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Fall Nagazette!

• Re-meet Mas Haley

• Summer travels

• Welcome after-schoolers!

• Naga’s mission
• Grlquake self-defense!



Congrads – Mas Haley!
Haley started training at Chabot elementary in the 1st grade and just graduated from UCSC with a degree in business management economics! As a Tulen Foundation College Award recipient, she received scholarship money during college and is now back at Naga inspiring others. She will be assisting in the after-school program at Chabot – a return to her roots! Introduce yourself to this outstanding young person!


Welcome to our new after-school students at Chabot, Hillcrest, Glenview and Thornhill. Please join us for a FREE class anytime for family and friends and read below for an explanation of Naga’s values!


In August, MGA Louise, Pendekkar Dee and Bantoe Cid traveled to Paris to for the Gay Games X. (MGAL participated in both 1990 and 1994!) Competition was both fierce and congenial – with 200 participants from all over the world. Medals were won and friendships were made!


“Gay Games provided the space for me to challenge my fear of being different, being judged, or being a disappointment to that of celebrating all of me in front of a bunch of soon-to-be friends.
Mind blowing.” – Bantoe Cid

“My dream has been to travel to Europe and participate in the games. Check check! My heart, regardless of all my paths and destinations in life, has always been about the journey – a win, win!” – Pendekkar Dee



Follow the Dragon where ever it goes!

Some of us had an adventurous summer! Mas Ben is shown here in Alaska, Mas Arman is ankle deep in the waters of Pamukkale (an amazing place in Turkey that literally means “Cotton Castle”). In August, Mas Zoe and MGAL met up in Lyon, France. (Mas Taj was in Cuba, but we lack evidence!) Next time take your Dragon T on vacation and send us a shot!











Who are we and what do we do?

At Studio Naga we teach compassionate martial arts within a community-oriented environment. For those of you who are new – and for a refresher for old- timers, here’s some of our philosophy:

Dignity/Respect: We foster kindness and friendliness by expecting kids to greet others, thank their instructors, and treat others respectfully. This develops self-confidence and independence, perhaps the most beneficial results of martial arts training.

Individual/Team: Martial arts is both an individual and team practice. We expect kids to honor what their instructors ask of them with an attitude of cooperation. Kids will be asked to help tidy their training spaces, at the Studio or at outside schools as a demonstration of community responsibility.

Internal/External Rewards: Students test when instructors feel they are ready – and it is exciting! However, we also encourage our students to enjoy training and their teammates outside of external rewards and develop an internal barometer for achievement. In our experience, training improves self-esteem, school and work performance, and family relationships. When talking to kids, we like to focus on their experiences – friendships, and what they are learning – rather than outcomes, like testing or getting to the next level. Students progress at very different rates and we work with each person individually. In our outside programs, testing may happen – or not – but learning, confidence and connection are emphasized.

Welcome aboard to our new students and families, and please ask questions as we get to know each other. And for those of you who have been with us longer (up to 25 years for some) keep up the good work!


Watch for our annual Girls Empowerment Weekend in May, 2019. Also, GRLQUAKE self-defense class September 23rd Sunday 4-5:30 for tweens and teens! Sign-up here. Got a posse? We’re happy to schedule a class that works for your group!


Save the Date!
Our annual auction is coming up Sunday, December 2nd, 4-8 pm. Indonesian dinner, a fun demo, and a huge community party! We’ll be asking for some help with this soon – all funds go to scholarships and the $1000 College Awards given to black belts annually! 


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June Nagazette

Hot News!

• Temescal Street Fair!
• Pendekkar – what?
• Jungle Changes
• Special Class 6/11!



Temescal Street Fair, Sunday, June 10th!
Join the fun demo (everyone can do it!) and a fun afternoon. Meet at 12, hang out and demo a few “shows” and spend time with pals and the community.
Sign-up! Talk with Bantoe Dee or Mas James M for more info.


Pendekkar Paige will teach Monday June 11th, 6:30 pm. A long time student, her class will be on using Poekoelan in your life – all teens and adults welcome!




Jungle Gym New time: Saturday class will be 10-10:30 starting June. (One class only.) These young students are working hard for the next demo!





