Student of the Month
- Allie Raghavan -
Please share with our readers a little bit of your non-martial arts background.
I was born in India and lived there for the majority of my life. I moved to Princeton when I was thirteen and have lived here ever since. I am currently a sophomore at Princeton High School. I enjoy playing tennis and soccer and I am an ardent follower of the English Premier League and everything else related to soccer.
How did you first become interested in Martial Arts?
It was a culmination of things that got me into thinking about martial arts. Like a lot of others, I loved martial arts movies, especially Enter the Dragon-that was my favorite. I'd always wanted to give martial arts a try. The person that gave me the final push however was the person sitting next to me on the flight to the US. He had trained in martial arts and he talked about all the ways that he felt that his training had been rewarding. At that point, I decided to try it.
How did you first hear about PAMA and what was your motivation for coming to PAMA?
That in itself is a strange coincidence. As I said before, I wanted to try martial arts when I first got to the US. Well, being new to the Princeton area and being completely lost, my dad took a wrong turn to get to Market Fair and we ended up in front of PAMA. I noted the address and searched it on the internet along with other schools. The curriculum for PAMA seemed to be the most extensive so I decided to try class.
You first joined PAMA as a young lady, 13 years old. Could you talk about how your interpretation of Martial Arts has grown and changed?
When I first joined, I only thought of the physical aspects of martial arts. I thought that the kicks and punches looked cool and I thought that I would be able to perfect them in a few years. Now I realize that I couldn't have been more wrong. Now it feels that perfection is a journey; it's not a destination. I realize that martial arts has a great deal more to it than kicks and punches and, in my three years at PAMA, I have barely scratched the surface of what martial arts really represents.
Tell us some of the benefits that you are receiving from assisting in the Children's Classes. What have you learned and what have they taught you?
The children's classes have benefited me in more ways than I had originally thought possible. When I help the kids, I am forced to break the drills down and think about each aspect. This helps me understand the drill better because I cannot explain something to someone else if I don't understand it myself. Apart from that though, I am continually surprised by how fast the kids learn when they don't set limits for themselves. When they see the instructor or me do a drill, they feel that they can do it too without feeling that it is beyond them. That always inspires me to forget about my limits and go further than I think I can.
Could you talk a little about martial arts and PAMA from a female perspective? What advice would you give a female thinking of joining?
I wrote an article for this very topic and writing it gave me a lot of food for thought. When I first joined, I was a little shy but I soon realized that this image that I had of myself was only in my head. Just as Lao Si Mary Jo says, "forget about your limits; they're only in your head", I realized that I could be as competent as I chose to be. Everyone at PAMA has reinforced that idea and the camaraderie in the classes really is commendable. I would advise everyone who is thinking of joining to go right ahead; it is a lot easier when you forget about all the reasons you feel you can't do something.
What are your favorite arts and why?
My favorite art is definitely Jun Fan; partly because I have trained in it the longest. I like the scientific and pragmatic approach that it presents. The art itself is very practical and to me it feels very dynamic. I also really like Kali because it feels very complete. There are twelve areas of Kali and within them almost every aspect of martial arts is covered. Although admittedly, I haven't been able to attend many of the Kali classes because of time constraints.
What do you see as some of your goals in the martial arts and in your life in general?
In the short term, I really want to start taking more classes especially in Kali and Silat. I hope that I have time for that at least over the summer. In the long term though, I'm not really sure what to expect. Martial arts has given me things that I never knew it could. For instance, it has given me more focus even in things even outside of class. As all the instructors say, "It is very important to be in the moment". Even in everyday life, I find that I am more aware, more "in the moment" than I had been before. I am continually surprised by all that martial arts has to offer and I guess I can't really set goals except to become a better martial artist.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I want to thank all the instructors at PAMA for their continuous support and their dedication to seeing progress in each and every one of the students.
- Studio 116 Gallery Celebrates the Art of Guro Amy with a Showing of her Watercolors -
On Friday, May 1st, 2009, a posthumous showing of the art of Guro Amy Tucci, PAMA's co-founder, took place at Studio 116, located in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Featuring Guro Amy's numerous Watercolor paintings, the showing highlighted several of the paintings featured on the CD-Rom "Amy Tucci, Watercolors." On that day, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Studio 116 was filled with family, friends and students of Guro Amy joining together to enjoy her art and celebrate her most remarkable life. In attendance at Studio 116 were Sifu Rick, Mr. and Mrs. Race (Guro Amy's parents), Ms. Carol Gross (sister of Guro Amy) and many PAMA students and friends of Guro Amy.
Click here to see all the pictures taken at the Studio 116.
The showing included a reception featuring the music of harpist Anne Elizabeth Evans. The peaceful ambience of Studio 116 augmented the tasteful exhibition of Guro Amy's watercolor paintings that were displayed at multiple points in the gallery area of Studio 116. Many of the paintings in the showing were done while Guro Amy was in Germany undergoing treatment for cancer. Often times confined to a clinic while in Germany, Guro Amy would paint landscapes drawing upon her mind's eye for inspiration. The paintings are filled with the peaceful loving energy she radiated at that time and she channeled the same into her paintings for all to see and feel.
Also present at the showing for purchase were copies of the CD-Rom "Amy Tucci, Watercolors." The CD-Rom displays Guro Amy's paintings in a collection that serves as a computer screensaver. All proceeds from the sale of CD-Rom at the showing were donated to charitable organizations that were supported by Guro Amy during her lifetime.
We would like to thank Mitch Nur and Michele Randall for hosting this month long art showing of Amy's watercolors. Special thanks to Michele for her vision and the beautiful displays that she created.
Click here to see all the pictures taken at the Studio 116.
- Sifu Rick Trains West Windsor's Finest -
Sifu Rick, along with co-trainers Cesar Olavarria and Mike Wolhfert, conducted an 8 hour skill enhancement tactical training course for the West Windsor Tac team. For the security of those involved, we do not want to go into the details of what the training encompassed, but hope that the skills and knowledge that the officers learned will help the team stay safe and perform their duties a little better.
- Childrens Testing: 9-13 Year Old Test -
Sifu Recommends a Book
- The Art of Peace -
The inspirational teachings in this collection show that the real way of the warrior is based on compassion, wisdom, fearlessness, and love of nature. The teachings are drawn from the talks and writings of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the popular Japanese martial art of Aikido, a mind-body discipline he called the "Art of Peace," which offers a nonviolent way to victory in the face of conflict. Ueshiba believed that Aikido principles could be applied to all the challenges we face in life-in personal and business relationships, and in our interactions with society.
This is an expanded version of the original miniature edition that appeared in the Shambhala Pocket Classics series. It features a new introduction by John Stevens, recently translated doka, didactic "poems of the Way," and Ueshiba's own calligraphy.
VISIT OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL for many great techniques and videos by Sifu Rick.
- Colloidal Minerals by Progressive Labs -
It has been found that taking minerals in colloidal form increases their absorption. Contains more than 70 major and trace colloidal minerals. The body's absorption rate of these colloidal minerals is approximately 10 to 12 times greater than elemental minerals taken in tablet or capsule form.
Video/Pictures: Mary Jo Colli, Kurt Komoda, Mike Lee
Stories: Mary Jo Colli, Bernie Dudley, Mike Lee