Meet the Founders of the Martial Hearts Foundation
Sifu Li, Tianyuan
Born in the People’s Republic of China, Sifu Li began her Wushu/Kung Fu training at the age of 8. As a child she would follow her brother, who later became a professor of Wushu at the Beijing Sports University,to his martial arts lessons and follow along from the sidelines. In 1982 scouts from the Shanxi Province Sports School, one of China’s most respected sports schools which accepts less than 1 in 1000 applicants, discovered her talent and quickly recruited her as a student. In recognition of her exceptional skill, dedication and ability, she was later accepted as a member of the Shanxi Province Wushu Team, which was at the time coached by world renowned Wushu teacher Zhang Ling Mei. As a member of the Shanxi Wushu Team from 1984-1993 Tian held several tittles:
• 1989 All China National Champion – Spear Division
• 1989 All China 2nd Place – Sword Division
• 1990 All China National Champion – Spear Division
• 1990 Performed in 1st Annual Asian Games Opening Ceremony
• 1991 All China National Champion – Spear Division
In 1989 the Chinese government recognized Sifu Li with the tile of ‘Wu Ying Ji’, a title that has been given to very few people and represents the highest level of achievement and mastery in the arts of Wushu. Two years later Sifu Li graduated from the Beijing Sports University, China’s most prestigious sports school which boasts such famous graduates as Jet Li.
In 1994 Sifu Li retired from competition and soon after was invited to the Chinese Wushu Association in Yokohama, Japan where she taught Tai Chi and Wushu until 2001. While in Yokohama, she met her U.S. Navy husband and soon moved to Korea before settling in the Arlington, Washington area. During her time in Japan she was also recruited by Sony Playstation and Sega Dreamcast as a motion capture character model for the hit game ‘Soul Calibur’.
Sifu Li has dedicated her life to the learning and teaching of Taiji and Wushu. Her students are truly lucky to have the opportunity to learn from such a skilled and experienced Taiji and Wushu master.
Sifu Li now has her own school in Seattle’s China Town and Bellevue, Washington: Northwest Wushu
Sifu Carlton Doup
Carlton Doup began his martial arts training under world renowned master Won Kuk Kim, founder of the Jungyae Moosul system. Under master Kim’s tutelage he achieved the rank of 3rd degree black belt and the title of Dae Sa Reoung (Chief Instructor), the highest attainable level of instructor in the Jungyae Moosul system. He began teaching in 1994 and in 1996 opened his own school, the Jungyae Moosul Academy of Marysville. After several years he decided he wanted to take his school in a different direction than that of his teacher and founded the Kung Fu Northwest / Kung Fu 4 Kids Academy.
Carlton is best known in the martial arts community for his championship demonstration teams as well as his expertise in the use of weapons, with his specialty being in the field of flexible weapons such as Nunchaku, Iron Chain and the Rope Dart. He has also done professional stunt work and martial arts choreography, giving him the opportunity to work directly with several notable figures including Bill Gates and Steve Balhmer.
In addition to running his martial arts school, Carlton currently acts as a coach, consultant, and mentor to other martial arts school and business owners.