Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Dance Showcase

In March, L performed in her first Dance Showcase as a belly dancer. Since September, L has been taking belly dancing lessons, and therefore thoroughly enjoyed her first public performance with many dance students of different styles. This style of belly dancing is called tribal, which is more modern and not as flashy as the cabaret style seen at ethnic restaurants.

Here are more photos from the showcase:

Thanks to Melanie for the inspiration and instruction, and thanks to Melodia Designs for the awesome pants!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Martial Arts Instructor Course

Written by A
I've never been through something that tested my physical endurance quite like this before. I've never been tempted more times than this to quit because I was tired of throwing up from physical exhaustion. I've also never been put in a position where I honestly didn't think I could do something this hard.
Now I can say I've done all that after completing the Martial Arts Instructor Course. The title is misleading. It sounds like a day camp for people to learn how to train other people in martial arts. That's about 10% of it. The other 90% is close combat training, bayonet technique, Obstacle Course runs (3x, timed, and with flack jacket/Kevlar helmet), hiking at Camp Pendleton (more difficult than the Crucible or MCT), and intense sparring/grappling (both on land and in water, for those of us that hate the feeling of being drowned).
After this course, I can honestly say that your body will almost always have more endurance than your brain thinks it has. A simpler way of saying that is: When you're tired, learn to silence your brain and keeping pressing on. The reward of personal achievement is priceless.
I am by no means a Marine Corps Martial Arts Expert/Master, but I learned so much more than I thought possible about MCMAP, myself, and what being a Warrior is about. The MAI Course is incredible.
One of the greatest moments was when our Chief Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Botello sat us down after the worst physically demanding exercise (nicknamed "The House of Pain") and read to us the Warrior's Creed:
"Wherever I go, people are a little safer because I am there.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there".
Thanks to everyone that supported me and encouraged me to complete this course.