Tag: Everett

Safety and Courtesy

Safety and Courtesy – 16 Keys to Enhance your Learning Experience 

Safety and Courtesy at Mace Martial Arts
There’s a proverb that says “Martial Arts begins and ends with Courtesy.”
Respect for yourself, your elders, your peers and the sanctity of life is the bedrock that we live by at Mace Martial Arts.

 

These are the Safety and Courtesy requirements and expectations at Mace Martial Arts.

 

These standards of respect are the keys that will help you get the most out of your training and enhance your relationship with your instructors and classmates.

 

Pay attention to how these simple rules of respect and etiquette improve your sense of self worth, accountability, and interactions both inside and outside of the Wǔ Guǎn (武馆 training hall).

 

These rules of etiquette apply to students and teachers alike — this helps create the safe space where we can all have fun, and enjoy learning and growing together!

 

Safety and Courtesy — 16 keys to enhance your  learning experience (on-line or in-person): 

 

 
  1.  Be real (authentic) and courteous with your self, your classmates and your instructor: keep your training realistic, honest, safe, and fun. Respect and honor yourself, your instructor, your classmates, and the generations of practitioners before you that poured their blood, sweat and tears into cultivating this wellspring of wisdom that you are now a part of. Appreciate what you’re learning, and celebrate your growth and accomplishments!
  2. Stay focused and present  during lessons, and solo practice: pay attention to how you feel, think about what you’re learning, and what the movements mean — it is a path of discovery!
  3. Be Careful and Courteous during training: be mindful and respectful with yourself, your instructors and classmates — we are all here to learn and grow. Be mindful that self defense training is designed to injure an attacker, and we must take special care in this training environment not to injure ourselves or our classmates. When a classmate taps at their limit of a joint lock, choke or throw, carefully and safely release pressure. Respect and respond to each of your classmates’ limits and boundaries, and be mindful that these are different for everyone, and change for each person for various reasons over time and in different situations. Each one of us is individually responsible for maintaining a safe learning environment for everyone.
  4. Commit to practicing at home at least 30-60 minutes a day what you’re learning in class: you’ll be surprised how fast you improve. If you practice only during classes, then you’ll waste class time trying to remember, instead of learning and progressing – take initiative for your growth! Use class time to refine your skills and learn new information. Mastery is a path, not a destination.
  5. Be mindful of how the art you’re learning relates to all aspects of your life: Consider you are practicing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — constantly learning and growing, and discover how this art can apply to and enhance all aspects of your life.
  6. Stay humble and curious: check your ego at the door. Remain inquisitive. The classroom is for learning — not a place for competition or to dominate others. What you’re learning can make you healthy, as well as powerful — but that power doesn’t entitle you to intimidate, manipulate, bully, or try out new skills on others that aren’t capable classmates — that’s what the classroom is for! Like the saying goes: “with great power comes great responsibility.” Martial Arts is about nurturing one’s self, and protecting the sanctity of life. Remember, stay curious and keep a beginners mind — because there is always potential to grow!
  7. Take off street shoes, jewelry and watches during class: wearing jewelry and watches can be distracting and potentially entangle or injure yourself or a classmate while training. Bare feet, Socks, or soft-sole low-profile training shoes are acceptable while on the mats, but must be clean, in good repair and for indoor training only. This is for sanitary and safety reasons, and also to maintain the Wǔ Guǎn (武馆 martial training hall). If training outdoors, be sure to wear clean shoes that are appropriate for training (low profile athletic, martial arts or wrestling shoes).
  8. Practice good hygiene: your body, hands and hair should be washed clean and groomed, to avoid spreading disease and infection; mild deodorant is welcome but avoid strong perfume or cologne as some classmates could have allergies — strong body odors, perfumes  and colognes are distracting and inappropriate for training, and will make others avoid wanting to train with you. Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed to avoid scratching or cutting yourself and training partners. Long hair should be tied back to keep clear vision, avoid distractions and entanglement. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before interacting with others. Your training clothes or uniform should be neat, clean and in good repair, loose fitting and durable, and appropriate for training.
