December 2007 Newsletter

- Student of the Month - Events - Recommended Book - Video Technique - Dietary Supplement -

Student of the Month

- Frank Vamos -

Frank Vamos

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- Sifu Returns to Brussels -

by Vince T.

Once again and for the third time in about three years Sifu Rick came down to Brussels, Belgium, to head a seminar hosted by three Belgian "mousquetaires" (and martial artists). Accompanied by Mike Lee and Mary Jo Colli, two PAMA instructors and now friends, we trained, laughed, discussed and walked a lot under the beautiful rainy sky of our beautiful country.

(left) Sifu, Mary Jo, Mike, and the three "mousquetaires" enjoy the scenic city in between the seminar.

Click here to see all the pictures taken from Brussels.

Sifu Rick took the time to stress the importance of foundation and basics over the course of the seminar, whether it be for the Jun Fan on Saturday or for the Kali-Silat on Sunday. More specifically, he insisted on the fact that if you were not applying certain principles (or "facts") while practicing Jeet Kune Do, you were actually not practicing JKD but something else, you name it. The underlying basis of the system created by Bruce Lee is its essence and has to be integrated into one's practice in order for that practice to become the art itself and not just a succession of kickboxing movements. The roots of the art of Jeet Kune Do are an essential element to its effectiveness but it implies hard work and perfect practice.

(left) Sifu demonstrates the correct form of the wom pak to biu jee, (right) Students honing their skills

Click here to see all the pictures taken from Brussels.

On Sunday, we started with some Laban Laro from the Lameco Eskrima system followed by some single dagger practice, panatukan and finally Silat sweeps. Watching Sifu Rick demonstrating all the flows and techniques with his instructors with such ease and precision would make any beginner speechless. Many jaws dropped that day but at the end everyone was happy and "pumped-up" by the motivation shared by Sifu Rick and his instructors. I've been told "the best so far" by many of the practionners at the end of the weekend and I wanted to share that with you. Thank you Sifu.

(left) Sifu shows the roof block from the Lameco System, (right) Students practice defenses from the Balintawak System

Click here to see all the pictures taken from Brussels.

I also would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came, many from different parts of the country, schools and/or branches. Of course I would also like to thank Sifu Rick for coming all the way down here to show and teach us once again Jun Fan, Kali and Silat at their highest level.

Salamat Po,


(top) Sifu answers questions relating to JKD, (bottom) Seminar participants for the Jun Fan and Kali/Silat sessions.

Click here to see all the pictures taken from Brussels.

- Celebrating Sifu Rick's and Si Hing Bernie's Birthdays -

by Poneyboy Miller

Meet tonights guests of honor.

Click here to see all the pictures taken during the celebration.

On Saturday November 10th at seven o'clock in the evening, PAMA was once again transformed into a concert/party hall to celebrate Sifu Rick's and Si Hing Bernie's birthdays. The lighting and displays of art, weaponry and photographs set the evening's ambiance. PAMA could have been easily mistaken for an art gallery instead of a world renowned martial arts gym. Speaking of art, all that attended and signed the birthday cards at the entrance were witness to the talent of our resident artist Kurt Komoda's skills, who made the birthday cards himself.

(top) Everyone raises their glass to toast Sifu and Bernie, (bottom) Your MCs and hosts for the evening.

Click here to see all the pictures taken during the celebration.

The evening was especially special to Si Hing Bernie Dudley, who celebrated his 50th birthday. It was an honor to share this milestone with a dear friend and mentor.

A small sampling of the delicious and diverse foods from the night.

Click here to see all the pictures taken during the celebration.

Along with the spirits we all shared, there were many foods and drinks that reflected PAMA's diverse family. In addition to the edible delights, we were also treated to those of an audible nature. I refer to Sifu and the band, which covered Beatles tunes and many others. As the night wore on, the band grew in size. Many of us found ourselves picking up instruments and joining in. While I went for the cow bell, others grabbed maracas, tambourines and conga drums.

Entertainment provided by Sifu Rick and his Sidekicks.
As the night progresses, the backup singers/band grow.

