Charlotte Martial Arts Newsletter January 2018

 The Peaceful Dragon Newsletter: January 2018

January Holidays!

National Blood Donor Month

3rd Festival of Sleep Day                          16th Appreciate a Dragon Day
6th Cuddle Up Day                                     20th National Cheese Lover Day
10th Houseplant Appreciation Day      24th Compliment Day
13th International Skeptics Day            31st Inspire your Heart with Art Day

Message from Master Eric Sbarge

Happy New Year! If you’re like many people, you want to make positive changes to yourself, so you set resolutions and vow to follow through on them.

But statistics show that only 10% of resolutions are completed at year end, and 25% have been dropped after just ten days!

So how do you really achieve your goals? Several strategies and tactics are helpful:

  1. Break your goals into smaller, measurable “sub-goals”. If you want to lose 50 lbs., for example, aim to lose one pound a week – and weigh yourself weekly.
  2. Visually remind yourself of the desired outcome. Picture yourself in your “finished state” on a daily basis – creating what’s called a Vision Board is helpful for this.
  3. Wishes and prayers are not plans. Create an actual plan, with specific and realistic procedures, to attain your goal.
  4. Forgive yourself for the occasional slip-ups – we all have them. They’re not a reason to give up on yourself, but rather a reason to re-visit your Vision Board.
  5. Have a support group. Being a student at The Peaceful Dragon is an example of a support group – you likely train harder and accomplish more when surrounded by like-minded people in your classes than you would at home on your own.
  6. Realize that most goals don’t really have an end date – you must allow the lifestyle changes to continue. If you do lose 50 lbs. by the end of the year, they will go back on next year if you don’t adhere to – and learn to enjoy – your new lifestyle habits.

This list is hardly exhaustive, but it’s a start. The real start though is deciding to make changes to yourself, so if you’ve done that, congratulations. Now go make those changes happen – I am confident you can be successful.

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”
―Goran Persson

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

Meditation Course Level One Begins
Wednesday, January 10th, 8-9:15pm

This 10-week Level One meditation course will be led by Master Sbarge every Wednesday night from 8-9:15pm beginning on January 10th.  Discover the traditional Chan (Zen) and Taoist approaches to developing greater focus and awareness, reducing stress and worry, and boosting health and overall happiness.  This course will blend both discussion and theory with actual practice.

The fee is $149 for the public, $69 for family members of our students, free for Peaceful Dragon students.  Please register for the course ahead of time at our front counter or by calling us at 704-504-8866. Bring your meditation cushion or bench of choice or we have some available for purchase or limited numbers that you can borrow.

Children’s Promotion Ceremony
Saturday, January 13th, 11am
makeup Thursday, January 25th, 5:30pm

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

Blood Drive
Saturday, January 13th, 9am-1pm

Please consider giving this precious gift.  If you choose to donate, please sign up for a time slot at the front counter.

Parents Night Out
Friday, January 19th, 6:30-9pm

This month’s Parents Night Out is Sword Fight Night! Sword Fight Night is open to children 4 and above.  This event will teach your child the self-defense and responsibility necessary to be a master of the sword.  Your child will receive a class in the necessary drills for combat, then take their acquired skills and put them to the test against each other.  Each child will need a sparring helmet and padded action bat.  If you don’t have one, we have a few to share.  All friends of Peaceful Dragon Students must have a permission slip filled out by their parents.  Please register by no later than Thursday, January 18th so we can properly staff this event.

Adult All Block Promotional Testing
Saturday, January 20th, 11am
Makeup Wednesday, February 7th, 6:30pm

Good luck to all of our testing adults.  Hank and other instructors are offering a test prep class on Tuesdays at 6:30pm to help you prepare for this testing.  Please be sure to fill out your testing application and return it to the front desk by no later that one week before your chosen test date.

Quarterly Cleanup Day
Saturday, January 27th, 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!

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 a 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 had 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 weather permitting, plus face painting, arts & crafts and more.

Free introductory mini-classes in tai chi and kung fu will be offered for 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.

Our updated 2018 Special Events Calendar is available at  Mark your planning calendar now!

January Birthdays

1st Hank Kadel                        21st Emmy Verheecke
4th Sahana Sanjay                  25th Nikki Anderson
5th Mathew Martin                25th Karthik Kannan
9th Keira Gentry                     26th Daniel Smith
13th Preston Hawley             27th Brandon Miles
17th Jyoti Nath                       29th Annabelle Burke

Monthly Classes, Seminars, and Discussion Groups

Mastery Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday, January 2, 8-9pm
Topic: Making your Goals and Resolutions Stick
Open only to Mastery Program Students.

Yoga Seminar – Thursday, January 4, 6:30-8:30pm
Topic: Mastery of Belly Down Vinyasa – Safety in Chaturanga (low push-up position)
Presented by Yogini Mara Healy
Open to all teen 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, January 6, 12-1pm
Topic: Speaking and Presenting with Confidence and Authority
Open only to Junior Mastery Program Students

Lecture and Discussion – Thursday, January 18, 6:30pm
Topic: Wu-De (Martial Virtue): The Foundation of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts
Presented by Master Eric Sbarge
Open to all adult and teen students.

Future Instructors – Saturday, January 27, 11am
Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.

