Josef Haber's dedication to BaGuaZhang lead him and his wife, Kate to China for the first time in 2012. He has been training 2 months / year in Beijing ever since. The meaningful relationships with his Chinese family and his multiple Beijing lineage ceremonies enrich and inform more than just Josef's KungFu. He and his family are dedicated to preserving the transformative martial arts and the spirit of good kung fu His youtube channel is an example of his desire to share all he has learned and continues to learn in the Temple of Heaven. The goal of his pursuits is to create more teachers who will perpetuate these meaningful arts long after he is gone.
Hailing from Mobile, AL, Aaron Diaz began his lifelong martial arts career in 1989 at the age of six. He has trained in Seoul, New York, San Francisco, and Portland in a number of internal systems. He holds a 4th degree black belt and master instructor rank in the Korean art of Soo Bahk Do. He attended 2 weeks of training in Beijing fall of 2016.
Benjamin Gitchel, a qigong student of William "Uncle Bill" Frazier, has been a practitioner of JinJingGong since 2007, and has recently returned from studying in China at Mt. Emei with lineage holder Prof. Wang Qingyu, and the North American lineage disciples. His other passions include trance work and hypnotherapy (CHt, MNLP), as well as the study of harmony through number, geometry, and sound. He currently resides in Aurora, Oregon.
Kate Haber, 'Pimenta,' has been a Capoeirista since 2009. She began her studies under Mestre Batata in Los Angeles. She likes to refer to capoeira as her 'martial arts soul food': it offers expedient fun, health and community. She runs a rich kids' capoeira program at Flying Tortoise in addition to managing the studio. Please visit Capoeira Besouro Oregon for more info.
Fritz Rice's martial art career started early and has spanned practice in art form mother countries from India to China. His friendship with Joey as well as his knowledge of Beijing language and culture have propelled Flying Tortoise forwards. In Seattle, Fritz studies Chen TaiJiChuan under Master Derryl Willis. He will be traveling from Seattle to Portland about once a month to teach Chen Tai Chi at Flying Tortoise and offer private lessons.
Robin Richardson has been practicing martial arts since 1994 and been studying with Josef Haber since 2009, focusing on Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan. Their teaching approach emphasizes the biomechanical principles and underlying kinesthetics behind the kung fu rather than rote forms or prescriptive techniques. Robin also teaches introductory biology classes at Portland Community College.
Ed Barrow is a veteran martial artists. He studied Shaolin in San Francisco with a string of renown teachers from 1977-1996 including Grand Master Kuo Lien Ying and Master George Xu . In China, Ed studied with Ching Shong Bao. Over the past 40 years Ed has studied Yang Style Tai Chi, Qi Gong, broad sword, rattan staff, knives, Wu Mei Lan Shou Shaolin Chuan, Xing Yi Quan and Chen style Tai Chi. Please click photo for more details!
Karro Jones has been practicing Ba Gua Zhang and San Huang Pao Chui with Flying Tortise academy since early 2016. While this is the first kung fu school Karro has studied at, he is excited to step into instructing, is committed to deepening his practice with fellow students and the Flying Tortoise family, and is honored to be carrying on the lineages taught here.
Lake Strongheart McTighe has been practicing Chinese martial arts for twelve years. She started her training in Yi-Chuan, Bagua, Xing Yi Quan, Qi-Gong and Tai Chi Quan with Sifu Gregory Fong. She studied for several years with David Tircuit, and began training with Joseph Haber at Flying Tortoise in 2016. When she is not practicng martial arts, Lake works as an urban and regional planner.
Craig Moro has kept one foot in martial arts—and two feet whenever possible!—since 1977. Beginning with Taekwondo, he later studied Yang-style Tai Chi with Master George Hu and with Peter Ralston, who also introduced him to BaGua Zhang. He has continued to study BaGua intermittently whenever his moves around the U.S. and overseas have put him in proximity to good instruction. He has been a student at Flying Tortoise since December of 2017 and plans to stay as long as he can walk around a circle. Craig also serves as minister to Wy’east Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
After dabbling in a variety of martial arts throughout his life Derek began training Chinese Martial Arts in 2011. He has been a student of Josef Haber's since 2012. He has studied Wing Chung under Pete Nosler since 2011. He appreciates combat applications and artistic qualities. Derek is also fascinated with the healing capabilities of Chinese Martial Arts. He credits them with helping him overcome various long term health problems. Derek looks forward to improving as the years move forward and enjoys filling in to teach classes when the opportunity arises. His participation in the Flying Tortoise Beijing trip of fall, 2016 greatly informed his teaching style and martial arts practice.
Andrea Thompson became interested in BaGuaZhang in the early 2000's after reading about the practice of circle walking and its related energetic dynamics in a book. At the time, she couldn't find anyone in the Portland area who taught this form. It wasn't until 2016 when she decided to search again and found Flying Tortoise. Studying with Josef has been an incredibly rewarding experience that has opened Andrea up to various styles like her current favorite, Da Bei Chuan. Whether traveling abroad or here at home, Andrea plans to stick with these beautiful and challenging forms as a life-long practice.