A MARTIAL ARTS PROGRAM FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF girls™
I AM SPECIAL! I AM BEAUTIFUL! I AM SMART! I AM STRONG!
GIRL POWER STORY
“Girls and women are still not getting the respect they deserve, here in this country and around the world. Yet, it is the seed of self-respect that must be planted in the heart of a girl so that it may blossom in the heart of a woman!”
I grew up as a boy watching my mother be abused by my Step-Father. I was afraid of him because he was bigger and stronger than me, but what hurt the most beside the pain of watching her be repeatedly beaten, was the shame I felt for not standing up for her. One day when I was big enough and strong enough, on my 16th Birthday, I came home to the scene of my Step-Father choking my Mother. Something inside me snapped and I fought him off of her and got him to the ground, held him there, and called the police. He was arrested and I thought that was it, that I finally stood up for my Mom and now she would be safe. But that was not the end of it, because she bailed him out, and refused to press charges, and forgave him, and we as a family entered in to the next round of abuse. What I learned was that it would not be over until she as a woman knew in her heart, that she did not deserve to be treated like this, that she was worth more than that. I learned that asking for respect from others is intimately related to self-respect.
Years later when I was raising my four daughters and teaching them martial arts so that they could protect themselves, I realized that even the martial arts skills they were learning would not protect them unless they knew in their hearts that they were special, beautiful, smart, and strong. They must also know that they do not deserve to be disrespected or abused by anyone, and they have every right to stand up for themselves, by setting firm boundaries to protect themselves.
The idea for Girl Power was born! What I was sharing with my daughters became a passion to share with all girls! To teach life saving skills of martial arts and plant the seeds of worthiness and self-respect in the hearts of girls as a way of preventing abuse, and awakening the fabulous and power filled lives that they deserve to live.
Girl Power is fulfilling that original vision, but has become so much more! In Girl Power, girls learn self-respect, self-defense, self-confidence, and self-expression! Girl Power classes are fun, passionate, and joyful. We celebrate life, while giving each other strength and courage to navigate the difficulties that we all face. We ask questions about love, kindness, respect, integrity, responsibility, and the courage to be who you truly are and give the gift that only you have to give the world!
We ask girls these questions and they go into their hearts for the answers. The answers are amazing, beautiful, and wise! We call them the treasures of the heart and teach that our community becomes richer when we share these gems. It also gives the girls a chance to listen to their own words, and know that there is a guidance they can trust, living within them. We teach our students to do what they know in their heart is right, to know their values and to live by them.
This is done in a fun and uplifting atmosphere with music, humor, games, and a nurturing of creativity and self expression, that brings out the beauty of Kung Fu training and puts the art back in martial arts!
Mr. Girl Power
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