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Pat Rice, Director and Instructor
Pat Rice Pat Rice has been involved in internal health practices since 1972 and in Chinese martial arts and internal practices since 1975. She has studied extensively in the U.S. and abroad from well-known masters. She also has studied taijiquan, qigong, and other arts in China and in Europe. She has traveled to China ten times since 1985, as her involvement with Chinese arts has expanded.
In 1988, she was an athlete member of the U.S. Wushu Team and competed in taijiquan at the International Wushu Invitational Tournament in Hangzhou, China. It was during that event that she was introduced to Master Yang Zhen-duo and arranged to study further with him in Taiyuan, Shanxi. She was the first to invite him and his grandson Yang Jun to the United States in 1990, through her business, A Taste of China.
Among tournament awards as an athlete, she placed first in Taijiquan, Women's Division, and first in Push-Hands, Women's Division, in the U.S. National Kung-Fu/Wushu Competitions, Houston, Texas in 1986 and 1987. She was a member of the 1989 U.S. Taijiquan Team and won 3rd place in Push-Hands, Women's Heavyweight Division, at the First Chung-hua Cup International Tai Chi Chuan Tournament, Taiwan.
She earned a diploma at the Wushu International Judges Course in Shanghai in 1988 and was certified by the China Wushu Association to judge in international tournaments. She has sponsored, directed, and judged at numerous tournaments at the national and international level, and has taught courses in tournament management and judges training. Between 1988 and 1995, she organized fourteen tournaments that focused solely on taijiquan and other internal styles. “The U.S.A. All-Taijiquan Championships,” held in Winchester, Virginia, became the premier tournament event for internal stylists.
She has been an administrative member of several Chinese martial arts organizations. She served four years (1995-1999) as a member of the Technical Committee of the International Wushu Federation and attended three World Wushu Tournaments (Baltimore, Rome, Hong Kong) as an administrator.
She was Director of Programs for the highly acclaimed 2009 International Tai Chi Chuan Symposium on Health, Education, and Cultural Exchange which featured “Traditional Tai Chi Chuan: A View Through the Lens of Science” and included more than fifty scientific papers on the benefits of taijiquan and qigong. Symposiums in 2014 and 2019 followed similar formats.
She has published several articles on taijiquan, wushu, and self defense.
She is Director of “A Taste of China” which she retired in 2012. Based on the role A Taste of China played in the development and spread of Chinese martial arts, she was named in 1999 by Inside Kung Fu magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Persons in martial arts in the U.S. in the past 100 years. She was inducted into Inside Kung Fu’s 2001 Hall of Fame for “Outstanding Contribution to Martial Arts.”
She has conducted workshops in the U.S. and abroad for more than 40 years. She has taught college credit courses at Shenandoah University and Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia, and educational courses at Shenandoah University’s College for Lifelong Learning,. She has been Director and Instructor at her own school, the Shenandoah Taijiquan Center/Yang Chang-fu Center in Winchester, Virginia, since 1992.
She is Adviser to the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association. She has written for its journal and has assisted in structuring the ranking procedures for the Association.
She has a great enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and is dedicated to sharing the sense of well-being that can be obtained from the practices of taiji and qigong.
Teaching associates for taijiquan programs are trained instructors authorized to conduct classes and present instructional material at the Shenandoah Taijiquan Center, and they also teach at other locations in the Shenandoah Valley area. Contact the Center at 540-247-2283 for information.
Owen Sargent, Head Coach, Wushu
Owen Sargent has been training in Wushu since 2002. He began studying under Burley Rudacille and continued with Coaches Scott Hager and Chris McClure at Blue Ridge Wushu. He currently studies under Master Nick Gracenin, who taught all of Coach Owen's wushu instructors. He holds a second degree black belt, which he received in 2009, under examination by Masters Nick Gracenin and Pat Rice. He has also studied European fencing since 2002 under Master Karl de Azagra and assisted the fencing program at the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy. He is Head Coach at Shenandoah Wushu.
Master Nick Gracenin, Wushu Advisor
Master Nick Gracenin’s impressive credentials range through all aspects of Chinese martial arts—athlete, coach, and administrator in national and international wushu organizations. He has extensive classical training in all types of wushu, especially the Wudang internal styles, straight sword, and broadsword. Inside Kung Fu named him in 1999 as one of the 100 people who have “made the greatest impact in martial arts in the past 100 years” and in 2005 “Man Of The Year.” He is the director of the Peng Fei Wushu Association of North America and lives and teaches in Washington, DC. He teaches at Shenandoah Wushu on a monthly basis.
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