April 2004 Newsletter

Instructor of the Month


I joined PAMA in November of 1989 after meeting Sifu Rick and Simo Amy during a Muay Thai Seminar they hosted at the Pennington School. I had been practicing Law in New Jersey since 1985, having received my Baccalaureate degree in 1979 and my Juris Doctor in 1982. After cutting short a career in the U.S. military, I resolved to renew my martial arts training in earnest. I had trained in martial arts (Tae Kwon Do and Pekiti Tersa) before coming to PAMA. My friend, the noted martial arts writer Brian Wilkes, informed me of Sifu Rick and suggested that I travel down to PAMA if I wanted to learn the "real thing" in JKD and Filipino Martial Arts.

Now in 2004, thanks to Sifu Rick's instruction and encouragement I hold the following certifications and ranks in various martial arts:

  • Associate Instructor under Sifu Dan Inosanto in Jun Fan Gung Fu and Filipino Martial Arts.
  • Apprentice Instructor in Muay Thai under Ajarn Chai Sirisute.
  • Red Glove in Boxe Francaise-Savate under Professor Salem Assli.
  • Masipag (Four level, First Rank) in Lameco Eskrima International under the late Punong Guro Edgar C. Sulite.
  • Blue Belt in Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcos Santos.
  • Yellow Cord in Capoeria under Professor Caxias of Grupo Capoeria Brazil.

I have traveled with Sifu Rick, often training side by side with him, to learn and grow in the martial arts. Many times I received direct instruction from Sifu Rick's instructors.

In 1996, I placed third in the U.S. Full-Contact Stickfighting Championships in Chicago, Illinois earning a spot on the Team USA to fight for the World Championship in the Cruiserweight division. I traveled to the World Championships and placed fourth losing only one match which was for the title.

As an attorney with a busy practice, I feel that the best advice I can give to my fellow PAMA students is simply to be patient with themselves in their martial arts studies and do not compare themselves to anyone else but themselves. Martial Arts are a means of personal growth and development. Always strive to maintain that delicate balance between one's work, personal, social and spiritual lives. Most of all, ask questions for that is the only way someone will give you an answer.

Student of the Month


Q: How do your friends treat you knowing you train in multiple martial arts?

A: They treat me the same until, I put my boss and my fellow coworker into a head lock. Now they think twice about upsetting me. Or for those that have not been subjected to a lock or take down, are impressed that I am able to take so many disciplines at one school.

Q: What hobbies and activities do you enjoy other than martial arts?

A: I enjoy swimming, lifting weights, flexible strength class and beating up my husband who is also a student here.

Q: How has martial arts helped you in other areas of your life or other activities you engage in?

A: I believe I am more aware of my surroundings and my improved reflexes have prevented some dishes from being broken because I was able to catch them mid fall off the counter. My grappling class has taken the "let's chase Jenny around the house" from my husband to a whole new level. He has to work a lot harder and eventually, I'll get him to submit.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: I am Manager of Contract Operations for Pfizer. When Pfizer is looking to launch a new product and there is no internal plant that has the technology or capacity, then Pfizer looks outside to a Contract Manufacturing Site. My role is to investigate potential sites, negotiate the contract and terms, and then be the project manager from the manufacturing side of the project through to launch.

Q: What things outside martial arts do you find helpful in your martial arts training and education?

A: The cross training especially the flexible strength class and swimming.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: I have been a student for almost three years and have really learned to appreciate the quality of the school from the fellow students that attend, the facilities, and the instruction. I am really glad that I took SiFu Rick's recommendation to take more than one class. I started just taking JKD, but now I take on a regular basis Grappling and Silat. Cross training among the different martial arts has been extremely helpful as well.

