Charlotte Martial Arts Newsletter February 2018

The Peaceful Dragon Newsletter – February 2018

February Holidays
Great American Pie Month

3rd   Feed the Birds Day                                     16th Chinese New Year’s Day
6th   National Chopsticks Day                            20th Love Your Pet Day
11th   Make a Friend Day                                    26th  Tell a Fairy Tale Day
14th   Valentine’s Day                                         28th   Mardi Gras

Message from Mastery Eric Sbarge

Body, Breath and Mind

In my very first lesson with new students, I point out that each art taught at The Peaceful Dragon – tai chi, yoga, all the kung fu styles – focuses equally on the development of body, breath and mind.

Like the three legs of a stool, the three components of body, breath and mind support all of your development and progress in learning these arts.

That’s not to say that the goal is to develop the body and mind to the same level – a developed body with an undeveloped mind is of little value, while a weak body is not necessarily a barrier to someone with a strong mind.

But in terms of getting to a strong mind, the breath and body serve as important tools, and so should be paid attention to as equal legs of the stool.

Some people totally focus on their body development in these arts, wanting to have a great physique or wanting to be strong athletes, leaving the greatest prize from these arts – mental awakening – on the table.

Others become intrigued with meditation and the mental practices, but don’t build a strong and healthy enough body to support these practices, or don’t realize how the body and breath can be used as tools to strengthen the mind.

But in my observations, the leg of the stool most neglected by the majority of practitioners is the breath component. Sure, you may do a couple of minutes of breathing exercises at your every-other-day yoga or martial arts class if the instructor fits it in, but then you ignore breathing the rest of the time.

When you regularly work on the three categories of breathing exercises – greater volume of air, greater endurance to hold the air, cleaner air – you are directly working on improving your energy (chi, prana). Chinese and Indian masters discovered millennia ago how breathing not only gives you energy for physical fitness and health, but also how the breath impacts your mental fitness and health.

So I highly recommend that you take the various breathing methods you learn in your classes, and create a systematic routine of daily breathing practices that you make as routine as brushing your teeth or eating lunch. You don’t need to spend hours on this – a few minutes of dedicated breathing exercises is all that’s needed to see tremendous benefits.

Sure, everyone breathes all day. But do you just breathe, or do you really breathe?

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”                         ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

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

Chinese New Year Festival
Saturday, February 10th, 11am-2pm

The Peaceful Dragon is hosting its 21st annual Chinese New Year’s Festival on Saturday, February 10, from 11am to 2pm. Admission is just $5 per family, or FREE with a donation of a non-perishable food item for Loaves and Fishes charity.

Fun for the entire family, come celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dog! The festival will begin with the colorful ceremonial Lion Dance and Dragon Dance, said to bring good luck to everyone for the coming year. Then throughout the festival you can enjoy exciting demonstrations of Chinese martial arts and health arts including Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Yoga, and performing arts such as traditional Chinese dance and music.

Local experts will be on hand to exhibit various Asian arts and cultural practices such as feng shui, calligraphy, acupuncture and Chinese medicine. There will be a fun game room for kids, a bounce house, plus face painting, arts & crafts and more.

Free introductory mini-classes in tai chi, yoga and kung fu will be offered for both children and adults, and there will be special festival-day discounts to enroll in The Peaceful Dragon’s ongoing classes. Catered Chinese noodles will be available to purchase for lunch.

Additional festival highlights include ongoing raffle drawings and door prizes, and FREE shuttle parking. The festivities are all held indoors so the festival takes place rain or shine.

Chinese New Year Banquet
Saturday, February 17th, 6:30pm

Open to Peaceful Dragon students and their families, this is the most important event of the year at our school. In accord with wu-de and the customs of a traditional Chinese martial arts and health arts school, this banquet affords our entire martial arts and yoga family the chance to welcome the new year together to show support and bring good luck to each other.

This always-exciting annual banquet includes Student, Disciple and Teacher-level promotions; special awards ceremonies; raffle prizes and more. Family and friends are welcome! The banquet dinner will be catered and held this year right here at The Peaceful Dragon, and will include appetizers, multiple entrees, dessert, and soft drinks. For spirits it’s BYOB.

Tickets are on sale now at our front counter on a first come, first served basis. Seating is limited and tickets may sell out so don’t wait. Last day for purchase is Wednesday, February 14th – sorry, no exceptions for latecomers.

Adults tickets $49, children 12 and under half price.

Tensegrity and Tristana for Transformation
Quarterly Yoga Workshop
Saturday, February 24th, 1-5pm

Yoga is a spiritual practice cleverly disguised as a physical workout. Do it for your body and you will get fit. But do it for your mind, and your body automatically follows expanding your experience beyond your current physical capacity. This workshop is about discovering the link between your physical and subtle body, between your mental issues and your physical tissues.

