What is Girl Power?

Girl Power is a martial arts program for Girls Only (ages 6-12)! In a fun, upbeat, non-competitive atmosphere, we teach practical self-defense, fitness, safety awareness, and encourage positive thinking and creative expression. We do not enter tournaments which emphasize winners and losers. We teach our students to compete with themselves, to accept themselves, while constantly working to improve. We have demonstrations where our students can exhibit their skills and are honored for their progress.  Children have different levels of coordination and body strength.  Unlike school sports where you have to make the team, no one is excluded from Girl Power because of difficulty in mind/body coordination. Everyone has the right to learn to defend themselves.

Who teaches Girl Power?

Si Gong Robert Firestine is the lead instructor in all the Girl Power classes.  He has studied the art of Shaolin Kung Fu for over 30 years and is a 9th degree black belt. As a father of four girls and one boy, he has a strong desire to empower girls and to help reinforce that they are special, beautiful, smart and strong, and that they never deserve to be abused.  These positive messages are interwoven into the Girl Power program, helping to build up the girls' level of self-confidence and inner strength.  Si Gong Robert is assisted by his daughter, Kalli.  Kalli is a 4th degree black belt and is an integral part of the Girl Power program. She provides leadership and provides a positive role model for the girls.

When did Girl Power begin?

For years, Si Gong Robert saw the need for this type of program and began to envision its creation. He was devastated by the ongoing abuse of women and girls. There were many programs designed to help victims after their abuse. He thought what if we had a program that prevented abuse. A program that empowers girls and teaches them at an early age to be victors and not victims! He and his family decided to move to Tucson from the San Francisco Bay area to bring this dream into reality.

In September 1999 Girl Power was born! Si Gong Robert opened the Universal Center where he taught Girl Power, Peaceful Warriors, and Shaolin Kung Fu (for adults). Today, Girl Power is offered at our Pima St. location in Tucson, and is also taught at Khalsa Montessori as an after-school program and in the Amphi School District during intersession.

What are the other benefits of the program?

Saving Lives
Our first priority is protecting the life of your child. The foundation of our program is self-defense and safety awareness.

One of the greatest benefits of the Girl Power training is improved self-confidence.
There are so many fears that our children confront on a daily basis. Girl Power allows them to challenge and triumph over these fears, leading to greater confidence in themselves and their own power. This renewed confidence then spreads to their social and academic life as well.

Advertising and the media create an extremely narrow range of what they think beauty looks like. Girl Power reinforces that each girl possesses her own unique beauty that she should treasure. We all come in different shapes, sizes, and colors; and we all move, think and express ourselves differently. True beauty lives in that endless spectrum. Learning to feel comfortable in your own skin and accepting and loving yourself as you are is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

In Girl Power, there is a strong emphasis on self-expression. We incorporate music and encourage creative interpretation of the movement. We believe in individuality and therefore encourage the girls to express themselves through the martial art. We do not want everyone to look the same, but to honor their unique gifts.

Perseverance, Patience, and Hard Work

We want to show our students how to achieve their dreams. In Girl Power, if a girl dreams of becoming a black belt, she can achieve it but not without perseverance, patience, and hard work. This then becomes a model for success. If you have a dream, vision, or goal, assess your gifts, work hard, believe in yourself, have patience, never give up, and you can achieve it. Once a child learns this in one arena of life, they can carry it into all arenas of life.

A Better World
Martial arts training brings power. We teach our students to use that power for good. Students are taught to be respectful, kind and helpful. By these simple values, we can all make the world a better place.

For more information, call us at 548-7090.