August 2019 Newsletter

As summer comes to a close with the last class being August 24th - our Tiger Challenge tournament, we start looking ahead to Fall. The Fall session of classes brings some fun and challenging events including our annual Kick-a-Thon, and our end of the year Holiday Party. If you have not yet registered for the Fall session, please do so asap to lock in your spot.

That's all for now... except... would ya'll please vote for Austin... VOTING ENDS AUGUST 16th!

- Sifu Bales 
Please Vote for Austin
( Sifu Bales Muppet, ISMA Mascot, and Member of Dog Scouts Troop 119 )

Austin just turned 3 years old. He made the cut for the North Texas Doo the Right Thing calendar contest again and now needs your vote. For his birthday gift, would you please vote for him (looks like 1 vote per IP address). No name required - just City and then cast your votes. You have to vote for at least 1 dog in each of 6 categories. Austin's picture is the 1st photo under the 6th category. It is the same photo as above. Vote by clicking this link below. Thank you!

Q: What is the Tiger Challenge?
A: At the end of the summer ISMA hosts a student-only tournament for those who wish to compete. Because of added expenses associated with the event, there is a registration and a fee for those competing (due 8-10-19). This has been an annual event for the past 16 years and an event continuing students look forward to. All are welcome, but for those not mentally ready to compete, the class curriculum for the 24th is cheering for your classmates and learning the workings of the ISMA tournament. Our tournament judges are higher ranked students in ISMA, many of who competed in earlier Tiger Challenge years.

If you have any questions on this topic not answered in this Q&A, please feel free to ask. Our website and manuals are great sources for information and if you have a question for an upcoming Q&A topic that you think would benefit others too, please send it via email to Sifu Bales at 


Congratulations to the following students
who earned their new belt rank in July

Green Belt
Abel Abraham
Ian Conroy
Samantha Ferraro
Sara Hayes
Brendan Herman



Yellow Stripe & Yellow

There are about a dozen
students within 1 or 2 stripes
from being able to test for
their next belt rank.
summer seems to have been
a slow one for stripe
advancement... time to
kick it into gear and start
practicing  if you want to be
invited to the next test.

Rank testing is by invitation
only. Students must meet all
their requirements a minimum
of  2 weeks before the test
date. Testing is open to all
students to observe (and in
some cases audit). Tests
start at Noon and are
conducted at our CP location. 

Warm Birthday wishes to
the following ISMA Students
who are currently training...

Alexis Froukhtman
Amrita Yedulapuram
Anya Mahesh
Brendan Herman
Matt Cameron
Chris Drennan (...and Luke)
Pranav Vishnubhotia

(and any new students joining us
whom I don't have a birthday for yet)
ISMA has a 24 hour rule… if you have had a fever or have thrown up within 24 hours of your class time, please skip class! Although we love seeing you, please do not come to class if you are ill with a sore throat, fever, flu, or anything else contagious. Besides cycling the illness to your classmates, ISMA classes can be physically enduring and we don’t want you to relapse and be out longer.
If you are continuously sneezing or coughing during class, we will ask you to leave. We understand “allergies” however please take medicine to control the symptoms during class – even with allergies, you are still projecting germs towards your classmates.
Break Week
(No Classes Aug 25-Sept. 2nd)

Do you have the current ISMA manual?

The latest update to the ISMA Manuals,
Part I (General Knowledge) and
Part II (Rank Requirements) 
Need an ISMA Student Manual Click HERE
Summer uniform option is ending. This is the last month students, below Green Belt rank, have the option of wearing an ISMA T-shirt (with their uniform pants and belt rank) instead of their uniform jacket during class for the summer months (June, July, August). (Formal uniforms are always required at belt tests). The shirts in stock are first come – first serve. If you don’t have an ISMA shirt, jackets are still required for youth and adult students.
Uniforms need to be professional looking - ironed, no rips, not too small, or too large and dragging on the ground. UNIFORMS ARE TO BE WORN WITH A T-SHIRT UNDER THE JACKET AND NO EXTERNAL PANTS UNDER THE UNIFORM PANTS.

