February 2007 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Andy Maulbeck -
Please share with our readers a little bit of your non-martial arts background professionally and personally.
I just recently graduated from The College of New Jersey with a BSME (Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering) degree in May 2006. I am currently employed by the Department of Defense at Picatinny Arsenal, a US Army facility. Specifically, I work in the Aeroballistics department specializing in Rockets. Also, I am pursuing my Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering through Stevens Institute of Technology. While taking graduate classes and training at PAMA, I've been pretty busy. Aside from my professional career I enjoy a wide variety of hobbies mostly ranging from sports to music. However, my passion is snowboarding and I have been snowboarding for 12 years. I'll leave it at that, otherwise, this response will go on forever. I love my family and friends, they have been a big part in my life and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.
Which martial arts have you studied to date and for how long?
Actually I like to say my martial arts career started in elementary school. I joined a generic karate school for one day and quit after the first lesson because "I was not going to be like Bruce Lee" I told my mother. That's what I thought in my mind at least. Then, more recently, I saw a two-week free trial period at a kickboxing and BJJ school around my area and decided to join. I enjoyed it very much, but wasn't fulfilled. After searching the Internet I found PAMA where I have been training for about one year and three months now.
What first turned you on to martial arts and what made you chose to make it a part of your life?
I have always been fascinated by the theory behind martial arts and all the knowledge that each art entails. Every since I was little I've had a "fighting spirit" I like to call it. I have two brothers, who are my best friends, and ever since I can remember I was always wrestling with them. Especially after seeing a fighting movie (i.e. Bruce Lee to Jean Cluade van Damme). Needless to say I've always been intrigued and wanting to train in martial arts. I finally made the choice to train when I had a couple surgeries on my left leg two years ago (one knee surgery and two ankle surgeries). I was able to convince my mother that martial arts aren't some blood sport and I could use the training to rehabilitate myself. The convincing worked and here I am.
How did you hear about PAMA? What influenced you to join PAMA?
I heard about PAMA through an Internet search and then a friend at college suggested it as well. He said if you want to train at a school with more "exotic" arts, I would check it out. Check it out is exactly what I did and I have been hooked ever since.
What do you most enjoy about your training at PAMA? And which arts do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy that everyday is different. There is a variety of things that change from day to day, a few include: the lesson, the training partner, the shared knowledge, the growth, and even the setbacks. The amount of knowledge flowing through PAMA amazes me, whether it is from Sifu Rick, the instructors, or the students. I thoroughly enjoy cross training and this probably stems from the fact the Sifu Rick stresses it so much. I have been able to take all the arts, some more than others, offered at PAMA: Grappling (MMA), Jeet Kune Do, Savate, Silat, Kali, and Muay Thai. With that being said I haven't been able to pin point a specific art I enjoy most and I've been trying to think of it for a while now. I thoroughly enjoy aspects from each art and how they benefit each other as a whole. I enjoy the history behind each one and hopefully will be able to continue to cross train, although time seems to be the biggest factor for me. I live in Rockaway, NJ an hour and 15 minutes north of PAMA on a good day.
What do you see as some of your goals in the martial arts and in your life in general?
I want to never stop training in the martial arts. I know I can't predict the future and what will happen, but it's a goal of mine. A very reasonable one, I think. Also, I want to compete. I haven't determined what I exactly want to compete in, but one short-term goal is to enter a grappling tournament in the upcoming summer. Eventually, I would like to compete in a MMA match. As far as my life goes, I feel it can go in many directions and I hope to make good decisions. So my goal would be to enjoy life and learn from mistakes. Take it one step at a time.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I would like to thank Sifu Rick, all the instructors at PAMA, and the staff. You're all an inspiration to me. Day in and day out, you all work so hard and it doesn't go unnoticed. I believe everyone at PAMA feels the same way. Thank you very much and I hope to continue to grow as a martial artist and a person at PAMA.
- Sifu Rick Tucci and PAMA Students Captivate Record Crowd at Atlantic City Mega Martial Arts Extravaganza -
On January 5th and 6th Sifu Rick Tucci was once again an invited and featured guest instructor of Masters Pete Ticali and Alan Goldberg of Action Martial Arts at their 7th Annual Action Martial Arts Mega Martial Arts Weekend held at the famous Tropicana Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. This was Sifu Tucci's fourth consecutive year being invited to attend and participate in this internationally known martial arts event.
