Tag: martial arts

Re-Opening Classes for In-Person BaguaZhang Kung-Fu Training! 🐉

Re-Opening Classes for In-Person Bagua Zhang Kung-Fu Training! 🐉

 
Starting this month, since Governor Inslee has reopened Washington State, going forward, you’re welcome to attend Bagua Zhang class in person, even if you haven’t been fully vaccinated yet — as long as you wear a mask while participating, and you’re still required to  maintain 6 feet distancing from your classmates and instructor. 
 
 
Students that have received their completed COVID vaccinations are welcome to attend classes in-person without masks or social distancing restrictions. 
 
 
I still simulcast our Bagua Zhang classes via Zoom for students that can’t attend in person if they live too far away or are traveling. 
 
 
 
The Beginners Class is 
Saturdays 11:30am-12:30pm, and the advanced classes are 
Thursdays 7pm-8pm, and 
Sundays 11am-12:30pm
 
Private lessons are available for students who are unable to attend during those class times. 
If you have any family members or friends  that want to train with us, you can split the cost for private lessons for up to 3 students, at the same price, so you can all practice together while I guide you. 
Please reply to this email to coordinate and schedule your private lessons. 
 
You can register for group classes via monthly memberships, and sign up for private lessons here: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bagua Zhang classes are postponed next weekend due to Sifu Kisu’s Shaolin Workshop on July 11th
We hope to see you there for good company and great Kung Fu! 
 
 
 
 
 
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. 
 

Sifu Kisu’s Shaolim Workshop – in Seattle!

Please join us in welcoming Sifu Kisu of the Harmonious Fist Chinese Athletic Association to Seattle for his first workshop in the Greater Puget Sound area! 

Students of all experience levels and all styles of martial arts welcome! 

Sifu Kisu’s Northern Shaolim Workshop 

Sunday, July 11, 2021 

From 9am to 5pm

Tuition $80 for advance registration; or $90 cash at the door on day of event.

 

Held at

International Wudang Internal Martial Arts Academy

2411 South Walker Street 

Seattle, WA 98144

 

Tun Da Course

Northern Shaolim training Form No. 6 – Close-Encounter Combinations (Short Strikes)

This form emphasizes techniques and combinations applied close up—within arm’s reach of your opponent. In contrast to short-range (or short-hand) Southern Kung Fu styles — including Wing Chun and Southern Praying Mantis — this set also employs techniques and tactics that close the distance between you and your opponent. Like all short range fighting styles, combinations include hand trapping, simultaneous block-strike techniques, and footwork/tactics to ‘stick’ to an opponent. 

The uniqueness in Northern Shaolin Short Strikes is the ‘blending in’ or ‘smooth and subtle transitions’ with long-range techniques. It has an advantage over other short-range styles, as it includes high-and-low, and side-to-side shifting, as well as close-up ground sweeping and high/jumping kicks require skillful execution that other styles may not. Northern Shaolin Short Strikes is the easiest form to learn because it adopts direct movements (therefore it is taught first), yet, it’s also the most difficult to master. The practitioner’s main challenges are to overcome their intuitive fears when up-close, and to develop the keen senses and reflexes required in short-range fighting.

 

Sifu Kisu is a 5th generation Bak Siu Lum Pai disciple (Northern Shaolim Gate) descended from Great Grand Master Ku Yu Cheong

Master Kisu has been a dedicated practitioner of Traditional Chinese Kung Fu for over 40 years, primarily focusing on the style of Northern Shaolim Kung Fu from his Sifu, Grandmaster Kenneth Hui (Hui Ho-Kwong), who is the founder of the Northern Shaolim Association of Los Angeles. 

 

 

His daily practice has led him to understand how to transmit physical/energetic components in such a way that is open and accessible to the Western mind. 

His most acclaimed works are documented in the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra, where he acted as chief martial arts director and consultant. In fact, the sword master in Avatar: The Last Airbender series, Piandao, is based directly on Sifu Kisu

Lifelong experience in his craft inspired Sifu Kisu in the creation of elemental “bending” styles seen in the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, which are symbolic expressions of specific styles of traditional Chinese martial arts. 

