Charlotte Martial Arts Newsletter December 2017

The Peaceful Dragon Newsletter: December 2017

December Holidays!

Write a Friend Month

4th Santa’s List Day                      21st Look on the Bright Side Day

7th Pearl Harbor Day                   25th Christmas Day

13th Violin Day                              27th Nat’l Fruitcake Day

18th Bake Cookies Day               31st New Year’s Eve


Message from Master Eric Sbarge

One of the best lifestyle choices I have made in recent years was my decision exactly a year ago to stop watching all TV or streamed shows and movies for a full year.

I was never a huge tv watcher. The New York Times recently reported that the average American watches over five hours of tv/streaming PER DAY – I’ve never even come close to that.

But I would watch a movie here and there, a football or hockey game now and then, a concert or two, some news, one or two cable shows – and looking back it surely added up to at least several hours per week (thankfully not per day!).

Was it hard to give up tv watching? Not really. I soon realized I had lots of extra time each week, so I took up various positive activities that filled the time in ways that were enjoyable and meaningful to me. It was a little odd not watching the Superbowl for probably the first time in my life, but there was something quite liberating about that, too.

Marshall McLuhan famously coined the phrase, “The medium is the message.” The message of watching tvs and streaming computer screens all day has nothing to do with the content of what you’re watching — the message is that it is okay and normal to sit on your butt and switch your brain into stupor mode. That’s not a message that I’m comfortable with.

So, now my year is up and I can re-subscribe to cable or Netflix if I want to. My apologies to all the cable guys out there, but I’m enjoying my total freedom from the screen and don’t plan to re-subscribe anytime during this lifetime.

I invite you to join me – if not in canceling your subscriptions, at least in experimenting with cutting way down on your viewing time – maybe from five to four hours per day? You’ll be amazed at how much time you suddenly have to do the things you’ve wanted to do but didn’t think you had time for, and at how you will find new things to do that you didn’t even know you wanted to do. Enjoy!

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

John Lennon


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

Fascia, Freedom, and Flexibility – Quarterly Yoga Workshop

Saturday, December 2nd, 1-5pm

Explore the parallels between modern anatomy and ancient philosophy as we discuss the 3s and 5s of yoga through the lens of fascia fundamentals, the governors of flexibility and freedom of the body through awareness of the mind.

This workshop is free to all Peaceful Dragon students, and is open to the public for a fee of $49. Please register at the front desk. We require a minimum of 6 confirmed students to hold this workshop.

Cross-Mat Mandala Yoga Class with Yogini Mara Healy

Sunday, December 3rd, 11am-2pm

Yogini Mara Healy will be leading this excellent cross-mat class.  Please be sure to bring two mats.  If you do not have a second mat, we have a limited number to loan, as well as mats for sale.  This special master class is only a suggested donation of $10 for Peaceful Dragon students and a fee of $25 for the public.

What You Need to Know about Getting Started in Yoga  

Thursday, December 7th, 6:30-8:30pm

If you have always wanted to try yoga, but didn’t know where to start or thought you couldn’t do it, this class is for you.  Come in to find how everyone can do yoga.  Mara will be leading this excellent seminar.

Weekend 9 of Yoga Teacher Training with Yogini Mara Healy

Fri-Sun, December 8th-10th

Intro to Assisting and Adjusting
Assisting and Adjusting made accessible teaches the foundation principles of how to assist students to find their stability in order to go deeper themselves into mobility.

This weekend’s asana classes are closed to non-teacher training students.

Winter Holiday Potluck Supper

Friday, December 8th, 6:30-8:30pm

Join us for a fun evening of holiday cheer!  Bring your family and bring a dish of your choice to the potluck.  Please sign up on the bulletin board by the front counter to let us know how many people are coming and what you plan to bring.  We hope to see you all there!

View our complete updated 2017-2018 Special Events Calendar.

Mark your planning calendar now!

Monthly Classes, Seminars and Discussion Groups

Mastery Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday, December 5, 8-9pm

Topic:  Nutrition for Optimal Health and Performance

Open only to Mastery Program students.

Yoga Seminar – Thursday, December 7, 6:30-8:30pm

Topic: What You Need to Know about Getting Started in Yoga           

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.

Jr. Mastery Program Seminar – Saturday, December 9, 12-1pm

Topic:  Comparing Asian Beliefs and Holidays with American

Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.       

Lecture and Discussion – Thursday, December 21, 8pm

Topic:  Finding Joy, Not Stress, During the Holidays

Presented by Master Eric Sbarge.

Open to all adult and teen students.

Future Instructors – Saturday, December 23, 11am

Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.


1st        Ingrid Lombardino               18th      Rodney Hale

5th        Rita Macfee                            21st      Richard Serbin

5th        Gabriela Upham                   21st      Luke Anderson

11th      Sam Ilardo                             22nd      Alexander Guba

13th      Cynthia Francis                    22nd      Mario Hernandez

13th      Reade DeCurtins                  23rd      Nathan D’Costa

15th      Ayan Atreya                           23rd      Kyle Elhardt  

16th      Thomas Gearing                   25th      Gina Granda-Huaylinos

16th      Annalise Turner                   31st      David Brashear

16th      Holly Field


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!


