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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doorstep Burglar Shall Strike No More


Have you ever waited weeks for an online order to arrive at your doorstep only to be stolen by a neighborhood thief? Well San Francisco native, Sonya Yu, has had enough. Yu took it upon herself to place a fake package on her doorstep, and when the burglar appeared in front of her house, she stopped him with bear repellent (similar to pepper spray) and a wooden Samurai sword called a bokken (picture below.) She then contacted the police and the burglar was finally arrested.


Although police argue that you should never try to apprehend a criminal on your own, it didn't stop Yu who posted a real time play-by-play via Twitter. Check out the article to see her tweets! http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/san-francisco-woman-apprehends-burglar-bear-spray-live-184900837.html


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

THE GRANDMASTERS New Movie Release!

Exciting news for all Kung Fu movie buffs: THE GRANDMASTERS starring Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Zhaio Benshan, Xiao Shenyang, and Song Hye-kyo releases this December 18th in China! A release date has not been set for the US, but fans are expecting it to be a great hit which will quickly make it's way over the Pacific. Check out the YouTube vid for more: THE GRANDMASTERS Trailer

- Kung Fu Los Angeles Staff

Friday, October 19, 2012

Life Skills for Kids -- More Important than Math or Reading, Says Study

A parent in our martial arts for preschoolers program recently sent the New York Times article "Simon Says Don't Use Flashcards" to us. The study referenced by the article confirms what we already know: a child's life skills matter more than almost anything else.

Many parents seek to kick start their child's brain development in the early stages of life through mechanisms like step-by-step reading, language videos and tapes, and easy-to-read flashcards, but a recent study shows that play-based learning still trumps Baby Einstein DVDs.

Kids weren't meant to spend hours watching TV per day.
Martial arts may be fun, but the benefits go far beyond entertainment and exercise. All of our children's programs incorporate martial arts-themed versions of familiar childhood games such as Red Light, Green Light and Simon Says. These games teach lessons about self-control, following the rules, and focusing. This latest study reveals that early acquisition of these life skills are ultimately more important to long-term success than math or reading skills. After all, character is the foundation of all learning: without self-discipline, success is impossible for even the brightest among us.

A child's mind is like a sponge: another study done by a group of researchers over a 25-year period concluded that a child is most receptive to learning during preschool years.

These two studies underline the importance of getting children into structured, social environments that promote play-based learning and life skills training. Our Kung Fu programs are set apart from other extracurricular activities because of their life skills training. They are an excellent complement or even precursor to preschool programs.

Our Kung Fu games are structured to not only reinforce moves and forms, but to stimulate cognitive functions that children will call upon for the rest of their lives.

-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tai Chi Zero in Los Angeles

From the creators of Ip Man and Detective Dee comes Tai Chi Zero - a film choreographed by the great Sammo Hung!

Hitting theaters everywhere this Friday, including our hometown of Los Angeles, California, Tai Chi Zero is the first of a trilogy following the story of Yang Luchan through his journey to learn Tai Chi in a village where it is forbidden to teach the form to outsiders. But when the village is invaded and Yang teams up with the beautiful village girl, Yuniang, to defeat the attackers, his luck amongst the locals changes as he begins his rise to becoming a hero.

Starring a great cast of Yuan Xioachao, Angelababy, and Tony Leung Ka Fai,Tai Chi Zero is expected to be a hit among the martial arts community. Leave your review in the comments!


P.S. Martial arts movie fans should note that Rza's Man with the Iron Firsts, another highly anticipated Kung Fu flick, releases in the US on Friday, November 2nd.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Prevent Child Kidnappings: Anti-Kidnapping Seminar for Los Angeles Children

On Saturday, November 3rd, California Academy of Martial Arts will host an Anti-Kidnapping Seminar for children and their parents. The goal of this seminar is to empower all children to identify, avoid, escape, and defend against adults who may wish them harm.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two Children Abducted in One Week - How to Prevent Child Abduction


UPDATE ON 10/15/12: 10 year-old Jessica Ridgeway's body has been positively identified. There are no suspects in her case, however, authorities believe her disappearance may be connected to two attempted kidnappings in nearby towns. These "Stranger Danger" incidents occurred just weeks before Ridgeway's murder.

A suspect has been arrested in the case of the 11 year-old Cody, Wyoming girl who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Inspiring Martial Artists: Carl Hodgetts, Wheelchair-Bound Wing Chun Expert


England native Carl Hodgetts, 34, is a black belt in kickboxing and a Wing Chun expert, despite the fact that he’s been paralyzed from the waist down since birth. 