  9. Maintain space, Avoid interruption, Be Considerate: while we like to cultivate a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in our  Wǔ Guǎn, be mindful of your instructor and classmates. Avoid talking over anyone or invading someone’s space in an inappropriate manner without their permission or out of context with training exercises, as this is disruptive and potentially dangerous, especially in training.
  10.  Private Classes can include more than just yourself: a) invite up to 2 other people to join your private lesson, get feedback while training with each other, and split the tuition of $80 per hour. b) If you can get 3 or more people to join you during your private class, you can create your own weekly group class, at group class tuition – this is a win-win situation, because it’s cheaper for you and your classmates, more beneficial for your instructor, and you get more opportunities to learn and grow with classmates!
  11. Try to join Group Classes: if the group class you want to attend is full, or you live too far away to attend, or you are taking private lessons, try to join one of the regularly scheduled group classes remotely, so you can see others train and get more feedback and learning opportunities.
  12. Ask questions! Be thoughtful about your training, if there’s something you’re unsure about, don’t hesitate to ask — this is for your growth, and as your instructor, I’m here to help you! Questions and curiosity are opportunities for learning — your question could help your classmates learn something valuable as well!
  13. Take notes after your lessons:  This helps you remember material covered during class so you can practice on your own outside of class. Get a notebook dedicated to your martial arts classes, so you have your own convenient reference as you progress. Avoid taking notes during class if it is disruptive to flow, unless the instructor has the group set aside time during class for everyone to do so.
  14. Invite family or friends to join us, if you think they’d benefit from and enjoy the training. If you’re learning remotely, a) Sponsor your instructor for a workshop where you live, or b) schedule times when you can come train in person with your instructor to get the hands on training you need to progress. Our goal is to pass on this art, it’s healing benefits and skill development to good people that will also enjoy walking this path. 
  15. Advise and confirm attendance: students please advise which classes you plan to attend in person, or remotely,  and if there are any delays or if something comes up that you can’t attend. As space is limited for in-person group classes, this is helpful for others who wish to attend and also for the instructors to plan class material and topics.  Instructors will also advise as far in advance as possible if there are any delays, changes in time or venue, or cancellations of scheduled classes, whether they be group classes, private lessons or workshops.
  16. Be respectful of the Wǔ Guǎn and your instructor’s home: the Wǔ Guǎn (武馆 Martial Arts Training Hall)  is a sacred space where we temper our mind, body and spirit, learn and train our art together. The Wǔ Guǎn is the representative home of our art, Bagua Zhang. Therefore we treat the space with respect, by extension also respect our martial ancestors who passed their teachings to us; bow or salute before entering or leaving the training space. Be careful and learn how to practice properly with the training equipment, weapons and mats so as not to damage them or be injured from recklessness. Keep the Wǔ Guǎn clean and organized, help to tidy up before and after class. Also be careful and respectful in your instructor’s home, where the WuGuan is located, only enter if invited. Remove street shoes before entering the Wǔ Guǎn and the instructors home. If you have to use the restroom, ask first, and wash your hands if you use the restroom, and tidy up after yourself. Respect and courtesy earns trust, and builds a safe environment to learn and grow in together, therefore treat our Wǔ Guǎn as a sanctuary, for each of us.

 

Register for private lessons and group classes at Mace Martial Arts  

 

Bagua Zhang Classes are held on

  • Saturdays 11am – 12:30pm PST
  • Sundays 11am – 12:30pm PST
  • Thursday evenings 7pm – 8pm PST

at:

Towns at Riverfront
Everett, WA
United States

 

 

At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation. 

Breathe Life into your Practice — New WuGuan Opening Saturday, April 23, 2022! 🐉

 

Breathe Life into your Bagua Zhang Kung Fu Practice — in every aspect of training — the deeper and longer your breath the better! 🐉

 

This will enhance your focus and whole body awareness for more invigorating exercise, and encourage you to breathe more vitality into every aspect of your life, to be more aware, connected and fully engaged!

