If you’re involved in the martial arts world in Columbia, more than likely you’ve heard of
Mama G is the product of many environments and life experiences. At 66 years old, this martial arts teacher mentors and inspires the community. She’s achieved the status of Grandmaster 10th Degree International competitor in the Afrikan Martial Sciences and has 4,900 victories under her belt.
Don’t be fooled. This sweet woman can also kick your butt if she needs to.
Q. How long have you been in the martial arts?
A. Back in the ’70s domestic violence was not considered a crime, so there were no programs for protection. I searched for an entity that would give me those skills to eradicate my nemesis that was still lurking in the shadows. Having pursued my revolutionary side in college, I still had connections to the Black Panther Party and located a militia who were still active. They did not teach me martial arts — they trained me in “martial/war sciences” with the sole purpose to maim or kill. And for my life or death situation that is just what I needed.
Q. Why is it important for women and people in the African-American community to study martial arts?
A. “If the wolf can’t howl, it cannot find its pack.” — Dr. Estes. This is a quote I use as a foundation for every course I instruct. As a Behavioral Scientist/Urban Anthropologist, pride in one’s culture is the basis for success in life.
Q. I understand you’re also very involved in the community. Tell us about some of your outreach work in Columbia.
A. I have served as a crisis educator specialist for The City of Columbia’s Department of Parks & Recreation with the development of the AKERU Legacy Cultural System and the R.I.C.H. Program (Rebuilding Individual Character Habits) since 2002.
These programs help bridge the gap between generations. It allows media-savvy and artistic millennials and elders to serve as communicators for community members of all ages who have found themselves in the legal system. From workshops in the Department of Juvenile Justice to weekly podcasts at the Pacific Park Center, these programs are priceless. Our mentors are volunteers who share their knowledge for the sake of the next generation.
Q. What’s in store in the new year for you?
A. I’m traveling to the Action Magazine Hall of Honors in Atlantic City to receive the coveted Golden Pioneer Award for 45 Years in the Martial Sciences by the esteemed Master Alan Goldberg. Then on the horizon is the release of my “bio-mythography” with all of the really exciting stories. And then I have the opportunity to be the subject of a documentary by award winning film producer Andrew Gajadhar. The year of 2019 is quite bright on the horizon.