June 2007 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Boris Volodin -
Where are you from originally and what brought you to the United States?
I am a Russian from Russia. I grew up in the country formerly known as Soviet Union. My home town is Tula, which is in the central part of Russia-proper, not far from Moscow. I decided to try to come to the United States when I was finishing graduate school in Moscow State University. I succeeded due to a set of lucky coincidences that allowed me to get admitted to a graduate school in Arizona at the time when no other Russian students were able to come yet - it was 1991 in Soviet Union and the social liberties we are so used to taking for granted now did not exist yet there.
What first turned you on to martial arts?
I was drawn to martial arts in my teenage years after being able to see some smuggled martial arts movies. It looked cool and I wanted to learn to do that. Unfortunately, at that time martial arts were banned in Soviet Union and that desire was not fulfilled. Later, right before coming to the United States, martial arts schools started to appear in Moscow but the quality of teaching left much to desire. Nevertheless, there was a decent aikido school associated with Moscow State University and so I started studying that.
What was your motivation for coming to PAMA?
Actually, my kids expressed interest in martial arts and started coming to PAMA. After a while they stared encouraging me to come, too. That did it for me - the idea of morally supporting my children and (finally!) trying to do what I couldn't do 25 years ago.
What do you most enjoy about your training?
The results of the training are certainly enjoyable - I feel I am in better shape and I am gradually pushing my body to do things I felt I was definitely not made for. Besides that I enjoy the "play" aspect of the training -- working with a partner, making a technique flow, even if that means I am getting hit or tapped out.
What are your goals you hope to achieve through martial arts?
My basic goals are supporting my children by example, staying in shape while having fun and, hopefully, being able to progress to a level when I actually can say I understood a bit of the arts that are being taught.
In what ways has your training at PAMA permeated into other aspects of your life?
In a way, martial arts are like life itself (pardon me being a bit philosophical) - you train to deal with what is being thrown at you, you train to use your body and mind to deal with an unpredictable situation, you train yourself to persevere. I also find it one of the most humbling experiences a normal life can present to a person. And it's a good thing!
Your children also train at PAMA. What effect has this commonality had on your family?
I like to think that it brings my children and myself closer together. I feel what they are going through and they see that there are things in life that a parent struggles with just as much as (actually, more than!) they do. In the back of my mind I also entertain a thought of being able to be a sparring partner for them in a few years - who knows!
What is your profession and background?
I am a physicist by training. Currently I am the head of the research and development group at a small high-tech company in Princeton area.
Any closing remarks?
I'd like to thank Sifu, the rest of the instructors and everybody else who keep the school going - it is an unique place in this area where such a great variety of arts can be learned and practiced. Please keep it up!
- PAMA is ready to go on Vacation again! -
PAMA announces its third annual photo content. Take PAMA with you on vacation again. Given the overwhelming amount of responses over the past years we are going to have even more fun this summer with another PAMA T-shirt competition. Bring your PAMA T-shirt or jacket with you on vacation along with your camera. Take a picture with your PAMA clothes in some original, exotic, or scenic place. Bring in your pictures to PAMA by no later than September 15th for a chance to win prizes including items from the pro-shop. Everyone will get a chance to vote on their favorites. Don't miss out and don't forget to put in some extra training so that you look good in your bathing suit!
- Kids Testing: 6-8 Year Old -
Congratulations to Rosalind Stengle and Gregory Smith on passing their Sash test in the 6-8 year old Jun Fan program! Rosalind passed her very first test and earned her Gold Sash. Gregory, a veteran of the class, deserves special mention in earning his Black Sash Test. Through patience and hard work, he passed tests of skill, knowledge, strength and endurance and earned one of the few Black Sashes awarded in the 6-8 Children's program.
Sifu Recommends a Book
- Pencak Silat: Through My Eyes -
This is a complete presentation of the principles and applications of one of the most effective martial arts styles, written by one of the most sought-after Silat masters of all time, the late Herman Suwanda. The book explores the art and science of the Indonesian combat method. There is a detailed breakdown of the offensive and defensive skills used in Pencak Silat, and the tactical elements of timing, distance, rhythm, cadence, and tempo. The unique principles and techniques of Silat as taught by the late Herman Suwanda are fully described in this authoritative book. It is a true gem by one of the legendary masters of Pencak Silat.
Pendekar Herman Suwanda made his journey to America from the remote villages and jungles of Indonesia. Only after his arrival in America would the public learn more about Indonesia and its rich martial art culture. Pendekar Herman opened the doors to the world about Pencak Silat and became one of the leading authorities on many different systems of Indonesian fighting martial arts. He had the true "Eye of the Tiger," but also had the heart of a lion. He was a man with the ability to talk to and communicate with thousands of people through his art and his physical ability. He will always serve as a perfect role model.
Sifu Recommends a Video
- Kali: Means to Scrape -
A documentary on the culture of the blade in the Philippines.
Kali: Means to Scrape shows the reality of men who fight with blades and the culture that surrounds it.
What is revealed is their strength, their brutality, and their humanity.
The documentary explores how men have taken their means of survival and forged it into a higher art.
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu disarms an angle #1 strike on sector 2.
Sifu disarms an angle #1 strike on sector 4.
- Learn a Technique from Guro Amy -
- The Intermediate Jun Fan class has begun on Monday nights (8:45-9:45) and is already a huge success. Please see an instructor for requirements for this new and exciting class.
- Check out last months newsletter for an updated picture of our Junior Assistant Instructors!
- One Daily by Innate Response -
One Daily I was crafted to provide a balanced spectrum of 100% whole food vitamins and minerals in a convenient one tablet per day formula. This formula is highly recommended for patients whom have difficulty complying with a multi-dosage foundational formula. One Daily I & II are both suitable to be taken in conjunction with botanical medicines and/or additional nutritional supplements. One Daily II is formulated without the inclusion of iron.
The proteolytic plant enzymes amylase, protease, bromelain and papain were included in the formula to further facilitate utilization of the formula. The inclusion of plant enzymes is particularly helpful for individuals with impaired digestive function. This formula can be taken on an empty stomach or with food.
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee, Max Wang