This January, I emerged from a challenging, inner time in my life involving a lot of focused energy on my own health. I had had very little time or energy to be social and outward for a long while. Recently, I felt reborn, and re-entering the world was exciting and daunting. I was re-learning how to be in my body in the world in the best way possible.
Since I was an adolescent I have been drawn to martial arts, and dabbled in Capoeira more than once. But I could never find the right community that felt supportive, and it is very hard to get started on one's own in martial arts as a WOMAN or feminine person - when there are virtually NO female teachers or higher level guides to be seen. I needed role models.
In January I found Thousand Waves Dojo in Boystown. Not only was it founded by two women in the 1970s, and began its first decades as a women-only dojo (went on to be co-ed), but it is openly and assertively LGBT inclusive, immigrant inclusive, and trauma-conscious (as any martial arts center should be, right!?). I feel so supported and at home learning to be my full self in my full body in this space, with the structure of the solid Karate lineage and passionate, respectful teachers in every class I attend. As a person with immense skeptical capacity, this place REALLY impresses me.
Every time I walk in for class I am scared - scared I won't be good enough, or I'll fail somehow; that's exactly why I keep going. At Thousand Waves, I'm learning to truly walk through and laugh with fear, to LOVE challenges even more than I previously did. Training increasingly puts me in a position of preparation for infinite chaos and challenges, whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or a combination.
I am so glad to be a part of this amazing place. Now I'm asking for you to contribute to this amazing community and empowering space with whatever amount you can afford. Anything at all helps cover expenses.
What can you give, in support of people like me, seeking refuge, inner strength, and healthy diverse community connection?
Thousand Waves is a mission-driven not-for-profit in the city of Chicago that has been active in the community for over 32 years with a mission to foster fitness, healing, empowerment, and peacemaking.
Spirit Challenge Fundraiser supports Thousand Waves' work in three critical areas:
Thousand Waves' name comes from the Japanese saying, "One wave sets thousands in motion." Just one donation will go a long way to helping me meet my goal for Thousand Waves. Thank you for your support!