 

 

The Northern Shaolim style of Kung Fu as made famous by Grand Master Kuo Yu Chang is a cumulative set of northern and southern-style Kung Fu techniques, choreographed by the Grand Master into a curriculum he taught both in the Nam Jing Kung Fu Institute and his Canton Kung Fu institute. His curriculum increased throughout his teaching years to include techniques of many styles. The Grand Master, being highly skilled in the Northern style of Kung Fu, emphasized the Northern style of Shaolim Kung Fu in his teachings.Most martial art origin stories–including that of the Northern Shaolim style–are passed down by oral tradition; therefore we discuss it as more part of legend than facts. 
There are many legends about the late Grand Master Ku Yu Cheung. According to stories related by his close students, Master Ku’s father was an accomplished exponent of the Tan Toi (Snapping Kicks) Kung-Fu style. When he was young, Master Ku traveled throughout Northern China to learn all northern Kung-Fu systems. He was renowned for his Iron Palm techniques and the application of the long spear weapon. He organized all his learnings into what is Northern Shaolim Kung Fu today. 

Northern Shaolim style Kung Fu is one of the most prominent traditional Northern styles of Chinese martial arts. The Northern styles of Gung-fu generally emphasize long-range techniques, quick advances and retreats, wide stances, kicking and leaping techniques, whirling circular blocks, quickness, agility, and aggressive attacks.
The system teaches empty-hand techniques and weaponry through pre-determined combinations, routines, or movement of sets.Students acquire the basics by practicing routines until the movements of the routines can be executed naturally and based on instinct. Subsequently, two or more opponents will perform routines to train the applications and responses of techniques learned from the original sets. The practice sets/routines are not only practical through application but also graceful and artistic in nature. The fluidity of movement — combined with acrobatic techniques — are trademarks of the Northern Shaolim Kung-Fu sets.

 

Our special thanks to Guro/Sifu Azeem McDaniel and his students at Puget Sound Eskrima Combatives for his invaluable assistance in coordinating this landmark event! 

 

Our sincere gratitude to Sifu Lu, Mei-hui and Sifu Chang Wu Na for their generosity and hospitality in welcoming us to hold this event at their beautiful school, the International Wudang Internal Martial Arts Academy

With over 3,000 square feet, and ample parking in 2 lots and along the street, this is a perfect space for a large martial arts workshop!

WAIVER — ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST SIGN BEFORE ATTENDING CLASS 

I am aware that martial arts & yoga practice involves physical activities which may result in my being injured. I voluntarily submit this waiver for participation in 

Harmonious Fists Chinese Athletic Association classes, 

WuDang Internal Martial Arts classes, 

Puget Sound Eskrima Combatives classes, and

Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts classes, and in consideration for my attendance in the classes, being mindful of the risks, assume full responsibility for any and all damages, injuries or losses I may sustain or incur, if any, while attending or participating in classes or related activities, and hereby waive all claims, actions, causes of action, damages, costs, liabilities, expense of judgments, including attorney’s fees and court costs, against instructors and sponsors of these classes for any claim for injuries I may sustain. I have listed all known medical conditions and physical limitations and will inform the instructor of any change in my health between classes. The instructor reserves the right to refuse services for reasons of safety or interference with other students’ learning. Furthermore, I agree to indemnity and to hold harmless the instructor and sponsors of these classes from liability arising out of my own negligence or intentional acts. I understand that Registration fees, tuition, equipment, testing fees and private lessons are non – refundable. I grant full permission to use any photographs, video/motion pictures or any other records for these classes. 


Participant Signature: 

Date: 

Parent/Guardian Signature:   

Date: 

(if participant is under 18years)

 

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. 

Practicing Bagua Zhang — Creativity and Transformation 🐉🌀💫

The only constant is change. Nature repeats in cycles of transformation. Like the seasons, and cycles of birth, growth, maturity, death, and rebirth. 


As a martial arts system, Bagua Zhang reflects the cycles of transformation, and harmonizes with them, in many ways and on many levels. 