 

We often find that shallow breathing is both a result and cause of stress, tension, pain, withdrawal and fatigue.
I see this reflected in both martial arts and in my massage practice — most people have very shallow breathing, and as result are distracted and disconnected from their bodies and what’s going on around them.
This is why I encourage my massage clients to breathe deeper to release tension and pain, and inspire my martial arts students to to breathe deeper to be more present and aware, as well as to reveal their potential and empower them.

 

Consciously focused deeper breathing is the critical bridge that helps build our awareness of ourselves and taps our potential for healing, growth and creativity. Consciously focusing and coordinating your breathing with your movement is the most obvious and powerful secret hidden in plain sight, because it’s an aspect of life most people take for granted and ignore.

 

Some of the most essential lessons in training martial arts is enhancement of awareness and sensitivity, both of oneself, one’s environment and in relation to others.
Proprioception is the awareness of ourselves in relation to our surroundings.

 

This kinesthetic awareness is sometimes referred to as our “sixth sense.” Most of the physical training in martial arts — partner drills, basics and supplemental exercises, forms, equipment training and weapons practice — enhance our sense of proprioception. Distance, balance, timing (our timing and coordination with an opponent’s timing), reflexes and connection are all aspects of proprioception.

 

Interoception is our awareness of our inner processes.
Interoception encompasses all the physiological tissues that relay signals to the central nervous system about the state of the body. Disconnection from the body’s signals and internal states may be related to anxiety, depression, PTSD, autism and other disorders.

 

The internal training in martial arts — standing and sitting meditation, Qigong, silk-reeling exercises — moving from the inside — develops our sense of interception.
Our inner-awareness, or interoception, informs and enhances our sense of proprioception.

 

 

Deeper breathing invigorates us, increases our focus and awareness — linking our awareness of the inside and outside of our bodies — as well as our awareness of others and our surroundings.

 

An often overlooked aspect of “Internal” Martial Arts training is inner-work: meaning working on your emotional and mental health and well being. This is in fact one of the most important aspects of our training. Chinese medicine has long recognized the interconnected relationship between balanced emotional states and specific internal organs.
Mental and emotional trauma affect our bodies, just as physical trauma can affect our mental and emotional well-being.
We will be discussing this topic in more detail in future articles and classes, stay tuned!

 

 
 

New WuGuan Opening this Spring! 🐉 

Work in progress — almost finished!
Classes returning at our new WuGuan opening this month, on Saturday, April 23rd!
Since moving last November, we’ve been busy settling into our new home and renovating our garage into our new WuGuan. Five busy months later, we are excited to return to training together!

 

Bagua Zhang Classes are held on
◊ Saturdays 11am-12:30pm
◊ Sundays 11am-12:30pm
◊ Thursdays 7pm-8pm
at:
Towns at Riverfront
(Please register for classes for address)
Everett, WA
United States

 

Please RSVP to all classes you plan to attend, to confirm location and schedule.

 

Space limited to 5 students per class for in-person training — please message ahead to confirm your spot!
For students joining remotely via Zoom, we can host classes for up to 100 participants on our Zoom account.

 

As the mask mandate from the COVID-19 Pandemic lifted on March 11th, masks will be optional for in-person classes. Students will have the option of wearing a mask in classes with the expectation that other’s choices will be responsible and respectful. Proof of vaccinations are strongly encouraged but no longer required for students with medical exceptions. 💉🦠😷

 

At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation. 

24-7: The Key to Mastery 📆, Bagua Massage 🐉, Grand Reopening Lunar New Year of the Tiger 🐅

24-7: The Key to Mastery and Kung-Fu 📆

What’s it take to be a Master? 

 

What does Kung-Fu really mean? 

 

How long do you have to train, and how often until I get a black belt/sash? 🥋

 

Will Kung-Fu make my eyebrows grow? 😳

Belt ranking systems are very recent in martial arts history, first instituted just over a century ago by Judo founder Jigoro Kano to help students learn with a structured curriculum, originally just with white belt ‘Kyu’ grades and black belt ‘dan’ grades; karate schools in Okinawa and Japan adopted Judo’s belt ranking system in the 1920’s and soon proliferated to other martial arts, and added a rainbow of colored belts afterwards. 🌈

While a few Chinese martial arts have very recently adopted belt ranking systems, most still don’t, where ranking has historically been structured around familial hierarchies.

