By Mamie Chow
I spent 16 years living in hell, another eight years recreating that hell, and the past six years trying to break the trauma cycle. Today I consider myself blessed because I can finally say, “I don’t owe you a damn thing.”
I started training in martial arts because I was angry and wanted a positive outlet for my rage. I had no idea the process would be so significant. Until I started martial arts training, my childhood was the only process by which I defined myself - defining myself by all that I hated and raged against. There was no core to who I was, nothing original for me to connect to. There was no me —- just a wall of pain, shame, and self-loathing that stood in as me.
By Shifu/Sensei Kore Grate
The very first camp happened organically in 1978 at Camp Minaluta in the Nevada Hills of California. Sensei Betty Braver, Sifu Michelle Dwyer, Sifu Janet Seaforth, Sensei Jamie Zimron, Sensei Val Rameriz, Sifu Coleen Gragen, and a few more amazing women wanted to train together so they organized a weekend.
Three years later, in 1981, this gathering was given a name, and I attended the “Women Martial Artists Camp”. Camp Minaluta was established for the Sacramento Camp Fire Girls in 1928 — and it was a perfect fit for our group; rustic, natural, with outdoor training among majestic redwood and pine trees scenting the clean, crisp air.
By Nina Thompson
This, the clothespin game, has been a community builder, an aerobic way to end a class, and a gift. I am sharing it with you all here in hopes that it will be the same for you.