Wu shen tao means "way of the spiritual warrior," which reflects the mind-body focus at this martial-arts center. Read on to learn more about it:
The Mission: Since opening in 1985, Wu Shen Tao Health & Martial Arts Center's primary goal has been to offer a wide variety of wellness programs.
The Director: Paul Ramos draws on more than 40 years of martial-arts training, and he's helped Wu Shen Tao produce more than three dozen national championship gold medalists.
The Programs: A variety of group and private classes includes three styles of tai chi, self-defense, kung fu, and meditation.
At the Virginia Academy of Fencing, students learn the centuries-old art of fencing in a decidedly modern-day setting. The facility’s 13,000-square-foot space features amenities such as a padded warm-up area, a bouting video-replay system, and 18 full-time electric strips with overhead reel systems, as well as a decorated area for spectators or maidens in distress.
Seven days a week, expert instructors teach both Olympic Sport Fencing and Historical Swordsmanship to classes of students. Olympic Sport Fencing includes foil, épée, and sabre instruction, while Historical Swordsmanship teaches the use of either a rapier or a long sword. Along with providing students with an opportunity to learn a new and unique sport, the academy’s classes help students improve their strength, balance, coordination, and cardio fitness.
Rapiers glint and eyes narrow at the Royal Fencing Academy, where the age-old sport is carried on by dedicated coaches and students. In lessons organized by level and age, athletes suit up and learn from professional-level fencers, who impart a sense of discipline and drive alongside technical skills.
With 23,000 square feet of dedicated fencing space between them, The Baltimore Fencing Center's two locations offer students plenty of room to practice lunges and polish parries. Presiding over all the action is owner and head coach Bin Lu, who once served as a member of the Chinese National and Olympic teams and as coach of the former. Today he passes along the knowledge he accumulated while competing at the highest levels to students of all experience levels—even those who have never picked up a foil or battled a level 3 mage. The center welcomes beginners of all ages through its Learn to Fence program, and routinely sends its qualified fencers to USFA National events.