Charlotte Martial Arts Newsletter November 2017

The Peaceful Dragon Newsletter: November 2017

November Holidays!

National Novel Writing Month

2nd   Men Make Dinner Day           18th  National Adoption Day

4th    Book Lovers Day                     21st World Hello Day

11th   Veteran’s Day                        23rd Thanksgiving Day

15th  America Recycles Day            28th Red Planet Day

Message from Master Eric Sbarge

I’m not one of those people whose life revolves around food, so Thanksgiving meals have never been a huge draw for me.

But I do think giving thanks and expressing gratitude are really important, so I’m glad we have a day set aside to remind us of this. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need such a day, but simply expressed our thanks and gratitude every day!

One thing I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving is that The Peaceful Dragon has been asked to participate again this year in Charlotte’s big Thanksgiving Day Parade, in conjunction with the Charlotte Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Details will be available in the coming days, but for now we encourage all of our students and family members who will be in town on Thanksgiving to set aside the morning and join us in marching in the parade. A great chance to spread good cheer and happiness that others may be grateful for!

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”                ― Gilbert K. Chesterton

Upcoming Events

Adult Block A Testing

Saturday, November 4th, 11am

Makeup Testing Wednesday, November 15th, 6:30pm

Good luck to all of our testing adults and teens.  Please be sure to fill out your testing application and turn it into the front counter no later than one week in advance of your chosen testing date.

Yoga Teacher Training with Mara Healy, Week Seven

Fri-Sun, November 10th-12th

Intro to YIN yoga and Restorative Yoga Weekend

Teaching savasana, mritta mudra, yoga nidra, asanas for energetic yoga practices and restorative yoga practices, deep stretch, Nervous System and Brain Anatomy – balancing internal with external practice, hands-on techniques for savasana.  Guest teacher Dawn Yager will be joining on Saturday.  For more info, see below.

The Teacher Training Yoga classes on Saturday, November 11th and Sunday, November 12th are open to all students, 10:30-12noon.  Saturday’s session will be Yin Yoga, and Sunday’s session will be Deep Stretch Yoga.  Free for Peaceful Dragon Students, $15 for guests.

NOTE: Due to the Teacher Training, regular yoga classes are cancelled on these days.

Fall Classics Tournament

Saturday, November 11th, all day

The Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy of Moorseville is hosting a Fall Classics Tournament. Sifu Sbarge would like to encourage our students to join in by competing or cheering on our competitors! For more information about the tournament, the divisions, or registration, please see their website here.

Special Guest Yoga Teacher Dawn Yager, Kriya Yoga and the Opaline Blue Disc

Saturday, November 11th, 2-5pm

In this lecture, we will explore the techniques Kriya Yoga (the method of self-study and action) uses to create balanced emotionality, a strong and flexible body, and a wide open heart.

The Practice of Kriya Yoga deals intently with disciplining the mind and elevating your level of consciousness to immediately see the world differently.  A unique approach to this practice is the addition of the laws of causation and how karma is generated, activated, softened, modified, and dissolved.


In 1993, Dawn began formal training of meditation and eastern philosophy.  By 2000 Dawn picked up yoga asana, the physical poses.  She trained with many teachers and systems of yoga, but credits Sri Dharma Mittra, GoSwamim Kriyananda and Nevine Michaan with breaking all limiting thought patterns that she may have held about her own physical and spiritual being.

After attending Ball State University for neuropsychology and Coastal Carolina University pursuing both business and the arts, she experienced a paradigm shift and entered the Kriya Yoga Seminary her senior year and went on to be ordained as Swami Ambikanada.  She is now on staff at the Temple of Kriya Yoga Chicago leading the Sunday service and teaching asana workshops.

Dawn has owned Shanti Yoga Studio in Myrtle Beach, SC for 10 years and travels the east coast teaching workshops speaking about multifaceted areas of yoga and mindfulness.  She also is a contributing writer for yogi approved, baleaf sports, and healthy living.  Yoga can see her live every Tuesday on Carolina AM as their on-air yoga and mindfulness expert.

Yoga Teacher Training with Mara Healy, Week Eight

Fri-Sun, November 17th-19th

Intro to Sequencing Weekend

Practice putting together templates for on-the-mat practice using asanas like Rubik’s cubes

The Teacher Training Yoga classes on Saturday, November 18th and Sunday, November 19th are open to all students 10:30-12noon.  Saturday’s session will emphasize Balancing Asanas, while Sunday’s session will cover Asanas and Pranayamas.  Free for Peaceful Dragon Students, $15 for guests.

NOTE: Due to the Teacher Training, regular yoga classes are cancelled on these days.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thursday, November 23rd, morning

Join us for a fun celebration and show off your community pride.  The Peaceful Dragon will be marching in the Charlotte Thanksgiving Parade.  We will be taking the Lions and the Dragon.  Please let the front counter know if you would like to join us!  We will have more details soon.

Cross-Mat Mandala Yoga Class with Yogini Mara Healy

Sunday, November 26th, 10:30am-1:30pm

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.

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.

View our complete 2017 Special Events Calendar


9th        Judy Westmoreland           18th      Jon Hall

9th        Komala Chandran               19th      John Viner

9th        Davidson Pierce                  21st      Wayne Johnson

12th      Aparna Swaminathan        22nd      Ryan Potter

15th      Alan Aranoff                         24th      Philip Kelly

15th      Hannah Jackson                  25th      Brian Evans 

17th      Alan Tran

Monthly Classes, Seminars and Discussion Groups

Yoga Seminar – Thursday, November 2, 6:30-8:30pm

Topic: Chaturanga to Save Your Wrists and Shoulders   

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, November 4, 12-1pm

Topic:  An Attitude of Gratitude

Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.

