February News from Naga!

• Testing next week!
• Camp sign-ups happening!
• Lifetime training
• GRLQUAKE on the horizon








On “lifetime” training…

There will be times when each of us will “sit out” of class – or parts of class. The reasons may be many: injuries, sickness, and eventually age. I have had many such times – a knee operation took me out once for over six months – but my teacher always told me to keep coming to class, keeping moving, move whatever limbs I could.

It has been during those challenging times that I have most felt the true heart of my training – beyond competition, ego and ‘accomplishment.’


I often remind the kids that the highest title in our system is not “best fighter” but “highest teacher.” In doing so, I remind them, and also myself, that being the “best” at something is never lasting; there will always be someone who comes along who will best you, and likely, someone learning something you already know.
Yet helping others to reach their potential (which in some cases will hopefully exceed your own) and growing as a teacher will always be rewarding and sustaining.

This week Pendekkar Dee turned 60! Over the last few years she has been challenged with various pains that have eventuated into operations and in more than one case, joint replacements. Nevertheless, she continues to teach and guide others. She connects with her mentees, tracks them, thinks about what makes them tick, teaches them things she’ll never be able to do herself.

During her Bantoe test she wrote this haiku which says it all:


I will show you how
Can I borrow hands and feet?
I sit.  We both train.
“I don’t have to be the shiniest star to know my worth,” said Pendekkar.

I’m in my 60s now as well and each day I reckon with changes in my body yet my training has never felt so powerful – or been as important. As we go into this week of testing let’s all remember the preciousness of life, movement, and community. And in the process of connection and gotang rojong, let’s remember to celebrate ourselves, both in our accomplishments and our struggles. We are alive, together, and – mostly! – still kicking.  MGALX
Email or call for more info about any of our events or activities. Also our Facebook Page has daily updates!

Testing This Week!!

Green sash wannabes will be testing Wednesday January 29th starting at 5:30. Gold and Blue sash tests will be Saturday February 1st starting at 9am sharp. Please attend all or part of the tests, and wear white if you are a student of any rank below black belt.
Poekoelan tests teach us all – at every stage, from white belt up – to “never give up.”

The tests will put some through their paces, but the payoff will come: the amazing feeling of overcoming challenges, the confidence to tackle something hard, the focus to follow-through and face fear and even failure. (BTW, my tests were no less challenging than yours, and I failed more than one of them!)

Come and support your teammates and train at the same time! You WILL be inspired – promise!

NAGA is our sister school in Beaverton, OR run by my dear friends, Goeroes Silvia Smart & Jeff Denson. They’re getting cool zip white hoodies and you can, too – here! When you’re next in Portland, join a Naga class! Naga students always join our summer camp so you’re bound to meet them there, too!

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