 

Why I got into martial arts ~ 

Growing up as an introverted, artistic kid in South Omaha, dealing with bullies and schoolyard fights was common; while at home, I had an alcoholic father with a slow burning explosive temper. So while some of the impulse was standing up for myself and protecting my family, friends and myself, there was a deeper inspiration and connection to martial arts that transcended self preservation. 


My artistic inspirations and unquenchable fascination with mythology and ancient cultures from early childhood, led to my cousin and friends introducing me to Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Kung-Fu Theater movies in 1982 — the chord that resonated the most was their raw expression and flow of skill and power, even in the midst of a life and death struggle; instead of succumbing to fear or control from bullies, they would take a stand to vanquish oppression. 


The core inspirations of martial arts for me have always been: 

  • the virtues and code of chivalry, or Wu-De, and
  • cultivating the ability to connect with that creative source, the raw experience of “Amazing Grace” or Wu-Wei — the state of connection and flow beyond thought — which led me ultimately to Bagua Zhang. 

Shortly after that, at 12 years old, I started training with a great Judo teacher, then a few years later found Kung Fu. A couple years later I saw my Sifu practicing Bagua Zhang, and was immediately captivated.  

I love all martial arts and have been blessed with the opportunity to train several styles over the years, but Bagua Zhang was the purest reflection of that experience of creative, adaptive flow of connected consciousness. So over the years, Bagua Zhang eclipsed other systems I practiced and somehow seem to encapsulate them as well; I have gradually shed the excess to focus on Bagua Zhang as the pinnacle of my training, as well as what I mostly teach my students. 

Dennis Mace, Bagua Zhang – circa 1998

 

What is Bagua Zhang?

As a martial arts system, Bagua Zhang (“8 Trigrams Palm”) reflects the cycles of transformation, and harmonizing with them, in many ways and on many levels —  not only in self-defense situations, but also in personal development and in social interactions. 


In its cyclical training methods and spiraling application of force, Bagua Zhang uses the concept of 8 phases of change inspired by the I-Ching, the ancient Chinese “Classic of Changes,” to emphasize a unique personal transformation, sparking our creativity to awaken and enhance each individual’s aptitude and potential. 


Each of the 8 trigrams represents a phase in the states of change; each phase reflects different feelings, strategies and principles to help the practitioner develop skills to adapt to change. To deal with changes, threats, dangerous attacks and the highs and lows in life — on an innate and instinctual level. It requires insightful persistence in training, that will enhance and transform the practitioner from the inside out. 


In hindsight, the many hours I spent with all my martial arts teachers seems fleeting; I cherish the lessons I gleaned from their deep wisdom, each one having a uniquely valuable skill set and profound understanding. 

 


Adaptation 

What I learned, in seeing different students and classes from different teachers, most notably Shifu Yang Guotai, is that he would tailor his lessons to different people, and what he taught us would also change over time — no matter how peerless the instructor, the greatest ones continuously learn and grow as well… the True Path is never ending. 


The changes, exercises and drills of Bagua Zhang are based on principles, connectivity of movement, adaptability and flow — more so than predetermined technical responses that are hallmarks of other martial arts systems.  


As fiercely exacting as Yang Shifu was in teaching, his emphasis and methods altered with time, situation, and student… just like the art he taught. What Yang Shifu taught us at one time, he would alter later and complain “tsk, ah, you forget!” Somehow the corrections he made, in hindsight, I now realize was his way of sharing different perspectives and more appropriate alternatives based on adapting to a situation and aptitudes of individuals. I found all of the variations he taught to be valuable, whether he was intentionally tracking what we learned, or even if he had forgotten what he taught us before… What remained consistent, is whatever he taught was always effective.

 

On Learning Martial Arts… 

Since standardization is good for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced students, I created a structured progression in lessons from the random cascade of skills and methods of my various teachers. I’ve found this progressive curriculum helps my students understand the art with much more clarity than my own experiences. 


