The Tiger – Master of Self-Control

The Tiger is one of the animals we study.  It’s movements are decisive, controlled, and direct.  It’s a great animal to teach us strength and power.  But, we also look to the Tiger for the character aspect of self-control.  When we ask the kids what they think self-control is, the answer we get back the most often is “control of your mind and body.”   That’s a great answer, and nicely sums things up.   But, let’s look a little deeper.  Just what is control of your mind?  If you ask the experts (whoever they might be), you would probably get as many answers as people you ask.  But if you ask us, we think control of your mind means taking responsibility for your words and actions.  That old saying…you can’t control the behavior of other people, but you can control your reaction(s) to it” is very true.  It can be tough to not verbally retaliate against a real, or perceived, insult.  But it can be done if self-control is being practiced.   The same is true if we’re not talking reaction, but initiation.  Avoid making derogatory comments, whether in jest or not.  Doing so shows good self-control.  Sure, you might observe someone doing something foolish, but you need not comment on it.  And who knows, that one time you exercise good self-control and not make a comment that could hurt feelings, might be the one time that person needed to move on from a possibly self-destructive act.  Think about that…..NOT saying something might actually save someone harm.  How cool is that?? Moving on to control of your body…..  this could mean so many things.  When practicing your kung […]
By |January 29th, 2021|karate, kung fu, martial arts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Tiger – Master of Self-Control

Jr. Black Belts!

Dylan and Joe are our newest Jr. Black Belts!  They successfully tested for their rank on Sept. 7, 2019.   Congratulations to them both! Dylan and Joe are our newest Jr. Black Belts! They successfully tested for their rank on Sept. 7, 2019. Congratulations to them both!
By |September 10th, 2019|karate, kung fu, martial arts|Comments Off on Jr. Black Belts!

New Junior Black Belts!

Seth K. and Brendan R. successfully tested for their Jr. Black Belts on January 27, 2019.  Junior Black Belts are awarded to those students, aged 12 and under,  who successfully demonstrate the required material for this rank.  Congratulations to our newest young Black Belts!   You’ve worked hard for this honor!
By |March 16th, 2019|karate, kung fu, martial arts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Junior Black Belts!

Tournament Winners!

Danbury, CT, November 17, 2018 –  All three of our students who traveled to CT to participate in the (all-studios) Shaolin Studios  Tournament came home a winner.  All three won place trophies in at least one event that they entered, and in some cases, all of their events.  This was quite an accomplishment, since several of the events had up to twenty entrants.  Congratulations to Ethan, Aurora, and Dylan!  Portsmouth Shaolin Studios is very proud of you! 
By |November 19th, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Tournament Winners!

Celebrating 10 Years in Portsmouth

September, 2018: The Portsmouth studio opened in September 2008, continuing the strong tradition of martial arts training begun by the Concord and Keene studios. The years have gone by fast, and, as we look at our current student body, we see many new faces, but also quite a few who started with us shortly after we opened. Our most-tenured adult student, Mike L., actually started his training with us in December 2008. Mike is followed by Daniel T. who started with us as just a grade-school youngster in September 2009, and today is an impressive young man who holds his Zhongji Black Belt. Yes, as we welcome new students to our community, we continue to foster on-going relationships with many students who have been with us since 2010, 2011, and 2012. To all of our students, we send a big Thank You, but to those who have been with us for many years and continue to regularly train with us, we are honored to be a part of your martial arts journey. We look forward to continuing this journey for many more years to come.
By |September 24th, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Celebrating 10 Years in Portsmouth

Shaolin Temple China Trip 2018

Led by Grandmaster Steve DeMasco, approximately 40 students and instructors from all the regional SDSS schools traveled to the Shaolin Temple in July 2018 to train with the monks.  A cultural exchange, hosted by the Abbot,  included demonstrations by both SDSS students/instructors, as well as several Shaolin monks.  In total, students trained at the Temple for approximately 4 hours/day for 3 days.  The trip also included several side visits to major tourist attractions in Beijing.  Both Portsmouth instructors, as well as two Portsmouth students, participated in the trip.  Dylan D., our 8 year-old student had the honor of performing at the Temple for the Abbot, Grandmaster, monks, and other trip participants….a proud moment for both Dylan and the Portsmouth studio!
By |August 16th, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Shaolin Temple China Trip 2018

