“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to them their own.” – Benjamin Disraeli
The martial art that we practice at Mace Martial Arts, Bagua Zhang, is fundamentally based upon transformation — not only in the dynamics of a chaotic situation to a harmonious resolution, but also in the evolution of the practitioner.
At early stages, the Bagua Zhang student is taught basic structural principles and strategies, that through progressive training, evolves into a creative, raw and intuitive expression at advanced stages of practice.
This is one of my favorite aspects of this art, tapping into that creative flow, feeling the state of grace, and helping students discover their hidden potential and creativity.
Weeknight classes starting December! 🐉
Starting December 12th, we are adding Thursday evening classes, from 7-8pm!
Please advise if you plan to attend Thursday 7-8pm, and/or Sunday 11am-12:30pm classes.
Invite friends and family – receive a $20 discount from your next month for the referral, and they get $20 off their first month as well!
Reminder: no class held this coming Sunday, November 17th, so we’ll be making up for the time when we resume class on Sunday, November 24th.
Update – Mace Martial Arts Dojo/Guan:
We’ve been here in Shoreline for a year so far, and the training hall is coming together nicely. Come join us in class and check it out! We are holding Bagua Zhang classes on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm, with a new weeknight class on Thursdays, 7pm-8pm, starting December 12th!
I’m teaching private lessons in the same space. It would be great to have you join in!
Kung Fu Theater Open Dojo & New Weeknight Classes at Mace Martial Arts!
Join us for the open house celebration of my new Guan (Dojo) in Shoreline, & I’m eager to add a weeknight class starting in September!
Kung Fu Theater Open Guan (Dojo) Double Feature!
Have you been wanting to check out our new training hall in Shoreline, or just have a fun, relaxing evening with the rest of us at Mace Martial Arts?
Join us for the open house celebration of my new Guan (Dojo) in Shoreline on my birthday, Saturday, August 17th, 2019, from 6pm-10pm!
I’m setting up the projection TV in the training hall, to play a Kung Fu Theater Double Feature:
Big Trouble in Little China, and Kung Fu Hustle!
All current, previous and new students are invited to the party — Please RSVP to this event here or to this email as space is limited!!
New Weeknight Classes:
For the last couple years, we’ve only had one weekly class on Sunday. I’m eager to expand availability in our new space to add a weeknight class, based on your demand, starting in September!
Are you interested? If you are, please let me know which day and time you prefer to attend:
either Wednesday or Thursday, from either 6-7pm, or 7-8pm.
Based on your feedback, I will confirm later this month with a follow up email which evening and class time we will start training on weeknights next month!
Update – Mace Martial Arts Dojo/Guan:
Since moving to Shoreline in November, we’ve transformed the 2-car garage into our new training hall. We have finished painting, have all the mats, some of the training equipment already, and planning to get training mirrors next!
We are holding Bagua Zhang classes in the new space on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm, with a new weeknight class coming soon!
I’m teaching private lessons in the same space. It would be great to have you join in!
Magical Thinking in Qigong & Martial Arts In my previous post, I referred to Magical Thinking in regards to self-image, and choosing to (re)start an enjoyable form of exercise. Now I’d like to share this concept to transform your approach to training, and being, especially in meditation and martial arts practice. Most people interpret Magical Thinking as being unrealistic, immature, flaky or just plain weird. What I’m suggesting, instead, is to open your perception to realize the wonderful and miraculous in everything around us and inside of us, that most of us take for granted.
The Bridge Between Science and Magic
Life, by its own existence is miraculous. If we consider the prevailing theory for the creation of the Cosmos, the myriads of particles, molecules, atoms, space and energy that manifest in our Universe, to the evolution of life and ourselves, is incomprehensibly vast and magnificent. We are stardust manifest into conscious, living beings. Consider the incredible diversity of life on this planet Earth, to the boggling complexity of our bodily systems, all the processes that happen within us to create the living, breathing symbiotic beings that we are, to live in synchronicity with our world.
If we bring this deeper awareness of ourselves in connection to our world, we arrive to a profound appreciation for not only our lives, but of the living Cosmos as well, and the ways in which we are all connected. And if we bring that awareness, appreciation and inspiration to our Qigong and Martial Arts practice, it transforms us from the inside out.
