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My Living Heroes

3820651074?profile=originalJackie Chan is one of my living heroes because of how dedicated to martial arts he is. The fact that he performs his own stunts and knows so many martial arts is amazing to me. My goal in the future is to at least have studied multiple martial arts, and maybe even master them. Jackie Chan knows so many martial arts and I hope to some day know multiple martial arts as well.

William E. Fairbairn was a detective from England living in Shanghai during the interwar period. He developed hand-to-hand fi

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Example of Letter of Intent for 2nd DAN

black_belt.jpgAfter I submitted my letter of intent to the masters for my upcoming 2nd DAN test, they asked me to post it as an example for others. I believe the letter needs to be tailored for each personal individual journey, but I hope the format is useful for others.



April 30, 2017

Mercer Island Martial Arts
Grand Master Strongheart
Master Krista Wells

Grand Master,

I would like to officially declaring my intent to progress in my training to second DAN, with the rank of Kyo Sa Nim.

I have inc

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12 hours of an outside project

Leadership_Service_in_Action.pngWhat I did was work for half of a day at my dad’s office and the other half of the day was volunteering. My dad works at an IRB, if you don’t know what that is it’s essentially the legal side of a clinical study. When someone decides to participate in a clinical study, an IRB makes sure that that person knows all of his or her rights and makes sure the clinical study is as safe as it can be for that person and making sure the study is not a fraud. What I did in there was a multitude of things, b

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National Human Trafficking Day


As Modern Martial Artists, community warriors, this issue as much as any issue is related to our practice.  We teach that our community, or village, is our responsibility to take leadership, and action to protect, and grow.  And, that village must include the most vulnerable, and victimized.   At the very least we can become aware, and educated.  So many people have the belief that this kind of slavery is taking place only in places far away, and certainly not in our cities.  It is unfortunate

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This video shows exactly why I teach, rather we teach, Bully prevention at MIMA --   We have literally taught hundreds of hours, mostly unpaid to kids from all over the greater Seattle area.  We teach not only the target, but also the kids who bully about tolerance and respect for others and self, and perhaps most importantly, we teach bystanders how to handle it.


We teach kids, that they have power, and how to use it.   And sometimes that means getting help, the thing that often requires th

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Solis Garavito—Black Belt Requirements

My Five Living Heroes 

  1. My mom because she always helps me by encouraging me to be my very best.
  2. My dad because he always helps me when I’m stuck on something he helps me become a better person.
  3. Luna because she keeps me on track and helps me when I need help. She also makes me laugh (sometimes).
  4. Mrs. Millison because she helps me in math every time I’m stuck on a problem in math.
  5. Everyone at martial arts because they help me every day of becoming a better martial artist.

What are goals upon having re

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Yes, we can.


About the Author:

MeLisa Strongheart is a Master Instructor and co-owner at Mercer Island Martial Arts (MIMA), located on Mercer Island very between Bellevue and Seattle in Washington since 1997.  MIMA's curriculum is intentionally designed to build fitness, flexibility, self-defense, as well as to create a milieu which engenders physiological growth, respect, courage, and community activism and leadership.   

MIMA has programs for families to practice side by side, as well as adult, teen,

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I try and eat organic as often as possible, and I love fruits and vegetables; however eating organic is can be more expensive.  So, when is it okay to by non-organic fruits and vegetables? 

The Environmental Working Group has a list of fruits and vegetables that are okay to eat non-organic and others that you should always buy organic.   Sometimes referred to as the "Clean Fifteen", these are the ones eating non-organic is fine.   The so called, "Dirty Dozen" are recommended to always eat organi

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my 5 living heroes

jackie-chan-12-480w.jpg5 of my living heroes 

  • Jackie Chan is a chinese comedy action actor/stuntman, and is considered one of the main Chinese actors to break into America's film industry
  • Ms. Bordelon was my 4th grade teacher, and she actually made Language arts and social studies, which I didn't like, really fun
  • Ms. Fontana was my 6th grade math teacher, and she was the first teacher I had that I felt like really was interested in math, and made me interested in math 
  • My cello teacher is reallly, really into cello, and m
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My 5 living heroes

3820648762?profile=originalThese are my 5 living heroes. All of them somehow inspired me.


•My dad got me interested in several things, such as computer science and stories.

•My brother Miles got me interested in Minecraft and music.

•John Feng, a parents’ friend/physics professor, got me interested in quantum physics.

•My friend’s dad, Eric Wilfrid expanded my interest in computer science.

•My uncle John got me interested in airplane mechanics expanded my interest in math.


For some of these, I didn’t even know they would inte

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Gratitude Challenge

I have so many people in my life to be thankful for and I really should make a point to thank those that are so wonderful to me.  It is so difficult to choose one, but this individual popped into my mind because they are kind, loyal and someone who is definitely inspiring to me.  This person has helped me when I didn't know that I needed help.  She is not only a friend but also someone I admire.  I think I could, well actually I know that I could go on for days about how great you are, so with t

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My Heroes

 Five of My Living Heroes 

(Not in a specific order) 

     1. P.K. Subban     

          P.K. Subban is a black professional ice hockey player for the Montreal Canadiens. P.K. is one of my heroes because he's an extremely talented hockey player and a role model for people everywhere. P.K. Subban won the Norris Trophy in 2013 as best defensemen in the NHL. Recently Subban donated ten million dollars to a children's hospital in Canada. Subban volunteers with youth hockey players routinely and has a g

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Gratitude Challenge

November is all about giving thanks.  Thanks at Thanksgiving, thanks to our Veteran's, thanks to our families and friends. Every year we ask you to think about what it is that you are thankful for.  We will be doing this at our Veteran's Day Camp on November 11, but you don't have to be at the camp to participate and we encourage adults to participate as well:

Mercer Island Martial Arts utilizes the latest research in areas such as positive psychology and exercise physiology to create a martial

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