June 2004 Newsletter

Guro Amy is Back!

Welcome back Amy! After studying and training for two and a half years at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Los Angeles, California with Guro Dan Inosanto, Guro Amy is back at PAMA. We look forward to her guidance and training at PAMA.

Student of the Month

NAME: Steven Panter

Q: How did you get an interest in martial arts?

A: I got interested in martial arts because I liked the combination of physical and mental activity, and because I was always learning something from it.

Q: Which martial arts are you studying now at PAMA?

A: I study Jun Fan, Silat, and Muay Thai to varying degrees. These arts provide me with a nice balance between skill, flexibility, strength training, and aerobic exercise.

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

A: Martial arts shows you that there is almost always a way to deal with something. You may not always know it or see, but it is there. And just knowing there is a way to solve a problem can often motivate you to find the solution. It also teaches you that there are different types of learning for you and for others, depending on what you are doing. It helps you learn about yourself and about others, too. I always found it fascinating how so many different cultures developed their own martial arts styles to suit their culture, opponents, and environment.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: I'm a hydrogeologist, i.e., an environmental consultant. I help companies comply with environmental regulations and clean up sites contaminated with hazardous materials.

Q: How did you come to train at PAMA?

A: I read about it in the paper and then spoke to someone who was going there. He showed me what he was learning and I was very impressed.

Q: How long have you trained at PAMA?

A: 14 years.

Q: What is it about PAMA/the training that has kept your interest for so long?

A: A few things: It is a terrific workout, it keeps me flexible, I always learn something, it is interactive, and the music is great.

Instructor of the Month

NAME: Carrie

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

A: The first martial art I studied was Tang Soo Do, which is one of the more traditional of the Korean karates. I did Tang Soo Do on and off in my teens for a few years. Later I started Tae Kwon Do, studying under Angel Jimenez for about three years when he taught at Seton Hall. His instruction sealed my interest in the martial arts.

While I was there a friend of mine taught me a little Isshinryu also. This Japanese karate was a bit different and made me curious about other martial arts out there, so after college when I moved and ended up looking for another school I was primed to discover PAMA. At PAMA I've studied Jun Fan Gung Fu for seven years. I did Silat for a few years, some grappling, and Kali now for about a year.

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

A: I grew up in a very small town in the depths of South Jersey, a very farmy area where we didn't have a whole lot to do except play in the woods & fields- catching turtles, snakes, rabbits, etc. That was back in the days when kids used to actually play outside all day and only came back inside when it got dark out.

We were really active and besides playing outdoor games and the usual backyard sports, our sports also included challenging each other to fights. So we were always sort of interested in self-defense, especially when you grew up knowing that at every property you wandered onto you may end up having to run for your life when the owner got out his shotgun or sent his dogs after you (but that was better for developing the attribute of speed than catching the turtles).

One day my brother ended up sending away for some ninja throwing stars from a catalog and when we got them, we thought they were so neat that I put down my bow & arrow and he put down his BB gun and we started reading about the martial arts. But we couldn't afford lessons so when a friend of mine told me about a Tang Soo Do school that was giving three free months of introductory lessons, I joined. (I still have no idea how we were allowed to play with live bladed ninja stars though).

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

A: When I finally decided to get back into the martial arts after college, I wanted something different than I'd done before. Although I loved Tae Kwon Do and the great instruction I'd received, I felt that as a female I personally wanted different options for self-defense than straight punching and kicking.

It may have been that when I did my first tournament in karate, I’d noticed that the point-sparring we did was fine for a tournament, but the skills that you'd develop for that would be different than I would need in a real self-defense situation. I didn't know any schools so I got out the yellow pages and the listing for PAMA struck me: I think it said “real world martial arts”, “not tournament-oriented”, and it emphasized individual development rather than a “belt system.”

I called to make an appointment and when I tried the class I was floored by richness of the curriculum. I mean, not only was there a phenomenal level of instruction in the kickboxing range of fighting, but to explore all the ranges of fighting in one class was eye-opening. I’d never done any trapping and loved that there was grappling too. And then to find out that the JKD philosophy involves studying different martial arts that can be tailored to your individual needs and have all these arts all at one school was tremendous.

