Academy Of Martial & Internal Arts

Academy Of Martial & Internal Arts


About this pro

Ted Mancuso, director of the Academy of Martial & Internal Arts, has been teaching traditional Chinese martial arts for more than 50 years. Our studio teaches adults (16+) and we specialize in authentic, traditional styles such as Northern Long Fist, Bagua Zhang, Tai Chi Chuan, Xing Yi Quan, and Shaolin.

Sifu Mancuso also runs the largest site on the web for Chinese Martial Arts books and DVDs, He is an internationally recognized author and teacher, having published both books and DVDs on Chinese martial arts and Qigong, as well as over 1000 articles, video tutorials and training tips on this great human treasure. Our school is unlike any other in our area; here you will find the deep experience of studying the traditional arts.

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Santa Cruz, CA 95065
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We prefer two methods for students entering our studio: either come to one of our frequently scheduled seminars, or participate in a free class after a short interview. Our classes are small and individual attention is given to every student. Our teachers all have decades of experience, and are certified.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Ted Mancuso, director, has been studying and teaching traditional Chinese martial arts for over 50 years. He has published widely on the subject, and has studied with several teachers renowned in their own lineages.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Pricing varies somewhat, but is generally ~$60-$65 monthly for once a week, and $85-$90 monthly for two or more times a week.

How did you get started teaching?

I started with a large martial arts franchise, back in the 60's. Within a couple of years I was the head trainer for the franchise. Although I have since moved into other areas of more traditional Chinese martial arts, that was my initial experience.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with all students, all backgrounds, genders, ages. I have had students who were 6 years old (although in my present school we do not have childrens classes) and I have worked with people in their 80's (and, of course, everything in-between.) Chinese martial arts and qigong offer healthful opportunities to all age groups.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Be respectful of the teacher and the school. For instance, some teachers do not allow visitors to watch classes. Don't assume this is a bad thing. Do not come with an agenda, past wanting to learn. An experienced teacher will have much to offer, but it is difficult if the student has a template already. The gifts of the martial arts should almost come as a surprise. Be open. And find the teacher, not the art. The art is not as important as a good teacher.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Students should let their teachers know if they have physical or medical disabilities or limitations, and with martial arts teachers especially, should also let them know if they are sensitive to touch. Often a teacher will touch a shoulder or hip, for example, to align a student, and if the student is uncomfortable with that (or anything physically interactive) they should let the teacher know. Martial arts has a lot of physical interaction. If a student has specific needs, there is nothing wrong with letting the teacher know, but the student should also understand that that might mean that they will have to stand out of certain activities.