400 abs a day for the last 3 weeks have paid off today when I won 1st place short weapon, 3rd long weapon (spear) and Grand Champ all adults all weapons!
Camaraderie and friendship are my favorite parts at a competition, and I was able to see old faces like Shifu Wright and meet in person some others like Shifu Daniels (in the photo).
Master Daniel Pesina, who is mostly known as Johnny Cage and the ninjas in the first two Mortal Kombat games, was among the judges at my ring and my favorite opponents were 2 first degree belts in Karate from Iowa. Respect to them for a clean and positive fight for glory!
Today, I am sending loving kindness to my Dad, who recently left our physical plane with the help of Luang Pi Nine at The Meditation Center of Chicago.
The Meditation Center of Chicago is a center dedicated to spreading world peace through inner peace. and paving the way to a peaceful world by offering inner peace education and supporting each individual to connect with his/her natural clarity.
Daily meditation classes and occasional retreats to locals of all backgrounds interested in peace and mindfulness are offered.
Today I recorded my second podcast, at TOT's Podcast in New York with Ben Gardner.
Talking about Kung Fu and my experience meditating with Dhammakaya monks was such a happy and special time.
I shared my stories hoping to inspire the audience to look inside and see what they find, embrace it and own it. In my conversation about Buddhist monks I share their use of emojis in everyday digital activities, listen to the full episode to find out which ones are the most popular!
TOTs Podcast airs every Friday at 6PM, EST. They are in their 3rd season and have exciting guests such as Carol Baskin and Kurt Johnson.
To be a champion, you have to put in the work.
I participated in 3 divisions, as an advanced student: long weapon (staff), short weapon (straight sword), and hands. In all 3 I got 1st place.
A virtual tournament is less stressful yes, you can re-record your VDO as many times as you want but the more you do it the more tired you will get, so to me, it was best to record all 3 at once and submit.
Participating countries included Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, India, Lebanon, Spain, Senegal, Pakistan, among others. Best prize to me was to make all new friends, from all over the world and create bonds that maintain the Chinese traditional Martial Arts alive.
Andrea Harkins, host of “the Martial Arts Woman Podcast” talks about our recorded episode:
”Practicing in the park during COVID times, Maca Navas is known to the locals as “The Sword Lady.” They didn’t know her name but they saw her grace and committed practice with the sword In the park.”
Learn more about me in my interview here: https://anchor.fm/andrea-harkins/episodes/Maca-Navas—The-Sword-Woman-el35n
Today was a fun day. It is Summer and we are 3 days away from my birthday.
The folks at Blue Harvest Labs, CBD, invited me to a photo shoot at Riverwalk with other athletes to help them promote their brand. I am a big fan of their ointment, specially on hips and knees, it works wonders!
As Blue Harvest grows I wish to continue to be part of their supporters. For more about Blue Harvest well, the hyperlink is already there. .
My involvement with The Meditation Center of Chicago and Peace Point Meditation in Azusa, CA have skyrocketed this Summer.
In Chicago I guide QiGong and stretches at 9 AM on Saturdays And Sundays (on Zoom due to the pandemic), and on weekdays at 7 AM I support the Azusa community (mostly gathered in Mexico City) by translating the monk’s words of guidance and wisdom (the Dhamma) into Spanish.
This opportunity has gotten me into the habit of daily meditating, and I must say that the benefits of it have been notorious: more focus, less hesitation at times to make decisions, more consciousness, more happiness. I look forward to continuing to assist others in their journey to self growth and realization.
Happy New Year of the Rat!
The Chinese Cultural Center invited our school to be part of Global Connections: Chinese New Year at the Aon Ballroom in Navy Pier once again. it is a fun time of the year for our community of Kung Fu: we celebrate our annual Dinner in combination with Bei Dou, our parent school and usually we have other presentations and celebrations of all kinds. To be frank I will share that I celebrate Chinese New Year way more than our western new year!
This year celebrations have been cancelled due to the rumors of a pandemic upon us. Let’s hope this Is temporary and not too serious to the world.
Today was a good day to win 2 first place trophies at Wright’s Kung Fu School in Chicago.
They combined divisions this time, so I competed with another woman in Karate and won. The adrenaline was real and it felt very good!
Most important was the new friendship bond created with this School and its Shifu and other Shifu from other schools around Chicago. I am starting to feel the need to do something about the Chinese Martial Arts in the Midwest, there is really not much spread...
Today, Zhong Hua Kung Fu was honored to present at Loews Hotel in Streeterville, Chicago for an Asia-Pacific Business Convention. Unfortunately only the older kids and myself were allowed to perform so I missed the high energy that the little ones bring with them, but rehearsing with the teens and their talent of high caliber was an honor and a learning experience to me. We showed advanced weapons like Pudao, Chain Whip, Nunchaku and Sword.
