Upcoming Classes and Seminars

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. Starts Wednesday, January 14, 6 – 7 pm. No experience necessary. Please click HERE for more info, 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. Starts Monday, January 12, 6 – 7 pm. Click HERE for more info, and to register.

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. Sunday, Jan 25, 1-3 pm. Click HERE for more info, and to register.

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. Click HERE for more info, and to register.

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. Click HERE for more info, and to register.

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.

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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

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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Tai Chi For Health: New 3 Month Class Returns in January


• Learn a complete form in just three months

• Traditional, fluid, moving meditation

• Small Class, detailed instruction

• Emphasis on correct posture and form for health, balance, and vitality

• Authentic martial structure for strength and flexibility 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: Eight Brocades Qigong

Ba Duan JinThis seminar is the latest in our comprehensive Qigong series. It teaches the most famous Qigong of all, The Eight Brocades.

All Qigong progress rests on an intimate connection of vital energy, our human body, and our minds. For 1000 years, the Eight Brocades has been lauded as one of the easiest ways to learn this subtle coordination. Based firmly on Chinese medical theory, its movements are simple, stretching and turning in such a way as to optimize your health. When conscious direction of energy is added, it lives up to its name of being a precious work of art.

In this 2 hour foundational workshop, you will learn eight essential exercises to develop Qigong skill, as well as an entire regimen which you can practice for years to come. Whether or not you have ever practiced a form of Qigong, this class will give you a blueprint for you to progress.

Taught by Ted Mancuso and Narrye Caldwell.

Ted is director of the Academy. For more than 40 years, he has been teaching, studying, writing about, exploring, and admiring traditional Chinese martial arts and Qigong. He is passionate about teaching others to experience  and find freedom through Qigong.

Narrye has been practicing traditional Chinese medicine for over 25 years. She has also studied Qigong as well as taught it at Five Branches University as a crucial part of the curriculum, since Qigong and Chinese health practice are symbiotic.

Pre-registration is required, since this class needs a minimum number of participants to attend. You do not have to pay in advance, but please pre-register so that we know to expect you.

Time and date: Sunday, January 25, 1 – 3 pm
Location: Academy of Martial & Internal Arts
1570 Soquel Dr (across from Dominican Hosp.)
Santa Cruz

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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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Seminar: Blossoms in the Spring Qigong


The Academy is happy to, once again, host a seminar on Blossoms in the Spring Qigong, a simple, meditative Qigong practice for healing and rejuvenation.
This ancient Taoist Qigong is easy to learn but profound in its effects. It is suitable for all levels of experience and can be performed sitting, standing or lying down.
We’ll learn the routine, practice together, drink tea, and explore the place of Qigong in Chinese medicine and bits1healing.

Continue reading

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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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