Closed for Labor Day Weekend

The studio is closed Friday through Monday (9/1 – 9/4) for the Labor Day weekend.   Have a safe and fun weekend!   Regular schedule resumes on Tuesday the 5th.  Check our Facebook page for additional information.
By |August 31st, 2017|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Closed for Labor Day Weekend

Before and After

Don’t you just love before & after pictures? They’re usually associated with some project that required a lot of work to complete, or perhaps used just to document changes in life.   The point is, that, after the fact, one can still go back and re-live the moment….feeling the pride of accomplishment, or simply marveling over the changes. Kung Fu training is rather like a before & after picture.   At the start, the task of learning many new things and training the body and mind to perform seems a little daunting. Often that mind/body connection just isn’t there. The brain says “do this”, and the body reacts like a Minion asking “what?!?!?!?”   Yet, by taking it one step at a time, using perseverance to continue on, and keeping the focus on the overall goal….it’s doable.   In fact, it’s really quite easier than initially perceived.   And, when each step in the journey is completed……. ahhhhh…. That Feeling!!!   Nothing like it. The interesting thing is that, often, people don’t realize how much change is happening. The instructors do. They see the refinements in the movements that the individual student might not fully appreciate, because the person is stuck on what they aren’t doing versus realizing how much they’ve already done. The acknowledgement of those refinements comes to the students in the form of advancing in rank.   And, all those pictures (and perhaps videos) of those rank advancements?   Why….they’re just part of the Before & After documentation that gets tucked away, only to be taken out again at some future date and re-lived through the memories of the day, or overall time in one’s life.   ….Part of that human experience that makes life so rewarding.   Go ahead….take those pictures! Show […]
By |July 28th, 2017|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Before and After

Which Martial Arts is Best?

Ask any martial arts practitioner that question and that person will probably answer that the style they are practicing is the best. And, if you ask enough people, in the end, all that leaves is continued confusion over which style is really the best. The better question might be …. “which martial arts style is the best for__________ (fill in the blank)”. In other words, what is the objective?   If the objective is to be able to perform impressively high, spinning kicks, then maybe Taekwondo might be the answer.   If the objective is to develop good falling skills and strong joint-lock maneuvers, then maybe Judo/Juijitsu could be the answer. Have other thoughts? There’s probably other, specific martial arts styles that address those thoughts. The point is, every style of martial arts has its strong points. But they also have some not-so-strong points. For instance, Taekwondo has very few punching techniques, and Judo/Juijitsu has very few actual kicking techniques. Our Shaolin Five-Fist Defense System has a good mix of most styles…..strong hand/punching techniques, strong, effective kicking techniques, some powerful joint-lock techniques, and a good amount of techniques that require a person to know how to fall in a manner to avoid (or at least lessen) further injury. As a bonus, our system teaches how to get in and stay in close, yet still deliver effective offensive (or defensive) techniques. Does it take a while to actually develop the skills to be effective? Of course. All styles of martial arts require some serious commitment and dedication to master the movements in a way that one can truly rely on the training for effective self-defense. But that’s the point behind martial arts in the first place…..its very nature and manner […]
By |June 3rd, 2017|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Which Martial Arts is Best?

I’m Too Old for Martial Arts!

Likely, you’re too busy, and have other commitments that demand more of your time that you can give to just one more activity, but honestly, you’re never too old for martial arts. Don’t even try to use that excuse!! Senior Master George (who trains in Concord) is in his 80s, and he still works at his material every day. Everybody studies the arts for different reasons. Some participate looking for a general increase in fitness. Some take it because they want to learn techniques that would be helpful if they, or someone they love was threatened, and an opportunity arose to assist in their defense. Some want to learn the movements to incorporate them into a “moving meditation” routine. Some feel that the stances and movements will really help their balance, and possibly their flexibility. Some believe that by studying the forms and movements, their focus and mental stamina will be increased. The truth? Every one of those benefits can be derived from taking martial arts! No matter the age, everyone can receive some benefit from studying.   A good instructor will scale the movements to the person’s ability and fitness level, yet still gently push the student to do just a little bit more next time, increase that stance just a little bit more, put just a little more power into the movement, stay just a little more upright…..all the while monitoring that the person is not put at risk for injury. Not into the gung-ho self-defense aspect of the arts? (it’s called martial arts for a reason) Fine. The traditional five-animal forms offer an excellent way to receive the benefits of studying the arts. And while there are certainly some very martial aspects in those forms, […]
By |March 6th, 2017|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on I’m Too Old for Martial Arts!

