Monthly Newsletter - April

Dear Friends, Though we celebrated the Spring Festival almost 2 months ago, it finally feels like its on its way! As always, there’s a lot happening at CMAA!  Please review the following information on:

School Closings Kungfu Sash Test Student of the Month – Laura Prendergast Shifu Lucas Wushu at the United Nations- Flashback! Chinese Community Center Party! CMAA Team Jackets Now Available! Kungfu- Tai Chi Seminar

As usual please stay tuned for more exciting action at CMAA!


Shifu School Closings All classes will be held as regularly scheduled.

Chinese Community Center Kids Kungfu Party! What: Kids Kungfu Party When: Saturday, May 2nd. 5:15pm - 6:15pm Who:  YOU! Chinese Community Center (CCC) students, siblings, friends and family! Where: The Chinese Martial Arts Academy, 3A Johnson Road Latham NY 12110 COST: FREE!

Please RSVP by 4/26 in person, or by email/phone at or (518) 755-7512.

Please join the Chinese Martial Arts Academy for an evening of Kungfu FUN! Our evening’s activities will include a Kungfu performance and light refreshments!  Feel free to bring a brother, sister or friend- or just come and make new friends here at CMAA!

Kungu Sash Test We will be holding our quarterly Sash Test on Sunday, April, 12th at 10:30am.  If you are not sash testing you are still encouraged to come participate and support your teammates (no charge of course).

You know exactly what we will be testing but if you have any questions, check the Sash Requirements page on the website and feel free to clarify things with me during class.

If you are unsure whether or not you (or your child) are ready to test, please speak with me before or during class, via email at or by phone (518) 755-7512.

Remember, you will not “get” your sash at CMAA – you will EARN it!  There is a big difference.  It’s important you (your child) learns the value of their sash- the value of hard work!  Let’s stay focused and step up our training so we’re fully prepared for the test!

White/Yellow/Green/Blue: $25, Red/Purple/Orange: $50, Light Brown/Dark Brown/Gold: $75

Student of the Month – Laura Prendergast

When you imagine a kungfu master in training, images of a young Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan flexing their six pack while striking a variety of Kungfu poses might come to mind.

The reality is, not all martial artists fit that description.  If you haven’t met Laura Prenderagast, let me introduce you.   As graduate of New York University studying Recombinant DNA Technology, Laura easily talks over my head on a variety of science related subjects.  She has competed and won gold in several tournaments over the last few years.  However, it is her consistent dedication that truly impresses me.  In the almost 4 years I have known Laura, she has remained steadfast and focused on her pursuit of martial arts mastery.  I’ve often wondered what motivates her.  As student of the month, I’m excited to find out what it is. Let’s get to it! Shifu: When did you initially get involved in martial arts? Chinese Martial Arts? Laura: I started training in Tae Kwon Do in college, but I didn’t get very far – only to green belt…since then, I’ve trained in Kenpo, and Shotokan Karate in NYC – but made only modest achievements in rank.  I started training in Kung fu at a school in Rockland county in 2005, and I continued to train when I got to Albany – I joined CMAA in 2010.  I think this is the longest period of time I’ve consistently trained.

Shifu: What drew you to martial arts? Why do you continue to work as consistently as you do? Laura: I guess I always liked watching martial arts movies.  I was younger and smaller than all the kids in my classes growing up, so I got picked on a lot.  I wasn’t really cultivating revenge fantasies… later, in college, I started investigating Oriental philosophies – I was drawn to Asian art, and I really liked the fact that the martial arts weren’t about beating people up, but more about discipline and commitment.   I work consistently, because I believe in continuous self-improvement.

Shifu: Is there anything in particular you've had to overcome? Laura: Yes, well two main things: first, the need to be approved of (I’m too old for it)…and second, the urge to be self-critical (cause I’m not sure it improves my technique at all).  Ok, three: keeping my eyes up.

Shifu: What are a few of the main things you have taken away from your time training? Laura: That’s really difficult to pin down.  I like to think I learn something every practice.  I like how you try to get us to focus on basics, like stances and fluidity and power.  I also think that just as there is “body English” there is also “body Chinese” – I can’t prove it, because I don’t actually speak Chinese, but I think that when I learn a form correctly, I might be expressing a philosophical concept correctly (I do hope to learn the language one day).  And I also respect what I learned about the Wushu symbol – that it literally means to “stop fight”.

Shifu: What’s your favorite part of training? Laura: That might be training with the kids.  I absolutely love watching them, seeing them learn, earnestly discussing minecraft, and arguing about who is taller.  They move because they love moving.  They don’t have inhibitions about doing backflips or cartwheels…and they represent so much potential.  It’s a little like getting a blank notebook for Christmas, except they’re writing it themselves. 

Shifu: If you could give any advice to someone (older or younger) who has a passion for martial arts, what would it be? Laura: Definitely keep training.  There are days of high energy and low energy.  Be mindful, and try to do at least one thing better every practice.  Thanks again for your dedication Laura.  It’s an important element to the energy at CMAA.

Shifu Lucas Wushu at the United Nations- Flashback! Lucas Geller, owner of the Chinese Martial Arts Academy in Colonie, was among 35 American athletes and more than 20 of the top wushu (literally martial arts) champions from China’s national team who performed at the United Nations on August 18th. The event, with the theme “Peace, Friendship and Health”, marked China’s 40th anniversary as a member of the UN. (Check out a video of the entire performance here!  Shifu’s Kungfu routine is at 1:04:05!) :

CMAA Team Jackets Show off your CMAA pride in style (and comfort!). The new “soft style” CMAA jackets are now in and available in all sizes.  They are $64.99.  The CMAA warm up jackets (wind breaker material) are now on sale from $75 down to $59.99 and available in sizes Adult Extra Small and up! If you are interested please speak with Shifu ASAP as quantity is limited and once we’re out of a size we need to wait until all the jackets are sold to reorder!

Kungfu Tai Chi Seminar More info coming soon!


As usual please stay tuned for more exciting action at CMAA!