Click here to see all the pictures taken during the celebration.

In between all the food, music and fun, the instructors and staff managed to give Sifu Rick and Si Hing Bernie their gifts. Si Hing Bernie received a beautiful engraved desk clock from the staff, while Sifu Rick got a Pre-Columbian spiritually symbolic hand carved Jaguar head. Knowing that Sifu practiced boxing at an early age, Mike Wolhfert gave him exquisitely framed action photographs of Muhammad Ali.

(left) Gift Time! (right) Sifu's beautiful ancient Jaguar head.

Click here to see all the pictures taken during the celebration.

While the event was extremely entertaining, it served another purpose. Not only did we celebrate Sifu Rick's and Si Hing Bernie's birthdays, we also got to know a little bit about each other. The event gave us a rare opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to one another and have conversations beyond everyday martial arts talk. It was great to see everyone outside of their sweaty workout clothes, talking about life and each others goals.

Thank everyone who attended for all the food and drinks that were contributed. Special staff to the staff and those who helped set up and break down the equipment afterward. It was a great time. And finally, thank you Sifu Rick and Si Hing Bernie for allowing us to partake in the celebration of your birthday milestones.

- An Update on Guro Amy -

Guro Amy is continuing the healing process in Germany, and sends her thank yous to all the PAMA students for their support, emails and good wishes. And she sends Christmas greetings and love to everyone ...

Lisa Melendez and Guro Amy's family visit her in Germany.

- Congratulations to Andy Maulbeck in his NAGA Finish -

Andy gains the superior position.

Great job and congratulations to Andy for finishing 4th place in the NAGC championships held in October.

NAGC - North American Grappling Championship
Located - Newark, NJ
Date - October 17, 2007
Weight Class: Middle Weight 170 lbs - 179.9lbs
Number of Competitors: 24 people
Place: 4th
Experience Level: Novice

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Sifu Recommends a Book

- Think on These Things -

Think on These Things
Think on These Things,
by Jiddu Krishnamurti
Excerpt from book:

I wonder if we have ever asked ourselves what education means. Why do we go to school, why do we learn various subjects, why do we pass examinations and compete with each other for better grades? What does this so-called education mean, and what is it all about? This is really a very important question, not only for the student, but also for the parents, for the teachers, and for everyone who loves this earth. Why do we go through the struggle to be educated? Is it merely in order to pass some examinations and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the whole process of life? Having a job and earning one's livelihood is necessary - but is that all? Are we being educated only for that? Surely, life is not merely a job, an occupation; life is something extraordinarily wide and profound, it is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings. If we merely prepare ourselves to earn a livelihood, we shall miss the whole point of life; and to understand life is much more important than merely to prepare for examinations and become very proficient in mathematics, physics, or what you will.

Editor's Note:

The material contained in this volume was originally presented in the form of talks to students, teachers and parents in India, but its keen penetration and lucid simplicity will be deeply meaningful to thoughtful people everywhere, of all ages, and in every walk of life. Krishnamurti examines with characteristic objectivity and insight the expressions of what we are pleased to call our culture, our education, religion, politics and tradition; and he throws much light on such basic emotions as ambition, greed and envy, the desire for security and the lust for power - all of which he shows to be deteriorating factors in human society.

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Video Technique

- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -

Sifu defends a backhand slash with a counter thrust and slash and finishes with a leg sweep.

Video 1: regular speed - slow motion

Sifu disarms an angle 2 slash with a roof block and strip.

Video 2: regular speed - slow motion

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Dietary Supplement

- GABA by Douglas Labs -

GABA by Douglas Labs
GABA by Douglas Labs

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA is synthesized in the brain from another amino acid, glutamate, and functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter - meaning that it blocks nerve impulses. In the body, GABA is concentrated in the hypothalamus region of the brain and is known to play a role in the overall functioning of the pituitary gland - which regulates growth hormone synthesis, sleep cycles, and body temperature.

Excerpt taken from Douglas Labs.

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Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Kurt Komoda, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Vince T, Mike Lee, Poneyboy Miller