January 2005 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

The staff at PAMA would like to wish PAMA members and their families a happy and safe new year.

Toys for Tots

Thanks to those of you who donated a gift for the Marine's Toys for Tots program. All these great toys surely made some children happy over the holidays.

Student of the Month

NAME: Carol Meulener

Q: How did you get interested in martial arts?

A: Since my college years, I have been interested in martial arts, but I moved to Spain and could not find anything there at that time. When I returned to the United States in 1986, I began to study karate. I had two young children at the time, so I brought them with me. The training also involved some guided contact, which I found both practical and useful. After about two years, we moved to New Jersey. I didn't train for about two years due to family and job demands. Then I found another karate training academy, which I attended for about a year. I never felt that the training was as beneficial, since it seemed to center around the ability to do "katas," and there was no real contact.

Q: When did you start training at PAMA? How did you find out about it?

A: I was not really that pleased with the karate training, and a friend of mine and co-worker, Neil Campeas, told me that he was training at PAMA. I decided to go and see a class, and I was impressed with the instructors (Sifu Rick, Guro Amy, Bernie, etc), the guided contact, and the music! I decided to try it, so I brought my son, but after a year, he left and I continued! That was around 1991. The classes at that time were more mixed. I concentrated on the Jun Fan class, but we did Kali and grappling in that class also. After a few years, I left due to job and family demands (college for the kids!), but I returned two years ago. About a year ago, I started training in the Women’s Martial Arts class. This class did not exist when I began my training. Assistant Instructor Lisa was teaching the class at the time. Then Guro Amy returned from California last April. It is a very demanding class, and there is a great deal of individualized instruction. It consists of a mix of techniques (Jun Fan, Muay Thai, some Kali, grappling, etc.), along with conditioning exercises. In order to be more consistent, I am concentrating my efforts in this class. My primary goal at this stage in my life is to get a good workout, and, of course, continue to learn.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: I am currently the Supervisor of World Languages (grades 6-12) at the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District. The demands of my job (Board of Education meetings, evening school events, etc.) sometimes do not allow me to attend as many classes as I would like, but I attend when I can.

Q: What advice can you give to new students?

A: I would advise them to continue and try to be consistent. If they have been lucky enough to find this academy, especially when they are young, they should take advantage of it and learn as much as possible. It is not just the training; it is the philosophical values that are taught: self-reliance, discipline, and patience.

Book of the Month

"The Weapons and Fighting Arts of Indonesia" by Donn F. Draeger

This month Sifu Rick brings to us yet another book from his personal library. The cover you see here is the original cover for this book that Sifu Rick has. Today it has a different cover that is more colorful and modern.

"An abundantly illustrated and well-researched work from renowned scholar and martial arts teacher Donn F. Draeger- this classic provides a comprehensive introduction to the sophisticated forms of empty-hand combat and myriad unique weapons which characterize Indonesian fighting styles. Draeger shows how the forms are related to their mainland cousins, provides historical context for their development, and describes the combat methods of Menangkabau warriors, Alefuru headhunters, and the Celates pirates. With over 400 illustrations, this book is an indispensable addition in any martial artist's library." - Quoted from Amazon.com

About the author:

"Donn F. Draeger was one of the world's leading authorities on the weapons and fighting arts of Asia. Licensed and recognized in Japan as a teacher of multiple martial arts, he wrote profusely on the subject. He is the author of Shaolin Lohan Kung-fu, Judo: Formal Techniques, and the six-volume Practical Karate series." - Quoted from the back of the book


From left to right: Nia Smith, Will Minor, Nicholas Chow,
Gregory Smith Jr., David Dillingham, Kai Kiernan,
Patrick Dillingham, and Nicholas Castro
with instructors Carrie and Hank

Congratulations to Nia Smith, Will Minor, Nicholas Chow, Gregory Smith Jr., David Dillingham, Kai Kiernan, Patrick Dillingham, and Nicholas Castro for advancing to the next sash level. Your instructors Hank and Carrie are very proud of you.

Some of the parents are especially proud since they are PAMA students as well.

Dietary Supplement of the Month

Glucosamine, Chondroitin, plus MSM

Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) occur naturally in the body. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements are used to slow the progression of osteoarthritis — the deterioration of cartilage between joint bones — and to reduce the associated pain. Glucosamine is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin is believed to promote water retention and elasticity in cartilage and inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage. MSM is used primarily for treating pain associated with osteoarthritis and has been proposed for treating other conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the bladder wall (interstitial cystitis), snoring, muscle spasm, and cancer. All of these uses for MSM, including those for arthritis, are based on limited research, so its effectiveness hasn't been well established. (information from consumerlab.com)

For more information you can visit the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Technique of the Month

This month Sifu Rick demonstrates a Silat technique with help from assistant instructor Neil Acevedo.


Author: Asaf Ronen