Charlotte Martial Arts Newsletter October 2017

The Peaceful Dragon Newsletter: October 2017

October Holidays!

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

       1st     World Vegetarian Day           17th  Nat’l Pasta Day

        5th    World Teacher’s Day             21st  Babbling Day

        9th    Curious Events Day               29th Hermit Day

        14th  Nat’l Dessert Day                   31st  Halloween


Message from the Editor

Apologies and Updates

Hi all!  This is Holly, your friendly neighborhood editor!  I’m so sorry that we’ve missed a few newsletters this year.  That should be the last of them missed.  Included in this newsletter are the September and October birthdays, new students, and Students of the Month.

I’ve had a few personal things come up, including my adorable new little girl and some necessary surgery.  With a little luck, I’m good for the next few years before I need to miss anything again.

Since I got back, I’ve been working hard to update some events on our website as well as catching up on the kids POWerful Words.  If you see something you think I’ve missed and need to update, please let me know by emailing me at  Thanks so much for all of your patience!

Message from Master Eric Sbarge

As my teacher often reminded me, fighting is easy – slap the first person you see on the street and you’ve got a fight on your hands. Not fighting can be a whole lot more challenging.

When I hear people bragging about how many street fights they’ve won, I can only shake my head. To me it’s like someone bragging about how much alcohol they can drink – these are often the people for whom the real question should be, how much alcohol can you NOT drink?

If it seems incongruous for a martial arts teacher to be a pacifist, remember this old Chinese adage: “When two tigers fight, one dies and the other gets hurt badly – there are no winners.” Or study again Sun Tzu’s Art of War or Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, and you will be reminded that the best victory is in the war never fought.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stand up for what we believe in, or step into right the wrongs that take place before us, but we should make sure we do it with a spirit of harmony, compassion, and understanding rather than anger, hatred or suspicion.

How we each carry ourselves on a personal level carries forward into our societies as a whole, all the way to the national and international levels. If we have any hope of leading a peaceful coexistence with others, it behooves us to find peace within first, and then let it spread outwards.

Finding our inner peace is not automatic, but I wish you the best in your search and know that success comes to those who diligently work at it.

Upcoming Events

Moon Festival at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Wednesday, October 4th, 5:30-9:30pm

On Wednesday evening, October 4th, The Peaceful Dragon will be performing a Lion Dance as part of the celebrations of The Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. This is part of the two-month-long special Chinese exhibit of Lighted Lanterns created by some of the top artisans of China.

We encourage our students and families to attend this fantastic cultural event, but you MUST BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW or they will likely be sold out.  More information and tickets are available on their website here.

Yoga Teacher Training, Weekend Five

Friday-Sunday, October 6-8th

Introduction to back bending. Learn how leg strength and internal bracing contributes to safe back bending and central nervous system purification, especially when paired with pranayamas, breathing practices of yoga.

The Teacher Training Yoga classes on Saturday, October 7th and Sunday, October 8th are open to all students, 10:30-12noon.  These classes will emphasize back-bending and asanas named for animals.  Free for Peaceful Dragon Students, $15 for guests.

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

Parents Night Out

Friday, October 6th, 6:30-9pm

This month’s Parents Night Out is Kung Fu Movie Star night.  Our teachers will be teaching your child the power of teamwork.  Working in small teams, the children will use their kung fu skills to make an awesome martial arts flick!  Friends are welcome, but they must have a permission slip filled out and signed by their parent before coming.  Please register by no later than Thursday, October 5th so we can appropriately staff this event.

Children’s Promotion Ceremony

Saturday, October 7th, 11am

Makeup Testing Thursday, October 19th, 5:30pm

Congratulations to our promoting Young Dragons!  Please be sure to have your promotion application filled out and turned in at the front counter one week ahead of your chosen testing date.

10-Week Shuai Chiao (grappling) Course begins

Wednesday, October 18th, 8-9:15pm

This intensive ten-week course will deepen your skills in grappling, throws, and counters.  These classes are an excellent chance for you to expand your sparring skills and improve your self-defense.  It will take place every Wednesday night for 10 weeks straight.

Yoga Teacher Training, Weekend Six

Friday-Sunday, October 20-22nd

Intro to Subtle Anatomy Weekend. Marmas, koshas, chakras, nadis, granthis, vayus and how it all ties into asana practice and development of the yogi, review and overview of basic asanas named for lifeless forms, vegetation, insects, animals, rishis, deities, putting together asana pairs for legs, arm and spine, with an emphasis on arm balancing.

The Teacher Training Yoga classes on Saturday, October 21st, and Sunday, October 22nd are open to all students, 10:30-12noon.  Saturday will be a Cross-Mat Mandala session.  Sunday will be a Beginners Mandala session.  Free for Peaceful Dragon Students, $15 for guests.

