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 Grandmaster Dave Wheaton will oversee the semi-annual black belt test and promotion in the art of Dynamic Circle Hapkido. Testing for their first dan are seven adults, two teenagers and eight youth students. Additionally, one student will test for her third dan, four students will test for their second dan, and another 22 black belts will test for advancement within their current 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 8, 2012. The promotion will begin at 11:00 AM.

“This coming black belt test and promotion is one of the largest I have presided over,” said Grandmaster Dave Wheaton, founder and owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “Besides our new black belts and those promoting to a higher rank we also have a very impressive group of black belts testing for advancement within their current ranks.”

“Black belt tests as a very important and emotional event for our students,” added Master Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness. “They train through a rigorous curriculum, and prepare for this day physically and mentally. For most of our black belts this day is the beginning of a life-long journey in the martial arts.”

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 throws, and sparring, including individual and multiple attacker scenarios. “Our students, adult and youth alike, train very hard for this special day,” added Grandmaster Wheaton. “In our school there is no difference in the black belt earned by an adult or youth student – all train exceptionally hard and earn their rank. As a black belt each student is encouraged to continue practicing and making the art their own. It is always a thrill to watch our students grow, and this is just one of the many days we celebrate their achievements.”

Testing for her 3rd dan is Makala Hieshima (15 years old)

Students testing for their 2nd dan include:

Alex Arshadi (12 years old)

Brandy Cordero

Aide Flores (17 years old)

Joseph Rodriguez (13 years old)

Youth students testing for their first degree black belt are:

Eduardo Aramil (10 years old)

Jaden Baptista (10 years old)

Carter Beaudette (10 years old)

Josh Conroy (12 years old)

Tess Francavilla (14 years old)

Gage Heinze (9 years old)

Kovid Mishra (12 years old)

Bryan Moctezuma (9 years old)

Mario Pasini (9 years old)

Logan Taylor (13 years old)

Adult students testing for their first degree black belt are:

Mari Baptista

Jennifer Deaderick

James Ebentier

Todd Elliott

Mateo Mercur

Cherilyn Milton

Sarah White

About Martial Arts Family Fitness

Celebrating its 10th year in business, Martial Arts Family Fitness is an award winning school that opened its doors in Santa Barbara in 2002. The Chief Instructor, Grandmaster Dave Wheaton, has trained in martial arts for over 40 years and is a ninth dan in Hapkido, a seventh dan in Taekwondo 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.


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