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August 22nd, 2007 Ethan Smith | Special Section Stories
 

School's Out Forever

Exploring Portland's less, uh, conventional education institutions.

     
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IMAGE: tqfc.com

So far, Schooled has told you what you already know: If you're willing to "play ball," the Man will give you a pretty piece of paper that says you're somebody. Go ahead, get a master's—you'll still be a slave. Sure, that's fine for all those "establishment squares" who feel naked without a few letters behind their names, but they can keep their paisley neckties, store-bought haircuts and "accredited degrees." Life isn't a test, and not everything worth learning comes in a textbook. For those who refuse to swallow a system-approved curriculum and become just another cog in the wheel, here are some alternative courses of study.

Quantum Touch energy healing with Judie Maron

"Everything is vibrating," Judie Maron says from her Northeast Portland office (8725 NE Broadway, 288-8369). She means that, at the subatomic level, seemingly solid, stable objects are actually moving. "Even the energy that animates your body is moving. That's called 'life-force motion.'" And here Maron strays from physics fundamentals into Quantum Touch jargon.

Quantum Touch is the "love-based energy healing technique" that Maron practices and teaches for a living. Through deep breathing and positive visualization, Maron claims that she—and anyone who cares to learn—can create a "high-resonance energy field," focus it with the hands and use it to heal. "I have not found anything—not one condition—it can't improve." Maron even claims she cured cancer in a woman who sought no traditional medical treatment.

Ostensibly, Quantum Touch stimulates the body's "biological intelligence"—the same innate intelligence, says Maron, that keeps our hearts pumping. Once the body "understands" it's sick, it heals itself by rising to a higher energy frequency. Maron believes that all human health problems derive from imbalances in our energy fields, and she'll teach you this cure-all technique in just two days at one of her $300 workshops. "I have not had a single student who couldn't do it by the end of class," she says.

But why have doctors ignored this miraculous treatment? Maron explains: "Mainstream medicine has a lot of money behind it and relies on keeping people frightened." Doctors scare us into believing we need them, she says. But we don't. "All healing is self-healing." Quantum Touch, she explains, is different because it isn't so much a treatment as a reminder to our bodies of their own self-healing power. "If you can acknowledge your own perfection, your body will follow suit," says Maron. "Quantum Touch helps you do that."

Maron's next "Live Basic Workshop" will be held on Sept. 16 and 17. She is also available by appointment. For more information, see fullyenergized.byregion.net.

Team Quest Martial Arts

Whether you're compensating for below-average height or just have some serious father issues, mixed martial arts (a combo of kickboxing and submission wrestling) will help you work through those emotions—on someone else's face. Or you just can build fitness and confidence while losing that pesky neck. Surprisingly, pacifist Portland harbors one of the country's elite MMA schools—Team Quest Martial Arts training center, in the outer reaches of Southeast Portland (18206 SE Stark St., 661-4134, tqfc.com.).

Founded by MMA icon and top-ranked Ultimate Fighting middleweight Matt "The Law" Lindland, Quest has grown from a vacant car lot and a few wrestling mats to a well-rounded MMA academy where pro fighters train beginners. "It's better than running on the treadmill," says Jun Hanawa, the school's general manager. "And people learn something." Yeah, they learn how to kill with their bare hands from Team Quest fighters like the Portland Wolfpack's Matt Horwich and Mike Dolce, who holds the IFL record for fastest knockout: 19 seconds.

Lindland devotes most of his time to drumming up fights for the team and promoting the school, but he still teaches the instructors' course and occasionally pops into lucky classes.

In America, "no holds barred" apparently has a nice ring; MMA, and specifically the UFC, is replacing boxing as the country's blood-sport of choice, lately pummeling the sweet science's pay-per-view numbers. And Quest is feeling this surge in popularity. "We're going to have to start turning students away pretty soon," says Hamawa. So learn to kill while you still can. Memberships range from $129 to $169 a month.

Portland Bartending Academy

Wherever life takes you, one fact remains constant: People like to get drunk. Well, except in parts of the Middle East, but it may not be around much longer. Anyway, the point is, if you're handy with the booze, you'll always have a job—at least, that's the idea behind the Portland Bartending Academy (1965 SW 5th Ave., 227-0700, portlandbartendingacademy.com.). Its two-week, $599 program teaches "all the skills necessary to be a full-service bartender."

Any jerk can fill a glass, but PBA grads come out well versed in the financial side of bartending as well. From "up-selling" to "profit pouring," a crack barman can walk the line between illegal over-serving and milking a drunk dry, and can shame customers from well to call liquor with the raise of an eyebrow.

PBA's internal placement service networks with local bars and staffs weekly events with students, giving grads a jump out of the gate. But bartenders still have to pick up their superior attitude and tip-entitlement on the job.

 
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