Upcoming Classes and Seminars

First time at the Academy—Mind Intent Boxing:
XY1A Six Week Course in Xing Yi Quan
Experience the elemental!
Join our six-week seminar course and experience one of China’s most profound ancestor styles. Xing Yi is symbolically named for the interplay of the Five Elements, an ancient pattern of change recognized in Chinese philosophy and medical theory. The name Xing Yi means “Intent and Shape” referring to the mind processing combat’s endless and instantaneous changes. A beautiful combination of martial and qigong arts. Class starts Friday, March 6, 6-7 pm. Click HERE for more information about the class.

chengwudangA Daoist Roadmap for Nourishing Life
2 Workshops with Master Yun Xiang Tseng (Cheng)
Thursday, March 19, 6 -9 pm
Introduction to Daoist Principles and Yang Sheng Qi Gong, Pt I.
Friday, March 20, 9 am – 5 pm
Yang Sheng Qi Gong Part II: Walking Crane.

For more info and to register, click HERE. Class size is limited, and 10% discount for registering fbeofre March 1, so register early!


coretc1Tai Chi Core Movements Seminar:
Martial Practice for Health – A Two Hour Workshop
Join us Sunday, March, 29, 1 -3 pm, for our VERY popular seminar: in 2 hours, learn the core movements and energies of Tai Chi. Please click HERE for more info, and to register.


Tai Chi For Health and Structure:
The Yang Style Short Set – A Three Month Class
Narrye Caldwell, longtime Dr of Chinese medicine and Tai Chi pracitioner, teaches a beautiful, authentic and engaging Tai Chi short set in this 3 month class. No experience necessary. Next class starts Wednesday, April 22, 6-7 pm. Click HERE for more information, and to register.


BaguaSemJan2014eThe Martial Art of Change:
Bagua’s Eight Animals – A Three Month Class
Still relatively unknown among martial arts is Bagua Zhang, a brilliant martial art whose movements are based on circles and whose philosophy on the I Ching. Many call this “the Tai Chi of the 21 century.” Bagua’s Eight Animals routine encompasses practice for health, meditation, self-defense and, frankly, fun! Class fee includes our bestselling companion text on this form. Class has started but please click HERE and we’ll let you know when next session starts.

A Martial Arts Qigong for Health:
Eight Brocades Qigong (Ba Duan Jin)
The most well-known of the more than 1000 Qigong routines, Ba Duan Jin is simple to learn, fun to practice, and offers profound benefits for health. One of the Academy’s favorite seminars. This seminar as passed but please click HERE and we’ll let you know when next one occurs.

The Mother of All Martial Arts:
Introduction to Kung Fu
If you have ever had any curiosity about Kung Fu—what it feels like to move in a traditional method that’s 5000 years old— then this is the workshop for you. In just 2 hours you will get a real taste of authentic Kung Fu, not the stuff of movies but true, whole body movement. Enough to practice for months on your own, or whet your appetite for our ongoing classes. Friday, Feb 6, 6- 8 pm. POSTPONED. Please click HERE and we’ll let you know when next one occurs.

BDJSemMar14TedPaolaA Perfect Method of Qigong:
Blossoms in the Spring
A great Qigong routine! We have taught this seminar for several years, and the overwhelming response is ‘glowing.’ Simple to learn, and a routine that can be practiced for the rest of your life. Meditative, healthful, energizing, restorative. Sunday, February 22, 1 – 3:30 pm. POSTPONED. Please click HERE and we’ll let you know when next one occurs.

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A Daoist Roadmap for Nourishing Life

chengwudangWu Dang Daoist Priest Yun Xiang Tseng (Chen) Master Chen, comes from a 700 year old unbroken line of Wu Dang teachers. He is a 14th generation Zhang Sanfeng lineage holder and a 25th generation Longmen Daoist Priest. At a young age he was chosen to train on Wu Dang Mountain by Master Li Chengyu, a well respected Daoist nun. His mandate is to share the ancient wisdom practices of internal cultivation, so the treasures of his lineage from Wu Dang lives on with authenticity. Master Chen has taught thousands of students internationally is known for his profound knowledge of the Wu Dang tradition and his ability to engage students with depth and humor.

Join us for this extraordinary opportunity!

Thursday March 19th, 6-9pm: Introduction to Daoist Principles and Yang Sheng Qi Gong, Pt I. A practical approach to achieving deep union with your spirit and nourishing Pre-Heaven Qi through alchemical transformation. Open to all. Santa Cruz ($25/*$35)

Friday March 20th, 9am-5pm: Yang Sheng Qi Gong Part II: Walking Crane.
Incorporates movements inspired from the wild crane and internal alchemy. Strengthens the physical body, Jing (essence), Qi (energy), and Shen (spirit). Some physical fitness and Part I is recommended, but not required. Santa Cruz ($125/*$150)

For more information on seminars in Oakland, CA, visit www.wudangtao.com

Class space is limited, register at www.wudangtao.com
Save 10% Early Bird registration by March 1, 2015
*24 CEUs pending approval by California Acupuncture Board
For more information call Sally Chang @ 415-450-8071

The Academy of Martial  & Internal Arts
1570 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95065

Google map

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Intent and Shape Boxing: Xing Yi’s 5 Elements

What did martial arts look like in the time of Marco Polo?

