Julia Butterfly Hill – Activist

I can vaguely remember the story of Julia Butterfly Hill when I was living in New England (1997-1999).  This young woman spent a little over two years living in a giant redwood tree in California, in protest of Pacific Lumber’s clear cutting the forest in this area.  I remember thinking this is one “tough” girl, but never really thought much more about it, as the press coverage in New England was not that significant.

Fast forward a decade later and her story resurfaced again.  She has been referenced so many times by Coach Callos in The 100 and the UBBT.

After hearing her name so many times, I finally decided to learn more about her by reading her book,  The Legacy of Luna, which chronicles her life before Luna, the circumstances for climbing up into that tree, and why she stayed as long as she did.


(By the way, Luna is the name she picked to call this tree, in order to personalize “her” and give her more of a human nature.)

The book was absolutely amazing!

Julia is absolutely amazing!

Her book read like a suspense novel; from dealing with nature’s harsh elements (cold and wind), to living with isolation, to doing battle with Pacific Lumber, who was determined to bring her down out of the tree, even if it included cutting the tree down with her in it!

You will be blown away with her passion, her courage, her perseverance, and her general toughness.  Despite everything Pacific Lumber threw her way, she managed to call attention to her cause in a dignified way.  She used kindness as a way of befriending some of the Pacific Lumber associates.  She used her intelligence and enthusiasm to capture the attention of the media.

It was only after securing the safety of Luna and the forest around her, that Julia finally came down from the tree.

According to Wikipedia, “Since her tree sit, Hill has become a motivational speaker (holding some 250 events a year), a best-selling author and the co-founder of the Circle of Life Foundation (which helped organize We The Planet, an eco-friendly music tour) and the Engage Network, a nonprofit that trains small groups of civic leaders to work toward social change.” 

Among the many important principles she talks about, one of the most important: she asks all of us to discover “what’s our tree” in life?

What do we feel most passionate about?  Is it fighting Diabetes, helping to end child abuse, helping to end bullying, promoting peace education, making people aware of domestic violence and the huge problem that it is?

As master teachers, we need to figure out what that passion is and lead in a BIG, inspiring way!

That is being a master instructor!  Yes?

“I gave my word to this tree and to all the people that my feet would not touch the ground until I had done everything in my power to make the world aware of this problem and to stop the destruction.” 
Julia Butterfly Hill

You can read my own book review by clicking here:  The Legacy of Luna


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About SKS

Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.

Samurai Karate Studio, Columbia, South Carolina, martial arts, karate, self defense

Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for martial arts instruction for 8 consecutive years in a row.

Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.

We also provide corporate safety training.

Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars

Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made

up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]

Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.

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