Mastery Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday, November 7, 8-9pm

Topic:  Ordinary vs. Extraordinary

Open only to Mastery Program students.

Lecture and Discussion – Thursday, November 16, 8pm

Topic:  Zen Parables – Bring your Favorite to Discuss and Analyze!

Presented by Master Eric Sbarge.

Open to all adult and teen students.

Future Instructors – Saturday, November 25, 11am

Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.

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 new upcoming lobby-area TV!

Did You Know…

  • For those wishing to lose weight, changes to diet are generally far more effective than changes to exercise?
  • Shuai jiao, the art our grandmaster Chang Tung Sheng specialized in, is the oldest recorded Chinese martial art style?

Children’s Program News

A Message from Mr. George

Long sleeves and winter jackets are out in full force!  This month the Jr. Mastery students will need to bring their sparring equipment for their classes.  Sparring drills are important for the students, because they will learn how to evade the attacks.  The newer level students will work on 1 or 2 stepping, and light contact sparring drill.  The more advanced students, of course, will train on more technical sparring drills.  For those students are training for their Jr. Black Sash tests, they spar for 2 minutes per round, with a minute break in between, for five rounds total.  The old and wise tale of sparring competition: Cardio, cardio, and more cardio.  Being a skillful martial artist also means being an all-around athlete.  Keep up the hard work!

Student of the Month Recognition

Adult Student of the Month— Solange Perret

1st runner-up— Paul Studenovsky

2nd runner-up— Hannah Jackson

Solange comes to her yoga classes regularly and works hard.  She’s also joined the Teacher Training program to further her learning.  Good job, Solange!

Child Student of the Month— Serena Cai

1st runner-up— Emanuel Ngo

2nd runner-up—Keira Gentry

Serena shows great focus in class and she tries her best all the time.  Though she is a new White Sash student, she has already shown her great attitude and a great example to all the students.  Keep up the great work Serena!

Disciple’s Forum

I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore

By Lao Shr Sam Ilardo

Is it me or have people become angrier lately?  More and more I see people reading the paper or sitting in front of the TV cursing the latest news (or the person in the news).  Anger is an emotion that is totally dysfunctional.  Being angry with someone does nothing to that person but actually hurts you. Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.

The brain redirects blood from the gut to the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires.

The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with recurrent unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body.

Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:

  • headache
  • digestion problems, such as abdominal pain
  • insomnia
  • increased anxiety
  • depression
  • high blood pressure
  • skin problems, such as eczema
  • heart attack
  • stroke

Also, when you are angry, you are not very attractive.  Hundreds of muscles on your face become very tense.  You look like a bomb ready to explode.

From a spiritual point of view anger is one of the worst emotions.  In Christianity it is one of the seven deadly sins.  In Buddhism it is one of the 3 poisons.

So clearly anger is not something you want in your life but unfortunately we all get angry.  The question becomes how do I control my anger so it doesn’t do mental and physical damage?  I think the starting point is awareness.  You need to be mindful and aware of your anger.  Like many things you need to know you have a problem before you can solve it.  One of my colleagues was fond of saying; a well-defined issue is halfway to being solved.

Once you become aware of your anger, in the short run you can deal with anger by the classic methods like counting to 10 or taking a walk.   As a parent the use of a time out is always helpful.  The issues never seem quite as emotional once you have had a few minutes to calm down and reflect.

Another technique, if possible, is to just avoid the source of your anger.  If you know certain people make you angry or certain topics, stay clear of them.  It’s easier to not be angry when you’re hanging out with happy people or talking about positive topics.

In the long run I believe the best solution for me is meditation. Clearly anger originates from the mind and mediation helps you to control your mind.  One of the benefits I have found in meditation is I feel more at peace and less angry.  If you have ever looked at a Buddhist Monks they are the pictures of serenity. One of my favorite quotes is from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” – “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”   At the end of the day, when you are angry, you are choosing to be angry.  So, since I want to live a long and healthy life, I am going to choose to be less angry.

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 type of music do you listen to?

I enjoy most types of music including Rock, Jazz, Bluegrass, Classical and Opera.  When I was growing up my father used to take us to see operas and musicals.  So at a young age, in addition to early rock I was listening to Verdi and Lerner & Loewe.

What do you do in your free time?

I retired this past year so all my time is free time.  Marcia and I have started to travel more.  Our daughter, Melissa, lives in Copenhagen so our focus has been on Europe this year.  We met her in Budapest, Copenhagen and will meet again in Paris in early November.

What vacation location is on your bucket list?

We have always wanted to go to Israel and see the historical/biblical sites.  We hope to schedule a trip to the Mid-East sometime in the next 3 years.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Given I just retired, I have a clean slate and can be whatever I want to.   But part of me never wants to grow up so I don’t have to figure that one out yet.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?

I would want to be Iron Man.  What’s not to like; he is a rich genius with the coolest suit and toys.

Students Ask Master Sbarge

Question:  Why does The Peaceful Dragon use an outside billing company, instead of having students pay at the front counter?

Answer:   Because the billing company is way more efficient at that kind of thing than we could ever be, and it allows us to concentrate on what we’re supposed to: Teaching the best classes possible, and giving our students and families the best service possible.

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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