News and Events — July-December 2008 | YMAA

News and Events — July-December 2008

"The Sophomores, and me"

The Sophomores, and me

December 29, 2008
When Dan Hood, a tai chi student (YMAA Boston Headquarters) and author decided to pen his own autobiography including the years he spent with a Boston-based doo wop group, little did he realize the challenge that would face him. Now that his book, The Sophomores, and me, has been published on, he's surprised at the attention it's getting. Here's what it's about:

Daniel (Dan) Hood, and the Clements brothers, Rolly and Donald are senior citizens living a life of leisure. Now retired, they often reminisce about the trials and tribulations that confronted their Doo-Wop singing group, The Sophomores while trying to achieve stardom more than 44 years ago. Suddenly, they are thrust back into the limelight when they're asked to perform at Boston Symphony Hall during an awards ceremony.

However, they're faced with a couple of very serious problems. First and foremost, not only have they been out of contact with each other for a long time, they haven't sung together since 1972 when their voices were strong and vibrant. Secondly, Dan is shocked to learn that their lead singer, Major "Eddie" Brooks has died and he doubts if anyone can replace him. The Sophomores, and me is the story about how these three, aging, life-long friends, with the help of another famous singer, muster up enough strength, determination and courage to overcome these problems.

Dan Hood has written two children's books, Lobrigolin and the Forest of Fear and Lobrigolin and the Book of the Ogham. A third book that he's currently writing will complete the Lobrigolin trilogy.

Arthur Rosenfeld at Huffington Post

Huffington Post

December 29, 2008
YMAA author Arthur Rosenfeld is now a regular columnist for the Huffington Post. This week he has published an account of a Christmas time caffeine encounter he had last year. We enjoyed hearing the story when it happened and even more so reading this detailed and reflective account. The NBC coverage of that incident and a few other video clips featuring Arthur are available for viewing at Youtube.

First Semester at YMAA Retreat Center was a Success

End of Semester

December 29, 2008
The Autumn 2008 semester at the YMAA CA Retreat Center consisted of hardcore body conditioning training as well as daily lessons in Taijiquan, Qigong, meditation, and Chinese. Month-by-month, the disciples have grown closer and stronger together, and they are now enjoying a much deserved break before the start of the second semester in January. Click to read more.

SNOW DAY - Testing this Sunday, December 21st is canceled

Testing Canceled

December 20, 2008
Due to the inclement weather, testing at YMAA Boston on Sunday, December 21st is canceled. We feel that it would be safer for students and instructors to stay indoors tomorrow and off the roads. Testing will be held on an individual basis during regular practice times, either before or after the winter break. The weather prediction for tomorrow is a mix of rain and snow, with an accumulation of 1-3 inches.

Nicholas and some of the other instructors and students will still be at the school around noon to clean the snow.

Congratulations to James and Stephanie Yang!

James and Stephanie Wedding

December 3, 2008
Congratulations to James and Stephanie Yang on their wedding December 6th! The YMAA Boston office will be closed for one week, from December 2nd - 9th, 2008 because both Mrs. Mei-Ling and Nicholas will be out of the office for the wedding. Classes at YMAA Boston will still take place as regularly scheduled. For any inquiries, payments, questions, or issues for the office, please address the instructors during class times, or contact after December 9th. You may also email. Click for more details.

YMAA Retreat Center in Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine

YMAA CA Interview

December 3, 2008
Read the latest magazine article about Dr Yang, Jwing-Ming's project in California at the YMAA Retreat Center and the students accepted as disciples. Gene Ching from Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine attended the disciple ceremony and interviewed Dr. Yang in August 2008 and his article "Dr. Yang and his Disciples" is in the January/February 2009 issue, on newstands now. Ask for it in your local bookstore or martial arts shop. For a preview of the articles contained in that issue, you may visit the Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine website.

Now Accepting Five More Disciples for YMAA CA


November 24, 2008
Dr. Yang and his new students have enjoyed a successful start to the 10-year training program in California. There have been no injuries, and Dr. Yang is pleased with the students' progress. Though the funding goal has not yet been reached, the program is sustainable enough that Dr. Yang has announced that he will accept up to five more students into this program. Applications are being accepted now until early next year. The new disciples have been writing online about their training and recent experiences, including the addition of a puppy to the family in CA.