XY1Join our six-week seminar course and experience one of China’s most profound ancestor styles. Xing Yi is symbolically named for the interplay of the Five Elements, an ancient pattern of change recognized in Chinese philosophy and medical theory. The name Xing Yi means “Intent and Shape” referring to the mind processing combat’s endless and instantaneous changes.

Xing Yi is deceptively simple, the first level consisting only of five key movements. These powerful actions were so versatile that they were practiced for strength, alignment, in armor, with weapons. It is also one of the first arts to combine martial practice with Qigong.

Xing Yi’s essential moves combine meditative quiet, directed intent, strong posture and xy2fluid qualities of movement. The Five Elements learned in this seminar could easily support a year’s practice.

The Five Elements is core Xing Yi teaching taught almost universally to beginning practitioners because it contains so much essential information. Anyone can learn but some martial background is helpful. If you don’t have much exposure to Chinese martial arts, bring a friend!

Starts Friday, March 6, 6-7 pm

If you have any trouble registering (if you get an error message) please refresh the page and try again. This should do it! If you still have trouble, please email us and let us know.

Fee: $90.00
Location: Academy of Martial & Internal Arts
1570 Soquel Dr (directly across from Dominican Hospital) 
Santa Cruz,

Registration required, no experience necessary.

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Tai Chi Core Movement Seminar: Martial Practice for Health

coretc1In this 2 hour workshop, you will learn an easy, beautiful and traditional routine based on 5 energies of Tai Chi.

This is NOT a TV version: it is a concentrated form that integrates movement, breathing, and intent to create a brilliant routine for daily practice. Tai Chi incorporates Chinese medical principles in a way that allows the player (we say a person “plays Tai Chi”) to actually enhance their health just by performing simple moves in a structured way. Its benefits are too many to list, but players have reported improvement in digestion, sleep, flexibility, arthritic range of motion, energy levels, stability, blood pressure and headache reduction. Continue reading

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The Martial Art of Change: Bagua Zhang’s Eight Animals 3 Month Class

The Lion of Bagua @plumpub.comBagua Zhang, that unique method of martial and meditative practices, is considered to be one of the last traditional arts of its kind to emerge from China. Incorporating health, exercise and self-defense, exquisitely, Bagua’s round and twisting movements create an unparalleled method for building strength, increasing flexibility, harmonizing mind and body, and engaging the practitioner in a unique and fascinating art.

This class emphasizes the all-important fundamentals of Bagua Zhang. You will learn a complete routine containing all the essentials for self-practice. No experience is necessary to attend this classic and relatively simple introduction to this great Art.

  • A unique stepping method for “moving meditation;”
  • Eight Animal postures for focusing mind and movement;
  • Unique traditional arm and leg patterns to train spirit;
  • Fundamental principles and theories for Qigong;
  • Key methods for individual and partner practice.

Continue reading

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Workshop: Introduction to Kung Fu, The Mother of All Martial Arts

kf5What do you know about Kung Fu?
Kung Fu is so many things, and if we limit ourselves to what we see in the movies we are really cutting short most of its greatness.kf4

As a 5000 year old art, you might imagine that there is more to Kung Fu than flying through the air and kicking butt in a dark alley. Because it is a “martial” art—that is, its original development came from early warfare—it encompasses strategy, health preservation, efficient movement, strength-building, flexibility, vision, cooperation, ‘workout’ and a kf2constant involvement of your mind. “No brain, no gain” is practically the keystone of traditional Chinese martial arts and Kung Fukf3.

We want to introduce you to Kung Fu, the right way, the authentic way. In this 2 hour workshop, we’ll teach you basic moves and fundamental theories about this great martial art. You’ll move in ways you have never moved before.

When: Friday, February 6, 6 – 8 pm
Where: Academy of Martial and Internal Arts, 1570 Soquel Dr, SC
(across from Dominican Hospital)

Fee: $25.00


Academy of Martial & Internal Arts
1570 Soquel Dr, Santa Cruz
(acr0ss from Dominican Hospital)
google map: http://bit.ly/V7bWAK



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Learning a Bagua Move

Captured live!

Thanks to Nick and Ikuyo for allowing us to film this lesson.



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Tai Chi Campfire Tales

The art of T’ai Chi is the art of consciousness. The slow, fluid movements of the art gradually blend with the flow of the mind and reveal things often buried in the silent forests of our minds. Most people associate T’ai Chi with the graceful motions of dance-like exercise without knowing the depths of concentration it requires and fosters. Perhaps the following will help illustrate T’ai Chi’s soul. Continue reading

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Tai Chi, A Marriage of Yin and Yang

People know Tai Chi as a slow, gentle and graceful dance. It’s only natural to assume that its famous health benefits arise from its meditative nature. But history tells another story.

It is a story of a marriage made by mutual convenience. And it is a story of a union of parties as different from one another as the Capulets and the Montagues. It’s actually more than a marriage story; it’s a blending of two clans in a union that took centuries to consummate. Continue reading

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Academy T-Shirts!

