October 2019 Newsletter

October brings our Kick-a-Thon.  If you are new to the school, please familiarize yourself with this annual charitable event. All students will participate the week of October 14-19th and paperwork, which is being distributed this week, must be brought back to class during the Kick-a-Thon event. 

Mark your calendars - there will be No ISMA classes on October 31st (Halloween).  See newsletter also for some Halloween reminders.

-Sifu Bales
Q: What other events does ISMA do annually?
A: In addition to the annual Kick-a-Thon in October, ISMA hosts a Friday Nite Sundae Party in May, a school tournament in August, and a Holiday party at the end of the year. These all have been long standing traditions for ISMA students with most of the events in their 15th year. 

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 
an ISMA Annual Event

Conducted in Class:
October 14 thru 19th

Forms are required to be returned
with or without donations

This Year's Charity:
Toys for Tots

ALL ISMA Students will participate in our annual Kick-A-Thon the week of Oct 14th during their regular ISMA class time. Complete information packets are being handed out this week – take time to read them carefully… they must be returned the week of the Kick-a-Thon with or without sponsor donations. This is your "ticket" to participate in the Kick-a-Thon. 

Event Purpose: This event increases a student's self-esteem, confidence, and determination to accomplish a goal. The student develops: accountability, goal setting, communication, math, safety, listening, and kick skills - while gaining the support and encouragement of others. Students may also earn stripes and certificates during this event.

A Grand Prize* will be awarded to the student bringing in the most funds from donations.

Donation Purpose: To help increase charitable funds for this year’s 501(c) (3) charity of choice: Toys for Tots
(*Value of Grand Prize is dependent and deducted from total cash donations received.)

Complete details of the Kick-a-Thon are found in the packet handed out this week. If you lost yours, they will be available for download at … the pledge form with your name and kick goal must be brought to class the week of Oct 14-19th in order to participate in the event. Forms with sponsor donations will be returned after class so you can collect your donations and then return them with your form no later than 10-26-19.

Remember collectively we can make a difference. 

October 19

Yellow Stripe & Yellow

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 Family Members
who are currently training...

Sophia Schiffman
Raaida Hasnain
Emma Sun
Liam Sutter
Carson Housley
Olivia Hogan
Guy Massman

(and any new students joining us
whom I don't have a birthdate for yet)
Mark your calendars:
ISMA classes 
will not meet 


1)   All students, even teenagers, should remain with a group. In 2009 one of our green belts was forced to defend himself. He was attacked by an adult while walking home alone on Halloween night. He had been out with friends and was tired of Trick-orTreating with them so he walked home alone. It happened on his own street. No one was home at his house and it scares me to think how this story could have turned out. Fortunately he had the skills to defend himself, but the incident still left him with emotional scars. I am thankful he took his training seriously.
2)   Carry a flashlight and walk carefully, especially around candle lit pumpkins.

3)   Make sure your parent’s check your candy before eating ANY of it. If the wrapper is not factory sealed, throw it away. No piece of candy is worth the danger of getting sick, injured, or worse.

4)   Protect your pets. It's easy for your pet to sneak out with the frequent opening and closing of your door for trick or treaters. Make sure your pet is in a secured area and safe. Also, keep your candy away from curious pets, especially chocolates and those containing the sweetener Xylitol (Both of those are extremely toxic and can be fatal to pets). Candy can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and possibly death to pets upon ingestion. If you think your pet ate some candy, contact your vet or the emergency pet clinic quickly. 
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.

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


* Open hand sparring is a rank requirement for students testing for Green belt and higher ranks and will be included on the physical belt tests. Students do not need to purchase Sparring Gear until they have earned a Yellow Belt with a Green Stripe on it in preparation for these intermediate testing levels.
The summer uniform option is over - for all students under Green Belt rank, uniform jackets are required.
All 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:

Winter registration:
12/7/2019....... Plano Residents
12/9/2019....... 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.

Both rec center locations are enforcing tuition rate increase. Plano already increased some of their class rates for Fall and the Allen classes will be increased by $5 / month coming January 2020. Before you sigh in disappointment, the last increase of ISMA tuition was in 2010 when Zayd Moosajee and Nick Breese (John Paul's older brother) had both just earned their YELLOW STRIPE belts. For those who know these individuals, they both are attending College now! :-) 

Austin's Adventures
( Sifu Bales Muppet, ISMA Mascot, and Member of Dog Scouts Troop 119 )

During the Holiday season Sifu Bales always gets involved in charity projects -  whether it be Toys for Tots or Children's Hunger Fund - and this year is no different; however this year Austin is begging (after all he is a DOG) for your new donations of small 4-5 pound bags of dry Dog Food (any brand), treats, toys, or dog supplies as he is gathering items for Sifu Bales to haul to a Dog Scouts of America Troop 119 Service Project on December 1st.

15 years ago DSA Troop 119 originated a very special community service project to support Meals on Wheels (MOW) of Tarrant County. The clients of MOW are elderly or disabled citizens who need help with basic things as a hot meal. Long ago, MOW realized that their clients would often share their meals with their pet, especially around the holidays. Each year Austin's troop gets together to decorate and prepare holiday gift bags for the MOW clients with dogs. These doggy bags are filled with donated toys, treats, and other dog supplies. In addition to the bag contents, DSA Troop 119 members also collect dog food for the MOW pets program. The MOW pet program goes through 2,000 pounds of dry dog food per month.

If you would like to help several senior citizens and their dogs this holiday season, please bring new 4-5 pound bags of dry dog food... or dog treats, toys, or other supplies to ISMA classes before December 1st. If you’d rather give a monetary donation, Sifu Bales will use it to purchase some of these items for project. Thank you in advance!


Thank you for reading this newsletter
being an informed member of the ISMA family.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns... please contact me. ISMA is not just a "rec center class". For over 22 years it has been a family, my life, and my livelihood.

Because I teach 5 days a week, have two other specialty businesses, and a part-time job... email is the best way to get a complete detailed response to a question.

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

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