When she began training in the art of Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen, Silvia Smart felt instantly empowered. That was in 1987. Today, as a Goeroe and fifth-degree black belt, Silvia and her husband Jeff, also a fifth-degree black belt, share their wisdom of self-defense at Tulen Center. For more than 25 years now, they have taught students as young as three martial arts and self-defense techniques. Silvia, Jeff, and their fellow instructors always emphasize practical skills–falling properly, for instance, which is an important skill for self-defense situations and re-shingling the roof. The Tulen Center team makes its teachings accessible for all skill levels by maintaining a non-competitive, positive environment.
The mission of Body and Brain Yoga—alongside its affiliate yoga centers—is to make yoga accessible to everyone, everywhere. To this end, each team of instructors modulate movements based on Korean sun do to match each students’ needs. Classes emphasize aligning the body and mind equally through stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation, and each session is capped off by a 10-minute tea time, during which students and instructors can socialize or reenact Alice in Wonderland's interview with the Easter Bunny.
“We focus on all of our individual students, not just our competitors,” said instructor Jeff Patterson when describing what sets Northwest Fighting Arts apart from other gyms. At Northwest, students can take any of the gym’s classes or customize a package to suit their needs. Instructors specialize in popular martial-arts forms such as muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and boxing, and they also offer harder-to-find styles such as jeet kune do and kali/eskrima. Though martial-arts classes themselves can provide an intense workout, Northwest Fighting Arts also has strictly fitness classes such as interval training and circuit training.
Classes at the Portland Shaolin Center introduce people of all experience levels to the 1500 year old martial arts of Shaolin Kung Fu. The training includes physical conditioning, Internal and External Styles, Animal Styles, Empty Hand and Weapons forms, meditation, sparring, Ch'i Kung and T'ai Chi Chuan.