January 2004 Newsletter

The Princeton Academy of Martial Arts had a great year in 2003. The staff and instructors of PAMA wish everybody a great and safe new year. We are looking forward to a new active year at PAMA full of fun with new and familiar faces.

The staff and instructors went out for a celebration of the holidays Tuesday December 23rd and to celebrate another great year at PAMA.

Instructor of the Month

Name: Mike Lee

Q: Which martial arts have you studied to date and for how long? (PAMA and non-PAMA)

A: I began my life in the Martial Arts back in college, where I studied Tae Kwon Do for about 2 years. During that time I began looking into other styles and philosophies. That is when I started my training with Sifu Rick. It was back in the summer of 1994. At that time I was primarily interested in Jun Fan and the Filipino Martial Arts. Over the years my interests have expanded to include Muay Thai; of which I am an Instructor under Master Surachai Sirisute, grappling, and Capoeira.

Q: How did you get into martial arts? Where did you get the interest?

A: I have been fascinated by the martial arts ever since I was a child. I watched every Bruce Lee movie, was a big fan of the Saturday afternoon kung fu movies and the ninja movies of the mid-80s. It wasn't until college that I first began training in the martial arts. My first formal training was in Tae Kwon Do in Boston, MA.

Q: How did you hear about PAMA? What influenced you to join PAMA?

A: I was flipping through an issue of Black Belt back in 1994 looking for martial arts gear when I came across an ad for PAMA. When I saw that it was only a few minutes away from my home in New Jersey I stopped by to take a look. I had always been interested in learning about the art and philosophy of Si Jo Bruce Lee, so finding a certified instructor so close to home was a miracle. During my trial class I was awestruck by the quality of instruction, the friendly staff and the school's open attitude towards other martial arts styles. I joined PAMA later that night.

Q: What is your impression of PAMA today? What do you like most about PAMA?

A: PAMA has grown considerably since I first joined in both the facility size and the number of students enrolled. More importantly the quality of instruction is second to none. Sifu continues to give his best each and every day. His skill and dedication is reflected in each student. In my opinion, PAMA is a great place where people of all types and backgrounds can come and improve their skills in the martial arts. Not only does PAMA offer an arena for excellent physical benefits, it fosters an environment of personal development and teaches us all never to settle for the status quo. PAMA and the quality instruction have not only given me tools and strengths in martial arts, but it has benefited me in so many ways in my day-to-day life.

Q: What are your goals you hope to achieve through PAMA?

A: Martial arts are a lifetime study. The funny thing is that no matter how much you think you know there's always something more to develop on. Whether it's learning a new technique or simply refining the most basic of movements. I hope to just be able to continue to improve myself in all areas pertaining to the arts and to share that knowledge with the other students.

Q: What advice would you give students based on your experience as a student and instructor?

A: I would say always be open to trying new things. Experiment. See what works and doesn't work for you. After all martial arts are about self-discovery. If you're ever unsure about anything just ask. There are plenty of people at PAMA that can help, and most importantly, have fun!

Q: Which aspects of PAMA training could you offer help to students?

A: I'm most familiar with Filipino Martial Arts and kickboxing, whether it be Jun Fan or Muay Thai. And while I'm no expert, I'm around every now and then during open workout, whether to grapple a little or play in a roda.

Student of the Month

Name: Mike Webb

Q: Which martial arts have you studied to date and for how long?

A: Pai Lum 3 years, Long Fist Kung Fu 2.5 years, Wing Chun 4 years, Jun Fan 1 year, and Kali 3.5 years. This training took place over 20 years with some gaps in between.

Q: How did you hear about PAMA? What influenced you to join PAMA?

A: I was transferred to NJ and was looking for a school to join. I saw the yellow page ad, visited the school and knew that I had found a quality place to train.

Q: What is your impression of PAMA today? What do you like most about PAMA?

A: It is a great place to train, the variety of arts offered and the quality of instruction is pretty unique. I think the balance of patient instruction and sometimes being pushed out of one's comfort zone make for an excellent learning environment. The chance to study Kali also fits very well with my interest in the history of edged weapons.

Q: What are your goals you hope to achieve through PAMA?

A: My goals with respect to the training I receive at PAMA are simple enough; to continue to train and learn and associate with the fine people who make up the staff and students at PAMA.

Congratulations to...

Name: Jesse Fleck

Test: Jun Fan Level III - Blue sash

Congratulations to Jesse Fleck from the kids class for passing the Jun Fan Level III (Blue Sash) test in December 2003.

Book of the Month

Title: MUAY THAI - A Living Legacy

Author: Lesley D. Junlakan

Finally... a book on Muay Thai which is elegant enough for the coffee-table, practical enough for the sports hold-all and erudite enough for the bookshelf. Lavishly illustrated and with a detailed text, this is the first in a projected series of three volumes, catering for the needs of beginners and advanced Muay Thai fighters alike, as well as appealing to those more interested in Muay Thai's cultural and ritual aspects. Special features include sections on the history and traditions of Muay Thai and a step-by-step, easy-to-follow guide to the basic techniques.

Chapters include: "The History and Development of Muay", "Muay Outfit, Amulets & Incantations", "The Tradition of Wai Khru", "Pre-Contest Rituals", "Basic Muay Thai Skills", "Footwork", and "Muay Thai Weapons".

Technique of the Month

Sifu Rick Tucci and assistant instructor Mike Lee demonstrate a Kali/Silat technique.

Assistant instructor Mike throws a left jab. Sifu Rick defends with an inward gunting.

Assistant instructor Mike throws a left hook. Sifu Rick defends by covering the head and checking Mike's right hand.

Sifu Rick uses rear knee on Mike's lead leg.

Sifu Rick wraps right arm around Mike's lead arm for a tight grip and gets into position for a sweep.

Sifu Rick sweeps foot back and guides head down with hand.

Assistant instructor Mike comes down and around as Sifu Rick positions for a figure four arm lock.

Sifu Rick uses hand behind head for a tighter figure four arm lock.

Newsletter Author: Asaf Ronen