World Championships and Chief Mastership Induction

About 2 dozen or more Canadian students, instructors and Masters travelled to Phoenix Arizona last week for World Championships.  I was going for Chief Mastership training and Induction.  Chief Mastership Induction is a year long process with many assignments, zoom training, in person training and personal training.  It culminates with the Master’s Ceremony in the middle of World Championship.

ATA World Championships in Phoenix

Training for all of the Master Inductees took place during Spring Nationals in Dallas Texas and finished in Phoenix.  The Phoenix training at World Championships is extremely difficult as we were all performing a traditional fast while working out twice a day prior to arrival.

The day long of training on an empty stomach started with ceremony preparation.  Filming in our traditional uniforms was needed for the live production the following day.  Then, each of the Grand Masters took our groups (6th, 7th & 8th Degree) through challenging training!  We only stopped for brief water breaks.  After the first three workouts, it seemed like it was the middle of the afternoon when in reality it was only 11am!

8th Degree Group

Presiding Grand Master M.K. Lee took us through some intense kicking drills using the entire ballroom floor at the convention centre.  We then broke into groups to work on our individual forms.  Our group of 8th Degrees got to work with Grand Master Caruso from Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately, a few of us, me included, were needed for ceremony prep at the other end of the convention centre.  We missed out on some of the training but the production staff needed bodies to figure out logistics for the live performance.

World Championships has multiple events happening simultaneously.  While I was busy with Chief Mastership Induction training, my Director of Student Leadership was taking weapons seminars with about 250 other Black Belts and instructors.

Words of Wisdom…

Our training finished with my instructor, Chief Master Tony Isaacs, speaking to our masters group.  He taught us about the importance and significance of being a Master.  He gave examples of humility is vitally important for a successful leader.  Which as you are being elevated among the ATA organization can be challenging.  It was a great testimony that brought about many emotions as he explained in his own life how three strokes have taught him humility in so many ways.

Breaking the Traditional Fast w/Baby Food

Presiding Grand Master M.K. Lee finished with some serious and humorous stories about his experiences as a Masters.  Then we broke our fast together eating baby food, a tradition!  After this we were awarded our silk ceremonial uniforms.  Silver for Master, Blue for Sr. Master and Red for Chief Master.  Three new Grand Masters were also being inducted and received their Black and Gold uniforms.

Jesse Isaacs receives his Sr. Mastership Uniform

After a quick 2 hours break to get cleaned up and eat some food, we headed back to the convention centre for a three and a half hour practice of the ceremony.  It was the first time performing in this venue so Sr. Master Taekwon Lee and his production team had a lot of wrinkles to work out.  More on the ceremony in a later post!

Submitted by

Chief Master Scott Karpiuk
ATA 8th Degree Black Belt
BA Education