up the great work.

Thank you to all of our students and parents who participated in our discussion afterwards about ways to improve the academy. Your input is truly valuable. I learned quite a bit and have some ideas we can experiment with. The challenge is how to make all of this happen without your training becoming a full time job or turning the academy into a boarding school. ;-)

Second, we will introduce some changing roles for our staff. Sabum Dobson will be the lead instructor for most classes while Sabum Wallaga will take on the new role as beginner coach. You will also begin to see more of our ITP members as I create more opportunities for them to practice their leadership skills.

Third, read all the way to the bottom to learn how to earn $100 or more!!!


I miss having an active demo team and am grateful that many of you are interested in recreating the team. Give me one week to work with our staff on some changes, then beginning in November I will personally work every Tuesday evening at 600pm with those interested in being a member of the demo team. This will take place during the weapons forms class and will still count towards class credit and testing.

What to expect – you will learn forms at a higher level, create fun skits, and learn stage presence.

Requirements – Yellow belt and above, you must be willing and able to perform at public demonstrations; assist the team in finding venues to perform.

How to sign-up – attend first practice on Tuesday, November 4.

Fee – no fee or extra tuition, special demo team uniforms and equipment may be required.


As a former World Champion, Gold Medalist, and Team Captain for the USA TaeKwonDo Team, I am very passionate about creating more champions. I have trained 1 world champion, and many national champions. If you are serious about learning to compete in tournaments, then starting in November, I will personally work every Thursday at 600pm with students interested in being part of a serious competition team. This will take place during sparring class and will still count towards class credit and testing.

What to expect – we will pick a tournament circuit to compete in, learn the rules, and focus exclusively on those rules for sparring.

Requirements – Yellow belt and above, you must be willing and able to travel to tournaments throughout New England on a regular basis. Parents must be willing to train as ring coaches for the team.

How to sign-up – attend first practice on Thursday, November 6.

Fee – no fee or extra tuition, special competition uniforms and equipment may be required.


We have a great group of staff and future instructors who work out with me every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 730pm-800pm. We have just 3 spots open for students who may be interested in becoming instructors. This is open to all students who are Yellow belt and above, any age.

Opportunities – possible part-time jobs, possible full-time careers, or the possibility to open a branch school. I had my first business owning a martial arts club while I was in college. My training throughout high school laid the foundation. ITP is great college application material as it shows leadership experience. ITP is also great resume stuffing for the same reason. Many adult students have credited their training in ITP to helping advance their careers. There is no downside to learning leadership skills.

What to expect – intensive extra training in physical skills, leadership skills, and insider advantages in helping to plan curriculum.

Requirements – Yellow belt and above, ITP classes, ITP collar testing, practicing leadership skills by leading portions or modules of classes.

How to sign-up – attend ITP tryouts on Tuesday, November 4, 730pm.

Fee – no extra tuition, ITP collar test fees, special ITP dress uniform required


You asked for it and we will bring it back! Starting November 14th, we will return to hosting PNO’s on the second Friday of the month. Start telling your friends!  The could be worth $100!  Keep reading.


A big THANKS to those students and parents who raised their hands to volunteer to be on committees to help improve the academy. It is not easy to ask for help, but we do need it. There are 3 areas of immediate concern that we would like some assistance. I promised that this would not become a huge time drain for you and I meant it. I believe that much can be accomplished by meeting just once a month during class time. We have the meeting space. Let’s use it.

Party Planning Committee – Meets every first Tuesday of the month – 530pm.

I don’t think it’s a secret that our events, such as tournaments, graduations, holidays, etc., are lacking some excitement. Many of these events could use food, decoration, music, demonstrations, and more to make them better. Our staff, me included, admittedly is not great at party planning as we have our focus in too many other areas. If our instructors can continue to focus on teaching, while the party committee focuses on the fun stuff, I think we can have much better events. November 1st marks our 27th year in business. We should have a holiday/anniversary party to celebrate.

Community Service Committee – Meets every second Tuesday of the month – 530pm.

