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Charlotte Martial Arts Classes at The Peaceful Dragon: The Difference is Remarkable

We’ve overheard people say that “all martial arts schools are the same” – but what we know to be true is that none are the same. We strive to differentiate ourselves in several key categories as our goals are not the same as the goals of other martial arts studios. Some might focus on competition and sparring; some might focus on children and after-school programs, still, others are all-in for Tai Chi and meditation practice.

The Peaceful Dragon Offers a Closely Guarded Martial Arts Program for Full Mind and Body Wellness

The difference between martial arts schools is important to note. In fact, we will refer you to other schools if your goals are not aligned with ours. We are not shy about helping our prospective members find the right fit elsewhere as we truly believe martial arts are for everyone, but, The Peaceful Dragon might not be.

Our focus on mind and body wellness is observable by several of our key actions and offerings:

  1. We provide classes in multiple disciplines and give our members full access. Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Meditation, and Yoga are extremely complementary disciplines, and we’d love our members to experience the joy and benefits of them all. Stress management, weight loss, increased strength, and improved balance can be achieved that much better with multiple practices.
  2. Our classes are authentic and traditional.
  3. We’ve built a beautiful 10,000 square foot school on 12 serene wooded acres. When you spend time here practicing martial arts or yoga, the environment plays a role in setting the atmosphere for achieving your goals of lowering stress and finding mental and spiritual wellness.
  4. We offer seminars, roundtables, and discussions about a variety of topics that further member goals to improve mental, spiritual, and physical health. Topics around eating habits, leadership skills, and Zen philosophy are just a few.
  5. We also have special guests such as Shaolin’s former head coach Shi Guolin or 7-time world champion Grandmaster Jeff Smith, and we organize off-site retreats.
  6. Our members advocate health and wellness through shared interest and values. When you’re taking the path of healthy thinking and actions, it is supremely helpful to spend time with those who are not only like-minded but supportive as well.
  7. At the Peaceful Dragon, we are like family. Throughout the year there are many events for members to participate in to further develop those relationships such as our famous Chinese New Year Festival, Quarterly Cleanups, and Member Appreciation Barbecue.
  8. We encourage our interested kung fu and tai chi students to compete in tournaments and competitions. There is something special about meeting up with other martial artists and sharing the skills you’re developing.

If you’re looking for a life change at a state-of-the-art facility with like-minded people and the best instructors, look no further. When it comes to Martial Arts classes in Charlotte, The Peaceful Dragon is the best choice. Start today with a free introductory tour and semi-private lesson. Call today 704-504-8866 or sign up here.

Millennials Say “No” to Stress: Why Tai Chi and Meditation are Rising in Popularity

Tai Chi used to have a reputation as an exercise for “old” people. A fitness routine your grandma and grandpa could do, regardless of their physical ailments. It’s long been known to improve balance and help the aging population avoid falls and remain strong and healthy.

But now. Now, Tai Chi is getting the credit it deserves as an exercise everyone “should” do. Not just an exercise everyone “can” do.

Why Now?

As the world continues to speed up, become more automated, become more digitally connected and less personally connected, stress is mounting. The generation of young people known as Millennials is actively seeking ways to reduce their stress and create a life for themselves that is balanced.

Tai Chi has been getting more media attention over the last ten years due to excellent studies by Harvard and other top institutions.

The attention has resulted in increased interest from Millennials to find the best way to manage stress and reconnect their mind, body, and spirit for improved health and wellness.

With the benefits of Tai Chi being backed by science as not only stress reducing but improving strength and flexibility – it is an easy decision to give Tai Chi classes a try.

Charlotte Tai Chi Classes

Once in class, Millennials have mentioned they enjoy additional benefits from Tai Chi such as increased patience, stronger muscles, the ability to slow down, and the ability to stop, breathe, and re-center themselves during tense situations. Having a single practice that reduces stress and is a good source of exercises is concise and effective which provides additional benefits for today’s busy schedules.

Often dubbed “Moving Meditation,” research about the benefits of Tai Chi continues worldwide. There are ongoing studies testing the benefits of Tai Chi for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, chronic pain and more. So, while it is gaining momentum for its overall health and wellness benefits, we only see the tip of the ice burg for how Tai Chi transforms the lives of people with specific ailments.

