Concealed Carry – No Weapons Allowed

A strange thing happened after a self-defense class for Real Estate Agents at Tulen Center this past week. When the class was over, as usually happens, participants hung out chatting. One of the women, a very professional realtor in a suit with a snazzy matching handbag, wanted to thank me and gave me her card. She said she got a lot out of the class and was very grateful. Then, as she casually patted her purse with a big smile, she told me that she also carries a gun with her at all times and has a “concealed carry” permit.

It never occurred to me that anyone would bring a gun into Tulen Center, and I was taken aback. It didn’t matter to me that she had it hidden in a purse, that the safety was on, and that no one ever saw it. I did not want that gun in our school! Period.

We have precious small people in Tulen Center. Heck, we have precious big people here too! Even the PDX FBI, with all their years of training, have had six gun accidents in their weapons room in the past 10 years. Guns discharge by mistake. Guns get into the wrong hands. Bringing a gun into our school is not OK with me, or Mas Goeroe Jeff.

We remove our shoes, drop our bags and bow onto the floor as a sign of the respect that we have for this place. We do chores, selfless service and spend time with our beloved teammates in here. We challenge one another, support one another, encourage one another when the going gets tough and we lift one another up so that we can all be our strongest and highest selves. Having a gun in our school is the antithesis of everything we do and say.

So in case we have not been clear enough, please know that weapons are NOT ALLOWED in Tulen Center. Don’t be surprised if you see a sign up to that effect!

As Mas Goeroe Jeff said with his tongue in his cheek: At Tulen Center, we use FAKE WEPONS ONLY!

This is not a missive on my opinion of guns in general, the NRA, people carrying guns and weapons, assault rifles, or anything of the sort. This is just me, telling you, in no uncertain terms, that guns and other weapons, are not allowed into our school.

Meet Pendekkar Emily!

Bantoe Emily cropped copy 2 I began training at 9 at a self-defense summer camp in Portland where I learned how to safely answer doors and phones (before cells!). I learned to roll like a tiger and felt strength in a place that soon felt like a home to me.

Surrounded by people that crossed the borders of ages, states, and even countries, I fell in love with training. We learned how to move according to our body and our own hearts.

My mother passed away when I was a teenager and my Poekoelan teammates and teachers were a great support. I was “adopted” by older “black-belt” sisters and brothers.

My dad supported my training. He’d hold pads for me in parks and we’d watch Kung Fu movies together. We now live far from each other, but our phone calls always include what’s happening in class.

At my white sash promotion, standing before Goeroe Karin, my legs trembled. I felt elated like I could do anything I put my mind to – I believed in myself. But the most remarkable thing is that my teammates believed in me. As a teacher now, I give back by believing in others. Believing in our students really does teach them to believe in themselves.

I’ve been training over 22 years. I recently became a board member on the Tulen Foundation. I’m motivated by the thought of more kids finding a safe place where they too can grow their confidence and belief in themselves.

I’ve trained in many Poekoelan schools, in Portland, Bend, Cape Cod, New York, Seattle… and many little impromptu training spaces. To all my teachers and teammates, I thank you for all the lessons, love and fights (in a good way!) – I look forward to so much more.