July 2007 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Sandy Lee -
Please share with our readers a little bit of your non-martial arts background.
I was born in Korea and moved back and forth several times between there and the U.S. while growing up. After finishing college in Philadelphia, I took a job up in the Princeton area working in an industrial supplies warehouse (picture home depot). Currently, I'm back in school at UPenn, pursuing a master's degree in education and teaching certification in high school English.
How did you first become interested in Martial Arts?
When I was 13, my parents hoped that I would focus on school in a strict, all-girls school in a very rural part of the country. I was sent to a boarding school in the cornfields of Illinois , where, unfortunately, many of the girls who had dropped out of inner-city Chicago schools commingled. The so-called gang members picked on small kids in school, and I was a popular choice to push around. Comically, one very big girl even sat on me and tried to choke me; I remember feeling very helpless during these situations. I promised myself that when I got out of school one day, I would learn to defend myself from bullies. (Or to run away very fast from them).
How did you first hear about PAMA and what was your motivation for coming to PAMA?
People were a slightly more mature in college and there were no bullies anymore, but I still felt vulnerable especially while living in West Philadelphia . My roommate in college was the president of the school's kickboxing club, and she kept encouraging me to check out martial arts. When I moved to the Princeton area, I looked up schools to learn what I thought would be basic kickboxing; PAMA turned out to be five minutes away from my place, and has also turned out to offer so much more than simply kicking and punching!
Could you talk a little about martial arts and PAMA from a woman's perspective? What advice would you give a woman thinking of joining?
As a woman with no prior martial arts experience before coming to PAMA, I feel that there were advantages and disadvantages that I had in the beginning of martial arts training. The disadvantage was that I had to break through a certain mindset of having been raised to be a timid, non-aggressive female especially in the Korean culture. Growing up, my parents turned the channel when martial arts movies or boxing came up on TV, so I had no idea what I was coming into at PAMA. The advantage, however, was that I feel like I was introduced to great women role models from the get-go. I saw how potentially skilled and powerful a woman could be in instructors like Guro Amy and Mary Jo. I have no delusions about out-punching a big guy, but I do try to take the advice about using a woman's flexibility or quickness to heart.
The advice I would give to women thinking of joining is to be reassured that Sifu and the other instructors provide a supportive, yet realistic environment for women to train in; women are encouraged, just like the men, to push themselves to the max without being coddled or treated as just weak females. All the other PAMA members are very supportive in helping you develop, regardless of gender.
What are your favorite arts and why?
Although I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of Jun Fan, the flexibility and diversity of the art amaze me. There seems to be a technique adaptable to every situation which renders it practical for the everyday world. Kali, at first, made me feel that I had two left hands and no right one; however, I'm beginning to see the powerful grace and beauty in the art which make me enjoy Kali much more.
What do you see as some of your goals in the martial arts and in your life in general?
My overall goal in martial arts is to achieve grace with technical proficiency. Finding myself huffing and puffing in grappling or forcing a trapping makes me realize I'm lacking both controlled grace and the technicality. My biggest focus now is to learn to "flow" and learn the details that really make each move work without resorting to brute force (which never seems to work anyway). For life in general, learning the martial arts was a big step in gaining more self-empowerment. I feel much less like the cowardly 13 year old who was afraid of being picked on and much more like I'm wearing the "fight face" that Sifu says he sees on me during class!
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you to Sifu and everyone else for your patience while helping me develop! The instructors were very patient in dealing with my clumsiness and questionable hand-eye coordination abilities; I appreciate all your help!
- PAMA is ready to go on Vacation again! -
When you pack up your bags for vacation don't forget to take PAMA with you! Wear your PAMA T-shirt in a vacation or summer photo. Bring the photo in and you could be a winner in the PAMA photo contest. There are several catagories and the students vote.
- Kids Testing: 9-13 Year Old -
Congratulations to Idir Aitsahalia and Liam Arnade-Colwill for passing their first test in the children's program and receiving their Gold Sashes. Victor Bell, a graduate of the 6-8 year old program, tested for his first sash in the older kid's program and received his Orange Sash.
Also, Aubrey Mulford continued to show her excellence in Jun Fan Gung Fu, kickboxing, form, and trapping and earned a high level Blue Sash.
Great job all.
- Jun Fan: 4 and 8 Month Tests -
Tony Arias, David Bergman, and Marcelina Reyes passed their first test in Jun Fan Gun Fu, the 4 month test. Great job all. Keep up the hard work and we'll see you in a few more months.
Passing the 8 month test, which also enables a student to take the new Intermediate Jun Fan class, are: Matt Foster, Aleksandr Geldenberg, Jason Schar, Tim Dillingham, and Sony Chako. See you all Monday night.
Sifu Recommends a Book
- A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose -
Building on the astonishing success of The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle presents readers with an honest look at the current state of humanity: He implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity.
Tolle tells us there is good news, however. There is an alternative to this potentially dire situation. Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. This will involve a radical inner leap from the current egoic consciousness to an entirely new one.
In illuminating the nature of this shift in consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are--which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are--and learn to live and breathe freely.
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu disarms an angle #1 strike using a switch and hit.
Sifu disarms an angle #1 strike via sector 6.
- Learn a Technique from Guro Amy -
Guro Amy defends a jab by entering into a harimau knee pull (tarik dengkul) then transitioning into a shin break.
- Calcium, Magnesium, Potasium by Innate Response -
Calcium, Magnesium, & Potassium are essential nutrients that are sparse in many diets. It is impossible for a whole food foundational multi vitamin and mineral forumla to supply a sufficient dose of these three vita nutrients, Calcium, Magnesium, & Potassium from Innate Response Formulas™, is the perfect mineral formula to complement all Innate Reponse Formulas™ Multiple Vitamin and Mineral formulas.
CALCIUM (Ca): Calcium is vital to the structure of bones and teeth, contraction of muscles, enzyme activity, regulation of the heart beat, release of neurotransmitters and clotting of the blood. Studies indicate that a moderate potency of calcium in a FoodStateŽ is beneficial to the bones and osteoporosis prevention. Some studies indicate that high calcium intake can contribute to calcium excretion and reduced bone building.
MAGNESIUM (Mg): Magnesium occurs abundantly in nature. However, much is lost in the processing and refining of foods. As a result, low magnesium intake is very common. Magnesium primarily functions in enzyme activation, with participation in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including the enzymes responsible for the transcription, translation and replication of nucleic acids (RNA and DNA). It plays a critical role in energy production through pathways of carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism and in the synthesis of ATP in the mitochondria. Magnesium is important for bone growth, the metabolism of calcium, and the structure and function of the muscles. In the sodium and potassium pump, magnesium is necessary for the active transport of Potassium out of the cells.
POTASSIUM (K+): Potassium is an essential element that functions in the maintenance of electrolyte and osmosis balance. It works to offset the excessive negative charges of organic constituents within the cell. As a component in the production of ATP, potassium also plays a role in the excitability of the nerves and muscles. Potassium is beneficial for the prevention and treatment of hypertension and cardiovascular disease as well as supporting the muscles, kidneys, adrenals and nerve functions.
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee