August 2006 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Elena Kosygina -
Tell us a little of your background. Where are you from? What line of work are you in? What do you do for a living?
We (that is me, my husband, Denis, and our daughter, Asya) came to the US from Russia over 1993-1994. Denis went to Princeton University and I went to New York University to get our Ph. Ds in mathematics. We lived in Princeton, and I commuted to New York. We moved many-many times, and not only in this area, but for one or another reason always came back. Asya is almost a native here, as she lived in Princeton for 9 out of her 14 years.
Currently I am on the faculty at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center. I teach undergraduates, master students in our Applied Mathematics for Finance Program at Baruch College, and Ph.D students at the Graduate Center. My specialty is Probability and Stochastic Processes. Main interests are related to mathematics: teaching, research in probability and related areas.
Why do you train in martial arts? What is it that keeps you coming back?
Almost 10 years ago I took a women's self defence class at Princeton University. Our sensei was absolutely amazing to me. She had a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and that is how I learned about the existence of this martial art. In my very last semester as a grad student (we lived in New York) , remembering that Jiu-Jitsu was the origin of Judo I took a Judo class at NYU. I liked it a lot, but I got a 3-year postdoc at Northwestern University, and went to Evanston. By chance I saw an ad about NU Jiu-Jitsu club (founded by John Lewis in 1977), and went to see a class. I became a member and trained there for about 2 years. But I had to move again, and thought that I would never come back to martial arts but if I did it had to be Jiu-Jitsu. Two years ago I discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school of Marcos Santos. I went there for 3 months but my teaching schedule and a commuter life did not allow me to train there. I learned about Princeton Academy of Martial Arts from the PAMA web site, and asked Marcos about it. His response was very encouraging, and I decided to try.
I guess, a short answer, to why I train in martial arts, would be just because I just got hooked. Little by little but it did happen. Never expected that from myself. I learned many things about my body. I would not learn them from any other activity. Martial arts help me to keep in shape, to learn new moves every day, and now also to be more in touch with Asya, who trained in taekwondo since she was 9, and now also trains at PAMA. I find the training not only physically but very much intellectually challenging.
Tell us about your first impression of PAMA and your impression today.
I was shy, somewhat unsure, slightly intimidated. Now I feel more confident, have my favorite classes, make some (no matter how small but still) plans for the future. PAMA gives many great opportunities, one needs just to put enough effort and time to use them. I wish I could come and train more.
Which classes do you take? Why are you taking those classes?
I more or less consistently take silat and grappling. I take women's martial arts once a week. The feeling is that I am not doing it enough. To me it is necessary to take a class at least twice a week to keep doing some progress. Why grappling? Because it is a kind of Jiu-Jitsu. As to silat, I find it just such an amazing art: powerful, smart, very precise. I have just started taking kali but at the moment I am such a loser at it that I shall keep training while my schedule allows it. It is hard for me for I have never used weapons.
Your daughter also trains at PAMA. What do you see as some of the benefits for her and for your relationship with her?
I already mentioned that martial arts give us another point of intersection, a bit of a "secret body language", and the way to keep closer and more understanding.
What do you see as some of your goals in the martial arts?
Learning, fitness, challenge, better control of my body. One of the things that I would really want to develop is an automatic defensive response to an unpredicted attack.
Sifu Recommends a Book
- Freedom from the Known -
In this classic work, Krishnamurti shows how people can free themselves radically and immediately from the tyranny of the expected, no matter what their age. And, by first changing themselves, people can then change the whole structure of society and their relationships. The vital need for change and the recognition of its very possibility constitute the rich essence of Krishnamurti's message in Freedom from the Known. Major themes include: Awareness, Man's Search, and The Tortured Mind. Once again the great teacher provides a brimming spiritual well from which readers may profitably draw.
- 2006 Martial Arts Supershow -
Sifu Rick was once again invited to this year's Martial Arts Supershow in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Supershow, known more commonly as the MAIA show, is the largest martial arts tradeshow held in the country and features exhibitors, speakers, and legends in the martial arts world.
In addition to being an invited speaker, Sifu Rick also taught two rigorous certification courses in Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino Martial Arts over the course of two days. School owners and instructors - Black Belts in their own arts - with a desire to expand their martial arts skills and add to their school's curriculum attended the private training sessions. Each student received personalized instruction that took them through the basics of the art up to the requirements of Basic Trainer Certification. Everyone did great.
On Saturday, Sifu Rick held a public workshop in Silat. Over 50 participants, some completely new to Silat, learned hands-on the effectiveness of Silat as Sifu covered a variety of throws, sweeps, entries, and other techniques not common in mainstream martial arts. Thanks to MMA figher/trainer Max Bishop, for assisting in the workshop. Mr. Bishop is also a student of Gene Labell and a top student of Gokor.
