Studio Naga’s 15th birthday
Family fun party and celebration!
May 6th, 6:30-10 pm, free!
Fancy dress and costumes encouraged!
Former students and after-school families welcome!
In 1998 when MGJ and I moved here from the East Coast we began training in a nearby park to keep active. Somehow we attracted a few students; Pendekkar Jeanessa was #1 and Bantoe Alicia was not far behind. When it rained, we’d train under a freeway bridge!
Soon, other students joined us so we rented space in a friendly martial school down the street. We outgrew that in 2002 when we moved here. But this building was a WRECK! There was no ceiling, no bathrooms, the upstairs had to be closed off for safety. But we dug in, and with the help of many angels (and Marcel and a crazy duo of plumbers!) we fixed up what became our home.
Since then, so much has changed – though not the dressing room situations! In the early naughts, when the street had some intense criminality, I don’t think any of us could have imagined that one day a noodle shop would be our neighbor.
As we have grown, so has our conviction that what we have to offer is important and of service to the world. Our mission, to provide a safe space for empowerment and change within a community that respects and upholds diversity, has become clearer and more relevant over time.
Looking at the pictures above, I am moved by the commitment of all of us: those that came and went, those that came and stayed, those that grew up and went to college and returned to us, those that keep in touch and those we just catch sight of here or there for a quick hug.
We keep learning – I know that I am still growing. I made SO many mistakes in the early days and now I still make them but less often. (At least I am hoping so!) The path continues, but it seems wider now, so full of friends and love that I am often overwhelmed.
Heartfelt thanks to all who are walking the path before me, and alongside me. Let’s keep this thing going, ok? And now, it’s time to party! Please join us on May 6th to celebrate all of US! – xoxo MGAL