Pendekkar testing at Tilden camp!

Pendekkar – 4th degree – is a title that indicates a great deal of knowledge, leadership skills and a particular kind of relationship to the community. Here are the three people who are up for testing at Tilden camp (a three day test) and a little about what they think about the rank.
Come and support them in their journey that week!


Bantoe Nick

Training 17 years, Bantoe NIck says he trains “because when I’m at the school around our rich community, my best self comes out — I feel confident, compassionate, brave, and can set aside my personal issues to show up for other people.
To me being a Pendekkar means serving the community with a focus on the greater good rather than your own personal needs. This requires a deep self-knowing, humility, and being a strong leader who can inspire/support others to be their best selves.”


Bantoe Dee

Bantoe Dee started training 18 years ago (and started the Jungle Gym program 16years ago). “At the studio everyone teaches as part of training, but not everyone is a teacher. A teacher has mastered the ability to guide, shape and provide vision for training future warriors, warriors that in all likelihood will surpass the teacher. Being the teacher is a mastery of the physical that embraces the internal process that allows a sharing of knowledge without fear of losing face, status, or power.”



Bantoe Brett

Thirteen years in, Bantoe Brett says there are many interpretations of the title Pendekkar but he has a favorite:  “Pendekkar can mean many things: teacher, leader, warrior, leader of the village.  The one I like best is champion of a cause.  I have many causes.In the studio it may be getting you to kick you hand rather than slap your foot, or not using your hands when you roll.  In my family it’s being a good partner and raising a compassionate son.  In the world I’m promoting sexual health and equality (ask me about that sometime).  Somehow it’s all the same.At this point in my life, I doubt I’ll ever get in a real fight.  Maybe that’s the point.  I have bigger things to fight for, but I’ll never stop training.”


Still space in Summer Camps – join in!


Someone you’d like to see featured here? Or something about training? Let us know!


We’re gearing up for the Auction again – talk to Camden if you have ideas or want to help!

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May Nagazette

May It All Happen!

• MGJeff Visit!
• Naga’s Family Campout
• Gold Sash Test!
• GRLQuake Joy!


MGJeff Visits!

Friday, May. 4th, 7-8:30pm – Workout with Mas Goeroe Jeff Denson, who co-runs Naga, our Portland sister school. This workout is for adults and teens (or by permission) and is sure to be a fun time. Please sign up at the back counter. MGJeff is an amazing teacher and Poekoelan practitioner who has been training for decades!

We met Naga kids from Portland last year at Tilden camp and we’re hoping they will return with MG’s Jeff and Silvia this year. They are VERY inspiring students. Click on the link to see Naga’s website and visit them whenever you are in Portland.

Come to the Naga Campout!

Friday, May 18th to Saturday afternoon May 19th at Tilden’s Wildcat Group Campsite. Hosted by Mas Abby Paske and Mas Cat and MG Judy, ALL Naga families are welcome. A group workout on Saturday morn

ing by MG Judy if anyone wants! Dinner and breakfast for all by Abby and Cat!
The suggested donation is $50 for two and $100/family. ALL proceeds go to the Tulen Foundation’s Scholarship fund. Sign up on the back counter or talk to one of the three hosts!


Testing May 5th!

Gold Sash Testing starts at 9am and continues through morning class. Who is this tiny white belt? Who is the brown sash attacking for his test? (A Studio Naga history quiz!) Remember, testing is a way for all of us to see how we are doing – as individuals, as teachers, and as a community – and to celebrate our ongoing commitment to being willing to both succeed AND struggle. Wear white even if you are not testing to participate in the test and give your all as a supporter!

* Summer Camps are filling – sign up here online!



Wow! These young women and girls were absolutely amazing! The weekend exceeded our expectations in every way. Friendships were made, skills were gained, discussions ranged freely about many interesting topics. The best part was how much fun was had by all of us! The night hike was gorgeous and the scavenger hunt was EPIC. To more Quakes ahead: fun, friendship and future leaders! And watch for A summer reunion: we’re calling it AFTERSHOCK!





