As a New Jersey teen in the late 1970s, I studied traditional Taiji quan
(T’ai Chi Ch’uan), Xiaolin quan (Shaolin Fist), Xingyi quan (Hsing Yi Fist), traditional Chinese weapons, and various Qigong (Chi K’ung) methods with Grandmaster Peter Kwok. He had also begun training Marilyn Cooper. Chinese tradition makes her my Gong Fu (Kung Fu) “Big Sister.”
Since then, I’ve trained in contemporary Chinese Wushu, Aikido and various hybrid martial arts and fighting systems with world-renown teachers. Recently, after 30 years, I discovered Marilyn teaching in the San Francisco Bay area. I have attended her taijiquan and qigong seminars and trained with her privately, including in Grandmaster Kwok’s martial and healing systems.
In my opinion, Marilyn provides a uniquely effective learning experience of immense breadth and depth. She has devoted a lifetime of passion and expertise to making accessible the often cryptic teachings of centuries-old Chinese health and martial arts to students of all levels and backgrounds, including in the areas that Grandmaster Kwok stressed: martial applications, health and healing practices, and performance.
Her program for young children incorporates the deep philosophical principles of taijiquan to impart character, respect, balance and humility, while her work with adults further promotes health, fitness, and self-defense.
She embodies the best that martial artists may become: skilled and humble, learned and generous; respectful of tradition while aware of the need to grow. Marilyn is a true master and a rare martial artist, teacher, and person.