YMAA Boston Owner/Director
Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Kids Kung Fu, Qigong, Kettlebell
YMAA Boston was founded in 1982 by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. In 2006 Dr. Yang passed the school to his son Nicholas Yang. In 2012 Nicholas passed the school to Ben Warner.
Ben began his YMAA Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi training in the summer of 1998.
In 2000 Ben began teaching the Kids Kung Fu program. Children's martial arts education has been a major focus of his ever since. He has published two DVDs for kids, Kung Fu for Kids and Kung Fu for Teens.
His practice led him to assist Master Yang, Jwing Ming with staff (long weapon) classes at YMAA Boston. Ben has taught staff classes and seminars worldwide since 2002. He is featured in the YMAA DVD Taiji & Shaolin Staff
As his Shaolin training continued, Ben specialized in White Crane Kung-Fu and Qigong. He has been involved with White Crane seminars in Boston and internationally since 2002. He is featured in the YMAA DVDs Shaolin White Crane 3&4,
In 2006, Ben became a certified kettlebell instructor under Pavel Tsatsouline's RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) program. He has been teaching classes and private lessons ever since.
Ben was an instructor at the YMAA International Summer Camps from 2002 - 2007. He has been featured in several YMAA books and DVDs, including Qin-Na (Chin Na), White Crane, Long Fist, staff basics, and Taiji Ball Qigong.
You may contact Ben Warner for private instruction at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tai Chi, Qigong
Axie started studying Shaolin at YMAA Boston in 1999. After a few years, she started practicing tai chi and pushing hands as well. Master Yang invited her to teach tai chi at YMAA in 2005. She has also been an assistant teacher with Master Yang at several seminars.
Prior to moving to the Boston area, she lived in Chicago, studying Northern Shaolin with Valerie Wedel and tai chi with Elizabeth Wenscott.
She can be seen helping out in the YMAA DVDs: “Qigong for Healing” by Lisa O’Shea, “Sunrise Tai Chi” and “Tai Chi Energy Patterns” by Ramel Rones, and “Tai Chi Connections” by John Loupos.
Professionally, Axie is a graphic designer and photographer: axiebreenphotography.com, axiebreen.com.
George began training at YMAA when he was 15 years old, alongside Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming's first generation of students in Boston. He is the first YMAA student in the world to achieve the 10th stripe Shaolin Kung Fu Instructor qualification. George is also one of Dr. Yang's disciples. For many years, George taught adult Kung Fu classes as well as Kids Shaolin at YMAA Boston.
George has participated in several national and international martial arts tournaments, including ones held by the USAWKF (U.S.A. Wushu Kung-Fu Federation) and the U.S. Wushu Union. He has earned numerous medals several times in events in barehand, sword, saber, and spear.
Kids Kung Fu, Tai Chi
Looking for a challenging workout after having been a competitive gymnast, Heidi began training Kung Fu and Tai Chi at YMAA in 1998. She has been teaching kids for over 30 years.
Heidi competed in high school varsity gymnastics and received an athletic scholarship to Northeastern University, where she competed for 4 years. Upon graduating with an undergraduate degree in Recreation Management, she began running a gymnastics program for the City of Boston's Ohrenberger Community Center in 1984. Since then the gymnastics program is still going strong!
In 1991, Heidi earned a master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and became a certified Health/Fitness Instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine.
Tai Chi, Qigong, Pushing Hands
Jeff began his study of Tai Chi at the YMAA Boston School in 1987 and has reached the rank of Instructor (3rd degree) in the YMAA system. Jeff specializes in Pushing Hands, which is the two-person form of Tai Chi. He has taken extensive training in the spectrum of disciplines comprising YMAA’s Tai Chi program, including:
Jeff has performed in local and national tournaments and has repeatedly won the title of champion and grand champion in the “A Taste of China” competition. He also took high honors for Taijiquan in the United States Kuo Shu Guo Shu National Competitions, receiving gold medals for Pushing Hands.
