Polaris is the ‘North Star’ which is a guide star for knowing where you are. To the ancient Chinese it was called “Tai Chi” as it appeared it was not moving across the sky. It is symbolic for many things, for me it mean the pinnacle of your being in the universe.
Wushu or “War Arts” is a mis-understood term to most people who study martial arts. It is commonly associated with the modern kung fu forms in China where people are jumping and flipping in silk pajamas. However, wushu encompasses all traditional and modern forms from China including Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist martial arts, internal like Tai Chi and external like Shaolin. All Chinese combat systems including family systems, temple arts, animal forms, weapons, two person sets, Shaui Chiao (wrestling) , Chi-na (seize and grapple), Lei Tai and and San Shou/Sanda are included in the definition.
I started martial arts 20 years ago with learning the 37 Cheng Man Ching’s Tai Chi Chuan short form, Taoist Qigong, TCM healing including diet and massage, Pakua Chang, Hsingyi Chuan, and Western Boxing from an American teacher Wilson Pitts. I later was introduced to a top Wushu coach from China and disciple of Fu Zhong Wen, Master Weiqi who introduced me to sport competition aspect. I learned 24 tai chi, Yang Sword, Long Form Tai Chi, Wushu Basics and Chang Chuan from her. I always had a thing for knowing how to defend myself, so I trained with guys who were serious after the first UFC enlightened everyone with ground fighting reality and MMA (Mixed martial arts). I integrated with Wing Chun, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, and Brazilian Jujitsu teachers and studied techniques. I caught onto the dream of Wushu being a exhibition event in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and transitioned to US team Coach Lu Xiaolin and Zhou Jianhua. From them I studied Compulsory routines for Longfist, Tai Chi, straight sword and spear. I learned some traditional Longfist and Shaolin forms, Pakua Chang, and Hsingyi chuan. After years of competition as a Nationally ranked competitor, I did not make the USA Team. I transitioned into knowing as much as possible about Traditional Yang Tai Chi (Yang Family and Xianhao Cheng), Chen Tai Chi (Chen Family and CP Ong), Lu Pakua Chang (Park Bok Nam), Gao Pakua Chang (from several sources), Cheng Pakua Chang (Weiqi), San Shou, Sanda and Lei Tai fighting (Zhou Jianhua).
Having a background in some healing arts with Tai Chi, Qigong and Massage, I found a Tai Chi teacher Nancy Bloomfield who also was a massage teacher with the State of Virginia. I studied and passed examinations and got my license in Dec. 2005. During that time I opted to do my massage hours on MMA fighters and instructors at Team Lloyd Irvin mixed martial arts. My interest grew again in MMA and I started training in Brazilian Jujitsu, Judo, and Boxing again. I also saw a new martial art and noticed they trained stand up fighting pretty hard core, more than I saw San shou people doing. I fell in love with Muay Thai and trained diligently and even went to Thailand 3x to visit and train. From being in the MMA school and experiencing fighting competitions (San shou and Lei Tai full contact fighting), fight team training, track work outs, Cross-fit and other specialized training, I’ve re-organized everything I learned in martial arts from beginnings of Tai Chi and boxing to Wushu and MMA, along with core type of strength and conditioning workouts.
Places I trained at and have friends to train with:
CMAI (Chinese martial Arts Institute) Sifu Clarence Burris III.
USWA (United States Wushu Academy) Coach Chris Pei.
Pentagon MMA Muay Thai and BJJ- Vivek Nakarmi.
Mainstreet Crossfit- Khemeran Ing.
Capital Qigong (Yiquan/standing meditation)- Rick Smith.
Capital Hill Tai Chi- Dr. David Walls-kaufmann.
Fleming Park (Hsingyi and Bagua of Robert Smith).
Everybody fitness- Wushu with Robert Zaremba.
Gold’s Gym Boxing- Annandale Va.
Khun Kao Muay Thai Gym- Brooks “Kru Khun Kao” Miller.
Richmond Wushu- Zhou Jianhua.
David Chen Memorial Park- CMC taijiquan.
Tai Chi Center- Free park class of Warren Conner.
Taiji in the Park- Wilson Pitts.
Push hands night- Takoma Park/Wu Shen Tao (Paul Ramos).
Northern Virginia mixed martial arts- Jeff Ruth and Derek Sierra.