If you’re ready to feel better, improve your health, and keep your career thriving, give The Peaceful Dragon a try today. We offer a free introductory semi-private lesson and tour of the school so you can find out for yourself what all the fuss over Tai Chi is all about. Call today: 704.504.8866

What are the Eight Gates of Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is also known as Tai Chi Chuan or Taijiquan. Built within the name itself is the idea of balance. Starting with the internal balance between the mind and body. Then outwardly, as you use those skills to study and affect your opponent.

Today, Tai Chi is mainly practiced for increased health and wellness. It is known for its accessibility as people of varying abilities benefit from better stress management, improved focus, increased physical health, and more.

The foundation of Tai Chi are the thirteen postures. The postures are comprised of 8 gates (energies) and 5 steps.

The eight gates are

Peng – Ward Off
Lui – Roll Back
Ji – Press
An – Push
Tsai – Pluck or Grasp
Lieh – Split
Chou – Elbow Stroke
Kao – Shoulder Stroke

When practiced with a partner as in push-hands, the gates are utilized to determine the intensity and direction of the opponent’s force to properly counteract it by adjusting actions accordingly. The reaction to their reaction is how to maintain an advantageous position against an opponent if it were an actual physical conflict.

While Tai Chi is a gentle, meditative practice, it is, in fact, extremely valuable in self-defense and combat. The practitioner becomes sensitive to the energy of their opponent and maintains complete control over the body and mind for precise and appropriate responses that are most effective.

Practicing Tai Chi for good health and better stress management are why most people take Tai Chi classes, but if you want to improve your self-defense and combat skills, adding Tai Chi to the mix is beneficial.

Try Tai Chi today with a free semi-private class and introductory tour. Call now! 704.504.8866

 

Why Practice Martial Arts as a Family?

Did you know we now offer a family martial arts program?

The family program is a concept we have been working on for a long time and we are pleased to offer it to our members. The idea is that families truly are looking for activities they can participate in together. Depending on the age of your children, this can be a challenge. Younger kids are too small to participate in some rigorous adult activities, and older children might not share the same interests. This is where our family membership comes in.

The family that kicks together sticks together.

Family Martial Arts for Children

Too often parents drive their child to a class, or an activity, and sit and watch, or read, or wait in the car when they could be utilizing that time to their personal benefit too. By offering a family membership, the parents can now participate in martial arts training with their child. The benefits are immense:

  1. Family Fun!
  2. Younger children enjoy having their parent in class with them while it becomes a way to stay connected to older children who are asserting their independence.
  3. Kids love having permission to punch or kick their parents. (and vice versa)
  4. The parents get to enjoy the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of practicing Kung Fu too.
  5. The family motivates, encourages, and holds each other accountable for practicing.
  6. The whole family can train together so that no one is left on the sideline.
  7. Parents exhibit healthy behavior – teaching their children that lifelong healthy habits are important.

Family Martial Arts for Adults

How does our family program work for the adults? Well, you get a bonus! Not only can you participate in the family class with your child and reap all the benefits listed above, but you can also join any of the adult classes we offer.

Our family classes are offered on afternoons, Saturday mornings, and a few weeknights for those families who need a later class time.

If our family classes sound interesting to you, give the Peaceful Dragon a try today. We offer a free introductory semi-private lesson and tour of the school so you can make the decision that is right for your family. Call today: 704.504.8866

How Can I Counteract the Negative Effects of Sitting at Work All Day?

It is common for today’s professionals to be required to sit for a majority of their day. Usually at a desk. And while sit/stand desks have provided tremendous benefits and you may even have a treadmill desk, there are still negative health risks that come with sitting and being still for so much of your day.

Serious Health Risks from Sitting All Day

The Mayo Clinic reports obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, metabolic syndrome, and excess body fat around the waste to be some of the negative results of sitting all day. It also increases your risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The Physical Toll

According to Aaptiv.com, sitting all day can also be associated with decreased core (abs and back) strength, stress on your spine (chronic back pain), weak legs and glutes, tight hips, and a stiff neck and shoulders. But all these challenges brought on by sitting at work can be counteracted with specific efforts.

Counteracting the Negative Physical Effects of a Desk Job

Martial Arts, Tai Chi, and Yoga are all extremely beneficial activities for counteracting the quintessential desk job. In fact, a large portion of our members come in from the I.T. and Banking industries. They DO sit all day. And they are seeking to learn an art that is physically and mentally engaging to counteract their career requirements. To counteract sitting all day you need to get active and fit while improving strength and flexibility.  Here is how a Peaceful Dragon membership can help:

Martial Arts Class Makes You Sweat

Practicing Kung Fu at the Peaceful Dragon will make you sweat. You will work hard, you will benefit from cardiovascular exercise and will gain strength and stamina all the while. While actively sweating you will engage your core for stability, your legs in forms and kicks, and your arms, shoulders, and neck in forms, blocks, and punches. Kung Fu is a total body workout to aid in reversing the effect of sitting all day long.

