David Jones is world-class instructor at Heights Youth Club
David Jones, the Tai Shin Doh instructor at the Heights Youth Club, recently received a fifth-degree certificate of promotion (for achieving five of ten degrees of skill). He is now one of 22 masters worldwide who hold this certificate. Jones received his first degree black belt at age 15 and his second before college. He has traveled to five continents to acquire the third and fourth degrees. He remarked, “I guess you could say this took 45 years to obtain.” When one of his students responded, “that stinks!” he replied (with a twinkle in his eye), “No, it shows dedication.”
This certificate of promotion was initiated at an annual meeting of the masters, where it was stamp-signed by those present. The certificate was then shipped around the world to the remaining masters, for 21 stamps in all. Jones has had the honor of meeting only two of the other masters in person.
The certificate records the stories of the art and of the masters who trained the awardee. By tradition, these stories are passed orally from person to person with meticulous accuracy. The certificate is like a historical instruction map, telling the masters' stories of achievement. Now Jones is preparing to create his own unique stamp signifying his place in the art of Tai Shin Doh.
One of Jones's students asked if his cheeks were hurting from smiling about his achievement. “No," he replied, "I’m more thrilled today,” and motioned to his students sitting around the table. In turn, tw of his students—Simone, age 9, and Tabitha, age 11—explained why they were so excited about class, saying “It's fun,” and, “We have Mr. Jones to teach us.”
How did such a rare Tai Shin Doh master end up at Heights Youth Club? “I am a farmer; that’s the simple truth. These are the seeds,” said Jones, smiling at the children. Pointing to the area where the class takes place, he continued, “There is my field. My job is to water and tend the seeds. Kids learn martial arts and adults learn self-defense. I like to teach the art, the way of the heart and the mind, to children.” He gestured toward the exercise mats: ”Shall we start to grow?”
To find out more about Master Jones teaches Tai Shin Doh, the way of the heart and mind, or the Heights Youth Club, call 216-321-CLUB.
Kimberly Morgan is the board administrator for the Heights Youth Club.