The Magic of Qigong
Consider the amazing energy and space harnessed in each oxygen molecule, the profound mechanisms in the process of our cardiovascular system as it cycles the oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of our entire body, a process we most often don’t think about or feel, because it is a basic autonomous process that keeps us alive. In Qigong, or “Breath/Energy Work”, we are consciously gathering the essence and energy of the air we breathe to refine and heal ourselves, from an internal, vibrational and cellular level, from the inside out; microcosm to macrocosm. We are consciously harnessing and refining this Essential Energy to increase our awareness and empower us, to tap into the hidden potential we all have.
The main point is to have a paradigm shift in your perception of life, to being completely present to the miraculous, magical potential we all hold within us. In each and every moment. To go from rushing around in life, worrying and spinning to exhaustion from all the distractions, stuck in our heads, lost in our fears and self-doubts, longing to escape from the monotony of the daily grind — to becoming fully aware of your being, here and now, in the amazing universe we’re all a part of. Embrace the magical, wonderful power of it all. Spark your imagination to tap into your vast potential.
It all starts with our own daily meditation and martial arts practice. Instead of being stuck in your head, rushing through reps of exercises and forms, watching the clock as you cram training time by forcing yourself to change from the shame of some aspect you despise into a projection of perfection — focus on being here, now, centered, feeling who you are, where you are at, what you are doing in the moment. Let go of who you think you are, and feel what you truly are. This is the first step in reclaiming your power and feeling the magic within you and all around you. In meditation and mindful martial arts practice, this is the way to let go of our fears, break through barriers of self-limitation, to tap into the limitless potential of what we can become.
Update – Mace Martial Arts Dojo/Guan:
Since moving to Shoreline in November, we’ve been transforming our 2-car garage into our new training hall. We have finished painting, have most of the mats already, and plan to get the rest of the mats and training equipment soon. While still a work in progress, we are holding Bagua Zhang classes in the new space on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm.
I’m teaching private lessons in the same space. It would be great to have you join in!
Happy New Year! A lot has changed over the last couple years since I’ve sent a message, and I’m excited to share new developments in the works!
(Re-)Starting an exercise regimen
As many of us are setting intentions and resolutions for better self care, diets and exercise regimens with the New Year, I encourage making a fresh start with some helpful advice.
Most of us interpret “Magical Thinking” as being unrealistic and naive. I invite you to re-interpret “Magical Thinking” as seeing the miraculous in the most mundane things. To be completely present to experiencing the moment. Having the wonder of a child at the simplest things sparks the imagination, lighting the fire of genius we all have, and is the first step to Mastery. Specifically, use “Magical Thinking” to cause a paradigm shift in how you see yourself, how you perceive your exercise and training, and it will change your whole life, from the inside out.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, convincing yourself that you’re somehow less than (complaining that you are too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, etc) — start with self-compassion, be patient with yourself, accept yourself for who you are, where you’ve been, where you are now, learn from your failures, and appreciate the unique miracle that you are. This is the first step to real, continual healing and growth.
Many of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy, doubt, failure and self-loathing. Those impulses of self-disdain motivate most of us to start an exercise program — to change us from what we hate about ourselves into something else that we are not. These struggles with self-image lead many of us to force ourselves through exercise routines we don’t like, widening the rift between our mind, body, heart and soul — we check out, and the disconnect can lead to injuries, more downtime and “dis-ease.” Your mindset, perspective and intention can either sabotage your health goals, or be your most powerful first step and motivator. So instead of starting from self-hatred, embrace the unique miracle that you are, so that you can appreciate all that you could become as your best self.
Your Path to Joy
As you find your way, choose an activity you love to do, or have always wanted to try, so it isn’t a chore, self-punishment or obligation. The key is to choose something that you would enjoy doing daily, with enthusiasm! Training that feels more like play to you, that has a purpose and recharges your spirit and nourishes your soul, is the best way to grow and heal day by day. Some people enjoy dancing, yoga, or a sport.
Defaulting to a quick path for change, like a random gym or infomercial machine, and forcing yourself to mindlessly grind through self-imposed torture is often the kind of mind-body disconnect that leads to injuries, and short lived solutions that rarely yield long term results. It’s always healthier and more effective to choose a purpose-driven activity that brings you joy, that builds long-term healthy habits because it inspires you be totally present in mind, body, heart and soul, so you can loose yourself to experiencing the moment.
