In some ways it feels like a lOOOng time… and in some ways it’s been a blink. I can think back to when I first walked into Naga – no ceiling, no lights, no bathrooms. The place had been trashed and was painted purple and gold and green…
I didn’t think it could be done, but in three months (give or take a bit) things came together. Pendekkar Judy, who has been training with me now over 20 years, here shares her memories from that time:
We started out in the Fall of ’98, as a very small (about 5 of us!) group, training in borrowed space down the street at the Kajukenbo school, Hand to Hand.
We trained there for a couple of years and slowly, steadily, our numbers grew. Eventually it became clear that we needed our own space.
The first time I walked into the future Studio Naga, I loved it. From the high ceilings with sagging sheetrock to the multi-colored paint scheme in the “store” area, the place had a great feel.
Upon signing a lease, we right away set to renovating the place; ceiling repair, bathroom construction, painting, the works. For the first year, the upstairs was completely sealed off because it didn’t meet city codes. Then, Goeroe somehow (?!?) sweet-talked the city inspector into allowing us to open it again and fix it up for use.
I remember there was a lot of plaster dust from all the construction. And lots and lots of mopping. We really honed our swabbing skills back then.
So many people came together to help out; the students, nutty Jim the plumber, our dear friend Marcel, and a man named Bruce who magically appeared did tons of work (for free!) and then disappeared. Super great guy!
By that time we had maybe 20 students, all adults. We needed a kid’s class! Enter Mas Spencer, along with Liam, Joey and Nicky. Mas Lindsay and Mas Xian were in that early crew too. (Baby Aimee was watching from the sidelines with toddler Toby, the future first class of Jungle Gym). Mas Aly spent the first years of her life strapped to Goeroe’s chest as she taught 3rd Phase before she moved on to Jungle Gym.
Pendekkar Amber, then Pendekkar Ethan joined not long after those first kids, and we all know how that turned out!
Through the years I’ve seen tremendous growth and change in all of us. I am proud of our Studio, and honored to be a part of it. And so grateful for the wise leadership of Goeroe Louise, and her teachers. Thank to all, I look forward to the next 10 years and beyond.
Upcoming April Adventures:
April 21st Come Celebrate with Us! – PLEASE join us for Studio Naga’s 10th anniversary PROM and festivities. This celebration is for EVERYONE: former students, current students and families, anyone who wants to check us out, dance and celebrate our community.
Here’s the lineup for our evening of fun:
6:30 pm-8:00pm: Family dance, kids games and music
8:00 pm: Studio Naga Video Tribute and Delicious Waffle Bar
9:00 pm to the wee hours – Dancing and Speakeasy (Adults)
There’s a suggested donation of $10-20 and kids are free, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP to email@example.com . Dress-up and costumes encouraged! Bring all of your friends! Check our Event Invite on Facebook.
Ten-Year Anniversary Offer: New students can train free for 10-days in April! Tell your friends and family if they’ve been wanting to try out Studio Naga. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Studio for more information.
Summer Camp Sign-Up: We are filling up fast for overnight camp and still have a few openings for day-camp. We have some great surprises up our sleeves for activities, fun, and even (we think) some testing! Visit our camps page or contact the school for more info. Camps are offered only TWO weeks this year, so get onboard!
March Madness Recap:
Kids’ Night Out Tournament Round-Up: In March we had a kickin’ Kids’ Night out, tournament style! The kids rocked! The judges swooned! We learned so much in what I hope will be an annual tradition!
Georoe’s Weekend in Cape Cod: Some of us, including Goeroe Louise, went to Cape Cod for Mas Goeroe Agoeng Barbara’s Goeroe’s weekend! All had a wonderful time with many fun workouts, a chilly dip in the ocean, and the completion of some of our own Bantoes’ tests.
So please join us as we continue our April adventures. Follow the lead of our youngest cranes and fly high!