My name is Edward Barrow. I am 58 years old.
I have studied Chinese martial arts passionately since I was twenty one years old. I chose Chinese Martial Arts ( Kung Fu ) because in my early training I learned that virtually all Asian martial arts can trace their roots to China. The arts that I chose are the most classic:
Shao-Lin for great strength, agility and flexibility was my base. I learned, in time, that Chinese Kung Fu is noted for it's Internal styles. These styles engage the senses in a more introspective and meditative way that specializes in identifying and manipulating our very energy. These styles are: Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing I Chuan, Bagua Zhang. I have always sought out the best teachers available to me and have immersed myself in the pursuit of the "correct" practice paradigm. I have learned that for myself, because of the complexity and nuances of each art, it is prudent to study each art separately. I have been fortunate to have studied with some of the most noteworthy Kung Fu artists to be found in West Coast America during my lifetime; especially my early formative years.
With years of practice in Tai Chi and Hsin I in my experience, I decided to round out my internal studies with Bagua Zhang. There are many styles of Bagua to choose from; not all are being taught at most locals. I had happened across a book on the Cheng family branch and decided that this might be the style for me. I was pleased to find that a scion of this school had recently relocated to Portland after extensive studies with one of the premier stylists in this country. I was very excited. As I said before, it is not always possible to find a qualified instructor that is convenient. I have been studying with Joey and Kate Haber of the Flying Tortoise school for almost four years now and my knowledge of this art is great and expanding always. Joey and Kate have travelled to China to the roots of this family system and continue to do so on a regular basis. Joey takes the lead now while Kate cares for their newborn. He has studied martial arts all his life and Bagua Zhang for over 10 years. His energy and drive create a wonderful platform for learning. His great background and intensive study contribute to a unique talent for demonstrating and explaining the intricacies of this art of complex, coiling magic. Both Joey and Kate are scholars, specializing in acupuncture and Chinese Herbology. They could not be a better team to teach all aspects of this art.
I feel great good fortune to have happened on this school of martial arts.