Sifu Tucci was especially busy this year. Not only did Sifu teach two workshops in JKD/Kali/Silat, one on Friday, January 5th and a second one on Kali Edged Weapon Defense on Saturday January 6th; for the first time Sifu Rick also scheduled an actual seminar for those martial arts instructors seeking certification as trainers in Kali. This seminar would allow many East Coast martial arts instructors unable to attend Sifu Rick's other instructor seminars to acquire invaluable instruction personally from him in the art of Kali.
In addition to the above described activities Sifu Rick assisted by several dedicated PAMA students and Assistant Instructors on Saturday presented a "Prime Time" center stage martial arts demonstration that was non-stop, high energy , kinetic and totally unique highlighting several martial arts from the PAMA curriculum. As in years past the demonstration brought cheers and a standing ovation from the record breaking crowd present that day. Never stopping the action or slowing the pace Sifu Rick and the Assistant Instructors and dedicated students of the PAMA demonstration team put on a real display of martial arts skill and thrills for the over two thousand people in attendance that day.
Sifu Rick and PAMA also maintained a booth both days of the weekend which was visited by sincere fans of Sifu Rick and several notables in the martial arts world who were in attendance that weekend. All in all it was a memorable two days at the Tropicana for Sifu Rick and the Assistant Instructors and students who attended and participated in the Action Martial Arts Mega Martial Arts Weekend.
Sifu Recommends a Book
- Muay Thai: The Most Distinguished Art of Fighting -
Limited editions are available in the Pro Shop. Get your copy now before they run out!!!
The Origins of Thai Boxing
In the days when Thailand was in the process of forming and gathering strength, wars were perpetually being waged with neighboring countries. It could almost be said that the Thai national profession at the time was to prepare for conflict.
Attacks and invasions took place all the time. Combat methods differed from those used today primarily in that the weapons used were short-range ones. Spears, javelins, large, curved-bladed pikes called Khaw-ngao, and even short wooden clubs, all of which, it should be remembered could only be used in hand-to-hand combat. Thus the earliest weapons, including natural weapons such as the fist, elbow and foot came into use in fighting enemies, and the systematized use of these natural weapons came to be called "Classical Thai Boxing".
Thai boxing is a weapon that is always at the ready. It is the ancestor of all other types of weapons, and is superior to them all. Any combatant who doesn't know how to use such natural weapons, even though he is skilled in the use of external and artificial weapons, will be at a disadvantage to the fighter who can use both. Phrayaa Phichai of the Broken Sword, otherwise known as Thongdii Fankhao, is an example of such a warrior. When still a child he loved to practice boxing and was always running away from his parents to train and improve himself in the art. Later, after he had risen to the estate of a brave and triumphant fighter under the reign of King Taskin, he was the commander-in-chief of the army who led the common people in bravely resisting the enemy without giving thought to the possibility of his own death. For love of his country he pushed fiercely forward in battle until his sword broke. Throwing it down he continued the fight with his fists, knees and elbows. Because of his knowledge of Thai boxing, he came out of the battle alive and victorious.
Thai boxing has been studied regularly by soldiers since early times. Whether in times of war, when it was necessary to confront enemies, or in peaceful times, when emphasis was placed on preparation, self-defense techniques have always been of great importance to military leaders and to the monarchy. This is because, down through the ages, fighting wars has often come down to hand-to-hand combat in which weapons and methods of combat change rapidly and unexpectedly until a winner and loser emerge.
Thai boxing is an art loved by Thai people in every stratum of society, including the nobility and royalty, who were not satisfied merely to watch but enjoyed participating in the sport. The historical chronicles of the Ayudhya Period, is described the reign of Phra Sanphetch VIII, who was called Khun Luang Sarasak, a title known to the commoners as Phra Chao Suua, or "Lord of the Tigers". He would be so keen on Thai boxing that he would often disguise himself in order to participate in matches lowering himself to fight with commoners in order to preserve the tradition-a [sic] remarkable act considering the intense reverence with which Thais regard heir monarch, and the usually uncrossable barrier this put in the way of their physical interaction.
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu Rick demonstrates a Silat entry off the jab-cross into an arm tuck puter kapala with the leg.
- Learn a Technique from Guro Amy -
Guro Amy demonstrates a stick and dagger disarm off a stick thrust.
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Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Kurt Komoda, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Bernie Dudley, Mike Lee