PAWMA Camp 2019 has ended
Welcome to Camp 2019 at Aldersgate in Turner, Oregon! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone and having an exciting and safe camp.

  • Opening Ceremony has changed to the bleachers behind the Auditorium.
  • There were a few schedule changes, but the app is up to date  (as of Friday at 3pm). One schedule change from the camp book (two classes swapped places with each other):
    • Spontaneous Knife Defense is Sunday at 10:45am-12:15pm
    • Basic Pad Blasting Drills is Sunday at 1:45-3:15pm
  • Registration is in the Auditorium. When you check in, please tell us if you’re staying through Monday (so we have an accurate count for breakfast that day).
  • You must check out by 10am on Monday morning. You can store your luggage/stuff in the auditorium.
  • The map in the campbook is old... the map in Sched is better. :)
avatar for Grandmaster Graciela Caselas

Grandmaster Graciela Caselas

Casillas, Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee, and Inside Kung-Fu Hall of Fame inductee, has earned international acclaim as one of the world’s top martial artists, and as a teacher of the art of self-defense. She was the first athlete to simultaneously hold world titles in two separate sports, boxing and kickboxing. She continues to compete and recently won a gold medal in Filipino Stick Fighting at the GSBA World Championships in Portugal.

Casillas’s 45 years as student, instructor, and professional competitor has given her an eclectic approach to the martial arts which she shares with students at home and abroad. Her devotion to the martial arts, coupled with two masters degrees, has led her to dedicate herself to the promotion of the art as a teacher and writer. She has recently published The Lioness Within, a Personal Protection Guide for Women.

She has incorporated knowledge acquired from various arts, including her own personal and professional experiences to formulate a highly effective personal defense system, shen chun do. She has an eclectic approach to teaching and believes that teaching should be principle based. Her curriculum is based on range and stresses the importance of developing procedural (muscle) memory so that if threatened one can respond automatically, without conscious thought. When not teaching at her school, Casillas is a tenured counselor and professor at Oxnard College where she has developed a variety of courses for the Physical Education department. Students are able to take jujitsu, escrima, boxing, kick-boxing or self-defense courses, which are transferable to any Cal State University (CSU) or University of California (UC).

Although Casillas spent her initial years of escrima training under the auspices of Guru Dan Inosanto, she was the first and only women to be certified to the advanced instructors level in serrada escrima, a close quarter escrima system under the late Grand Master Angel Cabales. She also holds black belts in jujitsu and kenpo She is a court approved expert witness on issues relating to edge weapons, a graduate of the Lethal Force Institute and the first woman to graduate from Executive Security International (ESI) an elite training program for executive protection specialists.

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award
As a former champion boxer and kickboxer, Grandmaster Graciela Casillas forged an early and powerful path in women’s combat sports. In 1979 she won world titles in both the World Women’s Boxing Association’s and the World Kickboxing Association’s bantamweight championships. She now trains and instructs in a variety of martial styles and self-defense, and has recently published a book, The Lioness Within, a Personal Protection Guide for Women.

Grandmaster Casillas began her training as a young girl in a TKD program run out of her local Catholic church. She described herself as hailing from a traditional Mexican-American family; church was the place where girls were allowed to participate in outside activities. PAWMA’s many instructors, heads of school, and long-time students in locally-run programs can imagine the rare student and training partner who is completely fresh and unfamiliar with fighting arts, and at once wholly self-possessed and ready to launch a latent ambition. Graciela Casillas must have been this student, for a few years after beginning, she dominated the competition.

She was quickly drawn to full-contact training, and began competing professionally as a young woman. In one film of her first boxing match, she mentions that she has been underestimated leading up to the fight. When she steps into the ring it is impossible to understand how this could have happened. Her fighting technique is impeccable. Her punches are clear, clean trajectories capped by lightning-bolt endings. She bobs and weaves like the textbook says you should. Her hands are always in the right place. Her footwork is just right, tactical, effective. Add a few thrust and roundhouse kicks, and the warrior is unstoppable. Put a stick in her hand and another art serves her many purposes.

Grandmaster Casillas’ professional boxing nickname, “The Goddess,” alluded to her beauty in the ring as well as outside it. The name also captures the beauty that we, as martial artists, experience in the alignment between the fists and the spirited intention, the desire to win, the certainty that one must, and will, and is meant to, prevail. Competitors thrill us because they have this self-knowledge, embracing both its risks and its power. We are pleased to honor Grandmaster Casillas for her indomitable fighting spirit, and the inspiration she has provided to us all.