Building Futures Through Kung Fu
Chien Hong would be nowhere without its founder, Shifu Gary Mitchell. Shifu, or Master, Gary Mitchell has a real passion for his students and it shows through his tutelage. Shifu has had a love for Kung Fu since he was a wee lad. Leaving America at the tender age of 18, Shifu packed his bags and moved to Taiwan. He did this mind you knowing only five words in Mandarin. Shifu Mitchell found his love for teaching while training under his Shifu Grandmaster Lin, Jian Hong. He came back stateside with his desire to teach and years of training under his belt and opened up Chien Hong School of Kung Fu.
We are now 21 years old and are ready to “leave the nest” as they say, and find a place of our own. Up until now, we’ve rented spaces, and it’s come to a point where we are ready to plant our roots in strong and grow. Ideally, we would like to purchase a church space or any large space with an existing kitchen. The kitchen could provide a way for us to learn various styles of Asian cooking, cooking on a budget, vegetarian cooking, and learning the value of nutrition as a martial artist as well as bettering our quality of life through better eating. Purchasing a large space such as this will also allow us to grow the school into a multicultural facility. With enough room, we can not only accommodate our Kung Fu and Tai Chi classes but also yoga, massage therapy, and even Chinese languages classes as well. We have plans for a Zen garden too! Who wouldn’t want access to something like that in their area (especially after sitting in Atlanta traffic)? As a small business, we’ve supported the Grant Park, Inman Park, Old 4th Ward, and Kirkwood areas since the beginning. We are currently shopping real estate in these neighborhoods so that we can continue our support. Making this dream a possibility will take funds. The focus of our school has never been about just turning a profit; it’s been about making an impact on our student’s lives. With that said, we need help raising the necessary funds to make all of this a reality. Any amount you can contribute will help.
Still not sold on why Chien Hong belongs in our community? Nothing like word of mouth to solidify our opinions, right? Here’s what our neighbors have to say:
“I was lucky enough to be enrolled here from the time I was 13 until I was 17, and those four years haves stuck with me ever since. I've never found a replacement for the training I received here-- and I still practice every day thanks to what I learned about discipline and focus.” – William Geissler Stewart
“My two sons and I started with Chien Hong in November 2013. My boys enjoy the class - Shi Fu Gary has a good sense of humor and makes the class fun, but is also firm and demands discipline and respect. The result is a great rapport between students and teacher. In my sons I have already noticed better behavior at home, and a greater willingness to undertake difficult tasks.” Mike S.
“For anyone or any group interested in learning more about Chinese culture, I heartily recommend checking out the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu, lead by Shifu, or Master, Gary Mitchell. The Chien Hong School of Kung Fu was the headline act for Wesleyan College’s September 2014 festival celebrating Chinese culture. Festival visitors were treated to two enthralling performances: a traditional Chinese lion dance and a demonstration of Kung Fu martial arts. Both performances were enthralling, visually spectacular, and very informative. Moreover, as one of the festival’s organizers, I also appreciated Mr. Mitchell’s professionalism. He was willing to work with us in finding a time to fit Wesleyan College into the School’s very busy performance schedule, and his diligent attention to detail throughout the planning process ensured the event’s success.”
Nicholas J. Steneck, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Confucius Institute
“I wanted to find a school that would honor the history of Kung Fu (as I not just focus on fighting) while still being challenging physically. Chien Hong has been perfect for that, and I've been faithfully participating since mid-2015. It's not easy to progress here, but it's far more fulfilling as you'll truly understand the basics; that pays off more and more as you continue learning.
I highly recommend Chien Hong for those that wish to honor the traditions more than they wish to fight.” Cliff S. Atlanta, GA
“I've been training at Chien Hong for a year now and have plans to be there for quite a while. I'm one of those who gets hopelessly bored at the gym, and elementary gym class flashbacks pretty much prevent me from ever going out for any team sport, ever, so martial arts is one of the few ways I can happily get a workout in. (Funny how the idea of a punch to the gut is way less frightening than the thought of hanging out in a baseball dugout, but apparently someone read way too much into Lord of the Flies as a child.)…
There is also a specific curriculum you have to know for your level, so you're always learning new things and finding ways to improve upon what you already know. Shi Fu is undoubtedly devoted to the art, so he has high expectations for his students and is continually motivating us to give it our all.
There's an awesome community at Chien Hong. The training brothers and sisters are super supportive and friendly, and they're always happy to answer questions and help you practice. Also, the school participates and performs in lots of activities around Atlanta--Chinese New Year and parades, notably--so that's pretty darn nifty to show off to your friends and family.” Lauren E. Atlanta, GA
“Thank you for celebrating 2016 Chinese New Year with Wesley International Academy students! Everyone loved the lion dance performance! I especially enjoyed the engaging interactions with the students. We look forward to having you perform at WIA in the future!” Ewka Urb Atlanta, GA
In addition to supporting the Grant Park, Inman Park, Old 4th Ward, and Kirkwood areas, we’ve also been involved in many cultural events around Atlanta too:
• Mercer University of Law self-defense demonstration
• AT&T women’s self-defense seminar
• Zoo Atlanta fundraiser for Chinese pandas
• Atlanta Botanical Gardens Asian Cultural Festival
• Various high schools, elementary schools, and private schools
• UNICEF charity fundraiser (performing for former President Jimmy Carter and 20/20 host Hugh Downs)
• World of Coca-Cola Asian Cultural Festival