Hard and Soft, Working Together, Become Complete
Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists

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

Vol. 39 No. 1 Spring 2017

Sifu Lynn KeslarThe World is Our Dojo

By Lynn Keslar
2017 Board President

Dear members of the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists:

The 2017-2018 PAWMA board was convened at the end of last year, after a generously managed transition from the prior board, led by President Sonya Richardson and Vice President Nikki Smith. They have remained available to us since then to answer any question and run down any detail. I know that they are committed to our success and the ongoing success of our organization. The long hand-off, the generosity of the prior board, their deep knowledge and love of their arts and fellow practitioners, reminds us that as women we bring connection to the table. We are at our best when we are holding each other up, and out, so that our gifts can deepen and be shared and our desires for the world and ourselves in the world can be realized.

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Sifu Michelle DwyerTraveling and Training

By Sifu Michelle Dwyer

The year: 1989.
The scene: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo,112 degrees Fahrenheit.
The first combined NWMAF and PAWMA camp.

The charismatic Colleen Gragen probably conceived and definitely organized this dynamic meeting. For the first time I was hired to teach at national camp. At video night Colleen introduced me to Nina Van Roedon from Amsterdam. Nina organized a women’s summer camp in the Netherlands, F.I.S.T. (Feminist International Summer Training). Nina, at that time, was a strong kick boxer. I took her class early on in the camp. My legs talked to me the whole camp! I asked her to send me an application to teach at F.I.S.T. I applied. I got the job to teach at F.I.S.T. ’90.

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A Trip Transformed Into Journey

By Sigung Sonya Richardson

What are your needs and hopes, on a fundamental level, for yourself? Your sisters? Daughters? Mothers? I want to be safe, feel valued and loved: positive opportunities are certain to manifest from that baseline. So stand our collective wishes for girls and women throughout the world: live in safety and be afforded possibilities. And that is where teaching judo and self-defense in Patiala, India began: we are our sisters’ keepers.

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Also in this issue

For Sifu: A Poem

Eating for Health inSync with the Seasons

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From the Editor:

Thank you to those who contributed, assisted, and took the time to write an article for this newsletter. If you are interested in writing an article for the upcoming newsletter, please email Newsletter Editor at newsletter@pawma.org. PAWMA is looking for Associate Editors to help develop content, as well as proofreaders and copy editors. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Newsletter Editor at newsletter@pawma.org for more information.

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