YMAA Publishing Center announces four books received awards from National “Best Books 2008” awards

YMAA Book Awarded

November 12, 2008, Barbara Langley
New Hampshire – YMAA Publication Center announced that four books recently received awards and recognition from National “Best Books 2008” awards sponsored by, an online magazine and review web site for mainstream and independent publishing houses. In addition, “Tai Chi Dynamics” received a Highlighted Title Section from Jenkins Group’s online publisher’s magazine. "I congratulate each of these authors who provide in-depth work which illuminates the potential of martial arts, and the readers who support their endeavors,” said David Ripianzi, publisher, YMAA Publication Center. Read more>>

YMAA Wins Gold In World Tai Chi Championship

Dr. Yang's Taiwan Trip 2008

October 27, 2008
The YMAA team finished the 2008 World Tai Chi Chuan Championship in Taipei, Taiwan winning medals in several events including Taijiquan, Taiji Sword, and Taiji Broadsword. Attendees included Pascal Plee (France), Corlius Birkill (South Africa), Olivier Pardo (England), Milan Vigil (Memphis, U.S.A.), and Nicholas Yang (Boston, U.S.A.). The group spent time with Grandmaster Li, visited the White Crane training grounds, and reunited with Grandmaster Gao, Tao. Click to read the full post-trip report here.

1988 Video Interview with Dr. Yang

Dr. Yang's Interview in Youtube

October 16, 2008
A video has recently surfaced online featuring an interview with Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming during a 1988 New York seminar. In the video, Dr. Yang's first few books are shown and discussed, and he performs various techniques, including an early version of his Taijiquan fa jing. It is clear in this old video that Dr. Yang's mission to preserve and popularize Chinese martial arts was motivated by the prevalent lack of understanding in American martial arts society of many basic concepts, such as Internal and External martial arts and Qigong, that we take for granted nowadays. Also featured in the video is Master Liang, Shou-Yu. Click here to watch. This related video features an interview with Master Liang and performance of Liu He Ba Fa.

YMAA Amesbury Demonstration

YMAA Amesbury Demonstration

October 14, 2008
YMAA Amesbury, MA one of the newest YMAA provisional schools to join the YMAA International family will be hosting it's first official demonstration.  The demonstration is to be held at the Woodsom Farm Festival in Amesbury, MA on Saturday October 25th or Sunday the 26th if it rains.  YMAA Amesbury, MA led by Director Scott W. Tarbell is a provisional school that teaches the full YMAA curriculum in Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan, and Qigong. 

The Amesbury school will present a free Taijiquan event at the festival at 12pm which will include a short public class, pushing hands demonstration performed by Mr. Tarbell and his students.  The pushing hands portion of the event will focus on displaying the martial aspects of Taijiquan such as Qin Na, Shuai Jiao, and Self Defense.  The Tajiquan demo will end with Mr. Tarbell demonstrating the first part of the Long Form with jing.

The highly anticipated Shaolin Kung Fu demonstration will take place at 3pm.  The event will display the Little Dragons (ages 4-6), the Juniors (ages 7-12), and end with the official YMAA Amesbury Demo Team performing Kicks, Tan Tuis, Qin Na and Shuai Jiao for Self Defense, Short Forms, Speciality Kicks, and some Kicking Combinations.   Mr. Tarbell will demonstrate a Speciality Barehand Sequence as well as a Weapon Sequence to conclude the show. Special guest performers from other YMAA schools may possibly demonstrate as well, but they will be announced the day of the Demonstration. 

New Video Previews Online!

New Video Previews Online!

October 3, 2008
New videos have been posted on the YMAA You Tube page for recent DVD releases. You may view trailers for the new "SABER Fundamental Training DVD", and the "Xingyiquan DVD". Also, watch the special behind-the-scenes photo slideshow of the 'Making Of" the upcoming new "Wudang Taijiquan DVD", by Daoist monk Zhou, Xuan-Yun, and featuring Nicholas Yang and Adison Martin.

