September 2007 Newsletter
A Personal Message from Sifu Rick
We here at PAMA are very sorry for the loss of Sifu Larry Hartsell, and we send our deepest condolences to Debra and the rest of his family.
I started training with Sifu Larry back in 1988 at the Michigan martial arts camp. I remember how I first struggled to follow his lock flows because it was all very new to me. After training with him and being impressed by his knowledge, skill, and humble personality, I asked him if he would be willing to come to PAMA later that year for a seminar, and to my excitement he said yes. He came to PAMA many times between 1988 and 1995. PAMA students always loved his seminars. He covered JKD trapping, boxing, grappling, Kali and other good stuff.
Sifu Larry was way ahead of the curve when it came to the importance of grappling. In those days before the first UFC most people didn't like or care about grappling, but Sifu Larry would always show a doubter how important it was,. As he would famously say, "Pain is a great teacher." He had a great influence on much of my training in those days and in the years to come. The things that he showed were straight forward, honest and real, no extra anything. Besides the many seminars, camps, and private lessons that I attended with him, we shared many good times having meals together and just hanging out talking and laughing. Many people don't know that Sifu Larry was also into poetry (writing poems) and philosophy. He was a gentle, humble human being, but an extraordinary and real fighter, a true warrior. His legacy will live on through his many dedicated students around the world, and certainly through many of the techniques and drills taught at PAMA. We all miss you Sifu Larry, but we know that you are in a better place and that you continue to live in our hearts.
Remembering Sifu Larry Hartsell
With his passing on August 20, 2007, the martial arts world lost one of its truly legendary members. Sifu Larry Hartsell. Born in North Carolina where he studied Judo, Sifu Larry Hartsell was a direct student of Bruce Lee and trained at the Los Angeles "Chinatown" school. Already holding a black belt in Kenpo under Ed Parker, Sifu Larry Hartsell first met and actually sparred with Sijo Lee in 1964. Due his commitment to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, Sifu Hartsell became a student of Sijo Bruce Lee in 1967 and trained with Sijo Lee and Sigung Dan Inosanto at the Chinatown kwoon from 1967 until 1970.
Known as the premier JKD fighter of that time Sifu Hartsell continued to train in JKD with Sigung Dan Inosanto after Sijo Lee's death. Focusing on the grappling range of JKD Sifu Hartsell researched, developed and implemented grappling techniques and methods that were combat proven and taught them to students of JKD for over 30 years. Sifu Hartsell was a regular visitor to PAMA during the late 80's having conducted seminars here from 1988 to 1995. Many PAMA students from that time have unforgettable memories of receiving hands on instruction from Sifu Hartsell.
Click here to see more of Sifu Larry's amazing legacy.
I was one of those students. From my initial introduction to Sifu Hartsell he nicknamed me "Big Guy"; I was a member of Sifu Hartsell's Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do Grappling Association from 1993 to 1998 and I last trained with Sifu Hartsell at his 2002 workshops at the Inosanto Academy in California. My warmest memory of that time was when Sifu Hartsell came up to me on my first day, gripping me in a vise like hold and saying "Hey, Big Guy good to see you." He used me as his demo partner for each of the workshop nights I attended. One night before starting class Sifu Hartsell was examining various pieces of body protectors, after selecting one he summoned me over and said, "Here Big Guy put this one on." "I want you to have a good one for tonight." For the rest of that night he demonstrated on me with punches, locks and strikes that could drop a mule. I have many good memories of the good times I spent with Sifu Larry Hartsell and I mourn his passing. My favorite saying of his is "Never mistake my kindness for weakness," I have taken that one to heart and apply it in my dealings with people at PAMA and elsewhere.
Click here to see more of Sifu Larry's amazing legacy.
Student of the Month
- Marcelina Reyes -
Share with our readers a little bit of your non-martial arts background.
I was born in the Philippines, lived in a town called Batangas (birthplace of the butterfly knife). When I was 12, I moved to the Netherlands with my family and lived there for 2 and a half years. Our family then moved back to the Philippines for another 2 years until we finally migrated to the United States.
I have been playing the piano since age 7. I also danced ballet from age 7 up until I was about 15, when my parents decided it was too expensive to continue ballet classes. Feeling lost outside of dancing, I found myself participating in all kinds of sports such as tennis, swimming, volleyball and running as means to compensate for my abandoned dream of becoming a professional ballerina. I found that I could not excel in these sports because I felt that my passion had been taken away.
I now work full-time in retail, I go to school part-time, I still dance leisurely, I model part-time, and I do occasional background/extra work in movies and tv shows. I hope to do martial arts stunt work for movies. I am definitely an over-achiever.
How did you hear about PAMA? What influenced you to join PAMA?
I had broken up with a boyfriend and that was my original motivation for getting into martial arts. I needed something to cope. I looked up the most prestigious martial arts academy on the East Coast and came across the PAMA website. I came in to take the initial trial class and was immediately hooked. The level of the skill that the PAMA students possessed in the eyes of an outsider was absolutely phenomenal.
What is it about the martial arts that motivated you to make it a part of your life and what are some of the key things that Martial Arts has taught you?
When I had signed up to take classed at PAMA, I was a heavy smoker. I had been smoking a pack and a half for 13 years. But the problem was, I thought my stamina was already at a high level. I could run miles despite my cigarette addiction! It was only after 8 months of training that I decided to quit cold turkey. The classes are much more intense than military boot camp. My stamina has skyrocketed since then!
