FREE No! Go! Yell! Tell! Wrap Up

Self-defense is a life skill, like knowing what to do in case of a fire, having information about water safety, or knowing what to do if the smoke alarm goes off at night. Every kid deserves the right to have this information and we decided to do something about it!

Thank you for this wrap up – as a former school counselor I deeply appreciate the content and services you provide. I’m glad that so many Capitol Hill students were able to participate! – Pam Wilson, Principal

Ainsworth NGYTGiving back to the community is important in our art. Teaching empowerment and awesome physical self-defense skills is one of the ways we do that. Back in the Fall of 2014, my wonderful employee, Jayne, and I brainstormed and came up with a program to teach 15 free self-defense classes at Tulen Center and on site at Beaverton and SW Portland Public Schools. We proposed this idea to the Tulen Foundation and they backed us in this crazy project! We were able to serve 479 students and their families, and taught on playgrounds, in Kindergarten classrooms, music rooms, hallways, libraries, gyms and cafeterias all over Southwest Portland!

There are many hoops to jump through when working with Public Schools, as you can imagine, but it was worth the effort. The kids were enthusiastic, the parents, supportive and helpful. Most of the schools grasped our vision and became eager to jump on board, help facilitate our workshops and spread the word. We are grateful for the partnership of the staff and administration at both the district level and at the neighborhood schools. We couldn’t have done this without them.

Library at RiekeAnd again, many thanks to the Tulen Foundation for believing in us, for supporting our work and this wonderful program. Thank you to all of you who donate (www.tulenfoundation.org) because these are the types of programs you back with your dollars.

 

 

As Jayne said: It was a wonderful experience joining forces with the BSD and PPS to be able to bring these beneficial and engaging classes to their students. This great 3 month adventure has brought us to many different schools and has introduced us to countless students who have benefited from taking the No! Go! Yell! Tell! class. It was very encouraging to see the next generation really tune into their intuition and build on their self confidence, not to mention the strength and power that was exemplified by the students in each class.

Here are just a few of the many comments people shared with us in a post-class survey:

  • I think you did a great job of expressing that the lessons learned here are to be used in truly dangerous situations, not on your annoying sibling. And the whole class seemed to be at just the right pace to keep the kids attention, which is a difficult thing to do.
  • I was happy about the information supplied. Delivery was excellent! Thank you for presenting it in a PG manner!
  • Thank you for a very informative class.  I wish my parents would have taken me to a class like that when I was a kid.  It would have been very helpful.
  • The instructor was amazing. Even my kiddo who is very anxious and has sensory issues came home and asked if we could go to self-defense every Wednesday! Wonderful class!
  • Thank you, you handled a difficult subject really well!
  • He learned how to use his power to hit as hard as he can instead of worrying about poses and techniques that are harder to grasp.
  • My child learned to trust her guts and walk with confidence.
  • You taught my child how to stay safe. The entire presentation and all of the information given was important.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, NO!
  • My daughter gained confidence and was able to be really LOUD!
  • It was an excellent class. We both enjoyed and took away so much valuable information.
  • The information you shared was relevant but not scary.
  • I loved the class and am glad my child could attend.
  • I feel the presentation of the information was handled great and was spoken in terms that the kids understood.
  • The instructor was intelligent, a good communicator and an excellent presenter.
  • This was a very positive and empowering class that I wish everyone could benefit from.
  • Just want to say thank you for doing these free classes at elementary schools.
  • Thank you for offering this service. My very shy child benefited the most. He’s not a joiner so I was surprised that when he eventually got into it, he really tried hard to do things as you showed. He’s been talking about it as well. Thank you!
  • Thank you for your time and energy spent teaching our kids!
  • We reached 479 students and their families. Here are the schools where we taught and the numbers of participants from each:

Beaverton School District:

Montclair – 25, McKay – 15, Raleigh Hills – 41, Raleigh Park – 47, Fir Grove – 15, Findley – 16, Ridgewood – 25, Vose – 16

Portland Public Schools:

Bridlemile – 18, Maplewood – 36, Ainsworth – 35, Hayhurst – 16, Rieke – 54, Capitol Hill – 29

At Tulen Center – 91

TOTAL: 479!