In the last 50 years, the mystique of “black belts” has been widely blown out of proportion in popular culture — what was originally intended to be a measure of learned skills over years of grueling practice — has in some instances become the delusional projection of a few teachers’ inflated egos and exploitive marketing gimmicks. 🤑

The key is to realize actual Mastery is a path — not a destination, belt color or certificate.

Nor does Kung-Fu require 6 inch eyebrows.

 

Once you take a step down the path, you realize Kung-Fu is a lifestyle, a prerogative of living artfully — progressively learning, growing and polishing yourself to discover how your art is reflected in all aspects of your life.

 

When do you start? 
 

 

Now.

 

How often should you practice?

 

Start with carving out a few minutes every day to build a constructive habit — eventually up to a few hours a day — but the real goal is to practice “24-7”.
Every minute of every day.

 

How is that possible?!?” you ask?

 

The “secret” Key to Mastery, and Kung Fu, is to creatively find ways to practice your art in every living moment.

 

“24-7” requires a prerogative shift to realize that every moment is an opportunity to cultivate your art and polish yourself.
This not only improves your skill and health, it also inspires you to enhance the quality of your entire life!

 

But, I don’t have the time for ______ … 
I have to wait until _____ to start… I need to ______ first… I can’t do that anymore because _______ … I won’t be any good unless I can practice _____ hours a day…

 

Pay attention to when your plans and goals become excuses to avoid living your life to the fullest. Small actionable steps are better than over-planning, so that you are making gradual progress to achieving your goals.
Get out of your own way!

 

Mastery and Kung-Fu is about living your life artfully, being totally present and mindful, being in a State of Grace.
Remember, there is literally no other time than the present — the past is only a memory and the future is only a dream.

 

If you work a desk job, “Ti Ding Bai Hui” (“hoist and penetrate upwards with the crown of your head”), open armpits, stretch open the joints of your body to cultivate liveliness and respiration that breaks up tedium to inspiration!

 

If you’re driving, you can practice deep breathing to calm your mind, and “Ting Jin” (“listening”, extending your senses to feel  all around you) to center yourself and enhance your awareness of other drivers and road conditions.

 

When you’re eating a meal, appreciate the feeling of nutrients re-energizing your body and mind.

 

If you are in a waiting room before an appointment, imagine a “Mini-Me” version of yourself in your center of gravity, your Xia Dantian, practicing your forms and self-defense applications.

 

The possibilities are as limitless as your own creativity and potential!
Listen to your body and intuition as you train and develop yourself.
Test your limits, push to the edge of your capacity, that you may always keep learning and growing.
Listen to your own desires, passions, cravings and needs, to set your own boundaries, and chart your own path in life.

 

Kung-Fu (功夫 Gōngfū) literally means the effort and time devoted to the development of artistic skills that translate into enhancing your quality of life on all levels.
Kung-Fu is not only some physical exercise, or self-defense training — it is how to dig deep into who you are, working through the pain, trauma, guilt, shame and sense of worth.
To work through all of these obstacles, challenges and opportunities to discover your potential, what heals and inspires you, so that you can develop your own personal talents, gifts and purpose.
To chase your dreams.
Self realization.

 

It requires dedication and perseverance to realize there is no final level or limitation.
You must face your fears and your pains and let go of all that you love and fear to lose.
Every day.
In every thing you do.

 

Lastly, while practicing, remember: follow your passions and listen to your own discernment, “Never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t go to for advice.”
Likewise, “Don’t let anyone who hasn’t walked in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces.”

 

Bagua Zhang Massage 🐉👐🏼🌀💫

 

I’ve been practicing Bagua Zhang during  my massage sessions with my clients…

 

 

Wait – What? You beat up your clients?

