Every Great Journey Starts With One Step.

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White Dragon Martial Arts proudly presents the Dragon Cup Championship, a tournament for beginners and advanced students alike. May, 5th 2018, Jenny Craig Pavillion, University of San Diego - 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110

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GM Doc Fai Wong White Dragon Marital Arts 2017

One of the unique things about training at White Dragon Martial Arts is that we sponsor yearly seminars with our Grandmaster, Doc Fai Wong. This means that students of all levels have the ability to work with one of the highest level Kung Fu and Tai Chi Masters in the world. Don't miss this opportunity which comes only once a year! See your instructor for more details.

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Tai Chi Repulse Monkey

Tai Chi Builds Strength & Endurance And Is A Cost Effective Form Of Exercise

Tai Chi Chuan is one of the oldest documented forms of martial arts, dating back over a thousand years to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in ancient China. Originally designed as a fighting form that emphasized flexibility, balance, and explosive power, Tai Chi has evolved over the years into a gentle and slow moving exercise that can be practiced by people of all ages.

It is this reason we see a re-emergence of Tai Chi as a health practice in our modern times. Tai Chi has become more common with the aging baby boomers, but also is quickly gaining popularity with younger generations.

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For regular White Dragon students. See you instructor to sign up!
Not a student, yet? Go to whitedragonmartialarts.com and try out a free private lesson and week of classes!

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White Dragon Martial Arts - Spirit of the Dragon

One of the biggest things that sets White Dragon apart from other martial arts schools is our connection to tradition. A tradition that teaches not only a highly effective fighting system, but also the values that help students do well in everyday life. Values like respect for self and others, health, discipline, positive attitude, and martial spirit are a central part of traditional martial arts.

Wearing our school’s uniform is one important way you can express your support for the traditional roots of our system, and the values that system represents. It is for this reason that I ask each of you to wear the uniform proudly whenever you attend a lesson, class or do a personal workout at the school. Only when participating in combative workouts with others is it appropriate to wear the school’s black combative shorts and a school t-shirt.

The traditional Chinese jacket, kung-fu pants, and rank sash are hallmarks of traditional Chinese martial arts, and are meant to represent a student’s dedication to the school’s training and values. With this understanding, it becomes clear that wearing just any workout clothes when in the school falls far short of the kind of commitment to tradition we seek. Additionally, as a student moves up in rank, we depend on him or her to help our instructors teach the newer students by setting a good example in every way possible, including the wearing of the school’s traditional uniform.

As teachers and students of one of San Diego’s oldest and largest traditional martial arts organizations, we should be proud of what we have built together. Successful traditional schools that have been around as long as White Dragon are few and far between. So, help us celebrate the spirit and values of White Dragon by wearing our school’s uniform with pride.  

Nathan Fisher - Founder, White Dragon Martial Arts

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At White Dragon’s One-Day Summer Sale, subscribe and get connected to our school’s new Video Training Program. Learn directly from Master Nathan Fisher, the Founder of White Dragon Schools! Plus, save up to 40% on all training equipment or upgrade your membership and accelerate your progress to the Black Sash. Don’t miss out on super Summer savings!

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by Quinn Early

People are always looking for ways to improve health and get in better shape. They need to look no further than martial arts for the answer. Looking better and feeling stronger and healthier are the major byproducts of adopting a martial arts discipline. There are as many debates about the best way to build strength and increase fitness as there are styles available to the practitioner.

Quinn Early Power of the Animals

I began my martial arts training in 1990 when I was drafted by the San Diego Chargers. Shortly after my second season in the NFL, I began looking for ways to improve my football skills and overall health. Since I was a huge Bruce Lee fan growing up, I thought a great way to get in shape was learning kung-fu. After all, despite his smallish stature, Lee was a physical marvel. If I could incorporate some of the training techniques that made him pound-for-pound the fastest and most powerful martial artists of his generation, those skills might help me become a better, more effective football player.

I sought the help of a kung-fu instructor in my area and settled on the fantastic, diverse world of Shaolin Five Animal kung-fu, which incorporates the best of both the internal and external disciplines of Chinese martial arts. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Shaolin five animal kung-fu teaches many fighting techniques, but more importantly it gives the martial artists a great foundation through stance training, breathing applications and a mixture of internal and external energy training. All these attributes help build strength, power and overall health.          

