We would not be who we are without our students. It is the collective strength, spirit, and experience of all our members that fuels
our passion for training, personal growth, and teaching excellence.
Please scroll through the testimonials on this page to read what our members are saying...
Hello my name is Kevin McCormack and I have been with Moh Pai for about 5-6 months. Searching for martial arts is quite hard to do online. There are many sites that make you commit to at least a year in order to join up.
I had previous training in Judo and Tae Kwon Do but have not made it past my yellow belt in each art. It's hard to commit to something you don't enjoy. When I did the online research, I stumbled upon the Kung Fu web page. When I realized how close the community center was to my house, I thought it was way too good to be true. After my first session on basic choke defenses, I decided to give Moh Pai a chance. Every Friday since, I learned something entirely new. From foot checks to knife defenses I learned how to properly defend myself without breaking my balance.
Getting my yellow belt was both exciting and challenging and I will continue to develop my skills with great commitment to Moh Pai. With seemingly endless patience our instructors taught us that one can protect oneself and walk in confidence knowing that the art has great purpose.
My favorite part of Moh Pai? Sparring! To apply my knowledge physically in attack and defense. Also a great way to blow off steam after a hard days work.
My recommendation to anyone who wants to learn? Try it!
– Kevin McCormack (Calgary)
I have been training with Moh Pai Defensive Arts for about 16 years now. I had dabbled with other martial arts for a few years before starting to train this style. As soon as I started I really liked how readily applicable all the skills and techniques were for effective self-defense. The system focuses on stuff that works for all kinds of situations: from multiple attackers, to weapons defenses, to ground and stand-up defense situations.
The instructors and other students are a great bunch of people that do all they can to make the learning fun and applicable. You get so focused on the techniques you don't even realize the great workout you are getting. I always leave every class with a smile on my face and lots of energy. It has really helped me in my career as a firefighter; right from giving me confidence for my interview to get on the job, to being a constant source of stress relief and balance in my often hectic shift work lifestyle. Sometimes my other interests and obligations don't allow me to train as often as I would like but I can't imagine my life without my continued training in this style.
– Jay Kilgannon (Edmonton)
It was only by accident that I came across Moh Pai Defensive Arts (MPDA). At the time, I was training another system and was thinking about finding something I could do another day a week to supplement it. Only a short time into the first MPDA lesson, I realized Master DJ Swanstrom was a very skilled and knowledgeable individual. It quickly became apparent there were fundamental differences from what I had previously learned, and once explained, they made complete sense.
I didn't take long to become convinced that MPDA was where I wanted to be. I'm starting into my fourth year of training, and am enjoying the high calibre of instruction. The hardest part, I discovered, has been to correct and relearn what I thought I already knew.
I also appreciate being shown how even a small change in a technique can be the difference between success and failure: staying on your feet or being knocked onto the ground; blocking a strike or getting hit; defending against multiple attackers or getting the tar beat out of you.
We train only two times a week, and I wish it could be more. I look forward to each and every class, where we always learn something new and get the real-life applications for the techniques. Although the people in our club are all different ages, skills and experience levels, there is always a way to make things work for any one of us. It's amazing to see how every single move builds on the basics, and fits together to form such a complete system. Master Swanstrom is a terrific teacher! It is very easy to "leave everything at the door" and focus on the training session. I have personally found an improvement in my balance, flexibility, strength and self confidence. Situational awareness is becoming second nature.
The women's self defense seminars are the best I've seen. Very practical, no-nonsense and easy to remember. No gimmicks or flashy moves that look good but are ineffective in a real situation. The seminars, as with regular training, are great at getting you to think through things for yourself.
I plan to continue training for as long as I am able to, and would not hesitate to recommend Moh Pai Defensive Arts to anybody.
– S. B. (Saskatoon)
I think the older members remember that I was a little (a lot) lost
when I had my first interview with Master Demetrius in '95. I had a
motivation problem, a confidence problem and a bad habit of going to
the bar... every night. Not to mention a terrible hairdo that went
down my back. I took one of my grade 12 classes so I could stay in
the social scene of the school but was nowhere near getting a high
school diploma when grad came. That's fine, if you have another plan
for the future. I didn't.
There is no doubt that the transformation I went through over the next
few years was fuelled by training hard with such a fantastic group of
people. Masters Demetrius, Swanstrom, Bazinet and Crossman along with
the other students and instructors taught me that a little hard work
is not just a means to some reward, often it IS the reward, and as
long as I was sweating and trying alongside them, I was always
welcome. I'll never forget that lesson.
I'm not exaggerating in the slightest way, when I say that I would not
have the family, career, friends or confidence that I have now if it
weren't for our system.
I owe a tremendous amount to our system, Grand Master Simon and
everyone that I've trained with over the years.
– Damian Paton-Gay, General Surgeon and Critical Care Physician (Edmonton)
I have learnt respect, humility and gained confidence from my training.
As a woman, it has also been helpful in giving me courage.
