Sifu Damien
Today October 6th we are celebrating Sifu Damien's birthday. "I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone around the world for their continuous support and give a big shout out to all of my fellow instructors around the world, who are doing their best, to share their knowledge via online platforms during this pandemic."

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our students of the traditional martial arts values. Martial arts creates the opportunity to turn weakness into strength. A great lesson for martial arts, is that when we hold and carry negative energy in our hearts, minds, and bodies, we become burdened by toxicity. We tense up, we freeze, we lack fluidity and flexibility of movement. Martial arts training conditions the mind, and the body to remain calm under pressure, to relinquish tension and let the breath calm us, in order to remain focussed and in control of fine motor reflexes and create or wait for the opportunity to strike. The martial artist must remain relaxed for this process to occur, and conserve his or her energy to enable an efficient strike. If he doesn't, he gasses out in the ring, and also in life. Martial arts teaches us controlled aggression and points us to the important life principle of counter striking, where we learn to stay calm and relaxed and hang back until an opponent strikes and reveals an opening.

For thousands of years, mastering Martial arts has involved a lifelong journey of continuous self-improvement, both mentally and physically. Through the practice of Martial arts, we can develop self-confidence, resilience, courage, and discipline, and build integrity.

Below are some of the quotes that I encouraged my students to read every morning to help develop a healthy mindset.

Resilience – Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.

Respect – Respect is a reflection of your character.

Empathy – We rise by lifting others.

Fairness – Fairness can change the world.

All Martial Arts Instructors have a responsibility to be a role model for their students, to teach and empower them to be greater Martial artists than themselves.

Sifu Damien Chaurémootoo

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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