Many factors make the five animal form optimal for health and martial arts cultivation: the practitioner will develop physical strength, libido, chi development, bone development and internal spirit. Since these are a mixture of both internal and external training techniques, it is said that when these five things are combined the result is a far superior martial artist.

HISTORY

Chan (Zen) Buddhism was introduced to China around A.D. 550. During the North-South dynasty, a monk named Bodhidharma traveled from India to Songshan Mountain in the Henan province, the site of the Shaolin Temple. There he meditated for nine years. At the age of 76, he began teaching healing arts to the monks of the temple. Since the monks spent much of their time in meditation, they were in poor physical condition. Bodhidharma gave them a set of exercises that would develop the physical strength necessary to maintain the monastery and protect them in the event of an attack. He gave them three exercises: lohan shi ba (18 hands of arhats); yi ji jing (book of changing tendons); and xi shui jing (book of washing bone morrow). At the end of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Zhue Yuen, Li Sou and Bai Yu Feng developed the fine animal form, which helped to complete the new shaolin system and had a major impact on the state of shaolin kung-fu.

THE FIVE ANIMALS

The shaolin five animals consist of dragon, tiger, snake, crane and leopard. Each animal has characteristics that provide the practitioner with an array of offensive and defensive techniques. Only through a mastery of each of these animals can one hope to become a complete kung-fu stylist.

DRAGON (LONG XING)

The Chinese dragon represents internal strength. Contrary to popular belief, there is no relation to the Western dinosaur or fire-breathing dragon. Instead, according to Buddhist writings, the Chinese dragon is a mystical creature that can show itself to those he wants, especially to those who have reached the highest levels of enlightenment. Chinese dragons also are said to live in oceans or large bodies of water and are believed to produce rain. They can make themselves large or small, and are sometimes said to be visible within the clouds if you look closely.

The dragon form combines internal and external energy to produce awesome and devastating strikes. Dragon techniques feature circular movements that can penetrate with sudden explosiveness. Though the claw is the primary hand technique used within the dragon form, there are also various palm and fist attacks that add to the dragon form’s effectiveness. However, using the waist in a whipping action to generate power is essential to the development of proper dragon energy. The dragon form uses internal conditioning through proper breathing techniques to develop qi (internal energy). This is done by using the lower body to pull in air with relaxed breaths. The breathing develops flexibility, strength and power.

TIGER (HU XING)

In China, the tiger is said to be the king of all land beasts. The Shaolin Monks adopted the spirit of the tiger for its courage, strength and power. Because its energy is external in nature, the energy of the tiger is different from the other animals in the form. The tiger’s strength comes from hard-pressing attacks. Developing a strong back and neck is essential for strong stances. The primary technique in the tiger form is the tiger claw, which targets the opponent’s face, neck, groin, arms and wrist. The tiger form also utilizes palm strikes, fists and special kicking techniques, such as the tiger tail kick (fu mei geuk). Like the dragon, proper breathing is important for developing power and force. The practitioner produces certain sounds to expel carbon dioxide and replace it with the oxygen necessary to deliver the proper energy within his strikes.

SNAKE (SHE XING)

The snake form is important for developing qi within the five animal form. Because the snake is a calm animal, it has more relaxed energy. When the practitioner cultivates this energy, the combination of relaxation is mixed with quick, piercing strikes. There are no closed fists within the snake form. Instead, the hands are open and used for penetrating chops and finger strikes. The snake’s spirit is calm and deliberate and once the practitioner develops the proper energy, his strikes are focused and lightning-fast.

CRANE (HE XING)

The crane is known for its longevity. It is believed that the crane lives such a long life because its body contains a large amount of jing, or essential energy. A calm, meditative animal, the crane can stand on one leg for hours, without shifting its weight or growing restless. The crane form helps the practitioner hold his internal energy, which develops strength while building bones and muscles.

