Kids’ Tournament and New Instructor!

We have two announcements to make.

First, we’d like to welcome Sifu Shanti Webley! He’ll be teaching QiGong classes on Friday evenings. Please check the calendar at Woodlawn Movement & Healing Arts for the most recent schedule.

We’d also like to announce the 6th Annual Fall Kid’s Tournament!

Held on October 17th, from 9am-noon, this tournament will feature forms, grappling, and sparring. For more information, please visit

6th Annual Fall Kid's Tournament

Memorial Day schedule

Hello everyone!

There will be no classes Monday in honor of Memorial Day. Classes are still on Sunday, with Michael Wall teaching.

Have a great weekend!

Anxiety and Pain

We’ve all felt pain before. It’s part of what makes us human.

Several things happen to us physically whenever we feel pain. Let’s take a quick impact injury sustained during class. Nerve endings at the injury site send messages to the brain through the nervous system. Then, hormones, endorphins, and chemicals secrete. Adrenaline is a commonly secreted hormone during this process, and triggers a survival mechanism in the body. Endorphins act as a natural pain killer.

One of the exercises we do is called the Contact Assist Drill. It’s the process of touching the site of an impact injury, directly after the initial injury. This helps calm the nerves and stops the body from triggering survival mechanisms.

And most of us have also heard our Sifus repeatedly telling us to relax and breathe. There are reasons for that, beyond preventing early fatigue.

So why the biology lesson? Anxiety has several effects on the body as well. The first being in secreting more adrenaline and triggering survival mechanisms. Another effect anxiety has on the body is the ability to cut through pain killers, natural and artificial alike. This will make you feel the pain more acutely. Adrenaline also heightens the senses, which, when pain is felt, will make you feel pain more acutely still.

The next time you feel pain, it’s important to breathe through it and use the contact assist drill. If you are able to keep the anxiety in check, the body can secrete those natural pain killers and will also remind the body that there is no danger, so there is no need for anxiety and adrenaline in that moment.


When I first started training, when the start of the year came around, Sifu suggested that I pick a word that would be something I could focus on throughout the whole year. It could be any word that came to mind. It could either be a word that helps my training, or life, it didn’t matter. I found it really works. The first year the word was relax. The second year it was control. This year its action. All things that I need to work on in my training. But I realized pretty quick that the words that I picked for my training transcend into everyday life as well. Not to say I’ve mastered any of these things but having them in my thoughts, writing them down, keeping them in mind not only when I’m training, but in everyday life, really helps. So if it’s something you think sounds interesting, I recommend it for sure. Just let it come. Don’t force it.  What’s your word going to be?

Folding Knife seminar

Start 2015 off right with this five hour folding knife seminar!

Many of us carry a folding knife as part of our daily lives, typically for utilitarian purposes, and once in awhile think about it for self defense. But do you know when you can legally use your knife to defend yourself? Can you successfully deploy and retain your folding knife under real world stress in a self defense situation? Do you know how to use your folding knife to efficiently stop a threat, yet leave evidence of reasonable force to defend yourself in court later?

Start 2015 off right with this five hour folding knife seminar where you will learn the answers to all of the above and much more. This course will be taught by Dean Foster who has 39 plus years of martial arts experience with black belt rankings in several styles to include; 6th Degree Master of Combat Sambo, a Certified Sport Sambo Coach, a Systema Instructor in Training, 2nd Degree in Mo Duk Pai Kung Fu, a 1st Degree in Tae Kwon Do, and numerous law enforcement instructor level courses in the application of use of force.

This Sunday, January 11th, we will be hosting a seminar taught by Sifu Foster from 10:00am – 3:00pm. Please bring pants/short with pockets, and a folding training knife (Benchmade Griptilian trainer recommended). A few training knives will be available for use during the course.

The cost is $60 and there is still room for this seminar.

Regular Kung Fu classes will be cancelled Sunday.

