Warrior Weekend & Black Belt Testing
Please let us know now if you are testing or participating as a Board Member. We need to know so we can put your name on the shirts, and so Sensei (soon to be Shihan!) Kellyn can plan the test day. This can be an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 1-3, 2021
Camp Kiowa at Lone Oak Ranch
Warrior Weekend is the annual Black Belt test for Chamberlain Studios. Testing includes both Mudansha (colored belts) and Yudansha (graded ranks in Black Belt) levels in Gasan Ryu Kenpo. This year we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary!
This event is something that we look forward to all year long (or in this case, multiple years!). It is a great time for team building/ ohana bonding. We are honored to have black belts, Shihans, Professors, even Grandmasters travel to join us for the weekend. Professor Chamberlain encourages everyone to participate in these events to build our family Ohana, instead of flying or driving directly into the location for the weekend.
Please register by the rank you are testing for.
- Lodging for the weekend
- Food for Saturday and Sunday (purchase Friday night dinner separately)
- One t-shirt – choose color and size
- Your testing fee
What’s Not Included
- Friday night dinner $15 (pizza from Mellow Mushroom – you must preorder)
- On site hotel rooms – there are only a handful available and they are $100 additional (per room) for the weekend. Please let us know if you are interested in staying in one of these. There are different layouts but they can hold 2-6 people. (you can split them!)
- There could be a few RV hook ups available (Lone Oak is still working on this option). This would be an additional $60 per night. Again, let me know if you are interested in this option.
- Dinner for guests
Please let us know how many guests you are inviting – even if only for the demos on Saturday night. We need to be able to plan for chairs, etc.
This means all family, friends, etc. who are planning to come in during the weekend. If they are planning on staying only for the day on Saturday, the cost for FOOD ONLY on Saturday night is $22. If they are staying the night, the full weekend rate of $155 applies.
Dinner and/or lodging for guests and any additional merchandise must be added to the cart separately. For planning purposes, we need to know whether guests will attend Saturday dinner, stay on site, etc.
Guests staying on-site:
- Lodging and food for the weekend: $155 (includes Saturday Lunch and Dinner, Sunday Breakfast)
- Only Saturday Dinner $22 (no charge for kids age 10 and under)
Covid Protocols for 2021
We want to make this Warrior Weekend as close to “normal” as possible!
The safety of our ohana is our top priority. We hope that precautions before the event will allow participants to go without masks during the test and demos.
Attendance at Warrior Weekend in any capacity (both participants and guests) is contingent upon being fully vaccinated or providing a negative COVID test taken and reported within 72 hours of the event (both is preferred!). This means take the test no earlier than Tuesday, but results must be in by Friday. Plan for this – with COVID numbers so high, appointments for tests can be difficult to obtain.
PARTICIPANTS: Please send proof of vaccination or negative test to Sensei Genevieve. She will follow up on this for participants. YOU are responsible for collecting this information from your guests. We will send out an attestation form before the event, asking about vaccination or test status, and whether you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID.
Friday: For those who register and pay for dinner in advance we’ll be providing pizza from Mellow Mushroom in Denton. This is for those who plan on arriving early on Friday, or at least by dinnertime. You must pre-register for this meal and it is a separate cost of $15.
Saturday Breakfast: Breakfast snacks will be available but most people prefer to have a specific breakfast,
Saturday Lunch: Sandwich Bar and snacks
Saturday Dinner: Tex-Mex catered by Villa Grande before the test and barbecue by Shihan Mike after the test plus late night spam sandwiches. This is $22 for each guest and guests must be pre-registered before the weekend.
Sunday: Full breakfast provided by Lone Oak
This is a rough itinerary, subject to change.
- Load into the facility in the afternoon
- Various groups are meeting at the dojo to coordinate carpooling
- Arrive sometime Friday afternoon/night. Make sure you pick up a Housing Arrangement Map that shows which lodge you are staying in.
- 7:00 AM – Breakfast. is on your own but we will have some items such as bananas, etc. available.