Hodgetts suffers from acute spina bifida. After years of schoolyard bullying, he turned to martial arts for a more peaceful and satisfying lifestyle. Hodgetts gained his black belt credibility in 2006 by the World United Martial Arts Federation after they classified his unique skills as “freestyle martial arts.” 

Because Hodgetts is bound to a wheelchair, he alters traditional moves to his advantage, such as by blocking kicks from his opponents with his hands and arms and uses the wheelchair as a way to protect himself. His method is simple: for taller opponents, he attacks knees, legs, shins, stomach, and the groin. For shorter opponents, Hodgetts aims for the face and top half of the body. 

Not only did Hodgetts gain physical skill, but martial arts have allowed him to be more at peace with his condition. He claims that it taught him serious discipline and self-control and he doesn’t allow what others may say about him anger and frustrate him.

Since 2006, Hodgetts has served as an instructor for both disabled and able-bodied students. He aspires to continue spreading his story and lessons across schools through demonstrations.

How's that for inspiring? Looks like Hodgetts listened when Bruce Lee said: “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Las Vegas Teen Melissa Duran Abducted, Held for Ransom

On August 31st, 17-year-old Melissa Duran was attacked and kidnapped from her home in Henderson, NV, a suburb just outside of Las Vegas, by two men who claimed they were armed with concealed weapons.

The abductors hit and attempted to drag Melissa through her front door and into their car after throwing sand in her face. Melissa's 11-year-old brother Kevin ran out and tried to hit the attackers with a baseball bat before the men motioned that they had guns and demanded Kevin keep his distance. Nonetheless, there was a struggle before reaching the car because Melissa was putting up quite a fight, but sadly she had no self-defense training to successfully untangle from the kidnappers' grips.

The abductors then locked and tied her up in an apartment, demanded ransom money from her parents, and threatened to do obscene things to Melissa and kill her family. Melissa was their captive for 21 hours until the next morning when a SWAT team raided the apartment and returned her to her family.

Upon arresting the kidnappers on several charges, it was learned that the two men were recently fired from Melissa's dad's company and they also had ties to human trafficking. Melissa's kidnappers were people she knew and without the SWAT team's rescue, it's uncertain what she would/could have done to get safely. Recently two more men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping.

Thankfully, Melissa is physically unharmed. We hope she uses this opportunity to advocate for basic self-defense instruction in schools nationwide.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to School Street Safety Tips for Kids


Street safety training is the most important component of any child's personal safety education. We discuss this topic regularly in our martial arts classes in Burbank, along with self-defense training for the children. Although Burbank is a relatively safe suburban neighborhood, dozens of registered sex offenders live within a few miles of each of our area elementary schools including Roosevelt Elementary, Stevenson Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, and Toluca Lake Elementary. Therefore, you can never be too safe.

By practicing good street safety, most kids can avoid ever being targeted by a kidnapper or assailant. In honor of the "Back to School" season, here's 3 of our favorite street safety tips for children!

Rule 1: Tell Adults Where You’re Going –

Children who walk to or from school alone should always take the same route their parents have shown them, even if they are running late or notice that other students are taking a shortcut. If your child veers off the usual path and becomes lost, injured or threatened, they may know how to tell you or the police where to find them, nor will you know where to look because you will assume they took the same route as always.

Even children who don’t walk by themselves should know this rule. For example, if your young child asks to be excused during class and goes to get water, then decides to stop by the restroom, his or her teachers will not know where to look in case of emergency.

Rule 2:  Be Aware of Your Surroundings –

Children, like adults, have a tendency to assume they are safe in familiar settings such as school. Tell your children to constantly be on the lookout for anything or anyone strange or out of place, such as an unknown adult lingering at the entrance of a public restroom.


Rule 3: Safety First, Politeness Second –

We send a lot of mixed messages to our children. For example, we tell them not to talk to strangers, yet we also encourage them to be talkative with strangers such as store employees. If the friendly barista at Starbucks asks your child “What school do you go to?” we nudge our children and admonish them if they fail to answer, saying, “Be polite and answer the question.” (Does this scenario sound familiar?)

It’s important that we explain to our children that when they’re away from us at school, at extracurricular activities, or with friends, that they should worry about their safety first and about politeness second. They should never answer questions such as “What school do you go to?” or “Does your mom stay home during the day or does she work?” that could be used to plan a robbery, kidnapping or worse. Of course, they should be taught to refuse to answer politely by saying "I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to tell strangers that" in order to ease their anxiety. They should also be taught that any adult who tries to convince them to answer is probably not a good stranger.