Book of the Month

"Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Black Belt Techniques" by Jean Jacques Machado

Known for his incredible technical abilities and unique, innovative new moves, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Jean Jacques Machado presents his entire combat system in book form for the first time. A revolution in Jiu-Jitsu development, Black Belt Techniques includes:

  • 112 positions demonstrated step-by-step in full color.
  • Both traditional Jiu-Jitsu moves and no-gi submission wrestling techniques.
  • Moves presented not in isolation, but as a series that takes you from an initial threat or opportunity all the way to a submission hold.
  • Advanced moves never demonstrated before.

Jean Jacques Machado is a sixth-degree black belt and the head instructor at the Jean Jacques Machado Academy in Tarzana, California. After dominating the competitive arena in Brazil, winning all major championships many times, Machado came to the United States in 1992, where he went on to become four-time American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion, Sambo champion, ADCC Submission Wrestling champion, and Black Belt Super Challenge champion. His talents have been showcased in several major motion pictures and television shows. He is a defense tactics consultant to the Los Angeles Police Department, and advisor to the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, and an instructor for the Navy Seals.


Congratulations to Nia Smith, Eliana Hughes, and Alexandra Silver, from the 6-7 year old Jun Fan children's class, for passing the test for Gold Sash in January. They are pictured here with instructors Hank and Carrie.

Seminar in Geneva

Written by Mike Lee

In early March, Sifu Rick accompanied by PAMA assistant instructors Mike Lee, Neil Acevedo, Mary Jo Colli, and Hank Goodhue, embarked on our second trip together to give a seminar in Europe. This time the destination was beautiful Geneva, Switzerland.

Day one consisted of familiarizing ourselves with the city and enjoying the breathtaking scenery and culture. Chris Cornaz, the head instructor of the Geneva Academy of Martial Arts (GAMA) and the seminar coordinator, graciously took us all over Geneva to sites such as the Lake Geneva Fountain and the Old City.

After a fun filled first day it was off to work. Sifu Rick's two-day seminar as usual, brought martial arts students from all over Europe. Over 30 people came to learn about the arts of Jun Fan Gung Fu, Kali, Silat, and Muay Thai. Students of all levels and disciplines had much to learn as Sifu covered both basic and advanced concepts in the Arts. Each technique was broken down into easy to comprehend steps and explained in full, making it easy for everyone to follow along. After just two days everyone's technique had noticeably improved and everyone had smiles on their faces!

On Monday night, Sifu gave a special GAMA workshop in Kali and Jun Fan. The small group received personalized instruction in the Arts as well as a lesson in the mental areas of the martial arts.

A trip to Switzerland would not be complete without experiencing the beautiful surrounds of Geneva. In between the teaching and training, Sifu Rick and Chris managed to squeeze in a day trip to the Village of Gruyères, famous for Gruyères cheese. The drive was breathtaking, the sky was so clear that we could see all of the mountain tops and the towns below. In the village we visited the Château de Gruyères, stopped in the shops, and tasted the delicious fondue and coupe demark.

We all had a wonderful time in Geneva and would like to express our gratitude to Sifu Rick for allowing us to accompany him. We would also like to thank Chris and Luca for taking time out of their busy lives by treating us to such a magnificent time. Chris, "it was great!" One last thank you also goes out to Chris' students and our friends from France and Belgium for making visitors unfamiliar with the language feel so much at home. Merci and see you all next year!

There is always time for a great espresso

Guro Rick shows middle range stick drill
Guro Rick explaining stick locking and sweeping

Chris and Ester make us a real Swiss breakfast

Chris, Ester, and PAMA instructors Mike, Neil, Mary Jo, and Hank in front of historical site

Gruyere - the beautiful mountain town. Great fondue!

Some of the seminar attendees gather together for a picture

Sifu Rick demonstrating a Jun Fan trapping drill with Neil

Sifu Rick demonstrating a Jun Fan trapping technique for GAMA students at a private workshop

Guru Rick demonstrates a knife disarming technique on Chris

Technique of the Month

This month Sifu Rick demonstrates a Kali technique with help from assistant instructor Mike Lee.