We encourage our students to cross train in other styles of martial arts to become more well rounded practitioners. A familiarity and base foundation in multiple arts is essential to becoming a complete fighter. We have built connections with a network of high level local instructors in the arts of Aikido, Bando, Capoeira, Jiu jitsu, Systema, and Parkour. Students have an opportunity to train in some of these styles at least once per week according to their interest and ambition.
Tuitions are paid direct to the individual schools and programs of these various martial styles.
The Parkour and free running portion of our optional cross-training program is taught by a team of instructors at Flying Frog Academy.
Ethan Minor is the Bando instructor. Bando is a traditional Burmese boxing art.
A Brief AutoBiography of Saya Ethan Minor, LMT
I was born Ethan Dale Minor, son of Dr. Dale M. Minor and Elizabeth T. Minor in the university town of Athens, Ohio in early December, 1982. My martial arts experience began at the very beginning, as at the time of my birth my father was already a 3rd degree black belt in the system of Bando. He was and remains a student of the founder and Great Grandmaster of the American Bando Association, Dr. U Maung Gyi, of Burma. At that time Maha-Sayaji (Great Grandmaster) Gyi was a university professor at Ohio University. At this time the Bando practitioners were some of the only full contact fighters in the United States, outside of boxing.
I grew up in my father’s Dojo watching classes as an infant and toddler. From the ages of 5-11 my family took a religious hiatus from martial art. I was intensely schooled in JudeoChristian religion and gained a spiritual basewhich would later be a part of an indispensible support structure on my greater martial path. It was at the age of 11 that my father began teaching class publicly again and I began my training in earnest. We trained 4 days a week, for approximately 23 hours per class.I began competing in full contact Bando Kickboxing tournaments at age 13 and competed steadily across the United States, Mexico and Europe until the age of 27. I had a reputation for being very hard to beat, and only lost 3 of my kickboxing matches in all those years. At the age of 20, I received my First Level of Acheivement at the black belt level. During that time, my father’s school ran numerous summer camps, kick-boxing intensives, and hosted multiple guest schools from the surrounding region. I was responsible for leading warm-
ups, calisthenics, and calling training “to order”.
I trained closely under Maha Sayaji Gyi as well. He introduced me to the various weapons of the Bando system, inlcuding the Burmese longsword, the “Dha”, a Nepalese shortsword known as the “Khukuri”, and various sized staff weapons or “Dhot”. As I progressed in my training the edged weapons became my companions and preferred tools of martial discipline.
After graduating high school, I entered the Army National Guard and graduated top of my class in Basic and Advanced training. This military training gave me the opportunity to test my skills against trainers and other recruits. I found my Bando training to be more than sufficient to meet and overcome the obstacles that were placed in front of me.
Upon completing my term with the OANG I moved to California where the scope of my modalities began to branch out. I had the privilege and pleasure of training under Eddie Bravo, founder of 11th Planet JiuJitsu in Hollywood, CA for a period of two years. Opportunities arose to train under various Capoeria maestros who were coming to LA to hold seminars. The addition of the rhythmic and powerful movements of Capoeria, and the solid and effective foundation in ground fighting from JiuJitsu were instrumental in rounding out and propelling my martial experience into the next level.
An ancient Hindu saying states “the hand that harms must also be the hand that heals”. It was with this spirit I undertook the journey of following my burgeoning drive to become a medical practitioner. This began with learning Anatomy and Physiology, and studying numerous healing modalities, both eastern and western in origins. I followed that path to my current profession, as a Licensed Massage Therapist. I received my license from the Ohio State Medical Board in 2007, after graduating the Massage Therapy program at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio.
Most recently I was promoted to 5th degree Black belt in the American Bando Association, by Great Grandmaster Gyi. I have been recognized for my swordsmanship, leadership, and full contact fighting skills. Throughout all this time the esoteric Bando Principles of MinBho, MinBhay, and MinBhaa have guided and structured my life. MinBho is Discipline of the Mind to regulate the body. MinBhay is Discipline of the Body to regulate motion. MinBhaa is Discipline of Breath to generate internal energy. The combination of these practices has allowed me to excel in accomplishing my goals and performing successfully under extreme conditions.
My deepest gratitude goes out to Maha Sayaji Dr. Gyi for being the greatest influence in my life. My love and respect and gratitude to my father, who was promoted to the highest Level of Acheivement, 9th Degree Black belt, in October of 2014. I feel it is my personal responsibility to carry the Bando tradition forward into the 21st century through teaching and training fighters, through holding Bando weapons and kickboxing camps, and walking the path of a Bando
warrior through all the days of my life.
Capoeira is instructed by Palhaço Luke Hefele. Capoeira offers great cardio and muscle toning fitness. It teaches a range of acrobatic and inverted movements and is characterized by strong and fast spinning kicks. Palhaço learned ASCAB Capoeira from Mestre Doutor in Philadelphia and has been offering youth and adult classes to the Sebastopol,CA community for 5 years. He has taught in multiple local middle schools and runs a adult and youth programs at West County M.A.. He is a pleasure to be around, passionate about what he does, and lives up to his name “Clown”.
Wilderness Skills Extra Curricular
Alissa Barnes is our guest instructor teaching healing and awareness to our residential students. She is an absolutely awe inspiring woman and expert in wilderness skills and primitive technology. Alissa learned for many years from the Apache lineage of Stalking Wolf as passed to Tom Brown Jr. of the Tracker School. She is a profound healer and master herbalist, able to enliven in others their innate abilities and inner vision.