Like the dragon, crane techniques are circular in nature. However, the crane is always soft and relaxed, but strikes with penetrating speed and force. The crane form is known for using the “beak” to strike to targets such as the temple. It is also known for its long, extended strikes that mimic outstretched wings. The crane form allows the practitioner to deliver flowing, relaxed power as well as sudden and focused attacks.

LEOPARD (BAO XING)

In China, the leopard’s fierce and ferocious power yields only to that of the tiger. Though the leopard is smaller animal, it is believed to be, pound for pound, stronger. The leopard relies on a lightning-fast, powerful force that is produced from relaxed, whip-like techniques. It is important for the practitioner to develop a flexible waist, which allows him to develop quick footwork and explosive strikes.

Since the leopard form focuses on quick movements, there is little internal energy training. But the internal strengths of the dragon and snake blended with the speed and force of the leopard make a devastating combination. The mail technique used in the leopard form is a leopard fist that penetrates vital areas of the opponent’s body, such as the throat, solar plexus and groin. There are also elbow and forearm techniques. The leopard’s footwork is quick and short, which helps the practitioner develop strong stable stances.

3 STAGES OF TRAINING             

Once the five animal practitioner has mastered the pattern within the form, he practices the three states of training. In the first stage, the practitioner performs the whole form slowly, mimicking tai chi or moving meditation. The slow and soft movements massage the organs and lead to health and longevity. The martial artist also learns the essence of each animal by moving slowly and methodically. Breathing is deep and from the abdomen to improve the circulatory system and build the practitioner’s qi.

The second stage of training is practiced with external power. The emphasis is on conditioning the bones, tendons and muscles, while developing speed and power. This type of training helps the practitioner build strong stances while increasing stamina and external strength. The five animal practitioner puts all his skills together in the third stage of training. The emphasis is on the spirit and strengths of each animal – both internal and external energy are intertwined to give each animal life within the form.

The snake and crane forms are preformed with relaxation and soft, or internal, energy until explosive power is released at the moment of impact. The tiger and leopard produce devastating, lethal attacks that are performed with quick and powerful, yet relaxed, external energy. The dragon combines both internal and external movements to deliver powerful techniques.

Five animal training not only provides the martial artist with the strength and power for devastating fighting techniques, but also teaches him to remain calm and relaxed in even the most dangerous self-defense situations.

I have truly benefited from the health aspects I received from studying five animal kung-fu. My kung-fu training contributed greatly to my success and longevity in the NFL and even though I am now retired, five animal remains an integral part of my physical and emotional well-being. (For a better understanding of the shaolin five animal form, read “Shaolin Five Animal Kung Fu” by grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong and Jane Hallander. For more information visit the plum Blossom International Federation at www.plumblossom.net.)

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White Dragon has been nominated for Best Martial Arts School in San Diego County! Click on the link to cast your vote!

 

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Tai Chi, the centuries-old Chinese mind-body exercise, now gaining popularity in the United States, consists of slow-flowing, choreographed meditative movements with poetic names like “wave hands like clouds,” “dragons stirring up the wind,” and “swallow skimming the pond”. Although Tai Chi may evoke images of the natural world, it also focuses on basic components of overall fitness: muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

Doing Tai Chi makes me feel lighter on my feet,” says Catherine Kerr, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) instructor who has practiced for 15 years. I’m stronger in my legs, more alert, more focused, and more relaxed—it just puts me in a better mood all around.” Valentia Di Pietro Blue Fringe White Dragon Martial Arts

Western scientific understanding of Tai Chi’s possible physiological benefits is still very rudimentary. Tai chi is a very interesting form of training because it combines a low-intensity aerobic exercise with a complex, learned, motor sequence. Meditation, motor learning, and attentional focus have all been shown in numerous studies to be associated with training-related changes—including, in some cases, changes in actual brain structure—in specific cortical regions.

Scholars say Tai Chi grew out of Chinese martial arts, although its exact history is not fully understood, according to one of Kerr’s colleagues, assistant professor of medicine Peter M. Wayne, who directs the Tai Chi and mind-body research program at the Osher Center. “Tai chi’s roots are also intertwined with traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy. Though these roots are thousands of years old, the formal name Tai Chi chuan was coined as recently as the seventeenth century as a new form of kung fu, which integrates mind-body principles into a martial art and exercise for health.”