Tai Chi for Strengthening

A key component of Tai Chi is controlled slow movements. Over time, your body gains a great deal of strength, especially in the abdominals and back, and other stabilizing muscles such as your legs. Tai Chi is accessible to people who are out-of-shape, giving them an opportunity to combat pain and other negative health effects of sitting all day at work without the “No Pain, No Gain” intimidation.

Yoga for Stretching and Posture

One of the earliest signs you may experience most noticeably from sitting all day is a change in your posture and the weakening of the core. Is anyone hunched over their desk while reading this right now? Yoga classes are known to strengthen and lengthen the body in all the key areas for ideal posture, which you can then take back to work with you to practice good posture in your desk chair.

Being active and making sure you are fit from head to toe is one of the best ways you can counteract a sitting all day. In addition to classes at the Peaceful Dragon, make sure you take regular breaks from your chair at least every thirty minutes, stand when the work you are doing allows it, take the stairs instead of the elevator and try to fit in some walking where possible throughout your day (during meetings or breaks).

If you’re ready to feel better, improve your health, and keep your career thriving, give The Peaceful Dragon a try today. We offer a free introductory semi-private lesson and tour of the school so you can make the decision that is right for you. Call today: 704.504.8866

Wellness and Weight Loss for Life at The Peaceful Dragon Martial Arts and Yoga School

Tired of the treadmill?

Have you been on the annual regimen of making weight loss your New Year’s Resolution for as long as you can remember? Are you feeling discouraged when year-after-year you don’t see the results you want, or can’t maintain the progress you make? We’d like to offer you a fresh idea.

A membership at the Peaceful Dragon can help you change your lifestyle to meet weight-loss goals, gain health and wellness, and enjoy long-term benefits of reduced stress and good health.

And couldn’t we all use that after holiday indulgences?

What You Can Expect at The Peaceful Dragon

With a membership to the Peaceful Dragon – you’ll enjoy the ability to take part in all of our programs. Choose from Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Meditation. All four disciplines can help you lose weight and reduce stress for long-term health and wellness. And when you combine more than one – the results are amplified.

By offering classes in four related disciplines as well as training space you can use anytime you’d like, we keep it fun, exciting and engaging to keep you committed.

Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Your instructors and classmates will hold you accountable for staying on track and making a habit of coming to class as often as possible. This encouragement will go a long way in keeping you focused on your goals for a healthy life long beyond when your ambition and motivation are at their peak.

Healthy Living Outside of the Studio

All of our classes promote healthy habits outside of class. From our highly-trained instructors to your classmates, healthy living permeates through our studio. You’ll pick up tips about healthy eating, lowering stress, gaining balance between work and your personal life, and positive encouragement for investing time and energy in self-care.

You’ll also feel encouraged to give up vices and bad habits that are holding back your progress towards weight loss and healthy living.

How to Lose Weight with Charlotte Martial Arts and Tai Chi

Our regularly scheduled martial arts, yoga, and meditation classes are complemented with seminars on building a healthy lifestyle. These classes, discussions, and lectures are free to all members and are sure to help you sort the myths from the facts when it comes to healthy eating and living.

We organize special off-campus retreats such as a meditation retreat and a trip to China, where our members can partake in a special educational and immersive getaway. And if you are so inclined, we encourage you to compete in tournaments around the country to show your skills and connect with other like-minded martial arts students.

Try something new for your 2019 weight loss resolution. For effective, long-term weight loss, join The Peaceful Dragon today. Take advantage of ALL of our classes with a single membership and become part of a community who values mind and body wellness. Start now with a free introductory class and tour. 704-504-8866

Tai Chi Class for Stress Management and Stress Reduction

The science is in! Tai Chi is great for stress management and stress reduction.

A recent neurological study began with people who had no meditation experience. Their brains were measured before and after an eight-week meditation regimen.

The post-eight-week brain scans revealed the science behind the stress reduction benefit of tai chi class. They found thickening of gray matter in the parts of the brain responsible for learning, memory, emotional regulation and regulatory neurotransmitter creation, and shrinking of the area of the brain where fear, anxiety, and aggression reside.

