Every Great Journey Starts With One Step.

Pearls Of Wisdom: The White Dragon School Blog

by Tai-Sifu Don Tittle

Choy Li Fut Kung Fu Joint Locking

Kahm na pronounced "kum-na", roughly translates to the art of seizing, grasping and locking. Called Chin na in mandarin, this is the art of applying joint locking and breaking techniques.

Kahm Na is not its own "style" but is an integral part of most traditional Chinese martial arts systems. Historically, it is thought by many to be the Grandfather of many of today’s popular joint locking based systems such as ju jitsu, hapkido, and aikido. Joint Locking represents one quarter of the four skills of fighting that make arts such as Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan such complete and versatile systems of self-defense.  

Kahm Na skills are an invaluable component to the serious martial artist’s arsenal because the techniques are extremely practical.  Since not every violent encounter will require lethal force, kahm na arms an individual with options to restrain and subdue an assailant rather than seriously injure them. And, for those situations where it’s your life or his, joint locking can easily become joint "breaking" by applying the techniques with more explosive force and energy, causing damage that can quickly debilitate an attacker.

Kahm na techniques are especially useful in weapon disarming situations as well as situations in which you are trying to prevent an attacker from gaining control of your weapon. Kahm na techniques are especially useful in weapon defense situations, because they can be used to quickly and effectively disarm an opponent. If you work in security or law enforcement, kahm na is great for retaining control of any weapons an assailant might try to take away from you.

Another component of kahm na that is little known is "saw hau" or "bai hei", which means locking the throat and sealing the breath. These are the chocking techniques of the art. Again, these techniques are extremely practical because if there’s no blood and oxygen going to your opponent’s brain he can't hurt you.  In fact he can't do much of anything because he'll be unconscious! It takes less than ten seconds to render even the largest person unconscious with a well-executed choke.

I had the great privilege of acquiring my kahm na education from my Sifu, Master Nathan Fisher, as well as from his teachers Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong and Great Grandmaster’s Hu Yuen Cho and Wong Gong, all high level masters in the Choy Li Fut Kung Fu system. Students can learn direct application of these kahm na skills integrated with striking, kicking, and throwing within the self-defense techniques taught at White Dragon Martial Arts. 


Xinhui, China. This video depicts the fourth day of our trip: May 18, 2013. (Yes, the first three days were all spent travelling across time zones from San Diego!) That morning, we visited the Hung Sing Choy Li Fut School of Xinhui. And then in the evening, we joined the biggest birthday bash—in celebration of Great Grandmaster Wong Gong's 85th—ever! Epically epic.


White Dragon Martial Arts Holiday Sale 2014

White Dragon is having it's yearly Holiday Sale from December 1-6, 2014. Take advantage of our membership specials all week long then on Saturday, December 6th visit us for our one day materials sale to pick up a new uniform or training equipment for the next level!


White Dragon Martial Arts was featured on Fox Sports San Diego SDFit with Brook Roberts. Brook joined us for a workout with a private lesson and group class.


Improve the Whole Self 

by Master Nathan Fisher

One of the main things that separates White Dragon from the vast majority of other schools is our focus on improving the whole person. Our aim has always been to go beyond just teaching self-defense and combative sports, in favor of a more complete approach that strengthens mind and body.  Why? Because the body cannot be strong if the mind is weak, and visa versa.  

This approach comes from the great tradition of Chinese martial arts, which has at its roots a system that focuses on improving the entire person. The Shaolin Temple, for example, was not only well known for producing awesome fighters, but also individuals of high moral character. Individuals that were so revered for their good will and good judgment that they often became leaders in their communities.


At White Dragon, strengthening the whole person starts with instilling core values. These values are martial ability, martial spirit, positive attitude, discipline, health, responsibility, humility, and respect.  

Notice that martial ability is at the top of the list. We are martial artists first and foremost. So, the school's training is designed to produce students that are capable of defending themselves in any kind of threatening situation that might arise. At White Dragon, we use the desire of the student to become a skilled martial artist to motivate him or her to embrace the rest of the school's core values.  

The training we do to develop fighting skill is intended to be difficult for a reason. The intensity of the training itself is meant to challenge us on every level. When we face those challenges well we develop martial spirit, the school's second core value. Martial spirit is the highest level of self-confidence.  And, when we test ourselves repeatedly through rank tests, tournaments, sparring matches and difficult workouts we increase our reservoir of martial spirit. We develop the will to never give up on the goals and values we find most important.  

The school's third core value, positive attitude, challenges us to stay positive at all times, especially when dealing with others. Negativity destroys the creativity we need to solve problems. It also destroys our ability to think clearly and use good judgment. By committing ourselves to always think positively, we stay focused on finding solutions to our problems and on taking steps to improve our lives.  

Discipline is the school's fourth core value because nothing of any worth can be achieved without it. Discipline is what actually leads us to do all of the hard work required to accomplish our most important goals. Being a disciplined person starts with making and keeping promises to yourself and others and following through on your commitments. No plan can succeed if you don't show up and do the work.  