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

Mountain Tai Chi Retreat

Friday-Sunday, October 20-22nd

Relax and rejuvenate while enjoying intensive instruction and practice in the Chinese health and martial art of tai chi, complemented with sessions of qigong, Zen meditation, pakua, and yoga.  Led by Master Eric Sbarge, director and head instructor of The Peaceful Dragon in Charlotte, NC, the retreat will be held at the beautiful YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC, just 10 minutes from Asheville.

Suited for beginners or advanced practitioners, from teens to senior citizens, the retreat includes all instruction, comfortable lodging, and all meals except for Saturday evening when you’ll have free time to explore downtown Asheville or simply relax on your own in the wooded mountains with hundreds of acres and many beautiful vistas and trails.

At this retreat , you’ll receive in-depth instruction and practice in Taoist breathing methods, Taoist standing and sitting meditations, Chang Style tai chi solo form, Yang Style broadsword form for qigong and applications, tui-shou (push hands) drills, and much more. NOTE: Please bring a broadsword, or we will have a few available for purchase if needed. We recommend a wooden broadsword for applications, and a metal one for form practice though you can use either for both.

We have a limited number of rooms available, register early!

Double occupancy: $625 public; $500 for Peaceful Dragon and affiliated schools’ students AND their family members! (We will gladly assign you a roommate if you wish).

Single occupancy: $745 public; $620 for Peaceful Dragon and affiliated schools’ students or family members.

A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to reserve your spot.  Full payment must be received no later than October 1st.

To register call us at 704-504-8866 or register at our front service counter.

Haunted House and Costume Party

Friday, October 27th, 6:30-9pm

Join us for a fun Halloween party for all ages.  We welcome our adult and child students to explore a haunted house, play games, and compete in a costume party! There will be prizes for best costume for adults and best costume for kids.  Kids will vote on adult costumes, and adults will vote on kids.

Fascia, Freedom, and Flexibility – Quarterly Yoga Workshop

Saturday, October 28th, 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.

Fall Classics Tournament

Saturday, November 11th, 11am (registration is 9-11am)

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.

Our complete 2017 Special Events Calendar is available at

Mark your planning calendar now!


2nd        Lily Galloway                        24th      Marcia Ilardo

6th       Wayne Smith                          24th      Paul Studenovsky

18th      Olivia Kelly                             24th      Alexander Kelly

19th      Hannah Eidsness                  26th      Katherine Snider

19th      Ryan Hoellein                        28th      Len Roberts

21st      George Lu                               29th      Elizabeth Cox

23rd      Tim Starnes


Monthly Classes, Seminars and Discussion Groups

Mastery Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday, October 3, 8-9pm

Topic:  Incorporating the Five Senses in Meditation

Open only to Mastery Program students.

Yoga Seminar – Thursday, October 5, 6:30-8:30pm

Topic: TBA

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, October 14, 12-1pm

Topic:  7 Key Principles for Success in Any Endeavor

Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.

Lecture and Discussion – Thursday, October 19, 8pm

Topic:  Pervasive Stress and How to Control It

Presented by Master Eric Sbarge.

Open to all adult and teen students.

Future Instructors – Saturday, October 28, 11am

Open only to Junior Mastery Program students.


Peaceful Dragon School News (All Real!)

Plan and Start Saving Now for the Next Peaceful Dragon Asia 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…

All of our yoga teachers are certified in the same system under our yoga director Mara Healy, leading to a cohesive practice no matter which classes you attend?

  • Many coaches, athletes, and even business people have a regular meditative practice for the practical benefits it affords them?
  • Intensive retreats, whether in meditation, tai chi, yoga or similar practices, often provide big breakthroughs and insights in your practice?

Children’s Program News

A Message from Mr. George

The advanced kids will start their broadsword training after the October Promotion.  When the beginner kids join the Jr. Mastery Program, we start training with the foam short stick.  Often the kids practice their figure eight patterns or use the stick to hit or block the plastic balls.  These drills are great at hand-and-eye coordination, but they are also the broadsword fundamentals.  In traditional Chinese Kung Fu weapon training, the progression goes from Long Staff, Broad Sword, Jian and Spear.  These weapons no longer are used as a form of self-defense or battle weapons; however, the weapon training helps with focus and control.  I’m sure the kids would appreciate learning new moves for the Sword Fight Night!  Keep up the hard work!

Powerful Words

September’s Powerful Word is Leadership.  Leadership means inspiring people to come together toward a common goal.  Dr. Robyn’s letter to the parents includes common qualities of a good leader.

October’s Powerful Word is Fairness.  Fairness is when everyone has or receives what they deserve and what they need.  Dr. Robyn’s letter to the parents includes tips for parents to model fairness even when what they do doesn’t seem fair.

New Students and Promotions

Welcome to our new students!

