Community Spotlight: Valley Women’s Martial Arts & Lotus Peace Arts

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable…
Rashani Réa

One crisp autumn evening in 1977, leaves swirling around our feet, a college friend and I entered the unfinished basement of a department store in downtown Northampton to attend a women’s karate demonstration. Sitting in a gray metal folding chair, I watched the teacher and several students perform bold moves, shouting and shining and breathing into the shadows. Women in the martial arts were just beginning to become more visible at that time. I had never seen such action before.

Decades have not dimmed the memory; in a single flash it was clear that the next phase of my life had begun. My spirit woke up more deeply that evening to a timeless and familiar sense. The young woman I was, facing fear and determined to grow, recognized the intrinsic wholeness in shards of uncertainty. Kara – Open. Te – Hand. I held out my palms to discover the lotus, unbroken and unshatterable, already in bloom.
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Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and 7 More Empowering Tips for Girls

Stepping stones to empowerment.

Do you ever wonder what the secret sauce is to helping little girl grow into a truly empowered young woman?  By empowered, I mean being fully embodied, strong and resilient in body, mind, voice and spirit. We are all hoping to watch out daughters grow into young women who believe in themselves and have the courage to express their full selves in the world. There really is no secret sauce to building confidence and self-esteem. But if you mix together these eight key ingredients into your daughter’s life, she may just wind up being a very healthy, expressive and strong person; a person we will feel good about sending off to college or to travel or just out of our homes into their own futures… Read the rest of this entry »

Empowering Our Girls: Strength In Confidence

14 Ways Martial Arts Training Can Help Raise Confident Girls

Martial arts training for girls is an outstanding way to bolster self-confidence in our girls as they navigate the ups and downs of growing up. It can teach so many valuable life lessons, strengthening their connection between the mind, heart, voice and spirit, providing a strong foundation for a lifetime.

I have been teaching girls self-defense and martial arts for the past 30 years and have been introduced to many martial arts and different teachers along the way. I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed a quiet, shy girl transform into an assertive, confident person through the practice of a martial art.

Confident girls are less likely to become bullies and less likely to be bullied. True confidence comes from accepting oneself as a unique and special being, just like everybody else. The most confident people always respect others and are among the most respected by others.

Don’t we want this for our girls? I know I want my own daughter to grow to be confident, strong, able to stand up for herself and others and to be able to fight for her safety if necessary.

Most martial arts schools have confidence builders built right into their classes. Here are 14 ways I have found martial arts training able to strengthen confidence in our girls:  Read the rest of this entry »

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