Flying Maple MartialGym Society

History is made in Alberta

by on Jan.11, 2011, under News

After her visit in November 2010, Cassy started her martialgym class in 2011 in Edmonton Alberta. Hats off to Cassy’s drive and determination! We wish her and her team the best of luck in years to come! Aside from Special O that have reached all the way out to Ontario, this is the first martialgym offering in a generic club outside BC and the second club in Canada! I am looking forward for all kinds of good things to happen between BC and AB in the future – workshops, competitions, traveling, etc!

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The last 5

by on Nov.06, 2010, under Inspirations, Training Tips

Almost everyone understand physical strength but few truly appreciate the importance of developing mental strength and work ethics at a young age.

Just take the Slovenia’s cross country skier Majdic as an example, she has the perfect excuse to just give up with 4 broken ribs and a damaged lung from a fall, but she didn’t. She pushed on and won a bronze medal. (Link: The drive and passion to push to be your best did not come by accident and did not just happen during the Olympics, that mental strength and determination come from years of training.

I always tell the kids, it is not the first 5 push ups that give them the most benefit, it is always the last 5 when the body is ready to quit but they push on to finish – those last 5 trains both body and mind!

Great physical strength allow you to be healthy and do a lot of different things. Great mental strength will play a huge role in your studies, career and life.

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Your 2010 fundraising helps!

by on Sep.08, 2010, under Fundraising, News

New season is starting with an extra safety mat. This will help greatly in improving the quality and intensity of training within the same amount of time.

See the new tapes? They are used to redecorate the rings for the advance classes as well as to repair the shared rings damaged in the various classes because of usage.

Clubs, unlike rope, is something that is difficult to make ourselves. We have added a couple of pairs of stick as well as clubs to our apparatus pool

All the fundraising events (clothing drive, chocolate sales and more) and projects of Flying Maple Society aims to help keep training cost affordable while improving the quality of the program. Without your year-to-year support, none of these will be possible. THANK YOU ALL! Looking forward for an awesome season!

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Skipping and strong bones

by on Jul.13, 2010, under Training Tips

Skipping, with or without a rope, is an awesome exercise. You can vary rhythm, duration, intensity and complexity easily to a level suitable for you. Best of all, you can measure improvements by simple counts or time.

When kids are young and all the way into their young teenager years, there is a special window of opportunity to develop strong bones. For girls, when they are at around 17, they pretty much reach 95 percent of their skeletal maturity. Strong muscles and bones are similar to money-in-the-bank – if you can accumulate a lot when you are young, it will last a lot longer. Natural intake of calcium (from products like milk or calcified soya products) is important but having the proper exercise stimulates/facilitates the actual building of strong bones.

So keep on skipping. Be involved and take up the challenge!

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Maelle Ricker

by on Mar.06, 2010, under Inspirations

Maelle Ricker is everything you see in her on TV. She is shy, funny, and humble beyond belief. Even that nervous giggle that you hear at the end of almost every other sentence is what you would hear from her on an everyday basis. In a sport that is characterized by style, cockiness and arrogance, her biggest problem has been to bring out that competitive edge in her. At one of the world cups this year, her and a teammate were riding one and two, and instead of trying to pass her in order to win (which might have caused the other rider to fall), she stayed behind because she was afraid of making her teammate fall.

Most importantly though, here is an athlete worth looking up to. With all the new jokes that come up about Tiger Woods (which I thank him for, because for the first time in my life people have called me funny =p), it’s hard to know whether or not an athlete is actually a good role model. I have had the privilege of working in the same gym that she works out at, and I can tell you that there isn’t a single person in the gym who works harder. She drives from Squamish (close to an hour’s drive) in order to work out at Level 10 Fitness, at least three times a week. There hasn’t been a single training session that she hasn’t walked out of with her t-shirt dripping in sweat. She not only keeps up with the boys, she surpasses them. Watching her, you could never tell that she’s had eight knee surgeries and you will never hear her complain about them.

She is the type of athlete that doesn’t like the spotlight, a flashy Shaun White she is not. In fact, she is super uncomfortable with being the center of attention and if she had her way, she probably would’ve loved to win the gold medal at the Olympics with only her friends and family present. She just loves snowboarding…it’s what she loves to do and she works extremely hard at it. Lucky for Canada that she just so happens to be the best in the world at it 😉

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Japanese TV series “Tumbling”

by on Feb.24, 2010, under News

“Tumbling” is a new TV series in Japan about men’s rhythmic gymnastics. Yamada Kotaro (remember him? he visited us last year April 2009 with Kazuya and his wife) is involved in the series as technical consultant. If any of you see the series on TV, let me know…hoping that it has English subtitle or I have a lot of Japanese to catch up. 😉

MartialGym includes men’s rhythmic gymnastics. However, no sport should be gender based and therefore in Canada, our program is called martialgym and is open to both boys and girls. Our syllabus includes movements and training methods past traditional men’s RG.

For those that want to watch online, you can go to and search for tumbling. You will need download a free player to be able to watch a full episode.

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Kids have to earn it themselves

by on Jan.06, 2010, under Training Tips

Parents can give their kids like money, iPhone, camcorder, new shoes, etc.. However, parents cannot give their kids endurance, strength, confidence and the joy that comes when the kids finally reached a new milestone themselves.

Parents know what is needed to be successful in life and therefore tell their kids to think positive, to work hard, to concentrate more, etc. However, all these words-of-wisdom are a little too conceptual and elusive and very quickly becomes a nag and more often than not, kids block it off completely.

Some parents have a hard time justifying spending time and money in gymnastics (or any other sport), thinking that their kids are not talented enough to be pros in the future and therefore why bother.