I love Martial Arts as a path because it is progressively challenging, multifaceted practice for developing the whole person; it has aspects of artistic expression, scientific exploration, athletic achievement and spiritual cultivation rooted in meditative yogic forms of exercise, as well as teaching life protection skills. Martial Arts is the most mindful, purpose driven and wholistic path for health, fitness and personal growth. The martial art that I practice, Bagua Zhang, is to me the purest integration of all these multifaceted life cultivation practices.
Set Goals and Practice!
Set a goal, create a routine that will move you to that goal, and do the practice. Every day. Self care starts with appreciating yourself for who you are. “Magical Thinking” means being totally present with the wonder of the moment, and discovering the hidden potential that lies dormant within you. Find a path, a system that you love so that you enjoy doing it everyday. So much so, that when life happens and derails your plans, you will make other time in your day to treat and take care of yourself, so you continue to heal and grow, even when you can’t see the changes that continue happening from within you. Appreciate yourself enough to do what you love to do, to create the best version of yourself to share with the world!
New Dojo Location
We have a new Dojo location! Since moving to Shoreline in November, we’ve been cleaning out the garage and have started transforming it into our new training hall. We have started painting, have some of the mats coming in the next few days, and have specific plans for getting more training equipment soon. While still a work in progress, we are holding Bagua Zhang classes in the new space on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm.
We have all at some point in our lives been attacked, betrayed, or suffered trauma — how we respond, learn, and adapt to those challenges determines our personal value and sense of worth.
How we perceive and respond is the barometer of our level of failure or success in life.
Any time you start to feel sorry for yourself,
take account of what your situation is
accept your responsibility in getting there — so that you realize you have the ability to choose your perspective, and your attitude
only you have the power to create and change your reality
realize that blaming others for your situation gives all your power to them
To take your power back,
imagine what you would like to be different, and allow yourself to feel it to your core
make your dreams your aspirations, and set goals to achieve your aspirations
brainstorm the actions you can take to create your new reality
take at least one (three is better) actionable step towards that aspiration, every day
Acknowledge any excuse to not act as a self-imposed fear,
and an obstacle for you to overcome in your path to fulfilling your dreams.
If you feel stuck in a vicious cycle, or are confused, feel lost and unsure about yourself and what you want, or are wondering when your ship is going to come in,
the only perfect time is now — this is your life — stop waiting!
appreciate both the encouragement and criticism of others as fuel to inspire you to keep stepping forward on your plans and path
celebrate your victories and learn from failures — they are the fire, water and stone that forge, quench and polish you
let your dreams inspire you as you create your own path and keep dreaming and moving forward!
The state of the world is your perspective, and your projection,
only you have the power to change it
you are the Savior you seek, Divinity resides within you
become your own Super Hero!
Remember to have empathy and respect for others — we are all of us facing our own struggles and challenges!
All of this is what I mean when I say “look within to heal and reveal your true self”.
I bow to the Divinity within you, peace be unto you.
We’ve all faced many challenges over the last year. It’s been a chaotic and unpredictable ride for me personally, with tragic lows and exhilarating joys, shocking surprises and wonderful new changes. You can probably relate, as I have witnessed similar experiences for many of my family, friends and students, and have seen the same extremes on national and global levels as well.
May we embrace our struggles as lessons for our growth and celebrate our triumphs.
May we leave behind disappointments as ashes from the past and embrace the blessings as we rise like the Phoenix, and soar forward into this New Year with gratitude and grace!
There are 5 Sundays this coming month,
I will be holding a bonus Bagua class tomorrow to ring in the New Year together with a renewing practice at Wilcox Park!
Throughout the Universe, energy tends to move in spirals, naturally forming matter into spheres.
The polarity of opposites creates vortexes throughout nature — from galaxies, the movement of solar systems and the gravitational fields that create planets, hurricanes and typhoons, tornadoes, are also seen in the eddies in the currents of wind and waves. Reflected even in the growth of plants, DNA strands, and in molecular and atomic structures, the swirling patterns of the Golden Mean and Fibonacci’s Curve are omnipresent throughout the universe.
Taoist sages recognized these patterns as well, and these universal truths are reflected in Bagua Zhang, the “Eight Trigrams Palm“, a refined and formidable martial art founded on an ancient practice of meditative circle walking. The goal of this ancient circle walking practice was to increase vital energy and find attunement with the energy of the universe and enlightenment.