Studio Closure – China 2018

July 7, 2018, Portsmouth, NH — Don’t panic…..we’re not closing for good….only for a couple of weeks to travel to China for training at the Shaolin Temple. Just as a reminder, the studio is closed from Wednesday, July 18th through Wednesday, August 1st.   We reopen for our regular class schedule on Thursday, August 2nd.  
By |July 7th, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Studio Closure – China 2018

China Trip 2018

It’s coming up fast! Approximately 40 SDSS students and instructors – from all the SDSS studios – will be leaving on July 19th for about 10 days in China.   The trip offers the opportunity to see some popular sites, such as the Great Wall, the Imperial Palace, and others, but the main event is the opportunity to train with the Monks at the Shaolin Temple in the Song Mountains just outside of Dengfeng, Henan Province. This year, both Sifu Cindy and Sifu Jennifer are going. Neither have been since 2011, so it’s an exciting opportunity.   BUT, there’s more!   Portsmouth students Allen McG. and Dylan D. are traveling with the group, and this is the first time any Portsmouth student has made the trip. Way Cool! BUT, there’s still more! Young Dylan (age 8) will actually be performing in front of the Abbot and Monks (and other SDSS students). This is a once-in-a-lifetime honor and opportunity that few, very few, ever have. Dylan will be joined by other SDSS students who have been chosen to perform, and this year, in an exceedingly rare occurrence, Grandmaster DeMasco will also be publicly performing, as part of his anniversary celebration of 20 years of training at the Temple. Watch our Facebook page! We’ll try to post a few pictures as the trip progresses. If, for some reason, we’re unable to do so in real time, we’ll post some highlights when we get back. Don’t forget, the studio is closed July 18th through August 1st.   Tuition for the month of July will be appropriately pro-rated for students.
By |June 15th, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on China Trip 2018

Perfecting an Attitude of Gratitude

March 31, 2018–  Being grateful is something we all are, after having received something special…like a gift, or finding what we thought was a lost object, or getting some extra-special treatment.  But being grateful everyday – just for the gift of the day itself – is not something many of us really think about or practice.   And yet, several studies have shown that people who express and live their gratitude daily are healthier and happier. Sounds easy, yes?   Hmmmmmm…… It takes some work to keep negative thoughts away and maintain a focus on positivity.   It doesn’t necessarily come naturally to most of us.   After all, we can almost always find something to complain about, and it’s so easy to express those complaints.   It takes courage and commitment to express positive thoughts…..courage, because others often snicker at this, and commitment because one must truly change the everyday mindset and maintain it.   Whew! Is it worth it? Yes!   Once one begins to always seek the more positive side of life, more positive things seem to come.  (Conversely, negative thoughts tend to bring on more negativity.)   This works for kung fu training, too.   Nourishing a gratefulness for the opportunity to overcome both mind and body challenges helps keep those challenges in perspective to other daily challenges.   And really, that’s what being grateful is all about…..keeping a healthy perspective on life.   Yup, perfect an attitude of gratitude, and you’ll reap the rewards!   Try it!
By |March 31st, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Perfecting an Attitude of Gratitude

Four to Go for Black Belt!

February, 2018 —   Portsmouth will be sending four of our teenagers to Danbury, CT on March 3rd to test for their Zhongji-level Black Belt!   These will be the very first of our students to test for this “intermediate” Black Belt rank. Daniel T., Alana R., Nikolai K., and Katie R. will be evaluated by Sr. Master Meyer and Grandmaster DeMasco, along with several other higher-ranked Black Belt instructors.   This is both an honor, and if we’re being honest, a bit intimidating. But our students have been working hard on their material and are very ready to accept this challenge. So, what, exactly, is a Zhongji-level belt, and how does it differ from the full Shodan rank?   The rank of Shodan is a full adult-level first degree Black Belt. This is usually only given to students aged 18 and older who successfully demonstrate their material to the level required to meet the Black Belt standards. On the other end of the spectrum, the Jr. Black Belt is awarded to students aged 12 and under who also successfully demonstrate their material, based on their age and skill-levels.   The Zhongji Belt (roughly translated as “middle” or “in between” or “intermediate”), is awarded to those students, aged 13-17, who successfully navigate a test that is nearly as rigorous as a full adult test, but also takes into account the age and skill-levels of those teen years. We’re very proud of our four students. When you see them in the studio, offer your best wishes and encouragement to them. This is a true milestone in their lives. One that very few ever experience. Getting to this point represents a high level of commitment and dedication—life skills that will serve them well […]
By |February 7th, 2018|karate, kung fu, martial arts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Four to Go for Black Belt!