Aside from the gymnastics specific skills, these are all the not-so-obvious benefits:

– Most kids in rhythmic gymnastics kick-butt when they have their school have their yearly ‘Jump Rope for Heart’. They outlast and outplay all their classmates and they feel good about it. Did you see that smile on their face when they completed their first double-through the rope skip or their first front flip?

– rope skipping is one little exercise that they can count and measure progress. When they work hard to break their own record, you can actually see the pride and joy through their eyes. And as the count goes up, so does their endurance and timing. As a coach, I don’t even have to tell them to exercise more or to improve on their endurance / strength, they think of it as a game and they are passionate about their achievements every practice. They feel the burn from stretching or muscles fatigue when they push through their physical / mental barriers. However, they still keep pushing out of their own drive. Over time, these work ethics, focus level will become habits and they will strive for excellence in more than gymnastics. Isn’t that exactly what every parent want for their kids?

– kids actually can see the difference it makes when they concentrate versus when they are not. When they concentrate, they can complete a series of skips without errors or tumbling without an extra step. This practice of ‘switching-it-on’ with instant feedback is repeated numerous times every gym class. Again, this is learnt and repeated without parents nagging.

– gymnastics is a visual sport. Gymnasts’ spatial awareness and visual memorization ability improves over time. Hmm, how important is memorization is school? what is that neat trick about instant super memory? So you can start to see why gymnastics can help school!

– gymnasts learn at a young age how to manage nervous gitters during or before a performance, they learn also how to smile and impress the audience. All these public performance experiences give them such a huge advantage over their peers during high-school and later at work – haven’t you already noticed that almost everybody who is important is required to do public speaking (eg. from manager to CEOs to presidents)?

– parents can take a much more positive supportive role instead of being viewed as the ‘nagger’.Participate in their activities and give them high-5s when they are proud of their accomplishments.

Most parents have the hardest time finding classes that their child is passionate about. Now that you have found it, lets make the best out of the journey together!

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2009 Christmas Party Dec 22nd

by on Dec.11, 2009, under Social

This year we are going to have a Christmas social gathering as organized by our parent society (Flying Maple MartialGym Society) on December 22nd (Tuesday) at Nikkei 7:30pm.   Guess what? Kazuya is flying all the way from Europe to come join us for Christmas! Because this is pot-luck style as well as a social gathering, every family that is currently training, temporarily stopped training or used to trained with us at Nikkei center ARE WELCOME. Please drop me a line so that I know who is coming and how many is coming.

A few simple rules:

– Absolutely NO NUTS as food, treats or as cooking oil. There are kids and adults highly allergic to nuts.

– Please talk to other families that are coming so that you can bring enough portions to share which of course adds variety to the party.

– Unless you have another adult agreeing to supervise/take care of your child, there must be at least ONE adult from each family with kids under 10 years old.

– Please email me to confirm your attendance so that we can plan better.

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Visualization is the secret

by on Nov.16, 2009, under Training Tips

Everybody emphasize on good physics, proper technique, training hard and breaking skills down to logical progressions. However, we often overlooked on the need to train the brain. Ironically, the brain happens to the command center for all movements.

Visualization is a way to exercise the brain – you focus and imagine yourself performing a specific skill. Visualization helps in these areas:

  • prepare the muscles for a complex move so get they will respond at the right time, sequence and speed, etc..
  • add repetitions and quality training time without being restricted by physical constraints, for example, training space / frequency, muscle soreness, injuries, etc..  Visualization is even more important during injury-recovery and will defintely make comeback easier,
  • help overcome fear by thinking positive and thinking logically through all the necessary details so that you are confident that you are ready
  • provides a way to add repetitions without the risk of injuries – especially when the success rate is only at around 50%.

So, conditioning is not just about doing push-ups and sit-ups, your brain can use some exercise too! Shhhhh, it is our secret!

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Calpis Cup – we came 2nd!

by on Oct.22, 2009, under News

The team came 2nd at Calpis Cup! Thanks to everybody for voting and supporting!

Calpis is a soda company from Japan. I believe this is the second year they have this contest. There contest have two categories: 1) Men’s rhythmic gymnastics category 2) Open category where anything goes. All teams submitted their videos in early July. Judging is like “U think you can dance” by popularity. The voting was cut off October 15th. We are the only international submission.

Our team have both boys and girls. None of them have any bodysuit either. So we participated in the open category without any expectations. Team members include: Darryl, Derrick, Tristan, Ethan, Daniel, Gabriel, Kaitlin, Natalie, Precious and James.

Kazuya and me did the coaching and choreography. It was challenging and yet fun. There were concepts and elements that we had experimented long time ago and there were elements that the kids learn over a few classes. The routine itself was done over one Saturday morning. When we try to videotape the routine, my battery ran out. We were lucky that Miyuki had a camcorder in her bag! After the first taping, we wanted to improve on it but her battery again died out in the 2nd try. So what was submitted was all from the first taping.

In case you haven’t yet seen the video, here is it on YouTube!

Congratulations to all and 2010 will be awesome!


特別賞 Martial Gym (カナダ)


◎特別協賛社 カルピス会社 より

カナダからのエントリーには、それだけで非常にうれしい 限 りです。チームの皆さまそれぞれが伸び伸びしたはじけっぷり の演技で、見る人に感動を与えてくれたと思います。国境を越 えての大会へのご参加、本当にありがとうございました。これ からも一緒に新体操を盛り上げていって下さい。


Unoffficial translation (courtesy of the Milling family)

Special entry Martial Gym (Canada)

Average energy score: 4.39 (5.00 perfect score)

*from sponsor corporation Calpis

It’s delightful to receive an entry from Canada!

This team’s energy bursts forth throughout their performance, and is full of emotion.  Thank you for expanding our borders and for participating in our competition!  Please continue uplifting rhythmic gymnastics!

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