If you’d like to know more about our programs: http://tulencenter.com/

To find out about our summer camps: http://tulencenter.com/about/camp/

If you’d like to make a tax deductable donation: www.tulenfoundation.org

Gym at Ridgewood

 

Open Mat – It’s in Your Hands

“It’s in your hands” is one of the principles of our art. We learn to dig deep on the workout floor and give it all we’ve got. We practice making choices about our training – which classes to go to and how to prepare for testing. We embrace being fully present when we teach. And we figure out, slowly over time, that the more we put into our training, the more we get back.

As students, if we only run forms and standards in the presence of teacher and teammates, and only during class time, we miss out on a very special experience. “It’s in your hands”, (among many other things,) includes finding times and places to train outside of class. Not only do we get to practice what we’ve been taught, but we also get the opportunity to connect to our art in a deeper, more personal way.

We train in backyards, at the park, in the basement, in line at the bank…In fact, ask any advanced student to list off the variety of places they have practiced this art, and you might be surprised.  In a bit, you can read about the myriad creative places Tulen students have trained. It’s really quite impressive!

As members of Tulen Center, students can take advantage of “Open Mat Time”. There are times scheduled every week for students to use the workout floor. In the spirit of Gatong Rajong (share and share alike) Goldens generously give their time and energy to help make this possible for you. (Open Mat time is for teammates to workout solo or together. If you are looking for a higher ranking student to work with you on specifics, that’s called a Private Lesson and is a little different. Just ask the front desk or one of the Goeroes for information about that.)

Here is how open mat time works.

1. Look at the schedule to find the times that work for you.

2. Check the calendar to make sure there are no workshops, birthday parties or events happening on the day and time you choose.

3. Connect with a Golden who is available to let you in to the school. (Goldens have a gold stripe on their black belt or gold fringe on their sash. It’s best to talk to a Golden in person, but you can also get their numbers from the front desk and call them.)

4. Arrange your time/s.

5. When you get in to work out, sign in on the open mat sheet on the clipboard hanging by the front desk.

NOTE: An adult (other than the Golden) needs to remain on site while there are kids under 18 in the building. Kids may not be left alone.

You are still encouraged to workout on a rooftop, mountain slope, in a pool or on a trampoline. One of my favorite Tulen memories is when I ran Set One in a Sufi Temple in the Cholistan Desert on the Afghanistan border in Pakistan in 1989. I thought I was alone, but when I got up from meditation, an old man approached me. He came up to me, looked into my eyes with a huge smile and bowed. I bowed back. It was an incredible moment of connection that passed between us crossing invisible boundaries of space, time and culture.

I thought it might be fun to ask some advanced students for stories about the unusual places they have trained and would like to share this incredible list with you:

From Mas Emily Trubits, a second year college student in Monmouth, Oregon and 2nd Degree Black Belt: Most of the places I’ve trained in the last year have been a bit unusual! I’ve trained in dorm rooms, dorm basements, a bunch of various grassy areas at both Western Oregon University and Oregon State University and at the beach. Today actually I had a day to myself so I hiked to the top of Bald Hill, which is nice and grassy at the top. There’s just enough space to run some forms and today was the perfect weather for meditation. I think the best thing about training on your own is that it really is all in your own hands, and when you are by yourself you don’t have to worry about being “right” or “wrong” you can just train.