Our staff is very passionate about community service. We have many ways in which we can serve our community, but we have not had time to organize. Often the Chamber of Commerce and other groups ask us to participate as a business in events, and again, we have not been good at putting that together. We dropped the individual requirement for community service on belts test and made it a voluntary exercise for extra credit and recognition. I think we can think bigger, but we need your help. This committee’s function would be to help us identify opportunities and mobilize the academy to do meaningful community service work or charity projects as a group.

Marketing Committee – Meets every third Tuesday of the month – 530pm.

Getting the brand out. You may have noticed that we don’t do traditional advertising; radio, newspaper, television, etc. Most of our new students come through referrals. We admit there needs to be more, but the budget is very tight. We have the resources to get out in the community and do more public awareness campaigns and I feel these are much more impactful. Opportunities such as after school programs, demonstrations, classroom presentations, public seminars, and other performances are available through our networks with the Chamber and local schools. With our new demonstration team, we can gain great exposure if we have a committee who can find these opportunities and make the connections. Some of this would cross over between the Community Service Committee and the Demonstration Team, so communication will be important. If anyone is good at writing, we could get some press releases out for events, etc.


Another thing we haven’t advertised well lately is our referral program.

You may know that you can earn a Victory Patch for introducing a friend or family member to our classes. With our new class format, it’s easy to bring them with you. If your friend is a child, make sure their parent comes, too! They can’t get on the floor without a signed waiver

You may not know that we have 3 stages to rewards for referring.

First, the new student you introduce must be new to the academy. Let’s be fair. The same friend you have brought to 10 PNO’s doesn’t count as a new referral.

Stage 1 – earn your Victory Patch for bringing a friend to class.

Stage 2 – if this friend is new (not yet in our database) then we will credit your account with $50 that you can spend on anything at the academy, including tuition.

Stage 3 – if your friend enrolls in our beginner program, we will credit your account with another $50. For this stage your old friends that have been here a zillion times will count towards credit when they enroll.

THE GROWTH CHALLENGE – ends December 31, 2014!

We need some new students quickly. Advertising is slow, so the easiest way is ask you to talk it up with your friends and bring them to class. Referrals are normally our best new students.

Here is the challenge – we want 25 new students by the end of the year.

Benefits – If we hit that goal, then we are in a position to open up another full class schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays. We will not cannibalize our current classes to make that happen, it has to happen through growth.

Rewards – Read very carefully – there is money involved…every student who refers a new student between now and the end of the year will receive all the referral benefits listed previously, for a total of $100 each referral. In addition, for working as a team, if we hit our goal of 25 new students by 12/31/14, then each student who has referred a new student will be awarded an additional $100 on their account.

Do the math…that’s $100 for each friend you enroll, plus $100 bonus for hitting the team goal.

OK, that’s enough of War and Peace for now.

With your help, we can grow into a new and more exciting academy than ever before.

Thank you for being amazing,



Semester 6 – Nov/Dec

Dear Students and Families,Self-Esteem3

We are gearing up for another exciting semester this fall.

The PDF of the schedule is available below as well as many important links for you to check out.

Remember to order gear and register early for events.

Subscribe to our blog! It’s the best place to get the all information you need as soon as it’s available.

But first…a few notes about important dates and events:

10/23/14 Test and Graduation – registration is due no later than 12/6/14.

10/25/14 Fall Tournament – registration is due no later than 10/25/14 at 9am.  Rules may be found in another post in this blog.

10/25/14 Special Portrait Sessions - get your photo professionally taken in uniform with action poses, and medals?

10/30/14 MRBBA will be open. Reduced class schedule. 530-630pm only.  The plan is to finish with plenty of time to go enjoy beggar’s night.  Wear a costume to class, if you want to.

11/4/14 Election Day. Normal class schedule.  Make sure you vote!

11/11/14 Veteran’s Day. Normal class schedule. Take a moment to thank a veteran for their service and remember those who gave their lives for your freedom.

11/27/14 Thanksgiving Day. Closed.  Make-up classes on Saturday.

12/24-12/25 Christmas Eve and Day. Closed.  Make-up classes on Saturday.

12/31-1/1 New Years Eve and Day. Closed.  Make-up classes on Saturday.


Download the full class schedule here – Class Schedule 2014-Semester 6

Intermediate ranks and above will learn an XMA Bo form – click here for video.