In the beginning, we often see our teachers as infallible sources of perfect truth… Later, as we gain skills they cultivate in us, we start to see our teachers’ humanity. As time goes on, every (martial) artist looks beyond the pedestal we put our teachers on to find our own expression of their art.  Every practitioner of any art, after years of devoted training, eventually looks within, and will have their own insights and perspectives,talents, aptitudes & weaknesses… 

All we can really do is appreciate each practitioner’s insights, as well as our own. A danger for advanced students is to confuse discernment with the extreme of criticism, and assume we know better; keep an open mind to continue learning always! To call someone with years of training “incorrect” might be seeing through the lens of condescension. This is dangerous because assumption dulls focus, attention and the ability to learn. 

 

Dubious Lineages & Politics in Martial Arts

Ultimately, you get out of your training what you put into it — it helps to have a teacher that knows their chops, their basics, but lineage (good or bad) doesn’t assure this. 

Real skill comes from one thing: training! 

So each practitioner’s learning and growth comes down to them. Find a teacher that you have a rapport with, and trust your instincts; learn with discernment, and make time to practice what you learn, on your own time, don’t just wait for class time to train — classes are for learning new material and refinement. 


You Reap what you sow. It’s up to you to decide your priorities, set your goals and act on them. Your teacher is a guide, that should inspire you; don’t expect your teacher to carry you, and beware any instructor that warps respect into demands of worshipping their superiority.  


If you find that something feels off about an instructor or the lessons, use your own discernment to find out why — is it your own misunderstanding, or is something wrong or misleading? Not all instructors are legitimate, but if you are diligent, you can find good instructors that are more skilled and authentic. I’ve been blessed to find some great instructors, and have had the insight to see through frauds as well; sometimes, it’s hard to tell if an instructor is authentic or not, and it’s painful to be deceived. Take it from personal experience, if we spend too much time focusing on the faults of others, then it distracts us from our own development. Learn from our own failures and triumphs, and the losses and wins of others, and move on; dwelling on the past and casting blame will only stunt your own growth. 


Every one who trains earnestly has something of value, that they’ve learned from trial and error, and everyone has their own struggles, so if you appreciate these truths, you can learn from anyone and any situation. Even fraudulent instructors will have valuable lessons to share, even if sometimes the lessons are learning to see through delusions. If you get duped, instead of shaming yourself into victimhood, or descending into blame, realize that you still learned from the experience, and grew because of it. Tearing others down doesn’t build yourself up, it just means you’re too condescending to have the empathy or respect required to learn and grow —good students and good instructors both understand this reciprocal truth. 


If you encounter an instructor that exploits or abuses their students, by all means, seek legal help and press charges — I fully support taking down anyone who manipulates others, violates trust and abuses their status and power at the expense of other’s suffering. While those cases are rare, unfortunately it happens; bullies and predators should not be martial arts instructors. Ever.  When you go to learn at a school “Don’t leave your common sense at the door.” 


Martial arts begins and ends with respect: for your teachers, your classmates, your family, friends, yourself, and Life. Before you commit to learning martial arts from any school, make sure your instructor has innate integrity, and clearly values and respects their students, family and life itself. 

 

 

Why are there so many branches and styles of Bagua Zhang? 

Bagua Zhang is a multifaceted system designed to help build on the foundation of any practitioner’s previous training, to help them develop more well-rounded skills, understanding of mechanics and strategies, awareness and ability to adapt to any situation. 
The eventual goal is to help each practitioner cultivate their own personal “style”, their own expression of their True Self. Which is why Bagua Zhang is considered a “graduate level martial art.” 


Look within to heal and reveal your True Self. 


Every teacher, of every art (if they care about their students and training partners), will have their own perspective, a precious gem they’ve polished, that they share because it worked for them in their own experience. It is all valuable, whether we agree and assimilate those insights, or disagree and reject the material shared with us — we can learn from all of it. Just as we learn from our own losses and triumphs. If we can glean the truth at the core of our teacher’s lessons, they can catapult us forward in our own growth, skills and understanding. Especially if we are able to empathize with their experience, walk in their shoes and learn what inspired them and how it relates to us. That includes the most fundamental basic techniques, as well as the most tragic and inspirational life lessons. 


We are all fractals from the same source, yet we all have our own individual light and expression. Only we as individuals can decide what we prefer and what works best for us. 


