Mariah Moore, Onaway High School Onaway Michigan Filipino Weapons Demo


To learn more about me, what I do, and what I live for, please read my older posts. There is a lot of insight into my life and my work, not just as a martial artist, but as a human being.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mariah Moore aims high in Eskrima

Mariah Moore aims high in Eskrima
by Advance Newspapers
Tuesday March 11, 2008, 10:16 AM
Mariah MooreALTO -- She's just 14 years old, but in the world of martial arts, she's a force to be reckoned with.
By the tender age of 12, Alto's Mariah Moore had earned a spot on the U.S. National team in the Philippine martial art of Eskrima and went on to earn two gold medals for the United States at the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) World Championships in 2006.
But she's not stopping there.
Her sport, Eskrima (also referred to as Arnis) is a weapons-based martial art that is native to the Philippines, in which practitioners are noted for their ability to fight with weapons or empty hands interchangeably. Eskrima has gone from a martial art used primarily for survival, into a sport with organized competitions and sanctioned rules and regulations.
Arnis, in its modernized form, is now a regular event in the Southeast Asian Games and will be a demonstration sport in the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing, China.
"My ultimate goal is to compete in the Olympics, but as of now, my sport is not recognized by the Olympic committee. I am hoping that after the 2008 demonstration, the Olympic committee will sanction Eskrima as an official sport of the Olympic Games," Moore said.
The world of competitive stick fighting is no place for the weak. Sport stick fighting is the proving grounds for fighting men all over the world. Male warriors are commonly referred to as Eskrimadors. Due to the brutal nature of the sport, female participation is not as common, but when a female does emerge, she is referred to as an Eskrimadora.
As the current Midwest regional champion, Mariah Moore recently traveled to Walnut, Calif., to compete in the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation U.S. National Stick Fighting and Forms Competition. At stake were highly coveted and prestigious seats on the U.S. National Team that will compete against nations from around the world at the 10th World Championships in Cebu, Philippines in July.
In her first area of competition, Traditional Multiple Weapons Forms, Mariah chose the Tali bong (knives on ropes) and performed Sayow (To Dance). With scores ranging from 8.7 to 9.8, judges call was unanimous with Moore taking the gold.
"I did get to watch her perform her form during the Friday competition and was very much in awe with her skill and grace with her weapons," Guro John Garcia, USA National Tournament Coordinator said. "Mariah moves very well and her form showcased her grace. You could tell from the level of her form that she put quite a lot of practice time into creating her form, and this again shows her dedication to the art."
In the Full-Contact Single-Stick Fighting competition, though her competitor outweighed her by 35 pounds, Moore tied for three consecutive rounds and took the silver, after a fourth and final tiebreaking round.
In the Full-Contact Double-Stick Fighting competition, Moore dominated all three rounds.
"It was one of the most exciting bouts that weekend. Mariah really impressed me as she was so quick with her strikes, but yet she had so much power. I advised her to stay motivated in Eskrima, as she is a great fighter," Guro Mike Mackenzie said.
Alhough she secured the gold medal, Moore also took home a fractured finger.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eskrimadora by Bobbe Edmonds