 

Well, not literally! 😜

 

As an example of my own Kung Fu path, I’ve been discovering how integrating Bagua Zhang principles with the various modalities of massage therapy I’ve learned thus far is continually enhancing and refining both my massage therapy practice, and my martial arts practice simultaneously, and surprisingly how much  it benefits both my clients and myself, reciprocally. ☯️♾

 

The dynamics of continuous flow, concentric coils and spirals, increased awareness and sensitivity apply just as effectively and efficiently to massage therapy as they do to self defense.

 

The same principles of structure and spiraling movement enhance circulation and relaxation of excess tension to melt away pain.  💆🏻‍♂️🌀

 

 

Transferring Massage Practice to Everett 💆🏻‍♂️🌀

 

“Vision is the gift to see what others only dream”

 

Since moving from Shoreline, WA to Everett, WA in November, I have recently also transferred my massage practice from the Massage Envy in Shoreline to the Massage Envy in Everett.

 

To schedule an appointment for a massage with me, please call or text the Everett Massage Envy at +1 (425) 353-5000.

 

1402 SE Everett Mall Way
Everett WA 98208
United States

 

 

 

Grand Reopening Lunar New Year — Year of the Tiger 🐅 

 

Since moving in November from Shoreline to Everett, WA, it’s taking longer than expected to unpack, we’re still clearing stuff out before we can paint and set up mats and equipment in the garage to turn it into our new WuGuan.

 

While I originally hoped to reopen in January — and although we’ve made a lot of progress, we’ve had to reassess and postpone.

 

At this point we’re planning our Grand Reopening at the new WuGuan on/around Lunar New Year, February 5th, 2022, Year of the Tiger! 🐅 🧧

 

Take care and stay tuned for updates!

 

At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation. 

Forge Ahead — No Going Back! We’re Moving 🐉

Forge Ahead — No Going Back! 🐉 

While going over martial applications practice earlier this year, one of my students asked a good question: do we step backwards in Bagua Zhang?

Technically and strategically, the answer is no — in Bagua Zhang, we learn how to pivot around oncoming attacks, turn aside or around to flank and generate turning force, then continue flowing and moving forward.

Circular Stepping in Bagua Zhang solo forms practice starts counter-clockwise, then changes to clockwise, changing back and forth, mirroring cycles of transformation in nature.

But Bagua doesn’t go backwards. Why?

Several martial arts systems incorporate backwards stepping and movements to draw an opponent off balance. While this tactic can be effective, it is always risky to give an opponent your ground. In combat, when one of the combatants is stepping backwards, it’s often because they’re injured, reeling and trying to disengage — this is usually the beginning of the end of the fight.

But in Bagua Zhang training, the concept is to adapt to situations and challenges and keep moving on, going with the flow, taking ground without hesitation or breaking momentum or strength.

Whirling Step 

In our branch of Bagua Zhang, we practice a rare stepping method called Whirling Step, which utilizes wrapping and sweeping techniques when turning and changing directions — then continuing to forge ahead to take ground and new opportunities.

 

This applies to more than just self-defense and combat strategy.

 

Like cycles of seasons, patterns repeat, but time keeps moving forward, as our planet Earth keeps spinning forward, around the Sun, as our solar system spins along the outer rim of the Milky Way Galaxy…
🌎💫🌌

 

The past is a memory, the future is a dream, but the present is a gift. 🎁

 

If we think about the past too much, be it from grief, trauma, or longing for glory days, we stay stuck in the past, and stagnate. Reflecting on our experiences is necessary to learn from them, especially with our traumas and losses — yet to heal and grow, we must stay present to face our challenges, embrace opportunities and forge ahead. 🐉

We’re Moving! 🐉 

Speaking of forging ahead, we are moving!

After 3 years in Shoreline, our family has sought opportunities further North, and we are in the process of moving into our new home in Everett, WA.

I will be taking time off from teaching over the next month to rebuild our WuGuan at our new home.  There’s a lot to do!

Starting in January 2022, Bagua Zhang classes will be resume at

Towns at Riverfront
(Please register for classes for address)
Everett, WA
United States

Stay tuned for updates and class start dates!

 

At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation.