The Original Mixed Martial Art
Shaolin Arts is a family system thousands of years old and has survived because it works. MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, has become a term used today referring to an aggressive sport type event for the entertainment of spectators. More than one ‘style’ or type of martial art is used. Using more than one style, or a complete program of arts is what Shaolin Arts Kung Fu programs have always done. Just like people, each Kung Fu animal has its strengths and weakness due to individual body style and personality. For example, in self defense applications, kicks are an excellent tool, but if you are standing on a patch of ice, or wearing a tight dress, you may not be able to throw too many kicks. If someone gets behind you and pulls you down to the ground different skills are needed. What if you have more than one attacker? If weapons are used? etc. Putting all the animal styles together, as traditionally done, creates a complete package or system of Arts. Our goal is to teach you all the principles of the Arts and you will naturally gravitate to the style that works best for you.
At Shaolin Arts we believe that fitness is the foundation of good kung fu and a good life.
In class, led by motivating instructors, you will be squatting, lunging, balancing, doing pushups, and more – all with more variations than you thought could possibly exist. You’ll be learning how to kick, punch, block, wrist-lock, sweep, throw and grapple with your workout partners. Throughout, your safety is our primary concern. We teach you how to perform every exercise and technique safely and effectively by focusing on biomechanically correct, efficient and effective movement patterns. This allows you to improve your fitness and reduce the risk of injury at the same time.
Our classes are small, which means you won’t get lost in the crowd. Every class is coached by experienced instructors. Throughout the class, you get personal attention and coaching. Because workouts are unique and you are always learning something new, it never gets boring. At Shaolin Arts, you don’t wander around wondering what to do, just show up and follow the instructor. From first-timers to seasoned athletes, the workout can be scaled to meet any ability and intensity.
At Shaolin Arts Kung Fu we teach the five classic Shaolin Animals: tiger, leopard, dragon, crane and snake, traditionally called Shaolin Chuan Fa Wu Ling Xing. Within this complete system both hard and soft, focus with fluidity, are embraced. Each animal represents a different body type and personality.
The tiger is known for its strength and tenacity. It is used to being the biggest and strongest animal in the jungle using direct force in confrontations. As long as you are the biggest and strongest tiger this is a good method. The weakness of the tiger is that it can be ‘out foxed’. The leopard is known for its speed. Rapid multiple strikes with coordinated footwork are utilized. Boxing would be one example of a sport evolving from leopard techniques. The crane is known for its balance. It is more conservative, keeping its main body back while reaching out with its wings and beak. The last thing the crane wants to do is grapple. The snake uses wrapping movements and poisonous strikes. The sports of judo, jujitsu, wrestling, and aikido all came from the snake. Poisonous strikes are the pressure point strikes Kung Fu is famous for. The dragon is mystical. It is the thinker. Whipping and whirling with hidden strikes is its trademark. It understands and can use all the other four animals to fulfill it’s needs and purpose. Put together these five animals create a complete package or program of the Arts.
As Kung Fu Artists, our goal is excellence. Excellence in all we do. To be at peace with all the world around us. Not to abuse, not to be abused. In the process of gaining proficiency in our Arts we discover ourselves, enlightenment, understanding, confidence, and self awareness. We laugh; and sometimes cry. We sweat; we ponder; we share; we truly live. In the end we experience the joy of growth, the empowerment and the freedom that it brings. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, it develops; it’s real. It builds upon all the good that is in us. Yes, there is a myriad of kicks, multi hand strikes, stances, grabs, weapons, and patterns or techniques thousands of years old to utilize, for control, to heal with and to energize. In the end you just have to experience good Kung Fu to understand. Come in. There is no time like the present to discover, to enjoy the adventure.
Si Bok Christopher Workman
In 1997, Si Bok Workman co-founded Shaolin Arts in Utah with Si Gong Kerry Gracey. In 2000, he left Utah to establish Shaolin Arts in Arizona.
With over 30 years of experience teaching kung fu, Sifu Workman is one of the most experienced martial arts instructors in the Phoenix area. He has dedicated his life to helping people achieve their goals and become their best selves through Shaolin Kung Fu and T’ai Chi Chuan. As a testament to his skill, experience, and dedication, there are students at Shaolin Arts who have been studying with and learning from Sifu Workman for more than 20 years.
Sifu Workman is passionate about teaching others. He still actively teaches students from beginning to advanced. He loves it when students get to the “ah-ha” moments. His dedication to teaching extends to training others to be instructors. Most of the instructors trained by Sifu Workman continue to train with him and remain to teach at the school. The average experience of the instructors at Shaolin Arts is 13 years.
Before studying Shaolin kung fu, Sifu Workman studied a hard-style karate, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, and Jeet Kune Do. After turning to Shaolin kung fu and achieving his initial black sash, Sifu Workman sought out and studied with experts in traditional Shaolin
Prior to teaching martial arts, Sifu Workman successfully competed in full contact and point sparring. He has a BS in Sociology/Criminology.