Fall Classic Tournament in Mooresville

Congratulations to our students who competed and thanks to those who went to support them!

Jose Cardoza

Kung Fu Empty Hand

Push Hands – 1st

John Chandler

Tai Chi Empty Hand

Tai Chi Weapon


Troyce Docherty

Kung Fu Empty Hand

Kung Fu Weapon

Tai Chi Empty Hand – 1st

Tai Chi Fan – 2nd

Push Hands – 1st

Jason Field

Tai Chi Empty Hand – 3rd

Kung Fu Empty Hand

Push Hands

Alex Hoellein

Kung Fu Empty Hand

Tai Chi Empty Hand – 1st

Sparring – 2nd

Hanna Ramirez

Kung Fu Empty Hand

Kung Fu Weapon – 3rd

Push Hands


John Viner

Kung Fu Weapon

Tai Chi Empty Hand

Push Hands – 3rd


Our Holiday Closing Schedule

The Peaceful Dragon will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, and 26 for Christmas as well as December 31 and January 1 for the New Year.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday break.

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 new upcoming lobby-area TV!


Did You Know…

A couple of trivia facts about Master Eric Sbarge:

  • His great-great-grandmother on his mother’s side, Mary Richardson Walker, was the first white woman to settle the Oregon Territory, and her eldest son was the first white baby born west of the Rocky Mountains. Her diaries depicting her journey across the country by foot and horseback, while pregnant, are still in print.
  • His grandfather on his mother’s side, Donald S. Thompson, was on the national championship fencing team and was inducted into the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

Children’s Program News

A Message from Mr. George

The end of the year is just around the corner and I hope everyone had a great 2017.  All the kids will have their two week Winter break and I bet the adults are looking forward to some time off.  During the vacation times, the students should remember still keeping up their daily practice.  Stretching, push-ups, form practice and weapon practice for the advanced kids.  We will conduct the quarterly test in the middle of the month, so during the Holidays we can enjoy some fun drills and games.

Student of the Month Recognition

Adult Student of the Month— John Chandler

1st runner up— Jose Cardoza

2nd runner up— Greg Slaughton

John is a very consistent student.  He works hard to set a good example to his brothers and sisters.  He also recently went to a tournament and did very well!  Good job, John!

Child Student of the Month— PJ Campanelli

1st runner up— Cardon Hawley

2nd runner up—Shamar Singh

PJ trains hard in class and always tries his best.  PJ is also a great big brother to the newer students.  Keep up the great work PJ!

Disciple’s Forum

Mindful Speech, Breathing, and Meditation

By Gao Shou Marcia Ilardo

As we approach the holidays we often times become stressed with family or activities.  During this time it can be especially important to follow the teachings of the Buddha regarding Mindful Speech, also known as right speech, combined with breathing exercises or meditation.  In an effort to briefly paraphrase the teachings of the Buddha regarding right speech, it is helpful to ask yourself: is what is spoken in truth, is it spoken affectionately, is it beneficial, is it spoken with a mind of good-will and is it spoken at the right time. One of my favorite sayings is “when in doubt, shut up!”

While the holidays can be a joyous time, they can also be such a frustrating time, when people don’t follow these teachings.  Speaking for myself, it is sometimes beneficial to take a walk and breathe, to let go of any hurtful encounters you may have had.  Meditation is also a wonderful way to reduce stress, increase self-awareness and find happiness.  We are fortunate to have many opportunities to learn more about breath, meditation and ways of a healthy lifestyle at The Peaceful Dragon.  We have been given the tools to help us live a happier, healthier life; we just have to use them.  Wishing you all a Happy Holiday season.

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?

Turks and Caico’s blue.  I have never seen a more beautiful color that the waters off the coast of Turks and Caico’s.

What do you do want to be when you grow up?

A question I ask myself everyday.  I would love to be a linguist and be able to communicate with many different people throughout the world. Right now, Google translate is as close as I’ll probably get.

What inspires you?

Elderly people who push on past any number of difficulties and are upbeat with a never give up attitude.

What type of music do you listen to?

Well, in high school my favorites were Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Sam Cooke.  Interestingly enough they all started as gospel singers.  Now I listen to classical when I want to relax, soul and rock and roll when I want to get energized, and opera when I’m frustrated and need to calm down. Strange combination!

What vacation location is on your bucket list?

Well Sam and I will hopefully get to at least one of these: Alaska, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.

Students Ask Master Sbarge

Question:  Why doesn’t The Peaceful Dragon offer classes for both children and adults together, since that would be more convenient?

Answer:   For the same reason we don’t put nine-year-olds and graduate students in the same classroom.  Convenience and outcomes are completely unrelated.

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.

Download the December 2017 Newsletter or Sign Up to receive next months newsletter in your inbox.

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