Who is the Martialista?
MARTIAL ARTS ENTHUSIAST WITH A LITTLE FLAIR &
A LOT OF PASSION = MARTIALISTA!!!
My name is Amy Frugoli and I currently reside in Portland, OR.
I earned my 1st Degree blackbelt in Taekwondo on August 11, 2018.
After 5 years of casually & sporadically checking in and adding content here and there, I am currently revamping this site and committing to more consistent interaction.
In the meantime, feel free to read how this all started and my journey to get here below.
I train at Apple Sioson's Primetime Martial Arts in San Jose, CA and I am currently a Gold Belt.
I thought for some unknown reason that starting martial arts at 42 years old (with absolutely no prior experience, no idea what to expect and no clue about whether it would even be something I enjoyed) would be a great idea. I am now 43 years old, utterly out of shape (but getting better every day) asthmatic, and clumsy as hell.
One thing is for sure, martial arts IS something I enjoy, but I couldn't tell you exactly WHY. It's not easy, it's challenging and sweaty/dirty/gritty and usually pretty ugly. I hurt myself all the time and am the slowest, biggest and oldest in the school. I am a curvy girl who is very self conscious about the whole uniform thing. White is not my first color choice. For anything. Ever.
Martial Arts takes a full time commitment and is humbling once you realize you have SO much to learn. All I know is it's just something I love having in my life and, as everyone told me in the beginning, until you become a student in martial arts it's not something you can put into words. Don't get me wrong here, It sounds like I am coming across as super down on myself and although I am my own worst critic, just to be clear, I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on this challenge. I have tons of love and support and have every intention of getting my black belt. I am just "real" about my place and my abilities at this point.
I am also able to laugh at myself and stay humble which is totally necessary ;)
I am pretty much a tomboy and definitely not a girly girl when it comes to a lot of things.... EXCEPT accessories and accents. I LOVE to add a little color, bling or personality to just about anything I have/wear/display. I love sparkle, oversized sunglasses and anything at all with black and white stripes. I own a successful wedding planning company, (which may be the reason I love to punch and kick things...can you say stress relief??) but probably also the reason I always feel the need to "pretty things up".
That being said, I am always looking for ways to add a little personality and flair to my martial arts life. Be it something I can add to my equipment, my body or sneaking something amazing under my gi just so I know its there to add a little extra OOMPH to it and keep myself motivated!
As I discover cool things, events, pages, etc. I will add to my blog and, if applicable, a link on the "Links To Cool Things" page so please contact me and SHARE THE FLAIR if you know of something fun and or awesome.
Please note...I fully understand that Martial Arts is all about respect first and foremost, so it is NOT about being obnoxious, "in your face" or disrespectful. My goal is not to make a mockery of Martial Arts, just brighten it up a bit and have some fun. I have NOTHING but respect for my fellow classmates, coaches, mentors, school and everyone out there practicing MA.
I want to be a great martial artist but I don't want to lose who I am - simply embellish it - which is why I created this site. To show that you don't have to be a little kid, a super strong athlete or need fit into a certain type mold to try something new. The time to start is now!
So I welcome you to join me along my martial arts journey. The good, the bad, the ugly and the fun as well as the pain!!!
PS One of my besties (who is a 3rd degree black belt) is the complete definition of badass and is 100% no frills, no joke, PURE tomboy. She has eye-rolled and/or face-palmed all of my ideas to bling, color or accessorize my gi or gear but no matter what has always stood by my side. I dedicate this site to her. Love you, Kelly Weber Barraza AKA Kels
So a lot has happened in the past year or so and I have needed to update this for awhile.
Short story, I am now 45 years old, a brown belt and have moved from San Jose, CA to Portland OR.
Long story: I left my beloved dojo in San Jose, closed my wedding planning business, sold the home I raised my son in, left all my family and friends to start a new life in Oregon. To add to the spiral my life was in, I found out my mom had Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer a week after moving to my new home in a new state, knowing NO ONE.
She passed away 10 days later.
She was my rock, my biggest cheerleader, a spark in this world, the most active, hardworking and - until she got cancer, a super healthy person.
I SO wanted her to be there when I finally get my black belt.
Needless to say my world was completely turned upside down and I was alone and grieving and wasn't sure where to turn.
Then a friend from CA called me and said "What would you rather do? Go to a grief support group and sit around talking about how sad you are or get back into the gym and back to martial arts??"
It was an "A-HA!" moment for me.
So in August 2016 after taking a year off and searching and comparing, I found a new martial arts school - Dragon Brand Martial Arts in Portland Oregon
But what I didn't expect was not only did I WANT to get back to training but I NEEDED it. It healed me. It saved me.
And just like that, The Martialista was back.
Kick. Punch. Love