Not long ago, I had little appreciation for the deep art that is Taiji. In the past, I held the common misconception that Taiji was exercise reserved for the elderly; clearly this was nothing that would challenge a younger, physically fit man. I could not have been farther from the truth. After returning from a trip to China in late 2010, I was intrigued to learn more about Taiji after a brief exposure to the art during the trip. Little did I know my good fortune in selecting Wushu West.

I came to my first class with little idea of what lies ahead. The class was far more physically demanding than I expected. Prior to starting the class, I believed my legs were strong. I realized the error in my thinking rather quickly. Sifu Patti Li's instruction was pushing all my weak points in very positive ways. I quickly saw the depth of the art and the promise of a lifetime of mental and physical challenges.

Learning Taiji is not about reaching a particular destination. It offers a lifelong journey filled with discovery and growth for those willing to dedicate themselves to the pursuit. To watch the strength, grace, and power that Sifu Patti displays when she moves is awe-inspiring. I had no idea at first that I was learning from a world champion with a record few can rival. What makes her truly exceptional is not only her worldclass athletic ability, but her stellar teaching skills. I'm always impressed by her ability to teach a class that challenges everyone in the room, from beginners to advanced students. She is particularly adept at tailoring her teaching to each student's individual needs. I have always had issues with range of motion in my feet. Sifu Patti has worked with me to modify moves and extend my flexibility. I've accomplished things that I frankly never thought would be possible. She routinely pushes me beyond what I think I can achieve and helps me advance to new heights.

The journey over the last six years has been life-changing. I cannot stress enough how fortunate I feel to be part of the Wushu West community and to study with Sifu Patti and inspire one another to keep reaching for new goals. It is precisely this energy that keeps my driving to the East Bay twice each week even after moving away to Silicon Valley. It is a part of my week that I always look forward to. I'm excited to see where my personal journey with Taiji will lead going forward.

- Chris, Entrepreneur

Wushu West is not only a martial arts school - it is a community of supportive, encouraging, and inspiring people. This is a testament to Sifu Patti's own teaching style, where she creates a safe and open environment and still pushes you to become your best.

I came to Wushu West after 9-10 years of not having any regular workout regimen. The year before coming to Wushu, I had been bedridden and at my weakest point physically in my life. (Imagine how nervous I felt coming to Wushu class!) To my surprise, Sifu Patti and her students were completely welcoming of a newcomer like me and wanted to support my growth at the pace that suited me best. In less than half a year, I was able to do even the splits and more! I was definitely thrilled doing the splits as a 27 year old, because I had never succeeded doing the splits before in my life! I decided to come to Wushu to get my physical power back and to find my center and groudning in a regular practice. But what I found was something more - a supportive community of friends.

My confidence in my physical abilities rose, and that is thanks to the safe learning environment that Sifu Patti creates each class. She cares deeply about her students and their progress, and I can tell because I teach students in academia. When I'm teaching statistical analysis of scientific literature search to international researches, I use the same principles of creating a safe environment that empowers the students to feel comfortable making natural mistakes and to learn from them with guidance. That in turn helps the mreach their goals faster with less effort.

Sifu Patti empowers her students the same way: her teaching inspires leaders. I thank Wushu West for not only giving me my power back, but enriching my life and career beyond the training carpet. Thank you Sifu Patti and thank you Wushu West.

- Amy, Research Assistant and Instructor at UCSF

I was introduced to Wushu West by a friend who I was training boxing with in another gym. He encouraged me to check out the class, but it took me a full year to finally come around to it. I was stubborn, thinking that the workout I was getting was the best thing for me. However, I was struggling through every class. My knees were swelling up with nearly every workout, making training more of a paunful chore, than an invigorating experience. Thus I stumbled into Wushu West as a last ditch effort to strengthen my legs and core, and deal with the weakness in my knees.

The first class was very challenging to me, even though up until this time I had been working out 4-5 times a week. I thought that I was in good shape, but my legs were lacking in strength. After this initial class, I knew that this was the place where my legs would be forced to acclimate to the constant pressure of low stances, stretching, jumping, and sprinting. The emphasis on stretching really stuck out to me because it helped to ease the pain in my knees. Yet, the swelling would still come and go depending on what exercises we performed. At this point, I talked to Sifu Patti about trying out the Taiji class in addition to Wushu. She encouraged me to join, as it would empower my Wushu. As soon as I started training Taiji, I noticed a dramatic difference in my legs. Suddenly my lnees were no longer swelling! I was extremely relieved that I had finally found a discipline which complimented my body's needs. At the same time, my stamina and endurance greatly increased with the training of both internal and external styles.

At this point I've been training Wushu for three years and Taiji for two. I feel so thankful and blessed to have found this wonderful school. Sifu Patti is simply an incredible teacher and human being. She has the unique ability to push each individual according to their ability and experience. There is never a dull moment in class as her depth of knowledge is so profound. There are always new forms and techniques to be unveiled, so the classes always feel more like an unfolding process, instead of a set curriculum. Her teaching style allows the student to discover themselves by challenging the limitations that we place on ourselves.

I cannot recommend this class enough, I have more energy than I have had since I was a teenager. Both my body and mind feel strong and flexible, and I thank Wushu West for this wonderful gift. Try a class, you won't regret it!

- Steve "Zumbi Zoom", Zion-I, Music Entertainment Artist