Martial Arts Family Fitness Announces Black Belt Exam

Martial Arts Family Fitness (MAFF), a family-owned and operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, announced today that Master Dave Wheaton will oversee the largest black belt test in the school’s history in the art of Dynamic Circle Hapkido. Testing for their first dan are nine adult and three youth students. Additionally, two students will be testing for their second dan, and close to 30 black belts will test for advancement within their rank. The black belt exam and promotion will take place at the Santa Barbara school’s facility at 122 E Gutierrez Street on Saturday, December 10, 2011. The promotion will begin at 11:00 AM.

“Twelve students, including three of our youth students, will test for their first black belt” said Dave Wheaton, founder and owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “Two of our current black belts will test for their second dan, and for the first time in our school’s history we will conduct a black belt proficiency exam for current first and second degree black belts, meaning that they have an opportunity to advance within their current rank.”

“All of our students have worked exceedingly hard to reach this goal. Saturday is a very special day for them and their families,” added Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “Our students train through a rigorous curriculum, and prepare physically and mentally for this day.”

In order to test for their black belt students must exhibit proficiency in various areas of study, including basics (hand strikes and kicks), self defense techniques, takes downs and throw forms, and sparring, including individual and multiple attacker scenarios. “We are very excited to have two ‘husband and wife’ teams testing, as well as a student whose son and two granddaughters are black belts in our school,” added Mr. Wheaton. “We are different from many other schools as there is no difference in the black belt earned by an adult or youth student. As a black belt each student is encouraged to continue practicing and making the art their own. For many of our students the black belt is only the beginning of a life-long journey.”

The students testing for their first black belt are:

Anne Burns

Jason Burns

Karen Corral

Ruben Corral

Avalon Gagnon – 10yrs

Wyatt Hagen

Randee Haluszka

Jennifer Mishkin

Arleen Nakano

Heather Pinnick

Kevin Rios – 12yrs

Bryce Warrecker – 10yrs

Deanna Ybarra and Kela Johnson are testing for their second dan.

About Martial Arts Family Fitness

Martial Arts Family Fitness is an award winning school that opened its doors in Santa Barbara in 2002. The Chief Instructor, Master Dave Wheaton has trained in martial arts for over 40 years, and is the founder of Hapkido International, an organization that teaches his unique martial arts curriculum of Dynamic Circle Hapkido to many schools across the United States. Martial Arts Family Fitness teaches martial arts and fitness classes to adults and children, specializing in children’s life skills, youth leadership and family fitness. For information on Martial Arts Family Fitness visit or call 805.963.6233.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.