Martial arts has given me a backbone. Martial arts not only trains my body during class time, but I find that martial arts trains me in every aspect of my day. I find that I don't make self-destructive decisions anymore such as going out all night and barely making it to work the next day.
Martial arts has taught me the value of my life. Sifu Rick Tucci tells us that martial arts is a lonely journey and it has proven itself to be exactly that. It is through martial arts that I am able to be extremely introspective in absolutely anything I do. With failed relationships and any kind of catastrophe that I have come across while training in PAMA, I find that the approach I take in order to deal with these hardships is the exact discipline I learn in class, only a much more elaborate representation. A lot of the martial arts concepts taught at PAMA are transferable to my way of life.
I used to think that I was coming to PAMA to learn how to be a tough girl and know how to beat everyone up, but I now realize that it was that attitude that was preventing me from coming closer to being a skilled martial artist.
During your time here at PAMA what arts have you trained in the most and what arts have you trained in the least and why?
I try to come to PAMA classes as much as possible. I have tried all the classes at least once but I've trained the most in Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do. I hope to progress in Kali, Silat and Savate. I try to come into the Women's class as much as I can as well.
My personal favorite is Kali, being that it originated in the country (Philippines) I grew up in. The movements of the art have this undoubtedly Filipino flavor incorporated into it that I can distinguish over other bladed martial arts. I would like to think that maybe I have an advantage over other people when it comes to learning this art, but as I have observed, the people who have put hours of work into learning the art start to develop the Filipino flavor as if it was there all along.
What do you see as some of your goals in the martial arts and in your life in general?
I am working towards a degree in law. One of my biggest goals is to address mental health issues in third world countries who do not have adequate information or resources. I also want to address the drug problem among kids in America. I hope to be an inspiration for kids to choose the trouble-free way. Those are the main reasons I am working for a law degree. Initially I had wanted to go to law enforcement academy but I recently decided that I want to be involved in law-making.
Martial arts has certainly kept me together. I started out as 98 pound weakling who would hit a brick wall completely out of breath after about half an hour. I had even called Max one time to remove me from the Academy. But I decided against it. And I am glad I stuck around because I cannot see my life any other way than the martial way. I find that the things I learn in PAMA are much more fulfilling than any night out at some random restaurant or bar.
What advice do you have for other women interested in Martial Arts?
Whatever you think you're going to get out of Martial Arts on your first day is not even remotely close to what you actually get. Consider that you learn something about yourself you never knew. Also, as women we need to be able to defend ourselves.
Anything else additional you would like to add?
I would like to thank Guro Amy, Sifu Rick and all the instructors for treating me as an equal to the males in the Academy. Thank you guys for not spoon feeding me the information and for making it a challenge! One of the main things I have learned as part of the martial way is to not take anything personally. Thank you again to all of the instructors for being extremely strict. The discipline at PAMA is impeccable and clearly, that is one of the reasons we are a World-Class Martial Arts Academy.
- Jun Fan: 4 and 8 Month Tests -
Passing their 4 Month test in Jun Fan are Poneyboy Miller, Cameron Erdogan, Vince Hohn, and Hanna Everist. Great job all! See you in 4 more months.
Passing their 8 Month test in Jun Fan are Sandy Lee, Bruce Dunson, Liam Kiernan, Andy Maulbeck, and David Bergman. Congratulations and welcome to the intermediate class!
Sifu Recommends a Book
- Clearing Away Clouds: Nine Lessons For Life From The Martial Arts -
The first foreigner ever to win the gold medal in the All-Japan Toyamu Ryu swordsmanship competition, Stephen Fabian is presently U.S. Branch Head of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu system and senior advisor to the International Shudokan Martial Arts Association, as well as professor of anthropology at North Central College in Illinois. In this edifying and inspiring personal account, Professor Fabian's background in anthropology and his scholarly knowledge of Zen Buddhism and Japanese culture are brought to bear on over two decades of training in Asian martial arts. The result is an illuminating and often entertaining presentation of nine key lessons for mastering life and self. Although each lesson is gleaned from a discreet phase in the author's life experience or martial career, taken together they form a coherent, step-by-step program for personal mastery and success in life, one that can be understood and embraced by all, even those with no interest in the martial arts.
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu disarms an angle #2 strike by going from an outside deflection to a snake and strip.
Sifu disarms an angle #2 by going from an umbrella to a strip.
- Learn a Technique from Guro Amy -
- Starting September 19, the Wednesday 8-9 PM will be changed to an Intermediate level class. This will be another great opportunity to received more advanced training.
- To help prolong your equipments' life and keep them clean, try these handy tips.
- Always take your equipment out of your bag when finished so they can properly dry.
- Use cedar blocks to help wick away moisture.
- If odor lingers, try using a mixture of tea-tree oil and water to kill the odor causing bacteria.
- Immune Builder by JHS Natural Products -
This high-potency formula is the only medicinal mushroom combination product sold in North America that is made exclusively from hot water extracts.
MaitakeGold is a potent Maitake extract developed by Dr. Hiroaki Nanba, PhD., the inventor of Maitake nutraceuticals. MaitakeGold represents such a significant improvement in Maitake formulations that it was recently granted a U.S. Patent (U.S. Patent # 5,854,404). The only Maitake product that carries Dr. Nanba's personal endorsement, MaitakeGold is organic, and is extracted from Maitake mushrooms grown by the Yukiguni Maitake Company of Japan.
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Bernie Dudley, Mike Lee, Rick Tucci