April 2006 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Thom Jason -
What influenced you to start training and why did you choose PAMA?
I've been training at PAMA for a little over 2 years now. Prior to that I went through a period where I had a very sedentary lifestyle due to graduate school and afterwards from working long hours behind a computer screen. I had gained a lot of weight and was starting to develop a lot of the ill effects of being as obese as I was.
I decided that I needed to really get active and moving again, and having always enjoyed martial arts, I started looking around for schools. A co-worker of mine recommended that I stop by PAMA and take a look.
Having tried a number of different schools, I was truly impressed with the classes taught at PAMA and most importantly how much of a workout I had. This was something different, something real. Guro Tucci really impressed me with not only his level of knowledge and ability, but also the way he taught. I knew I had found what I was looking for.
What is it about the martial arts that motivate you to make it a part of your life?
The health benefits are a a major motivation for me. Working out at PAMA I've noticed a big change in my health. I still have a long way to go, but I'm no longer in the danger areas I once was. I have a lot more energy, I'm happier and all around feeling much better.
I'm also a collector of both Asian and European weaponry. Training in Kali and Eskrima is a big treat for me as I get to learn how these tools were used and it really expands my knowledge and understanding of their history.
Growing up I was also always involved with sports and martial arts as a kid. It's likely the thing I enjoy the most in life. Having gone through a long period where I did nothing, and paid the price for it, I think I realize now, just how much I appreciate that a place like PAMA exists. Bruce Lee was also my first major hero growing up, and it's a real treat to train in the style he created.
What have been some of the high points of your being a member of PAMA and why?
When I realized that I had lost over 120 lbs during the time I've trained at PAMA is likely the highest point so far. I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there, and I'm doing it the right way.
Other highlights for me are having passed several of the tests required to train in the more advanced areas of several styles taught at PAMA, getting to train with legends like Guro Dan Inosanto and Ajarn Chai Sirisute, and training with all the wonderful people I've met here.
How would you characterize your progress since you first started?
My progress has been steady and I'm enjoying it immensely. I'm really proud of the difficulties that I overcome as my body changes and becomes more and more capable of doing things that I hadn't thought myself capable of. Some things just don't come naturally to me the way they do for others, and being able to train myself to do them really gives myself a sense of accomplishment.
If there's anyone out there who ever feels that they can't do something, or is getting frustrated in their progress, the best advice I can give you is don't give up, you can do it, you can achieve that goal.
What do you see as some of your goals in the martial arts and in your life in general?
My first and foremost goal is finish losing the weight. I still have quite a bit to go, but it's steady progress. Once I get to my ideal weight, I would like to shift my training regimen over to prepare to get ready to compete in both Muay Thai and Stick Fighting. After that, I'd like to become an instructor. Life is really about setting a game plan and overcoming those challenges.
What do you do for a living?
I'm head of marketing and corporate communication for a health technology company that develops Health and Wellness Portals for Self-Insured Employers, Health Plans and Third-Party Administrators.
Sifu Recommends a Book
- The Legendary Bruce Lee -
A must have book for Bruce Lee fans!!!
A collection of articles detailing Bruce Lee's rise to fame, including his own famous and controversial essay Liberate Yourself from Classical Karate.
- 8 Month Jun Fan Test -
Congratulations goes out to Angel Soto and Jason Ganovsky for passing your 8 Month Test in Jun Fan.
- Chul (Chuck) Choe's Muay Thai Fight -
Congratulations go out to Chul (Chuck) Choe for his knockout victory in his match at the Evolved Fighting Amateur Muay Thai event that was held at the New Alhambra on March 25, 2006 in Philadelphia. Chuck competed in the 175-pound weight division and defeated a tough opponent from the Boston Muay Thai Academy.
Chuck demonstrated great conditioning and punching power in a bout that was filled with lots of clinching, knees, and exciting throws. Chuck proved to be the much stronger fighter as he rocked his opponent several times with crushing blows. The bout eventually ended mid-way through the third round as Chuck's opponent, who was still stunned from a previous throw, walked into a perfectly timed "Chuck Special" overhand right. The referee called a stop to the match as the hurt fighter could not continue even after beating the 10-count.
Congratulations again to Chuck for a great fight!!
- Paul Saltzman Visits PAMA -
It was an extraordinary evening that revisited a remarkable time and experience!
Author, photographer, film maker and friend Paul Saltzman came to PAMA and took us back to 1968 when he arrived at the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India, to heal a broken heart, only to find the Beatles were there. Paul shared his stories and his pictures.
Overall the turnout was over 80 PAMA and non-PAMA attendees. Even non-Beatle fanatics were impressed by the great auditory skills of Paul and the story and message that he conveyed. Paul Saltzman's intimate and remarkable photographs captured in a pure and raw sense the amazingly artist and gifted side of the Beatles from a humanistic perspective. The presentation and the pictures show how the most important rock group the world has known continues it's influence!
- Silat Workshop in Philadelphia -
March 25 was an exceptionally busy day for PAMA. While fight preparations were going on for Chuck's fight (see other event), Guru Rick was giving a Silat workshop in another corner of Philadelphia. The workshop was hosted by Sensei Dawud Muhammad and covered Silat from the ground up (no pun intended). Sifu started the workshop by going over the basic triangles of Silat, explaining the principle of body leverage points, and showing basic sweeps. In the beginning Sensei Muhammad's students, some with little or no Silat experience, had a little difficulty, but by the end of the workshop, they were flowing from one basic sweep or lock to another. It's great to see seasoned martial artists in one area be so open to new ideas.
Everyone learned a lot on Saturday and had a great time. Thanks Sensei Muhammad for having us and we'll see you next time.
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu Rick demonstrates the effective use of the spinning heel kick.
- AlkaMAX™ -
What Do You Get From New AlkaMAX™?
- Optimize your low-carb diet efforts with a restored pH balance!
- Neutralize excess acid caused by low-carb / high-protein diets!
- Natural relief from occasional acid indigestion!
Excerpt from TriMedica International, Inc.
An acid-alkaline imbalance can be caused by the over consumption of animal products, processed foods, and beverages such as coffee and soda, coupled with the absence of alkaline-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Regardless of diet, many people find the stress of modern living can create elevated acid levels that need proper care. While popular antacids may temporarily relieve some of the common symptoms of pH imbalance, like occasional acid stomach and indigestion, the undesirable artificial ingredients and preservatives don't create a long-term solution. These products also do nothing to address the alkaline deficiency at the root of the problem. Elevated acid levels have been associated with numerous ailments including occasional fatigue, sore muscles, weight gain, indigestion, signs of aging, wrinkles and other possibly more serious problems.
Visit TriMedica for more information.
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee
Stories: Neil Acevedo, Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee