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Wisdom Keepers ~

Sharing wisdom through the art of storytelling

When I was a young man, I remember it was common to sit around an elder, a group of people, and even peers and listen to their stories, experiences and life lessons. In my childhood this would happen in my mother’s beauty shop, fishing with my uncle and during summers with tribal elders around a fire with lots of drumming. With so many other ways now to communicate, the tradition of verbal story telling has lost its power.

I still believe this is a very useful and empowering form of communication and knowledge sharing—so every month in 2019 I asked a few students to share their story.  The videos of this powerful communication practice of live Storytelling are below.  

~André Salvage

2019 Storytelling Events:

Monday, December 16 There is such a thing as Too Much Help

Video Ryan Wood

Helping those who need help is an honorable thing to do.  We all know the saying, “You can never be too helpful.”  Ryan Wood, who has earned the rank of Black Belt but will not get certified until he is 18, has come to realize this is not always the case. There comes a time when your help becomes a detriment.

In this video, Ryan shared his experience with this fine balance of knowing when and how to help and knowing when your help is harmful, and answered questions about his personal perspective and experiences.

Monday, November 18 The Unfiltered Truth      

Video Leekiesha Hoalst

There are Divine gifts that mesh well with the social constructs of our society. Healers are acceptable, even revered. But what if your gift is not appreciated—like the gift of Unfiltered Truth? In a world that would prefer you lie, this gift can be challenging.

In this video of her talk and Q&A, Leekiesha Hoalst shares her journey with this gift and some of the tools she has gathered to help take care of herself in spite of and in light of this gift/curse.

September 30  Truth Has More Than One Story

"Truth has more than one story."  This is a statement that Karen Keese, new black belt, has found beneficial in several aspects of her life, from career choice  to travelling to connection to Kung Fu.  In this 16 minute video, Karen shares one aspect of her understanding of this truth she has discovered: Yes, it is possible.

September 16  Manifesting Your Dreams—A How-To Discussion

Video Sally Carlile

Many leaders, from Deepak to Osho to Oprah, refer to “manifesting” your goals, dreams, and desires. But what does manifesting really mean? And how do you actually do it?

Master Sally Carlile  discussed and answered questions about her journey to becoming a master manifester and what she learned along the way regarding the importance of integrity, courage, and purpose. 

August 17  Moving Forward

Video Edgar MezaThere is a flow in life that moves everything forward. This forward motion can manifest in many ways, including seemingly stagnation or even moving backwards.

Edgar Meza shared his journey of moving forward with love, facing the unknown and, of course his “humor” and Mychel McGoy filmed the event and created this video.

July 20  Frame By Frame: Bringing Cruelty Into the Open  Video Mychel McGoy

Cruelty is a reality many would like to pretend doesn't exist.  Brown Belt Mychel McGoy has courageously studied the how, why and even the when of cruelty in his film-making and forensic videography.  Mychel shared some of his awarenesses and insights into this uncomfortable but necessary subject and then hosted a powerful Q&A session. 

The video of the talk  includes clips from the movie he referenced (and made). 

July 15  Insights on Intuition

Video Branko Grujci

As a visual effects artist and one who races motorcycles, Master Branko Grujcic has to rely heavily on his intuition.

In this video, Master Branko shares his insights into the power of intuition and “some of his thoughts that he would like to pass along.”

June 22  Sharing your message: HarmonyA film by Blake Carlile

Video Blake Carlile

Blake Carlile is a high school student and an aspiring film producer who screened his award-winning short documentary “Harmony-A Point Reyes Documentary” for us and discussed its message and how expressing it brought him a new sense of drive and motivation.

View Blake's commentary and the film.

June 17  Searching for Relief: Exploring Strategies for Healing from Depression

Chances are good you or some you know will experience a form of depression at some stage in life. For many, depression constitutes a personal failing—a weakness brought on by hypersensitivity that should be managed or corrected with self-improvement regimes and willpower.

The truth is depression is a medical condition.

Master Bevin Deiters powerfully shared her journey on how she sought treatment and eventually developed strategies for coping and ultimately thriving. She discussed the different approaches she has taken to wrestle with a condition that, at times, can be very debilitating.

May 20  The Path to Becoming Non-Judgmental

The ability to not make judgments about a person, place or situation is not an easy thing to let go of. When we were younger, judgments helped us to make sense of a sometimes confusing and scary world. However, the habit of judging can be detrimental in your adult life.

Master Katie Sasso talked with us about her lessons and journey through the arduous path to non-judgment and shared anecdotes about what to do when those feelings arise.