Kung Fu – Anthony Cicora | William Sheets Juan Riko Rivera

Tai Chi – Vivian Peralta-Mesa | Daniel Lee | Pamela Fender | Mario Hernandez

Rita Macfee | Lisa England | Erin Burton | Susan St John | Emmy Verheecke

Young Dragons – Serena Cai | Joseph Collier | Gavyn Roberts | Jackson Spears

Micah McCullough | Gabriel Cortes Perez | Kobe Miller | Lily Galloway | Shamar Singh


Congratulations to all of our students who promoted!

Tai Chi Block A to Block B

Marco Hernandez  |  Richard Serbin |  Alan Aronoff

Kung Fu Block A to Block B

Jarrett Jackson |  Hannah Jackson |  Andre Washington

Syd McIntyre |  Anthony Cicora

Student of the Month Recognition


Adult Student of the Month— Kate Lyons

1st runner up— Eddie Nguyen

2nd runner up— Frank Farro

Kate shows up and volunteers for all of our special events.  She makes a point of being helpful and supportive to all new students.  She’s also very consistent with classes.  Good job, Kate!

Child Student of the Month— Jacob Finney

1st runner up— Keira Gentry

2nd runner up—Max Tan

Jacob has recently moved up to yellow sash and he has been displaying as a great example to the new white sash students.  Keep up the great work Jacob!


Adult Student of the Month— Troyce Docherty

1st runner up— Syd McIntire

2nd runner up— Tameka Carpenter

Troyce is newer to our school, though she’s been training a number of years at Sifu Aaron Arden’s school in Ohio.  Since she’s arrived, she volunteers at every chance, works hard, and is always in class.  Good job, Troyce!

Child Student of the Month— Raymond Rutzell

1st runner up— Kyle Hoellein

2nd runner up—Aditya Vetury

Raymond has been a great example to the new students by lining up first, trying his best, and showing great focus to the teachers.  Keep up the great work, Raymond!


Disciple’s Forum

Don’t Quit

By Lao Shr “Girl” Dale Saufley

Most of you have read the John Greenleaf Whittier poem about not quitting (if not, see below). I believe it is key to our martial arts training. Sifu Sbarge has said many times that staying with your practice is the first step in achieving what your want from your practice. A goal is an observable, measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe (The Business Dictionary). Merriam-Webster says the word goal is “intention, purpose, design, aim, end, objective”.

All goals should be S M A R T. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time sensitive. I think all of these points are important, but the one with which I usually struggle is time. There are months where I believe the entire world has 36 hours in a day and in Daleville there is only twelve hours (and eight of these I need to sleep!). I understand that I do not live in an alternative universe and that tardiness or over-booking is a fault I can correct. A key to my time management issue is to allow for more driving hours and more student question minutes. I also write my schedule out in an old-fashioned paper calendar as well as keep a current hourly schedule on my electronics.

One of my big, current goals is to become certified in the field of post-traumatic stress disorder assistance. I would not call 140 hours of Veterans Yoga Project the only solution to PTSD but I believe additional classes in this subset of yoga will allow me to use it with my students in tai chi too. The remaining hours of these seminars are held in person Friday through Sunday evening. The first step in attaining this goal is to go through all of the on-line portions twice, beginning this week. The weekend finalizing my training is October 20th so I have blocked out time in the coming 62 days to be online, take notes, review and test. By keeping my goal specific (become certified), measurable (steps laid-out, self-quizzes & tests), attainable (completing teacher training with Sifu Eric and Mara Yogini I know this is achievable), realistic (research into this field and methods), and time sensitive (daily study hours booked) I am being SMART. I promise to let you all know how this turns out in November.

Don’t Quit

by John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are traveling seems all up hill,
When the finds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure comes about,

When he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – you may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


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?

Free time?! OK, when I do have a Sunday or part of a weekday available I usually spend it with family or friends. We sometimes visit a vineyard or festival, events or a museum. I read a lot and occasionally binge-watch a show (BBC productions lately) on Amazon Prime.

What would I find in your fridge right now?

Almond milk, veggies, apples, grapes (tomatoes on the counter), left-over rice, gluten-free bread, lettuce, probiotics, humus, wine and in the freezer: frozen veggies and fruits with some sauce I made a few months ago that probably needs to be used soon, maybe leftovers.

If you won the lottery, what business would you open?

I’ve already opened my dream business but financial freedom would allow me to teach at senior centers that cannot afford to pay teachers. I’d pay other instructors to teach more classes than I could alone. Then I would put together a program that helped people “age in place”. They would find a social network, physical activities, services that helped them stay in the home they love. Many seniors need the advantages of a retirement community but cannot or will not move.

Students Ask Master Sbarge

Question:  How long does it take to be good enough in kung fu to defend yourself?

Answer:   Against a five-year-old, no time at all. Against a champion fighter, constant practice, maybe for a lifetime. Maybe more than one lifetime.

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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