Free Classes Scheduled For The Mountain City Community

Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy of Mountain City, TN is planning on offering Free classes to the community.

On March 28th, BRKFAA is scheduled to offer an Introduction to Tai Chi class from 9:30am till 10:30am and a Women’s Self Defense Class from 10:30am till 12:00 noon free to the community.
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Tai Chi is noted as a low impact exercise that can improve overall health. It has been studied for its benefits to circulation, breathing, relaxation, and even cancer. Tai Chi is very popular with older adults, but can benefit students of all ages. The class will give a basic overview of Tai Chi and other internal systems and teach basic techniques the student can practice at home.
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The Women’s Self Defense class is open to women and young girls. Students will be taught what to look out for to help avoid dangerous situations. They will learn simple and effective techniques to help defend themselves if attacked. The class will teach environmental awareness and how to avoid appearing to be an easy target.
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It would be helpful for those interested to call 423-727-4474 to register, but registration is not required.
Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy
119 Village Square Lane
Located two doors down from H&R Block

Mixed Martial Arts ( MMA ) Is Not A Recent Concept

Mixed Martial Arts MMA has steadily gained popularity in the United States since the first UFC matches of the 1990’s. The first UFC tournaments were billed as a way to see which martial arts styles were the best. After the first few tournaments, things began to change. “Stand up” fighters soon began to train grappling techniques to deal with “Ground fighters”. “Grapplers” began to learn striking and kicking techniques to buy time against “Stand up” fighters till they could maneuver into a takedown. This cross training in styles is what lead to what is now called MMA. Announcers and casual fans of the sport heralded this as a new and revolutionary idea. Many would be surprised to learn that MMA has been around for centuries.

The following is insightful article written by Master Eric Marks. The article originally appears at

Sunburst Natural Style

sun-naturalThe newest “fad” in martial arts is being called “mixed martial arts”. In the 1990’s, the Gracie family started a fighting event that was billed as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This was an event that was used to promote their family style of Jujitsu, and was nothing more than a popular form of fighting event held in Brazil that was known as Vale Tudo or Freefighting. These events have grown in popularity over the past few years and have become a part of popular culture just as kickboxing was in the 70’s and 80’s. Many people now seek to learn this “new” martial art when in all actuality, it has existed for many thousands of years. The earliest record of martial arts in China was of an art known as Goti. This was practiced by Mongolian people and has been refined into an art form now known as Shuai Ciao or Mongolian Wrestling.

It is a complete system of stand up and ground fighting as well as weapons fighting. As time has gone on, many more arts have developed based on religious practice, geography and philosophy. While some arts simply rely on one facet of fighting, we prefer to prepare ourselves for all facets of fighting. This is what Tai Yang Tzu Jan Men is! It is a complete system of training both internal and external power as well as the body, mind and spirit. Truly a Personal Combat System Through training, Tzu Jan Men enhances the spirit and the mind, regulates the circulation of Chi (vital energy) and develops physical sensitivity. When the body is in harmony, you will live a long and healthy life. The purpose of martial arts is to live a long, healthy and enjoyable life, free from illness. Fighting skills are learned to allow you to defend yourself, to increase your self confidence and power. Self awareness is also increased, allowing you to experience your limitations and develop beyond them. Avoiding confrontation, minimizing stress and developing strategies for successfully dealing with the environment and society are all necessary studies if you want to lead a happy life. Correct training of the mind, body and spirit ensures that your spontaneous reaction will be effective and powerful.

These skills are also applicable in all areas of your life. In addition to defense and conditioning, martial arts also helps one get rid of bad habits and can increase one’s energy and spirit. It can offer ten times the benefits of any other hobby. It promotes people’s mental and physical health, and enhances friendship through joint efforts in international research and friendly competitions. Essentially, martial arts is a practical study for self-enhancement and the foundation for nurturing a strong will. Chinese martial arts are profound, the more one learns the deeper one finds it. When one can reach the point where “essence” is developed in the bones and “chi” in marrow, long-life and long-lasting vision will result. Martial arts does not only help one build a healthy body, it also helps build a dignified personality and a joyous charitable spirit. As learning progresses, boundless energy and hand and eye dexterity will be attained, and one’s character will become flexible and honest. To this end, one can easily achieve goals of helping others, benefitting oneself, and living in harmony with all.

The Nature Fist is considered a lost art and we are one of only a few schools in North America that teach this style. Our Natural Style was put together by Grandmaster Ward and incorporates elements of Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Indonesian, Filipino and Thai arts. It is a complete system of health, self defense and wellness for anyone! Make no mistake, I am not disrespecting Mixed Martial Arts competition. I am a fan. I am also a fan of realistic training and fighting in a ring has rules and regulations. Rules that are not followed by the common thug on the street. The Natural Style was and still is one of the highest level arts taught and we firmly believe in its combat effectiveness. We are not only fighters, we are healers and we take a well rounded approach to training and wellness. We practice true mixed martial arts!


Sifu Eric Marks

Master Marks is the owner and Master instructor at Blue Ridge Kung Fu of Winston Salem in North Carolina. You can like them on Facebook at

Coming Soon

I would like to apologize for the recent dry spell in post. I am getting geared up to start posting several new post. Keep your eyes out for the new post! Hope you enjoy.

Grandmaster Laing’s BRKFAA Website Is Now Up

The website for Grandmaster Laing’s schools is now up and running. The web address is:

The site is a great way to learn about the BRKFAA schools.  Please check out the site.

Women’s Self Defense Class

Friday, October 25th has been set as the date for the Women’s Self Defense Class to be held at the Abingdon BRKFAA school.  A time should be posted Tuesday. If interested  in attending the class, call 276-475-5930.

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A Special Thanks

I would like to thank a special wordpress friend –

He has been very helpful in helping me set up this blog and provided me with great advice.

So, the things you really like on here are all my ideas; the things you don’t were probably his.

Be sure to check out his blog for interesting, thought provoking, and funny posts and articles.

New YouTube Channel

Grandmaster Laing has set up a new YouTube channel.  The channel will include clips showing some of the techniques students are working on in class, some very basic instructional clips, and maybe even some funny videos.

The new channel is BRKFAA GM Laing. Here is a link

Check out this Monkey Technique

There are more Monkey Techniques on the channel.

Hope you enjoy!

Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy on Twitter

Grandmaster Chris Laing now has a twitter account for his Abingdon, VA and Mountain City, TN BRKFAA schools. You can follow at @BlueRidgeKungFu.

Laing hopes to use the account to keep current students updated and to make contact with potential new students.  The twitter account will also be helpful in notifying readers about the latest articles posted on this blog.