EROCA NICOLS'S CLASS
BB WHAT?! Ongoing queer Investigation into martial arts practice centering women and queers. How might martial arts practices be generative for thinking about queer resistance within the dance community and beyond?
When I say weaponize, I mean building our bodies, queer bodies, women's bodies, poc bodies, into physicalized resistance to state domination. A body that can shut down violence being acted upon it is a subversive body, a body generative of narrative beyond victimhood, a weapon of self care against the state. My Friendsei (alternative word for mestre or master that my teacher and I have come up with,) Fernando Rebelo, told me Brazilian jiu-jitsu is “a practice of meeting your death every day.” Bjj practitioners know that anyone on the mat with more skills can kill them. This is heavy but it is also what it is like moving through the world in a queer body, a woman's body or a poc body under white supremacist heteropatriarchy. To come to the mat is to reckon with trauma and mortality, directly, in an embodied way. And this, in my experience, can be terrifying. Many barriers to training for queer and gender non-conforming folks exist. For this reason, the practice and development of queer pedagogy in martial arts and making accessible spaces for this work is a priority. Skills from Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai as well as contemporary dance and strength training will be employed.
SUMMER' S CLASS
For my class i’ll be teaching beginners and mixed levels Muay Thai. Translated as 'the art of 8 limbs’, MT is the national sport of Thailand — similar to kickboxing but incorporating the use of knee and elbow strikes. It’s super hardcore and super fun and my desire is to share it in a way that is queer n trans centric, bodi posi and anti racist/ anti fascist. Personally, MT has helped me feel more comfortable in my body, one that deals with addiction and depression and wants to just feel stronger in general. It’s also great for self defence (although I am teaching it as a sport), weaponizing and building our bodies as Eroca says.
Ok, so classes will be around 2hrs long with breaks and no pressure to do all the things.
A class might something look like this:
Warm up and stretch. Fundamentals explained -how to throw a punch or kick someone in the head;) Partnered exercises where we can practice those techniques with gloves and pads. Basics of defending yourself & some light sparring exercises for anyone interested. Conditioning (this will happen at the end so ppl can easily opt out have a rest or continue with working on technique for example)
At the end we'll warm down/stretch and chat about how the class went. If you have any specific needs or questions email Summer at: comedowntous(at)riseup(dot)net