Happy Birthday Nicholas Yang and YMAA

Happy Birthday Nick and YMAA

October 1, 2008
Today, the 1st of October 2008, marks the 26th anniversary of the YMAA Boston School and YMAA International, which was all conceptualized, established, and realized from the hard work of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. The organization began as a Kung-Fu research club at Purdue University and later as a martial arts academy in Houston, TX. In 1982, Yang's Martial Arts Academy consisted of a small group of students and friends training out of Dr. Yang's garage in Tewksbury, MA in the Greater Boston area. The Academy relocated to Huntington Avenue in the New England Conservatory Building for about 1-2 years before moving to Jamaica Plain in March of 1986. Dr. Yang established Jamaica Plain as the headquarters location of the new organization, Yang's Martial Arts Association - YMAA. Twenty-six years later, with more than 55 schools and thousands of students training around the world, YMAA continues to grow strong under the leadership of Nicholas C. Yang, the current President of YMAA International. As Nicholas shares the same birthday as YMAA, happy birthday to them both! Congratulations and thank you to YMAA members and martial artists worldwide for being a part of our community, for training with us, and for contributing to promote martial arts, martial morality, health and wellness, and the healing arts for the past quarter century and more. There have been many birthday wishes on the YMAA MySpace page.

Dr. Yang awarded "Martial Arts Publisher of the Year 2008"

Master Gao Tao

September 23, 2008
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming was recently awarded "Martial Arts Publisher of the Year 2008" by the Eleventh World Congress on Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. This annual conference hosted by Dr. Effie Chow and the American Qigong Association was held on Saturday, Sept. 20th, 2008 in San Francisco with approximately 300 attendees. This year's event raised funds to support the victims of the 2008 China earthquake. Dr. Yang had a good time visiting with many people, some of whom he hasn't seen in a long time, including Gigi Oh from Kungfu Taiji magazine. Some of Dr. Yang's recent publications include the Understanding Qigong DVD series, Five Animals Qigong DVD, Taiji 37-Postures Martial Applications DVD and Qigong Meditation - Small Circulation. (Photo by Humphry Angeles)

Dr. Yang's Taijiquan Master Gao, Tao is Found

Master Gao Tao

September 22, 2008
After searching for 40 years, Dr. Yang has recently located Taiji Master Gao, Tao (高濤) in Taiwan. Master Gao was Dr. Yang's first Taijiquan teacher at age 16. Special thanks to the organizer of the World Cup Tai Chi Chuan Championship in Taiwan, Ms. Noelle Kasai, for her assistance in reuniting Dr. Yang and Master Gao. Dr. Yang has said many times in past interviews that he feels very fortunate to have started learning Taijiquan with Master Gao, who is a rare teacher that emphasized the martial aspects of Taijiquan. Read more>>

Retreat Center Website Updated

Retreat Center New Website

September 15, 2008
The website for the YMAA CA Retreat Center has been updated with news of the recent seminars and Disciple Ceremony, blog posts from the Retreat Center students, photos of seminar attendees, and much more. Please view the site to learn about donating to this nonprofit organization, and join the Retreat Center project to preserve the Chinese arts at the highest level possible. You may jump directly to information about 'Sponsoring A Student', 'Donating by Pay Pal', or read about the 'Training Curriculum'. Also check out the 'Blogs' page, which keeps updated blog entries of the students training at the Retreat Center.

YMAA Retreat Center - First Semester Begins

YMAA Retreat Center Ceremony

September 8, 2008
Dr. Yang officially accepted five disciples on August 30, 2008: Jonathan Chang, Ricardo Tonet, Patrick Manriquez, Mike DiMeglio, and Tom Dudkiewicz. There was a formal ceremony with special guests, including Nick Gracenin, Pat Rice, and Jose Johnson. The first five disciples now begin their 10-year journey towards mastering the Chinese arts, together as brothers. We wish them the best of luck and hope for the continued success of the YMAA Retreat Center. You can help Donate to the cause at the YMAA Retreat Center website, which will be updated soon with more content and updates.

Chin Na Instructor Dave Grantham Weekend Seminar

Dave Grantham Weekend Seminar

September 4, 2008
YMAA Instructor Dave Grantham is offering a weekend seminar in New Jersey on Taiji Ball, Taiji Martial Applications, and Chin Na. Mr. Grantham is the co-author of Dr. Yang's upcoming Taiji Ball book. He is also one of the highest-qualified Chin Na instructors. Mr. Grantham has assisted with teaching in many of Dr. Yang's seminars, and this is a rare opportunity for people in the NJ area. The seminar will be September 27th and 28th, from 9am to 5pm. For details and to register, call 909-797-6405.

