Everything worth doing is—at first—worth doing badly.
Overnight or day camp—two options! (Or a mix of both!) Also Studio Camp July 9-13th—a great time to get LOTS of training! Save and sign up now!
Camp Courage and GRLQUAKE are open for early registration until April 1st. Sign up online or in the studio!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Welcome to Thornhill, Glenview, Chabot and Hillcrest Students!
Try a free class at the Studio anytime! Also Rockridge Street Fair Demo September 17th, Join us!
Mas Cally showing her moves at the Temescal Demo in June – Bravo!
There are the moves and forms each student needs to memorize, and also the additional requirements: teaching hours, selfless service and cleaning the school, an essay requiring self-reflection, plus the leadership skills it takes to ask for help and guide teammates to be in one’s kumbongs. And the fighting, don’t forget the fighting!
It’s a big process and it always eventuates in growth – even if one doesn’t pass. I have failed several tests in my past, but the failures taught me at least as much as the successes – or more!
Over the next few weeks as we ready for this test, jump in – whether you are among those testing or not. Ask the testers if they need practice partners. Offer to help with the Studio cleaning (usually the night before the test). Run holds, or read an essay draft, or simply give words of encouragement.
It is said that when one student tests, we all do (which is why everyone under black belt wears white for testing). Take this opportunity to ready for your next test, and to help the entire Studio grow.
The test starts at 9am sharp on Saturday the 30th and likely will run past noon. Plan to show up and stay, to help as well as learn. After, we’ll hang out for a bit and have snacks so please bring something to share.
There are many positives to testing: it reveals where we have gaps in our knowledge and provides feedback to all of us instructors. It also builds bravery, courage, confidence and the three P’s of Poekoalan: Patience, Practice, Perseverance.
I’m looking forward to the 30th. Best of luck to everyone, but as MGA Scott says, “Luck has nothing to do with it.” Prepare throughly and commit 100%! Train with heart! That will ensure success, no matter what the outcome.
ALL students,friends, families, and after-school students invited! MGAL xoxo
• June 11: Temescal Street Fair
• Camp Fun and Events 4 All
• All school picnic: June 21st!
These young women were among our first students here at Naga, and they have demonstrated incredible determination, leadership and excellence in their college careers while keeping connected to the Studio.
Bantoe Xian graduated cum laude with a major in Studio Arts, focus on Graphic Design, and a minor in Urban Studies. Bantoe Julia’s degree is in Biological Sciences focused on molecular, genetics and evolution.
They join Pendekkars Ethan and Amber, and Mas Naomi and Mas Lindsay, as successful Tulen Foundation Scholars. Funds raised in our auction provide each college bound black belt with $500 per year of higher education through the non-profit Tulen Foundation.
We believe in education and in supporting these young leaders financially and with our resourceful community. Knowing these inspiring young people is truly joyful – we wish all of them the very, very best! And though we’re not sure each will be living near us (they are job hunting and our fingers are crossed) we know they will be in touch – we are always connected.
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