Bald MountainI’ve attached a picture of my training space today 🙂 the picture might not do it justice but there is a great view of the sisters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Mas Lisa Nolen who is a 2nd degree black belt, Associate Director of Development – Special Gifts at OHSU, and mother of two: I have practiced in my living room, back yard, the beach, an empty hotel basketball court, a hotel courtyard, campsites, the park, my aunt’s driveway…during a break at a church, at a retreat, in a friend’s gym, the copy room at work, my cube at work (nothing too big). On the bus I memorize my hold order, run holds in my head and do bus meditation.
  • Mas Autumn Sun Pardee: I train in my back yard on Mt Tabor often. Summer time I put on my head phones and flow fight/kumbongs in the grass. Couple of years ago, I came out and ran Lunkas in the snow.
  • Pendekkar Gerry Donaghy who works at Nike:  I used to practice Chinese weapons in the park across the street from my apartment. Yeah, got a few concerned glances from folks walking their dogs.
  • Pendekkar Emily Ahsoon lives in California, trains in Oakland at Studio Naga, and teaches at a Montessori School: I trained in the grass under a big banyan tree in Hawaii near the beach. Its branches were the roof of my training space. I think it’s the only space big enough for a form… Xo
  • Mas Goeroe Agoeng Jennifer Jordan, who lives in Boston, runs the Tulen School there, and is a Financial Analyst: I have worked out in the park on the top of Nob Hill in SF! On beaches on both coasts! A roof deck! My hotel lawn in Cali, Colombia. Oh yes and the Tuileries Garden in front of the Louvre in Paris.
  • Mas Colleen Bean, First Degree Black Belt living in Austin, Texas: During the Peace Corps, I trained in Huaylas, Ancash, Peru – my tiny village in the Peruvian Andes. I taught self-defense to teen girls in my town and a fellow volunteer’s town. I also had a little “kung fu” club with a group of younger kids, in which we played a lot of Poekoelan games and crawled. I still remember scoping out the fields for various animal feces before practicing my standards and movement!
  • Mas Adam Bleeker:  My honeymoon was in Bali, and I ran Lunkas in the jungle around our rental home and crawled in tiger in the neighbor’s rice fields. I ran an inspired Set One in the monkey temple among a thousand screeching monjets!
  • Mas Cheryl Hagen, a grandma who has been training about 4 years: At the beach, on my patio, but where I got the strangest looks was in the hallways, and ladies room at Portland Community College, usually around mid-terms and finals.
  • Mas Krystin Krause: The main basketball courts at the student gym at Notre Dame. The courts are open to a track two stories up, and the whole place echoed. Also, an empty room above a bar in Antigua, Guatemala. A yoga school used the space during the morning, but the owner of the bar let me use the room in the afternoons sometimes. He was an ex-pat from New Orleans and we bonded over talk of Spanish moss, live oaks, and zydeco music.
  • Pendekkar Scott Wagenhoffer-Zahn has been training since he was a little boy. He works for a hotel in Provincetown, MA and during off-season, he lives on site to take care of the place, and has it all to himself! He likes to train in the lobby!
  • Nils Hasche-Vasquez is a Second Degree Black Belt running the Tulen School in New York City. He is a Professional Fine Artist and his work has been featured in numerous publications and media: A couple of years ago I meditated and trained on Kailua Beach in Hawaii. It was intense energy and really cool.
  • Pendekkar Tim Cuscaden is a busy dad who appreciates and loves beauty. He remembers: In the hospital, I ran Set Three whilst awaiting a fellow practitioners surgery!
  • Bantoe Brett AugsJoost is getting ready to test for 4th degree/Pendekkar: Burning Man.
  • Mas Justine Metteer, Brown Sash, and mom to a very busy toddler: Super light crawling, between early contractions in the middle of the night back when my son was induced.
  • Bantoe Shannon Foxley, mom of two and Counselor at an Elementary School: Set One in the jungle in Ecuador with monkeys watching.
  • Mas Kim Manchester, First Degree Black Belt, mom, photographer and professor at PCC: Pelejaron Poekoe in my tent on the Pacific Crest Trail at 9,000 feet. Oh! And in the old racquetball courts at PCC.
  • Mas Layli Conway, First Degree Black Belt and brand new mom: Set One during our honeymoon on a secluded beach in Cuixmala Mexico. The shower – go figure, all my Kumbongs come to me in the shower. And just last week I chanted ‘I’m a strong and powerful kid’ during my strongest active labor contractions. It helped!
  • Bantoe Dee Hampton who lives and trains in Oakland, CA at Studio Naga: On the way to Reno stopped at tiny piece of grass along side some train tracks ran forms. Forward rolls in casino in Reno: I think there’s a theme!

