2010 End of the Year Message & Video PDF Print E-mail
ImageThe AMK began in 1987 (started as HP Moo-Do Club in 1972), and I began offering an End-of-Year message shortly thereafter. In 2009, there was a paradigm shift for the AMK. I decided that we would return to our traditional roots and minimize our involvement in the sporting aspects of martial arts. I made it the AMK’s mission to resurrect a more traditional context for our training. In 2010, the AMK went through yet another profound paradigm change. It has become known as the “Game Change” event.

The Chinese said, “We live in interesting times.” That proved to be true this year, perhaps more than any other year. Master Lisa S. Amsell developed the La Palma class members into an enthusiastic, well organized team. Both Marcus and Riley SBN brought about changes both at La Palma and especially the BEAC. Linda Tsai, Nathan Penid, and Elmier Penid transitioned from Red/Black Belts to Black Belts.

This became the year of the “Game Changer,” not just because of Linda’s return but due to realignment among all of our instructors. As the Buddha taught, “Things always unfold as they must.” In a similar fashion, each of us discovered a new vision for the AMK. In reality, it was not a new vision but a rediscovery of an earlier vision. Certainly, Linda SBN had a part in initiating that rediscovery, but it was already in the making from the beginning of the year.

This year, we received first-hand inspiration directly from GMs Chan-Yong Kim and Nam-Ku Yun at our Instructor Training class. Each instructor and instructor candidate had the opportunity to move our class forward and to grow as well. I am particularly proud of the insights shared by Master Lisa, Marcus and Riley SBN. Each faced challenges and found the inspiration to grow. I am looking forward to our new Black Belts joining this elite team.

The game change did not include the instructors exclusively; however, the growth of our instructors led to the growth of our students and parents as well. With the encouragement of a unified instructor team, the other members were inspired to accept new training challenges. In 2009, I pulled away from competition. In truth, we did not really reduce competition. We were only supporting competition. However, in 2010, we began to train competitors for the JKI event and were rewarded with medalists. We also returned to participating in demos by taking part in the “La Palma Days” event and received praise from the city’s Recreation Department. Even the BEAC Employees’ Club became revitalized.

“Game Change” has now become our paradigm and slogan for 2010. In 2009, we committed to returning to the traditional martial art training philosophies. That led us to the need for a game change in 2010. Now that we have changed the game, we wonder what that portends for 2011. By understanding that there were some essential values in the AMK of the ‘90s, what lessons does that hold for us as we enter the second decade of the 21st century? Is it realistic to go back to the past when planning for the future? Shouldn’t we just be modern?

To answer these questions, I think that we must consider two arguments. First, was the past lacking in value, and, second, is there added value in changing things? Martial art adherents constantly argue that the traditional ways must never be changed lest we destroy the meaning of “art” in martial art. I think that this argument is too simplistic. Clearly, some concepts are of great value. In fact, the traditional values have great importance and often give martial art its unique character and qualities. It is in the technical aspects where we can find the opportunities for performance and effectiveness benefits.

Therefore, for 2011, it is my intention to focus our mission on strengthening our traditional values while improving and modernizing our technical performance areas. I am also planning to enhance our interpersonal skills training and philosophical development in our members. In these ways, I believe that all of our members will be able to gain greater personal growth. We must become more fit. We must cover more of our complete curriculum. We must understand more of the “why’s” of our subject matter. We must never return to, “It’s good enough,” as a way of thinking, acting, or advocacy.

In 2009, candidate Barack Obama encouraged us to be better with, “Yes, we can!” We in the AMK signed up for that, and we made positive changes to our classes. In affirmation, our classes grew and are growing still. We have been strongly supported by the city of La Palma, and we now have the best professional relationship ever. We refined and added to our instructor staff, and our students and parent-supporters are the best ever. So, we have indeed walked-the-talk. Clearly, in 2010, we have changed the game. We have kept our covenant to excel.

We really only need to follow along with our visual history that Master Lisa has been compiling over the past few years to see how we have grown and matured. Luckily, she has used her professional skills to ensure that we now have a living record of our history (see below)

For 2011, I am hoping that each and every AMK member will join us on our new journey. We can bring in new members, and we might even be able to bring back dedicated, but absent former members. We can, and should, strive for better alignment between instructors, students, and parents. Perhaps, there may be some sadness that not all those who began the journey were able to continue on, but there should not be. No journey of great consequence can be completed by all. In fact, our focus must always be on those who never give up and who do overcome adversity. The challenges in 2011 may be great, but clearly many have shown the mettle to carry on and excel.

