Charlotte Martial Arts Newsletter April 2018

The Peaceful Dragon Newsletter – April 2018

April Holidays
National Poetry Month

1st      Easter/April Fool’s Day                       15th   World Art Day
6th     National Tartan Day                            20th   Volunteer Recognition Day
11th   Barbershop Quartet Day                    23rd  East Meets West Day
13th   Scrabble Day                                         28th  Great Poetry Reading Day

Message from Mastery Eric Sbarge

Whenever I see a student suddenly show up with an arm in a cast or limping on one foot, I of course always ask what happened. But I don’t assume it happened in kung fu or yoga class. Nine out of ten times the injuries occurred at home or some other place away from The Peaceful Dragon.

Usually I hear, “Oh, this happened playing soccer” or “I tripped walking up my front stoop.” You might think most injuries would come from sparring in kung fu, or trying tricky arm balances in yoga, but in fact very few injuries occur in these activities.

Statistically, martial arts have way fewer injuries than basketball, football, soccer or any of the most popular sports. And while I don’t know how yoga ranks, I’m willing to guess it, too, has far fewer injuries.

I’m only speculating, but I have a theory for why we don’t have a lot of injuries in traditional martial arts and yoga classes: Mindfulness.

In kung fu, tai chi and yoga our students are trained to pay attention to their bodies, breath and minds. When you’re really mindful and aware of your actions, you tend not to over-strain your body in yoga and you can catch yourself before getting hit or falling in martial arts.

Additionally, unlike many sports we wear protective gear in martial arts sparring, with the exception of grappling classes. The most injuries that we do have when we have them happen in our shuai jiao grappling classes, but it’s not because of lack of protective equipment. It’s because by design you get thrown a lot and so fall a lot, which increases the risk of getting hurt, especially if you don’t stay in top condition to absorb the falls.

Injuries are part of the human experience, and we all get them now and then. Fortunately they’re usually just a temporary nuisance, and we heal up and move on. But when I see a student with a new injury from their latest tennis match or from falling off their bicycle, I always give the same advice: Stick with martial arts – it’s much safer.

“Write your injuries in dust,
your benefits in marble.”

                     ― Benjamin Franklin

If you are not a current student of The Peaceful Dragon, there are many ways to improve your mind, body and spirit through the programs available at The Peaceful Dragon. Visit and click on Adult Classes or Children’s Classes.  You can then register for a Free Semi-Private, No-Obligation Introductory Class and an Introductory Tour.

Upcoming Events

Adult Block A Testing
Makeup Testing on Wednesday, April 4th, 6:30pm

Please make sure to fill out your testing application and return it to the front desk no later than one week before your chosen testing date.  Good luck to all of our testing adults!

Children’s Promotion Ceremony
Saturday, April 7th, 11am
Makeup Promotion on Thursday, April 26th, 5:30pm

Congratulations to all of our promoting Young Dragons.  Please be sure to fill out your promotion application and return it to the front desk by no later than one week before your chosen promotion date.

10-Week Shuai Chiao (Grappling) Course
Begins Wednesday, April 11, 8pm

We need at least 8 people signed up to hold this class.  If you are interested, please register at the front desk.

Parents Night Out “Friday Night Lights”
Friday, April 13, 6:30-9pm

This month’s Parents’ Night Out is “Friday Night Lights.” All students are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite team’s uniform. Whether professional or college football, basketball, baseball, or cheerleading, we are going to have an exciting night.  They will learn team work and organization while playing awesome sports games with a kung fu twist.

Important:  There is no charge since these events are included in your

Activity Fee.  However, you must sign up no later than Thursday, April 12th so we can properly staff for the event. There will be a $20 late fee if you register after the deadline.

Tai Chi Workshop in Columbia, SC
Saturday, April 14, 9:30pm

 Sifu will be teaching a workshop at Sifu Wes Adams’ school in Columbia, SC.  If you are interested in joining the workshop, contact The Columbia Tai Chi Center at 803-873-2100.

Integrating Yoga into Martial Arts
Spring Quarterly Yoga Workshop
Saturday, April 14, 1-5pm

 Learn all about the deep similarities in the practice of Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Yoga, and the channels through which to integrate differences. If you are a martial arts practitioner who wants to incorporate some yoga, learn how these two arts harmonize beautifully with one another, while also analyzing their contrasts (which may not be as obvious as you think). Yoga has a unique way of revealing muscular and structural imbalances, once found, can be addressed to make every martial artist stronger and more powerful.

Please register at the front counter for this workshop.  This event is free for all Peaceful Dragon students and only $49 for the public.

Quarterly Cleanup and Spring Landscaping Day
Saturday, April 21, 9am-1pm

 Join us as we work to make our school sparkle!  We need all volunteers, whether it is for five minutes before or after your class or if you decide to come out all day.  Thank you for all your help!

