Several years ago, Master Joe proposed the black belt banquet, an annual event where the black belts and tai chi black sash students of any Shaolin-Do school in the world, are welcome to join us for an evening of socializing, dining, retrospect and celebration of what it is and has been to be a student of Shaolin-Do. We are on our 19th year of banquets! They have grown in size and content (we give special awards, sincere and fun), and you can ask any black belt or sash at our north and south schools in particular (since they are the nearest) and they'll tell you that they wouldn't miss one!
Pictures won't do the banquet justice, but we'll post a few. It's fun. They are full of laughter and some tears, hugs and handshakes, special certificates for the new inductees (those who tested into their 1st level of black belt or sash that year) and great video productions from Master Joe and chief advise contributer, Master Sheryl 🙂 We hope to welcome ALL new Shaolin-Do students to the banquet one day in the not-so-distant future.
We hold the banquet approximately a month after the February tournament. The last several years have been at Dave and Busters, until we outgrow them. Even Dave and Busters loves our black belt banquets - the wait staff always stands around and watches the video. We've been told they request to be a part of the event every year when we make the reservation. And the manager always compliments us on the atmosphere of the room and how they've never seen anything like it!
Phequefo Winners of Years' Past
For the last 4 years, we have given out the "Phequefo" award to those students who exhibit great loyalty to Shaolin-Do and to Grandmaster Sin. The Phequefo is a word Grandmaster Sin gave to a bird that lives in China but not here (has no North American name that we are familiar with) like a pheasant, quail or fowl - phequefo. It's a tenacious bird, fast and furious in it's attack. We thought it would be fun to name the award after it and each recipient is presented with their own "phequefo" statue to take home.
The Very 1st Winner of the Then Named, Golden Phequefo Award, Master Sean O'Brien
Northern Phequefo Winners: Sifu Rob Stevens, Sifu Kathy Pendleton, Sifu Corey Machado
Southern Phequefo Winners: Sifu Mike Dingus, Sifu Lisa Edelmon, Sifu Colby Adams
Thus far, two of our students have received rather unique awards that you'll need to ask them to explain when you meet them. Pictured below is Lesa Walker with her vintage cowbell the night she received the "Old Cow" award (her self-proclaimed title, mind you) and soon to be pictured, Sifu Gary Hart with his "Iron Moon" award.