As a New Jersey teen in the late 1970s, I studied traditional Taiji quan (T’ai Chi Ch’uan), Xiaolin quan (Shaolin Fist), Xingyi quan (Hsing YiFist), traditional Chinese weapons, and various Qigong (Chi K’ung)methods with Grandmaster Peter Kwok. He had also begun training MarilynCooper. Chinese tradition makes her my Gong Fu (Kung Fu) “Big Sister.”
Since then, I’ve trained in contemporary Chinese Wushu, Aikido andvarious hybrid martial arts and fighting systems with world-renownteachers. Recently, after 30 years, I discovered Marilyn teaching in theSan Francisco Bay area. I have attended her taijiquan and qigongseminars and trained with her privately, including in Grandmaster Kwok’smartial and healing systems.
In my opinion, Marilyn provides a uniquely effective learning experienceof immense breadth and depth. She has devoted a lifetime of passion andexpertise to making accessible the often cryptic teachings ofcenturies-old Chinese health and martial arts to students of all levelsand backgrounds, including in the areas that Grandmaster Kwok stressed:martial applications, health and healing practices, and performance.
Her program for young children incorporates the deep philosophicalprinciples of taijiquan to impart character, respect, balance andhumility, while her work with adults further promotes health, fitness,and self-defense. She embodies the best that martial artists may become: skilled andhumble, learned and generous; respectful of tradition while aware of theneed to grow. Marilyn is a true master and a rare martial artist,teacher, and person.