My solo with the sword was introduced by the boys with their fans: a very dramatic end of their show by spreading out to each side to reveal me at center ready to go. Quite the show!
Today, Kung Fu Chicago Group on Facebook was created.
To me, the Martial Arts situation in the Midwest is alarming: no popular knowledge of what Kung Fu is, few schools, low adult attendance to events, lack of Community.
Something needs to be done, I am not sure of what, how or when, but something needs to be done, and I am starting to feel a personal responsibility for it.
Today once again we stand at the stage in Aon Ballroom to celebrate another animal in the Chinese Calendar: the Pig. As the last sign of the Chinese zodiac, Pig represents wealth and luck from the ancient times.
Chinese New Year is a chance for me to mingle with the little ones at school, and make new friends. Kids at Zhong Hua are respectful, full of vitality and fresh energy, and like to mingle with me. They are a huge source of new energy to me and hope someday to be able to teach them again, like I did at Kensho in 2015.
In the meantime becoming one more is rewarding enough to me.
Today, with nostalgia and happiness, we start a journey in a new Shaolin school. The learnings at Bei Dou were tremendous, we think we have a great foundation to move forward: the strict discipline and healthy habits created, Master Wu‘s attention to detail and encouragement of patience. Master Wu is someone to always remember and respect.
Weapons in hand, and in the CTA, we are headed to Bridgeport to learn with Shifu Guili Wang, a former student of Master Wu’s in Shandong China.
Xin Nian Kuai Le!
Happy New Year of the Dog.
Today our school Bei Dou Kung Fu Chicago proudly was part of the Chinese New Year celebration at the Aon Ballroom in Navy Pier Chicago. I was not quite ready for a solo show but proudly joined the group Dao (broad sword) show and my favorite part: Wu Bu Quan with the little ones (including my son).
Today Joe and I performed a demo at his Elementary School, specifically in his Chinese class. Durso Laoshi is a big fan of our moves, and we got all the class practicing basic punches, pushes, kicks, drop stances, empty stances and lots of “mabu” too! (horse stance).
Xiè Xiè Durso Laoshi for having us in your cLassroom today!
Today I enjoyed representing Bei Dou Kung Fu Chicago for the second time at the Windy City Championship in St. Charles, IL. Master Jingchao Wu has taught me well: he is very strict with me in terms of my schedule, my class attendance, my punctuality, my uniform. It definitely has translated into the order and better structure that has naturally been integratEd into my lifestyle.
I showed Xing Gang Quan and Shaolin Guan, bringing back home 2 gold medals, but again, no friendly opponents in my divisions. why?!
Competing with Walid, Eliana and Jen was the best experience, there is so much camaraderie and positivity among the 4 of us, they are definitely rock support.
Today I assisted to a Master Class with members of the Long Yun Troupe.
Long Yun Kung Fu is a touring ensemble, consisting of members who are handpicked by Jackie Chan. Members came from China‘s most prestigious Martial Arts groups including The Shaolin Kung Fu Monk Corps and The Chinese Shen Wu Cultural Communication Company.
I had fun learning with other Martial Artists, at all different levels of experience, and I felt close to Jackie Chan, one of my overall heroes.
(In the photo, I am the tiny but mighty one in the back).
Today was my first tournament: Windy City Championsip 2016 in two forms: Shaolin Quran (a Shaolin basic empty hand form) and Shaolin Guan, or staff.
I noticed the low number of adults competing (there were none in my divisions) and made me think why. How are the Chinese Martial Arts being spread today in the Midwest?
I made great new friends with Saint Louis Shaolin Kung Fu school, represented by other adults competing and their Shifu Xing Xue as a judge to our ring.
Today, I begin a new chapter in Martial Arts. With 2 years of Judo and 3 in MMA I humbly walk in Bei Dou Kung Fu Chicago to learn a traditional Chinese Martial Art.
Let’s see what happens...
Today I was able to do my first hand stance! I am excited to see my body respond to the trainings, practice and adapting to the different muscle functions at play.
I began with dolphin poses to give my body a triangular base in which to get used to being upside down (the brain needs some adjustment to the new view), then I moved to a wall in which to support my back and hips, and last piece was the scariest which was to bring my legs up. I must say I fell a few times, and counted it as part of the prices (It is OK to fall).
Once there, and with a bit of shoulder flexibility and strength, I worked my way up to a hands stance.
The accomplishment feeling is intense, I feel proud of myself! This is something I've wanted to do since Middle School, and now I can affirm based on my experience, it is never to late to learn a new skill.