YMAA Demo A Great Success

YMAA Boston Copley Demo

August 27, 2008
A big thank you to everybody who helped make the YMAA Demo for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital a great success on Saturday, August 23rd, 2008. YMAA Boston is happy to announce that more than $1,100 was raised and will be used for researching and treating childhood cancer and other diseases. We sincerely appreciate everybody's continued support throughout the whole planning process and all the donations and contributions that made this event happen. Congratulations to all the performers for doing a stand-up job! We couldn't have asked for a better day. The weather was fantastic and everybody had great spirit. An article and photos are now posted on and video is coming soon.

UK Magazine Featuring Dr. Yang

UK Magazine Featuring Dr. Yang

August 25, 2008
UK Magazine Featuring Dr. Yang Martial Arts Illustrated (MAI) is available in the UK from selected Tescos and WH Smiths stores. Please look for the September 2008 issue (Vol. 21, No. 4) which is out now - from mid August to mid September. The article is called "Asking the Masters" (by Harjit Singh Sagoo). The next part of the series shall be in the following issue. Subscription to MAI is available to people outside the UK. Please visit the MAI website - - and click on the 'subscribe' link.

Announcing the Five Students of the YMAA CA Retreat Center

YMAA California Students

August 15, 2008
Since the start of the YMAA Retreat Center project in 2005, hundreds of applications have come in from around the world. Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming interviewed each applicant via phone, email, and in person, and many semi-finalists have come to CA to undergo a testing period. After a rigorous three-year process, five student applicants remain. These final five students will be accepted as disciples in a formal ceremony on August 30th, 2008, at which time they will make a vow to complete the 10-year training with Dr. Yang. Meet the five students here.

YMAA Boston Seminars and YMAA Portugal Summer Camp photos

YMAA Portugal Seminar

August 15, 2008
The YMAA Boston Summer Seminars and the YMAA Summer Camp in Portugal were a great success! Thanks to all those who participated, and please join us next year. has been updated with photos of recent events. We hope to see you at the school demo, Saturday Aug. 23, from 2 - 4pm in Copley Square, Boston, MA.

YMAA Guest Instructor of Wudang Kung Fu

YMAA Guest Instructor of Wudang Kung Fu

August 13, 2008
Daoist monk Zhou Xuan Yun grew up on Wudang Mountain, in China, where he was a student and later an instructor of Taiji and Kung Fu. During a short visit to America, Xuan Yun will offer a six-week class on Wudang Kung Fu Fundamental Training, August 26 - Sept 30, Tuesday nights, 7:30pm at YMAA Boston School . Please join the class and help to support his time here. Pay-Per-Class: $16/class. Pay-In-Advance: $72 for 6 classes. Pre-register by August 25th. See his website for details. Xuan Yun will also be performing in the YMAA martial arts demo in Copley Square, Saturday, Aug. 23rd, 2-4pm!

YMAA Demo on Saturday, August 23 in Copley Square

YMAA Demo in Copley Square

July 9, 2008
YMAA will be holding a Kung Fu and Tai Chi exhibition and demonstration in Copley Square, Boston, MA (USA) on August 23rd, 2008 at 2:00pm. The venue will be outdoors in front of the Trinity Church. There will be performances in Tai Chi, Shaolin barehand, weapons, and Qin-Na. This will be a charitable event to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude is dedicated to the research of bettering the lives of children, and adults as well, by finding cures and treatments for many diseases.

Please visit the YMAA Boston event webpage.

Come support YMAA and St. Jude! If you would like to volunteer or participate, please send us an email ASAP. Help spread the word!

Chin Na Seminar with David Grantham

David Grantham Seminar

July 6, 2008
If you are in the neighborhood of Pottstown, PA on Saturday, July 12th, be sure to stop by and check out YMAA instructor David Grantham teaching a one hour Chin Na workshop. For more information, please visit the Fighting Spirit website. He will be there with teachers of various schools to assist in raising funds and bringing martial awareness to children of all ages who are unable to pay for martial art lessons. Mr. Grantham once again will also be hosting his own seminars later this year in September in New Jersey. Subjects will be on Taiji Ball, Taijiquan apps, and Chin Na. Details will follow.