- 8:00 AM – The test begins! We will go until noon with short breaks for snacks and water etc.
- 12 pm to 1 pm – Lunch. Lunch is catered and included in the price
- 1 pm – Testing resumes
- 4:30 – Testing concludes and group photos are taken
- 5 pm – Dinner. Dinner is catered and included in the price for testers and those staying on site. Guests must be paid separately.
- 6 pm – Evening Activities: There will be presentations and demos by those testing for ranks in Black Belt. This will be geared for the family, friends and classmates that came to join you and show their support. A few self defense techniques followed by each person performing a break and then kata. Promotion ceremony and awards starting directly after.
- Post-Promotion Ceremony: Adult beverages (no junior drinking), spam sandwiches and barbecue.
- 8:30 am – Workout conducted by our out-of-town senseis.
- 10:15 am – Breakfast. This is catered and included in the price.
- 12 pm – Load out. Help pack up the camp and head back to Dallas
- 2 pm – Load in to the dojo
Keep an eye out for sign up sheets and emails where you can volunteer to help escort, carpool and/or house some of our out-of-town guests who will be visiting for this event. In addition, if you would like to help plan/organize in any capacity for the weekend, please get in touch with us at info@DallasKenpo.com
What to Bring
You are packing for Friday Night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning. This is a list of items that will help to make your weekend run smoothly.
- Test reports. If this is your first test then just the KENPO report. If this is under Black Belt (Mudansha) then just the relevant BOOK report. If you are testing for Black Belt (Yudansha) then you need both a BOOK report and a FOUNDERS report. Yes, they need to be typed. No you can't hand it in late (it will be read by the examination board) Yes, you can stay up all night on Friday and write it... (ask one of our pastors for help... they are experienced in this!)
- Typed test material. One for you and one for Professor, Shihan and the testing board.
- Full Gi with appropriate patches, Belt, sneakers, etc. You will be getting very wet, so bring some old ratty sneakers for Battle Beach. The open toe and flip flop idea has been tried and discarded since rocks and things get sucked under your feet.
- Maybe a second Gi for when the first one is wet and stinky... or a hanger to let the first one dry out!
- A small backpack is a good idea since we will go offsite at times. Things to put in it include: water, sunscreen, bug spray, towel, snacks, old sneakers, etc.
- Towels, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, changes of clothes, etc.
- Film, camera, video recorder, batteries, etc.
- Don't forget your belt...Replacements are $25 for white to green, $40 for brown and $50 for Black...
- Drinks: water: bring a case of water or a 1 gallon container w/ water bottle to refill. Sports drinks are recommended as well. Remember, it can still be very hot in early October.
- Did I mention snacks?
- Ear plugs! No, not for shooting, for sleeeeping!
- Bug spray, citronella candles.
- Don't just throw everything in the car, prepare for this like any trip and pack it in a suitcase, bag or trash bag (be careful, these have been thrown away by mistake). Inside, consider bringing...
- Flashlight: (this is a necessity), Sunscreen, Hat, Bug spray, Water shoes or (old tennis shoes), 1 roll of paper towels, Towel (large for shower, small for backpack), Linens or sleeping bag, Pillow, Toiletries: (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, shower flip flops, towels, shampoo, soap, one roll of toilet paper), Allergy medicine (if needed), Medicine (if needed), T-shirts - minimum 2, Undergarments, Socks, whatever casual clothes you would like to change into during weekend
- Breakfast for Saturday morning.
- Air mattress, pillow and linens and/or optional sleeping bag.
- Weapons needed for self defense portion of test.
- Weapons for Kata portion of test (Bo, Kama, Sword, Sai, etc.)
- Boards or concrete pavers for your breaking demonstration
- Bring prepared breakfast food to eat if you have special dietary requirements, allergies or sensitivities (or see Dr. Jones to get helped!). Examples: breakfast bars, granola, dry cereal, fruit. For those who want or need more…you will need extra food items to cook.
- For those coffee drinkers: bring a coffee pot, or coffee press or boiling pan.