 

Tulen Center is In the News

Last night KATU news called Tulen Center for some advice. It seems there have been a series of assaults in North Portland. I’m glad we could be there to help.

We discussed ways women can keep themselves safe, demonstrated some powerful strikes and offered some easy tips and strategies that everyone can do.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JAlstuOzto]

Alter Wiener, Holocaust Survivor, Speaks at Tulen Center

Holocaust Survivor and author, Alter Wiener, is coming to speak at Tulen Center on Wednesday, February 12th from 6:30 – 8:00PM. Recently, I was asked what a connection I see between martial arts training and the life lessons and stories of someone who survived three years in concentration camps. The connection was intuitive for me, but I thought, “What a great question!”

When I teach self-defense classes to women and kids, part of my job, as I see it, is to instill a sense of self-confidence and empowerment. There are many things we cannot control, but we can take charge of the things within our grasp. We can stand up for ourselves and for others, we can make choices that are in our best interest, we can serve others and make a difference. In the martial art I train, Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen, we practice compassion and taking care of one another. It’s what all the kids, teens and adults in my school, and Tulen practitioners around the world, embrace along the way to black belt.

Often, the women in my self-defense classes have suffered rape, assault, child sexual abuse, you name it. Some of the kids come in with stories that make your skin crawl. In coming to Tulen Center’s self-defense workshops and martial arts classes, they are making a choice to stand up for themselves. In speaking out and sharing their stories, they are embracing their strength and potential and making the world a better place. Women, and children too, often choose the journey from victimization to self-actualization. It is a brave choice and I am always honored to be part of it.

I am fascinated by Mr. Wiener’s capacity to take an absolutely horrible, achingly painful experience and turn it into forgiveness and compassion. He is an example of this journey from victimization to healing. He has chosen to move beyond the anger and victimization into a place of strength and love. He is using his voice to help make the world a better place. I cannot wait to hear him speak and I know our students will be inspired by his life story as they make their way along their own path.

If you would like to come hear Mr. Wiener speak, the event is free, but we ask that you register as we have limited space. Register here.

Mr. Wiener will have copies of his book for sale for $20 each. He will sign them for you. He requests check or cash.

For more information about Alter Wiener and his book, “From a Name to a Number”, here are some links:

Alter Wiener’s Facebook:

Alter Wiener’s Autobiography

From the Amazon Page: Alter Wiener’s father was brutally murdered on September 11, 1939 by the German invaders of Poland. Alter was then a boy of 13. At the age of 15 he was deported to Blechhammer, a Forced Labor Camp for Jews, in Germany. He survived five camps. Upon liberation by the Russian Army on May 9, 1945, Alter weighed 80 lbs as reflected on the book’s cover. Alter Wiener is one of the very few Holocaust survivors still living in Portland, Oregon. He moved to Oregon in 2000 and since then he has shared his life story with over 700 audiences (as of June, 2011) in universities, colleges, middle and high schools, Churches, Synagogues, prisons, clubs, etc. He has also been interviewed by radio and TV stations as well as the press. Wiener’s autobiography is a testimony to an unfolding tragedy taking place in WWII. Its message illustrates what prejudice may lead to and how tolerance is imperative. This book is not just Wiener’s life story but it reveals many responses to his story. Hopefully, it will enable many readers to truly understand such levels of horror and a chance to empathize with the unique plight of the Holocaust victims. Feel free to visit my website www.alterwiener.com for more information including links.