Before PAMA, I had no idea that Bruce Lee was the genius he was. I thought he was just a talented martial artist who looked good in the movies. I also had no idea that I'd stumbled upon a world-renowned martial arts academy. I remember visiting my family in Italy shortly after I joined and picking up an Italian martial arts magazine and seeing a picture of Sifu Rick!

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

A: I travel to PAMA because there is an unending amount of knowledge and skills you can acquire in the arts here. I'm excited about what I've learned in kali over the last year and one of my goals is to improve my basics there and train more in grappling. When I start to focus on the limitations that women can have in some areas and then grapple with women at PAMA like Guro Amy and other women in the class then I realize that there's plenty more training I can do. PAMA is a major help in my personal goal to maintain and improve my health as well.

As an instructor in the Jun Fan children's program, I’d like to help our students use the study of martial arts to contribute to their personal development and come out of the younger classes with confidence, respectfulness, and the skill to help them feel capable for themselves and protective of those around them (and to have fun!).

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

A: I guess I’d say the same thing I’d say about anything in life: be yourself. In the context of martial arts training that would mean that while you're learning from the best, and trying to emulate them to a degree, know that you can find your own way and improve yourself and grow based on your own set of attributes and your own potential. And your instructor’s guidance can help you reach that potential.

That’s why I think that PAMA is such a valuable place, because that’s the whole deal here. You can’t expect to be Sifu Rick or Bruce Lee, but if you’re open-minded about yourself what you study you don’t know where that can take you until you try. Knowing that people like Sifu and Guro Dan continue to view themselves as students also in order to constantly grow as martial artists and people is very inspiring. And thank goodness Sifu Rick brought his own personality and perspective to what he studied, or there would be no PAMA.

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

A: Perspective. Since I teach the youngest age group in the school, I think the most important thing I can offer them is to help nurture a positive perspective about themselves and those around them. The martial arts are fantastic with that for kids. Besides the terrific curriculum that the children’s program has here (they learn the same Jun Fan basics that the adults do), I try to help them build a positive self-image based on their own personal qualities.

There’s something I say to the students in the kids’ class every time one of them is having trouble with something they’re trying to learn. I’ll say “There was a time that Bruce Lee didn’t know how to do martial arts either.” (Of course it was a very short time...) But if they get that concept- that it’s a journey of growth that they’re on, that it’s not a competition and that everybody has something to offer and has to start somewhere, then they get less intimidated and are more motivated to try harder and feel that maybe they can do it.

My goal is to have them apply that attitude in every area of their lives so they can be happier and generally more capable kids who don’t have to be intimidated by anyone or any situation. I’m grateful to have the honor and opportunity to be allowed to teach this way, and to be part of a school that has the amazing people, curriculum and resources to back it all up.

Book of the Month

"Boxing - A Self Instruction Manual" by Edwin L. Haislet

This month we take a look at a book Bruce Lee had in his personal collection and referenced often in his training. A large portion of this book was used word for word in the 1954 United States Air Force boxing manual used to train its soldiers. The book pictured above is the current edition. It is displayed in front of a picture of Bruce Lee referencing a book while training with Guro Dan and others. The book pictured below, from Sifu Rick's collection, is a first edition copy of the book like the one Bruce Lee owned.

Quoted from the back of the book:

The problem in boxing is not only which skills and techniques to learn, but when and how to learn them. Literature in the field at the present time seemingly ignores this problem. In any field where continued development rests upon the mastery of each element in its correct place, the learning sequence is all important. Great skill in boxing can result only through mastery of each technique in its proper place. There is a proper learning sequence in boxing which, if followed, allows a natural development to result. Ignore it and the development of skill is definitely limited.

The learning sequence herein presented is the result of experiment and experience. It is not perfect and no doubt further experience will bring constructive changes. It is, however, a sequence which seems to bring the quickest results and greatest skill with a minimum output of time and energy. Followed closely, it enables the student of boxing to continue as far as is desired, ability and determination being the only limiting factors.