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April Nagazette

• Self-defense day April 21st!
• Gold sash test May 5th
• Visitor + special class May 4th!
• What are the values here?


Self-Defense Day!APRIL 21st 10-11:30 am 
This Saturday class will be totally devoted to self-defense for all ages. We will also include the 33 girls and young women who are our first GRLQUAKE cohort so please attend if you want! It’s going to be a special class (but no standards!). Verbal, physical, and a whole lot of awareness, assessment, and ACTION!

Mas Goeroe Jeff Denson will be visiting from Portland next month. Plan for a free class Friday, May 4th, for third phase older kids and adults: 6:30 – 8pm!


GOLD SASH test May 5th! 9am start!
Also save the date: June 10th, Sunday, Temescal Street Fair!


Preparing for the Quake!
Over the weekend of April 20-22nd, we’ll be hosting 33 girls for Grlquake, a weekend of empowerment and friendship. The participants range from 8-17 and hail from more than 12 schools and cities from Richmond to San Leandro.

The female staff here at Naga are psyched! And we’re also humbled.

Like with any quake, we don’t know exactly what is going to happen. And in addition to that huge exciting unknown, we are deep in the work of clarifying what we deem is “empowerment.”

In framing the values to share with our campers, we’ve been looking hard at ourselves. It might seem easy to tell a middle school girl to make a new friend when a friendship sours, but her fears and insecurities about making friends are the same as ours.
When is the last time we, as adults, ventured to make a new friend – and  how?

It can seem straightforward to tell a young girl she is beautiful and smart and to ignore a mean boy (or girl) who says otherwise, but do we admit that we sometimes tell ourselves the kind of negative messages she might be hearing?

What do we tell ourselves that we would never say out loud to a young person or child?

We can all agree that being an ally is the right thing to do and that standing up for others is heroic, but when do we ourselves overlook injustice or the racist, sexist, and inappropriate words of others?

Is what we ignore, what we stand for?

And how do any of us deal with the stress of competition (about grades, boys, friends, looks) that becomes so stressful to girls at puberty? How do we impart the value of “when all boats rise” we all benefit?

When is healthy competitive spirit a good thing and when do we use that same competitiveness to put others down?
Our teaching team of 14 has been exploring these questions. We have vast experience: in the classroom, at the Studio and in many other venues, the hospital, the boardroom, the kitchen, and elsewhere. But this work as role models and mentors to our cohort demands a huge leap into self-understanding and vulnerability: a deep look at how we want young women and girls to do things we’re not entirely successful at ourselves.

We hope for more Grlquakes in the future (and perhaps even a Womenquake!) but in the meantime we are certainly living our slogan, “Shake It Up!”


Summer Camp –  Tilden Camp will have many surprises – visitors from other schools, advanced testing, many hours outdoors in nature!  Both weeks are packed weeks of fun, friendship, and training – check out Facebook for photos of years past, or talk to your mentor about going!

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March Nagazette

Sash and Belt Bags by Mas Miriam and Mas Julia!
These beautiful bags are handmade by these wonderful sisters and are on sale in the store! Support their creativity, or get inspired to make your own bag to keep your sash or belt safe and clean. Having a nice bag will make it less likely that you will misplace or lose it. You work so HARD for these important representations of your training – treat them well!
Here’s the IMPORTANT thought for the month: Fall down 7, get up 8! I hear so often that kids are afraid to fail. At Studio Naga about 80% of what we do here we fail at, at least for the first 10-1000 times we try it! Please try to fail at at least 3 things this month—and brag about your failures! If you aren’t failing—or at least being challenged—you aren’t setting the bar high enough. Parents, show your kids that you, too, aren’t born “knowing what to do” at all times. This picture is of our fabulous annual Tilden Camp, but if you want to hear a good story about trying, falling and getting back up, talk to Mas Goeroe Judy or Bantoes Cid and Dee, or myself about our crazy FIRST Camp Courage. Was it perfect? Oh, NO! Did we learn anything? Yes! Did we have fun anyway? Absolutely!
Everything worth doing isat firstworth doing badly.
Monday Night! Remember 6:30-7:30 class is open to all levels, kids 8 and up, and adults. This class has very few participants so you’ll get lots of attention!
April 20-22nd Spring Empowerment Weekend for girls 8-18 is nearly full! We have a diverse group and some on a waiting list for scholarships. If you can sponsor a girl, email us. Some local realtors are sponsoring a few! Call with any questions!
Summer Camp Early Registration by April! Tilden Camp is June 25th-29th!
Overnight or day camp
two options! (Or a mix of both!) Also Studio Camp July 9-13tha great time to get LOTS of training! Save and sign up now!
Community lunch was superfun. The next one is March 24th, we’ll have a brown bag or potluck after class at nearby Hollis Park (61st & Hollis). Get to know your community! And make Naga yours! if you see something that needs attention – stocking bathrooms, straightening shelves, folding gis. Jump in! 

