Sister Maggie Dawson is an 18-year practitioner of White Crane Silat who practices globally. Her laurels include two years under the tutelage of the grandmaster, Suhu Gunawan Rahardja, in West Java. Kindhearted, personable, spontaneous and precise, Maggie energetically empowers each student through the metaphor of the conscious physical. In 2016, she founded Happy Martial Art, her own synthesis of silat, bhakti, and other practices of awakening. Based in Marin County, she’s been teaching silat since 2010.
White Crane Silat taught by Maggie Dawson is an internally reflective, flowing martial art conditioning practice with roots in the kung-fu diaspora. We begin and end in a circle, with the breath. We calm the mind and breathe open the heart, while cultivating alertness and active engagement with the world. We train our bodies without mirrors to develop our internal experience. Our nature inspired movements are novel, intentional, functional... and fun!
Sensei Kristi Holm loves all things martial arts. She was born and raised in So California where, as a young girl, she would watch Kung Fu Theater on Saturday afternoons and try to do flips on the grass in the backyard. In 1982 she found a Tae Kwon Do class at the local city college and that was it! It’s been over 39 years since that day and Kristi has continued to branch out and explore different styles of Martial Arts. Along that journey, she began training TAI Karate in 1984 and teaching as a blue belt in 1986, receiving a third degree brown belt in 1989. She got her black belt in American Kenpo in 1994. In 1995, she moved to Santa Barbara, California, and began training Tang Soo Do and Kenpo at Macomber Karate, receiving her black belt in 2006. She also trained for six years concurrently at Aikido Santa Barbara. Since 2005, she has also trained with Guro Michael Rayas in the Filipino Martial Arts.
Currently, she teaches martial arts to all ages in the community of Goleta and Santa Barbara—Tang Soo Do at Macomber Martial Arts, Kali at University of California, Santa Barbara, self defense for the Santa Barbara School District, and is the head instructor of Holmschool Martial Arts.
To be as the moon, as the sun; that is the essence of Martial Arts.
One with nature, one with self.
Embracing the true essence of body, mind and spirit is what Martial Arts is about for me. One of the things I love about it, is that one can do it is that one can practice alone, in silence.
I was gifted with a curiosity of Martial Arts in the early 70’s when the t.v. show , Kung Fu was all the rage. I was offered the opportunity to start my Martial Arts career learning Kung Fu for a year. It would be a few years until I started Shuri-Ryu Karate in 1977 and consequently Arnis, both of which have made me feel honored to call myself a Martial Artist.
As the body ages , we cannot do things the way we did 10 or 20 years ago, so we find a way to adapt. That ability to adapt is imbedded in the Martial Arts and encourages me to find new ways of teaching and being creative. This chosen path has given me many gifts in the form of friends, colleagues & students. All of my experiences have enriched my life.
I continue to learn from my students, my teachers, daily experiences and the challenges and pleasures life puts on my path. I am grateful for all those who have come before and have yet to come.
Esther Howard has been training in Kajukenbo (Gaylord Method of Ch’uan Fa Kung Fu) since 1991 under Sigung Michelle McVadon at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu in Seattle, Washington. She has been teaching since 1995 and was promoted to fourth degree black belt in 2019. Esther is committed to Seven Star for how it helps women-identified, nonbinary, and trans people to become physically fit, find and develop their power, and enjoy a sense of community. Esther’s involvement extends beyond Seven Star to PAWMA, where she served as board president, and the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, where she had the honor to teach in 2018.
Michelle Folk Johnson
lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Alex and their children Leo and Aurelia. Michelle began her martial arts training in 1992 at the age of twelve. She has earned advanced ranks in Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do, Seido Karate, and Mo Duk Pai Kung Fu. After becoming a mother in 2013 and then taking a four-year hiatus from martial arts to attend to her children and postpartum healing, she returned to her training in 2018 under Master Shanti as a Shanti System Qigong student. She is currently one of a handful of level one certified Shanti System Instructors.
The Shanti System combines the ancient wisdom of Qigong and Taiji with our current understanding of neuroscience and kinetic movement. Within the system, we attend to cultivating a deep, inner listening so that we may move through our lives with clarity, consciousness, and presence. Within this clear space, our martial art can become a powerful personal mirror and a highly functional healing modality.
Michelle brings her love of play to her teaching. Along with being a martial artist, she is a musician, paper artist, supermom, and karaoke fiend. She is delighted to return to her beloved PAWMA community, and to be teaching a class at PAWMA camp for the first time.
Sifu Debbie Leung has been teaching classes and offering private instruction in movement arts in the Olympia, WA area since 1979. She has also taught workshops and seminars for professional associations, service organizations, and martial arts schools in California, Oregon, Washington and beyond. The Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists has often hired Debbie to be on the teaching staff at their annual training weekends, as has the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors. Debbie is the author of Self-Defense: The Womanly Art of Self-Care, Intuition, and Choice (R&M Press, 1991). Chinese Healing & Movement Arts is an official branch of Jian Mei Internal Martial Arts established by Master Wen Mei Yu.
Guru Dr. Aparna Sindhoor has been teaching Kalari ppayattu (Indian martial art), Yoga and Indian classical dance, for more than two decades around the world. Dr. Sindhoor started training in Kalari ppayattu with Guru Anil Natyaveda and has been working on promoting this ancient Indian martial art ever since. She along with Guru Anil Natyaveda have brought the training of Kalari ppayattu in a serious way to North America by teaching at their institution (Navarasa Dance Theater), schools, universities and senior centers including Boston University, UCLA, UCSB, Brandeis University, and Wellesley college. They have created “Dance For Everyone” program that is bringing free and subsidized dance, martial art and yoga classes to more than 150 underprivileged kids and adults in India and USA. Sindhoor and Natyaveda have designed classes to help people with rigors martial art training, wellbeing, self-defense and live their life to full potential with mindfulness. Guru Sindhoor also teaches weekly free classes online for underprivileged girls in India in the Shakti-Dhama Women’s Shelter. Sindhoor has choreographed for Indian films including Santhosh Sivan’s, Anandabadhram, S M Raju’s Varnam and has collaborated with Cirque du soleil famed Franco Dragone’ and recently worked with Oscar winner Antony Dod Mantel. She has also collaborated with masters in Capoeira and Kung Fu. She feels honored to have taught at PAWMA 2019 (in person) and 2020 (online).