- For those 21 years and older: it is recommended to BYOB(eer), BYOW(ine), or BYOS(ake).
Purposes of Testing
If you have recently started training with Chamberlain Studios or have a couple of ranks under your belt (so to speak), then you will be interested to know how you progress in your Kenpo rank and work towards your Black Belt. As a rough outline, CSSD runs belt tests every 4 months – February, June & October (with October being Warrior Weekend and Black Belt testing). All 3 of these annual tests are an opportunity to gain rank in Gasan Ryu Kenpo. Think of this more in line with a college degree. Instead of being “invited” to each individual test, you are instead EXPECTED to prepare and be ready to test every 4 months. Once you get to Brown Belt, you will need to skip one of these tests in order to have enough “time in grade” for your Black Belt. Try to make the February or June test your “skip” test, NOT Warrior Weekend.
Yudansha & Yudansha Candidates
In response to your questions, Professor Chamberlain has posted the information below in regards to those individuals planning to test for any of the Yudansha (black belt) ranks. This serves as a reminder of the requirements Professor Chamberlain laid out for the potential candidates, so hopefully there will be no last minute surprises regarding either who is eligible to test, or what is expected. If you are having trouble with any of the guidelines below, please discuss these with Professor Chamberlain NOW!! Don’t wait and just show up to Warrior Weekend assuming the guidelines don’t apply to you.
Message from Professor Chamberlain
*Testing for ranks within black belt requires you to have fulfilled the basic “time in grade” requirement, along with knowledge of the techniques in our curriculum for White Belt through your current rank. Beyond that, if you are testing for Nidan or higher, you need to be teaching on a regular basis, and your personal development training in the dojo should be on an average of at least 1½ times per week.
In addition, it cannot be overstated how important it is for the higher ranking black-belts especially, to be actively involved in the dojo. One of the things that sets our school apart from others, is our close-knit, family atmosphere. These values are things that trickle down from the top ranks and get passed along as new students join the fold. All black belts who desire to continue moving up in the ranks of Gasan Ryu Kenpo need to be helping out at dojo events such as the Tournament, belt tests (kids & adults), school carnivals, seminars, women’s self defense workshops, etc. There are many, many things during the year in which we need people to help out. Our goal as a dojo is to continue to grow and impact our community in a positive way. With help, we will be able to do more community outreach, get our name out there more, teach at more schools, and ideally, open additional dojo locations!! High ranking black belts need to be invested in the success of our school. Please bear this in mind as you prepare for your upcoming belt test.
Here are two quick stories that have helped shape my understanding and help put this in perspective.
1. My good friend Tony, whom I have known since high school, retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel after a brilliant career as a pilot and flight instructor. He had more ribbons on his chest than most high ranking Generals. I asked him why he held his current rank and he said that to remain doing what he loved (which was flying every minute he could) he had turned down promotion opportunities on a regular basis. For him, promotion meant that he would be at the Pentagon or commander of a base and he would then be behind a desk instead of in a cockpit. He made a choice, more flying or more rank and responsibility. Now retired, he flies private jets for a living – “Blue Skies!”
How does this relate to our ranks? If you want to devote yourself to just working out and training and remain out of the areas of responsibility that go into the success of the dojo, you will be limiting your advancement to the higher ranks in Gasan Ryu Kenpo.
2. Some friends took my wife and me to their church for service on a Sunday morning a few years ago. When the priest got up for the sermon it was his first opportunity to speak with the congregation as he had just joined the church as their new leader. He spoke simply and honestly about his plans for the future and one thing in particular has stuck with me ever since. He stated that he intended to measure his success not by how much money he was able to collect in the offering, but in the sense of community and family he was able to create within the congregation.
How does this relate to our ranks? A sense of family and community is developed from the top down and takes involvement and commitment from the higher ranks and instructors as well as the new students. It is maintained by seeing each other at dojo activities and renewing friendships during events, by sharing responsibilities and by supporting each other in our lives and goals as martial artists.
Thanks, and Happy Training!