By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/28/2017
Occurred: 2/6/2010
Topics/Keywords: #Karate #Zachary #EastMesaMixedMartialArts Page Views: 2747
Zachary runs, jumps and kicks his way to his final belt before Black in Mixed Martial Arts.

Today was the ceremony for Zachary's receiving his Second Red Belt in Mixed Martial Arts. This is the final belt before he actually achieves Black Belt. The ceremony is not a static affair; the participants got to display their prowess and proud parents got to take action photos.

Outside we met the owner of East Mesa Mixed Martial Arts (formerly a franchisee of DePalma Martial Arts), Mr. Baker, who was pleased as punch at the result of his planning—an inflated bounce house, pizza, and so on, lending an air of festivity to the event.

But the real attraction of course, were the students. Most of them kids, there are also a few adults, late-comers to the discipline of karate or mixed martial arts. The participants were put through a grueling run of calisthenics and martial arts moves.

We were allowed to sit right in front of the show, which made it much more intimate and fun than the huge ceremonies we've attended previously, when this school was affiliated with DePalma.

The students receive last minute instruction.

The Horse Stance is one of the basic but essential positions, because it lowers a person's center of gravity, making it much easier for him or her to retain an upright position during an attack.

Horse Stance Horse Stance with Punch

Then there was practice for kicking the bejebus out of a pad held by one of the instructors.

Zach then got to execute his kada, a complex series o f movements that must be performed with agility, speed, and precision.

Zach performs his kada

Finally, it was time to go up to his sensei, Mr. Baker, and receive his new belt and certificate.

Zach receives his belt and certificate from Mr. Baker.

Zach receives his belt and certificate from Mr. Baker.

When they return to their stations, the students are told to wipe their sweat—and by now, they have plenty—into the belt.

Zach wipes sweat into his new belt.

Finally, the entire class posed for a group photo, and the ceremony was done. Time for pizza!

Zach and his dojomates with their new belts and certificates.