If you don’t already have one, or you want to upgrade yours, Bo can be ordered through our online catalog.

Black Belts will be learning Combat Tai Chi and Chi Kung breathing techniques.  Part of the class will be devoted to learning YANG SHORT FORM, partner self-defense drills using techniques from the form, and PUSH HANDS DRILLS.


11/3/14 – Padded Sword Training – registration is due no later than Monday, 10/27, so that we can order the correct size sword for you in time.

11/5/14 – Musical Form – registration is due no later than Wednesday, 10/29.

Fall Tournament Rules

Please pay close attention to the required equipment for each event.
All students are required to wear their full dress uniform for competition.

Point Sparring Competition
Required Equipment
Helmet, Hand pads, Foot pads, Rib guard, Shin guards, Mouth guard, Cup (for guys)
Judging Criteria
Points are awarded for a legal technique (hand pad or foot pad) that hits a legal target area (rib guard or helmet). Deductions are issued for any technique that is illegal.
General Rules – Beginners
Beginners are allowed to ‘free spar’ without contact. In order for the judges to award a point, a student must score a legal technique that comes within 6 inches of a legal target area without hitting the target. Deductions will be issued for beginners who make incidental contact.
General Rules – Intermediate
Intermediates are allowed to ‘free spar’ with light contact to the rib guard only. No head shots will be allowed.
General Rules – Advanced/Black Belt
Light contact is allowed to the rib guard and helmet only. Legal kicks to the helmet are worth 2 points.
Forms Competition
Required Equipment
Student can choose from any Weapon or Free Hand Form that we have practiced with in class (current or previous semesters) or another that they have practiced with at home.
Forms may be traditional, XMA, or student-created.
We cannot guarantee the a music system will be available. You may bring your own ‘boom box’, if you wish.
Judging Criteria
Weapons forms will be judged individually in 7 categories; proper technique, balance, focus, timing, speed, power, rhythm & movement.
General Rules – Beginners
Beginners may perform a form of any length up to 1 minute. Stage fright is common for beginners learning to compete, so, 1 chance at restarting the form is allowed, if necessary.
General Rules – Intermediate/Advanced/Black Belt
You are not permitted to restart the form at this level.

Ssireum Competition
Required Equipment
Mouth guard, cup (for guys)
Judging Criteria
A competitor wins a Ssireum match by either causing the opponent to touch the floor with something other than the feet, or forcing the opponent out of the ring.
For more information – search YouTube for ‘Ssireum’.
General Rules – All Ranks
In this competition, weight is more important than rank. Students will be paired based on size.


Board Breaking Competition
Required Equipment
Real Wooden Pine Boards are available from your instructor for $5 each.
Due to issues in the past with students purchasing the incorrect size or type of board, it will be required that all students purchase their boards through their instructor. Your instructor will help you determine which size board is appropriate for your age and size.
Judging Criteria
Board breaking will be judged individually in 7 categories; proper technique, balance, focus, timing, speed, power, rhythm & movement.
General Rules – Beginners
You can choose to perform from 1 to 3 separate board breaks, called stations. At each station you will have only 2 chances to break the board. If the break is unsuccessful after 2 tries, you must move on to the next break.
General Rules – Intermediate/Advanced/Black Belt
You can choose to perform from 1 to 3 separate board breaks, called stations. At each station you will have only 1 chance to break the board. If the break is unsuccessful after 1 try, you must move on to the next break.
Below is the guideline that will be used for sizing:
Children ages 3-4: 1″thick x 12″high x 4″wide
Children ages 5-6: 1″thick x 12″high x 6″wide
Children ages 7-9: 1″thick x 12″high x 8″wide
Children ages 10-11: 1″thick x 12″high x 10″wide
Teens/Adults ages 12up: 1″thick x 12″high x 12″wide


Flag Sparring (Beginners)
Required Equipment
Mouth Guard
Judging Criteria
A competitor wins by having the most belts at end of match
30 second periods
Must stay in ring (Two feet out -1 flag)
Can block but not hold your own flag
Can’t sit down or turn back on opponent to avoid flag being pulled
(More than two seconds on ground = -1flag)
If tie: Most aggressive wins