"To spar, the verb, means “to make the motions of boxing without landing heavy blows as a form of training," according to the Oxford American mini-dictionary.
WFWP New Jersey Chapter recently had a chance to witness an event where a lot of sparring occurred. On a beautiful but hot summer’s day in June, contestants from five dojos (training studios for martial arts), gathered at the Clifton Boys and Girls Club at 9:30am for a day of form martial arts, sparring, exhibitions, and comradery. The New Jersey Chapter wanted to support this tournament because it emphasizes good sportsmanship, patriotism, and respect for others. We helped keep score, sold refreshments in the lobby, and timed events.
Mayor James Anzaldi graced the opening session with greetings from the Clifton Community. Pastor Bob Mansour prayed for the safety and blessings of the contestants; and a member of WFWP offered a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
The first demonstrations were for Form Martial Arts. Parents and spectators sat in the bleachers to watch their friends and children compete. Prizes were given to First, Second, and third place winners, comprised of beautiful trophies and certificates.
The sparring constituted the last section of the tournament. Contestants, geared in protective clothing, combatted each other without landing heavy blows. Three judges watched and an umpire monitored for fouls. The spectators were amazed at the agility of the contestants as they punched, pulled down, and even trapped their opponents with their feet.
Fort Lee drum performers spiced up the atmosphere with Japanese drumming. To top it off, musical martial arts performances were given as well, all to entertain the audience and show the diverse applications of the martial arts.
Because I was one of the scorers, I could sit up-front and see the demonstrations first hand. I was delighted at their enthusiasm and the sincerity of the contestants and performers. There is a real respect in martial arts which, when taught at an early age, can remain with the child for life.
Congratulations to the Clifton Tongil Moodo tournament and the winners of the various categories. We enjoyed the good sportsmanship and the display of excellent martial arts form! As WFWP, we want to encourage the youth to develop respect and consideration for all those around them, and we could witness that martial arts is a good way to educate the youth.
On Sunday June 4th, a lovely June afternoon, the Hackensack Satellite Chapter of WFWP in New Jersey met to more fully understand the mission and history of the United Nations and WFWP's responsibilities as an NGO in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
To begin, Mrs. Cynthia Nakai, City Chairwoman for Hackensack, explained the origin and meaning of the United Nations Flag. The flag was established in December 1946. It was designated to be light blue, the color of peace; as opposed to red, the color of war. The map on the flag is a flat projection of the world, with no one country given more prominence over another. Two wreaths of peace surround the map, further emphasizing the mission of peace the founding nations envisioned for the newly-established United Nations.
Rev. Denneze Nelson, WFWP New Jersey Chairwoman, shared the work of NGO's and the sustainable goals each is striving for. Rev. Nelson also shared information from the WFWPI website regarding WFWP's contribution to the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). This explanation helped us all understand WFWP’s role and goals as an NGO in General Consultative Status with ECOSOC. ECOSOC is one of six principal organs established by the United Nations charter of 1945. To learn more about ECOSOC, here is the page on the United Nations website that gives a good explanation -- http://csonet.org/?menu=123.
It was a real treat to then listen to Mr. George Tegha who shared the work with WFWP that he and his wife have recently been doing in Ghana. Mr. Tegha explained that he solicited and benefited from the support of WFWP Ghana for grassroots based activities for water purification and mosquitoes prevention using all natural resources. They saw the need for economic development, especially in Amanfrom, Ghana. George and Josefa donated $300 worth of fiber-grass seeds to the towns of Amanfrom, Apese and Ayeyah. Fiber-grass is a medicinal herb that helps heal people with malaria and typhoid, plus it helps repel mosquitoes.
The plan is for the local people to grow the seeds into plants and then George and Josefa will buy them back and sell to mosquito repellant companies and medicinal companies, thus helping the economy of the local villages.They also worked together to strengthen local families and encouraged couples to take time to rededicate their marriages to God, each other, and a higher purpose at a Marriage Blessing Celebration with Family Federation for World Peace. They have every intention of going back to Ghana and continuing their work there.
After those educational explanations of the work of NGOs, and then the inspiring testimonies of substantial work being done by WFWP in Ghana; the floor was open for anyone to share. Along with our discussion and sharing, we relaxed with coloring books and colored pencils that depicted scenes appropriate for a more mature audience. This is, apparently, the new popular form of stress release! As far as I could see, it worked well!
To top it off, those who came to the meeting brought donations of new toiletry items that are being collected for the women at the Bergen County Homeless Shelter. Hackensack WFWP is moving ahead with monthly meetings not just for inspiration, but also for substantial action. We are determined to put the mission and goals of WFWP into practice in our local community. Thank you WFWP for giving us a way to help create a better world of peace right in our own backyards.
Have you ever wondered how to talk to your child about drugs? About teenage pregnancy? And what to do to avoid it?
The city of Orange, New Jersey, held a very informative program at the Lincoln School on Saturday, March 5 to discuss how to present such topics to one's children. Students, grandparents and parents were there to learn about the different counseling services and programs to guide teens to more productive, healthy life-styles.
Among the presenters were Mrs. Lillie Moore, Executive Director of the YWCA, Mr. Thomas Wright and Mr. Thomas Johnson of the Greater Essex Counseling Services; Ms. Sade Criss of Family Connections, and Nandi Bengu, WFWP Harlem Chapter Chairwoman, who presented C.L.U.E. (Creating Love and Uplifting Esteem), an abstinence based program to help young people make informed and better decisions when it comes to their bodies and their futures.
Organizations who participated were encouraged to set up information tables and the students served a great breakfast and lunch to the participants.
Clinician Thomas Johnson said he often feels like a missionary in his mental health practice. He gets such great satisfaction listening to people with problems and trying to work with and help them. He feels he is helping them on their spiritual path to wholeness. He advised, "Don't take a job just for money, find a job that also gives you satisfaction." He shared how he himself had been a drug addict, but with help, he was able to return to college and get his Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology.
A representative from "First Choice" spoke and was very knowledgeable in the area of teen pregnancy. There are over 50 kinds of STDs that one can get from being promiscuous. She admonished, "Treasure yourself." She took out a small treasure chest bedecked with pearls and jewels. She continued, "Save what is important for marriage. Make sure you are mature enough to handle a baby."
Ms. Nandi Bengu presented C.L.U.E. during lunch to the students advocating saving sex until each person matures and gets to know each other and develop as functional human beings first.
Mayor Dwayne D. Warren, Esq. and councilman were there at the event, as well as three firefighters from the town, and many educators.
This kind of program is very helpful to parents, students, and educators who wish to guide the youth in their charge to personal fulfillment and moral clarity.