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Uniting and empowering a diverse community of women and girls in the martial arts

PAWMA Camp 2021 Classes 

Falling...and getting back up

Sister Maggie Dawson

Falling and getting back up is perhaps the definitive metaphor for resilience. We’ll explore a progression of strengthening movements from White Crane Silat that culminate in a fun and safe falling and rolling back up experience.

Exertion level: Moderate-High

Experience: Beginner accessible

Equipment/space: A standard piece of paper and yoga block or item of similar size and firmness that you can sit on. Smooth floor or carpet. Bare feet.  An 8x8 floor is ideal.


Making Friends with the Floor (Snake System Conditioning)

Sister Maggie Dawson

What to do after you’ve fallen? Is it the end of play, or? We’ll explore rolling, sweeping, sliding, gliding, kicking and other energetic and empowering possibilities from the White Crane Silat Snake System - all from the comfort and safety of the floor. Students explore a novel vocabulary of movement and take away new sensations of internal engagement.

Exertion level: High
Experience: Beginner accessible
Equipment/space: A yoga block or item of similar size and firmness that you can sit on. Bare feet. An 8x8 floor is ideal.


Lightness and Grounding (Crane System Conditioning)

Sister Maggie Dawson

With barefoot jumping, sliding footwork and breathing exercises from White Crane Silat’s Crane System, students gain the physical experience of how to ground themselves… and in contrast, how to lighten up! We internalize the dynamic relationship between these two contrasting but complimentary energies and experience how movement informs our mental/energetic states. Participants come away empowered with tools for managing the energy-mind-body, and the overall experience that managing the energy mind-body is possible. We begin and end class with the breath.

Exertion level: High
Experience: Beginner accessible
Equipment/space: A yoga block or item of similar size and firmness that you can sit on. Bare feet. An 8x8 floor is ideal.


Fun With Bo Basics

Sensei Kristi Holm

This class will be just what the name implies, having fun while learning some of the basic techniques and movements with a bo staff. The class will be divided into three parts:

  • Spinning – learning to move the bo around your body safely and with fluidity.
  • Striking – learning how to hold the bo and use little nuances to add speed and dexterity to a strike.
  • Sparring – putting together a choreographed blocking and striking set to practice, with or without a partner.

Come join the fun!

Exertion level: Low-Moderate

Experience: All levels welcome

Equipment/space: Preferably a bo staff, or any type of stick 4'-6' long - for example a broom, bamboo stalk, or a Swiffer!


Arnis Striking Styles & Applications

Sensei Beth Holt 

We will cover the 5 striking styles including banda y bandai, figure 8’s ( 2 ways), rompida & baba y tas. Starting out empty hand ( eh), we will warm ups using various striking styles & the practical application thereof. These will include joint locks and takedowns. These same techniques will be applied using canes.

Options according to level will include: cane to cane, eh to eh, cane to eh.

Exertion level: Moderate to High

Experience: Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment/space: 2 Arnis sticks


Get Your Kicks

Sensei Beth Holt 

In this kicking workout we will do a lot of kicking (across the floor- space allowing) along with kicking combinations designed to improve flow & endurance work. And some partner work. This is a great class to improve endurance, balance, fluidity & strength as well as work on stamina and hone your technique.

Exertion level: Moderate to High

Experience: All levels welcome

Equipment/space needs: none


What's Your Angle? Angles of Attack and Defense

Sifu Esther Howard

In this class, participants will explore the eight angles of attack and defense in katas/forms, sparring, and combinations of basics. We will also play with fighting or defending from more than one opponent at a time. Skills will include striking, kicking, and blocking at different angles, fighting off of both sides of the body or front and back (two at a time), splitting your focus, and being aware of your targets and your opponents’ targets.

Exertion Level: Moderate

Experience: All levels. Participants should know a few basic hand strikes, blocks, kicks, and stances, and one or two katas/forms.

