Tag: martial arts

Summer Returns – Massage, Workshops & In-Person Classes! 👐🏼🐉

Summer Returns — Massage Therapy, Workshops & In-Person Martial Arts Classes! 👐🏼🐉

Request Dennis Mace
Request Dennis Mace
I am excited to announce that after a 6 year hiatus, I am returning to make a fresh start with my bodywork and massage therapy health care practice!

 

I completed the process of getting my CEU’s updated in June to renew my massage therapy license, and (after waiting over 2 months for the Department of Health to process my renewal) will be returning to my massage therapy practice at the Massage Envy in Shoreline this month!

 

If you are one of my previous massage clients, or if you need to relax and ease some pain, request Dennis Mace when you schedule your appointment with me by contacting the
20124 Ballinger Way NE
Unit A-02
Shoreline, WA 98155
United States
Tel 206-366-1111

 

My Bodywork Style: my goal is to connect with each client’s particular needs to help support your process of healing and relaxation.
My approach and modalities of practice integrates a seamless flow of Myofascial Release, Swedish Massage, Lomi-Lomi, Tui-Na, Deep-Tissue, Thai and Sports Massage, so that I can help release deeper tension and pain in a way that feels both soothing and rejuvenating.

 

I have been fully vaccinated for the health and safety of my family, students, clients and community.

 

 

I’m excited to get back to massage therapy and healthcare, as this professional shift is more in alignment with my path in martial arts, and will allow more flexibility for time to spend with family and teaching group classes, workshops and private lessons.

 

My introduction to massage therapy comes from my martial arts instructors, who integrated healing modalities and bodywork methods within their curriculum, especially for addressing training injuries and for teaching anatomy and physiology is it pertained to health and fitness training, as well as self defense.

 

Foundations of Bagua Zhang –  Workshop & Pizza!  🐉🍕

In this workshop you will discover the 4 Main Principles that distinguish Bagua Zhang from other martial arts systems, in theory and hands-on practice!

 

Training Methods/exercises for the workshop will include the hands-on ‘how and why’ Bagua Zhang works, including both real-world self-defense and health benefits.

Practitioners of all experience levels and other styles of martial arts are welcome!
If you have previously studied Bagua Zhang before, this workshop will help you understand the system on a foundational level and breathe life into your practice!

 

Saturday, August 28th 
6:30pm doors open
Class 7pm-9pm
Pizza Social & Discussion afterwards! 🍕😋

 

held at
3517 Stone Way N
Seattle WA 98103
United States

 

 

Instructor: Shifu Dennis Mace, LMT  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.

 

Special thank you to Shifu Derryl Willis   of the Seattle School of Chen TaiJiQuan  for his gracious hospitality in inviting us to host this workshop at his beautiful school!

 

Regular In-Person Martial Arts Classes: We returned to our regular in-person Bagua Zhang training in April, for all students who have completed their COVID vaccinations! More info here! 

 

Starting this month, August 2021, we are changing the start time for Saturday group classes from 11:30am to 11am, for consistency (same start time as Sunday group classes). To clarify, here are the updated class times:

Bagua Zhang Classes

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

1108 NW 200th St,
Shoreline, WA 98177

 

 

Sifu Kisu’s Northern Shaolin Workshop

Last month, on July 11th, we had the rare opportunity to attend an authentic Shaolin martial arts workshop taught bySifu Kisu of the Harmonious Fist Chinese Athletic Association for his first workshop in Seattle!

Thank you Sifu Kisu,
for your inspirational, revealing and intense workshop, we have enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to further visits!

Thank you Guro/Sifu Azeem McDaniel at Puget Sound Eskrima Combatives for being the invaluable behind the scenes coordinator and advisor!

Thank you to Sifu Lu, Mei-hui and Sifu Chang WuNa for their generosity and hospitality in welcoming us to hold this event at their beautiful school, the International Wudang Internal Martial Arts Academy!

 

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. 

Bagua Workshop & Pizza! 🐉🍕

Foundations of Bagua Zhang –  Workshop & Pizza!  🐉🍕

Why is Bagua Zhang regarded so highly in Chinese Martial Arts?
What makes Bagua Zhang Kung Fu so unique and effective, among all the many styles and systems of martial arts?

 

Four Main Principles: 
In this workshop you will discover the 4 Main Principles that distinguish Bagua Zhang from other martial arts systems, in theory and hands-on practice!

 

Bagua Zhang is a system that is structurally designed to take a martial arts practitioner’s previous foundational training in another system, to teach these 4 Principles to make the practitioner more comprehensively well rounded, and gradually helps them develop their own personal style and expression.

 

Training Methods/exercises for the workshop will include the hands-on ‘how and why’ Bagua Zhang works, including both real-world self-defense and health benefits.

 

Practitioners of all experience levels and other styles of martial arts are welcome!
If you have previously studied Bagua Zhang before, this workshop will help you understand the system on a foundational level and breathe life into your practice!