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New Year’s News

Half Price January Friends & Family—New Students!
New Year Inspiration
Auction Success!


Camp Courage and GRLQUAKE are open for early registration until April 1st. Sign up online or in the studio!

Auction Success!

Thanks to the support of all of you in our wonderful community, we were able to raise $15,000 for training scholarships and college black-belt awards. With all the funds raised, we’ll grant scholarships and give more to our college-bound leaders!


New Year’s Inspiration: Don’t pick up!

A teacher points to a big boulder and asks, “See that large rock over there?”

“Yes,” says the student.

“Do you think it’s heavy?”

“Yes, it’s very heavy!” replies the student.

“Well, it’s not heavy if you don’t pick it up!” says the teacher.

Every day we have the option to pick up the “heavy rocks” in our life. Many times we may not even realize that we’re carrying heavy stuff around. Often I hear parents and students talk about how “hard” something feels, whether it’s going into a new class, meeting new people, or trying new activities.

What I usually suggest is that those things are only as hard as we think they may be—or as hard as we make them. Just like with huge rocks, instead of being weighed down by our “boulders,” we can sit on them, stand on top of them, play games around them—or simply ignore them and walk on by!

We can even go around the other side of the boulder to see what it looks like from a different perspective, from a different point of view, a different context – but if we are not trying to carry it, it’s no longer heavy.

I do this myself. Today, it’s computer problems that I’m daunted by and usually make VERY heavy! But this year, my resolution is to “carry less heavy”—to make a conscious choice to let things go and not to think them into being heavier than they need be.

Next time you see me fretting about this or that, feel free to remind me: don’t pick it up!

To the best of all, for all, in 2018—xo MGAL. To light, to lightness!




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Kids Night Out—In the DARK?

Friday, Oct. 27th, 6:30-10pm – A fun Halloween themed in-the-darkish class! We’ll have glow sticks for everyone, but wear head lamps if you want! Plus a snack and movie! You must reserve to attend. Sign up and pay at the Studio or online at the store. $30 per child; siblings 2/$50.


Tourney Team Rocks!

Congrads to our amazing tournament team – not only were they brave and dedicated, they took home a whole bunch of trophies. The entire TEAM were winners – really!! Everyone upped their practice and skills, dedicated hours of time and PUT THEMSELVES OUT THERE! SO so proud of you all, I’m overjoyed! Thanks for representing our art and Studio so beautifully and with such good manners and attitude!

* Summer Camp dates are coming soon – we’re waiting to hear from Tilden!

We’d love your help with our annual auction!
December 3rd, Sunday, 4-8 – dinner, demo, auction, fun and community!


Talk to GJudy or MGALouise if you have suggestions or contacts for auction items – a craft, a gift certificate, a party, or service you can offer? Or want to help us cook Indonesian dinner? Talk to Mas Simon. Invite your friends, families and co-workers. ALL proceeds fund scholarships here at the Studio and our college black belt awards. The event is free, but dinner tickets are on sale now – $20/$10 kids in advance! (You will also be able to buy them on the Tulen Foundation website soon!)

Mas James Wiley is one of our college black belt scholarship award recipients. Recently he was chosen to represent Berkeley City College in Washington, D.C., at the Congressional Black Caucus and was able to meet Representative Maxine Waters, see above! So great to see him growing as a leader – you are inspiring, Mas James, Congrats!

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