Shaolin Workshop with Master Guolin Shi
Fri-Sun, May 4th-6th

Nicknamed the “Iron Arhat”, Master Guolin Shi was the former head monk and teacher at China’s famed Shaolin Temple who is world-renowned for his expertise in all facets of Shaolin training. He is a long-time friend of The Peaceful Dragon, and while he rarely travels from his own Overseas Shaolin Temple in New York, he has led near-annual workshops here at The Peaceful Dragon.

Shaolin includes the practices of Chan (Zen) meditation, qigong (energy work), internal and external forms of kung fu, and much more. This comprehensive workshop is ideal for students who have at least some experience in tai chi, kung fu or qigong, though beginners with no experience are still welcome and can surely benefit from it.

Workshop hours: Friday 6-9pm; Saturday 9-5pm; and Sunday 10-4pm.

Early-bird savings before April 9: Public $299, Peaceful Dragon introductory-level students and their families $229, Peaceful Dragon mastery-level students $199. After April 9 add $25. Please register at our front service counter or call to register at (704)504-8866.

Children’s Class with Master Guolin Shi
Saturday, May 5, 12-1pm

Master Guolin will teach a special one hour Children’s Class our little and young dragons, age 4 and up, on Saturday, May 5 from 12-1pm.

Master Guolin is the former head coach of the famed Shaolin Temple. In 1992, he led a demonstration team to the U.S. to introduce Shaolin Kung Fu.  In 1995, he founded the Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters in Flushing, NY. Fascinated by the diversities of culture and religion in the United States, he believes that Shaolin heritage can benefit everyone. In September of 2013, he began teaching at the new Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters in East Northport (Long Island) New York.

Sign up today for this exciting opportunity.
Early Bird Special is just $25!  After April 9th add an additional $10.
Children 8 years and older, Green Sash and above, are welcome to attend the entire weekend workshop.

Our complete 2018 Special Events Calendar is available at

Mark your planning calendar now!


3rd        Vivian Peralta-Mesa                  18th      Jacob Finney
3rd        Noah Clinton                              21st      Dale Saufley
10th      Daniel Buck                                21st      Hurditya Katta
12th      Don Kodzai                                 22nd    Cathy Luben
14th      Gabriel Jugan                             22nd     Jose Cardoza
18th      Syd McIntyre

Monthly Classes, Seminars, and Discussion Groups

Mastery Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday, April 3, 8-9pm
Topic:  Mastering Your Time to Master Yourself
Open only to Mastery Program students.

Yoga Seminar – Thursday, April 5, 6:30-8:30pm
Topic: Slow is the new fast – Slowing Down transitions in yoga to increase effectiveness
Presented by Yogini Mara Healy.
Open to all teens and adults:  FREE for Peaceful Dragon students, $29 for guests.
Note: There will be no regular yoga classes on the evenings of the monthly yoga seminars.

Lecture and Discussion – Thursday, April 12, 8pm
Topic:  Zen Meditations from Venerable Sheng Yen
Presented by Master Eric Sbarge.
Open to all adult and teen students.

Jr. Mastery Program Seminar – Saturday, April 14, 12-1pm
Topic:  Speaking and Presenting with Confidence and Authority
Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.



Mandala Cross-Mat Yoga Class – Sunday, April 22, 11am-2pm
Open to all adult students with a suggested donation of $10.  Open to the public for $25

Future Instructors – Saturday, April 28, 11am
Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.


Equipment Needed for Classes

Shaolin      Full Sparring Equipment
Tai Chi       none

4-12 year olds:            White, Yellow, and Orange Sash:       Single Short Stick
8-12 year olds:            Green Sash and above:                       Full Staff, Double Short Stick

Peaceful Dragon School News (All Real!)

Plan and Start Saving NOW for The Peaceful Dragon’s 2019 China and Japan Tour!

The Peaceful Dragon is sponsoring an Asia tour for our students, family members and friends in October of 2019 – two years from now.

This two-week tour promises to be a fantastic trip that will include practice in meditation and martial arts with locals, sightseeing, cultural excursions and events, and much more. Our tentative itinerary includes Japan for the first time – Tokyo and Kyoto (with its ancient Zen temples) – and the beautiful Chinese cities of Suzhou (called China’s Venice with the picturesque canals), Hangzhou (the lake city), the spiritual Yellow Mountains, and the cosmopolitan heart of China, Shanghai.

The estimated cost for this all-inclusive custom tour with 4 and 5 star accommodations, all travel and excellent meals, admissions to cultural events, and the service of highly-professional English-speaking guides is around $4000. If you can set aside $40 a week starting now, you can go – it’s a great investment for a lifetime of memories!

2018 CACMA Queen’s Cup Tournament

Congratulations to all of our students who competed!  Below is a somewhat incomplete list of all who competed from our school.  Thanks to all the students who came out to support their classmates!

Send Us Your Event Photos or Short Video Clips

If you get some nice shots of Peaceful Dragon events please send them to for display in our newsletter, social media pages and our lobby-area TV!