Tshirt072We’ve moved Heaven, Earth and one large Dragon… and, once again, have Academy T-Shirts!

You can order HERE or just ask at the studio.

Be the envy of your friends and Wear the Dragon!


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Tea Time with Marcus McDonough

For any who has seen Marcus McDonough’s work at the Academy, it will come as no surprise that Senior teacher John Ottenberg recently awarded him the rank of Black Belt in an open ceremony at class.

Marcus is a talented martial artist who  works hard to surpass his natural gifts in order to become an exceptional practitioner. His dedication is evident, not only in his work but also in his concentration and the spirit with which he practices. He is also a generous partner with other students, a qualifying trait for this rank.

Marcus has been involved in martial training since he took Tae Kwon Do lessons as a young person. He has also spent six years training in the Six Animal system. Now at the Academy, he is deeply involved in studying with all the teachers here. Continue reading

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Monday 8:00 PM Class Hiatus

Until the end of April, the Advanced Internal Arts class on Monday night, at 8pm, will be on hiatus. The other advanced Tai Chi and internal arts classes will still meet as usual, so see you there!

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Arts of the Academy

strasnick1Congratulations to Steve Strasnick, longtime Academy student, who recently attended the 22nd Annual Chinese Martial Arts Tournament, on March 15, in Berkeley. Steve won the Internal Style Men’s Division by performing a number of styles, including Taijiquan and Bagua Zhang.

Check our bulletin board in the school vestibule for postings on upcoming tournaments and events.

Sally Chang, Bagua Zhang and Taijiquan student, not to mention Doctor of Chinese medicine, visited recently and attended our Saturday Taiji and Bagua classes. Many students here know Sally and were happy to touch hands with her again after a long while. Her practice in San Anselmo is doing well, and she is teaching Taijiquan up there. Time permitting, we hope she makes many more visits and that students at the Academy have the good fortune to meet her.

Sally left some posters in the vestibule for a seminar she is sponsoring, given by her teacher in the authentic Wudang lineage. While she was here, she demonstrated his “short” Wudang taijiquan. We found it a sophisticated and wide-ranging presentation.


kirksculpt1The Academy is full of talented artists, not just of the martial variety. Kirk McNeill, who has studied with us for several years, is a blacksmith and metal worker. In January, he installed his latest piece, “Four Energies,” a sculpture he created for Scotts Valley Drive, the first piece of public art installed on that boulevard. As you can see, Kirk has represented in metal the four key energies of Taijiquan: Beng, Lu, Ji and An. (And these Taiji figures are VERY well rooted!



DianaposteronlineDiana Moll—Academy student of Bagua Zhang and Taijiquan, teacher, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, painter, and the school’s official Chinese New Year Graphic Artist is displaying her work April 4 as part of the First Friday Felton Art Walk (see poster in vestibule.)

Anyone who knows Diana will not be surprised to see a few rabbits scattered among her prints, but attendees will also be treated to some paintings based on her recent trip to France. By the way, the horse print in the poster is this year’s Wood Horse in the Chinese calendar.

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Seminar: An Introduction to Qigong

Fundamentals of QigongThis 90 minute seminar is the first in a series designed to teach a complete approach to Qigong from the basics, through the essentials, to its most fascinating and advanced material.

Qigong practice rests on three basic principles: controlling the body, controlling the qi and controlling the mind.

In this foundational first course, you will learn ten essential exercises to “guide” the Qigong body. In 90 minutes you will acquire a new alphabet, the alphabet of Qigong. Whether you are already practicing a Qigong regimen, or come new to Qigong practice, these movements will guarantee your progress and give you a blueprint for further exploration.

Some areas that we will explore are Alignment, Speed, Tone, Fullness, Relaxation, Pulling Inward, Mobility, Fluidity, Balance,  and Serenity.

New! Short interview with Instructor Ted Mancuso on this upcoming seminar, and the (different) traditional approach to Qigong.

Sunday, March 9, 12:00 noon

Fee: $25.00
Location: Academy of Martial & Internal Arts
1570 Soquel Dr (directly across from Dominican)

(google map) http://bit.ly/V7bWAK

Registration required, no experience necessary.
Co-sponsored by the Academy of Martial & Internal Arts, and Moongate Qigong Institute.

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Sunday Seminar: The 8 Bagua Animals

BaguaSemJan2014eBaguaSemJan2014fLast Sunday was another of the Academy’s open-lesson programs to introduce the Chinese martial arts to a wider audience. This seminar—open to Academy students—was attended by Phil, BaguaSemJan2014dMichael, Cecy, Taylor, Kirk, and also new non-student BaguaSemJan2014gfriends.  Additionally we had the honor of counting Sifu Linda among the Bagua walkers. Travis Rath helped with the teaching efforts and Jean Andrews acted as entertainment and food committee chairwoman. Other participants included some people with extensive Aikido training. In four hours everyone BaguaSemJan2014bsuccessfully learned and practiced eight core movements of the Bagua system; a few people got dizzy, there was a lot of laughter, and Sifu Linda asked very hard questions.

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