No Kung Fu today (2/7/2017)

We’re going to let the weather play itself out with the snow, sleet, freezing rain, and stay warm and safe.   We should be open Thursday for regular hours!
By |February 7th, 2017|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on No Kung Fu today (2/7/2017)

2016 in “Kung Fu Review”

2016 was a busy year for Shaolin Studios of Portsmouth…. just a few items to recap (there’s many more): Jason A. earned his Jr. Black Belt; Steve S. and Andrew H. earned their (adult) 2nd Degree Black Belts; Several students earned 1st and 2nd place trophies in our 2 NH Tournaments; Every student advanced at least one rank, several advanced 2 or more; Several young students (6-12 y/o) added traditional kung fu animal forms to their martial arts curriculum; Spooky Friday was its usual awesome success; Our Mid-Winter Picnic and Talent Show was filled with both delicious food AND fabulous talent; And yes, there’s so much more!   This is a happening place.   Family-friendly, strong character-building programs, and fantastic students!  
By |January 3rd, 2017|karate, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2016 in “Kung Fu Review”

Kung Fu Classes are on!

Thursday, December 29th……  we’re open today.  Weather not keeping us down!
By |December 29th, 2016|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Kung Fu Classes are on!

We are OPEN today, Sat., Nov. 17th!!

Please be careful if you’re coming in for class!!
By |December 17th, 2016|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on We are OPEN today, Sat., Nov. 17th!!

Levels of Black Belt

With the recent advancement of Jason A. to Jr. Black Belt, there have been several questions about the different levels of Black Belt.   We thought we’d address them here. Our system recognizes three levels of Black Belt, grouped by age. One for students aged 12 and under, one for students aged 13-17, and one for students aged 18 and above.   The last one…aged 18 and above, is the Shodan level….or full adult Black Belt. Why the different levels?   Well, while all three levels recognize the tremendous commitment of time and effort put in by the student, younger students tend to be more challenged by the techniques and forms required to reach the Shodan Black Belt level.  Also, Grandmaster DeMasco expects a certain level of maturity and community commitment by those obtaining their Shodan Rank, and for a variety of reasons, the younger students cannot quite meet those expectations. Does that diminish the Black Belt that is not specifically Shodan? Absolutely not! Remember, studying the martial arts is an individual journey, and everyone advances based on their own particular transitions along that journey. Each level achieved represents a challenge met and conquered, based on individual abilities. Black Belt, whether it be the full adult one, or at the level particular to the student’s age, still represents a journey traveled by the practitioner. Regardless of the age of that person, the Black Belt commands respect for the continued efforts and commitment put forth. Is reaching Black Belt the end of the journey? It can be, if the student wishes to go no further. But the reality is, that Black Belt is just the first step to a continued life-long journey of learning. Continuing along that journey may (or may not) […]
By |November 28th, 2016|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Levels of Black Belt

Jr. Black Belt!

On October 22, 2016, ten-year-old Jason A. traveled to Concord to test for his Jr. Black Belt test with Master Mark. Interestingly, there were three young students testing, one each from Concord, Portsmouth, and Keene. All represented themselves, and their studios, handsomely. Sifu Cindy and Sifu Jennifer closed the studio a bit early so they could go and watch (and support) Jason in his efforts. The test was pretty grueling from a physical fitness standpoint. Lots of drills and strength/endurance exercises keeping the youngsters going. The students had to perform their forms and techniques under a variety of situations, and were also required to spar both each other and Sensei Tim (who, if you don’t know him, is very, very tall). Must admit….it was kind of fun to watch that! Jason did all that was asked of him, maintaining a strong positive attitude throughout, and giving his all when it came to showing technical ability and power. Portsmouth SDSS is very proud of him, and recognizes all the time and effort he has put into his martial arts to come this far. We also recognize his parents and siblings who have contributed their time and support, to give Jason his opportunity to succeed in this activity. We look forward to continuing to work with Jason, adding to his skills!
By |November 1st, 2016|karate, kung fu, martial arts, tai chi, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Jr. Black Belt!