As we learn and grow, we each have our own unique perspective, path and expression of our truth — embracing this uniqueness is essential to mastering Bagua Zhang, and realizing your own potential. 

 

In-Person Martial Arts Classes:

We returned to in-person Bagua Zhang training last month, for all students who have completed their COVID vaccinations! More info here, in last month’s post.

 

 

New Podcast Interview:

in addition to being invited to be a guest on Ken Gullette’s Internal Fighting Arts Podcast

I was also recently invited to another interview by Jonathan Bluestein on JadeCast

 I am honored to have the opportunity to share my experiences with these gentlemen and enjoyed the conversations, I hope you do too!   

 

 

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. 

Internal Fighting Arts Podcast: interview with Dennis Mace

 

I was honored to be invited by Ken Gullette to be a guest on his Internal Fighting Arts Podcast, and appear in the newest episode, 55.  


It was great catching up with Ken during the interview, and though we just started skimming the surface, I look forward to continuing the conversation and training with him. 


I highly recommend listening to the rest of the interviews in the Internal Fighting Arts Podcast, there is an invaluable wealth of information there on several topics related to martial arts and healthy living. 

https://internalfightingarts.libsyn.com/internal-fighting-arts-55-dennis-mace

Reminder: We will be returning to in-person training next week, April 24th, for all students who have completed their COVID vaccinations! More info here, in last weeks post.

 

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. 

 

Return to In-Person Training

After over a year of social distancing to curtail the pandemic, we will finally resume in-person classes at Mace Martial Arts on April 24th, for students that have received their completed COVID-19 vaccinations! 
 
This will include private lessons as well as small group classes. 
 
I received the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine  today — my Easter Sunday present! 

 
All students that plan to attend in-person training must confirm by showing a copy of your completed vaccine record card before you can attend class. Students must wait to attend in-person classes until 2 weeks after your COVID vaccinations are complete. 

 
We will finally be able to practice applications and partner drills for practical timing, sensitivity and skill development! 
 
I am very excited about training in-person again and looking forward to meet new students and finally see familiar faces in class! 
 

Remote Training Still Available: I will continue to broadcast the group classes live remotely on Zoom, so that students that are unable to come to class, whether they haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccination yet, or are too far away, or don’t feel comfortable yet to attend in person, can still follow along online. 


This Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since I’ll be focused on teaching students that attend classes in person, instead of monitoring Zoom, I will be available to answer questions after class from both in-person and remote students via via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group

The Remote Membership will continue to be half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts.    

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. 


Please share with anyone you know that might be interested in joining our classes! 

Weapons Training During the Pandemic – The Most Versatile Weapon – Staff

Staff Training

Starting Thursday, January 14th (7pm-8pm), and Sunday, January 17th (11am-12:30pm), during our regularly scheduled classes, we will begin a phase of Weapons Training, remotely via Zoom during the pandemic – starting with Staff, The Most Versatile Weapon.  

The staff is one of the most ancient and versatile weapons –

Learn practical techniques and strategies to improve strength, coordination, power, and how training with this weapon correlates with bare-handed self defense as well as being able to use walking sticks, gardening tools, brooms, mops and pool cues as effective self-defense weapons! 
We will be learning single and double ended staff techniques and strategies, focusing on developing coordination and power! 

Later, when the pandemic is under control and we’re finally able to train together in person again, we will introduce partner drills and more refined locks, throws and strategy work using the staff to its fullest potential! 
Before you join in to the Zoom class, make sure that you have at least 10 square feet to move around in front of your computer/laptop in a space with a good internet connection (plus additional clearance for the weapon). Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and get a notebook to write down what we cover after each class — that goes a long way to retain and absorb the material. 

