|Vol. 38 No. 1||Summer 2015|
Shake Out Your Superhero Cape for PAWMA Camp 2015
By Sonya Richardson, PAWMA 2015 Board President
Summer is just around the bend and along with days of sunshine come blockbuster action films. I have no doubt that all of us could display our daily real-time heroic acts right alongside the Avengers. Keeping public school teachers and parents in mind, we gather in mid-August this year. It’s time: shake out your cape and get ready to fly, run or swim like a torpedo to Camp Campbell in Boulder Creek, California.
Set amongst majestic redwoods, Camp Campbell is sure to offer the best of nature’s aromatherapy and respite to any Wonder Woman needing recharging. The trees will make phenomenal back-up singers on karaoke night, and some of you will be housed “among” them in the beautiful treetop cabins. Our t-shirts will be brown this year, nodding to the rich earth we will stand on.More about upcoming PAWMA camp »
PAWMA Camp Teachers
By Nicola Smith, PAWMA 2015 Board Vice President
Our theme is “Wonder Women Sharing our Powers.” We truly believe that the women we have teaching are super and that all the women and girls who come to camp are wonderful in their own individual and powerful way. We come together at camp to teach, learn and experience great martial arts with and from amazing women.
This year for the first time PAWMA will be offering self-defense classes that are part of the self-defense instructor certification offered by NWMAF. Since NWMAF is mostly on the east coast this gives women on the west coast the ability to become certified instructors. Thank you to our sisters at NWMAF for working with us on this project.
Lungs, Kidneys, Heart and Breath at Berkeley High
By Deborah Godner
“Make sure you have enough room to spread your wings”, I speak in a slow, steady, deep voice as I try to center myself amidst a cacophony yelling, laughing, the thud of backpacks dropping on the floor, that sizzling, frenetic teenage energy… as they transition into the next 55 minute class of the day, after pushing their way through noisy, crowded halls crammed with the high intensity buzz of BHS’s 3,500 students. An ear-piercing bell rings to start class. That’s my cue to start chi gung- lungs first- arms spreading wide and a deep breath. Then we move on to the kidneys, scooping energy and using the palm heel to push a ball under water. In no more than 30 seconds, the volume in the class drops to almost total silence, the energy grounds itself and almost all 32 of them are following me through a series of Chi Gung exercises. Only a few resist in their apathy and sit listlessly in their seats or lean against the wall. “Get off your tushes!”, I smile and yell to them! “Join us, young ninjas!” “Why are we even doing this?, a student sometimes groans. “Think of Bumgarner who pitched for the Giants in the World Series”, I tell them as we move into the heart exercise. “He focused all his energy, his mind and his body, on that one pitch, strike after strike. Like a laser. Be like him. You are in charge of your energy. Direct it, tell it where to go and follow your hand with your eyes.” We finish with the heart and the spleen. I ring the meditation bell and they stumble to their confining desks. “Clear a space in your day. Leave aside your worries and stresses and all the thoughts racing through your mind. Breathe in. Breathe out. I speak so slowly, it defies the speediness all around us. Pay attention to your breath moving in and out of your body. What does it feel like? Breathe in. Breathe out. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to noticing your breath.” When I scan the room, most kids look like the stress is melting away from them. A few are struggling, fidgety, tapping a pen, unzipping a backpack , catching up on an assignment, eyes darting around the room or leaning out the window to listen to the lively conversation of some kids walking by. A minute later, I ring the bell again. “Raise your hand when you cannot hear the bell anymore.”
Also in this issue
From the Editor:
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