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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

Should I Wait to Start Tai Chi Until My Injury Heals?

No matter what your age or fitness level, injuries during athletics and physical activities are a reality. Severe or minor, recovering from an injury can become a long and boring process, as your previous active lifestyle has you itching to get moving again.

Often, downtime during healing leads to an idea to try new activities to meet fitness goals with less impact on joints and our skeletal structure. This is a great time to consider Tai Chi. And depending on the severity of your injury, there is a good chance you don’t have to wait. Tai Chi is a fantastic activity for rehabilitation.

Tai Chi for Rehabilitation

Many active people will join Tai Chi or Yoga when recuperating from an injury for the low-impact benefits of getting moving again. There are many health benefits of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is particularly good for increasing balance, strengthening the core and all of the small muscles keeping you upright and increasing flexibility.

With a focus on breathing throughout – Tai Chi can also improve your mind’s ability to deal with the mental struggles that accompany overcoming an athletic injury.

Charlotte Tai Chi for Injury Prevention

Don’t wait until you are injured to start practicing Tai Chi!

Tai Chi is a great standalone activity and is also a great addition to any exercise regimen. With the strength and flexibility achieved in Tai Chi, you can even consider it as an injury prevention exercise.

While we urge all athletes to take part in Tai Chi, it is particularly beneficial to those who are involved in high-impact activities such as running, cross-fit, and contact sports. By adding different activities that involve different muscles that will get strengthened and lengthened over time, you can improve your performance and lower your risks for pulls and strains.

If you’re interested in starting a Charlotte Tai Chi class, we urge you to choose The Peaceful Dragon. With your membership, you could try Yoga, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu to find the right activity or combination thereof to suit your desire and schedule. Call today to schedule your Free Introductory Class and Tour. 704-504-8866

Non-traditional Charlotte “Recreational” Activities to Consider for Your Kids

At the Peaceful Dragon, we strongly advocate martial arts for children for the numerous character-building traits and lifelong skills that come with them. There are many benefits of martial arts like kung fu that team sports simply don’t provide. In fact, according to research from the National Alliance for Sports, 70% of children leave team sports by the age of 13, for various reasons, including injury, peer pressure, lack of interest, lack of playing time, and more.

Children’s Developmental Programs in Charlotte

At the Peaceful Dragon, our children’s martial arts program can hardly be classified as “recreational.” While it is fun, we have built an educational and developmental program for children that is as fun as most traditional recreational activities. After all, when better to help children grow into well-rounded adults than while their busy having fun doing it?

How do we accomplish this? Well, we don’t just encourage children to try their hardest and practice for improved skills in the realm of Kung Fu forms and self-defense. We use every chance in class to teach your child life lessons about friendship, teamwork, and how to be respectful with words and actions. We also take it a step further with take-home lessons that include topics such as personal safety, personal hygiene, respect, compassion, strategies for dealing with bullies, improving school success, overcoming shyness, and more.

A well-balanced life is part of the philosophy of martial arts, in every aspect and should be encouraged starting at the youngest ages. By no means would we want to imply that kung fu or any other martial arts are the only nontraditional extracurricular activities that are beneficial for children (or adults, for that matter). Quite the opposite, in fact. If you’re looking for other activities for your kids that help develop useful life skills and character traits, we’ve put together a list of a few we recommend.

Ideas for Extracurricular Activities in Charlotte

Archery — Since The Hunger Games, interest in archery has skyrocketed among kids. It helps develop attention span, and by its nature demands focus and concentration, which helps kids do better in school. While it may seem dangerous, safety is emphasized above all, so kids are expected to be seriously responsible.

Cooking lessons — It’s never too early to learn how to prepare meals, and early exposure to cooking leads to a love of healthy food. Learning to cook teaches kids sequential order, following directions, and an appreciation for their food and where it comes from. It also gives children a sense of accomplishment and an attitude of doing good things for others.

Fencing — From pirate movies to Star Wars to even classic fairy tales, sword fighting is timeless. Learning proper fencing is an exercise in hand-eye coordination and teaches quick problem-solving. Since you never know what your opponent will do, you need to be able to adapt quickly, make adjustments, concentrate, and maintain composure under pressure.

Geocaching — Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game with a twist, and one of the big appeals of this nontraditional activity is the family-friendly nature of it. Geocachers use GPS, either on a standalone device or their phone, to locate “buried treasure” (geocachers) which are often hidden in plain sight. Children learn critical thinking, problem-solving, navigation, cooperation, and can build up self-confidence as well.