How to Find Your Own Staff

You do need to bring your own staff to this event to train with, and to practice with after you attend the workshop. It’s best to buy the staff locally, in person, instead of ordering from a catalog or online, because you need to double check the following:

  1. The ideal length of the staff should be at least as long as coming up from the floor to your chin, or the top of your head when standing (usually between 5 to 6 feet long, longer is ok, but avoid getting something too short). Another test is if you hold the staff horizontally, balancing it at shoulder height along your outstretched arms, you should barely be able to touch the ends of the staff with your extended fingertips.
  2. The ideal diameter of the staff should be at least 1-1/8 inches to 2-1/4 inches — if it’s too thin, it will snap during training.
  3. The staff should be made of hardwood – it should pass “the thumbnail test” (you shouldn’t be able to dig your thumbnail into the wood). Pine and bamboo are unacceptable because they aren’t hardwood — Pine dowels won’t work, they will splinter and crack under the very lightest training. Suggested woods are Hickory, Maple, Oak, Waxwood, Ironwood, Treated Rattan, etc.
  4. One shop option is Seattle Martial Arts Supplies, located on King Street at the South end of Seattle’s Downtown International District. Another option is your local hardware store – Ace, Lowes or Home Depot, etc – go to the section with hardwood broom and shovel handles, and get a straight, un-tapered Hickory broom/mop/shovel handle — it will probably be cheaper and more durable than some of the maple and oak staffs in the martial arts shops (make sure it is at least 5 feet long and at least 1-1/8 diameter, and use the thumbnail test in #3 to make sure it isn’t Pine).
  5. Make sure the staff isn’t cracked or has splinters. Check to make sure there aren’t large “eyes” in the grain – it’s common for stress-fractures in the staff around these brittle areas when subjected to regular training – even with hardwood. Avoid staffs with fancy engraving along the shaft, as they lend to cracking and splinters during practice.
  6. Make sure the staff isn’t warped – look down the shaft from one end to check if it’s warped or bowed. Warping in the wood throws off the balance of the staff and makes it unwieldy.

If you have any  questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu classes 

We have a few spots available if you would like to start training Remote online with our Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu class, held Saturdays at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm PST! 

With all the uncertainty of the tumultuous times we are all living in, Bagua Zhang is an excellent practice to help you improve your health, increase your vitality and awareness, and develop self defense skills to meet the challenges we are facing with focus and confidence. 

Once you get some of the basics down, you are welcome to join in our other regular group classes on Thursdays 7-8pm PST, and Sundays 11am-12:30pm PST. 

The Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since we are training Remotely via Zoom, you can join us from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. I will be available to answer questions after class from students via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group

The Remote Membership is only $50 per month, half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us live via Zoom and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts. Also, we are in the process of creating instructional videos and workbooks to help you learn and grow with your practice! 

If you are interested in joining for the first time, or it’s been awhile since you’ve attended our classes, please respond to this message so we can get you started with our Bagua Zhang Martial Arts classes

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. 


Please share with anyone you know that might be interested in joining our classes! 

New Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu Class Starting in August!

New Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu class starting in August! 

We have a few spots available if you would like to start training Remote online with our Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu class, starting this Saturday, August 1st, at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm PST! 

With all the uncertainty of the tumultuous times we are all living in, Bagua Zhang is an excellent practice to help you improve your health, increase your vitality and awareness, and develop self defense skills to meet the challenges we are facing with focus and confidence. 

Once you get some of the basics down, you are welcome to join in our other regular group classes on Thursdays 7-8pm PST, and Sundays 11am-12:30pm PST.

The Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since we are training Remotely via Zoom, you can join us from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. I will be available to answer questions after class from students via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group

The Remote Membership is only $50 per month, half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us live via Zoom and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts. Also, we are in the process of creating instructional videos and workbooks to help you learn and grow with your practice!
If you are interested in joining for the first time, or it’s been awhile since you’ve attended our classes, please respond to this message so we can get you started with our Bagua Zhang Martial Arts classes

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. 

Bullying and Oppression; Return to Class on Father’s Day!

What’s going on? 

As we celebrate Emancipation Day/Juneteenth here at Mace Martial Arts, we also recognize bullying and oppression have been on the rise in recent years. All over the world we continually see examples of it, especially in current events that painfully expose America’s unresolved legacy of bullying and oppression, in “the land of the free, and home of the brave.”  

