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— Welcome —

September means Back to School! Wishing all of our kids, teens, college students and instructors a healthy and rejuvenating start to the new year. If you’re getting back to your martial arts practice after a summer break, we look forward to seeing you in class - either in person or on Zoom! 

We’re making an update to our Thursday class schedule starting in September, when we’ll bring back a separate class for our junior adults where they can practice hard, play some games, and have fun together! The updated Thursday schedule is:

Thursday 4:30 - 5:15 Dragons on Zoom (no change to this class)
Thursday 5:30 Jr. Adult Hybrid Zoom/In-person (NEW!)
Thursday 6:30 Adult Hybrid Zoom/In-person (New start time)

We’re working to adjust the schedule to meet your needs, so please let us know if you have particular interests or preferences.
REMEMBER, we’ll be closed Labor Day weekend, September 4 through 6. Best wishes for a safe and relaxing holiday!

Thank you to each of you for continuing to learn and train with us!
HEALTH AND SAFETY REMINDERS

Masks are still required for all Dragon and Tiger students; for family members who are waiting in the lobby; and for our instructors working with this age group. Masks are also required for all junior adults and adults who are not fully vaccinated; others may choose to wear a mask if desired. We will continue minimizing the density in the lobby by allowing 15 minutes between class times so that one group can leave before the second group enters. If you arrive early for class and want to wait in the lobby while the previous class ends, we ask that you wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Keeping our unvaccinated children and youth safe is a high priority for us, and we appreciate your cooperation during periods when we are turning over the classes.
Events and Special Programming

Upcoming Special Programming
Thursday, September 9 | 4:30pm
Silly Funny Workout Day for Tigers/Dragons

We will have our next Zoom Tiger and Dragon Fun Party class on Thursday, September 9th in the 4:30 class. Bring your fun ideas to class this week and we’ll come up with an awesome theme!


September 20–25th
Friends and Family Week!

Have a friend or family member join you for any class throughout the week, and we’ll give you each $5 in Ox Bucks to spend on new gear!


August Event Recap
Back to School Refresh!
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Back To School Refresh session on Saturday, August 28. We had a great time refining our moves, kicking bags, and enjoying a little afternoon snack. If you feel like you could use a refresher to kick off your fall practice, contact Master Steve to schedule a private lesson.
SETpoint Empowerment Self-Defense
Senior Master Lisa and Sensei Michele taught SETpoint Empowerment Self Defense to 60 incoming first-year students at the University of Pittsburgh during their August Welcome Week! Believe In Our Strengths, Defend What We Value.
Congratulations Recent Belt Ranks!
Congratulations to the following students who tested in August for their next belt!



Green Stripe Belt
Luka V.
Green Belt
Abigail H.
Blue Belt
Renee J., Priya S.
Orange Belt
Tessa S., James M., Maria C.
Yellow Belt
Rahmu B., Prince S., Aurora K., Murat A., Michael C., Siena B.
Upcoming Belt Test Dates in September

• Tigers/Dragons Tuesday, September 21 – 5:00pm
• Jr Adults/Adults Tuesday, September 21 – 6:00pm


Sr. Master Steve will provide testing papers to those students
who are invited to test in September.

Welcome New White Belts!

Please join us in welcoming our new students and their families:  Santana C., Jordyn C., Benjamin C., Keir B., Nolan R., Jasper H., Kamille C., Ameya R., Helena W., Ira W., Brittney and Christian S.

Thank you for being part of our community!


There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.

— Buddha

A  R  T  I  C  L  E : 

How Do I Tie My Belt?
Tying our belts is an important task in the martial arts. It signifies that we’re ready to learn, work out, and have fun together. Learning to tie our belts can be a little tricky, but with Shaolin patience, discipline, and a bit of practice, you can do it!

Here’s a short reminder of how to tie your belt.

1) Place the center of the belt on your stomach, just over the navel.

2) Wrap the belt around the back, cross the ends behind you and bring them to the front again, holding one side in each hand.

3) Cross the side that’s in your left hand over the right, then loop the end under both layers of your belt. Pull the ends so the belt is snug.

4) Now cross the side that’s in your right hand over the left and tuck the end up through the center of the loop made by crossing the two sides.

5) Put one hand on each end of the belt and pull it snug.

6) Done!
I N S T R U C T O R  S P O T L I G H T
Sensei Amelia
Sensei Amelia started her martial arts journey as a White Belt in 2013. She began teaching with SDSS in 2018. She earned her 2nd Degree Black Belt (Nidan) in the fall of 2020, a special achievement that showed her commitment to continued training and to the martial arts even as we were all challenged by the pandemic. 

Many of you know Sensei Amelia well as one of our core instructors on Zoom through the last year, and you’ll find her live and in person in the dojo several days each week. When asked why she keeps training, she said, “Honestly, because I’m having fun! I can’t imagine life without the dojo.”
Sensei Amelia is a student at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in mechanical engineering. Feel free to strike up a conversation with her about Star Wars, or ask her about the fun socks she’s sure to be wearing any given day! We admire her amazing creativity and the sheer joy she brings to learning new things and teaching others. Her time in the dojo has had a huge impact on her daily life: “I’ve learned self-discipline and leadership skills that have helped greatly in my jobs and university in general. And patience to deal with my brothers!”

Thank you, Sensei Amelia, for being part of our amazing instructor team!
"I remember joining the Instructor Team as Sensei Lisa when I was 17. It was one of the best experiences I'd ever had and really deepened my love of and training in the martial arts." (Sr. Master Lisa)

Our instructors receive additional training in martial arts,
leadership, and first aid/CPR.


Interested? Let Sr. Master Steve know!


It is not important to be better than someone else, but to be better than you were yesterday.

— Jigoro Kano

Private Lessons, Check-In Sessions
More important than ever, check-ins and private lessons keep us on the right track and keep us motivated.  We can do a quick 10 minute session online or in-person. You can also set up a longer, more detailed Private Lesson to really nail that form or review for belt testing!
Private lessons can be done via Zoom or In-Person!

Email Master Steve to schedule your check-in!
We bow in sincere gratitude to our students and extended martial arts family!  
Sr Master Steve, Sr Master Lisa, and your SDSS Instructors
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Shaolin Studios, All rights reserved.



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