Guitar or piano lessons — Guitar and piano are not generally included in a school’s band program, yet learning to play one (or both!) have plenty of benefits for children. They teach self-discipline, as both take a lot of hard work and dedication to master. They help improve memory, enhance creativity, improve coordination, sharpen concentration, and definitely boosts their confidence. What kid doesn’t want to be a “rock star” someday?

Ice-skating or gymnastics lessons — There are many parallels between ice skating, gymnastics, and martial arts for children. They have many physical benefits like improving posture, balance, flexibility and coordination while enhancing muscle strength. They also teach goal setting, how to perform well under pressure, how to manage stress, plus how to manage failure and how it feels to be successful. In addition, children involved in ice skating and gymnastics learn good sportsmanship while developing social skills and making bonding friendships that can last a lifetime.

Rock Climbing — Children gain a lot of confidence “learning the ropes,” quite literally. There is very little teamwork involved, but rock climbing teaches problem-solving skills, requires a lot of concentration, and helps build muscles and a sense of accomplishment when reaching the top.

Scouting — The benefits of scouting are as numerous as martial arts for children. Scouting teaches kids respect for themselves, others, and the environment leads to a sense of independence, self-confidence, and a duty to provide service to others. It also allows kids to make and maintain lifelong friendships in addition to the invaluable skills they learn.

As we mentioned, of course here at The Peaceful Dragon we’re going to promote the benefits of martial arts for kids and all the additional benefits of our unique program, but we also want to stress the importance of a well-rounded life for children and adults alike. These are only a few nontraditional recreational activities in Charlotte we recommend; there are more. We encourage everyone to try new things, develop new life skills, and live each day to the fullest. Start with martial arts and branch off from there.

Try it before you buy it with our Free introductory tour and two FREE classes. Call 704-504-8866 or click here to schedule today – we look forward to meeting you and your child(ren).

 

Building a sense of self-confidence is key to healthy development in children. Martial arts can show them the way.

There is no more crucial time for healthy development in a person’s life than in childhood and adolescence. Traditional martial arts are a unique vehicle for building self-confidence and self-esteem, which are fundamental building blocks for success in many areas like academic achievement, social interactions, and even future careers.  At The Peaceful Dragon, we empower children to act on their own behalf to accomplish their goals.

Building self-confidence is a journey, not a destination

Confidence develops through building on small successes. There are no “shortcuts” in children’s martial arts, and no “beginner’s luck.” Everyone starts at the beginning, learns the basics, and each new skill builds on the ones learned before it. Your child may be discouraged at first, thinking that they’re “not good at it” if they can’t get something right, but encouragement from their coaches and peers — some who may be at higher skill levels — creates a nurturing and safe environment for them to keep trying. Unlike other sports, there is no one, big championship trophy at the end — martial arts are a continuing journey of realistic, measurable goals that are always within reach. With achieving a new sash (belt) rank comes a sense of accomplishment, and the next level is attainable from the confidence obtained and skills learned thus far. Even the highest belts in any martial art will tell you that students are continuously learning.

Martial arts for children cultivate responsibility and leadership

As your child progresses through our program, other students will begin to look to him or her for guidance. New communication skills are learned, new friendships are made, and as they develop into a role model for newer students, a sense of self-confidence and responsibility to others is instilled. Knowing that they got to their sash level through much preparation and hard work reinforces their learned self-discipline and gives them a good sense of self-esteem. In doing so, your child realizes that because he or she is in control of their own behavior, they can set a positive example for other students.

Self-confidence leads to success outside of the martial arts school

The skills learned at The Peaceful Dragon are not restrained to the walls of our building. The self-confidence your child develops have a positive effect on other areas of life as well. They become more driven to try new things, and less afraid to “strike out” on a new idea even when others around them are still pondering it. They gain the ability to stand up for themselves in a fair and consistent manner. They are more apt to say “no” to situations of negative peer pressure, and more inclined to say “yes” to positive opportunities.

Without a sense of self-confidence and what they are capable of, children grow up to be anxious and afraid to take risks, no matter how large or small. Lack of confidence leads to holding back. It leads to shyness, inaction, and not standing up for one’s self. Oftentimes, it results in missed chances and setting the bar too low, and a lifetime of “what ifs” lingering in their mind.

Martial arts, whether we’re talking kung fu, judo, jujitsu, tae kwan do, or karate for children, allows kids to believe in themselves, rise up, and reach their potential.

Are you ready to give your child a fun outlet where they can build their self-confidence more each day? Try it with our FREE introductory tour and two FREE classes. Call 704-504-8866 or click here to schedule today – we look forward to meeting you and your child(ren).