The Sacred Spiral is reflected not only on molecular and cosmic levels, but also in the structure of our muscles as they dynamically curve around our bones, and even in the muscle fibers themselves, like rope, or cable. Bagua Zhang systematically uses these structures in our bodies to naturally develop strength, health and maximize expression of power. Bagua Zhang emphasizes circularity and the principles of spiraling and the dynamic sphere more than any other martial art, for:
structure and fluid expression of force,
health and strength development,
strategies and principles of application in self defense, and
energetic dynamics for alchemical internal cultivation.
More specifically, in Bagua Zhang training, the Spherical Structure is expressed in each of its foundational principles:
Moving from Center – with gyroscopic Centrifugal and Centripetal Force, going with the flow with continuity and non-resistance.
Opposite but Complimentary Force and Movement – this unifies the whole body, for maximum expression of power. Bagua is the most ambidextrous martial arts system, emphasizing training both sides of the body bilaterally.
Maintaining bows and curves in the body and limbs – stretching open like the arches in bridges, and bows in archery, it also applies to powerful stances and footwork, and efficient expression of force through the body, arms and hands.
In striking along straight lines, the force spirals like drilling.
In circular strikes and kicks, the hands and feet cut in elliptical arcs from one’s center.
In grappling, the arms & legs coil and wrap the opponent’s to counter, lock and sweep.
In throwing, body and hands spiral in elliptical arcs to disrupt balance of the opponent.
Energy flows in a torus spiraling around the body, as in all magnetic and gravitational fields. The Intrinsic Life-Force Energy (Qi) naturally flows to and from spherical, spiraling fields, or centers in the body – expanding (reeling outward) and contracting (reeling inward) vortexes — understanding this dynamic maximizes efficient force with minimal effort – conserving strength by utilizing the power of spherical structure and stability. Bagua Zhang’s emphasis on these coils and spirals naturally increases the practitioner’s vitality. The rigorous and balanced training stimulates the mind, increases strength, flexibility and dexterity, while also cleansing impurities, and promotes healing on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
Bagua Zhang is truly a profound, life-changing holistic method of self-cultivation and self-defense, and why I am so passionate about sharing this amazing, life transforming practice with as many people as I can.
Starting in November 2016, regular classes and fees will be reduced.
Bagua Zhang Group Classes will be held on Sunday mornings 11am-12:30pm, at:
5215 196th Street SW,
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Group class fee $20 per 90 minute lesson, or
Monthly Membership $70.
This new schedule will provide us the opportunity to create more instructional video and written reference material of the Mace Martial Arts curriculum for my students. We are also seeking a more stable indoor location for our classes. Stay tuned for more details!
This will also free up time for private lessons —
Private lessons now $60 per hour, and $200 for a package 4 private lessons
— please *Contact me* to schedule times to continue your training.
I am grateful and happy to announce that I have found a wonderful new location for our Bagua Zhang classes! Starting tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 1st, I will be offering class at beautiful Wilcox Park in Lynnwood.
This park will be much easier to get to for those of you a little further North of Seattle, and there are many bonuses to our practicing Bagua at this lovely park.
First, there is plenty of off street parking, with two separate parking lots–one in front and one in back!
Second, there are proper, easily accessible bathroom and drinking fountain facilities.
Third, there are two covered shelters for practice in case of inclement weather–one smaller band shelter that could be a small space for a one-on-one lesson, as well as a larger, covered picnic shelter a little higher up the same hill.
Fourth, this park is located very near my new home, and my fiance, Ana Maria and I have decided that the most practical solution to an indoor class space during cold weather should be our living room, which we intend to set up as a convenient Bagua practice space, as well as one conducive to meditation and yoga.
In addition to all of these positive aspects of our new practice location, my favorite things about Wilcox Park are it’s gorgeous wooded areas, with sizable, mature trees, and that there several places within the park where we can actually practice with more serenity and privacy. Not only do the trees provide excellent shade cover for many parts of the park, but I found a few specific, really awesome spots within the canopy of trees, which are large enough to accommodate a decent sized class. These areas feel to me like a natural, open air temple, and the whole area feels very uplifting and inspirational for practicing Bagua. I trust you will love this park as much as I do!
The resonant feel and privacy of various practice spots within Wilcox Park, and the prospect of bringing classes into my home in case of cold or rainy weather, will offer a more welcoming, personal, and family atmosphere for us all. I am really excited about this, as I have desired this sense of community for our classes for some time.
Speaking of family, one last thing to mention about this park, is that it has a children’s playground and a basketball court for those of you with children, in case you care to bring them and someone to watch them while you practice!