 

Saturday, August 28th 
6:30pm doors open
Class 7pm-9pm
Pizza Social & Discussion afterwards! 🍕😋

 

held at
3517 Stone Way N
Seattle WA 98103
United States

 

Fundamentals of Bagua Zhang Workshop
Are you looking for holistic exercise with real world self-defense?
BaguaZhang Kung-Fu training focuses on core-strength, balanced alignment and maintaining a calm mind while moving from one’s center with continuous circular motion for enhanced awareness. In this workshop, you will learn how to increase your vitality, become more grounded, improve your intuition and connection with others, awareness of your environment, and mindful self-confidence through the spiraling power of Bagua Zhang.

 

Instructor: 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.

 

Special thank you to Shifu Derryl Willis   of the Seattle School of Chen TaiJiQuan  for his gracious hospitality in inviting us to host this workshop at his beautiful school!

 

Regular In-Person Martial Arts Classes: We returned to our regular in-person Bagua Zhang training in April, for all students who have completed their COVID vaccinations! More info here! 

 

Starting this month, August 2021, we are changing the start time for Saturday group classes from 11:30am to 11am, for consistency (same start time as Sunday group classes). To clarify, here are the updated class times:

Bagua Zhang Classes

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

1108 NW 200th St,
Shoreline, WA 98177

 

Please note: There will be no Bagua Zhang Classes on Thursday, August 12th, Saturday, August 14th or Sunday, August 15th. Classes will resume as usual the following week.

 

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. 

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

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

(Updated on September 8, 2021)
Starting this month, since Governor Inslee has reopened Washington State, going forward, you’re welcome to attend Bagua Zhang class in person, if you have been fully vaccinated.  

Unvaccinated students are welcome to attend classes remotely via Zoom. 
 
 
Students that have received their completed COVID vaccinations are welcome to attend classes in-person with masks and no 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, are unvaccinated, or are traveling. 
 
 
 
The Class times are 
Saturdays 11:00am-12:30pm
Sundays 11am-12:30pm, and 
Thursdays 7pm-8pm
 
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: 
 
 
 
 
Vaccination Policy & Classes at Mace Martial Arts 
 
 
I have received a handful of inquiries regarding our masking and vaccination policies at Mace Martial Arts, and first of all, I’m glad to hear from all of you, and hope you all remain healthy and well through the challenges of the dangerous and tumultuous recent years! 
 
I respect your thoughtful questions and eagerness to return to training with us, I love sharing this art with good students with a passion for learning and self-development. 
 
I also love creating a safe environment for my students to enjoy learning and exploring together, as we polish our skills to become the best versions of ourselves we can be. 
 
This is why I follow the health and safety measures recommended by state and federal officials, as well as medical doctors at the CDC and World Health Organization, hospitals and healthcare clinics, because I also want to see this pandemic end as soon as we can all help to finish the threat to all of our health and livelihood. My family and I, as well as several of my students, also follow alternate and preventative healthcare methods to keep ourselves healthy. All the various allopathic and alternative methods work best when applied together, instead of separately or in spite of the other. 
 
The pandemic has affected me personally and financially. My family and I got COVID-19 early in 2020, my wife and step-daughter have suffered from long hauler symptoms since April last year. I also have several close friends and family members that have also gotten sick from COVID-19, and 2 have died from it. 
For over a year, I had to conduct classes remotely via Zoom, reduced tuition and still had a large drop in student enrollment. 
I know firsthand that this is not something to take lightly or dismiss the very real threat this virus poses to us, and this adds to my resolve to do all I can to prevent the spread of this disease, the sooner the better. My family and I, as well as several of my students have all been vaccinated, and none of us have had any side-effects (or super-powers) as result of taking the vaccine. 
 
A growing number of businesses and government agencies are requiring continued masking and vaccinations, notably for health care professionals. Especially as we have seen how well the vaccines have performed in prevention of symptoms over the last 5 months. 
 
 
My requirement of vaccinations for students  is a professional and business decision that demonstrates my dedication to the health and safety of my students, my family and my community. 
It is a standard that I share with a growing number of other businesses, schools, hospitals, clinics and government agencies. 
Vaccinations have been effective in the suppression of Polio, Smallpox, Measles and other diseases — it could be likewise as effective in eliminating the current pandemic, if there weren’t so much disinformation and dismissal of masking and vaccinations, especially in the United States, where we have the resources to effectively end the pandemic. 
 
With freedom comes obligations and responsibilities to ourselves and our community. This moment is a time for all of us to be considerate to the health and well being of all of us as a community, so that we can all survive and flourish. 

Unvaccinated students are welcome to attend classes remotely via Zoom. 
 
I hope you will join us in classes again soon, as well as our united efforts to end the pandemic. 
 
 
From the AMTA: 

On August 9, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee , which requires health care providers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series of a vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine. Because of the lead time needed for the two-dose vaccines, we encourage you to plan now for getting the vaccine. 

 

Massage therapy practices are listed in the Proclamation as a “Health Care Setting” which includes designated areas where massage is administered within non-health care settings like spas and wellness/fitness centers. And, proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be accepted in the following forms: 

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or photo of the card 
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record 
  • State immunization information system record 

Exemptions are allowed for disability-related accommodations that fall under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), or any other reasonable accommodation. There is an additional exemption allowed for deeply-held religious beliefs.  with any questions.