– Karin K. (Edmonton)
I have studied various Martial Arts on and off for years and took a break for a few years because I could not find a class that I was satisfied with. Most places were either too focused on revenue or the training was mass production and superficial. My introduction to Master Crossman changed my life. They adapted my training to my needs. The other students in the class were very mature, there was only the focus on self-improvement without the arrogance of showmanship. Meeting Masters Cooper and Crossman have been valuable in my training to develop my strength and stamina.
After two and half years I have learnt a lot, become much stronger, built up stamina and all in an environment of fun, respect and tremendous knowledge, materially and philosophically. What I have also learnt is that self-development comes through patience, persistence and commitment. Nothing happens overnight and Masters Cooper and Crossman have helped me along as some of the best instructors I have met and most important of all, they have adapted the training to work around my strengths and weaknesses.
My intention is to continue my training with this exceptional group of people because more than just physical training, this is one of the most fun groups I have worked with.
– Shaffiq Kotadia (Calgary)
I've always enjoyed the idea of kung-fu. Whether it be watching or doing, it was usually on my mind... perhaps not in the form of actual kung-fu, but the idea was there. I started when I was about 7, along with my 3 brothers and 3 sisters. At first, I enjoyed it. After awhile, I only went when forced by my parents, or sudden/random interest.
I ended up stopping for something like 6-7 years, and in this timeframe, I tried both Tai Chi and (I apologize if I get this wrong) Bijunkan Ninjutsu. They were both interesting, but lacked individual thought. There was very little room for growth, and it seemed rigid. It wasn't all bad, but for some reason I simply didn't enjoy them. I quit both after only trying them for 3-4 months each.
After leaving the most recent one (I forget which one it was ~_~) I decided to look into the classes I had done as a child, to see if they were still active. Sure enough, here they are. There's not a lot for me to say about the style, and those teaching it... The teachers are dedicated and personable... I feel as though the ceiling in my progression gets closer, yet farther. Without making it sound too mystical, I'm basically reminded about how much room there is for improvement, while also realizing that I am gaining valuable training from them.
So, the ceiling is really a metaphor for a mirage in the desert. I don't think I'll ever be able to reach it, but training with everyone else makes it a worthwhile journey either way. I've always been able to ask questions to almost anyone due to the sheer combined experience of the senior members. At first, it was a little daunting to go into a class full of experienced members; but looking back, I feel silly for thinking in such a way. No one is going to be good at something before they give it a proper try, and I'm glad that I've decided to continue giving Moh Pai Kung-Fu, all the proper tries I have.
– Evan (Edmonton)
Well where do I start….. I joined Tiger House Kung Fu [MPDA in Saskatoon] approximately two and half years ago and am currently a yellow belt. I joined with the self defense in mind. Being a female, small in stature, I have felt at times not in control of my personal well being and wanted to change that. With every passing month I feel my skill level and confidence improve. I truly believe what is being taught in Moh Pai Defensive Arts will work for anyone regardless of height, weight or sex.
The women's self defense classes trump anything I've taken in the past. The simplicity and rational way of thinking makes real defense possible. I have had the opportunity to volunteer at a junior high self defense class, high school self defense class and an adult women's self defense class. It is very interesting to hear Master Swanstrom talk to junior high girls and how self defense pertains to them vs high school teenagers and grown women.
There was a bonus I never expected: the people. The people I train with are amazing. They are completely accepting and easy going. It's a group of people from all walks of life getting together to gain a skill, relieve stress, get in shape and have fun. I feel like we have become friends.
We currently train twice a week with a little something different every class. It is without a doubt one of my highlights of the week. Besides who doesn't love a good stick (staff) night.
– K. (Saskatoon)
After 10 years of training and still going hard practicing Kung Fu with Moh Pai Defensive Arts. Where does one start talking about it? The stress free environment, professional instructors with over decades of learning the same style of Kung Fu. I enjoy practicing with Moh Pai for many reasons. The practical moves that really work in Self-Defense is a big thing to me. Knowing to understand why some techniques does and some doesn't work in real life. It is a great feeling knowing when you really have to use it. Overall the techniques that I'm learning and the great camaraderie of everybody who trains makes it lots of fun. Which keeps me coming back.
– Michael Maratovic (Edmonton)
My wife and I started training the Moh Pai system about a year ago, and we enjoy it very much.
The teacher is very friendly and extremely skilled, being able to break down the techniques into smaller steps for us to learn.
The people that train with us are all excellent companions, and we have a lot of fun together. There is really a "family" atmosphere in the studio.
We had some previous kung fu experience from another system, and nothing compares to what we learn from the Moh Pai system.
The Moh Pai techniques are simple, and yet very effective. Everything we learn can be used in the real world, not just in controlled conditions, like tournaments.
– Alessandro & Adriana (Saskatoon)
When it comes to martial arts, the Ninja Turtles and Street Fighter II got me started. What I have found out over the past few years of training Moh Pai Kung-Fu is that fun, learning and hard work are ongoing pursuits that are best applied together.
– David (Edmonton)