Black Belt

After 16.5 years of doing martial arts, I finally got my black belt a couple of weeks ago. I am still a little shocked, but it is very exciting. I’ve been very close a few other times and have a collection of brown belts, but I had mostly given up on getting a black belt. …

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A Special Needs Girl with a Special Need to Kick Some Ass

Chocolate, from Magnet Releasing, is a martial arts film from Thailand coming to theaters on Feb. 6th, 2009, and DVD Feb. 10th.

Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, this sweet, action-packed martial-arts drama features the debut of young female fighter Jeeja Yanin Vismitananda as Zen, an autistic savant who learns to kick heads by watching Bruce Lee and Tony Jaa movies.

Zen’s father, a Japanese gangster, has been driven out of the country by a rival Thai gang, so her mother has been forced to raise her alone. When her mother becomes sick, Zen goes on a candy-fueled rampage to collect debts from the corrupt gangsters that owe money to her mom.

Thanks to Rina for the link 😀

Queer Jews and Karate

2007 SF Gay Pride Parade

A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering when my life would be back to normal. This past weekend, it bulldozed past normal and entered into surreality. Friday night I was still my regular self. Karen went to the dyke march and then out dancing at Mango with Lorena and Tess, and I stayed home because I didn’t want to be around so many people.

On Sunday, the day of the pride parade, I decided that I wanted to go. Not just go. I wanted to MARCH IN THE PARADE with our temple (or at least what might be our temple if we ever get around to checking it out more). I had a good time. It is actually less crowded in the parade than watching it from the sidelines. There was this Jewish youth group in front of us that were all wearing bright orange shirts. Fresh squeezed orange jews. Sorry, I tried not to write that, but I couldn’t resist. Every time the parade stopped, they would perform a same sex jewish wedding under a rainbow flag chuppah, smash a plastic cup wrapped in a napkin, and then run around in circles singing. Made me happy.

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Back To Normal?

For the past couple of weeks, I have been feeling much better than I have in at least a year. My new meds are finally working pretty good, even great in comparison to the last 2 horribly failed experiments. I can breathe. My body is not completely taken over in every way possible. I can work. I can leave the house.

Still, things do not feel completely normal yet. This weekend, me and K went to a party to celebrate one of my Sensei’s promotion from Godan (5th degree black belt) to Rokudan (6th degree black belt, Master) and a bunch of other promotions too. Rokudan is a pretty huge deal in Cuong Nhu. There are only 5 in total and only one woman (my Sensei). I wasn’t sure I would make it, but I really wanted to go. It was a great reason to celebrate and I miss my dojo very much.

It occurred to me that the thing that would make my life feel “normal” again would be going back to class. Besides from loving martial arts, going to class was the only regular contact I had with other people. A dojo is a special place and I have been very lucky to find such a great school with the most amazing teachers I could ever imagine and a bunch of nice people in general. I have been a student there for 10 years.

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Master Mary and Baby B

Baby B was born today! Woooooooooo hooooooooooooooo! I am so happy, I can hardly stand it. Hannah Audrey is her name 🙂 Congratulations Bri and Sarah! For those who are out of the Berkowitz family tree loop, Bri is my brother, Sarah is my sister-in-law, and Hannah is my brand new niece!

It has been a very intense day. Master Mary Davis Cates died this morning. Master Mary was an amazing martial artist, the highest ranking member of Cuong Nhu outside of the founder’s family, a hero of mine and many many others, and most of all, a wonderful magical woman. It is a very sad day for very many people.

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The road to black belt is paved with quicksand (one black stripe paper)

I have been testing for one black stripe for most of this year. It has been a crazy and intense year for me in many ways, and as usual, what I have learned in Cuong Nhu has helped to deal with many of the things that I have been going through.

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