Questions, pre-registration forms, or payment information, please contact Sifu Foster at

Total awareness

I’ve been thinking about total awareness, and how important it really is to my training. We have just been through the holiday season: time of friends, family, giving, and thanks. I hope you all had a nice holiday, and hopefully came out of it with your nerves settled and ready to start the New Year.

I don’t know about you but whenever I’m out, I always do a lot of people watching. It fascinates me to try and understand what’s going on around me. While doing some holiday shopping, I noticed a man a couple blocks directly north of me, walking fast in a kind of zigzag pattern. At the same time, there was a woman on her cellphone walking her daughter who had to be around 3 and an older woman pushing the stroller. They were northwest of me about 30 feet. I noticed right away that this man focused on them, and started to walk straight toward them. Mom didn’t notice but grandma did. I definitely did. He started yelling at them, and making rude, inappropriate comments. I simply walked up to them, focused my energy on him, and in a firm voice said “Hey, check yourself, stop it!” He did and walked away.

This is just one of the ways Mo Duk Pai has helped me to serve the community. I don’t bring this up to sound like a tough guy, but merely to show how being aware of what’s around can not only help you, but help the people around you. How many times have you heard “look both ways” or simply “pay attention”? You never know what could happen.

So I challenge you with this: Pick one day a week, pick an hour out of that day, and see if during that hour you can have complete and total awareness. It doesn’t matter where, or what you are doing, that’s entirely up to you. But see if you can, notice the colors around you, who are the people around you? Are there little creatures walking across your path? It can be lots of fun. Can you turn that hour a week into two, then three, then four, all the way to twenty-four seven. I bet you can if that’s something you want to do. Oh yeah, you might want to turn your cellphone off for that first hour. It’s just an idea.

Holiday offer

2015 2 months offer

It’s the holiday season, and most of us have a goal to get in better shape, work out more, or lose weight. What better way to do that than by trying out something new and getting in shape at the same time!

We are offering two months of FREE classes to new adult students. No strings or contracts required.

All ages, body types, and fitness levels are welcome to join. Bring a friend and train together!

2014 New Year’s Day Swim

New Year’s Day was greeted with a warm fire, delicious coffee cake, and an abundance of really cold water. The New Year’s Day swim has become an annual event for many Mo Duk Pai students and was started over four decades ago by Professor King.  When you begin the year with a challenge this great, there isn’t anything you can’t overcome. What better way to bring in the New Year?

Joined by students of all ages from our sister schools we converged on Kelley Point Park. Beginning with some conversation surrounding courage, strength, and visualizing challenges gave us pause to reflect and project on mountains conquered and yet to face. Then the plunge  strengthening resolve to confront all challenges 2014 offers. Here are some pictures of the swim. Congratulations to all who braved the frigid mighty waters, well done! It’s definitely something to be very proud of. Thanks for coming and SEE YA NEXT YEAR!!!!!

Holiday Schedule

Please make note of the change in class schedule over the Holiday season.

December 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st and January 1st – No Kung Fu classes!  There will be regular classes on December 27th and December 29th.  We will be back on track January 2nd!

Hope you all have a wonderful adventure with your families.  Rest up.  Eat good food.  Drink good clean water and forget about the exercise for a week or two.  Let your body refresh and get ready to step it up after the New Year.  I’ll help with that. :)

Much love,


Swimming Anyone?

New Year's Day Swim 2014-2C’mon now you know you want too!

What better way to start off the New Year.  Off with the old and on with the new.  It’s a challenge for sure.  Most of us are not overly fond of cold water let alone cold water on a cold winters day.  Yes, that is snow you see in the background from last year.  I can tell you first hand though every person who participated was glad they did and proud of meeting the challenge.

I try to do it every year, no matter where I am.  The best times have been in southern California. :)  The harder times were in Maine.  Every time was a great experience.  Come out and give it a try this year.  You’ll be glad you did.  Don’t worry, we’ll have a nice little bonfire to warm up next to after we take a dive.

Much love,