On June 29, 2013, Grandmaster Vincent Marchetti and Kearny Martial Arts successfully held the largest black belt test in the history of the school. Eight students tested for their black belts in the of “old school” style of testing that Grandmaster Marchetti and the KMA Dojo are famous for. Saturday’s test was the culmination of a great weekend for Grandmaster Marchetti and the school.
Note: In this article we do not release photos of the ceremony or the black belts. However, in a later article Grandmaster Marchetti decided to allow it.
Grandmaster Marchetti and the school were particularly honored to have several notable guests visit on Saturday during the test. A visit from Master Brian Long and one of his top students was highlighted by Grandmaster Marchettti presenting Master Long with a special certificate signed by over 30 members of the World Head of Family Sokeship Council (WHFSC). Chuck Wepner, the “Real” Rocky and a KMA black belt, stopped by with his wife, Linda, to sign autographs and to personally sign each of our new Black Belt’s certificates. In future postings, we will provide more detail and pictures of our honored guests and their visits.
The event itself actually started on Friday afternoon. Grandmaster Marchetti spent most of Friday afternoon talking to the many students, both past and present, that came to the KMA Dojo to greet him. It was truly an honor to watch student after student stop by the Dojo to say hello to Grandmaster Marchetti. One particular group had traveled two hours from Pennsylvania to visit with Grandmaster Marchetti. Included in that group were four girls (all from the same family) who were students of the school over ten years ago. Many of our visitors requested and received signed 8X10 pictures of Grandmaster Marchetti.
Saturday morning brought the actual test. Testing for Black Belt at KMA is a closed door affair. Roll call is held at 9:30 AM sharp and Grandmaster Marchetti entered the Dojo on Saturday morning and was greeted with a full floor of students lined up in rank order, in uniform….ready for the test! We are proud to say that we had 100% attendance at this test….every student that was asked to participate was present. The Black Belt Test at KMA is a true test….of a student’s skill, their physical and mental endurance, the strength of their will, and their martial arts knowledge. Our test is simple: Students prove their ability in all of the arts that comprise Michi Budo Ryu, a hard style art created by Grandmaster Marchetti to be supremely effective in combat. The six hour long event included Kumite (including multiple opponents vs 1 combat), Randori and Ju-Jitsu, culminating in a series of combined art matches that challenged our students to show that they can flow from style to style as needed.
Facing opponent after opponent with little rest and only short moments for water, this is a test of a warriors heart, as well as their skill. The test is not just about combat and fighting. To be a true Black Belt, a student must understand the history, background and mental aspect of the arts. When they were not being tested on their physical skills, each of the candidates were subjected to a battery of questions on the history of the Japanese martial arts. It is important to understand that, as with any true test, success is not guaranteed. For three of these students it was their second test for this rank.
Grand Master Marchetti has often said that one of the defining characteristics of a Black Belt is that they will never give up, and thus cannot be defeated. This spirit is what our new Black Belts showed. Exhausted mentally and physically, they faced each new challenge with the heart of a warrior.
We are proud to welcome each and every one of them to their new rank.