I stole this from Bobbe's Blog. I liked it a lot and thought you might too!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Eskrimadora By Bobbe Edmonds
Mariah Moore
I met a girl in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A scrawny, 13 year old white girl.
Who will beat you into pulp with a pair of sticks.
“You should come out to this year’s Gathering of the Tribes, I think you’ll like it. There’s somebody I want you to meet.”
Mushtaq, as usual, doesn’t beat around the bush when he wants something. Especially when he wants it from me.
“Well, to be honest Old Man, I am really tired of “group” seminars, and such. Howzabout I just fly you out here every so often & we whack each other with sticks?”
“Bobbe, you have to meet this girl. She’s a Martial Arts prodigy. And she’s only 13!”
“I don’t think so Mushtaq. I don’t teach children, and teenage girls annoy me. Why don’t you find a day care, or something?”
“If you come out, I’ll make some of that Apache venison stew you like so much”.
Mushtaq, as usual, also knows how to bribe my weak 1/4th Cherokee ass when he wants something from me.
“Okay, okay, but I’m NOT gonna train with her.”
You ever get that feeling, like you’re being set up?
Terry Trahan & I walked into the seminar Monday morning, and Mariah was already there. So were about two dozen other people, so you think she would have been easy to miss. She wasn’t. She drew attention to her like a magnet.
Mariah was warming up, and unless you were a lump of salt you could feel her intensity from across the room. She stretched. People noticed. She limbered up with some kicks and twirled the sticks a little. People got the hell out of her way. When she spoke, she looked you in the eye and said exactly what she meant. I was talking to Terry & could see her out of the corner of my eye. As much as I tried not to.
I did NOT want to be impressed with her. I fought it down. In fact, I actively ignored her for the first hour or so.
Mushtaq took care of that.
“Bobbe, this is Mariah, the girl I was telling you about. I want you to fight her later on”. Great opening Old Man, thanks. I guess I’ll take it from here. Mariah gave me a smile and a short bow, and I think she tried to actually speak to me. Unfortunately, I blew her off, so I’ll never know what it was she said. I don’t care how high she can kick, I’m not teaching her. I don’t do child care.
Throughout the first day I trained next to Mariah at various intervals, carefully avoiding being put in a scenario where I would be paired with her. So how it actually happened I still haven’t a clue, but we ended up crossing hands on one of my favorite knife drills.
Oh Cthulhu damn it all, now I’m screwed. This is gonna be a wasted session.
That all changed in 30 seconds. 27 maybe, who’s counting.
“Okay Mariah, you can’t approach this with a traditional stance. Bend your knees and duck simultaneously when you pass the knife over your head. Nice, keep going”
“Slow down Mariah…Good, like that. Pass the knife into ME, not towards YOU.”
Mariah caught on to EVERYTHING I told her to do, in the middle of being told something else by the current instructor. I couldn’t help but be impressed, I have seen MOST ADULTS unable to cope with multiple directions and instruction. Hmmnn, this was taking a dangerously wrong turn…Maybe it’s time I changed the beat a bit, show her how the big boys do it.
“I’m going to feed you some different angles. Fast. Deal with it.”
Damned if she didn’t, with a big ‘ole smile on her face the whole time. The photo below was stolen from Mushtaq’s blog, and it was taken at the exact moment I just described. Our facial expressions say it all.
I don't care, and it doesn't bother her one bit.
I had a grudging respect for Mariah when the session was over, and I couldn’t help but throw in one of my famous sarcastic comments; “Not too bad kid, but you hit like a girl”.
Oh, oh, oh, If looks could kill, I’d be a goner right then and there.
The next morning Mariah walked in with a T-shirt that read; “If someone says you kick like a girl, take it as a compliment!” Ha! That’s a good one on me! I spoke to Mariah several times the rest of the day, and worked out with her once more. When it was my turn to teach, I kept watch on her and another woman training together out of the corner of my eye. After a couple of corrections, Mariah got it. And just so you know, she comes from a hard style of Karate known as Kyokushin Ryu and I was teaching a flowing Entry and inside-thigh kick with a takedown from Sundanese Pencak Silat, one of the hardest, to be honest about it. Mariah got it so well she started teaching the other woman how to do it. That’s the definition of fluidity.
I found out later that Mariah had also gone to China and trained under Jet Li and Jackie Chan’s Wushu teacher, the famous Wu Bin. During a break in the training, I saw Mariah giving a short demonstration twirling two Filipino practice knives in a Chinese-style form at the end of a pair of knotted cords. The kid has coordination, fluidity and grace. Mariah can rock the house on command.