What does this mean?

Regular meditation (tai chi, yoga, or meditation) helps you better manage stress.

First, stress management is about your internal reaction to outside stressors. With the increased emotional regulation – a physiological response in your brain to tai chi – you’ll experience better control over your response.

While tai chi classes won’t remove the over-bearing boss in your life, or the busy schedule your family has, it does indeed help you better deal with it.

Tai Chi can reduce stress too!

Secondly, your improved focus, attention span, and memory will improve your ability to avoid creating stressful situations. Improved brain functions can improve work performance, time management, and inter-personal relationships – areas of life where stress can often reside.

Tai Chi classes make you feel better.

Lastly, by experiencing shrinking of the amygdala – where fear, anxiety, and depression reside in the brain – you’ll have an overall improved sense of well-being. By feeling good, you’re better able to react positively to whatever life throws your way. You’ll have more energy, be more active, and participate in more activities that bring you more happiness and joy.

Gaining an overall sense of well-being is often part of a cycle of taking better care of yourself. Feeling good is a great first step in making life changes that make you feel even better. Better eating habits, better lifestyle choices, and more can become yours by taking that first step into a tai chi class.

What makes tai chi a great choice for everyone is its accessibility. Where some may be stuck in a rut of having been too inactive or maybe injured to partake in more rigorous activities, tai chi can be practiced by virtually anyone. It is gentle on joints and focuses on slow steady moves that increase strength and balance while practicing important breathing techniques. Tai Chi truly is moving mediation, all the benefits of meditation as well as increased strength, flexibility, and balance.

If you’re ready to take control over the stress in your life, we recommend you give tai chi at The Peaceful Dragon a try. To help you do just that we are offering a free introductory class and tour, so you can find out if tai chi is a good fit for you. Call today to get started! 704-504-8866

How to Lose Weight with Charlotte Martial Arts and Tai Chi

It is not a secret to most of our readers that regular Martial Arts, Tai Chi, and Yoga practice can all help you lose weight. But, you may not know the best way to approach these classes if indeed weight loss is one of your top goals. Attending class regularly is a great start, as the activity itself will burn calories, build strength, increase energy and reduces stress. It also puts you on the right path to developing a routine that can be maintained, long-term, for a lifetime of better health.

But how can you maximize the weight loss benefits?

At the Peaceful Dragon, our adult membership is, in fact, a comprehensive program for building good health. Membership allows you to partake in Kung Fu classes, Tai Chi classes, and Yoga classes. When you take advantage of all three, you gain the benefits of all three!

Tai Chi is especially great for those who have not been active and need to get started slowly to avoid injury. If you’re out of shape or recovering from an injury it can be a struggle to get moving again due to pain, compounding the need to lose weight, but Tai Chi gets you moving. Getting moving is often the largest hurdle of all. And because Tai Chi is low-impact, anyone can do it.

In addition to movement, Tai Chi helps you lose weight by reducing stress, decreasing your dependency on unhealthy vices and bad habits. It also contributes to your increased strength and sets you on a path of good habits for a slow weight loss that can be maintained long-term.

Yoga is a great weight loss activity as it burns calories, builds muscle and reduces stress. More intense than Tai Chi, Yoga will improve stability, balance, core strength and result in long-term weight loss and a lean body.

Our martial art of choice is Kung Fu. Kung Fu helps you lose weight in a more traditional sense of being a highly active workout with a combination of cardio and strength-building that really gets your heart pumping and the calories burning.

Varying Activities for Maximum Weight Loss

Each of these three activities involves different stances, different muscles, and therefore you can maximize your full body health by engaging in all three. When it comes to weight loss, switching things up and keeping your body working is good for continuous steady results.

In addition, you’ll have fun spending time with health-minded people in a judgment-free zone where you can progress at your own pace. You’ll be encouraged to eat healthfully and make healthy choices throughout your life.

We offer regular health seminars as part of your membership where you can even learn how to eat more wholesome and cut out the junk. Healthy eating habits are an essential addition to exercise. We teach optimal eating choices from both the latest Western research and from the perspectives of Traditional Chinese Medicine in all our programs.

Are you ready to better manage your stress, increase your mind-body connection, and finally lose that weight for good? There is no better place to try Martial Arts, Tai Chi or Yoga in Charlotte than the Peaceful Dragon. We offer a free no obligation tour and introductory class. Call today to schedule or sign up here704-504-8866

Could the Fountain of Youth Be Found in a Charlotte Yoga or Meditation Class?

