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Shen Academy of Kung Fu & Qigong


 I started taking Tai Chi with Mario Figueroa in April of 2009. I am 67 yrs old and have a back problem and I needed a low impact excercise. Since then I have lost weight and have become more flexible. My energy levels have increased and I have gained self-confidence. Instructors are friendly, and I thoroughly enjoy the class.     Jerry Schulte August 2009

What our Students are Saying.....

Student Robbie Wheeler and his Mom, Mary Wheeler

I have been very impressed with the Shen Kung Fu Academy. My son, Robert, has been a student since Oct 2007. He has earned two sashes and is well on his way to his third. Robert was struggling in school when he first started Kung Fu classes, and has he has learned the value of hard work and focus over the last year. I have been very grateful to Sifu Mario for his guidance and understanding. He takes an active interest in his student’s accomplishments, both in and out of his Kung Fu classes. Sifu Mario not only teaches his students the value of hard work, but also respect for others, fair play, and respect for themselves. He is an exceptional instructor.

Mary Wheeler - 11/7/08

Luis Sanchez Saluting

I have been a student of Mr. Figueroa for about a year and half, and I have witnessed first hand Mr. Figueroa's leadership ability and tremendous enthusiasm for the Chinese Art of Kung Fu. He has shown extensive knowledge of the Chinese Martial Arts and possesses a selfless desire to share his knowledge and experience with others and to anyone curious to know more about this unique style of self-defense. It is because of his mentorship that I have greatly improved my physical and mental agility in both stamina and endurance.

In such a short period of time, I have developed an unwavering amount of self-confidence. Never in all my years and at the age of 33 could I imagine that I would be demonstrating Kung Fu to a public audience nor compete in a martial arts tournament against other competitors with much more experience and youth than I. These were tremendous feats and personal achievements for myself. None of which could have been feasible without the diligent support and teachings from Mr. Figueroa.

His steadfast love for Kung Fu has not only effected me but his contribution has also extended to other students under his guidance. I have observed the increase of self-confidence in many children, to include my 6 year old nephew, who is also learning Kung Fu. I have watched each child develop stronger qualities in mannerism, humility, and camaraderie, but all with a sense of pride and confidence. I cannot stress the importance of Mr. Figueroa's guidance and care in grooming young kids to be contributing members of society.

The above accomplishments serve as a tiny glimpse and testament to Mr. Figueroa's repertoire of skills and abilities. As a former Marine, and one accustom to rigorous training, I can attest that my training with Mr. Mario Figueroa is some of the best physical training regimen I have partaken in in years. Under his patronage, I have exponentially increased my level of endurance and stamina and have extended my knowledge in the art and science of self-defense.

Mr. Figueroa is an enthusiastic individual with a high sense of dedication to the teachings he has acquired over the last 25 years. He is both humble and selfless in his approach and eagerly shares his experiences willingly. I enthusiastically recommend his martial arts instructions to anyone.

Luis Sanchez - July 13, 2008

Andy Price Working with the Shen Reflex Dummy

My name is Andy Price and I am a student of Sifu Mario's Shen Kung Fu Academy. I am amazed at how quickly I started to notice the beneficial results of training Kung Fu at Shen. Within a very short period of time my strength and stamina increased tremendously, as well as my clarity of thought and focus. I have developed a great respect for the concepts and clearly authentic traditional teachings of Sifu Mario. Along with physical improvements I have come to enjoythe mental challenges just as much. I cannot stress enough how training at Shen Kung Fu Academy has improved my day to day life, and overall well being.

Andy Price - 10 - 21-08

Jeannie and Eidan Sanchez

As parents of a student at Shen Fu Martial Arts, we noticed a difference in our son. His teacher at school said he was participating more and his listening skills were improving. At home we noticed an increase in confidence as well as his shyness decreased. Overall, we've seen countless improvements in his behavior.

