Ya'll, WATCH THIS SPACE!
I just got home from my first Women’s Safety and Self Protection seminar at Pamana Kali, a Filipino martial arts studio in Torrance, CA. This class was a women-focused event that taught us ways to stop and cause injury to an attacker, led by Pamana Kali Owner and Chief Instructor Guro Alvin Catacutan.
This was my first ever self-defense class and I highly recommend everyone, womxn especially, to attend a self-defense class if/when its offered. I walked away with a sense of empowerment and concern for most girls and female-identified people that lack the privilege and/or access to self-defense classes. But even more than that, my concern lies with people who aren’t empowered enough or have enough self-love to draw physical or emotional boundaries with their offenders. Guro Alvin kept stressing within this session, "if you're alive, keep fighting." This is a lesson we can all let sink into our bones.
Yeah, it got deep towards the end of class and I know we could've dug even deeper if we had the appropriate audience. I get the sense that this is the space that digs deeper.
Pamana Kali (@pamanakali) isn’t just a martial arts studio. There’s a martial arts studio on every corner of Los Angeles it seems, but this place is special and you see it before you step foot in the door. On Tuesday, in the same space, I did yoga and learned Philippine dance both led by Filipinx movement artist Toni Pasion (@astageofourown). After that, I was invited into a very special circle led by another fellow Filipinx healing artist Lei Angela of Download Movement (@downloadmovement). Needless to say, Pamana Kali is more like a cultural hub that facilitates de-colonial practice and epistemologies. I mean, I walked away with the idea that self-defense is self-love. Boom.
Seriously, follow these amazing artists/teachers on IG and if you're in L.A. check out one of their events or seminars. If a space calls you . . .