We are a group of similarly-minded martial artists from various external and internal styles who enjoy training together under a very large and old oak tree.
Our first get together under the magnificent oak in Safety Harbor was on January 22, 2012. The three original members who met this day are Ken, Martin, and Zephin. Since then the group has grown and we regularly have 15+ participants on a weekly basis, some of whom travel 2-4 hours to train with us. The original intent was to practice Push Hands (tui shou) together, but the group has grown beyond these bounds into some very interesting training. We have been practicing push hands, sticky hands, chi sao, self-defense techniques, partner drills, and a variety of other exciting martial arts practices. The push hands we’ve done has been fixed-step, restricted-step, and free style. Many of us have been training in the martial arts between 10 and 30 years.
We are primarily interested in practicing Push Hands and other two-person martial arts exercises (like chi sao from Wing Chung, or partner forms) including self-defense techniques. We prefer to train with other experienced martial artists with diverse training backgrounds. We are not interested in MMA style training or anything that requires equipment or mats, although we may at some point do some light sparring. We are interested in training with martial artists with a variety of backgrounds including: Karate, Aikido, Tae kwon do, Kali-Escrima, Krav Maga, as well as any other martial arts styles. Some knowledge of Tai Chi Chuan or another internal/soft style is useful, as the bulk of what we are doing is “Push Hands”.
This activity does not involve any fees for participation on anyone’s part. While some of us have taught, we are not doing this to get students. We are looking more for people to train with and an exchange of knowledge with competent martial artists. While this is not something limited to black belts, we interested mostly in people with a similar level of ability as would be expected of a black belt or instructor level martial artist.
We train Sunday mornings 9:00-11:00 am. We get together in Baranoff Park, which is a passive park located just outside the doors of the Safety Harbor Library. This park features the historically registered Baranoff Oak Tree which is a Grand Tree: 300-500 year old Live Oak. Free parking is on 2nd Street North. It can get quite warm and we train vigorously. It is recommended that you bring your own Gatorade, water, or some other drink to re-hydrate during and after training. After training, we visit the Starbucks across the street to relax, chat, and plan future events. The Tampa Bay Martial Arts Group hosts 2 martial arts retreat a year (Spring and Fall) and we have had up to 45 participants at these for a weekend of training and fun.