I was honored to attend the Guardian Angels East Coast Conference held inEaston,Pathis past weekend (May 18 – 20, 2012). I arrived at 6:00pm Friday evening and was greeted by Pa Regional Directors Scott Koppenhofer and Jason Weston. I was also introduced to a bunch of Guardian Angels I hadn’t met. I roomed with my instructor Sean Kelley since he and I both were going to speak and teach for the conference.
The conference began Saturday morning where all the Guardian Angels chapters present were introduced – chapters fromPennsylvania,New York,ConnecticutandFlorida. Koppenhofer and Weston tag teamed the start of the event by going over important concepts and protocols that all Angels were to follow. They talked about the new training certifications for the Pa chapters and also covered the topics of communication, training, patrolling, recruiting, and appropriate attire while on patrol as well as appropriate behavior when you are in your colors.
“Rocky” Pratt spoke about recruiting and gave a couple scenarios where many of us role played the proper and improper ways to recruit. Rocky has been a Guardian Angel since 1980 and he provided a lot of education about the history of the Angels and what it was like early on. Rocky was a wealth of knowledge and provided some valuable information.
After lunch I conducted a two hour power point presentation about the stomp the bullying program created by Mr. Kelley and I. The presentation went well as I spoke about the importance of the program, what it consisted of, and some of the most important concepts covered in the program such as the three T-steps, the rules of engagement, common myths, statistics, verbal judo, risk factors, how not to be a bully, and self-defense training. I explained that the key difference between this program and most other anti-bullying programs is that we actually take an active approach. Most other programs teach you what to do, but they don’t teach you how to do it. Our program not only teaches you what to do, but also teaches you how to do it while empowering you by increasing your self-confidence and self-esteem to be able to implement everything once you learn how to do it.
I answered some questions that some of the Angels had and Mr. Kelley spoke about how he and I were turning the stomp the bullying program into a certification program where martial arts instructors who have their own schools could become certified in the program to start implementing it in their schools. We explained that the stomp the bullying program is an entity of its own, but it is also a part of the Guardian Angels. Once a child graduates the 3 month program he or she will become a Junior Angel and will be a part of community service projects.
Mr. Kelley taught some self-defense which included some parries, some strikes, and weapon disarms. Kevin Kuliga, Bill Larson and I all assisted him. Kuliga also taught for a little while. He taught a stick class utilizing five angles of attack and defense. After that we all hung out for a while before going out to dinner. Mr. Kelley and I went back to our room at 9pm while some of the other Angels went on a patrol.
On Sunday we got together at 8am and did some brainstorming. Each chapter shared some things that have been successful for them. Everybody introduced themselves, gave their street name, and mentioned what chapter they were from, when they joined the Guardian Angels and why they joined. I conducted a self-defense seminar covering some body manipulations through joint control and restraint principles and techniques. I taught them how to do a specific hammer lock from four different angles and positions and covered a “what-if” right into a head and neck control. The seminar was well received.
The conference was covered by channel 69 news, which you can watch the segment by clicking on the link below. Awards were given out to certain individuals and Mr. Kelley received the “Chuck Beach” Award, which is a big honor. I received an award of excellence for my support to the Guardian Angels and to the community. Later that day Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa came and did a speech. The conference went extremely well.
About the Author:
Michael Miller is an international self-defense, personal protection, and anti-bullying expert who holds a 5th degree black belt in American Kenpo – a modern reality based street system of combat. He is the co-founder of the “Stomp the Bullying” program, where he takes an active approach to teaching children and parents all about bullying, how not to be a bully, how not to become a target, how to handle bullying situations, and more. The program is becoming world recognized with celebrity endorsements from actors Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese in the Karate Kid Series) and Sean Kanan (Karate’s bad boy Mike Barnes in the Karate Kid III). Miller runs a full-time martial arts school in Bradford, Pa (Miller’s Kenpo Karate Dojo) and teaches American Kenpo, boxing, kickboxing, Joe Lewis Fighting Systems, Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu, and Modern Arnis. He is also a writer who has been featured in Inside Kung-fu and Black Belt magazines several times as an authority in his field and is the author of the Legends of Kenpo biography series. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in writing with a minor in sociology. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 814-368-3725.