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April 12
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
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[News Release] – The public is invited to observe this Saturday as the mental and spiritual fortitude of two local martial artists is put to the test as they strive to achieve a black belt ranking at Ekata Training Center and Urban Retreat. The weekend will also feature the installation of the Daoist shrine in Ekata’s meditation room.

ekataFrom noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, candidates Tim Adams and Casey Monaghan will undergo a progressive, multi-phase test that will showcase Ekata’s unique blend of Jeet Kune Do, Savate, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The testing will take place in Ekata’s newly opened 11,000-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness facility at 27831 Smyth Dr. There is no cost to attend and refreshments will be available.

“Achieving a rank of black belt represents one of the most important milestones in the path of a martial artist,” Ekata co-founder Ed Monaghan said. “The testing process challenges them to put into practice everything they have learned and push the limits of their physical capability and mental and spiritual fortitude. This is also a great chance for the public to see Ekata’s commitment to high-quality, holistic training.”

The black belt is commonly the highest ranking in martial arts, above white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red and brown.

Ekata takes its name from the Sanskrit word for “oneness” and focuses on a holistic approach to mind/body training, merging Eastern tradition and martial arts with intelligent, scientific training – all focused on promoting long-term wellness.

Fusing a variety of martial arts and physical training, therapeutic services, education and more, Ekata provides a one-stop location for training and wellness in the Santa Clarita Valley, with programs for both children and adults. The center includes three main classroom and training areas, juice bar, a teen study area, childcare room, massage treatment and meditation rooms, and locker and shower rooms. In addition to physical training, the center also offers a full program of sports and massage, acupuncture, physical therapy and nutrition and herbiology coaching.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP for Saturday’s testing by calling (661) 505-8191 or emailing jessica@ekata.net.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., the center is installing a shrine and celebrating the transmission of the Tao in its meditation room. The “Dao” or “Tao” forms the core belief of Daosim. As Daoists, Monaghan and co-founder JoAnn Wabisca live by a philosophy that emphasizes harmony and focusing on Three Treasures: compassion, moderation and humility. Daoism has its roots in prehistoric Chinese culture.

“While our members come from a variety of beliefs and backgrounds, Daoist philosophy has been a driving force behind what we’ve always envisioned Ekata becoming,” Monaghan said. “At the center of everything we do is a focus on balance and discipline, helping people of all ages become more enlightened and fully formed individuals. We’ve found this philosophy complements all belief systems due its emphasis on aligning one’s self with nature. Regardless of our philosophical or religious background, we can all agree that harmoniously flowing with natural order leads to living a more peaceful and fulfilling life. This is our goal – to be still; to be at peace through the study of ancient traditions that have benefited mankind for millennia.”

About the Founders
Ekata was founded in Valencia in 2006 by Sifu Ed Monaghan and Sifu JoAnn Wabisca, and moved to its expanded location in early 2014. Monaghan has been involved in the health/fitness and martial arts fields for more than 25 years. A professor at the University of California, Los Angeles’ school of Theater, Film and Television, he has studied a variety of martial arts for nearly 40 years, with instructor certifications in Jeet Kune Do, Savate, Muay Thai, Karate and Kung-Fu. In addition training numerous celebrities, he has also assisted in defensive tactics training for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In 2010, he was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame and voted Martial Arts Leader of the Year. After a long career in the film industry, Wabisca turned her focus to martial arts, becoming one of the first women in the U.S. to receive the black belt equivalent rank of “Silver Glove” in Boxe Francaise Savate. She is also a certified instructor in Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do. For more information on Ekata, visit www.ekata.net.

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