April 2007 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Marc Pelina -
What is your profession and background?
I'm currently a Manager in the Financial Planning & Analysis Department at HBO in New York. My background is primarily in Accounting and Finance. I have a Bachelors degree from Loyola College and an MBA from New York University.
What originally interested you in martial arts?
Like most of my generation, my earliest influences in martial arts were TV and movies: The Karate Kid, Shaw Brothers kung fu flicks on Saturday afternoons, and, of course, Bruce Lee movies. I started Shotokan karate when I was 12 and later tried a little Aikido in college.
What was your initial motivation for coming to PAMA and what was your reason to return?
What originally attracted me to PAMA was the fact that I had never heard of a martial arts school that taught Kali/Eskrima before, at least not close to home. After I discovered what other arts were taught here and the Bruce Lee lineage through Guru Dan Inosanto, I was sold. Unfortunately, after only training for about a year and a half, I had a 10-year hiatus from the martial arts while I pursued my MBA, got married, and raised our daughter, Trinity (yes, that Trinity, from The Matrix). It wasn't until years after we moved back to New Jersey and settled down for good that I felt I was ready to start training again.
Since you hiatus and return what do you appreciate most about martial arts, your training, and PAMA?
Since returning to PAMA in July of last year, the things I most appreciate about my martial arts training are the skills and overall health benefit that it's brought me. I've always hated working out in gyms/health clubs because I get bored easily just slaving away on a treadmill or a bike for an hour. At PAMA, I get a great workout, learn valuable skills, and have fun doing it. I've lost 20+ pounds since.
What are your goals you hope to achieve through martial arts?
Aside from the obvious health benefits, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the history and martial culture behind the different arts that we train in. I've always been an avid student of history and I think martial arts opens another avenue for exploring the culture of a people.
What has the Philippine art of Kali brought to you in connecting to your ancestry?
Training in Kali has helped to deepen my appreciation for the fighting arts of my ancestors. I've been to the Philippines many times and, unfortunately, today, Kali seems to be more popular outside the country than in the land of its birth. It may be starting to change slowly as more Fil-Ams (Filipino Americans) like me and other foreigners re-introduce the arts to the country, but I don't think Filipinos there (at least in the big cities) appreciate Kali's real-world effectiveness when compared with the more popular sport-oriented arts there like Taekwondo and Karate.
In what ways has your training at PAMA permeated into other aspects of your life?
My training at PAMA is not only making me more physically fit, but is also helping me be more mentally focused, whatever the task at a given moment.
Your wife also trains at PAMA. What benefits has that provided?
I think that having my wife training at PAMA, as well, has brought us closer together. Although we attend different classes (Kali/Silat/Jun Fan for me, Muay Thai for her), afterwards, we tend to compare notes and talk about what the other has learned. It's definitely been a plus and has given us one more thing we have in common. We even train together in the backyard with our 5-year old daughter as our very own cheering section!
Any closing remarks?
I just wanted to thank Sifu Rick and the staff at PAMA for welcoming me back to the fold after so long. Amy and I enjoy training and, hopefully, when Trinity's old enough, you'll see her join Mommy and Daddy at PAMA, too!
- 2012 Author Visits Princeton Academy -
On Friday, March 9th PAMA was the selected place for a special event. Creative Insights and Farley's bookstore sponsored a talk and book signing by the well known author of 2012 The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Daniel Pinchbeck. It was an interesting, thought provoking, and fun evening of discussions on this new time and changes that the earth and consciousness are going through. Daniel started out speaking humorously about his own personal journey from being a New York Woody Allen type of existentialist, into his more direct personal spiritual experiences. He spoke about his travels and experiences with different indigenous peoples and shaman of Africa, Central and South America, and the effect that this had on his life. Daniel also spoke about linear time, cyclical time, the Mayan calendars, predictions, different philosophers, and physics to name a few topics. Everyone had a great time with lots of discussion afterward. Thanks again Daniel!
- Sifu Rick Travels to England -
Sifu Rick traveled back to England on March 16th to conduct his third annual Martial arts seminar in Chelmsford. Laurence Sandum, an instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto, was the host once again for this exciting weekend. Laurence is a consummate professional and runs one of the best equipped, well managed, martial arts facilities in all of Great Britain.
