From Our Editors
Steffan de Graffenried got his first taste of martial arts the way many Americans did in the 1970s: through kung fu movies and TV shows. One second-degree black belt and many years of study later, he founded WuDang Martial Arts Centers, which has studios throughout northern Alabama. Interested students will encounter Chinese martial arts they're familiar with—Shaolin, kung fu—and many more they've likely never heard of, including Northern Praying Mantis, Bajiquan, and Xing Yi Quan.
The self-defense classes emphasize elements of respect, hard work, and tenacity, and WuDang also offers one-on-one sessions and weapons training. For soothing, centering practice, WuDang's tai chi and yoga classes help promote overall well-being.