As busy as this past Summer was, I held a Black Belt Test, and promoted Marcia Buenafe to 1st Degree Black Belt in our Martial Arts Program. Her test was completely incredible. She did so well. She worked on this for 5 + years. But what is 5 years, when you and your life are completely transformed. Her emotional reactions are amazing to say the least. Her new calm is impressive. Her self-confidence has soared! It is such a treat to see how much change a person can go through when s/he is willing to get there. Her dedication, perseverance, and commitment to her larger picture are what made the difference. This cannot ever be taken away from her. She can only add to it. Huge congratulations to Marcia Buenafe, a true Martial Arts Black Belt, living life her way.
Present at her test was my student from Spain, Black Belt Jose Maria Gomez. Training here, he was able to be on the Board for her test. Needless to say, he was completely impressed. He is such a shining example of what martial arts is all about. Respect, confidence, integrity, standing your ground, and knowing how to kick-butt if he had to. He stayed with a local family in Santa Cruz, and here is a short story the hosts, Shalom & Vito Victor, tell about Jose Maria Gomez:
“Jose Maria was a guest in our home in Santa Cruz, CA. for two weeks. He was here to work with Clara Minor to further his knowledge of Martial Arts; technique, mind set, discipline and fitness. From the beginning we witnessed his perseverance and his dedication to Clara whom he felt was the best teacher there was for him to continue his learning; although he had been an instructor in Spain for thirty years.
He spent his entire time here going between Minorsan and our home. Jose seemed to exemplify the mental qualities of the teaching, in the responsible way he behaved in our home. After a training he would rush back to our home to put down what he learned before he was to return to the studio. He was neat and clean, and always left in time to be present for training. He ate simply, a self discipline that was impressive, so as not to be uncomfortable for class. He was and is a devoted and passionate practitioner of the Art of Self Defense. He explained that the purpose of the teaching was to learn to live the techniques that foster non-aggressive interactions with others. If he returns to Santa Cruz for further teachings we would feel happy to host him again.”
—Shalom and Vito Victor
Some of our members had a chance to meet Chema (Jose Maria). If you did not, he will be returning. I always love meeting people whose homes are in other countries, and then getting to know them and their perspective on life, living, and happiness. They have so much to teach us and share with us, and vice versa.
I cannot overemphasize how truly transformative our Martial Arts Program has been for many individuals. There is nothing like it on the planet. Learning to kick-butt, and then using your own spiritual guidance in how/when you apply it, is a powerful skill and a true gift to give yourself. You are in control of your own life, and there is nothing better, nor more powerful, than that.
Clara E Minor is the Master Instructor/Trainer for MINORSAN Self-Defense & Fitness in Santa Cruz, CA. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org