To Nourish your Body, Mind, and Spirit
Some 1500 years ago in the Hunan province of China, Shao-lin monks wanted to live in isolation, pursuing the peaceful teachings of Buddha. In order to protect their freedom in a land filled with violence, they developed a powerful system of self-preservation. This system was based on the avoidance of conflict and the cultivation of mind, body, and spirit.
Today Kung Fu continues to fill a need in western society to combat stress and strengthen personal health and character. The Phoenix and Dragon Martial Arts School is dedicated to those who wish to pursue a better way of life through the cultivation of the mind, body, and spirit.
Great Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng was born in 1905 in Hopei, China, and began his training at an early age. His instructor was the renowned master Ch’ang Fen Yen who was noted for his BaoDin style of shuai-chiao, the most famous of the three styles in China. Ch’ang Tung Sheng quickly worked his way up to become the master’s number-one student and later married his teacher’s daughter.
After becoming proficient in fighting skills, he traveled to Peking where his reputation preceded him. There he fought and defeated all challengers. His victories gained recognition in China and his combat experience increased. Ch’ang then left the Peking area and traveled throughout Mongolia, challenging the best fighters in that part of the country. Ch’ang defeated them all and garnered unanimous acclaim by defeating the heavyweight Mongolian champion Ke Lee.
Ch’ang learned Tai Chi Chuan from General Li Chien Lin in the 1930s and because of his complete mastery of Shuai Chiao, was able to perfect the style called Ch’ang Shih Tai Chi Chuan which incorporates the techniques of this ancient art of Shuai Chiao, and is unique among Tai Chi styles for its combat potential. Ch’ang was also expert in the arts of Hsing-I, Pakua and Shao-lin Kung Fu.
In the early 1930s. Ch’ang taught at the Central Kuo Shu Institute in Nanking, which had been established by the government to preserve the national martial arts. Ch’ang never retired from the combat arena even while teaching. In 1933 Ch’ang emerged number one in the Fifth National Athletic Meet, a very popular event in China. He also captured the championship at the Seventh National Athletic Meet held in Shanghai in the 1940’s.
Ch’ang, already nearly 70 years old, was invited to Morocco as a guest of His Majesty King Hassan II in 1975. There he demonstrated his forms and techniques. During his demonstration, Ch’ang was unexpectedly attacked by a high-ranking black belt of another Oriental fighting system. Ch’ang quickly back-stepped and pivoted to his attacker’s rear, catching him with a strike and throw, which catapulted his attacker to the ground and rendered him unconscious. King Hussein was so impressed that he presented Ch’ang with a rare sword inlaid with jewels.
In Taipei, Ch’ang taught at the Central Government Police Academy for nearly 30 years. His defense techniques are now being utilized by police agencies throughout the world. They are also standard curriculum in law enforcement academies in New York and in Texas.
Master Eric Sbarge has trained for over 30 years in Tai Chi Ch’uan, Pa-Kua, Hsing-I, Shuai Chiao and Shaolin Kung Fu.
Master Sbarge has extensive knowledge of the arts he teaches, and has taken firsts in the black belt divisions of a number of tournaments, among them the United Nations Open. He is also a member of the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
Master Sbarge has extensive knowledge of the arts he teaches, and has written a number of articles both scholarly and practical for Inside Kung-fu, Black Belt and other magazines. He has participated in demonstrations at many major arenas including Madison Square Garden, and taken firsts in the black belt divisions of a number of tournaments, among them the United Nations Open.
Master Sbarge, along with his wife, Hu Wan Chih, envisioned and brought into being The Peaceful Dragon Cultural Center. Master Sbarge teaches with the certification and sanction of the Kuo Shu Federation of the Republic of China, and the American Kenpo Association. He also taught tai chi at Central Piedmont Community College and kungfu at South Charlotte Middle School.
Sifu David has been teaching under Master Eric Sbarge’s supervision for 18 years and is honored to to be able to pass on the Arts to his own students at The Phoenix and Dragon Tai Chi and Kung Fu School.
Sifu David Block (right) with Master Eric Sbarge (left)
Great Grandmaster Chang Tung Sheng demonstrates a Hsing-I Chuan form.
Many of the authentic martial arts taught at our studios have been passed down by Great Masters, including Great Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng and Master Eric Sbarge. Sifu David Block continues to study with Master Sbarge as well as partaking in Master workshops. Students are indeed fortunate to have access to training and knowledge of this caliber.