 

For additional information and updates, you can visit the 

I have been fully vaccinated for the health and safety of my family, students, clients and community.
 
 
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! 

 

 

Vajra Visions Newsletter

Magical Thinking in Meditation & Martial Arts

Vajra Visions Newsletter
Vajra Visions

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!

Guan, West, February 25, 2019
Guan, NW, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, NE, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, SE, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, SW, Feb 25, 2019

With the Grace of the Phoenix

Happy New Year ~ 2017!

Martial Totem - Phoenix, Hawk 19
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!

January 2017

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!

Please RSVP if you are able to join us!

I am currently teaching Bagua Zhang classes on Sundays from 11am-12:30pm at Wilcox Park in Lynnwood, and offering private lessons as well.
I’m seeking another indoor facility in the Lynnwood/Edmonds/Mountlake Terrace area
to teach, that would include regular Bagua Zhang and Taiji Quan (Tai Chi) classes.
If you know of a good place, I’m open to suggestions!
Referral Bonus: $20 Discount off 1 Month’s Membership Tuition fees for referring a new student to enroll in classes, and a $20 Discount to the new Student that you refer for their first month!

Sacred Spirals, Classes Reduced

Sacred Spirals

Five Elements (五大 Wŭ Dà or Go Dai) Earth ~ 地 Chi (Dì) - North - Spring - Green Water ~ 水 Sui (Shuǐ ) - West - Summer - Blue Fire ~ 火 Ka (Huǒ) - South - Autumn - Red Earth ~ 風 Fū (Fēng) - East - Winter - Yellow Aether ~ 空 Kū (Kōng) - Center - Year - White/Black

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.

Moving Meditation - Bagua Zhang: The Circular Art of Transformation

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.

 

Bagua Zhang Group Classes will be held on

Saturdays 11am – 12:30pm,

Sundays 11am-12:30pm,

Thursdays 7pm-8pm,

 at:

1108 NW 200th St,
Shoreline, WA 98177

 

Please RSVP to all classes you plan to attend.

 

 

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 $80 per hour, and $240 for a package 4 private lessons
— please *Contact me* to schedule times to continue your training.

 

Register for Private Classes here!

 

Family and and referral discounts available — for the referring student and the new students — spread the word about our Bagua Zhang classes!

Stress Less and Protect Yourself

Essential Energy Karen & Dennis 28Jan2016-35
Protect yourself with Mace Martial Arts training, and Stress Less with Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils!

Stress Less with Essential Oils

 

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.

I’ve been using the oils daily since then, learning about the benefits first hand as I feel steady improvements in my health, energy levels, focus and balance; after sharing with my family and martial arts students, I’m grateful for witnessing their excitement with the results they’ve experienced too. I’ll be sharing the oils again with 2 free presentations I’ll be giving to family and friends when I visit Omaha in March:
Stress Less with Essential Oils – Friday, March 11, 2016 – Bellevue, NE
Stress Less with Essential Oils – Saturday, March 12, 2016 – Papillion, NE

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.

Part 1: Moving Meditation ~ Bagua Zhang : The Circular Art of Transformation — focusing on developing awareness and coiling power for flexibility, health and self-defense

Part 2: Self Defense and Awareness — focusing on awareness, evasion, and body weapons that women and even small children can use to protect themselves

Instructor:

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.

 

Sharing the Dream of Essential Energy and Bagua

Sharing the Dream of Essential Energy

When Karen Atkins & I started collaborating to create the Essential Energy Classes a couple months ago, we were both deeply inspired to share the integration of the Energy Cultivation of Qi-Gong traditions we’ve practiced for decades, with the naturally supportive qualities of Essential Oils — both of these ancient technologies have had a profound impact on our lives, and we know that these simple daily practices can improve the lives of millions of people, by restoring their vitality and youthful joy.

Since then, we’ve already taught Essential Energy Workshops from coast to coast:

Karen & Dennis - EssentialEnergyWorkshop - SAMMA 24Oct2015d
Essential Energy Workshop Seattle 24Oct2015

from Arcata, CA and Seattle, WA,

Karen & Dennis - EssentialEnergyWorkshop - Bangor 07Nov2015g
Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015

 

Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015
Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015

to full capacity in Bangor, ME, New York City and upstate New York

Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015
Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015

— in each event, Karen and I have loved to see the inspiration catch like wildfire in the attendees!

Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015
Essential Energy Workshop in Bangor, ME 07N0v2015

 

Karen & Dennis - EssentialEnergyWorkshop - Upstate NY 14Nov2015b
Essential Energy Workshop inUpstate NY 14N0v2015

 

So, Karen and I are riding the wave and expanding our campaign, and teaching our next Essential Energy Workshop in Hayward, CA on Sunday, December 6th at the True Fight Club from 2pm-4pm — Space is Limited — you can enroll here!

Essential Energy Workshop Flyer 06Dec2015
Register here for the Essential Energy Workshop in Hayward, CA on 06Dec2015

 

For people that have attended an Essential Energy Workshop and want more tools to make it a daily practice, Karen and I will be teaching an Essential Energy 4-Week Online Course on each Monday in January, 2016, from 10am-11am (Pacific Time Zone) — enroll for the Online Course here!