Congratulations - Black Sash

Congratulations to Sunil Ramakrishnan and Evan Hughes, pictured above with their instructors, for passing the black sash test and earning their Black Sash. Sunil and Evan are the only current students at PAMA to have earned a black sash, the highest sash in the ranks (White sash is followed by Gold sash, followed by Green sash, followed by Blue sash, followed by Black sash).

Sifu Rick and Guro Amy personally congratulate Sunil and Evan for their accomplishment. Below Evan and Sunil demonstrate the Sil Lim Tao performed at the beginning of each class.

Congratulations - Green Sash

Congratulations to Gil Tungol, Luthien Tungol, Jeff Mulford, and Tony Arias for passing the green sash test and earning their Green Sash. In the picture above Gil, Luthien, Jeff, and Tony are pictured with their instructors. They each were congratulated by their instructors as they received their certificate, and then posed in ready position for the camera.

Sifu Rick at the Martial Arts SuperShow 2004

The Martial Arts SuperShow is hosted by the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) once a year in Las Vegas since 2001. It is intended for martial arts school instructors to tap into the knowledge and experience of the best of the best inside and outside the martial arts industry. The top martial arts school owners, instructors, and martial artists in the world provide attendants with solid information, ideas, and solutions.

For the second year in a row Sifu Rick has provided a featured high-profile workshop at the show in JKD and the Filipino martial arts. Sifu Rick was accompanied by assistant instructor Bernie and assistant instructor Neil. This year Sifu Rick was interviewed at the show for two important documentaries. So watch out. In the future Sifu Rick might pop up on your TV screen when you least expect it.

For more information about the SuperShow visit www.masupershow.com.


Intramural PAMA Competition Upcoming in July

This coming July 10, bring your friends and family to an exciting competition where PAMA students will put their skills and training on the line for all to see. These students, most of whom have never competed before, will compete in areas including boxing, kickboxing, stick fighting and shoot wrestling. It should be an exciting and action-packed event that will have everyone on the edge of their seats!

Dietary Supplement of the Month

Pantothenic acid and biotin are water-soluble vitamins, which means that they cannot be stored by the body and must be replenished every day. They are used for the breakdown and utilization by the body of food and are part of the B vitamin complex. Pantothenic acid is essential for the metabolism of food. It is essential in the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed by the body for the proper functioning of its cells' membranes, particularly in the brain. Biotin is essential for the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates (like the other B vitamins), and in the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol.

To learn more about Pantothenic Acid please visit the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia website, a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Guru Dan Inosanto Seminar

In the beginning of May Guro Dan Inosanto visited Princeton to provide a two-day seminar to the public in association with our Princeton Academy of Martial Arts. Over one hundred people attended the seminar from as far as Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Guro Dan covered material from JKD, Silat, and Kali, and provided much insight into the Filipino history and culture rooted in the arts.

Guru Dan has been providing two seminars a year in the Princeton area thanks to Sifu Rick. You never know for how long this will continue, so it is always a much appreciated experience to attend one of his seminars so close to home.

Technique of the Month

This month Sifu Rick demonstrates an empty hands versus knife Kali technique with help from assistant instructor Mike Lee. Assistant instructor Mike attacks Sifu Rick with a knife. Sifu Rick defends and disarms his attacker.

Mike and Sifu Rick in fighting position.
Mike thrusts with a knife. Sifu Rick checks his wrist with the opposite hand.
Sifu Rick guides the knife down away from his body.
Sifu Rick uses both hands to guide the knife to avoid his opponent following another path of attack.
Sifu Rick guides the knife back up following a circular path while controlling the hand holding the knife by applying pressure loosening the grip.
By stepping on his opponent's lead foot and guiding the knife away, while loosening his opponent's grip on the knife with the proper grip and pressure, Sifu Rick is able to take the knife out of his opponent's hand.

Author: Asaf Ronen