Free Training Day

whistlekick's Free Training Day is exactly what the name says - one day of the year where martial artists come together to share and learn, all for free. There is no admission fee at this event, instructors are not paid, and whistlekick picks up the tab for the venue and any other logistical costs.

2019 was our fourth year of the event, which has grown each year. This past November we featured six new instructors and a returning slate of well-loved instructors from past years.

While 2020 will be different, you can find the 2019 schedule below. 

Want to stay informed? Here's the 2020 Facebook event! 


2019 Free Training Day Instructors & Sessions

Block 1

Mr. Charles Murdock - Introduction to Meÿers dussack

Joachim Meÿer writes of this short single edged sword as the basis for the use of all single handed swords.  Through a series of drills,  class will explore the basic cuts and body mechanics of the dussack.

Charles began training in martial arts in 1980. Over the ensuing decades,  he has trained in several styles of karate, aikido, taijitsu, jujitsu, and budo arts. He discovered Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) in 2008. He joined the Meyer Freifechter Guild (MFFG) in 2009 and founded the Grünberg Freifechter as a study group of the MFFG in early 2010. The group has been focusing on  Dr. Forgeng’s translation of Joachim Meyer’s 1570 multi-weapon treatise entitled “The Art of Combat”. Charles has taught classes at the Meyer Symposium, Purple Heart Armory Open, Fechtschule New York, Fechtschule Frisbee, Longpoint, and Iron Gate Exhibition (IGX).  He has medaled in spear, dagger, wrestling, and longsword.

Mr. Simon Scher - Micro Blocking. The Logic of Defense

In this session I will cover the basic elements of micro blocking. How and why it works and how to do it. Have you ever wondered why you keep getting hit, or why you don’t have time to pick the perfect moment to launch your attack? With micro blocking you can set a powerful defense from which to launch the well thought out and effective attack that you want.




Block 2

Mrs. Debra Ballard - Introduction to Muay Thai

Muay Thai originated in Southeast Asia in the Kingdom of Thailand. It was derived from the battlefield martial arts of Muay Boran (Ancient Boxing) and Krabi Krabong (Thai Weapons). Muay Thai is known as the "Art of Eight Limbs". It is characterized by the combined use of 8 striking tools of the; fists, elbows, knees, and kicks (as well as clinch fighting). Participants will be led through a brief greeting and basic information, followed by a quick warm up, basic fundamentals of; stance, basic defensive techniques, basic offensive techniques, basic combinations, as well as the basics of clinch work. 

Mrs. Ballard started training in the martial arts in 2004. She currently holds the rank of 2nd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (under Michael DesRosiers, JJB), Shodan in Aiki Ju Jitsu, she has trained in Muay Thai Kickboxing both in the U.S. & in Thailand. Mrs. Ballard is a Certified Thai Massage Therapist (TTMS Society - Phuket, Thailand). She functions as UFAI’s owner & general manager, along with being a multi-class instructor. She is the Co-Creator of the “Empowerment Through Self-Defense” Community Outreach Seminars, (2016) and our kid’s program director. She also co-ordinates the facility for the Burlington Police Department's Defensive Tactics Division.


Master Laura Napoli - Fundamentals of Breaking

Have you ever felt the urge to hit something really really hard?  Well now is your chance!  This seminar is for those who have always wanted to try board breaking but didn't know where to start, or the beginner who would like to get some tips on how to do it better.  In addition to learning how to choose the best wood for the break you are attempting and how to set up and hold for those breaks, every student will get several opportunities to break. [[If you would like to attend this seminar please let Jeremy or  Master Napoli know so we can ensure that we get enough wood.]]

By day, a mild mannered software developer, by night, Master Laura Napoli is smashing things up as a 4th degree black belt and instructor at Laplant’s Taekwondo, where she has trained and instructed for over 15 years. Active participant in local, regional, and national competitions as a competitor, coach, and judge, Laura has attended several hundred competitions in her career, earning several grand championships and gold medals at the USSSA and AAU national competitions in forms, point and olympic sparring. In the last several years, she has shifted to focus on breaking competitions in the USBA/WBA a part of the whistlekick Team, "Team Smashy Smash".

Assisting Laura at this event, is the other founding member of Team Smashy Smash, Staci 'Smash' Grove, who competes in power breaking and creative breaking events. Staci is currently a High Blue Belt, training at Yordan's Black Belt Academy. In addition to competing, Staci has also had articles and photos published in Taekwondo Times and the Martial Arts Journal. She is an avid photographer and can be found at many events, taking amazing action shots of the competitors.

At the North East Open in Albany this year, Team Smashy Smash took first in all 7 of the divisions they entered!


Block 3

Shihan Beth Bielat & Shihan John Bielat - Hanzatsu Ryu Complex Fighting Techniques and Advanced Kumite








Join the Bielats for an information and fun-filled class that includes time-compressed techniques (that make you faster), advanced reality based fighting combinations and Kumite that will leave you excited, enthusiastic and smiling.






Sensei Craig Wharem - Go With the Flow The Kenpo Ju Jitsu connection. 

In this session Craig will cover different concepts and techniques to blend quick and efficient striking with joint manipulation to control against assailants. Utilizing techniques from Kenpo and Ju Jitsu attendees will be able to adapt the concepts into their self-defense style and add new skills into their training tool box.

Craig Wharem has been training in the Martial Arts since the age of eleven. After many years of trying to find an after school activity he finally stepped foot in the Dojo. He earned his black belt in the art of Kenpo Karate in 2011 and continues to train and progress in the art.

Along with training in Kenpo he also trained in Yoshitsune Combat Ju Jitsu from 2008-2014. Currently he is working on progressing his knowledge in Kenpo under the Guidance of Professor Rocky DiRico and Grand Master Kevin Bryant with the goal of attaining higher knowledge and skill. In 2017 he began training in Kung Fu and currently trains with Tashi Mark Warner in Ipswich Massachusetts.