Remember, the purpose of safety training is never to scare children - it is to make them aware so both of you can have greater peace of mind when they're away from you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

California Freeway Beating Video - Cowards Go 2 on 1

If you haven't seen it yet, you will -- here's a link to the video: Police Hunting Thugs Who Pummeled Motorist.

The viral video, uploaded to YouTube and LiveLeak, was shot by a passerby. If you can't watch, here's a summary: Three men (the thugs) argue with a lone motorist on the side of the freeway. The lone motorist and one of the thugs raise their fists and begin fighting. After a short time, the thugs realize that their buddy is losing, so one of them jumps in and helps drag the lone motorist to the ground. The lone motorist tries to grapple with them, leaping on top of his original opponent, giving the other thug (who's still standing) the opportunity to drag him off of his buddy. They then kick him in the head not once, not twice but FOUR times.

We can only hope that the thugs are caught and brought to justice, not just for their assault but also for their cowardice. There's nothing fair about a 2 vs 1 battle; clearly these men have no sense of integrity or respect.

-Sifu Nancy, Kung Fu Los Angeles staff


P.S. This video demonstrates why grappling is problematic as a self-defense solution. Street brawls usually involve more than 1 attacker; most people won't engage in battles they might lose unless forced. Therefore, grappling is impractical because it increases the possibility of getting kicked in the head (like this unfortunate motorist). 

Grappling (or better yet, anti-grappling) has its place in an individual's self-defense arsenal, but it cannot stand alone. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Martial Arts for Charity


A couple weeks ago, two California Academy of Martial Arts instructors, Sifu Nancy and myself (Miss Patty), volunteered at a Wave for Water event to raise money to bring clean water to impoverished communities. The event was hosted by Refine Mixers (a healthy drink mixer company) partnered with This Shirt Helps (a philanthropic apparel website).

The event was fitness-oriented, with Equinox gym instructors leading challenging classes all day long. Sifu Nancy, herself a fitness instructor, even jumped in on some of the activities.

That day the event helped raise enough money to buy 14 water filtration systems, which I personally think is amazing! If you would like to learn more about these organizations please visit their websites:

-Miss Patty Whitehead, Kung Fu Los Angeles staff

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ip Man 3 in 3D - Hunt for New Bruce Lee On

Recently it was announced that work has begun on Ip Man 3, the third film depicting Ip Man's life and times to be produced by Raymond Wong. Donnie Yen will reprise his role as the iconic Wing Chun master.

Ip Man 3 will feature 3D visual effects, a departure from the first two films.

Screenwriter Edmond Wong (Raymond Wong's son) has revealed that they are searching for an actor to portray a young Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee trained under Ip Man until Ip Man's death, after which he was taught by senior disciple Ng Chun So.

Production on Ip Man 3 is set to begin later this year. At this rate it will come out sooner than Wong Kar Wai's much-delayed Ip Man biopic "The Grandmasters" starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi!

(source)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Live Wing Chun Fighting!

Back in February, our Kung Fu Performance Team, a.k.a. our Demo Team, was invited to perform in San Diego at the  Poway Center for the Performing Arts. The 797-seat facility was completely full.

The “Chinese Art and Cultural Society Annual Music & Art Festival 2012” event was an amazing success. Along with our Kung Fu performers, the event featured ballet, opera, hip-hop and other amazing acts.

Check out our performance! It starts around the 57 minute mark. A list breaking down when our various martial arts acts start is also below.




57:15 – Ping Kuen from Choy li Fut
57:50 – Crane Style form
58:10 – Double Broadswords
58:35 – Nunchakus
59:25 – Pole Form and Fight (Shaolin)
1:00:20 – Tai Chi Form (Chen Style)
1:01:55 – Group Wing Chun Fight Scene (Incorporates elements of Wing Chun, Shaolin, and Jeet Kune Do)
1:04:20 – Sifu Tei’s Form 

Many thanks and kudos to our performers, who put in weeks of preparation for this show: Sifu Todd Shawn Tei, Sifu Nancy Tei, Sihings (elder kung fu brothers) Chris and Patrick, and Sijehs (elder kung fu sisters) Patty and Jenny.

And special thanks to the group that organized this event, the San Diego Chinese Arts & Cultural Society.

-Kung Fu Los Angeles

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bai Jing, Star of 'Kung Fu Wing Chun', Killed by Husband

Very sad news for the martial arts movie community today: Chinese actress Bai Jing, star of 'Kung Fu Wing Chun', was killed in a murder-suicide by her husband yesterday.