Students wearing their uniform over external wear: play shorts, swimwear, long pants, leggings, pajama pants, etc are considered "out of uniform" and will not be permitted to line up in rank order or test for stripes/rank. Uniform pants are specially cut for movement and additional external wear under the pants prohibit such movement. In addition, wearing such attire because you want to "quickly change" for your next activity diverts your attention from your present training.

The ISMA uniform evolves with rank to become more street oriented, but it is necessary to be able to move properly when learning new skills so as to execute them properly. 
If you would like to purchase an ISMA school shirt ($25), pants, jacket, or a complete new uniform, please contact Sifu Bales.

Notebook of Knowledge

All youth students, minimum yellow stripe belt and higher ranked, should bring their “Notebook of Knowledge” to each class. These notebook can be built using the contents from the Training Tips area of the student page at and should include the  manuals and and any training instructional worksheets. In addition a pencil and extra paper should be kept in the notebook. Notebooks are vital to earning merit stripes on the Yellow Stripe belt, but they can become a great motivator  for white belts as well. For more information, please check out the Training Tips area on the Student Page at
When in doubt, log on to "Calendar" from For last minute updates listen to the message at 972-379-7438. The voice mail message will be preceded with the date and time for any specific emergency updates.
Inclement Weather: ISMA elects to follow the policy of the Plano and Allen school districts as it pertains to inclement weather only (not holiday closings). If the ISD is closed due to inclement weather, most likely ISMA will be closed within that city, but make sure you check our website or phone message to be sure it wasn't an AM situation only (i.e. morning ice melted and warmer evening temps).
Make-Up Classes: ISMA does not offer make-up classes for students missing class due to their own scheduling conflicts. In the event that ISMA has to cancel a class due to an unforeseen emergency (and not a scheduled offsite event), we will try to provide options for students to make-up those unforeseen cancellations. ISMA is not responsible for cancellation of classes made by the city.



For specifics log-on to

 Joe Farmer location:
Register promptly. Late enrollment subject to add’l $15 fee.

Carpenter Park location:

Fall registration:
8/3/2019....... Plano Residents
8/5/2019....... Non-Residents

Students in the Teen/Adult Level II class, don't forget to register for Level I and Level II both.
Level II is an add-on and not a stand alone course.

Thank you for your support and continued training
You must register the first day registration is available to you 
If you don’t get into a class, make sure you are promptly added to the wait list.
Continued enrollment is not guaranteed.
Please read the specifics on registration procedures from Part I of the Student Manual.

Martial Arts training is intended to be continuous, but sometimes life gets in the way of things we would like to do. Please respectfully inform me if you are dropping out or ever plan to miss an entire session so I can adapt the classes/sizes accordingly and prepare how many open spots there will be available for potential new students - it takes tremendous planning to juggle numerous classes with all ranks, skills, and ages. Thank you.
Austin's Adventures
( Sifu Bales Muppet, ISMA Mascot, and Member of Dog Scouts Troop 119 )

Happy 3rd Birthday, Austin. 

Austin is celebrating with 3 raw beef sliders, freeze dried minnow "candles", and peanut butter doggy ice cream. He spent the day just hanging out and "playing" chase with a baby squirrel in the backyard. 

If you enjoy spending time with your dog, Austin will probably be joining Sifu Bales again to help teach the Fall ARF: Agility, Rally, and Find-It (Tracking) classes.  The ARF classes are offered through the City of Plano and are conducted on the Oak Point Park property in east Plano (conveniently located between the JF and CP ISMA locations). Registration is through the City of Plano recreation catalog and the next set of classes will be offered Saturdays (4:30-5:30 pm) in October during the Fall session. For more info:
Thank you for reading this newsletter and being an informed member of the ISMA family.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact SIFU BALES at
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If you are a current student, you need to read these emails. If you have any changes to your profile or email address, please also send an email to Sifu Bales so your information can be updated in her Juno account at

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Inner Strength Martial Arts · c/o 3004 White Oak Drive · Plano, TX 75074 · USA

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