We are planning more Essential Energy Workshops and programs, so let us know if you’d like us to teach in your area, share with others that would enjoy these classes, and stay tuned for upcoming events!

Intro to Bagua – the Root of my Energy & Martial Arts Practice

The culmination and pinnacle of my training and teaching in Martial Arts and Energy work over the last 33 years, is the holistic and esoteric art of Bagua Zhang (“8 Trigrams Palm”), The Circular Art of Transformation.

Are you looking for holistic exercise with real world self-defense?

Bagua Zhang training focuses on core-strength, balanced alignment and maintaining a calm mind while moving from one’s center with continuous circular motion for enhanced awareness. You will learn how to increase energy, become more grounded, increase intuition and connection with patients and your environment, and build self-confidence through the spiral movements and coiling power of Bagua Zhang.

Discover your inner-power and evolve with the ancient wisdom of Bagua Zhang  ~ the Art of the Vortex! For children and adults, beginners and experienced practitioners welcome!

 

Next month, I will be teaching 2 Intro to Bagua Workshops:

The first at the Dreamclinic in Seattle, WA on Saturday, December 12th, from 5pm-7pm,

Bagua Workshop at Dreamclinic 12Dec2015
Register here for the Bagua Workshop at Dreamclinic in Seattle, 12Dec2015

 

and the second at Dragon Arts in Omaha, NE on Sunday, December 20th, from 1pm-4pm.

Bagua Workshop at DragonArts 20Dec2015
Register here for the Bagua Workshop at Dragon Arts in Omaha, 20Dec2015

 

Bagua Workshop Attendees get $20 off their 1st Month of Membership at Mace Martial Arts!

 

Karen Atkins Mandala 05
Karen Atkins – Instructor, Owner of “Restore Your Soul”

About the Instructors:

Karen Atkins – AdvCBP, AdvCBI, LMT, Certified Wudang Qigong Instructor

Karen Atkins cultivates practices that help people take better care of themselves and find their optimal state of being on all levels. Through “Restore Your Soul”, an awareness based business, Karen supports lifestyle education and transformation through nourishment, Qi Gong, essential oils, BodyTalk, music, and other therapeutic methods. She has recently been featured on Ted Talks and Good Morning America.

 

 

Dennis Mace 29Sep2015
Dennis Mace – Instructor, Owner of Mace Martial Arts

 

* Dennis Mace – LMT, Yiliquan Kung Fu Black Belt, Formal Disciple of Yang Guotai
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.

What are “Mixed Martial Arts”?

Bagua Zhang Throwing technique
Bagua Zhang Throwing technique

What are “Mixed Martial Arts?”

From Mace Martial Arts — The Other MMA!

What we call “Mixed Martial Arts” today is mostly a sport-based amalgamation of Western Boxing, Muay Thai, and Brazialian jiu-jitsu, usually practiced in sporting events where fighters compete in a matted “cage” or ring. There are often other systems that influence the athletes in the sport, but these systems are the most common and popular. “Mixed Martial Arts” is the newest fad in martial arts training, and became popular in 1993 with the heavily promoted ‘Ultimate Fighting Championship.’

Actually, all traditional Martial Arts are “Mixed Martial Arts.”

Modern Muay Thai is a sport that comes from a root of older “Muay Boran” (traditional combat styles from Thailand), and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu comes from a simplified combination of Japanese Jujutsu systems and Judo.

Judo itself is a blend of several different Jujutsu systems compiled by Dr Jigoro Kano, simplified to be presented to the public at large in Japan, with a focus on self development at its core.


Taijiquan (Tai Chi) comes from 5 different martial arts systems, combined by a battle hardened Chinese General 500 years ago. Though it’s the most widely practiced martial art in the world, most people only learn the outer shell of it for exercise and meditation, without any understanding of the practical self-defense roots at the core of Taijiquan.


Choy Lay Fut is a well-known Chinese Street-fighting martial art combination of 3 different systems (that were also combinations of other family systems).

Wing Chun is widely popular Chinese Martial Art, with roots in various martial arts from the Shaolin Temple, made famous by it’s most legendary proponent, Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is often credited as the “Father of Mixed Martial Arts”, as his philosophy “Jeet Kune Do” (“Way of the Intercepting Fist”) was to learn the basics of a system, then adapt, “use no way as way”, and express one’s self without the limitation of style. Though Bruce Lee was an inspiring visionary, the practice of mixing and adapting in martial arts has been with us since their inception several millennia ago.

The legendary Shaolin Temple and Wudang Temple are both important melting pots of hundreds of different systems in China. The Shaolin (“Young Forest”) temple is often credited as the birthplace of Chinese Martial Arts, but this is not so — the Chan (Zen) Buddhist Shaolin Temple was built in the 7th Century AD, and Chinese martial arts were already deeply systematized over 4,000 years before that (refer back to Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”).


Karate is commonly translated today as “Empty Hand”, however, it originally meant “China-Hand” in Okinawa, because it was comprised of multiple different systems imported from China. Later, in the early 20
th Century, when Karate began to be taught in Japan, the Imperialists in Japan changed the characters’ meaning Kara (Chinese) to Kara (Empty), because of racist politics of the fascist regime at the time.