One thing that will become clearer to all is that there is the reward of self-actualization for those who can stay on the path. In 2010, we saw the great triumph of Linda SBN who waited sixteen years to complete her dream of Black Belt. Others will find their dreams realized as well. My dream is to leave a martial art legacy. This year, that legacy grew through Master Lisa, Marcus SBN, Riley SBN and our new Black Belts. Of course, where would that legacy be without dedicated students and supporters? Let's all commit to make 2011 the year that we own the legacy of Indomitable Spirit! -JLA

2010 Year in Review Video

2010 Year in Review
During our Xmas Party on December 12, 2010 a video was shown that reviewed the year of 2010. I starting working on this video on May 30 and finished the last edit on December 11. This video started nearly 5 months before I started last year’s video. I inserted covers, labels, and inserts on December 10-11. I burned copies of the DVD on December 12. I did not complete this year’s video until the very last minute. I burned my final copy of the DVD 3 hours before the party. I never wait until the last minute to complete it, but because of the Black Belt Candidates breaks that took place at our 4th Quarter testing and the follow-up to that on the December 11th class, I wanted to wait just in case I needed to add one last thing. As it turned out, I didn’t need to so I had to cram the final touch ups between 7pm-11am on December 11-12. Sleep took place from 2:30am-7am. Here’s how the project unfolded…

When I made this video, I had several goals in mind. 1. To convey the major paradigm shift that took place in 2010. 2. Try to do something I've never done before in a video. 3. Tie in the whole year with a common theme 4. To introduce our current students to how much we do in one year before they started. Above all, this video emphasizes the concept of indomitable spirit (never giving up) which became a reoccurring theme throughout the year whether it be our school in general, test boards, or outside visiting instructors.

The video on 11-20-2010
I am often asked about the time I put into this video. It consists of three completely different phases. I did three phases for last year, but only for the last two months. This year it was throughout the entire year. The first phase was to collect photos, color correct all photos, and crop every single photo to fit into a TV screen size. That process took no less than 50 hours. I cannot "batch" the photos since not all of them require the same crop or color correcting. I have to do each of them individually. I went through 2,412 photos & narrowed it down to 509 photos that I ended up using in the video. The second phase was to put each photo in chronological order (by month), add music, add transitions, render, preview, and make it viewable on TV. That process also took no less than 50 hours. The third phase was the most time consuming. It was adding videos. I used videos taken from my camcorder exclusively as opposed to multiple sources like last year. I had to convert every video that I wanted to use in a format that is more friendly to my program. The longer the video, the more time it takes to convert it. This is why I always ask Melanie (Marc's mom) to record short clips to make it easier on me to edit later. She captured more than half of the videos I used, so I definitely appreciate her help! Needless to say, there were some conversion problems as well. I went through 725 videos & narrowed it down to 508 videos which came out to over 9 hours worth of video that I needed to trim down a lot. I worked on it about 4-5 hours nearly everyday from September 6 until December 11 to cut down the length. I was originally planning to do January-December photos & then January-December videos, but that not seem to flow right. On November 24, I rearranged the entire video (more than 9 hours worth) to have a much better flow to it.

The video ended up being a lot longer than I originally planned for it to be. I found myself looking for more songs to fill up the time. It ended up being more than twice the length of what I planned. Picking the songs is always the hardest part for me. Some of the songs used such as “Things Can Only Get Better,” No Easy Way Out,” and “Moment of Truth” were obvious choices in my mind. Especially if you pay attention on what time frame in the video I placed them. It is very telling. Due to the mention of John Lennon (2010 would have been his 70th birthday) after the JKI, I felt it was only appropriate to put in one of his songs as well as an homage. The video starts off strong with a song that is fast-paced and full of energy. That was a deviation from last year’s video which started slow and built up as the video progressed. After the first song, I used a few slower beat songs with one “pumped up” song to liven it up. But at the end of the video, the last 5 songs are high energy and fast beat songs to end the video on a high note and leave you wanting more. Finally, I make the DVD cover, inserts, and labels and print them out and cut them to size before inserting them as I burn copies.

The video is finished! 12-12-10
Every project I take on, I do with complete and total dedication. But this one was far more time consuming than any one before. I would probably say it took longer most of the others combined. I pushed the envelope on this one because I think that indomitable spirit should be not only portrayed by what’s in the video, but what went into making it. Our legacy returned this year and it gave me new-found sense of motivation to keep my spirits high into what could be seen as a daunting, tiring, and sometimes boring project.

This one was very special to me. It was also the first one I saw about 2 times before finalizing it. I usually view it numerous times before finalizing it. This was definitely the year of the “Game Changer.” To commemorate this special video, I made seven Special Edition copies for all Black Belts (including our newly promoted BBs) that had two additional DVDs of our LPD Demo in its entirety and GM Kim’s inspirational speech at Instructor Training. Due to the length of this video and the immense amount of work I had to put into this video, for the first time, I am opting to NOT to post this video online. I prefer that those who have a copy are the only ones who have it. Please note: Master Amsell has requested a few more copies to be made to be sent out to our close colleagues and friends. Please look for it via snail mail in the near future! -LSA

P.S. Extra credit if you know what the calligraphy says and why I put it in.

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