Mariah with Laoshi Wu Bin
We finally geared up on the last day, and it was decided that we would spar double stick style. This is especially difficult, it requires both sides of the body to act in accord and independently of each other, as well as not get tangled or confused in the exchange of strikes. Also, I fight with close to no coverage, and Mariah fights fully armored…Not unusual, she IS 13 after all. I had designs of “going easy” on the kid.Her opening volley killed that notion off REAL quick.
*SKA-BOOM!* If I didn’t have better footwork than this kid, that opening shot would have rang my bell and got the answering machine saying nobody’s home. Mariah was quick, and what she lacked in precision she made up for with sheer ruthlessness. She had her multiple strikes down, and forced me to retaliate as I would to an adult. I am a little ashamed to say that for a second, she convinced me I was fighting an adult WEKAF fighter, and I treated her as such. I reverted to Doce Pares style WEKAF fighting, using advanced footwork and all-out striking everything that I could hit. After the first round I heard her ask Steve van Harn (WEKAF world-champion, who was acting as officiator at the time) about me hitting her in the legs. I also thrust my stick into her gut to stop one of her terrifying Kamakaze-style "Death From Above" assaults. A thought went through my head and for some reason it sounded like Steve Perry; “You have got to slow this down, Kid. She’s not an adult.”
Oh jeeze, I’m getting my ass handed to me by a skinny little girl and now my Crystal Voice has a southern accent. Could my day get any worse?
I slowed the pace down a bit, and drilled Mariah on her weak points. We spent the rest of the time working and attacks and entries. When we were finished, I gave her a hug and said “Good going, little sister”. As far as I was concerned, Mariah was in the damn club, period.
I have always said that the difference between a competitor and a fighter is that the fighter wants to HIT, the competitor wants to score.
Mariah is a fighter who can compete. She wants to hit. More specifically, she wants to hit YOU. Repetedly. On the head. Mariah's slogan could easily be "One lump, or two?"
Check out the local news story on her.
Mariah is an X-Factor. She fools you. On the surface she is one of the single most respectful and nice people I have ever met. She wouldn't stop bowing to me, no matter how much I berated her for it.
“Focused” is too tame a word to describe Mariah.
“Driven” almost doesn’t cover it either.
“Borderline bloodthirsty and far too much in love with hitting people with sticks” is just about spot-on.
I like that. It reminds me of me.
Mariah has the chops. I want to see what she can do at age 24, I bet she'll have a title close to "Master". It's not terribly easy to impress me, I have been around some pretty amazing people and sat at the feet of some of the best Martial Arts teachers of the last century. It's impossible if I have already decided you ain't going NOWHERE with me. How ironic is it that a 13 year old girl has succeeded where several adult "Masters" have not.
I have added a link to Mariah’s blog, but remember it's a fledgling blog and she’s a teenage girl, so don’t go over there with the impression that it's Thick as Thieves part 2.
But if you don’t behave, you may find yourself waking up in the I.C.U. with a golfball-sized knot on your head and in the process of undergoing emergency rectal surgery for stick removal.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Navadisha Seminar in Chicago

Just this past Sunday, Mushtaq, Steve V. and I set out for Chicago. Steve and Mushtaq were teaching the Navadisha seminar. This was a once in a lifetime expirence to the participants! This was the first time Mushtaq shared his style, Navidisha, with anyone other than Steve and I. So they really got a treat! :) I met many great people and learned my fair share too! We focused on stick drills going over footwork as well as more ways to hit people up side the head with the sticks! lol . There was a lot to learn from Steve and Mushtaq, they truly are amazing at what they do! The whole thing lasted for about 4 hours, and NOBODY ever got bored. It was upbeat and fun at the same time. (and of course it was fun for me to work with my sticks! lol) We trained at the Midway Kodenkan school owned and run by John Bednarskis. The school was absolutly beautiful! it was layed out perfect and was a perfect spot to train in.I hope to do it again soon! BTW, Never listen to rumors! I DIDN'T BEAT JOHN UP,(I just ruffed him up a little!). We're still friends right Master Bednarskis?

Fight Tunes!

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North American International Karate Championships, Detroit Michigan Competition for Grand Champion

Kent County Youth Fair Talent Show 1st Place Performance - Mariah and Noel Loveless "Boom Boom POW!"

Detroit D'Lux Charity Challenge Martial Arts Tournament