One of Mr. Wiener’s friends, and local children’s author, Trudy Ludwig, has written a biography about Alter for kids. The book will be published in April. Click here to follow the link to her book.

Summer Camps FAQ

Q. What ages do your summer camps serve?

A. Our summer camps are for kids 6-12.

 

Q. Can beginning kids who have never trained martial arts come to your camps?

A. YES! Our camps, much like the style we train, are focused on the individual. Your child will feel welcome and will be taught at the beginning level. Children who have been training a little longer will be taught at their level. We have lots of wonderful instructors in place at camps which allows us the flexibility to meet your child where he or she is.

 

Q. What hours are your camps?

A. We have half day (8:30-noon), full day (8:30-3:00) and extended care (3:00-5:30) options so you can pick what works best for you and your child.

 

Q. What are your camp dates this year?

A. Summer Camps are over for 2014 but we’ll post our dates for 2015 as soon as we have them available!

 

Q. Why do you only offer two camps?

A. We put a huge amount of effort into making our camps as fun and power packed as possible, for each and every camper. This takes a lot of time, energy and people power. All of us have family, friends, activities to do, and communities we like to give back to. In order to keep camps as special as they are, and in order to keep balance in our own lives, we offer only two camps per summer. Because of this, they are in high demand. Be sure to sign up early.

 

Q. What happens during a typical camp day?

A. Campers arrive by 9AM and then camp gets into full swing. The morning is spent learning martial arts and self-defense. Kids get an awesome workout (or two!) each morning. Sometimes we work out all together and sometimes we break apart by rank so we can work individually with the campers at their level/rank. Because we work out so hard, we like to have a small snack break in the morning. Lunch is around 12:00PM, when we head to one of the parks within walking distance from our school. We gather together to eat and relax in the shade, load up with sunscreen and then we play! We are back at Tulen Center by 3:00PM for pick up. Kids who are with us for extended care have some choices. They can join us for more work outs (usually in the form of fun games and challenges) or they can choose some quiet activities like playing with legos, art projects and games, to round out their big day! Pick up for extended care is 5:30PM. Kids ALWAYS sleep well during camps!

 

Q. What skills can I expect my child to learn?

A. Your child will learn some important life skills like discipline, self-control, respect and compassion. Your child will experience the pride that comes with honest achievement and the joy that comes from working together with teammates. S/he will learn effective self-defense skills that will last a lifetime. Specifics include use of the voice, striking and releases from grabs and holds. Your child will gain confidence that he or she will carry outward into the world. We create courageous leaders and upright citizens.

 

Q. This all sounds great, but will my child have fun?

A. YES!! Our style, Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen, is based on animal movement. The monkey, the tiger, the crane and the snake teach us cool moves, and from these animals, we have created some really fun games. We do fun stuff throughout the day like nail painting, face painting, push up and cruncher contests…we have “tattoo parlors”, nifty art projects and guests who come in to teach skills like theater games, card games and magic tricks. Our days are full of fun activities with a nice balance of “down time” to relax and just hang out with our friends.

 

Q. How do I register?

A. It’s easy. You can call us: 503-291-9333. Or you can register online here.

Traditional Martial Arts and Kids With Special Needs

In 1990, I graduated from Portland State University with my Master’s Degree in Special Education. My focus was children with “Behavior Disorders”, which is a broad term pretty much used to describe kids in a school setting who are having lots of challenges that haven’t been diagnosed. And as the name implies, they generally have behaviors that are distracting, and possibly hurtful, to themselves and others.

The Master’s Program was interesting and challenging and my professors and schoolmates were awesome. I have always chosen to work with kids, and this population in particular fascinated me. While studying at Portland State University, I was also training Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen, and during that time earned the ranks of Gold and then Blue sash. Many of my projects and papers involved researching questions I had about how martial arts training might benefit kids with different types of learning challenges.