Why In-Person Charlotte Yoga Classes are Better than Online Yoga

Technology is a blessing and a curse. Where we used to have to send mail through the U.S. Postal Service and wait a few days for the recipient to get our note, we now have email. Where we used to have to drive to the bank every Friday and deposit our paychecks there is direct deposit and mobile deposits.

While many of our modern conveniences that make life more streamlined are thanks to technology, the same technology has limited in-person interactions, lowered our sense of community, and left some feeling lonely.

The Rise of Online Yoga Classes

We love yoga. And whatever it takes to learn and practice yoga makes us happy. For those who can’t make it to a studio or don’t have one close enough to home, online, in-app, and video yoga classes have changed everything. But those who can, should when it comes to attending in-person Charlotte yoga classes. And here are 8 reasons why:

8 Reasons to Attend In-Person Charlotte Yoga Classes

More than Yoga Poses: Yoga at The Peaceful Dragon is more than poses and breathing techniques. We offer instruction and lessons about the history, philosophy, and principles of yoga for a well-balanced mind and body.

Correct Posture: Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect-practice makes perfect. When it comes to yoga postures, accurate alignment is vital to getting the key benefits. Yoga practice without an in-person instructor increases your risk of injury.

Focus on Yoga: Beware of the at-home yoga distractions. When you are at the studio, your focus is entirely on your posture and breathing without kids, pets, and other items on your to-do list catching your attention.

Letting Go: While joining a yoga class, especially as a beginner, can be intimidating as you’re not likely to be the best at every pose from day one; it provides an amazing opportunity to let go of judgment and accept ourselves for exactly how we are at this very moment. Not comparing ourselves to others is a great start on the journey to a healthy mind.

Custom Goals: Yoga is a popular form of exercise for people who are recovering from an injury and cannot participate in some of their previous forms of exercise. Yoga is a great rehabilitative activity. If you are looking for specific benefits of yoga such as lowering chronic pain, improving flexibility, posture, or even more specific, an in-person yoga instructor is the best method for reaching your personal goals through yoga.

Community: Attending yoga classes in-person allows you to become part of a community of like-minded individuals. Individuals who have the same commitment to health and well-being as you. Individuals who could easily become life-long friends. Some have even thrown around the word “family.”

Healthy Living: Most yoga studios provide other types of lessons on living a healthy lifestyle. Dietary lessons and additional mental and physical support come with the yoga lifestyle. These lessons are lost when following video instruction that is solely focused on the physical postures.

Opportunity: In-person Charlotte yoga classes at The Peaceful Dragon will allow you to try meditation classes, Kung Fu classes, and tai chi classes. You might start with Yoga but find that participating in multiple disciplines or a different discipline is better for you!

If you’re not sure in-person yoga is right for you, no worries, we offer a no obligation, free introductory class and tour so you can try it before you buy it. Call today to learn more. 704-504-8866

3 Reasons to Start Meditating with a Charlotte Meditation Class

Have you noticed yourself feeling overly stressed lately?  Are you feeling frazzled and just can’t seem to get things straight?  Have you noticed yourself having an excess of time to yourself? Are you feeling lonely or isolated?  There is no need to be worried, everyone gets lonely and stressed sometimes.  It is important to make sure you do not stay stressed or down for too long, and one way to help yourself up is an outlet.

Lucky for you, we offer an approach that specializes in promoting peace and unity in a group setting: meditation.  Meditation is very beneficial to the health of the body and mind, and it is super easy to get into.  Charlotte Meditation Class is a great way to begin your inward journey, and here are some great reasons why you should start meditation class without delay.

Why You Should Join a Charlotte Meditation Class

  1. We Have Strength in Numbers: Don’t Go It Alone – We as humans are social creatures, and it is important to have people with like interests in whom we can confide and converse freely. Meditation is a way to connect with those around you on a social level as well as a much deeper level.  Don’t let the chaos of everyday life overwhelm you.  Instead, search for inner peace with others who are searching for it just as you are, and use these connections to grow as a group.
  2. Getting Into the Habit – Meditating once is a great start, but it is truly effective if you can get into a regular schedule of meditation. Meditating in a group setting can help you keep a schedule as the group holds each other accountable.
  3. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind – Meditation is a method of calming oneself and finding peace. However, that is not all meditation can do for you.  On top of stress relief, meditation can help you stay healthy and experience faster healing.  Meditation is a simple path to a whole body and a clear mind.

As you can see there are many benefits to meditation.  For in-person meditation guidance, we encourage you to give the Peaceful Dragon a try. We offer a FREE introductory tour, orientation, and class so you can try before you buy! Call today or sign up here. 704-504-8866