Tony and Jeannie Sanchez

Our history with Shen Martial Arts Academy began this year when we were referred to the school by the coordinator for a local Kung Fu Club. Before Shen, we tried other more commercialized self-proclaimed Kung Fu Academies in North County. At these other schools, the self-proclaimed instructors operated very similarly, in that they provided little or no attention to students during group classes forcing the less advanced students to enroll in more expensive one-on-one classes in order to boost up revenue. Our initial trial came with three one-on-one courses that opened my eyes to their scheme. After enduring through 45 minute “private sessions” that we paid for that were supposed to last for one hour each, it came to a point where I noticed that they were teaching basic Karate kicks and punches as oppose to true Kung Fu techniques. I also noticed that they were more interested in cycling my son though each session as fast as possible in order to get the next student in. After further research, I met the coordinator for a local Kung Fu Club who referred me to Shen. Eager for a change, we immediately visited Shen hoping for authenticity. And authenticity is what we got – a shop full of Chinese herbs, artifacts, literature and martial arts equipments and weapons! At first impression, we knew we were in a top notch training facility with a highly knowledgeable Kung Fu instructor. Not only did Sifu Mario take time to explain in detail the art, but also provided us magazines of published articles by him and others about him and his excellent school. He impressed upon us the importance of receiving instruction from a true master of Kung Fu who actually believes in teaching true kung Fu as an art but also a belief that Kung Fu really means “hard work,” a belief that the students can apply to all facets of their every day lives – school, band, hobbies, etc. We have been with Shen for several months now and my son’s knowledge of Kung Fu is nothing short of impressive! Sifu Mario really makes his students work for their sashes during his four-day per week training schedule, which my son loves! In essence, Shen is the best choice for Kung Fu instruction because not only will you be learning authentic Kung Fu from an authentic Kung Fu Master, but also a lifestyle and philosophy that preaches self discipline, self-awareness and respect for others and oneself.

Luis and Arliss Barrameda - 12-1-08

Shen Martial Arts is a one-of-a-kind experience. My son and I train there and we love the traditional training and leave feeling rejuvenated…and maybe a little sore.

André Gonzalez April 2009

I am 39 years old and have been attending Shen Martial Arts studio for a little over a year. I was overweight and out of shape and knew I needed to get involved in some kind of exercise regiment. The thought of going to the gym was unbearable…BORING. When I was younger, I had always enjoyed martial arts. I searched many months for a local school in Oceanside, CA and came across Sifu Mario’s martial art studio. Being selective about styles and teaching methods, I knew after speaking with Sifu Mario, I had found someone who I wanted to be trained by. Sifu Mario is true to his styles, expects 100%, pushes when needed ( and sometimes I really need it), and is a wealth of knowledge that all compliment the philosophy of Kung Fu. After completing my first year under Sifu Mario I am in the best shape I have been since I was a teenager and am having a great time getting there. I would highly recommend Shen Martial Arts studio for those of all levels of experience and age.

Mark Smola

 Oceanside CA - May 2009

A little under a year ago I was injured by an IED in Iraq. Since then I have under gone 7 months of treatment with varying degrees of success. I began to seek out a Kung Fu school that taught the intellectual, spiritual, and traditional as well as the martial aspects of the art. I had originally studied Than Vo Dao Kung Fu from a friend during my first deployment to Iraq and I had studied Tae Kwon Do as a child and then again in college, but I had never completed my course of study in either art. So in addition to looking for an alternative form of therapy for my injury I was looking for a school that I felt comfortable with making a commitment to. I found that at Shen Kung Fu Academy. I was immediately received and felt welcomed by the instructor and more importantly the other students. A testament to Sifu Mario's leadership and teaching is the manner in which the senior students assist and enable the junior students.

As to my recovery, it had been a very long time since I’d had a pain free day. A direct hit from an IED will really ring your bell, and I was in constant pain for months. It was always something, tremendous migraine like headaches, severe pain in my neck shoulders or hands, throughout my back and down into my right foot, a persistent facial tick. Medication and therapy helped to control the pain, but little more. I would often feel great after physical therapy for a few hours, but then hurt for days. I soon found after beginning my study at Shen Kung Fu Academy, that after a class I would feel wonderful, loose, relaxed. That feeling lasts for days now and by the time I begin to seriously hurt again, its time for my next class. Sure I might be sore from a good workout, but I’m not in tremendous pain from an injury anymore.

I am so impressed by this school that I am rerouting my entire career path to further enable my study of this art at Shen Kung Fu Academy.

Robert Bibeau

 Student, Shen Kung Fu Academy

June 23, 2009

I cant say enough about Sifu Mario Figueroa and Shen Kung Fu Academy. I have been training at the school for about a year, and I am deeply impressed with everything I have experienced and learned thus far. From the inviting environment of the school, to the challenges of learning two Kung Fu styles concurrently. From cookouts and movie nights with my Kung Fu brothers and sisters, to the lectures and readings from the I Ching. I have found a home and another familiy at Shen. Where we all work together and encourage each other to become better…..not just at Kung Fu, but at being better people.

Jason Smith - June 2009

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