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Local Family Shares Their Life Around Kung Fu


he two met at a kung fu


studying kung fu. Goodbar wanted to open

workshop in Massachusetts,

engrossed in the art. He began devoting




a school and finally received the blessing

where they were both living at

substantial amounts of time and energy

of his Sifu, or Master, to do so. “We missed

the time. The drill “Yin-Yang

to his practice, including, fortuitously,

the experience of the community, the

Eagle Claw Pressure Points Attack” was

attending workshops such as the one

family, of a Kung Fu school,” he says. And

the starting point of their acquaintance;

where he met Sarah. After being paired

so in 2007, with Sarah’s encouragement

and almost 20 years later, both are still

during the day of drills, the two “hung

and reminder that “the timing will never

avid kung fu practitioners and teachers.

out” the following day to watch the local

be perfect,” Goodbar put up his own fliers

They are also parents to two daughters

kung fu tournament, which led to a date

and started teaching kung fu to three

who have grown up “with a weapons

the following week.

adults: his wife, his dog sitter and a man

rack in the living room,” as Goodbar

Sarah had just gotten into graduate

puts it. Kung fu is the structure for the

school at the University of Virginia (UVA)

Goodbar’s family life; it’s their hobby,

and was about to make the move to

As the studio slowly grew, Sarah also

their profession and their passion. Along

central Virginia. In an age before iPhones,

became instrumental in teaching classes

with Chris and Sarah, Mia, who just

texting and constant access to email, their

and is still an instructor at Laughing

turned 12, and Izzy, 9, are also devoted to

long-distance romance was particularly

Dragon. She has also taken her experience

this graceful martial art.

challenging. So, Goodbar quickly sold his

with kung fu outside the studio. She offers

house and relocated to Virginia.

it as a sport at the Miller School with her

Goodbar’s interest in the martial

who saw one of the fliers they’d put up around town.

arts didn’t start until after college,

Unfortunately, there was no other,

students performing two lion dances

when he began taking karate classes at

more formal, place to practice kung fu in

during the Lunar New Year. Last year

a recreation center. The switch to kung

Charlottesville at that time. So the pair

she taught self-defense and kickboxing

fu was pragmatic, yet also one of those

explored other forms of martial arts, while

as part of The Miller School’s course on


trying to keep up their kung fu practice.

wellness for girls.


resonated with me,” he says.



As the years passed, the two continued

The studio is the “second home” for


CharlottesvilleFamily's BLOOM November 2017  

Volume 18 Issue 11

CharlottesvilleFamily's BLOOM November 2017  

Volume 18 Issue 11