Tae Kwon Do & Tang Soo Do are both Korean derivatives of Shotokan (“Shoto’s House”) Karate, Shoto meaning the nickname for the Okinawan Instructor Gichin Funakoshi, who brought Okinawan Karate to Japan.


Silat are a collective of hundreds of very different martial arts styles from Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, and the Phillipines, many of which are heavily influenced by Chinese styles of martial arts.

Dong Haichuan
Dong Haichuan (1797-1813)

The system taught here at Mace Martial Arts is Bagua Zhang (“8 Trigrams Palm”),

the origins of which is credited to Dong Haichuan (1797 – 1882), who was already an accomplished expert of several different Shaolin martial arts styles, before he purportedly traveled to live at a Taoist Monastery for a decade. It is there, where Dong Haichuan learned the the ancient Taoist circle walking practices (at least 4,000 years old) and secretive martial arts that formed the foundation of what he synthesized with his previous martial training and later started teaching in Beijing as “Zhuan Zhang” (“Turning Palms”), which was eventually termed “Bagua Zhang” (“8 Trigrams Palm”). Dong Haichuan is therefore acknowledged as the primary transmitter of the system, not the actual founder, as the original arts arts Bagua Zhang was based on were taught secretly for thousands of years before he was introduced to them.* 

Dong Haichuan selectively accepted many disciples, though purportedly only ones that were already experts of other martial arts. Dong Haichuan then took each students’ individual background training, and enhanced it with the dynamic circular principles of Bagua Zhang, resulting in myriads of different branches of the system. The differences between branches of Bagua Zhang is further widened, as each disciple was encouraged to find their own natural expression of the art, after they had built a solid foundation with the basics of Bagua Zhang.


* Regarding Bagua Zhang’s ancient history before Dong Haichaun, please read this fascinating article by Bruce Frantzis.

Thank you for being a part of this rich tradition here at Mace Martial Arts!

Introducing new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts!

Now offering Package Programs — for students that want an immersive learning experience, with more support and resources to help guide you to your goals.
Bagua Zhang Package Programs Online

Uniforms for Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts

Uniforms not only help keep your street clothes from getting damaged in the rigors of training, they also instill a sense of focused determination during practice.

Wearing a training uniform builds camaraderie and belonging with classmates, which helps students set goals as they learn and grow together.

Student & Instructor Uniforms for Vajra Bagua Zhang consist of

  • Shirt with school logo ($30)
  • Black, loose fitting training pants ($25-$65)
  • colored sash denoting rank – and helpful in breath training ($7-$9)

 

Shirt

Please let me know what size and how many shirts you need for class, so I can order them for you. Price per shirt is $30.

Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Front
Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Front

Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Back
Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Ladies Front
Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Ladies Front

Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Ladies Back
Vajra Visions T-Shirt Design Ladies Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Pants

For training pants, here are a couple options, you can choose and order for yourself:

Tiger Claw training pants
Tiger Claw training pants

Tiger Claw brand pants100% cotton with Elastic waistband and drawstring as well as elastic around the ankles ($25-$39 depending on size). Click here to order Tiger Claw pants via Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

VitalityDesignStudio training pants
VitalityDesignStudio training pants

Vitality Design Studio custom made pants – Adjustable hook and loop closure for precise fit, Roomy legs and gusseted crotch with pleated thigh for free movement, Elastic ankles, Reinforced stitching, Lightweight durable fabric or 100% Cotton ($60-$65 depending on fabric choice). Click here to order Vitality Design Studio training pants via Etsy.com

 

 

 

 

 

Sashes

Sashes will be given to students upon successfully completing testing events, and the testing fees will include sash and certificate costs.

Sash colors from VitalityDesignStudio
Sash colors from VitalityDesignStudio

List of ranks and sash colors for Mace Martial Arts students:

  • Novice – White Sash (element: Aether, Center)
  • Initiate – Green Sash (element: Earth)
  • Adept – Blue Sash (element: Water)
  • Junior – Red Sash (element: Fire)
  • Threshold – Yellow Sash (element: Wind)
  • Senior – Black Sash (element: Aether, Center)

White Sash by VitalityDesignStudio
White Sash

Regular adult sashes measure 4 inches wide, and 8.5 feet long (extra long and smaller child sizes also available, $7-$9). If your sash is lost or damaged, you can click here to order a new Sash from Vitality Design Studios via Etsy.com

 

 

 

 

Introducing New Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts!

Introducing 2 new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts — 6 month and full year — for an immersive learning experience, with more support and resources to help guide you to your goals. Each of these 3 programs include group classes, private lessons, full uniforms (shirt, pants & sash), half-off workshops, testing fees and membership fees all at a package discount.

Bagua Zhang Package Programs online

The Most Versatile Weapon – Staff Workshop

Dennis M - Sam B Bagua Staff 15Jul15 9a

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!

Dennis M - Sam B Bagua Staff 15Jul15 12a

We will be learning single and double ended staff techniques and strategies, as well as various sensitivity drills, strikes, locks and throwing methods using a staff to its fullest potential!

Dennis M - Sam B Bagua Staff 15Jul15 28a

 

Please bring your own staff to the event!