My gut told me there was something there, and my research helped me find lots of connections, specifically with regards to training traditional martial arts such as Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen. I learned to make a distinction between westernized martial arts schools and traditional martial arts schools. Westernized martial arts schools generally focus on competition like tournaments, and fast progression through the ranks, regardless of skill development, with relatively few checks and balances on the ego. For example, I’ve heard of six year olds getting black belts after training for a year. I’ve heard of payments that can be made to ensure that the student gets a black belt within a specific – and usually short – period of time.

What I found is that traditional martial arts systems teach skills that kids with challenges can really use. Skills like self-control, compassion, creating and nurturing an internal structure, learning about the importance of respect and character. Through training traditional martial arts, a student builds strength and confidence while being encouraged and supported to become a leader and role model. In a traditional martial arts school, each rank is earned through incredibly hard work. Tests challenge the strength, character and endurance of each student. Practitioners feel the authenticity of that experience along with the deep joy that comes with achievement as they are recognized and appreciated for their growth and development.

My dad always says to appreciate all the things you learn, because the lessons intertwine and weave throughout your life and find their way back to you when you need them. I think he was onto something!

Goeroe Silvia Smart

July 2013

Words from a Grateful Mom

I’m writing this review for you parents out there.

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.  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

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Mas Naomi (left) with Mas Goeroe Jennifer (center) and Pendekkar Amber (right) at a recent demo in Boston. Beautiful, strong and powerful women!

In the Most Unexpected Places

By Goeroe Silvia Smart

I train Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen and have for quite a number of years. I love it. I love the lessons I learn, I love my Teachers, my teammates and the students and families at my school. I love the physical workout, the self-defense and the way my confidence has grown. I love the sense of family that comes with being part of the Tulen Community. The love I feel is deep and abiding, the connections are sure and real and strong.

“Expect the unexpected” is a saying we have in our art. And sure enough, Poekoelan happens in the most unexpected places.

 

My daughter attends an arts magnet school in our area, where she was recently in a play. One night last weekend, I was the adult behind the scenes. My job was to hang out in case there was an emergency. Since the kids are so professional and amazing, I was just sitting around in a backstage office, enjoying catching up on some reading.

 

Around mid-performance, my daughter came rushing in with a handful of performers who were waiting to go on stage. “My friends want to talk to you about self-defense!” Over the years, I’ve learned that when people want to “talk about self defense” it usually means they have some fears and they’re looking for answers to their frightening “what if”s.

 

I put down my book and sure enough, one by one, the kids told me about what they were the most worried about, what they’ve seen or heard and situations they were frightened they might encounter. They were open and so very pure.

 

“What do you do if someone grabs you and tries to punch you?” We have a hold called “Blouse Grip with Punch”. I had my daughter grab my shirt with one hand and punch me with the other, so we could demonstrate the defense. They thought that was pretty cool! I asked them if they wanted to learn it. My offer was received with such enthusiasm and joy that my whole spirit started to sing. This is what I love!

 

My new students stood behind me and we practiced the movement in the air. Then they got to do it with an “attacker” AKA, my daughter. They were so excited! They “got” the movement quickly and beautifully. Such eager and fast learners! So we did more. “What if someone’s choking you from behind?” “What if you get pushed to the ground?” “What if someone puts a gun in your face?”

 

The performers needed to get on stage, but they came back to visit me later and we did some more. For the rest of the evening, this became the backstage theme. The students practiced on one another, and they even started showing the moves to other performers and crew members too. They were on fire!

 

The Fantasticks

 

Experiencing the excitement and empowerment of the kids was incredible. They came to me with some very specific fears, fears that burdened them and held them down, and when they left, they’d faced those fears and learned very practical ways to handle some scary situations.

 

 (This is a photo of “The Fantasticks” performed at the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, a public school in Beaverton, OR.)

 

This is a living art. It lives in each of us as we practice it and pass it along. The art thrived that night in the hearts of those of us in that backstage office. There I was, reading a book. Next thing I know, I’m teaching kids to flip someone over their back. When we stay open and ready, the greatest things can happen. “Expect the Unexpected!”