At Fire Dragon School of Fighting Arts in Pittsburgh’s Castle Shannon, we offer two disciplines in which to train. The first is a southern Chinese Kung Fu style known as Hung Gar (Tiger-Crane). It is a rich art that traces its beginnings back to the Shaolin Temple in ancient China. The style is known for its fast, powerful, and aggressive movements of the tiger that are complemented by the long-range, graceful movements of the crane. The elusive snake, rapid-moving leopard, and ever-changing dragon round out the system.

There is a prescribed program for each rank and students progress at their own pace. There are no fees for testing at any level and no hidden costs for advanced training in Che Kung or Iron Palm. Combat knife training, handgun disarming, and other modern-day defensive techniques can be added to your Kung Fu training.

The second discipline is boxing from Thailand, known as Muay Thai. This devastating system uses fists, elbows, knees, and feet in a variety of combinations that are punishing and street-effective. You may train to get in superior condition for self-defense or for competition in the ring. You may also train to go to Bangkok on our annual summer trip and train in an authentic camp.

No matter what your reason for training in the martial arts, visit us before you make your final decision. See how our classes are conducted, participate in a free class, and talk to the students. You will find dedicated, intelligent, highly motivated people who are disciplined, respectful, and very serious about their training, but enjoy a good laugh along the way. You will see that they are highly skilled in empty hand, blade, contact weapons, and firearms. You will also see a sense of friendliness and brotherhood that is a rare commodity in most schools.

Fire Dragon School of Fighting Arts is directed by James L. Daniels. Mr. Daniels has been studying and teaching the martial arts for 35 years. He has been trained in Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Pentjak Silat, Kali, Tai Chi Chuan, and Chinese Kenpo. He holds the title of Master Instructor in the southern Chinese system of Kung Fu known as Hung Gar (Tiger-Crane). Mr. Daniels is also widely recognized for his edged weapons expertise. He has been a student of Zen and Taoist meditation for more than 20 years. Mr. Daniels has taught in excess of 5,000 students, including law enforcement personnel and members of elite military units, both foreign and domestic.

Mr. Daniels has a Master’s Degree in Education and is a graduate of the Executive Security Bodyguard/Counter-Terrorist Academy in Aspen, Colorado—a school whose rigid standards are only surpassed by the United States Secret Service. He has provided protective service for such celebrities as Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn, and Don Johnson, as well as chief executive officers of many U.S. corporations.

Mr. Daniels is a nationally recognized instructor in the use of lethal force and deadly weapons. He is a firearms instructor certified by the world-famous Smith & Wesson Academy of Springfield, Massachusetts. He is a national trainer in weapon retention and disarming techniques, and is a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers as well as the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors.

Sifu Daniels’ variety of skills and experience are blended into a unique program of ancient and present-day training methods, classical and modern weaponry, the anatomy and physiology of combat, and the complete mental and physical development of the modern-day warrior. These qualities are bound together by the glue of Zen and are reflected in any teacher’s most prized asset: the students.

Visit as many different schools as you can. Talk to instructors and students. Be objective about what “Self-Defense Techniques” you see being taught and ask yourself if it would really work in a real-life situation. Beware of hidden costs and long-term contracts. Then come and see us. You owe yourself that much before you make your final decision. You won’t be sorry you did!

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