Are your friends raving about meditation or their Charlotte yoga class? Are they constantly going on and on about how great they feel and how meditation has helped them manage stress or reduce anxiety?

If you have ever read about or know anyone who practices regular meditation or yoga, you are probably familiar with the anecdotal benefits of such practice. These benefits range from reducing stress, improving mental clarity, and decreasing depression to increased ability to focus and improving attention spans.  But, did you know the benefits of meditation have been confirmed by science? In fact, the confirmed benefits might even surprise those who experience them first-hand already.

Meditation Reduces Brain Aging

According to a study completed by Harvard Medical School neuroscientist, Sara Lazar, mindful meditation (yoga included) actually keeps your brain young or reduces the age of your brain. This change in the brain was measured by the amount of gray matter in key areas of the brain where gray matter usually shrinks with age.

Auditory & Sensory Cortex

Lazar found that in her first study of long-term meditators (7-9 years of experience) versus a control group, those with meditation habits had increased gray matter in the auditory and sensory cortex as well as the insula and sensory regions. These areas of the brain make complete sense as meditation slows us down to make us more aware of our surroundings in many ways.

Frontal Cortex

The surprise was that the experienced meditators also had increased gray matter in the frontal cortex – which usually shrinks as we age – and is linked to decision-making and working memory. This discovery showed that the meditators who were in their 50s had as much gray matter in the frontal cortex as people half their age! Age is a state of mind. Literally, in this case!

Can Meditation Reverse the Age of My Brain?

Lazar continued with a second study to be certain the benefits were linked to meditation practice and not something else. She put people with ZERO meditation experience on an eight-week meditation regimen and scanned their brains before and after.

After just eight weeks the group had a thickening of the left hippocampus, the TPJ, and a part of the brainstem called the pons. These three areas are responsible for learning, memory, emotional regulation, empathy, and regulatory neurotransmitter creation. Sounds familiar right? Increased focus, longer attention spans, better stress management, improved sense of well-being; all things your friends have been telling you.

In addition, the second study also showed shrinkage of the amygdala – the area of the brain where fear, anxiety, and aggression reside. So, when we mention that becoming a member of the Peaceful Dragon can lower your anxiety or depression and help with anger management issues – we are not at all being anecdotal.

Curious about helping your brain stay young and strong? With our adult program, you can partake in Kung Fu, Tai Chi (moving meditation), meditation, or yoga. All of which features some elements of mindful meditation which can help your brain stay young or become younger. Call today for a free introductory lesson and tour. 704-504-8866

Add “Working In” to your Work Out with Comprehensive Martial Arts Classes

At The Peaceful Dragon, we don’t just focus on the physical aspects of martial arts. Whether it is Tai Chi or Kung Fu, and even Yoga, all our classes work towards improving your emotional and physical health simultaneously.

Charlotte’s Best Martial Arts Workout

Often it is a physical motivation for health and wellness that brings new members to our school. We won’t disappoint.

Our classes are geared to improve your physical health. You’ll gain strength, balance, flexibility, energy, and you will likely even shed those extra pounds. Along with reaching fitness goals, you’ll gain strong self-defense skills and can even gain better control over chronic ailments.

No two classes are the same when you join our martial arts school. Whether it is what we focus on in class or your state of mind, every class presents new challenges and you’ll reap numerous rewards, both physical and mental.

Built into our classes are some key components to improving emotional well-being, lowering stress, improving focus, and creating more positive thought patterns. The long-term process of achieving inner wellness can require deep digging during class. Whether it is conquering a thought of “I can’t” or “this is too difficult” or something deeper, sometimes you’ll leave class feeling as if you conquered a huge mental or emotional hurdle.

The term “working in” has come up with our students. As class has come to an end and the students realize their emotional and mental workout was just as rigorous as the physical they say “wow, that was a great work in.”

Comprehensive Martial Arts

When choosing a martial arts school or practice, we highly recommend choosing a school, instructor, and or class offering a strong focus on both working out and working in. Some days it takes sheer physical will-power to get through a workout or day, while other days your emotional and mental strength is what pulls you through to reach your goals. By exercising both physical and mental muscles, you’ll enjoy overall well-being.

If you are ready to reduce stress, improve physical strength, and cultivate better emotional and mental well-being, we urge to you give Peaceful Dragon a try. Start today with a free introductory tour, orientation, and lesson! 704-504-8866