“We have been taught that ignorance and hate lead to racist ideas, lead to racist policies,” Kendi said. “If the fundamental problem is ignorance and hate, then your solutions are going to be focused on education, and love and persuasion. But of course [Stamped from the Beginning] shows that the actual foundation of racism is not ignorance and hate, but self-interest, particularly economic and political and cultural.” Self-interest drives racist policies that benefit that self-interest. When the policies are challenged because they produce inequalities, racist ideas spring up to justify those policies. Hate flows freely from there.”
Martial Arts: Training Tips
By Njoli Brown
WHY TRAIN OUTDOORS? Because our parks, plazas, yards, forest areas provide all the tools. For many practitioners it can hearken back to another era when master instructors looked at their classes more as very personal mentorships, creating a family vibe and inspiring creativity in the methodology.
In urban and rural settings alike, footwork happens on hillsides, mulch, pavement, grass, up and down curbs and benches. Drills go on in the rain (and sometimes snow) and on the warmest of days. The sessions staying engaging as folks figure out how to make their practice relevant in all the terrains in which they spend their day-to-day.
There’s nothing here saying we don’t appreciate our indoor space for all the convenience it allows. But take another look before you write off a group that trains in the park. Often these groups are cost saving, student focused and have the flexibility to maintain small classes because they don’t have to concern themselves with matching the overhead it takes to rent an ongoing location. Are you looking for artifice or art? Take your training outdoors this summer.
Marial Arts: Sarong
By Njoli Brown
As a common accessory in the lives of many Indonesians and people of Southeast Asia, the sarong is a true “everyday carry” and in addition to all its utilitarian purposes, with training, lends itself to inclusion in the tools of self defense.
The use of flexible weapons (ie sarong, belt, messenger bag) is a true exercise of the “timbangan” (scales) concept wherein the hands work in opposition to each other in o
rder to create tension and power. It requires a coordination of the two hands, an understanding of the tool and a practice in both softening and sharpening power.
In the headline image my mentor, Tuhon Kit Acenas (of Kali Mundo), instructs me in the use of the sarong countering the knife. I’m continually amazed at the creativity and ingenuity that deep comprehension of a practice can bring.
Martial Arts: Training
Sometimes keeping the training engaging is as simple as changing the landscape.
#msmb #kalimundo #ptta #ptkwf #webelieveinlife #traineveryway #traineveryday #ptk #silat #grappling #capoeiraangola #boxing #mma #wellness #fitness #health #outdoors #community #martialarts #selfdefense
Martial Arts: Methodology
By Njoli Brown
Combat Geometry: I’d heard that language used quite a bit but it always seemed somewhat abstract to me. When I arrived at my first Semangat Baru silat class with my roll of blue painter’s tape it was very clear that geometry was the law in that space. We measured out strides 2.5 foot lengths, worked tirelessly off the langka (tiga, sliwa, etc.), and methodically investigated balance, angle, body position and timing. I’ve enjoyed this style of penjak silat because of its emphasis on close quarter fighting. I’ve continued in this practice because of this both practical and academic attention to detail and the way it has informed much of my teaching pedagogy.
Capoeira Angola with families is more than an opportunity to cartwheel and kick. It’s a practice that integrates physical, emotional and historical learning. It takes all of those things we learn (or don’t learn) in schools and puts them in the context of real lives and real people. And, yes, there are cartwheels too…
Love and Light, y’all. If you haven’t already been checking these Tiny Desk concerts, put them on your list for moments solitary and shared. Intimate concerts, filled with joy and grace. They’ve been on track for a while now so lots to find in the archives. But this one felt special today so I wanted to put a NoPaper highlight on it.
I hear a lot of commentary that some of the classical elements of PTK don’t have the same amount of relevance as the more contemporary iterations. I look at elements like “seguidas” as vocabulary which enhance my “Tri-V” practice. The difference between “I want water” and ” I want a glass of cold water.” The more familiar I am the greater capacity I have (with practice) to integrate it into my applications, both sparring and otherwise. The 3rd set of “seguidas” focuses primarily on stick grappling. Not as a work unto itself, but to familiarize us with positions and opportunities so they are more recognizable when they arise or when we are able to tactically maneuver ourselves into that range. #msmb #kalimundo #ptta #ptkwf #webelieveinlife #ptk #kali #fma #grappling #silat #capoeiraangola #health #wellness #fitness #mixedmartialarts #selfdefense #martialarts #fighttraining #sparring
From the blog Rise Up for Students (a blog about education and equity in the Pacific Northwest) by Matt Halvorsen
A point that stuck with me since first coming across this article…
“alongside that (the) pledge (of U.S. allegiance), if it’s something that remains important to you — let’s also pledge our solemn respect and remembrance of the past and present by acknowledging that we are living, working and schooling on stolen land.”
Check out his work and his engaging insights…
The practice of land acknowledgment dates back centuries (at least) among indigenous communities, and is more common in the mainstream in Australia, New Zealand and Canada than in the U.S., but it is a growing movement here as well. The idea is that before an event — whether it’s a school day, a sports game, a meeting or even a family meal — you take a moment to name, thank and consider the people whose displacement allows you to be where you are. Whose historical trauma makes it possible for you to thrive as you do in the place you live?
Education: Teacher Diversity
By Njoli Brown
Almost every conversation about the remedy for Black-White academic achievement disparities includes a recommendation for recruiting and retaining more Black teachers. For those who do not know, the number of Black teachers has been on a steady decline for the past half century. Today Black teachers comprise less than 7 percent of the U.S. public school teaching force. – Larry Ferlazzo –
The right conversation is being had about the importance of students of color being able to see their own faces in the teachers and administrators of the schools which they attend. Not only does it provide a reflective opportunity in which learners can imagine themselves as keepers of knowledge but it also infuses the school with academic participants who can integrate an empathetic element to the environment of academia.
But as importantly should be had the conversation about the positive impact of white students seeing teachers and administrators of color in authoritative positions and as educative resources in their institutions both in and out of predominately minority communities. The houses of education should be countermeasures against racial and intellectual isolationism.
There is no statistic which shows a lowering of achievement in schools where this is the case. In fact, when these educators are included, not as tokens (and I would never underestimate this potential pitfall), but as developmental assets, school communities inevitably benefit. They produce more well rounded and culturally aware individuals with greater functionality and preparedness for a society which, in its current rate of integrative evolve, will either blossom or fail depending on its capacity to capitalize on its growing diversity.
*Share your thoughts…