“Taijiquan has become the path I follow. It leads me to distant places and incredible people. Taijiquan is a continuous adventure of discovery.”
Tai Chi, Qigong
Joe started his martial arts training in Uechi-Ryu Karate Do in 1970 and earned his black belt in 1977. He was very active in tournaments, ranking as one of the top 10 middle-weight fighters in New England by Black Belt Magazine in 1978. After earning his black belt, Joe studied Yoga with Mahima at his living room studio in Cambridge, which led to a smooth transition to his Tai Chi training. Joe's Tai Chi practice began in 1980 by attending Master Bow Sim Mark's Chinese Wushu Research Institute, where he also studied Shaolin and Bagua. In 1985, he joined the Tai Chi program at YMAA and began teaching in 1988.
Joe has always had a strong interest in martial arts and has also studied many other styles, including Gracie Jiujitsu, Jeet Kun Do, Modern Arnis, and Thai Boxing. Joe is also a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chin Na
Jonathan began his practice of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts at the age of five at Yang's Martial Arts in Andover, MA. Under the guidance of Mr. Chris Fazzio, Jonathan progressed in the YMAA Shaolin curriculum for 15 years.
Beginning his teaching career in 2000, Jonathan has since aided and instructed at numerous seminars and training camps in the United States and worldwide. He has also competed and judged in various tournaments around the nation. (Competition Results)
In March 2008, Jonathan enrolled in the intensive 10-year training program at the YMAA California Retreat Center to train under the direct supervision of renowned martial arts teacher and author, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. He graduated June 2018 as the only Retreat Center student to earn YMAA Instructor certifications in both Shaolin and Taijiquan curriculums. He is a disciple of Dr. Yang.
In November 2013, Jonathan co-founded Barking Rabbit Media with Michelle Lin. Since then, the duo have spearheaded many productions for Dr. Yang, the YMAA Retreat Center, the YMAA Publication Center, Shining Link, Inc., and Newendao.
Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chin Na
Michelle began training Shaolin Kung Fu at Yang's Martial Arts Association (YMAA) in Andover, MA in 1997. After three years, she stopped to attend Tufts University. In 2008, she learned that Jonathan Chang was accepted into the YMAA Retreat Center's 10-year program in Miranda, CA. Inspired and encouraged, Michelle resumed her training at YMAA Andover. With a fresh perspective, she became deeply appreciative of the arts and aspired to learn more.
In 2013, Michelle was the first female student to be accepted in the 5-year training program at the YMAA Retreat Center. She trained Shaolin and Taijiquan full-time under renowned martial arts teacher and author, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. Michelle graduated in June 2018 and committed herself to the arts as a disciple of Dr. Yang.
Michelle views martial arts as a positive way of life that she aims to share with others through teaching. Michelle is continually inspired by her mentors, training partners, students, and those who strive to improve themselves. She is forever grateful to Dr. Yang and her second family, the YMAA community.
Michelle has competed in and served as a judge at several tournaments. (Competition experience)
In 2016, Michelle appeared in the film, "Assassin's Creed," directed by Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. She portrayed a modern day Assassin named "Lin," who was a descendant of "Shao Jun." Shao Jun stars in her own video game, "Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China." (Michelle on Assassin's Creed Wikia)
Paul "Lefty" Lopez
Paul began training Chinese wrestling (Shuai Jiao) and joint locking (Chin-na) application at the age of 12. While learning kickboxing, he earned black belts in kung-fu and Jiu-Jitsu. Paul began fighting Vale Tudo and won 2 U.S. National Championships in submission fighting while in his late teens. He then went on to become a professional boxer with over 19 fights. Cross training with some the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coaches around, Paul has developed a cutting edge Mixed Martial Arts and Submission Fighting program that has produced top fighters in MMA, grappling and SanDa Kickboxing. He has the rare ability to synthesize his traditional Chinese Martial Arts background with state of the art MMA.