Evolution of Martial Art
The Greenlake Martial Arts School was founded in 1980 by Sijo John N Beall. Our school is very successful at producing effective and well trained martial artists. The Greenlake Martial Arts School is not particularly large or fancy, but it has some of the best equipment and methods for martial arts training that can be found anywhere in the world.
In 2010, Head Instructor Matt Soule took over the Greenlake Martial Arts School upholding the legacy and excellent reputation Sijo Beall created over the previous 3 decades. Today it continues to thrive.
Are you new to martial arts but want to experience the benefits of training? Or do you have previous experience and want to continue to grow as a martial artist?
This school helps students new to martial arts as well as those with extensive martial arts backgrounds.
"..There is no better school in the Pacific Northwest for
[self-defense] non-sport fight training."
- Former US Army Ranger / Special Operator - Marty S.
WHAT IS GREENLAKE MARTIAL ARTS ALL ABOUT?
As the head instructor of Greenlake Martial Arts, the 3 primary goals for my desire to share martial arts with the world is
1) to offer students of all ages, sizes, skill levels and backgrounds the capability to defend ourselves from a real world threat situation;
2) to ensure to the best of my ability, that I teach - and cultivate a culture to pursue - the most relevant information in martial arts so that should we find ourselves in a situation where self defense is needed, we are prepared for the widest possibility of circumstances and opponents.
3) to offer students a way to train that will improve their lives, so that our practice serves to improve both ourselves and our community making a lifelong impact through martial arts.
How do we meet these goals at Greenlake Martial Arts?
We do this in a number of ways.
We offer separate programs focusing on different age groups, Youth and Adult, as well as specialized workshops and classes that meet the needs of our community. We teach, volunteer and participate in a variety of settings from regular ongoing classes to shelters and corporate environments to serve wide community needs. Our youngest students have started as early as age 5 and our oldest members have trained well into their 70s. Our training methods, as well as the reliance on proven and sound strategies for self defense, allow these vast ranges to exist without compromising quality or participation.
We train the individual to make the most of what he or she has to
maximize protection in a self-defense conflict.
Whether an opponent is bigger, stronger, faster, skilled, has a weapon, or other variables, our students train with the understanding and intent that all of the above is valid and must be considered. We prepare with the mindset that the environment may contain obstacles or poor footing, that the clothing or footwear may be restrictive, or that there may be more than one opponent.
Essential to what we teach is principle-based movement & reaction with adaptability built into all, so that YOU are armed with simplified decision making, multifunctional skills & ready for action.
In this way we will be as prepared as possible to address real world threats from a wide variety of possibilities. This is a very different philosophy than many martial arts schools I have seen and /or been a part of over the years. It is quite common for example that students focus on a particular ruleset or style of opponent, or learn skills that only function by themselves, i.e. there is no flow or natural adaptation built in the moves which greatly limit the move’s usefulness or applicability. Or when considering self defense, teachers often make the mistake of training students for the “average guy” meaning that this potential attacker might be bigger or maybe stronger at best, but the assumption is that he or she is unskilled, will most certainly throw wild punches, have little to no experience in street altercations or will likely not understand distance very well, and so on. This in stark contrast to our beliefs and training methods at Greenlake Martial Arts.
Training and preparation often makes the difference in outcomes where self-defense is needed. Whether you have 3 weeks, 3 months or years to train, we have programs, classes and workshops designed to fit your needs. We work with students to ensure they are meeting their goals. At the root of self-defense is the essential knowledge and practice of simplied decision making for what to do and when. Some of this can be learned quite rapidly.
However, true and lasting skill takes time and there are a great deal of benefits that come from extended training. We are a culture that promotes training for life. Training for life requires consideration and active participation balancing health and training. At Greenlake Martial Arts we seek the balance through daily meditation, physical conditioning and appropriate training methods to match high percentage strategies with safe training practices. The training available at Greenlake Martial Arts elevates consciousness allowing us to become increasingly aware, tending to our collective goal of becoming a culture of observers, vastly improve our nervous system integration and coordination, while balancing and directing our emotional intensity and responses. We train with respect by looking out for fellow training partners to cultivate an environment of support while pushing one another to become better martial artists and better people.