Improving health has always been a central goal of most traditional martial arts, and that's why health improvement is the school's fifth core value. All of the elements of the martial arts workout contribute to the health of the student. The training at White Dragon lowers blood pressure, increases cardiovascular endurance, builds muscular strength, relieves stress, improves flexibility, and makes you feel great. White Dragon instructors also go out of their way to stress the importance of proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, and avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol, which can put our health at risk. 

And, if we're going to stay healthy we have to train with the aim of avoiding injury. That's why we teach our instructors safe training practices so that students don't get hurt, and why we train our students to look out for each other during combative workouts so that students don't injure each other. 

At White Dragon we value responsibility as a core value because it is one of the primary ways we as humans find meaning in life. The roles we take on in our lives: student, teacher, father, mother, brother, sister, etc. all carry with them loads of responsibilities, that when lived up to, have a profoundly positive effect on our lives and the lives of others. By doing what we say we're going to do we demonstrate our dependability to others, who are then more likely to lend a hand when we are in need.  

Humility is a core value that enables us to learn from others. By always viewing our accomplishments with modesty we preserve the attitude of open mindedness needed to keep learning and growing. Even those we view as less knowledgeable or accomplished have something to teach us. We just have to be humble and observant enough to learn from them.  

Last but by no means least, respect is a core value that is front and center in the training at White Dragon. Just because we know how to fight and are stronger than most does not give us license to exploit weakness and intimidate or bully others. Martial arts are a tool to be used only in life threatening situations or to protect others who are in danger. By demanding that students demonstrate respect for themselves and others we try to prevent the misuse of the fighting skills we develop. Just think of how many confrontations could be avoided in our world if only people respected each other a bit more. 

When the White Dragon student embraces and then cultivates all of these core values to a high level we see them transform into individuals that are capable of accomplishing almost anything. Parents who brought their shy 8 year old to White Dragon years earlier now see their child teaching classes at the school, excelling in academics and school sports, and becoming a responsible young adult who's getting accepted into a top university. Adults with potentially serious health issues have reversed their conditions and are now able to do activities once unthinkable a year earlier. Students with learning disabilities find improved ability to concentrate and improve academic performance. People with addictions find a more healthful way to socialize along with the strength to stop abusing substances.  People with disabilities find that they are capable of doing so much more than they ever thought they could.

As White Dragon instructors, these kinds of student stories are what we live for, and why White Dragon has been around for almost 30 years. The satisfaction that comes from helping people transform their lives is huge, and it's why our instructors put so much effort into training their students.  

Read The White Dragon Difference: Part 2 in our upcoming blog post. 


White Dragon Martial Arts - Mira Mesa's tribute to the late great Scott McKenzie. We didn't travel with flowers in our hair, but we did end up in San Francisco to support Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong's annual tournament. The team competed in a variety of kung fu, tai chi and kickboxing events and many came away with medals to show for their efforts. What a great weekend!



On this Saturday, October 18, 2014, regular group classes at White Dragon Mira Mesa will be cancelled and substituted with the classes listed below. We have the privilege of having Tai-Sigung Nathan Fisher direct a photoshoot for our new website. We'd like to capture you at your best doing tai chi, kung fu, and combative training like kickboxing & grappling. All students from all school locations are encouraged to participate in these classes. Please come in full uniform to be a part of our new website design. Thank you for your patience and cooperation!


Join Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong, Master Nathan Fisher, and the Sifus & Instructors of White Dragon Martial Arts for a fun evening to celebrate another successful year of training.


Grandmaster doc fai wong seminars

Join us Saturday & Sunday, October 11 & 12 , 2014 for our annual seminars with Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong. This year Grandmaster will be teaching two Choy Li Fut Kung Fu hand forms, the Gung Ji Pattern Fist and the Supreme Ultimate Fist. He will also be teaching the rare Choy Li fut Twin Butterfly Knives. The final topic will be the Tai Chi Staff Form. 


We took a little break from training to compete at the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) San Diego Championships. There were many great Judo and Jiu-Jitsu practitioners there. The team from White Dragon fought very well and many won medals in the no-gi submission grappling divisions. Congratulations to the winners and a big thanks to all who cheered them on!

Do you get at least 30 minutes’ worth of exercise three days a week? According to Gallup’s annual Well-Being survey, most Americans fall short of this fitness goal.

Adults in Vermont are the most frequent exercisers. Here, a little over 65 percent of responders answered yes to this question. Hawaii is in second place, with just over 62 percent, followed by Montana and Alaska residents, where 60 percent say they get at least 30 minutes worth of exercise, three times a week.

Meanwhile, Delaware, West Virginia, Alabama, and New Jersey have the highest rates of couch potatoes. Here, only about 46-47 percent of adults get at least 1.5 hours of exercise each week.

A key health benefit of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels by optimizing insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. This is a crucial factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease, and may explain why exercise is such a potent preventive medicine.


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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.

Train Hard, Live Better!

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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