Bai Jing portrayed Yim Wing Chun in 'Kung Fu Wing Chun' (2010) and was one of China's most famous female Kung Fu stars. 'Kung Fu Wing Chun' is a more romantic interpretation of the origins of Wing Chun, but it still features plenty of Wing Chun training sequences and action.

Bai Jing on the Wooden Dummy at the red carpet premiere of 'Kung Fu Wing Chun' 
Some Chinese news outlets are reporting that Bai Jing's husband was upset with her after she requested a divorce.

Bai Jing Practicing with Ip Chun, Ip Man's son
-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Los Angeles Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the Dragon

For Chinese New Year 2012, our Wing Chun Kung Fu Demo Team was invited to perform at Chi Dynasty in Studio City. Our sets included fight choreography, forms from Wing Chun, Shaolin and Tai Chi, and numerous weapons.

More photos are available at Chi Dynasty's Facebook Page. We are honored to have been a part of the event and are looking forward to our next Kung Fu demonstration at the San Diego Chinese Art and Cultural Society show on Saturday, February 18th.

 
 



 




 -Kung Fu Los Angeles staff

Friday, February 10, 2012

Little Girl Fights Off Walmart Kidnapper

This video of a 2nd grader escaping her would-be abductor is all over the Internet today.



The man in the video was out on parole for manslaughter when he spotted the little girl in the toy aisle of Walmart. The girl's mother had stepped away for a moment to grab forgotten groceries. The video depicts the man grabbing the girl and attempting to carry her out of the store. The girl kicks and screams until he drops her and flees. He was arrested hours later.

This scenario is one we practice with our Kung Fu kids frequently. The most powerful anti-kidnapping tool young children have is their voice, especially in public places. We'll be drilling these scenarios again during Sunday's classes. All local children are invited to try a free class and participate. Our contact information can be found at our website: California Academy of Martial Arts.

-Kung Fu Los Angeles Staff

Monday, January 23, 2012

Los Angeles Chinese New Year's Celebrations

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the Dragon is upon us. In celebration of the Lunar New Year, our Kung Fu Demo Team will perform four times today.

A team of 15 children and adults will perform at Yahoo in Burbank for the second year in a row at 3:30 and 4:00 pm. Unfortunately these performances are not open to the public, however, all Yahoo employees are encouraged to attend. The team will perform in the lounge.

Later in the evening, however, our Adult/Teen Demo Team will perform at Chi Dynasty restaurant in Studio City. This event is open to the public with reservations. In addition to our performance, there will be magicians, drummers, lion dance, balloon animals, tarot readings and more. For more information, see the invitation below:


Our team will perform at 7 and 8 pm sharp. Our set will feature new choreography and forms from Wing Chun, Choy li Fut, Tai Chi and Eskrima.

All of us at California Academy of Martial Arts wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!

-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff

P.S. Dinner reservations are not required for our school's students and guests. All that we ask is that you show up in uniform!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Martial Arts New Year's Resolutions for 2012?

2012 is now five days old. Have you made a martial arts-related New Year's Resolution? Are you hoping that this year is the year you will start learning Wing Chun -- or for those who are already training, that you will take your training to the next level?

The great thing about Kung Fu is that it produces benefits in the three most important dimensions of an individual's overall wellness: the physical, spiritual, and psychological aspects of the individual. Simply put, Kung Fu strengthens one's mind, body, and spirit.

Physically, martial arts practitioners increase their overall fitness. Flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and muscular strength all typically improve.

Spiritual benefits are experienced by martial artists as well. Kung Fu class provides respite from hectic lives where phones are always ringing, e-mail inboxes are always full, and too much is never enough. At the kwoon, these distractions are forgotten, allowing us to empty our minds and focus on self-improvement.

Psychologically, martial artists are boosted by the release of endorphins and other chemicals that produce natural feelings of well-being. Wing Chun's emphasis on realistic combat training also calms natural fears about self-defense situations, and therefore, greatly increases self-confidence.

At California Academy of Martial Arts we welcome the many new students who enroll in order to fulfill their New Year's Resolutions. Don't wait, because after all...

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.” --Bruce Lee



-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff


P.S. Thank you to all who contributed to our Christmas charity drive. We were able to donate several bags of groceries (all purchased by our Kung Fu Kids at our local Albertson's) and a generous gift for an underprivileged 13 year-old girl to Burbank Temporary Aid Center. There were many children, veterans and elderly people waiting at the center when the instructors dropped off the donations. It was a humbling experience and we can't wait to collect more donations soon.