May 6  The Evolution of Trauma—Death and Rebirth

One of the fallacies about moving through past trauma is that once you have processed it, the trauma goes away.  Trauma evolves, changes and morphs into positive attributes. These traumas can come up again, and although you can feel like you are re-experiencing a deep loss, it is not punishment.  While these moments may feel like unresolved traumas, they are often an opportunity to learn deeper and lasting lessons.

2nd degree Black Belt Ivan  shared his wisdom about the wins and challenges of being in the constant evolution of Trauma, Death, Living and being Reborn. 

Video Kamau Montague

April 29  Your Path to Creativity

We all desire to tap into our creativity. For some, like Kamau Montague,—one of our Green Belts—having the courage to create has helped him have more confidence in life, tap into his intuition, diversify his life’s path, and strengthen his sense of self. 

“I think it’s important that everyone finds something that helps them be creative in life.”  Watch this extraordinary young man share his path of overcoming his sensitivities and finding the courage to tap into his creativity.

March 23  Staying Grounded as a Teenager

Video Dorian Wiederholt KassarThe world has a lot of ideas about who you should be—especially as a teenager.

Dorian Wiederholt Kassar has always thought about big philosophical ideas—but it was all theoretical; it just confused him. At fifteen, he asked a family friend to find him a therapist— “Someone weird. Really weird. Who won’t try to turn me into a conformist robot.” A week after his first session, Dorian started Kung Fu.

Dorian shared how he learned not to conform to or rebel against the world’s ideas but to instead discern what works for him.

If you are, know or have a teen who is struggling with identity, conforming or rebelling, it will be beneficial to view the video of this illuminating lecture and discussion.   

Video Ken Yee

March 18  Managing Chaos

Black belt Ken Yee spoke about some of the principles he has learned to work with situations that appear unpredictable, rapidly-changing, and “out-of-control.” Being able to do this in your life as well as in Kung Fu is a very powerful skill.  View the video of this valuable lesson.

Feb. 23  The Girls' Locker Room

Video Kathleen Buckstaff

Like a veteran who collapses when his own son registers for the draft,  Kathleen Buckstaff experienced PTSD when her daughter reached the same age she was when she experienced sexual abuse at a New England prep school.

Watch this powerful video of Kathleen sharing some of the things she has learned on her journey around sex, love and healing. Many of us have experienced past and present trauma around power and abuse. The wisdom this courageous story and message can offer will help everyone, especially young adults.  

About the storyteller:

A Yellow Belt in Kung Fu San Soo, Kathleen is an award-winning author, columnist and artist. Her latest book is 

Get Savvy: Letters to a Teenage Girl about Sex and Love.

Feb. 11  The Creative Power of Intention and Living an Authentic Life

Video Master Wayne Dahler

There is an ancient formula for receiving and attaining what you want. The key to maintaining what you receive is being and living authentically.  Master Wayne Dahler  shared his experiences with this process from intention to manifestation and discussed the importance of living an authentic life to sustain it. 

It’s not about the acquisition of stuff; it’s the gratitude, worth and love of what you had, have and will have.  View the video of this compelling wisdom keeper event. 

January 26 Rape Prevention — Healing the Family Legacy of Rape

Master Barbara Koehler’s grandmother was raped at 18 years of age and this violent act meant deep shame, stigma and secrecy. Somehow, she survived, got married and had Barbara’s mother. But the legacy of shame, powerlessness, and guilt stayed with her family and has been passed down and manifested in a variety of ways that we can label as both healthy and unhealthy. 

“Kung Fu means so much more than just defending myself.”

Master Koehler will share how the history of her Grandmother’s rape has affected the women in her family and how this art and her life’s journey have and continue to reframe the historic story of past trauma.  

January 14  BOBBY-D CHILD - Changing the labels

Video Master Dave Williams

 Master David Williams was a “Bobby-D Child,” which is a term for someone who was brought up in the foster care system. The negative labels, judgments and biases that are imposed on these children affect their lives in a variety of unhealthy ways.  

Master Dave shared his unique story of the effects of being a “Bobby-D Child” and anecdotes about how he learned to survive and thrive.  Click on the image to listen to this wisdom keeper’s story and learn life lessons that can apply to everyone and to every aspect of your life. 

About the storyteller:

Master Dave is an entrepreneur and owner of SuperDaveDog where he specializes in  walking, sitting and training for dogs and cats—“it’s all about the cats and dogs.” A true dog and animal whisperer, Dave lives in the city with his wife Kirstin and his two sons.





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