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Jennifer Cooke Memorial Tournament From Guro Dean Marcellana

Greetings Fellow Eskrimadors/Arnistadors/Kali Practioners/Central Ohio Filipino Martial Arts Community,

I hope all of you have been enjoying a wonderful summer. Can't believe that it's almost over now (and can't believe that I have seen some of you since May!). I am writing this FB message to all of you to....

1) Check in and see how everyone is doing
2) See about organizing a Fall event for the FMA community

I have just spent a good hour walking around my neighborhood in Grandview reflecting on a tragic murder that took place a couple of weeks ago here in Grandview. I believe some of you may have heard about this incident on the news. Today, they held a special festival (Lady of the Lake Festival) at the Grandview Public Library in memoriam to the victim and to help raise money for her daughter. The victim (Jennifer Cooke) was a beautiful and kind person and a beloved mother (of one of my daughter's school mates and fellow girl scout friends). She was kind, caring and generous with her time and wonderful smile. Today was a great day but bittersweet. I thought it was just AMAZING how the Grandview community came together to help put together this event and to help out one of it's members (Jennifer's daugther Vivienne) in a desperate time of need. While I was happy to celebrate Jennifer's life, I would have much preferred to celebrate with her present and among us. Unfortunately that will never be the case! It truly saddens me and has me question:

-How do you move one/move forward from a tragic event like this?
-Is there something that you can do?

Today, I was reminded that there is ALWAYS something that can be done. There is ALWAYS a way. There is ALWAYS a change that can be made. There is ALWAYS a solution to found. The most important thing is to be proactive and as Ghandi shared in his teachings of peace: YOU BE THE CHANGE that you want to see in the world. It is VERY hard to try to find the "silver lining" in such a horrific tragedy. Especially for me right now (having known Jennifer and having her daughter over to our home for play dates). Even so, I KNOW in my "heart of hearts" there is something/things that can be done to help turn these recent tragic events into something positive.

Due to my busy gig/work schedule, I took a hiatus from practicing/teaching. The last time I picked up a weapon/played escrima was for the Parkinsons Charity Escrima exhibition tournament that the Grandview Escrima Club put on back in May. I was initally just going to take a month off but gigs got crazy and here it is the end of the summer. Anyway, I would like (with your help and support) to organize another event to benefit not only the Central Ohio Filipino Martial Arts community but the community as a whole. There still needs to be a lot of planning BUT I am thinking about holding an exhibition tournament/gathering against domestic violence with the proceeds going to benefit the Jennifer Cooke Memorial fund. I will be teaching a women's self-defense class in the fall at the Grandview Public Library and am hoping to have it "dove tail" towards/lead to this upcoming event that would be hosted by the Central Ohio Filipino Martial Arts community gathering sometime in maybe mid to late October? As of right now, I am thinking of holding it at Columbus Health Works in Grandview (same place where we had our last gathering for the Parkinsons Charity Escrima Exhibition Event). IF a bigger space is needed, I'm thinking that we could possibly have it held at the elementary or middle school gymnasium. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I am not sure what everyone's schedule will be looking like in October, but I am hoping that we can all come together (by organizing a good/informative/well intentioned event) for the good of our own Filipino martial arts community as well as the community that we live in and interact with.

The one lesson that has been ingrained into me and my training from my teacher (Grandmaster Leo Giron) is that we train for peace. Peace for ourselves and peace for our family and loved ones.....

"Peace is NOT the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with conflict."

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what tournaments you fought in or what medals you won or lost. Those superficial things do not measure your ability or worth as a martial artist. My teacher (Grandmaster Leo Giron) was awarded a number of medals and commendations for his service during WWII. I am thankful to him for his service BUT I am most thankful to him for sharing his time/energy/and knowledge with me and for empowering me to be the escrimador I am today. My hope (with this next event) that we can help strengthen and empower each other but most importantly make an impact/make a difference in the community that we are currently living in and interacting with.

THANK YOU all for your time and consideration. Please advise on your availability and please let me your thoughts on how we can get something together/and hapening for October.

Dean T. Marcellana

Greetings All!

THANK YOU for your posts and comments. I greatly appreciate your responses and suggestions. AS OF RIGHT NOW, nothing has beend decided (regarding day time/venue/format). I WOULD like this to be an FMA community involvement project/venture with everyone feeling like they can contribute in some way/shape/or form. My own personal goal is to do something that will hopefully go beyond us just showcasing skills and putting on fights with one another. Ultimately, I would like to/hope to EMPOWER our FMA community but also help empower and put something positive into the community that is around us and that we interact with. QUICK NOTE:

The Stockton Filipino Martial Arts community was pretty much invite only (family members or friends of family members who were invited to learn/practice/and train). A lot of the main teachers (who you will find documented in Dan Inosanto's historic Filipino Martial Arts book) kept the art to themselves. I can understand both sides of this BUT that is another discussion altogether. Anyway, my own teacher (Grandmaster Leo Giron) was pretty much retired from teaching or sharing the art with anyone. A couple of things that brought helped him changed his mind: 1) Guro Dan Inosanto was instrumental in helping him become motivated again about the arts 2) The murder of several filipino nurses by a sadistic individual 3) He loved the small club of students that he taught and understood that they were the ones that needed to be taught and trained to continue on the art. Had these couple of factors not come into play, I would probably not be practicing filipino martial arts or been able to discover this path for myself.

THE MAIN POINT I want to get to and impress on all of you is: WHY are we training and WHY are we doing what we do? Of course we all are striving to deepen our martial arts practice and self-awareness and growth BUT there are more tangents that extend from it all. I always try to share and impress on those who I teach and work with that we "Train for Truth......Train to uphold Peace." Peace for ourselves and Peace for our family and loved ones. Right now, there is an opportunity to do some good for our extended community. With everyone's help, I feel that we could make a truly positive impact and not just be recognized as those guys/people who they see at the Arnold or at the Battle of Columbus fighting with sticks.

Currently, I am proposing.........

-Holding the event on a Saturday or Sunday in mid to late October
-Event can tentatively be held at Columbus Health Works/Grandview
-Proceeds will benefit the Jennifer Cooke Memorial Fund
-Open format of fighting styles along with demonstrations
-Open forum/guest speaker to discuss impact of domestic violence

This is just what I am proposing. I REALLY do want this to be/feel inclusive to all of you. I know full well that everyone has ideas/talents/resources that they would want to share as well and I want it to be open for all of you to feel free to be able to do so. Anyway, please hit me back with your thoughts/ideas and let's work (together) towards getting this happening.

Peace and Blessings,

Guro Dean Marcellana
(614) 485-9024 home (774) 254-2337 cell
keyboardescrimador@gmail.com

 

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