Mandala Cross-Mat Yoga Class – Saturday, January 28, 11am-2pm
Open to all adult students with a suggested donation of $10. Open to the public for $25.

Equipment Needed for Classes

Adult Shaolin: none
Tai Chi: none
4-12 year olds: White Sash and Above: Full Sparring Equipment

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 Asian 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), Hangshou (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 new upcoming lobby area TV!

Did You Know…

  • None of the original authentic yoga texts talk about how flexible you are – in fact they barely even mention the physical body at all?  Real yoga is about cultivating the mind and spirit (regardless of the type of body you have) so EVERYONE can participate in and benefit from its practice.
  • Chinese is the most common first language in the world? (English is second)

Children’s Program News

A Message from Mr. George

Happy New Years and I hope everyone had a wonderful 2017. This year we will have the honor of having Master Guolin coming to do a workshop with us.  I met Master Guolin when I was a teenager during a summer camp.  Over the year he became friends with our family and he was at our Grand Opening in 1997.  He was the formal Head Instructor at the Shaolin Temple and represented Shaolin Kung Fu worldwide.  He now lives in New York and teaches classes at multiple locations.  Master Guolin jokingly said he does not travel to teach Kung Fu anywhere, bu he says he enjoys to come to our school.  Wishing everyone a great 2018!

Student of the Month Recognition

Adult Student of the Month – Patricia Rosa
1st runner up – Alan Aronoff
2nd runner up – Samir Masih

Patricia is a very consistent student.  She always puts her best effort into every class.  Good job, Patricia!

Child Student of the Month – Ben Mullis
1st runner up – Annabelle Burke
2nd runner up – Joseph Collier

Ben 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 Ben!

Disciple’s Forum

It Takes More than Just Going to Class
By Disciple Jason Field

Training outside of class is an essential part of our martial arts or yoga growth. If you wish to improve in your study just showing up for class 2, 3 or 10 times a week is not enough. Yes the more classes that you show up to the quicker your growth will be but just showing up for classes is not enough. During class you will get corrections and learn new things but it is during your personal training that habits are formed and growth really happens. It is obvious to any of the instructors which students are putting in the time outside of class and which are not.

All personal training is not equal. It takes work and planning before you even start to get the most out of your time and effort. 30 minutes of focused intense training will generate more results than an hour of unfocused training. To make sure that you are getting the most out of your effort you have to have some goals in mind. If you do not have a goal in mind your training will be disorganized and less progress will be made. You first have to determine what you wish to accomplish with your training and where you want to take it. Once you have a long term goal in mind you can then start to work backwards and set monthly and weekly targets to help focus your training sessions.

To help keep each training session focused you should enter it with a plan. Before you even start you should know what you are going to work on and the order that you are going to do it in. If you have to spend time during your training session figuring out what
you are going to do next that is when you can start to lose focus on what you are trying to accomplish and that 30 minute session turns into a 60 minute session and you do not feel like you really accomplished much. If you have your session planned out beforehand you can know what equipment you will need and can have it prepared before you begin. You are not going to be spending time looking for your Yoga blocks or stretch bands during your session. You can smoothly transition from one workout to another.

After your workout ends you need to evaluate your session and see what worked well and what can be improved upon. Did you stay focused the entire session? If not why not? Can you determine what was distracting you and make a change for the next workout? Did the session fit into your long term goals? If your sessions are not working to your goals you might have to go back to the planning stage and make sure that you are staying on the path your desire. The other option is that maybe you realize your long term goals have changed and you need to re-evaluate them. If your long term goals change every month that is not good but you might realize that what you started a year ago is not the same thing that you desire now.

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:

What do you do in your free time?
A little bit of everything. I kinda go through spurts of doing different things. Right now I’m doing some 3D printing. In the past I’ve worked on chainmaille jewelry. I’m starting to learn about lathe work. A good book is always a good idea.

What type of music do you listen to?
I don’t listen to much beyond a radio station in the car. If I did listen more often, I like instrumentalmusic like David Arkenstone and the soundtrack to Gettysburg.

What would I find in your fridge right now?
A lot of milk and baby food for my baby and leftovers from yesterday’s dinner for us.

What vacation location is on your bucket list?
I’d like to spend some time traveling around the Asian Pacific region. I really enjoyed the four months that I spent in the Philippines and would like to return and visit the surrounding countries.

If you won the lottery, what business would you open?
I’d like to open up a cross between a Hackerspace and a gallery. Somewhere that artists could go to have a workshop, as well as space to sell their work.

Students Ask Master Sbarge

Question: I took up tai chi to lose weight, but a year into it I haven’t lost any weight. What am I doing wrong?
Answer: Despite not losing weight, you’ve already told me you’re feeling much healthier and more energetic, so that’s a nice benefit from you tai chi. But to seriously lose weight, you HAVE TO implement dietary changes: Switch from soda/juice to water/tea (without sugar) and drink more of it; reduce eating processed and packaged foods and eating out a lot; switch to eating primarily fruits and vegetables and whole grains; don’t completely eliminate desserts or “comfort foods” which might cause feelings of deprivation, but rather reduce them and make them special treats; eat mindfully and remember this: Food is meant to nourish the body, not the mind–fuel your mind and emotions with positive and uplifting thoughts and activities, not food.

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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