Today, we celebrate 240 years of Freedom in the United States
Freedom and Independence from oppression.
While today, we face oppression globally from corporations, we also face oppression personally, every day from the distractions and fears we give our power to, that take away from our being present and appreciating and living our lives fully.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt taken advantage of, or have you felt trapped in a situation, or forced into a position were you feel berated, mocked or attacked?
Perhaps it was a physical attack. More commonly, on a daily basis, we face mental, emotional or spiritual attacks. All of us have been in a difficult relationship or situation at some point in our lives. You might even be living in a situation like this right now. If it happened long ago, it could still affect you in ways that you don’t even realize.
Most of us have had some kind of toxic relationship with a family member, friend, partner, or a professional relationship. What makes those relationships and interactions toxic? These destructive patterns and relationships trigger and control us by feeding our fears, dominating and belittling us, instead of feeding the purpose and potential of our unique soul. These toxic relationships are insidious in that they can affect our inner-dialogue and sense of self, when we believe the criticisms and fears of others.
Training in martial arts points to a larger truth — self-defense encompasses all dimensions of a person’s being, setting healthy boundaries for ourselves on all levels:
Setting healthy boundaries with others means taking your power back from anyone who would manipulate, steal from or attack you. In any way. This applies to all relationships in your life, whether they be strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, co-workers, classmates, spouses and partners, past and present — and even yourself, if you have internalized their attacks and criticisms.
Setting healthy boundaries helps you maintain your focus, vitality and health — and may even save your life. To create healthy relationships with nurturing family and friends — it must first start with yourself. You must find and appreciate your own unique value and cherish your own nature. Then you can create boundaries to protect what you care about.
If your boundaries are crossed, get centered and present — reclaim your power, so you can deal with a potential threat to your balance and well being.
When we compromise our sense of what’s right for us, our boundaries are compromised, and we loose or give away our power.
When we are irritated at others, and feel annoyed at them and feel the need to criticize or condemn them, pay close attention to the impulse behind it — is it some trait we hate or refuse to see in ourselves?
Think back to a time when a friend or family member judged or criticized us, and made us feel flawed, unworthy, bad or wrong. If the criticism comes from a place of compassionate support — I like to call “Heavy Metta”, or “tough love” — we usually feel an “aha” moment that inspires us to catharsis and growth.
But if the criticism is aggressive, mean spirited or cruel, it usually comes from a place of self-righteous indignation, intolerance and anger rooted in insecurity, spiteful self-loathing and internal-ignorance of the aggressor. In these situations, if we accept and believe the judgement of others, it sucks our spirit by giving our power away to the person(s) who is lashing out to fill their own internal conflict and fear.
If the attack is physical, the aim is to dominate or steal some sense of power, energy, resources or life from us — whether personal or impersonal. Likewise, if the attack is emotional, mental or spiritual, it also steals our life, energy and resources from us.
So in martial arts training, we learn to be present, and self-aware that we can create healthy, nurturing boundaries for ourselves and our families, friends, communities and country. It all starts with ourselves, to be the change we want to see in the world.
I’ve been familiar with the benefits of essential oils for several years, from when I was studying and practicing massage therapy. I’d heard of doTERRA, but I hadn’t actually used the brand until September of last year, when I was invited to attend the International doTERRA annual convention in Utah. I have to admit I was blown away by the high quality and diversity of their products, and even more so with the integrity of the company and their leadership in environmental and social consciousness. That weekend was a life-changing experience, and I knew this was something I had to be a part of.
If you are open to alternative forms of health care, tell me some of your health goals — I’m happy to share some samples of essential oils for you to try for yourself. If you’d like to learn more, I’d love to meet with you, either one on one, or to set up a small gathering with some of your family and friends for a personal presentation. I’m confident these oils will have a profound impact on your life as well!
Protect Yourself with Mace Martial Arts
Also during my next visit to Omaha in 2 weeks, I will be teaching a 2 part workshop on Bagua Zhang (“8 Trigrams Palm”) and Self Defense, on Sunday, March 13th, from 10am to 2:30pm.
Learn to boost your confidence, awareness, strength and flexibility with practical, hands on training and no-nonsense techniques for defending yourself.
Shifu Dennis Mace has been training and teaching holistic Martial Arts and Qi-Gong since 1982. His thorough, hands on approach, emphasizing courtesy and ethics, and his commitment to cultivating each student’s authentic skills and improving their overall health and empowerment has contributed to his widespread popularity in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.