When: Sunday, August 16, 2015

12:30pm-2:30pm

Held at

Seattle Asian Medicine and Martial Arts 
12025 Lake City Way NE, Suite B
Seattle, Washington 98125

Dennis M - Sam B Bagua Staff 15Jul15 30a

Pre-registration $30
Day of event $40
Click Here to Register Online!

Update, July 25, 2015 –

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!

Do you want to study Bagua Zhang, but don’t have a teacher in your area?

Start or deepen your martial arts training with Bagua Zhang!
Start or deepen your martial arts training with Bagua Zhang!

Do you want to study a holistic martial art – Bagua Zhang, but don’t have a teacher in your area?

Here’s your chance to learn with a devoted instructor who cares about you, with live remote video classes!

Bagua Zhang Instructor Dennis Mace correcting a student's posture in "Zhi Tian Cha Di"
Bagua Zhang Instructor Dennis Mace correcting a student’s posture in “Zhi Tian Cha Di”

 

 

 

While it may not be as personal or effective as learning in person with an instructor, it’s the next best thing, thanks to developments in technology. Here are

5 reasons why Live Online Video Classes are one of the best ways to learn:

  1. Books are great insightful references, but the information may be difficult to decipher, and the author can’t respond to your questions. But with live online remote video classes, the teacher is right in front of you helping.
  2. Recorded videos are great for getting the idea of a skill, but you can’t get corrections or feedback from the instructor in a recording — but with live remote online video classes, you get immediate feedback and insight from your instructor.
  3. Online remote live video classes give you an opportunity to learn a style you want to learn – on a regular basis and from anywhere in the world when the style or teacher you want to study from isn’t available where you live. Let’s face it — it’s unrealistic for most people to move just to follow a teacher or a system, based on family and work obligations, travel visas and financial feasibility.
  4. Remote Live online video classes allow you the convenience of training from home, on a regular basis, especially if you have moved away from your instructor and want to continue training with them. Giving you skills to work on in the meantime until you can travel to train with your instructor in person, or invite them to a workshop in your area for more personal training.
  5. Remote Live Online training gives you the chance to learn under an instructor’s watchful eye, and correct errors or misalignments that you might be oblivious to in your own solo training; an experienced instructor will notice subtle differences that could save you years of mistakes and potential injuries from incorrect training, and accelerate your learning curve, with much more depth to boot.

Teaching Bagua Zhang Strategies
Teaching Bagua Zhang Strategies

 

 

All you need to get started with remote online video classes is:

  • a high speed internet connection,
  • an account on Zoom.us ,
  • a space big enough to practice in front of your webcam, laptop, tablet or smart phone so I have visibility of what you’re doing,
  • a decent video camera and microphone that you can plug in to your computer (most laptops & tablets already have them built in!),

and you’re set!

Bagua Bridging Counter
Bagua Bridging Counter

 

 

Before we get started, here are

10 keys to enhance your online (or in person!) learning experience:

    1. Be real (authentic) and courteous with your self and your instructor: keep your training realistic, honest, safe, and fun. Respect and honor yourself, your instructor, 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 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.  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.
    4.  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.
    5.  Stay humble: what you’re learning can make you healthy, as well as powerful — but that power doesn’t entitle you to manipulate, bully, or use others to try out new skills — 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, keep a beginners mind — because there is always potential to grow!
    6. 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!
    7. Try to join Group Classes: if 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.
    8. 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 I’m here to help you!
    9. 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.
    10. Invite a local school or several friends to join you and 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!

Bagua Zhang Throwing technique
Bagua Zhang Throwing technique

So all that’s left is to sign up and schedule your classes – I’m looking forward to training with you soon!
Register for Private Classes Online

 

Introducing new Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts!

Now offering 2 package programs — 6 month Essential Package, and full year Journey to Mastery Package — for students that want an immersive learning experience and are ready to commit to lifestyle change and certification, with more support and resources to help guide you to your goals. Each of these programs include all regular group classes, private lessons, half-off workshops, testing fees and membership fees all at a package discount.

Bagua Zhang Package Programs online

Are you Ready to Change Your Life? Learn how any obstacle can be an opportunity

Are you ready to change your life?

Have you encountered problems in your life where you feel attacked, dominated or just overwhelmed?

We all have at some point – maybe your job, an irritating family member, financial burdens, a painful injury, severe weather, an obnoxious neighbor, a bad haircut, or who died in the last “Game of Thrones” episode – most of us are struggling with some tragic situation almost every day.

When I was growing up, one of my greatest struggles was with my father — a quiet, funny, tough, street-wise man — who was also domineering, alcoholic, sometimes cruel, demeaning and abusive. I learned to deal with it by isolating myself, being introverted, and becoming very sensitive to my Dad’s slow-burning, explosive temper — especially after he’d been drinking.
There were times I remember my little sister hiding behind me in a corner of my room, as I pushed through our terror to try and protect us from Dad’s rages after he’d been out drinking.

Instead of being bitter about it, I realize the experience fostered attributes I might not have otherwise: empathy, being protective of family, vowing never to become alcoholic, and a passion to express myself through art, and martial arts.
Despite the turmoil, my Dad encouraged my passion for artwork and martial arts. I’ll never forget when, at my High School graduation, with a tear in his eye and lump in his throat, my father told me how proud he was of me (since he’d dropped out), and how sorry he was for many of the things he did; he said he wanted to make sure I grew up to be a better man than he was. He passed away just 4 months later.