Did You Know…

  • In China and neighboring countries, if you get up early to get to the park to practice your tai chi by 8:00am, you usually won’t see anyone else – they’ll have finished their practice already, starting at 5 or 6am!
  • Master Sbarge dedicated The Peaceful Dragon’s building to his mother Gail, who died the year it was built. A plaque in her honor hangs near our front door.

Children’s Program News

A Message from Mr. George

As all new students start their training, some students are naturally fast and some are not.  To become faster in your forms, weapons and sparring, we’ll need to focus on the details.  When the kung fu movements are practice at high speed, any tiny mistake will be amplified.  The stance training is to build up the leg strength and flexibility.  When a young martial artist tries to practice with speed and power, but loses balance very quickly, often it is because of the tiny error in the legs or the root.  By slowing down the form and get into a deeper stance will increase the control, speed and power later on.

To test out the speed and power, we can use the breaking boards during the form practice.  If the martial artist can perform his or her form with enough power to break boards throughout the form, and not falling off his or her feet, that will be very good kung fu!  Keep up the hard work!

Powerful Words

This month’s Powerful Word is Kindness.  Kindness means using caring words and choosing kind actions without expecting anything in return.  Dr. Robyn’s letter to the parents discusses how to guide your children away from being self-centered.

Student of the Month Recognition

Adult Student of the Month— Chuck Denhart
1st runner up— Jerry Stringfellow
2nd runner up— Sophia Hosseini

Despite a recent injury, Chuck plows through and continues to train with good focus and a great attitude.  Good job, Chuck!

Child Student of the Month— Gavin Christianson
1st runner up— Ryan Hoellein
2nd runner up—Dhatreyi Katta

Gavin is a White Sash student who trains hard and always has a great attitude.  He demonstrates great stances and great focus during his form practice.  Keep up the great work Gavin!

Disciple’s Forum

Using our Training as a Life Guide
By Disciple Troyce Docherty

Part of what we are taught to do in our MA practice is to be neutral in situations and keep our emotions balanced.   Students are reminded of this lesson while holding deep stances for a long period of time or doing something out of their comfort zone.  We are encouraged to utilize this practice in our daily lives as well.  Since I am a shy person, uncomfortable with demonstrating my MA in front of others, I have, over the years, signed up for many demos/competitions to get past my fear.  Even though it was a step in the right direction, I was anything but neutral inside.  I’d be so nervous at these events that I couldn’t enjoy watching others compete, as I just kept going over my forms in my mind or practicing excessively in an empty hallway.  I still feared that I would completely forget my form or do something embarrassing in front of others.   And a couple days ago at CACMA, I did.  I started out fine, even taking first in a couple of events, then…it happened.

I began my sword form in an area much smaller than I was used to, accidentally almost taking out one of the judges.   Flustered, I restarted at an angle that turned out to be an even shorter distance and my form fell apart right there in front of Sifu and everyone.  However, being in the midst of a fast paced day, I had no time to dwell on how I felt about the situation.  Instead, I enjoyed watching others perform and finished rest of my events for the day.  But later, when I had time to think, I was flooded with emotion.  The reason I was fine for the rest of competition day, but not after, was how I chose react to the situation.

The difference was I had accepted what had happened even though it wasn’t pleasant, so I was able to enjoy and get through rest of the events, but after, I allowed my mind to relive it with negative emotions.   I realized being neutral about a situation meant I could still feel whatever emotion in the moment, but then just accept, do the task at hand, and let it go.

Now being neutral about it, my mind is free to learn from my mistake, see what I can change for next time, and allows me to be more confident in all parts of my life.   So, no matter how hard something might seem, stick with your training.  It is full of invaluable tools that sit waiting for you til you’re ready to use them.

Getting to know This Month’s Disciple

Each month, we will be asking our Disciple’s Forum writer to answer a few questions.  Here are this month’s Disciple’s questions and answers:

You’re a new addition to the crayon box.  What color would you be and why?
I would be a brown crayon.  It’s not an exciting color, but it’s needed somewhere in almost every coloring book page.

What would we find in your fridge right now?
If you looked in my fridge right now you would find enriched coconut milk, baby spinach, weekly food prep, and  left overs.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The funniest thing that happened to me recently was performing my tai chi fan form nice and slow, only to find out I accidentally performed it in the Kung fu other weapon division.

What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to everything from classic rock to jazz depending on my mood.

What vacation location is on your bucket list?
I hope to vacation in China with our school in 2019.

Students Ask Master Sbarge

Question:  I really enjoyed competing in the CACMA Tournament – it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. How come more of our students don’t compete?

Answer:   I was going to ask you the same question.

Mission Statement for The Peaceful Dragon

Our mission is to help each of our students reach his or her fullest potential for physical, mental and spiritual development through the teaching of traditional Asian health arts and martial arts.  We accomplish this by offering the most authentic and effective curriculum, by providing the best possible service to our students and their families, and by maintaining a warm and caring family environment in which every student, guest, and staff member is treated with respect, dignity and love.

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