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Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists

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of women and girls in the martial arts.

Camp Danzan Ryu – May 2015

Nicola Smith

Photo courtesy of Nicola Smith.
I just came back from another great Camp Danzan Ryu event. This was the 32nd camp they have put on but I’ve been there for about 9 of the last 13 years. Each year is as fun as the last thanks to Janice Okomoto and the Alameda Jujitsu club.

A little history – Camp Danzan Ryu was founded in 1984 by Dave Fairfield and Ron Beatty as a family friendly co-ed martial arts camp to give martial artists an experience of learning from renowned instructors of different styles and as a way to honor the memory of Professor Henry S. Okazaki. The camp is held in the Santa Cruz Mountains not far from where PAWMA camp will be held this year.

Great martial artists covering dozens of martial arts systems come to camp Danzan Ryu from around the world to teach and share all. Two Hawaiian words “kokua” meaning to share and “ohana” the Hawaiian word for Family, have come to symbolize the spirit of Camp Danzan Ryu

This year they had teachers from all over the United States and from Canada. There were Classes for children, teens and adults, or all three mixed together. Some of the arts represented were Aikido, Doce Pares, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, T’ai Chi, Yoga and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. There are usually 3-4 classes going on at any time, plus a pool if you fancy a dip. Lots of activities for all members of the family, whether you train or not. There’s a courtyard that serves as a spot to sit and chat, a meadow where you can sit in the sun, hike routes around camp for the energetic, and nature walks in the redwoods for ecology lovers. A little something for everyone.

I love to go to train with people I only see once a year and to enjoy the lovely surroundings. Janice tries to keep the price as low as possible so camp is accessible to families of all sizes and keeps people coming back year after year, which means I’ve seen some of the kids grow up over the years. It’s fun to be an “aunty” to so many.

One of the other things I like about camp is that there are so many strong women martial artists there. Janice tries to make sure there is a diverse group of instructors each year and that women are well represented in the teacher line up. You can see the website for a list of the people who have taught at the camp, PAWMA members will recognize a lot of the names.

Here’s the website in case you are interested in coming next year. http://alamedajujitsu.org/
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