With my husband, Kevin, I've been studying Presas Arnis (a blend of Modern Arnis and Kombatan) and related arts since 2008. I was a few months shy of 40 years old when I first started training.
I started training as a way to combat a very stressful job by getting active again (old age was going to suck if I didn't). I have knee issues from my teen years as an athlete so I can't run or cycle, and well, the gym is just... very... boring.
Like a lot of adult women starting training for the first time, I slapped on a gi and joined my family on the mat, and literally after my first lesson, I was hooked. Since that night, I've hardly gone a week in my life without some sort of martial arts activity.
Over time, I've trained in several versions of Taekwondo as well as gotten some good training and exposure in kempo (Ryukyu Kempo and related arts) and even a touch of tai chi training. But I gravitated quickly to the Filipino Martial Arts style of Modern Arnis with my first teacher, David Jones, early in my training and I just
|"You want the sharp side pointed at the bad guy."|
As we relocated across the country several times, we finally settled in Texas where we found our teacher, Mark Lynn, at Hidden Sword Martial Arts. "Mr. Chick" and I are both 2nd Degree Black Belts under Mark (my title is officially Dayang Dalawa) as of April 2017.
Back in Texas, Mr. Chick and I ran a community center martial arts program for a few years in North Richland Hills, Texas. We moved back to our home town of Kansas City in summer 2018, and now we host a free Arnis Meetup with an unstructured curriculum in Gladstone, Missouri. Stop by some time: The Kansas City Presas Arnis Meetup.
We also offer seminars, private training, and small group training with a formal curriculum via Kindred Protective Arts.
|Me competing in jo at a tournament|
I also enjoy the Kansas City Chiefs (if you follow me on Twitter during NFL season, you should be prepared), sci fi and fantasy geekery of all kinds, Celtic and Norse history and punk music and art, video games (yes, I play video games when I get a spare moment), low carbing and ketogenic eating, liberty and freedom, and of course, being a mom and wife.
I started the Stick Chick Blog in 2013 as a way to connect with other folks out there who love the martial arts as much as I do and wanted to nerd out about it with me. While we tend to be pretty heavily based in Arnis/Kali/Escrima topics, we also write about martial arts as a sub-culture, health, humor, entertainment, and how life just is when you acquire bruises as a fun little hobby. If you are interested in writing a guest post, drop me a note.
Please add me to your circles on Google Plus, and check out my Pinterest here. I'm also on Tumblr here, LinkedIn here, MeWe here and you can always find me on Twitter at @JackieB23. But the action is on my Facebook page, The Stick Chick Blog. Like and follow that page to break up your news stream full of memes and politics and selfies - you'll like it, I promise.
You can also email me at TheStickChick23 at gmail dot com.