Equipment/space needs: none


Make Your Katas/Forms Come Alive

Sifu Esther Howard

How many different ways can you do your katas and forms? I know – it’s boring doing the same forms over and over, by yourself. You already know how to do the right moves in the right order. But have you ever done your favorite kata/form like a zombie? An octopus? A hummingbird?

Let’s add some variety and fun to your katas/forms that will work during social distancing but carry over to the time when we’re able to train in person safely: flow, speed, power, like a platypus, bison, wolf, orca, thunder and lightning, hurricane, tide going in and out, or a gentle stream. Participants will take material that they already know and deepen their knowledge and practice, think outside the box, and even be silly!

Part of the class will include bunkai drills. Bunkai is when we demonstrate the martial application of the form/kata and act out the fight that is depicted. Participants will work in pairs or small groups in breakout rooms. Each person will take segments of a kata/form and set up scenarios in which they respond to their opponents with strikes, blocks, kicks, and evasive moves.

Exertion Level: Moderate

Experience: All levels. Participants should know at least one kata or form.

Equipment/space needs: none


Intro to Shanti System Freeform: Expansion & Contraction

Michelle Folk Johnson

Freeform is a moving body allowing a spontaneous martial story to arise. In this class we will use Taiji-style freeform as a container to explore the powerful opposing energies of contraction (tightening the fist) and expansion (allowing the fist to open). We will begin with the harmonizing practice of the Shanti System White Lotus Daoyin, a simple Qigong set based on directional energies. We will then go over a few body structure basics before advancing into the freeform. The freeform can be a magical place of self-discovery: Where are our bodies contracting? What are we holding onto that no longer serves us? How can we allow for a path to release? What does that path look and feel like? We will explore these questions together in a collaborative space of martial expression.

Exertion Level: Low to Moderate

Experience: All levels welcome


5 Animals QiGong

Sifu Debbie Leung

The martial arts have a history of using fighting animals for inspiration. Qigong is also inspired by animals, but for health. The cool thing is that qigong principles improve both our health and martial skills – a great example of yin and yang. In this class, we will practice two movements for each of the animals in 5 Animal Qigong as taught by Master Su Zifang during her 2019 seminar in Olympia, WA. Allow the spirit of each animal inhabit us as we stretch our muscles and fascia, massage our internal organs, gain strength through stabilization, and prevent/find relief from aches and pains while improving our martial arts movements through qigong principles.

Exertion Level: Moderate

Experience: All levels welcome

Equipment/space needs: none


Taiji Fundamentals Through Cloud Hands

Sifu Debbie Leung

Yang style lineage holder Yang Zhenduo said at the International Tai Chi Chuan Symposium in 2009 that if Taiji was distilled into one movement, it would be Cloud Hands. This class will explore the Wu style Cloud Hands with its subtleties in weight distribution, direction and posture changes. It requires coordination of the upper and lower body, and incorporates martial application, its power magnified through relaxation. An appreciation of this movement will help deepen the understanding of movements in all arts.

Exertion Level: Moderate

Experience: All levels welcome

Equipment/space needs: none


Kalari Basics

Guru Aparna Sindhoor

This is an introduction to Kalari class. The class will explore the basic Kalari warm ups along with horse movements, elephant movements and a few kicks. A brief history of the form and breathing techniques are also included. This class is a good way to get into the Kalari experience as well as explore the physicality and spirituality of this ancient form.

Exertion Level: Moderate

Experience: All levels welcome

Equipment/space needs: Wood floor preferred


Kalari for Experienced Martial Artists

Guru Aparna Sindhoor

This class will engage in Kalari techniques for students who have intermediate level experience in any martial arts. Class will go through Kalari warm ups, breathing techniques, various animal movements along with kicks. We will also be working on basic stick fighting with short sticks called chru vadi.

Exertion Level: Moderate

Experience: Intermediate

Equipment/space needs: Wood floor preferred, short sticks

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