June 2008 Newsletter
Student of the Month
- Kerrin Paul -
Tell us a little about your life outside of PAMA.
Sometimes I feel like I am living a dual life! I've been working in sales and home finance for 7 years and I still don't really know how that happened. I hail from a background of acting, singing, visual arts and writing, but somehow ended up selling cars and then mortgages. Presently I'm putting myself through school to get a long overdue BFA in digital arts at TCNJ. During the school year I work nearly full time while taking 16 credits, so it gets a little nuts... but the good news is that I'm entering my senior year! Recently I've been getting extra work as a photographer, and I hope to start designing web pages very soon. In my free time, I garden avidly for hours, try my hand at cooking, read, watch artsy or documentary films, and always try to learn about new things. Occasionally I have to break with routine by doing something completely random, like skydiving. In this regard, I suppose one might say I'm a bit of a domestic anomaly. Life is rarely "normal". :-)
What influenced you to start training marital arts? How did you hear about PAMA?
When I was younger, both my brother and I were enrolled in Taekwondo classes. He was my idyllic hero. My father and I used to go to his classes to watch behind a glass pane and it was enthralling. After much nagging and begging of our parents, they enrolled me as well and I trained for a little over a year. My interest in combative and contact sports had increased significantly- so in high school I signed up for the wrestling team my freshman year, becoming the first female on the team ever. (That went well until I fractured my sternum. Fun times!) When I was 20, I tried to go back to Taekwondo but there was something missing. I thought that there had to be something more practical out there. In February of 2007, I got the itch to train - so I set out on an internet quest to find a unique place that trains people in different martial arts and provides a lot of value. I was very excited to find the PAMA website, because all of these wonderful arts are offered and it's right here in Princeton. It was exactly what I was looking for.
How would you characterize your progress since you first started?
It's been very stop-and-go since I haven't been training as often as I would like. Taking a sabbatical for school projects certainly set me back quite a bit, so my speed and my stamina have suffered. However, I certainly feel more comfortable today than I did the first day I joined PAMA. This is all one giant work-in-progress, so I try to be patient with myself and focus on getting the basics right. There are days when I feel like everything I've learned has gone out the window - but then there are other days when I feel pretty good about my progress. Sometimes it's difficult to know what improvements are being made, but I have to trust that if I train more often - with more intensity - the improvements will happen slowly but surely.
In what aspect other than the physical (such as spiritual, intellectual, or mental) have you noticed change since first joining PAMA?
I think training at PAMA has really affected my mentality in a wonderful way. Meeting inspirational individuals and training with and getting to know them has had an enormous positive effect on my life. When I had started training, I was just going through the application process for college - which was a little daunting as a returning adult. Both the act of training and being inspired by other people that I met here has helped me through the application process and also my first year back as a student. Likewise, when a stressful situation occurs, I feel like I'm better equipped to weather the storm both emotionally and mentally.
What is your favorite aspect about training martial arts and training at PAMA?
My favorite aspects are the diversity of arts offered (though admittedly I need to take further advantage of this) and the way everyone works together to improve. It's a pleasure to train with people who are from various levels of experience and backgrounds, because it presents so many opportunities to learn, observe, improve and grow. One day I may be working with someone WAY out of my league, and that reminds me of what it is I'm striving for... sometimes that helps to get to a new level. Other times, I might work with someone who is in the same experience category as myself and it's a good reminder that some of us are in the same boat, so to speak. We can learn from each other's mistakes and accomplishments alike.
Any other additional comments?
Thank you Sifu and the rest of the PAMA team for doing a great job and exceeding expectations! We're very lucky to have such a great school in the area and I'm really glad to be training here. Going anywhere else would be settling for less.
- Ajarn Chai Seminar in New York -
On May 18, students of all levels attended a Muay Thai seminar at Progressive Martial Arts in Fresh Meadows, NY to learn from the best - Ajarn Chai Sirisute. Ajarn Chai is an accomplished fighter, expert martial artist, and phenomenal teacher. This year marks two major milestones. In October, Ajarn Chai will be celebrating his 60th birthday. Also this year, he is also celebrating 40 years of teaching in United States! We thank Ajarn Chai once again for his dedication to sharing and cultivating the art.
The seminar was excellent, as usual, and emphasized the basics, as well as introduced advanced counters and newly evolved Muay Thai techniques. After lunch, Ajarn spent time on the Muay Thai ceremony (Ram Muay/Wai Khru) and then Khru Mary Jo was asked to assist in teaching the female version of this beautiful and symbolic dance.
- PAMA Goes on Vacation Again! -
PAMA announces its fourth annual photo content. With the arrival of summer also comes the PAMA T-shirt contest. Each year, the number of entries have continued to grow as well as get more creative so help keep up the tradition. Bring your PAMA T-shirt or jacket with you on vacation (don't forget your camera) and take a picture with your PAMA clothes in some original, exotic, or scenic place. Please submit your pictures to PAMA by no later than September 15th for a chance to win great prizes including items from the pro-shop. Everyone will get a chance to vote on their favorites. Don't miss out!
- Kali Level 1 Test -
Congratulations to Thom Jason and Kurt Komoda for passing the Level 1 Test in Kali. Great job guys on your work in this long and comprehensive test.
Sifu Recommends a Book
- Stretching: 20th Anniversary & Stretching in the Office -
Bob Anderson's book Stretching is probably the most widely used and recommended book on the topic ever published, and it's still one of the best, more than 20 years after it was written. The simple stretches detailed here do wonders for everyday fitness and for sports including golf, tennis, running, and cycling. All are illustrated with clear line drawings.
Staying Loose provides simple stretching routines to make high-tech life healthier. Easy-to-follow instructions and line drawings accompany each stretch. The book also includes tips on creating an ergonomic workstation. "Task-specific stretches that keep you stress-free on the job." - Self magazine "Addresses the dilemma of the ... workday: getting in some exercise when you have no time to work out." - Publishers Weekly
- Learn a Technique from Sifu Rick -
Sifu demonstrates flowing from the hubud drill into a disarm and then a stick lock.
Sifu executes a puter kapala after ejecting the stick.
- The 4 and 8 month tests for Jun Fan will be held on June 28. Please see an instructor for details and don't forget to sign up in the Pro Shop.
- PAMA will hosting Ajarn Chai Sirisute on September 13 & 14. Come and experience a martial arts legend!!!
- Nattokinase -
Nattokinase (NK) is a profibrinolytic serine protease originally extracted and purified from natto, a traditional fermented soybean food popular in Japan. The fermentation process includes incubating boiled soybeans with Bacillus subtilis natto. Current research suggests that NK may support healthy coagulation of blood within normal levels, and may be useful in the maintenance and enhancement of normal healthy endogenous fibrinolysis, the dissolution of the essential portion of the blood clot or thrombus. Maintenance of optimum functioning of the body's fibrinolytic/thrombolytic mechanisms may benefit the function of many bodily systems, in particular the cardiovascular system and the brain.
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Kurt Komoda, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Mike Lee