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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September 2017 News!

Fall Forward!

• Testing 9/30 – 9am!
• Teaching-Leadership Class
• PLUS! Welcome back!

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!deb7d992-fedd-4e39-96a3-0d4b18b169be

Testing September 30th, Saturday, starts 9 am!

Sash Testing – Up to the Challenge?
Each test, for every rank and every stripe, is hard – for everyone.  It’s meant to be. We are teaching and supporting each other to be leaders, martial artists and community citizens. That’s no small challenge!

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 xoxo29d012f3-0336-4fa5-976f-b1433bff851d

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Summer News!

The photo issue! Summer camp fun, MGJudy’s trip to

teach self-defense in Tanzania, special summer classes!

Ladies Fight Night July 21st – 6:30-8 pm19987b5c-aea1-46f1-bda1-99df4342b004


Ladies Fight Night provides practical, easy to learn self-defense strategies and techniques in a supportive, fun and non-scary environment. This class is only offered several times a year so tell your pals!! July 20th, Thurs. 6:30-8pm. Only $30, but bring a pal and it’s $50/pair. Plus, there will be cupcakes! Be a superhero in your own life – be a wonder! Email or call to sign-up.

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June News

• Graduates!
• June 11: Temescal Street Fair
• Camp Fun and Events 4 All
• All school picnic: June 21st!

Thanks to our after-school program kids – it was a GREAT year!
Come by the Studio this summer ANYTIME for a free class or two!

Congratulations to our black belt college graduates!

Bantoe Xian Wong, Loyola Marymount University, Studio Arts

Bantoe Julia Reier, Smith College, Biological Sciences

Accolades to our most recent college graduates!

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.

For more info about our scholarships visit

Temescal Street Fair!

Join us Sunday June 11th from 12-4 for demos, teaching, and fun! This is a great time to work together, strut our stuff, and let our neighbors far and wide know what we’re up to. Mas Max Becerra, above, showed great concentration at a previous demo – he punched through that board like butter! The Jungle Gym will also perform! Talk to Mas James M. and sign-up at the back counter. Adult students, please join in as well!

Ceremony for Bantoe Rob & brown sash testing June 20th, Tuesday 5pm. Also tournament and community dinner, Wed. June 21. Both events at Tilden Park. Details at Naga! Self-defense in Tanzania!

These fabulous materials are in Africa with Mas Goeroe Judy who is teaching self-defense with a non-profit gourp who will also provide medical and dental care to those living in a large refugee camp. This postcard, designed by Mas Tanya, says “I am strong, I am brave, I am powerful!” Check out our Facebook page for updates on MGJudy’s two week adventure!
Safe travels!

Question about any of our programs or these events?  Give us a call!

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Fun Quinceneara!

Fun Camps!

Fun Upcoming!

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


Studio Naga Summer Camps 2017!
Fun times, community, and lots of training! Some space still available!
Tilden Day and Overnight Camp starts June 19th, and Studio Camp July 10th!
Also, save the date: Bantoe Rob’s Ceremony at Tilden June 20th, Tuesday, 6pm, with a brown sash test the same day going through the night!

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April Nagazette

Spotlight on James M!

MGJudy to Africa?

Cat box success

Camp early reg – now!

Party with us May 6th!

A thought for April: “May your reach exceed your grasp!”


Quinceanera Party, Sat. May 6th!

There will be dancing! There will be cake! There will be costumes! There will even be a NACHO bar!?! Our Studio’s 15th birthday party will be celebrated 5/6/17 from 7pm to 10pm. This FREE, open to all event is a community effort and we’d love to have you onboard. Talk to Mas Simon to join the help crew. And for sure, plan to attend! There might even be…. LIMBO!

Help MGJudy teach in Tanzania!

Mas Goeroe Judy will soon be off to Africa to teach self-defense at Nyarugusu Refugee Camp where over 150,000 people live, and where sexual violence is a serious problem. We’re holding a raffle to send targets and other materials with her (and to pay ongoing teachers there). Please support the raffle or make a tax-deductible contribution to the project!

Spotlight on Mas James Martinez!

Mas James Martinez has brought our art to 100s of kids at over a dozen elementary schools, from Albany to East Oakland. This is not an easy job! (Imagine wound-up kids at the end of a long day without the structure of the Studio!) But he is VERY good at it. This year he’s been at Emerson, Cragmont, Glenview and Crocker.  Here he reflects on this journey…

When I first started training I had never been around kids much and even would have said I didn’t like them! Mas Goeroe Judy took me under her wing.

I started by volunteering for Kids Night Out. It felt strange to be the one in charge of these little people – I didn’t even know what to say to them. But eventually I connected with kids through the thing I love the most… FUN! Kids are fun! They’re also imaginative, creative, honest and brilliant!

Over the last 10 years, I have learned as much from the kids as I have learned from training. From my small beginning at Kids Night Out, I now teach 25 hours a week. This has become the most surprising and rewarding experience of my training journey.

Recently while teaching at an after-school program, a child slipped while holding the pad for a kicker. The pad holder went down, but the kicker was unable to stop.  A foot met a face…

I felt panic, but didn’t show it – I am always prepared for the possibility of injury. But the other students were great! I helped the boy while another student led a different exercise. They were brave and so was the boy. The worst had happened and everybody made it through. (Yes, there was a bloody nose!)

My favorite moment of teaching is always testing. No matter what level, kids know how to show up for themselves  – and they show up for each other. Seeing that in younger students inspires me.

After all these years with the kids, I am still learning.  But here are a few things that have helped me and might help others become better teachers:

– Be yourself. When you are comfortable, so are they. Asking the kids questions about their day and sharing common likes is a good start to any class.

– Always introduce yourself to new kids. A friendly face helps break the ice and banish any case of the “shy.”

– Kids say hilarious and oftentimes insightful things. By listening, they feel heard and respected and will more readily offer that in return.

 See you in class and let’s have fun! Mas James

Just a few of the MANY great C.A.T. Box notes this month giving Compliments, Appreciation and Thanks!

“Thank you for keeping it real here with the emphasis on community and leadership. There are fancier schools but this place has heart!” 

Dear Mas Casey, Thank you for letting me attack you on your test.
P.S. I did not like it when you elbowed me in the neck. From: Mas Karen.

To Pendekkar Emily, Thank you for helping me find strength in a moment when I felt helpless.” – Mas T.
(Really… fancier places?!) 

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