Even though it was rough growing up sometimes, I realize — especially after becoming a parent myself — my Mom and Dad were both doing the best they could, and I appreciate all the opportunities they gave me. I miss Dad more as time goes on, and wish I could have thanked him before he passed. I wouldn’t change my childhood at all, even if I could. It’s helped me grow to be who I am.


Dad and I, 1982.

Through the courtesy and rigor of martial arts practice, we learn to defend ourselves from physical attack — the first, most obvious threat to health and well-being. In the beginning, we learn a system of strategies, that teach us attacks targeting us are bridges to opportunity for survival, learning, and improvement.
As we progress in training, and integrate those strategies into our being, we realize that those physical techniques are metaphors for how the strategies can be applied to any aggression or obstacle in our daily lives, to improve self-expression and communication in how we relate with friends, coworkers, and family.
Even further, as we continue to train, we realize those same strategies are powerfully effective in overcoming personal barriers in our own spiritual growth.

Here at Vajra Visions, I share an innovative system that integrates
the principles of the Taoist martial art Bagua Zhang (“8 Trigrams Palm”, the art of transformation),
with the mystical Elements of Tantric Buddhism – a holistic system designed to cultivate each student on all levels.

Experience the Vortex — Discover your inner-power and evolve with the Ancient wisdom of Vajra Bagua Zhang (金剛八卦掌 “Thunderbolt 8 Trigrams Palm”), the Circular Art of Transformation!
Take the next step in your evolution – join our classes today!
www.MaceMartialArts.com

Training available in person and remote/private video classes online!

Instructor: Shifu Dennis Mace began Martial Arts in 1982, and now teaches in Seattle, WA
with thorough, hands on detail, emphasizing courtesy and ethics, and is committed to cultivating each student’s authentic skills and improving their overall health and empowerment. He is also available for workshops and seminars!

Introducing 3 new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts!

Introducing 3 new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts — quarterly, 6 month, and full year — for an immersive learning experience, with more support and resources to help guide you to your goals. Each of these 3 programs include group classes, private lessons, full uniforms (shirt, pants & sash), half-off workshops, testing fees and membership fees all at a package discount.

online

Learn Bagua Zhang from Home!

Moving Meditation - Bagua Zhang: The Circular Art of Transformation
Moving Meditation – Bagua Zhang: Art of the Vortex

 

Private Bagua Zhang Classes Worldwide Online

Have you been interested in taking Bagua Zhang Classes, but there’s no teacher in your area, or the class times do not fit your schedule?

I have a great solution: I am launching a new program to teach Bagua Zhang classes privately via remote video online!

All you need is:

  • a high speed internet connection,
  • an account on either Google Hangouts or Skype,
  • a space big enough to practice in front of your webcam, laptop, tablet or smart phone so I have visibility of what you’re doing

Schedule a time to begin your training now!

Introducing 3 new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts!

Introducing 3 new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts — quarterly, 6 month, and full year — for an immersive learning experience, with more support and resources to help guide you to your goals. Each of these 3 programs include group classes, private lessons, full uniforms (shirt, pants & sash), half-off workshops, testing fees and membership fees all at a package discount.

Bagua Zhang Package Programs online

Fresh Start for 2015

Welcoming the Year of the Ram with a fresh start and renewed purpose!
Welcoming the Year of the Ram with a fresh start and renewed purpose!

Fresh Start for the New Year!

 

“You have sole ownership of your vision. And the Universe will give you what you want within your vision. What happens with most people is that they muddy their vision with “reality”. Their vision becomes full of not only what they want but what everybody else thinks about what they want, too. Your work is to clarify and purify your vision so that the vibration that you are offering can then be answered.” – Esther Hicks
I am setting a new tone for the coming year, with more structure and opportunities in my Vajra Bagua Zhang Classes to maximize your growth on all levels: 
  • membership section of my website with a continually growing reference library of information available to my students (written articles and video)
  • simpler tuition schedule (payments due 1st of each month, prorated for new students, credit card options via PayPal, Square & Wave)
  • more organized, progressive curriculum
  • a ranking system to track and encourage student growth, with a quarterly testing schedule  
  • Quarterly Workshops with more specialized training
  • remote video/online options for both private and group classes
  • 6 Month and 1 Year Package Programs for students interested in mastery or passing on the system by teaching
  • Uniforms (starting with T-Shirts with Vajra Visions – MMA logo, later on with traditional custom uniforms) 
With new Vajra Bagua Zhang Class times — 
  • Saturday mornings 11am-12pm
  • Sunday mornings 11am-12pm
  • Tuesday evenings 6pm-7pm 
— comes refined tuition options, please let me know which day(s) you plan to attend as you enroll:
  • □ $50 – Private Class (call to schedule Taoist Yoga/Qi-Gong, or Martial Arts/Self-Defense) – per 1 hour session
  • □ $60 – Basic 4 Week Bagua Zhang Course (One – 1hr group class per week) Choose: Tues – Sat – Sun
  • □ $90 – Standard 4 Week Bagua Zhang Course (Two – 1hr group classes per week) Choose: Tues – Sat – Sun
  • □ $120 – Intensive 4 Week Bagua Zhang Course (Three – 1hr group classes per week)
Refer a friend or family member and get $10 off your tuition!

credit/debit payment option https://squareup.com/market/dennis-mace-lmt

Stay tuned for the updates as I roll them out – Happy New Year to you and your dear ones!

