New Classes & Seminars

BirdsJan20141forweb3Click HERE, or the image above, for more

~Core Tai Chi For Health (Free!) Occasional Sundays, for dates and registration
~Heart of Qigong Thursdays, 9:30 – 10:30, for more, and to register
~Four Corners of the Circle: The Core of Bagua Zhang For more information
~Tai Chi Health & Structure, 3 mo class April 26 – July 19, for more, and to register
~To see our ongoing classes For more information

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Workshop Report: The Fine Art of Choking

A demonstration and workshop on the fine art of choking was a change in schedule for the Saturday morning Kung Fu class last week. Black sash instructor, Mike Gruber—highly knowledgeable about Kung Fu, and an expert Judo player—opened the class, demonstrating basic chokes and strangles (not the same thing). He explained that knowing how to execute chokes would render them much less worrisome for the recipient.

At first everyone looked around, nervously, to see who would volunteer to be the first victim. But, once we started practicing the clear and safe instruction offered by Mike, everyone breathed easier. Next we pulled the mats out and worked anti-choke defenses from the ground. As predicted, key moves using the ground to neutralize chokes boosted confidence, not to mention effectiveness.

A good presentation is made great by clarity and simplicity, and Mike showed a systemized presentation increasing, for teachers as well as students, their knowledge and tactile experience with this valuable martial skill. 

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Kung Fu for Adults: Not Your Child’s Workshop

Traditional Kung Fu, Authentic Kung Fu, REAL Kung Fu…no matter what you call it, it is so much more than the stuff of movies. Not that flying brigands and pursuing heroes are not fun to watch. But Kung Fu is a perfect example of that saying: the Ordinary is Extraordinary.

We invite you to the Academy to try Kung Fu. Feel for yourself what it is like to link movement with breath and intent; to exercise your limitations, not only farther than you imagined, but in a totally different direction.

Give yourself two hours, and discover if Kung Fu is for you. Head Instructor Ted Mancuso, the director of the Academy, brings more than 50 years of martial experience to every class he teaches. Move your body, engage your mind, try Kung Fu!


Click HERE and we will let you know when it is rescheduled

Click for more information about the seminar.

Open to all 18 years or older.

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Year of the Fire Rooster–January 28, 2017

Year after year, Narrye Caldwell’s annual Chinese Astrological analysis has been one of  our most popular and requested topics. We are happy to once again offer it here.

Fire RoosterAll Chinese wisdom traditions, including medicine, divination, astrology, and feng shui, are systems of pattern identification that guide us in adapting gracefully to change. A world in flux is assumed; it is the one constant feature of life. Astrology is best viewed as a tool to discern where we are in the shifting cycles of time so we can adjust our expectations accordingly and therefore, from the Chinese point of view, cultivate longevity by not wasting our qi trying to swim against the current.

Last year’s current schooled us all in crisis management as the Fire Monkey’s erratic impulsiveness and dramatic flare produced an unprecedented bit of theater in American politics. Continue reading

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Adam Hsu Linking Fist

Linking Fist from Adam Hsu’s popular children’s text.

We are happy and proud to teach one of the best beginning Kung Fu forms:  Sifu Adam Hsu’s Linking Fist. This combines elements of traditional practice with modern methods of instruction. The entire form is 16 movements with not one repeated. These take you through kicks, punching patterns and crucial stance training. A great beginner’s form!

For a glimpse of the set, go to  Sifu Marie Anthony’s Cupertino Kung Fu school.

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The Circle’s Four Corners: 4 Wk Class in BaguaZhang

BaguaSemJan2014e Bagua Zhang, one of the last traditional Chinese martial arts, is almost always spoken of using superlatives; it is a ‘genius’ art, the ‘best’ for health, the ‘last word’ in martial usage. Why is this?

Developed in the 18th century, it was taught only to teachers who had mastered other arts. These teachers were able to learn and contribute to the art as they passed it on, and much of what we teach at the Academy comes from the original founders and their well-defined lineage.

This 4 week class will introduce you to Bagua through its core moves and principles, incorporating both its martial and health aspectsFundamentals of Bagua Zhang. Short routines, exercises and loops will be taught, and you will learn to move your arms, your feet and, most importantly, your waist, the key to this art’s brilliant health regimen.

Instructor Ted Mancuso is a well-known and -respected Bagua teacher around the world, having published several top-selling books and DVDs on the subject. With over 45 years of experience, his students benefit from a practiced hand and a keen eye (and wit!) in his classes. Opportunities for open Bagua classes at the Academy are limited; this is a perfect class if you want to discover BaBaguaSemJan2014ggua and its unique treasures. Beginners encouraged, all levels welcome.

Saturdays, 11:00 – 12:30, July 9 – 30

Click here for more information, and to register.

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Today I celebrate fifty years in the martial arts.50_3b

It has been long enough now to seem natural that it became my fate or, at least, a “way of life,” as everyone calls it. People ask me what could possibly be the attraction. I have to tell the truth and admit that I always believed that some human activities are as linked to us as the appetites 50_2band emotions we consider define a human being. It is true that, through historical changes, the aliens among us have warped some of these foundational approaches. But activities like dance, story-telling, religion, philosophy, love and celebration are all “arts” in ways that pre-date the commodity market we presently call society.50_1b

It is true that all too often “the winners write history” suggesting to us that the answers lie in understanding what came before written history. The next great empire will be built on the sands of still unexploited cultures where ancient insights (that really are insights) may be bulldozed beneath the machinery of necessity. It is in times like these we need tend to those things that the future may see as “useless,” things like kindness, contemplation, harmony.

