Short version: Send your kids here. Especially if they’re girls.
Medium version: The school is not competitive, there’s no lockstep testing schedule, no tournaments; it’s just all about inner and outer strength, what each person can achieve, and being the best you can be. Many of the top people at the studio are strong women whom everyone respects and everyone supports each other no matter how old or young, how experienced or inexperienced you are. Send your kids here.
Longer version: My daughter started training when she was eight. She trained for ten years until she left for college; now she trains when she comes home on vacation, and trains at college with others in the area. The training taught my daughter all the things that martial arts always teaches – strength, discipline, respect, responsibility – and way more. It gave my daughter a variety of strong women to look up to, supportive men to work with, and a place where she was always loved for herself, even when the world was full of mean girls. It taught her that goals and prizes don’t come on some set schedule – and that sometimes you think you’re ready and you still have to wait. It gave her both pride and humility when as a child she was expected to teach adults of lesser rank, and it taught her patience and open-heartedness as some of her peers passed her. It gave her friends of all ages, some of whom are her mentors and some of whom she has mentored, and all of whom support each other in the most amazing network.
I used to say that if my daughter ran away from home, I would know where she was, and I would know that she was in strong, good hands. A mother is lucky if she can say that. Send your kids here.
By Mas Naomi’s Mom
Mas Naomi is now “Bantoe” Naomi. “Bantoe”, pronounced “ban-tu”, is a title meaning “helper” or “substitute”. Naomi graduated from college long ago, and is a young woman living her life in the world. She is a third-degree black belt in the art we teach, Poekoelan Tjimindie, and continues to teach and train at Studio Naga, our sister school in the Bay area.