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This photo essay captures the heart and spirit of two dojos founded by Sifu Robert Brown. He has practiced martial arts for over 35 years. Martial arts was his vehicle for overcoming cerebal palsy and dyslexia; now it is his vehicle for helping children and adults respond well to challenges in and outside the dojo. The photographs reflect the culture of "Partners, not Opponents." I've benefited greatly by the kindness and wisdom of my fellow students.
I am indebted to Sifu Brown, Miss Donahue, Mr. Scott, and Mr. Donahue for guiding me on my own learning journey.
Maureen Electa Monte
In 1992, I moved to Paris to help a software company improve the usability of their CAD/CAM package. I left an engineer; I returned a photographer. I spent weekend after weekend, wandering around Paris with my used Nikon and Ilford black and white film. A few years later, I launched my own photography business. I shoot gardens, cityscapes, and classic cars, but I am most known for my photographs of people. I love shooting people in movement - the energy of a dancer, or the quick, fearless strike of a martial artist. For me, it's capturing the face of Joy. I pursue my bliss by shooting people pursuing their bliss. I also love to combine photos with words, so I find myself automatically creating captions, whether they appear on paper or not. Now, pushing fifty, I see my life as one long leadership journey, with photography being a significant tool I use to help others understand themselves, and those around them. I hope you enjoy my work. Maureen Electa Monte