As requested by Laurence, Sifu Rick went down the well organized curriculum list in Jun Fan, Muay Thai, and Kali. Many times seminar students and instructors can become confused as to what is in a given curriculum. Sifu Rick specializes in keeping the arts separate and well organized so as to allow people to develop fully in each art. The participants varied in ages and skill levels but all said that they loved it and got a lot out of it. Thanks again to Laurence for being a great host!
Sifu Rick took a couple of extra days after the seminar to visit Glastonbury, a place of intrigue, history, pilgrimages, and myth. This small town draws visitors from all over the world for many reasons. Whether you are into history, energy lay lines, vortexes, crop circles, or just like to browse through used book stores and hang at cool cafes Glastonbury has something for everyone.
While in Glastonbury Sifu Rick had a very nice visit with author and award winning publisher John Martineau and researcher and author of Beyond 2012, Geoff Stray. They were both kind and friendly during Sifu Rick's visit. John invited Sifu Rick to his beautiful cozy home for his girlfriend's birthday party. The evening was filled with great conversations with the many interesting guests that attended. Thanks again John and Geoff!
Sifu Recommends a Book
- Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins -
Heated words, cool malice, deadly feuds, the furious rush of adrenaline-anger is clearly the most destructive of the seven deadly sins. It can ruin families, wreck one's health, destroy peace of mind and, at its worst, lead to murder, genocide, and war. In Anger, Robert A. F. Thurman, best-selling author and one of America's leading authorities on Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, offers an illuminating look at this deadliest of sins. In the West, Thurman points out, anger is seen as an inevitable part of life, an evil to be borne, not overcome. There is the tradition of the wrathful God, of Jesus driving the money-changers from the temple. If God can be angry, how can men rid themselves of this destructive emotion? Thurman shows that Eastern philosophy sees anger differently. Certainly, it is a dreadful evil, one of the "three poisons" that underlie all human suffering. But Buddhism teaches that anger can be overcome. Indeed, the defeat of anger is not only possible, but also the only thing worth doing in a lifetime. Thurman shows how to recognize the destructiveness of anger and understand its workings, and how we can go from being a slave to anger to becoming "a knight of patience." We discover finally that when this deadliest emotion is transmuted by wisdom, it can become the most powerful force in freeing us from human suffering.
Drawing on the time-tested wisdom of Buddhism, Robert A. F. Thurman ranges from the individual struggle with anger to global crises spurred by dogmatic ideologies, religious fanaticism, and racial prejudice. He offers a path of calm understanding in a time of terrorism and war.
- Jun Fan: 4 and 8 Month Tests -
Congratulations to Aleksandr Geldenberg for passing his 4 Month test and Frank Vamos, Thom Jason, and Orlando Skelton for passing their 8 Month test in Jun Fan Gung Fu. Keep up the hard work and the 8 Month and Level 2 Tests will be right around the corner guys. Good job.
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu Rick intercepts a jab with a biu jee and uses a lop sao to clear the obstruction and strike.
After a biu jee on the jab, Sifu Rick shifts to a biu sao da to defend against the incoming cross.
- Learn a Technique from Guro Amy -
Guro Amy demonstrates two counters to clearing a hand grab. The first by applying a wristlock and the second using a tan sao with pak sao to clear the centerline for strikes.
- Pantethine by Allergy Research -
Important for the production of cellular energy*
May support healthy cholesterol and triglycerides within normal levels*
Pantethine is an important metabolite in the production of cellular energy and in lipid metabolism.* It appears in the body during the metabolism of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the stable disulfide form of an intermediate (pantetheine) in the transformation of pantothenic acid to coenzyme A. Coenzyme A plays a key role in the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids, and is essential for the synthesis of other important substances such as acetylcholine. Whereas pantothenic acid is water soluble and unused pantothenic acid is quickly excreted via the urinary tract, pantethine can stay in the bloodstream for up to 16 hours, maximizing its support of energy and lipid metabolism.*
Pantethine supports the health of the cardiovascular and circulatory systems by supporting a healthy balance of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides, within normal levels, and may help decrease the cholesterol content of platelet membranes.* In addition, pantethine may have antioxidant activity, and may increase platelet membrane fluidity.*
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee, Sifu Rick Tucci