I have been training Capoeira with Joey for about a year now. I came to his academy with several years under my belt and I have found an opportunity to grown my game from a brand new perspective.
Joey has been a great teacher due to his ability to intimately understand human movement and dynamic power transfer. As I have gotten better, Joey has been able to pinpoint areas of weakness in my game and has provided insight on how to overcome those obstacles.
If you are looking for someone with a wide variety of martial arts experience and a broad vocabulary of movement, I encourage you to check Joey out.
I've been involved in martial arts since 1989, and rarely have I found a school that comes close to the quality of Flying Tortoise. The commitment to authentic Chinese kung fu, combined with a welcoming and constructive atmosphere, are a breath of fresh air in a country where quality traditional martial arts are scarce. Head instructor Joseph Haber trains multiple months a year under top masters in Beijing, and is a lineage holder in Cheng-style Bagua Zhang and San Huang Pao Chui. There's no more reliable connection to those arts on the West Coast.
If you're interested in martial arts but dissatisfied with McDojos, questionable New Age goofery, or simply the toxic masculinity pervading so many schools, Flying Tortoise is an essential visit. You'd be hard pressed to find a more fun and friendly environment, while still providing challenging training in health, longevity, and practical self-defense.
Creative and expert instruction, with a strong emphasis on student empowerment. A great program that has helped this senior citizen rebuild strength and mobility!
In Flying Tortoise, Josef and Kate have created a welcoming and inclusive community for the study of Kung Fu and Capoeira. They have a rare gift for understanding each student and fostering the transformation of quirks into strengths. As a result, students steadily gain confidence, maturity, and technical skill. I strongly recommend Flying Tortoise to both skilled practitioners and utter beginners.
I met Joey Haber when I came to Portland after more than 30 years of learning and teaching martial arts. I was struck by his skill integrity and passion for the arts—enough of each to impress an old hand who’s seen it all and done half of it. When I observed how well he taught novices and children, I brought my family into his programs. Joey is one of the finest instructors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.
I am immensely fortunate to have joined a community of martial artists through Flying Tortoise Kung Fu. It is a school that draws from an authentic lineage, yet is accessible to those with limited and no expertise. Bagua is not a martial art for everyone; but those seeking this rare, multilayered, and body strengthening style should consider taking classes from an authentic school such as Flying Tortoise Bagua. Other classes are offered at the school to provide a well-rounded approach to Kung Fu: powerful Xingyi Quan and San Huang Pao Chui, peaceful Zen Taichi, Martial Arts Weapons, and essential Ji Ben Gong.
Joseph and Kate Haber are warm, intelligent, and patient teachers. Rob Richardson is a brilliant “mad scientist” of Kung Fu, and has a creative knack for pedagogy.
Most classes are 1 hour to 2 hours long. Kung Fu is hard work! Be prepared for a work out, but the payoff is well worth it! Beginners and students that are physically strained are encouraged to only participate when comfortable; class participation does not promote recklessness which can result in injury.
The tenured students are die-hard, experienced martial artists. They come from diverse martial arts backgrounds; but commonly are disciplined, unpretentious, and hard working.
Training at this school can give you critical tools to be a competent fighter; but those familiar with Qigong may benefit from its elegant body-fortifying forms that are analytically engaging as well. Baguazhang has upgraded my general health, aligned several spinal/leg/joint issues, and cured my hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia!!! (the last one is a joke, I am deathly afraid of big words.)
Come be a part of this school if you are looking to improve your health and if you enjoy martial arts!
P.s. The school also offers classes for Capoeira! It is a part of Associacão do Grupo Capoeira Besouro. Come take classes if you enjoy: fun, dancing, and frightening your enemies with beautiful kicks! Continue Reading…
There is a great mix of students at Flying Tortoise. Many have a back ground in varying martial art forms. Some have none at all. The format in which the classes are taught accommodates for this, and the instructors make sure that everyone is comfortable moving and learning at their own pace.
You gotta respect a teacher, Joseph Haber, that takes time each year to return to China and train within the direct lineage of both the Cheng and Liang family styles. Not only does this keep the training on point, but it keeps it fresh and new as he is continually enhancing his own skill level and education. You, as a student, have the option of going with Joseph once you reach a certain skill set. Pretty fab in my opinion!
Robert is another instructor I've trained with at Flying Tortoise. He has this amazing way of breaking down the logistics of all the tiny internal movements (ie. the source of your power and a key component in BaGua), and relating those movements to everyday actions that increase your mind-body awareness in your practice. I'm sure it has nothing to do with his degree. Nothing at all...
The studio itself is big, open, airy, clean, and light. It feels good to be in the space. Classes are at times that work for people who have real lives and everyday jobs. People are nice, relaxed, and fun, while still being legit about their kung fu. Like I said, I LOVE this studio. Continue reading…