I’ve had to deal with a couple bullies in the last 3 years, while teaching martial arts classes at a local park. The first incident, a man approached and asked what martial art we were practicing, but his demeanor was off, and his stilted questions shifted to provocations; I redirected him, encouraged him to give it a try, but he backed down and watched for a while before wandering away. 

The second time, a few months later, another man walking his dogs approached our class, inquiring about what we were practicing.  I was cordial, despite feeling his skewed intentions. His questions became increasingly rude, then he veered off topic and asked my students and me “who’d you vote for?” He then escalated to making inane, disgusting racial slurs to my diverse students and accused us of witchcraft, proclaiming how “Trump is going to make America great again!” and would send us all back where we belong. I got between him with his dogs and my students, telling him I’d be happy to show him how it works.  As much as I hoped he’d back up his hate speech with action, he backed down, and grumbled as he wandered off. 

My own experiences of bullying and oppression

On a personal note, among the reasons I started learning martial arts when I was young was to protect myself, not only from any bullies at school, but also from my own father, who had a slow burning explosive temper, that sometimes led to abuse. While my father tried to shelter me from the gang life he grew up in, the threat of brutality lingered throughout my childhood. 

This also encouraged me to keep my martial arts training practical, as much as it was a way to channel my emotions constructively towards personal development, and taught me to deescalate confrontations. 

I also grew up around a lot of racism being expressed from my father and extended family and his friends. Strangely enough, I have always been revolted by racism, even when I was very young.  Some of my earliest memories were being deeply confused and offended by the vitriol and callousness of the condescending slurs I would hear. Even though it was my own family vomiting this hatred, nothing else made me feel more alienated from them. Though I’ve always respected my elders, I couldn’t tolerate their blind hatred, and frequently confronted my father and members of my family in defense of my diverse friends and interests, even if it meant refusing to eat holiday meals with them, or getting another beating. 

To this day, I’m continually amazed and disgusted by the systemic hatred exposed by past and recent events that continues to divide and threaten us.  I wonder why so many people are so blind to see that we are all connected brethren, spinning together on this tiny jeweled planet, circling a star, on the fringes of a galaxy swirling among countless others in a vast cosmos. But I digress… 

The Bully within: where do bullies come from? 

Bullies come in many forms, from the domestic violence of threatening partners and family members, cruel classmates and demeaning coworkers, to abusive superiors, oppressive government officials, and brutalizing police officers. 

Bullies feel superior to and are intimidated by someone who is different; in response, they seek to dominate and attack. Bullies are predators incapable of having empathy for their prey, and lack any appreciation of diversity. The more bullies feel threatened, the more they escalate and lash out, either individually or collectively. 

They may dominate and attack individuals or entire communities. The Bully/predator may threaten, demean, humiliate or attack their victims verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually, by direct or indirect means. 

Racism, misogyny, homophobia and religious suppression are all forms of bullying, extremes on the spectrum of predatory behavior; the condescending supremacy is rooted in fear and control. 

While bullying and oppression is nothing new, bigots of all kinds have been emboldened to crawl out from under their rocks by the recent torrent of hateful rhetoric flowing from a divisive US government administration helmed by a bully who openly gaslights and encourages hostility to such an extreme degree that it has become a sickening “new normal.” 

As these toxic behaviors increase, the predators who participate in this cult of personality try to normalize their oppressive power as they worship their supreme leader. Thankfully, these bullies are being exposed on a larger scale as most people have video cameras and social media to share these incidents on a wide scale, increasing awareness and activism. 

Where we stand today

At Mace Martial Arts, we support the massive protests represented in the Black Lives Matter movement demanding a long-overdue end to systemic racism and police brutality.  We also acknowledge that there’s a vicious backlash as police and white supremacists retaliate by escalating attacks on minorities, protesters and innocent bystanders. I have deep respect for good police officers that put their lives on the line to protect and serve the people every day, just as I am revolted by any bigots in cop-clothing who try to hide behind their badges while continually terrorizing their communities — these corrupt officers serve injustice and must be rooted out. 