- Oregon Thai Camp 2006 -
This year for Thai camp, the camp crew included myself (Chul), Khun Kru Mike Lee, (Khun) Kru Neil Acevedo, and Jim Robinson. We all met up at Portland airport, rented a car and headed down to Silver Falls, Oregon. There was a stopped off at a Quizno's to get some last minute sandwiches because after that it would be Thai food for the rest of the time. We arrived at the camp site and set up our sleeping quarters, which consisted of wooden bunk beds in a large, shared cabin. After getting situated, the crew paid our respects to Ajarn Chai and to the rest of the campers. We all tried to get to bed as early as possible because of the 3 mile daily run at 6:30 in the morning. The run was tough because of the steep hills, but the quality of the air made up for the hills (it's a little different than breathing New Jersey air).
After the runs, it was breakfast time followed by a short break and then the morning training sessions. The morning sessions were very informative and offered a great opportunity to work on form. Ajarn Chai really stressed form this year and watched us all as we performed different drills at about 5-6 different stations. Khun Kru Mike Lee was teaching at the various stations and providing excellent instruction to everyone as usual. I was lucky enough to work with Khun Kru Neil in a lot of the drills because he was able to analyze the techniques and explain them to me. After the morning sessions were complete, it was time for the fighters group, which consisted of 3 on 1 plumb, lots of body builders and about a 1 mile run. After the run it was time for lunch. Finding his second wind, Jim was always able to make his way to the front of the line using his football skills. Thanks for clearing a path, Jim.
After lunch it was time for the afternoon session which consisted of heavy bags, clinch work, timing drills, shadow boxing, and Thai pads. After that it was usually more body builders, 3 on 1 plumb, and another run. On several of the days, the training sessions lasted about 9 hrs making it very easy to fall asleep at night.
Other noteworthy events this year were the tour of Silver Falls, a beauty natural wonder in the heart of Oregon, and the annual written test, where those who failed (about 20 people this year) were treated to an additional 3 mile run, 50 pushups, 50 squat jumps, and 100 pushups. Contratulations Jim for passing his first written test, and yes... Tiger Kung Fu is a martial art.
The PAMA crew received an award for hard worker (Chul Choe) and Outstanding Instructor (Mike Lee). Also Neil Acevedo tested for his Associate Instructorship and earned the new title of Khun Kru Neil Acevedo. Neil now joins a select number of instructors that have earned this title. Overall Thai camp was an unbelievable training opportunity. The instruction and techniques learned were incredible and the increase in one's Muay Thai skills is tremendous. Thank you to Khun Kru Rick Tucci for providing an opportunity for all of us to attend this year's camp.
- Kids Sash Testing -
Si Hing Max and Si Jay Carrie flank our newly successful sash test candidates & congratulate them on their hard work, discipline and patience in achieving their levels. We could see the result of extra-curricular work which made their presentations even more enjoyable for all to watch. The Gold Sash candidates were treated by observing student Greg Smith's advanced moves including well executed spin kicks & advanced grappling moves that his Blue Sash level required. All students outdid themselves in basic moves as well as grappling theory, and Sifu and Guro were glad to be present to witness the result of all their hard work. Congratulations all!
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
- Remember to bring in your vacation photos. All you need is your picture with your PAMA shirt for a chance to win great prizes.
- Jun Fan 4 & 8 Month Tests will be held on Sepember 9.
- Ajarn Chai will be conducting a Thai Boxing seminar at PAMA on September 16 & 17.
- Sifu Rick will be conducting a seminar in Malmo, Sweden on October 7 & 8.
- Noni Juice by Nature's Answer -
Noni , has been extensively used in folk medicine by Polynesians for over 2,000 years. Noni is a traditional food and medicine in many tropical areas including the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, India, and the Philippines. Ethnobotanical data is plentiful on the uses of the fruit, leaves, and root of the plant. Ancient Hawaiians used noni fruit for both internal and topical applications.
Noni is still used by the local population in Hawaii for sugar control diseases, high vascular pressure, heart health maintenance, abnormal growths, and other chronic disorders, although no controlled clinical studies exist to support these uses. Based on clinical practice and animal studies, a polysaccharide-rich substance from noni fruit juice attacks abnormal cells in several different ways.
Noni fruit juice seems to act indirectly against abnormal growths, primarily through immunostimulatory effects. Animal studies found that adding 10% noni fruit juice to drinking water for one week significantly reduced DNA adduct formation in rodents. DNA adducts change the shape of DNA and initiate the formation of abnormal cells (i.e. chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to cause DNA adducts thereby initiating lung abnormal growths in smokers).
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee, Amy Tucci
Stories: Chul Choe, Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee, Max Wang