I am grateful to be part of this community dedicated to skill development, self and peer improvement, camaraderie and community involvement making a positive impact through martial arts.
Through a range of training options, small classes, and focused instruction, each student is given an opportunity to become a competent and effective martial artist. Through training, you can replace vulnerability and awkwardness with confidence and great martial arts skill. I will do my best to help you to realize and achieve your full potential as a martial artist and as a person.
HISTORY AND MEANING OF TSUN JO®
The primary method taught at the Greenlake Martial Arts School is known as Tsun Jo®, a cohesive self defense system developed for real world survival fighting needs.
The first and second characters are “Tsun Jo” (pronounced in Cantonese as “chewn joe”), meaning “faithful or loyal descendant”. Respect for the teachers who came before is fundamental and is represented in the very name of Tsun Jo®.
The third character is “Kuen” (rhymes with “tune”), meaning “fist”. The use of this character says that Tsun Jo is a style of “boxing” (fighting method).
Tsun Jo® differs in many ways from other martial arts styles, but it stands on a foundation of moves, training methods, and conceptual underpinnings that derive from both classical sources and modern improvements.
TSUN JO• AND WING CHUN KUNG FU
One of the strongest influences on Tsun Jo® is Wing Chun kung fu, a system of Chinese boxing that was invented by and named for women hundreds of years ago to enable even a relatively small person to prevail over a larger and stronger person without necessarily requiring a lifetime of training. A couple of hundred years later, the Wing Chun master Ip Man fled China at the time of the Communist takeover and taught Wing Chun in Hong Kong, in what was probably the first Wing Chun school anywhere. One of his most serious students would eventually become quite famous: Bruce Lee.
THE BRUCE LEE CONNECTION
Bruce Lee moved from Hong Kong as a young man and settled in Seattle. With a small group of people here, he continued to develop, test, and refine his skills. His first training partners included Jesse Glover (a judo champion), James DeMile (a heavyweight boxing champion in the US Air Force), and Ed Hart (lifelong student of the martial arts, including judo and professional boxing). During this time training with this group, Bruce modified the traditional Wing Chun moves, stances, and tactics to make them more effective for dealing with the larger opponents he found in America. These modifications included influences from such sources as fencing and American boxing. Bruce moved to California and became quite famous for the speed and dynamic intensity that he brought to the movie screen. Tragically, he died at a very early age.
Sijo John N Beall is the founder of the Tsun Jo® system. From his earliest days studying martial arts, he considered efficiency and practical results to be absolute priorities. He has continually refined his individual fighting style, as well as methods of teaching students. Sijo Beall trained in a variety of fighting methods, including karate, boxing, and judo. Circumstances of environment also provided him with a background in street fighting. Two of the most influential teachers he had in developing his skills were James DeMile and Ed Hart, two of Bruce Lee’s first training partners in Seattle. In the early 1980s, Sijo Beall realized that the structure, training methods, and application of what he was teaching qualified as a distinct style, and he founded the Tsun Jo® system and the Greenlake Martial Arts School.
Sijo Beall has been involved in writing books and producing instructional videos of Tsun Jo®. He is also a successful inventor with multiple US patents, including for some of the martial arts training equipment used in the school.
Sijo Beall believes strongly that people should not just be “takers”, but should be “givers” as well and make a contribution toward improving their community whenever possible. This tradition still remains as a central tenet of Tsun Jo® practitioners and the Greenlake Martial Arts School.
HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AND PRACTICAL SELF-DEFENSE. FUNCTION, NOT FLASH.
What students learn at the Greenlake Martial Arts School is highly effective. In many other schools of different styles, some of what is taught is practical and some is not. The student may be learning moves that will actually worsen a dangerous situation. In those schools, a student interested in practical self-defense must sift through and restructure moves to produce a viable form of self-defense. This is quite an unreasonable burden for someone that has come to learn. This school places no such load on the student. What is taught here will serve you well if you ever have to use it.
Some martial arts schools have a dog-eat-dog training atmosphere and high injury rates. The training environment here is one of respect and safety by looking out for fellow training partners to cultivate an environment of support while pushing one another to become better martial artists and better people. The injury rate is extremely low, but the skill level remains very high.