 

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMT
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts
The Other MMA ~ Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!
cell/text 206-440-9187

Can I get your feedback for Mace Martial Arts?

Please give your feedback to improve classes and materials — New Classes, Workshops and video material coming soon!

 

Tell us what you think!

We’d love to get your feedback

If you’ve had a chance to try my classes or workshops, thank you for your interest and commitment!

Your invaluable input would be immensely helpful as I develop more effective, meaningful lessons and materials.

This brief, anonymous 6 question survey should only take a few minutes to complete:
Mace Martial Arts Survey

If you’ve been considering taking my classes, I’m teaching an Introduction to Bagua Zhang Workshop tomorrow, Saturday, June 21st at New Seattle Massage, from 1pm – 4pm. Join in and give it a whirl!

If you would like to continue with regular training,
Join our New Bagua Zhang Classes!

  • Saturday mornings 10am-11am, at Seattle Asian Medicine and Martial Arts,
  • Tuesday evenings 6pm-7pm, at Seattle Asian Medicine and Martial Arts, and
  • Monday afternoons 12pm-1pm, at KeyArena at Seattle Center (outdoors, North Courtyard)

Please let me know if you have any questions — Talk to you soon!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMT
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
www.MaceMartialArts.com
The Other MMA ~ Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!

 

Published on: Jul 4, 2014

Why Martial Arts & Massage Therapy?

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

 

Why Martial Arts and Massage Therapy?

I hear this question a lot.

While it seems contradictory, the practices are actually complimentary – on several levels.

Martial and Healing Arts have been practiced in tandem in most cultures for several millenia. Though this tradition has been lost in the West, in most of Asia it’s stereotypical for the village martial arts instructor to also be the village doctor. As I was growing up, each of my martial arts instructors had a background in some form(s) of healthcare, from first aid and western medicine to Chinese medical theory & Tui-Na — and we learned those healing methods as part of the martial arts curriculum.

Why’s that?

Well, not only does first aid come in handy for training injuries, but other healing methods keep us in top shape to continue training on the path of personal refinement.
Also, a strong working knowledge of physiology and anatomy makes self-defense skills much more practical; alternately, learning self-defense also makes a healthcare practitioner aware of not only the frailty of life, but also it’s limitless potential to heal and grow. From an ethical perspective, martial arts teaches responsibility to help ourselves, and help others.

“With great power comes great responsibility…”

For me, massage therapy is a facet of my martial arts practice, the goal is to help others heal and find balance.
I view Healthcare and Martial Arts as flip sides of the same coin, and believe that martial arts is a Fourfold Path:

  • Warrior
  • Scholar
  • Sage
  • Healer

Becoming a professional healthcare provider has been a rewarding step in fulfilling this Fourfold Cycle. My martial arts background enhances my bodywork practice with refined sensitivity and intuition. I integrate Deep Tissue, myofacial release and energy work in each therapeutic session. My commitment is to provide each client their own individual treatment plan, and a uniquely fluid, integrated bodywork experience that is seamlessly restorative and relaxing.Schedule your appointment today, and enroll in my life-changing classes — I will help you return to your center, health and wellness!

P.S. Announcing new Bagua Zhang classes!

Saturday mornings 10am-11am, &
Tuesday evenings 6pm-7pm, at
Seattle Asian Medicine and Martial Artsand Monday afternoons 12pm-1pm at
Seattle Center, Key Arena (outdoors, North Courtyard)

Call or email to register for classes!

Published on: May 13, 2014

Ride the Horse – Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year of the Horse 2014

Riding the Horse to Health and Happiness!

In Chinese Astrology, 2014 is the year of the Green Wood Horse, leading us from the trepidation of the last Black Water Snake year, into a bold, new era.
According to this ancient wisdom, we are at the brink of startling new growth and exhilarating potential.So saddle up, and let’s ride the Horse to Health and Happiness!If you’re feeling blocked, stiff or sore, come in to get some relief, clear your body and mind with a soothing massage so you can get focused and back on track!

If you’d like to try something new to

  • get in better shape,
  • get more confident,
  • gain new skills and
  • discover your inner-power,

come try my Bagua Zhang class!

 

 

Starting Saturday mornings, later this month on February 21st, from 10am-11pm at
Seattle Asian Medicine and Martial Arts 
12025 Lake City Way NE Suite B
Seattle, Washington 98125
www.sam-ma.com

Looking forward to helping you again soon ~ Happy Lunar New Year to you and your dear ones!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMT
Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
cell/text 206-440-9187

恭贺新禧, 萬事如意!

Gōnghè xīnxǐ, wànshì rúyì !
“Happy New Year, may all your wishes be fulfilled” !

Published on: Feb 1, 2014