He began assisting with classes in 2005 at the age of 14. Since then he has risen to the level of Senior Instructor managing the day to day operations of the dojo. It is his hope to continue to spread the incredible life lessons associated with Martial Arts training to future generations.

Block 4

Sifu Scott Graner - Applying Tai Chi (Taiji) Principles to Your Art

In this session we will delve into basic Tai Chi principles and concepts that can be applied to and help enhance the development of “Your Art.” You will learn the beginning of the basic Sun Style Tai Chi form as well as practical applications and concepts. We will also examine techniques and forms that you already know, but from a slightly different perspective. By looking at “Your Art” through a different lens, often we can have “ah-ha moments” that can lead to personal breakthroughs and realizations.

Sifu Graner is a 5th degree Black Belt under Master Freddie LaPan (World Champion Fighter) and Black Belt under Master Hu Jianqiang (Wushu Champion and Chinese Movie Star). Sifu Graner has competed, trained and performed internationally. He is currently the owner and director of Mount Mansfield Martial Arts.



Mr. Paul Millholen - Superfoot Combinations

Using principles from the Superfoot system to smoothly transition from hands to feet and vice versa. Combinations will be for both kickboxing and point style sparring.

Paul Millholen is a 4th degree in Taekwondo, 3rd degree in Superfoot systems and a brown belt in Nihon Goshin Aikido.





Block 5

Formado Bicicleta - Song and Martial Movement

In this session, will explore how music weaves the game in the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.  The song both commands and comments on the game, offering wry observations on the interactions of the players, exhortations to lower aggression – or raise it!  After discussion we will learn a song (or a few), and experience actively listening to the music and commanding our kicks and movements to adhere to it.

Bruno Trindade, known in Capoeira as Formado Bicicleta, has been training in the art for 15 years.  A life-long martial artist, with roots in Korean martial arts, when he moved to New England he was able to reconnect with his Brazilian heritage through the art of Capoeira and the thriving Brazilian community in the greater Boston area.  Dedicating himself to this art, he has since relocated to Western Massachusetts where he leads instruction at Capoeira Gunga do Vale (


Mr. Andrew Johnson - Sparring Concepts

This session will address common challenges in sparring and resolutions. Topics covered will include angles, footwork drills and more.

Mr. Johnson has a vast knowledge of the martial arts with training in American Karate, Tae Kwan Do, Isshinryu Karate, Goju Ryu Karate, Srinji Kenpo, Moo Duk Kwan, Matsukasi Ryou Jujitsu, Okinawa Kenpo/Kubado and Hand to Hand Combat Instructor.

He has over 35 years of experience.  He trained with the United States Army’s Martial Arts team in Germany and fought internationally throughout Europe.  In 1982 he qualified for the AAU Fighting Team.  He won numerous division titles while serving as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, S.C.  In 1989 and 1990, as a member of the Marine Corps Karate Team headed by Shihan Larry Isaac, he was rated in the top 10 for region 8 by the PKL (Professional Karate League). 

In 1990-1991, he participated in Desert Storm where he taught martial arts to hundreds of Marines. In 1991-1993, he trained in Japan with numerous Masters and became the Island Wide Grand Champion men's blackbelt fighting in Okinawa Japan from 1993-1996.  He trained 2 division champions for island-wide Japanese competition. Mr. Johnson has held the titles of senior men's fighting champion NBL (National Black Belt League) – Rated #1 NBL-Rated #2 INT-Rated #2 USA- Rated#2 State of New Hampshire.  In 1997 he was inducted into the American/Okinawan Karate Association Hall of Fame.

Block 6

Sensei Nathan Porter - Introduction to Kali

Coming Soon

Sensei Justin Sweeney - 2 Minute Drills

A culmination of various drills that take only two minutes to preform. We all know how crazy and busy life can get and it can get in the way of martial arts training, it happens to all of us! But we have a solution to this, 2 minute drills, so that you can get you in the habit of doing a little bit of martial arts every day, even if you can’t get into your martial arts school that day! 2 Minute Martial Arts is a program that releases these everyday! And we are excited to show all of you guys a wide variety of different drills we offer!

My name is Justin Sweeney, I am a Black Belt in Koro Ken Karate and 2nd Degree Brown Belt in Aiki-Jutsu. I started karate about 5 and a half years ago and have been a Black Belt for 2 years. I am a competitive martial artist and a proud member of Team whistlekick. I am passionate about teaching and spreading martial arts knowledge. I am currently a Freshman at the University of Vermont and plan to continue competing and training through college with the hope of owning a martial arts school and teaching professionally. Since March I have worked with whistlekick to produce 2 minute Martial Arts through whistlekick training.

I am pretty active on Instagram if you want to do some investigating check out @cfsensei and @whistlekicktraining or on Facebook Under Justin Sweeney and the whistlekick Training page.

Block 7

Sir Cheryl Medley - Intro to Medieval Padded Weapons Combat

Simulated medieval combat with padded weapons. Swords and shields provided. Be ready to move around and take a (padded) hit.
Learn the basics of Hearthlight, a full-contact padded weapons game with a few concessions to safety. We'll cover the rules, the basic stances and shots, and finish up with some sparring.

Cheryl Medley (Sir Gilth) has been in medieval combat sports since 2006. Passionate about medieval fighting, she serves on the board of directors of the non-profit Hearthlight to promote medieval history, arts and crafts, and simulated medieval combat. Her favorite weapons are sword and shield. When she’s not participating in medieval activities, she works in quality assurance at a software company.

$1 Days
$2 Hours
$3 Minutes
$4 Seconds
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