My hope is extreme measures are swiftly enacted to put an end to the existential threat of systemic bigotry. But in the meantime, as a martial arts instructor, it’s become necessary that I teach my family and students self-defense to survive attacks from white supremacists, as well as confrontations with anyone else who represents a threat on some level, including those police officers that may abuse their authority. Sadly, as we’ve seen over the generations, and especially recently, sometimes the police are the white supremacist terrorists. 

The problem with self-defense for civilians against police brutality and unlawful arrest, is that for legal reasons, the police currently hold legal authority in most states to use excessive force without restraint under the guise of “resisting arrest.” Which is why abusive cops are often heard repeatedly shouting  “stop resisting” while they butcher their victims, so that body cameras can correspond with the bogus reports they cook up, and why so many bad cops get preferential treatment in the courts after their abuses of power. 

I know the majority of police officers are good, respectful people, but the code of silence of the “thin blue line” that keeps protecting these racist terrorists in their ranks is reprehensible and unacceptable. Respect is earned through responsibility, and for law enforcement to gain trust and respect, the entire law enforcement community needs to step up, hold each other accountable, and be systematically overhauled. 

We at Mace Martial Arts support all civilians, officials and officers who encourage these reforms that take a stand for social justice, and reject those in favor of maintaining the warped and evil status quo. 

So what do we do about it? 

There are 4 ways of dealing with a bully (an individual predator, or group of oppressive predators): 

·       Cave in to their demands and attacks in hope that they stop; the problem here is that you give the predator all the power, enabling and teaching them they can get whatever they want from you, or others. 

·       Ignore or avoid them, and hope they stop or go away; this might diffuse the predator’s threat if they decide to walk away, but it won’t stop them from attacking you or someone else later, and it will not stop a physical attack. 

·       Deescalate, distract or reason with them, to diffuse the conflict; if the bully is self-aware, they might learn to stop their aggression; realistically, this is rarely ever the case. 

·       Confront them, call them out, or take them to task; they may cower, but if they escalate, defend yourself to eliminate the threat, by whatever means appropriate and necessary. Bullies must be held accountable for their actions for them to stop attacking others and be forced to take responsibility for their actions. 

Confronting bullies requires courage, but it is the only way that you stand up for your own rights and life, and the rights and lives of others the bully/predator may target. 

To stop bullies, we must learn to say “no!” to them, draw a line to end their attacks and hold them accountable. 

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. 

Return to Class on Father’s Day! 

As King County received approval today from the Washington State Secretary of Health to enter into Phase 2 of the Safe Start program, we will be returning to in-person classes this Sunday, June 21st on Father’s Day! 

We are ramping up on sanitation protocols and will require face masks in class for the instructor and students. This includes private lessons and small group classes of up to 5 students. 

Remote Membership Option: I will continue to broadcast the group classes live remotely on Zoom, so that students that are unable to come to class, are too far away, or don’t feel comfortable yet to attend in person, can still follow along online. 


This Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since I’ll be focused on teaching students that attend classes in person, instead of monitoring Zoom, I will be available to answer questions after class from both in-person and remote students via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group

The Remote Membership will be half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts.   

Memorial Day 2020, Phase 2 & Remote Memberships

Training self-defense at Mace Martial Arts

I wish you a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend with your family, as we honor those who have served our country and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, especially now in light of the unprecedented and unpredictable changes we are all facing this year. 


The next step in gradually lifting social distancing restrictions for the pandemic may come in early June — When Phase 2 rolls out, we will resume in-person classes at Mace Martial Arts, as Washington Governor Inslee indicated that martial arts is part of the activities allowed for small gatherings. This will include private lessons as well as small group classes of up to five people. 


I will confirm when in-person classes will resume when Governor Inslee gives the order to move into Phase 2 of the gradual lifting of the Pandemic quarantine measures. 


But wait, there’s more: I will continue to broadcast the group classes live remotely on Zoom, so that students that are unable to come to class, are too far away, or don’t feel comfortable yet to attend in person, can still follow along online. 


This Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since I’ll be focused on teaching students that attend classes in person, instead of monitoring Zoom, I will be available to answer questions after class from both in-person and remote students via via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group

The Remote Membership will be half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts.    

Weeknight classes starting December! 🐉

“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!