Traditional Martial Arts Academy is truly a family-centric school. Sabumnim and Julie Espy opened their first martial arts school in 2005. All these years later, you will still find Sabumnim teaching classes and seminars, as well as developing and refining our programs, and you will find Julie working with students and their families to ensure their experience at TMAA is meeting their expectations and goals.
Two Espys became three with the addition of Imogen who has been in the school most days since she was an infant. Imogen can be seen almost daily, taking classes and playing with the other kids who come in to train!
James Espy, SabumnimLearn more
Mr. Espy’s most recent training has been in Hwa Rang Do under Kwan Jang Nim Ken Corona of Phoenix, AZ. He currently holds the rank of fourth degree black belt with Master Corona.
All of this training has been supplemented with traditional and modern weaponry training, as well as study of MMA and grappling arts like Brazilian Jujistu as part of Mr. Espy’s effort to translate traditional arts into application for a modern context.
Additionally, Mr. Espy has extensive experience in “internal” arts. He has studied meditation and Ip Sun (Koren Tai Chi) since 1991, received the level of Master in Reiki from Sigung Albo in 2000, and certification in Tuina (Chinese medical massage) and medical Qigong in 2004. He has studied Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong (Qigong) and Yang style Taiji under Master Li Jun Feng and Chen style Taiji under Dr. Yuxia Qiu. He has also done graduate-level study of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Mr. Espy is an avid student who constantly seeks to improve himself as a teacher through the study of healing and wellness, psychology, social dynamics, religion and spirituality. He approaches his students with a wisdom born of over two-decades teaching experience and academic research, and a sense of humor born of appreciating the absurd.
Julie EspyLearn more
But Julie does much more in her “unofficial” roles within the school. After 10 years of working as an occupational therapist, Julie returned to graduate school to become an acupuncturist. She has spent over 20 years learning and practicing healthcare. This experience has had an enormous impact on the direction of TMAA as an institution. She has been central to our staff acquiring such a high level of understanding in the medical and developmental issues that can challenge the kids in our community. She is instrumental to how staff and families develop strategies for moving past areas of “stuckness”.