Fifty years is a blink compared to these timeless pursuits.

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Your Lineage or, Keep Practicing That Punch

We couldn’t resist posting this clip here for a number of reasons:

  1. Here, at the biggest Baji Quan (Baji style Kung Fu) convocation in the world, your great-grand teacher, Liu Yun Chiao, is honored with everyone in the hall doing the same exercise we do here at the Academy
  2. The teacher chosen to lead all these students and instructors, many generations of practice, is your grand teacher, Adam Hsu (Hsu Ji).
  3. The front line of this grop is crowded with famous instuctors of this art.
  4. Here, at the Academy, you are part of a hands-on tradition from many generations.

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Core of Kung Fu Class Starting in June

Good news! Our 6 week class on Kung Fu training starts Monday, June 6. Incorporating the famous Linking Fist First Form created by Master Adam Hsu, this class is the perfect way to start or deepen your Kung Fu training.

What makes this class special? Instructor Ted Mancuso has been teaching Chinese Martial Arts for almost 50 years, and brings not only his knowledge of the art, but his decades of experience teaching it. This means that basics, how to learn, how to practice, and foundational information are, among other things, all part of the class experience.

The Linking Fist Form is your first step on the authentic road to Kung Fu.

Click HERE for details on and registration for the class.

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Hello from Wales

knightDear Students,

I hope everyone is practicing and having a good time. Many schools go through a re-calibration when the head-instructor is away. But this is actually an important time in martial training, when students are face to face with one another instead of relating through the teacher. I hope the consequence is kindness, cooperation and camaraderie.

I know that this sounds a bit hokey, but it took me a long time to see that harmony—such as I’m talking about—is not just some passionless dream. Harmony requires dynamic rather than static balance. I don’t know that “character” can be trained, but I do know that it exists and often martial practice can reveal its grain and color.

It’s my hope that we get strong enought to remove some armor, rather than just  polish it.

Be back soon,


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Seven Experiences of Martial Training

Nowadays, everyone seems to want a practice. But the fact that martial arts practice has a path all its own may result in some disappointment to those seeking a casual gym-style experience. Such deep practice can render unexpected results. The art establishes a special relation to the body, leading to some confused feelings. I thought that it might be a benefit for students to recognize some signposts on the journey. Phases like those below do not follow a given sequence but, with the proper amount of practice, they will come.

art_seven_61.Great Expectations
You may find that in the first few months you make strange mixtures of advancement . For instance, you are quite fast but your left hand seems to have its own brain.

art_seven_32. Bruce Lee Resurrected
More permanent progress will occur when you just wake up one morning and discover that, overnight, you have become 300% better than when you turned in. Was it a magical night? Did you drink ancient Shaolin herbal formulas? Martial progress is rarely a straight march. Skills develop at inexplicable moments. Do not to worry about keeping up to the new standard.

art_seven_73. Skills Don’t Always Help
Martial skills are many and deep. For some Continue reading

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Interview with Grandteacher Adam Hsu (Added parts 4 & 5)

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 10.38.00 AMAdam Hsu is one of the top Kung Fu teachers in the world. He is also one of the “grandparent” teachers at the Academy, having taught both sifus Linda and Ted.

In this series—the first THREE parts now posted—he begins an in-depth conversation on the meaning of true Kung Fu.

Update: Parts 4 & 5 Now available


Want to watch on youtube?
Click HERE

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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Slow Learner

tedrelaxingNext October, I will celebrate my 50th year in the martial arts.

When I started studying, I had no idea or plan to make this a lifetime practice. I joined up for the same reason a lot of 16 year olds do: I was getting bullied at school and I wanted to learn some self-defense. Wait— you mean it took me 50 years to learn to defend myself? Am I just a slow learner, or did I find something else to keep my interest all these years? Honestly, the answer is “both.”

I had learned all the self-defense moves I’d ever need by the time I was voting age (it was 21 back then;) Continue reading

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Martial Basics: Not What You Think

art_basics1Everything starts with basics. And when you are young and/or just beginning a long term study of expertise, whether your taste runs to the piano or the basketball hoop, there is always a sentinel line of basics to be crossed before you get to the “good stuff.”

But the surprise—slow and sometimes disappointingly painful—is that there is no end to the study of basics. When you have learned the most exotic parts of some discipline‑let’s be obvious and say martial arts, for instance—and mastered the strangest weapons, you will put them away, at least for most of the time, and return to basics.

Continue reading

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Wang Zi Ping

Of course, part of martial arts learning resides in traditional choreographed forms. We at the Academy, take this one step further and teach classical forms for two people (partner routines) such as the San Cai Sword.

In the film clip below, long-lived and famous Muslim Kung Fu teacher Wang Zi Ping instructs some young students in traditional combat, then performs the Golden Dragon Double Sword form that he invented. Enjoy this vintage film.

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