Tai chi, considered a soft or internal form of martial art, has multiple long and short forms associated with the most popular styles taught: Wu, Yang, and Chen (named for their originators). Plenty of people practice the faster, more combative forms that appear to resemble kung fu, but the slower, meditative movements are what many in the United States—where the practice has gained ground during the last 25 years—commonly think of as tai chi.

Hester Tai Chi Green Fringe White Dragon Martial ArtsSurveys, including one by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, have shown that between 2.3 million and 3 million people use tai chi in the United States, where a fledgling body of scientific research now exists. The center has supported studies on the effect of tai chi on cardiovascular disease, fall prevention, bone health, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis of the knee, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic heart failure, cancer survivors, depression in older people, and symptoms of fibromyalgia. One study on the immune response to varicella-zoster virus (which causes shingles) suggested in 2007 that tai chi may enhance the immune system and improve overall well-being in older adults.

However, “in general, studies of tai chi have been small, or they have had design limitations that may limit their conclusions,” notes the center’s website. “The cumulative evidence suggests that additional research is warranted and needed.”

Original article by Nell Porter Brown, Harvard Magazine.

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One of the biggest selling points of internal Chinese martial arts are their health and longevity benefits. You know, practice tai chi and life becomes better for you.

Well, that’s true. However, people question why several famous tai chi and hsing-I masters have died at relatively young ages. If we who teach tai chi tell the public that internal martial arts promote longevity and health, why did these well-known masters die so soon? Those people’s early deaths resulted from the lifestyles, not their martial art. Actually, if they didn’t know tai chi or another internal martial art, they probably would have died much sooner.

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Well-known martial arts masters around the turn of this century had far different lifestyles than the ordinary martial teacher. They often worked for rich families, who exposed them to all of the excesses available to the wealthy – opium, women, alcohol, and gambling. Before long their social habits cut into their tai chi practice time. They spent more time gambling, drinking and carousing, and less time practicing tai chi. They ate more of the wrong foods, increasing their cholesterol levels and overtaxing their digestive tracts. The best tasting food was not always the healthiest food, especially when they didn’t get enough exercise to digest their extra fat.

They slept fewer hours, stressing themselves with addictive habits. In China, before the People’s Republic, the upper-class fashion was to smoke opium. Of course, only those who could afford it smoked it. Many great masters, whom I will not name, with respect for their martial arts fame and leadership, became wealthy from teaching government officials and rich families. Unfortunately, their opulent lifestyles outweighed their internal training, and they died young.

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Nuestra Misión y Valores...

En White Dragon Martial Arts, nuestra misión es ser el mejor del mundo en mejorar las vidas de nuestros estudiantes a través de la práctica de las artes marciales. Logramos esta misión a través de nuestro método único de entrenamiento y por inculcar valores fundamentales. Por enseñar valores importantes come la disciplina, la humildad, la actitud positiva, y el respeto por uno mismo y por los demás, nuestros estudiantes aprenden que las artes marciales son una manera de vivir, no sólo un sistema de defensa personal. El método de White Dragon es enfocarnos en desarrollar una mente más fuerte igual a un cuerpo más fuerte, con la esperanza de producir individuos seguros y completos, capaces de alcanzar la excelencia en todas áreas de la vida.

¡Entrene Duro, Viva Mejor!

White Dragon empareja cada estudiante con su propio instructor para proveer el entrenamiento personal y de grupo más completo que se puede encontrar. Nuestra combinación única de Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Kickboxing y AMM crea la experiencia más eficaz y completa que le ayudará a ponerse en forma, enseñarle como defenderse, y mejorar su vida de maneras que usted no sabía que fueran posibles. Estamos dedicados a proveer para usted la más alta calidad de instrucción de artes marciales a través de un ambiente positivo, y basado en valores, tanto como un programa flexible para adaptarnos a su horario. Nuestra visión es ayudarle a estar en forma física y desarrollar confianza en sí mismo por estudiar las artes marciales para que usted pueda tener éxito en todos los aspectos de la vida.
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