Instructor Background


Instructor Eric Naylor writes:

How I started (see bottom of page for list of styles and instructors) or if you don't feel like reading feel free to call and ask questions 612 558-8252 

Like many people, my first exposure to Kung Fu was watching Hong Kong movies on TV growing up. My first class was a Karate class in 1984 while I was in college studying music. However this was only for one quarter and then I changed schools (attended Musicians Institute) and didn't restart Martial Arts until 1989. I consider that to be the point I truly started since I have studied continuously since.

I began by trading guitar lessons with a Martial Arts instructor (primarily Chinese styles) which allowed me to get free private lessons (1-2 hours a week) in addition to group classes. I continued with this instructor for almost 6 years while also starting to take classes with other instructors. When I left it was to concentrate on furthering my knowledge. Since then I have continuously taken classes, seminars, and worked out with different instructors. During some years I was taking classes at three different schools simultaneously. I also at times have attended over a hundred hours worth of seminars in a single year. I have traveled to Baltimore, Orlando, Chicago, L.A. and Lansing to study with instructors from all over the world.

I continue to try to further my knowledge through working out with other instructors, seminars, studying books and videos and my own practice.

How I Teach

I included some of my guitar instructors below because studying and teaching guitar has influenced my martial arts. Teaching me how to develop speed, efficiency of motion, relaxation, and best methods for practice. In music I also learned improvisation through the use of fixed patterns such as scales and songs. These same methods I apply to martial arts where fighting is a type of improvisation, and the fixed patterns are forms and preset techniques.

I try to minimize the amount of memorization students need to do because their is nearly endless possible situations in self-defense. Instead of trying to teach answers to every problem I focus on drills that will improve basics such as coordination, body mechanics, power, speed, footwork, timing, etc. And teach techniques for some of the most common situations along with the tactics and theory behind the technique so that students can create their own variations.

 I teach in a relaxed and informal manner where questions and discussions of how/why techniques are done are welcomed and encouraged. I group techniques by theory and tactics (why a technique is done) rather than by style. I also try to keep classes small enough that I can work with each person individually to make sure they are practicing correctly and understanding the technique. I don't hold anything back from students and everything is taught in an open manner with both beginners and advanced students studying side-by-side. As far as technique, I teach all aspects of self-defense including empty-hand/weapons striking, joint-locks, throws and ground fighting. I also teach counters to all of these moves (after all, every move has a counter and if you understand what it is, this will make your technique more effective).

Styles and instructors

Due to my desire to always learn and improve, I've taken classes and seminars with over 80 martial arts instructors and read or watched over 700 books and instructional videos (not counting youtube clips and movies.) I've been asked to become an instructor in multiple styles (that didn't have belts) and I am a 3rd degree black sash in the first system I studied. I've never been one to believe that there is a style that would be "the" style. Instead I've always searched for variations and more efficient ways to teach and practice.

The following is a partial list of instructors I've studied or worked with (I stopped adding names to it a few years ago). For those who I have left off or their names misspelled, I apologize as I mean no disrespect. This list is in alphabetical order. Some of these people I have studied with for years and some for only hours but I feel all have had some effect on me. 



Martial Arts Instructors

Guitar Instructors

  • Marty Anderson
  • Dionisio Canete
  • Eddie Chong
  • Rick Develirio
  • Stefan Dieke
  • John Ducane
  • Rick Faye
  • Kevin Finney
  • Francis Fong
  • Antonio Li Fon
  • Yang Fukui
  • Nick Gracenin
  • Maung Gyi (Dr Gyi)
  • Stehand Hand
  • Roy Harris
  • Ray Hayward
  • Yuan Hua Yan
  • Dan Inosanto
  • Jianye Jiang
  • Don Jones
  • Jared Kirby
  • Peter Kwong
  • Gary Lamaster
  • Zhen Lei Chen
  • Bryant Lempke
  • Wang Lijun
  • Shouyu Liang
  • Shawn Liu
  • Xiaoling Lu
  • Paul Macdonald
  • John Machado
  • Chun Man Sit
  • Sam Masich
  • Bill Mcgrath
  • Nathan Menaged
  • Benny Meng
  • Maul Mornie
  • Bok Nam Park
  • Dave Nicholas
  • Stuart Olson
  • Norm Orr
  • Eric Olea
  • Eric Paulson
  • David Prost
  • Ken Pfrenger
  • Jian Qiag Hu
  • Pan Qing Fu
  • Luis Quiroz
  • Tim Ruzicki
  • Jack Spizale
  • Herman Suwanda
  • Rita Suwanda
  • Greg Tobias
  • Buddy Wu
  • Qiang Ya Liang
  • Shi Yan-Ming
  • Zhang Zhijun
  • Jennifer Batten
  • Charlie Fechter
  • Frank Gambale
  • Dan Gilbert
  • Paul Gilbert
  • Danny Gill
  • Jeff Loven
  • Les wise
  • Keith Wyatt



The following list is of styles that I've studied with an instructor (I didn't include any style that I've only read books or watched videos on) this list is by no means complete for a few reasons: First with so many instructors, many of whom taught multiple styles, there are many styles that I only did for a short time and I wanted to include just the main styles I've studied. Second while these styles and instructors have inspired me, and I might use techniques and ideas from them, ultimately I am teaching my own style that I call Kasilean kung fu (see class page for more info). The list below is just intended to give you an idea of the styles that have influenced me. But I do not teach most of these styles in full or claim to be an instructor in all of them. (This list is in no particular order).

 The ones in bold are the top ten styles that  I would say have influenced me the most either from use of their drills, techniques or concepts:

 Martial arts Styles:

  • Chinese:
    Chuan-fa (kenpo), T'ai-Chi (Yang, Chen, Wu, Fu, Yi), Bagua, Wing Chun, JKD, Shaolin, Qigong, northern and southern Mantis, Bak Mei, Hung Gar, Chin Na (not really a seperate style but used as a part of many of the styles), Hsing-I, Choi-ka/Fong-ka
  • Indonesian:
    Pencak Silat Mande Muda (Hari mau, Cimande, Cikalong, etc)
  • Modern Western
    Fencing (Foil, Epee, Saber), Boxing
  • Historical European (commonly called HEMA now, but when I first studied it in 1990s term wasn't commonly used)
    Longsword, knightly sword, 2 handed sword, Broadsword, Rapier, Smallsword, Saber, Dagger, Grappling, Sword and Buckler
  • fillipino
    Various styles of Kali and Escrima
  • Other
    Mongolian Wushu, Tibetan White Crane and Tiger, Russian Systema, Japanese Judo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu