Guardian Angels Host East Coast Conference

The Guardian Angels had an East Coast Conference on May 19-20, 2012, in Easton, Pa, which was put together by Pennsylvania Regional Directors Scott Koppenhofer and Jason Weston. The conference was a great success with many different speakers, instructors and chapters in
attendance.  Guardian Angel members shared education about recruitment, communication, rules and policies of the organization, protocols, and more. Koppenhofer and Weston spoke about the new Pa training certifications for level 1 – 3 that were developed.

“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.

Michael Miller conducted a two hour power point presentation about the stomp the bullying program created by him and Sean Kelley.  The presentation went well as Miller 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.  He explained that the key difference between this program and most other anti-bullying programs is that they actually take an active approach. Most other programs teach you what to do, but they don’t teach you how to do it. This 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.

Miller answered some questions that some of the Angels had and Kelley spoke about how they 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.  They 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.

Kelley taught some self-defense which included some parries, some strikes, and weapon disarms.  Three of Kelley’s black belts Kevin Kuliga, Bill Larson and Miller all assisted him.  Kuliga also taught for a little while. He taught a stick class utilizing five angles of attack and defense.  Miller taught a self-defense seminar covering some body manipulations through joint control and restraint principles and techniques.  He 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 Kelley received the “Chuck Beach” Award, which is a big honor.  It was a touching delivery from Weston how he explained the Chuck Beach award as Beach was Koppenhofer’s first martial arts instructor who died in his thirties from skin cancer. Rob Matthews received the Angel of the year award and the Easton chapter received chapter of the year. Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa came and did a speech.

Also during the conference a 15 minute anti-bullying video was shown given to Kelley by actor Martin Kove who played Sensei John Kreese in
the Karate Kid series. Kove is a huge advocate against bullying and has taken an interest in the stomp the bullying program and is giving Miller and Kelley his support. The event also had on hand a few of the Talking Jar’s created by Jeanne Dexter for display.  The bully jar was well received by all.

The Spartan Training Gear created by Marc Joseph was introduced to the Angels during this conference as well.  A Guardian Angel whose street name is “Snake” put on the equipment and took a few beatings during a couple of the self-defense seminars.  The equipment works extremely well for what it was designed for.  The conference went extremely well.



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