Every Great Journey Starts With One Step.

White Dragon Martial Arts - Chula Vista

Sifu Juan Padilla - Chief Instructor of White Dragon Martial Arts Chula Vista

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Juan Padilla was introduced to traditional Chinese martial arts at the early age of eight in his native Guadalajara, in Jalisco, Mexico. His early studies were in the art of Shaolin Kung Fu until he and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1990. Shortly after arriving in the U.S., he enrolled at White Dragon Martial Arts in La Mesa, California and began his training in Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and Yang style Tai Chi.

Mr. Padilla's passion and dedication to training enabled him to quickly advance through the ranks, and earn many prestigious achievements within the organization. He began his teaching career after earning his red sash under Tai Sifu Donald Tittle in 2003. Within two years he was promoted to Assistant Chief Instructor at White Dragon's head quarters school. During that time he produced many high ranking students and instructors and consistently placed in the top three in most instructor competitions, including winning White Dragon's 2007 Instructor's Grand Championship, a competition of over 100 highly trained martial arts instructors.

In 2010, Mr. Padilla was promoted to the level of Chief Instructor by Master Nathan Fisher for his outstanding leadership and commitment to quality instruction. On May 5, 2012, Mr. Padilla was promoted by Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong to the level of Sifu to recognize his outstanding leadership at White Dragon Martial Arts Chula Vista.

Sifu Harsha Dandamudi - Chief Instructor of White Dragon Martial Arts Chula Vista

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As a child, I was always physically the smallest. I always envied the very tall and athletic individuals in school who took their superior DNA for granted. By the time I reached high school I barely reached 5 feet in height and was walking around at an impressive 81 lbs. I was just a late bloomer, or so I was assured. However, high school can be cruel when you are the underdog. I learned in my freshman year alone that I was the only student small enough to fit into trashcans and gym lockers. I needed a change in my life. I needed to feel empowered and confident. Little did I know that change was on the horizon.

I graduated high school with top honors and was accepted into the University of California San Diego where I studied pre-law. College was a great experience for growing and learning. It also helped me achieve more independence, and yet something was still missing. I wanted the confidence to be able to handle myself, be stronger, and feel accomplished.

I had always been interested in martial arts. My roommate and I had always talked about doing something together and this seemed like the perfect time to get started. We stopped by the White Dragon Martial Arts School in Mira Mesa, which was recommended by a good friend of mine, and took a tour of the school with Sifu Ming Lau; the man who would later become my guide and teacher in the martial arts world. After trying one introductory lesson I knew White Dragon was the place for me and my life-changing journey was finally beginning.

By 2006 I had worked my way through the ranks and been promoted to the level of Instructor by my teacher. I was gaining strength, experience, confidence, and skill. These were the qualities I had waited so long to achieve. In addition to that, my teacher taught me other values of even greater significance. I learned patience, discipline, humility, and most importantly, courage. Sifu Lau helped me empower myself by strengthening my spirit. In the years to follow I distinguished myself in several national and international competitions. I earned top honors in hand and weapon forms, kickboxing, grappling, and wrestling. My life changed so dramatically, I couldn’t imagine a life without White Dragon Martial Arts. A difficult decision had to be made.

I finished college with top honors and was headed to law school. During this time, I even had the opportunity to do a prestigious internship in Washington DC for former Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton. My work in Washington was very successful, and I was invited back to take a long-term position. Things were going according to plan. Yet I couldn’t live a life that didn’t have White Dragon in it. My life was about to change in a way I never expected. I made the most difficult decision in my life. I chose to leave the “safe” path, and I asked my teacher for a chance at becoming a Chief Instructor. Naturally, this decision didn’t go over very well with my family. But my passion for the training and values at White Dragon simply couldn’t be matched. I was going to do whatever it took to achieve my goals. My teacher took a chance on me and I wasn’t going to let him down.

In 2010, Master Nathan Fisher, the founder of White Dragon Martial Arts, promoted me to the level of Chief Instructor with the opening of the Chula Vista location. The Chula Vista school quickly became one of the most successful schools in the organization, gaining the largest student body in White Dragon history within its first year. By 2012, the Chula Vista School, although still very new, managed to rank in the top two schools at both the student and instructor’s Dragon Cup tournaments.

In 2012, my hard work finally paid off. Master Fisher, along with his teacher Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong promoted me to the rank of Sifu. This honor was especially meaningful because the road that led to this moment was long and challenging; a road that was filled with many obstacles and setbacks. However, the guidance of my teachers along with the support of my family is why I get to have the best job anyone could ask for. Everyday I get to change people’s lives with martial arts just as my teacher did for me. There is no greater joy than seeing people in need of something special and significant, achieving incredible feats of strength and courage. Watching my students grow and accomplish things they once thought impossible reminds me of why giving up the “safe” path, was ultimately the best decision of my life.

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Our Mission & Values...

At White Dragon Martial Arts, our mission is to be the best in the world at improving the lives of our students through the practice of martial arts. We accomplish this mission through our unique training method and by instilling core values. By teaching important values like discipline, humility, positive attitude, and respect for self and others our students learn that martial arts is a complete way life, not just a system of self-defense. The White Dragon method focuses on building a stronger mind along with a stronger body in the hope of producing confident and well rounded individuals, capable of reaching excellence in all areas of life.

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White Dragon pairs every student with their own individual instructor to provide the most complete personal and group training available anywhere. Our unique combination of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Kickboxing & MMA creates the most effective, well-rounded training experience which will help you get fit, teach you how to defend yourself, and improve your life in ways you didn’t know were possible. We’re dedicated to providing you with the highest quality martial arts instruction through a positive, values-based environment along with the most availability and flexibility to accommodate your schedule. Our vision is to help you build physical fitness and develop total self-confidence through studying martial arts so that you can excel in all aspects of life.
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