We will explore binding the senses, the body and the mind,  so that you can create a safe harbor for practice, reverse the consumption of your mind (pratyhara) and begin to control the trajectory of your practice.  Lecture will be followed by a two hour practice. Perfect for beginners.

CACMA Tournament
Saturday, March 10th, 9am

Sifu encourages all students to compete or attend the CACMA Queen’s Cup Tournament. There are divisions for all age and skill levels, so even beginners should try. Many of your instructors will be judging the competitions. This is an excellent opportunity to see other school’s martial arts styles. For more details about the competition including divisions, rules, and pre-registration, please see the official CACMA website at .


Our updated 2018 Special Events Calendar is available at

Mark your planning calendar now!


5th        David Mullin                          19th      Jessica Webb
5th        Bryan Tan                               21st      Rick Towell
13th      Susan Smith                           22nd      Kieyanna Morgan
14th      Gretchen Kelly                       22nd      Aditya Vetury
16th      Jared Harris                            23rd      Jason Price
16th      Danielle Sanders                    25th      Micheal Heflin
18th      Madeline Rutzell                    27th      Alexander Japit

Monthly Classes, Seminars, and Discussion Groups

Yoga Seminar – Thursday, February 1, 6:30-8:30pm
Topic: Intro to Ashtanga – Surya Namaskara B and Standing Postures
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, February 3, 12-1pm
Topic:  Time Management
Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.

Mastery Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday, February 6, 8-9pm
Topic:  Mastering Your Time to Master Yourself
Open only to Mastery Program students.

Lecture and Discussion – Thursday, February 15, 6:30pm
Topic:  Meditations from Venerable Sheng Yen, Our “Meditation Grandmaster”
Presented by Master Eric Sbarge.
Open to all adult and teen students.

Future Instructors – Saturday, February 17, 11am
Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.

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

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:                       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!

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…

  • For Chinese New Year (which is not called Chinese New Year in China – it’s called Spring Festival) the whole country virtually shuts down for nearly a whole week while family members travel across the country to be together to celebrate, and the actual celebration goes on for 15 days?
  • According to the scholar Mark Singleton, many of the asanas (postures) of modern yoga were borrowed from martial arts and gymnastics? So if you want to improve your strength and flexibility for martial arts, do yoga!
  • One of the best ways you can help keep your school, The Peaceful Dragon, strong and viable is to help us promote it to others in the community? And one of the best ways to do that is to post your positive 5-star reviews online at sites such as Yelp and Google, or on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so in the past, we truly appreciate if you’ll take a few moments to do so!

Children’s Program News

A Message from Mr. George

I hope everyone is having a great 2018!  This month the advanced students will continue working on their Kenpo Two Person Set.  Other forms are performed by one student.  The individual demonstrate his or her ability to evade and counter-attack the invisible opponent.  In the two person set, if one student miss a block, he or she will get hit by the partner.  Of course we start with very slow speed and no contact.  At the top level, the strikes and kicks will have real power behind them; however, the skill of “getting out of the way” will neutralize all of the attacks.

The beginners group will be focusing on sidekicks and roundhouse kicks.  These basic but very effective kicks will require a flexible body.  During class time we will go over proper stretching and kicking techniques.  Students are required to go home and practice their stretching along with kicking drills, minimal of 15 minutes every day.  Just like any skills in life: practice makes perfect!

Student of the Month Recognition

Adult Student of the Month— Carolyn Newell
1st runner up— Linda Mullin
2nd runner up— David Mullin

Carolyn shows up consistently.  She does her best in every class and always tries to make new people feel welcome.  Good job, Carolyn!

Child Student of the Month— Hurditya Katta
1st runner up— Annalise Turner
2nd runner up—Victoria Burke

Hurditya has been a good example to the newer students with good focusing skills, and trying his best on the difficult kung fu drills. Keep up the great work, Hurditya!

Students Ask Master Sbarge

Question:  I’m seriously interested in joining The Peaceful Dragon’s Asia tour next fall, but I wondered how my kids can come since it’s in October and they have school, and also whether my wife can come since she’s never done martial arts.

Answer:   The tour is open to any interested and nice people, not just our students, so of course your wife is welcome. She can join us for our morning tai chi, kung fu and yoga practice, too – no experience is necessary. As for the kids, we’ve always had some kids join our past tours – in my mind the lessons and experiences they get on this trip will last a lifetime, far more than anything they will miss in school for a couple of weeks – and most teachers are willing to let the kids make up any missed assignments.

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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