Sifu Chris Goodbar is the founder and chief instructor of the Laughing Dragon Kung Fu Academy. He began his martial arts training in 1994 at the age of 21 and has devoted his entire adult life to the study and promotion of these skills and values. His early training began in Western Massachusetts with Kokondo Karate and the Shaolin Five Animals style of Kung Fu; a relocation in the mid-90’s led him to the Wah Lum Tam Tui Northen Praying Mantis system. He studied Wah Lum until 2000 when he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. In Charlottesville he began his study of Tai Chi and Qigong, as well as continuing his Kung Fu training in both traditional and contemporary Northern Shaolin Longfist styles. While Charlottesville had no established full-time kung fu school at this time, Sifu Chris was able to work with a number of excellent instructors during the early and mid-2000’s, studying Northern Shaolin Longfist (changquan), another system of Praying Mantis Boxing, as well as the “internal” arts of Xingyiquan and Baguazhang.
In 2009, three years after the establishment of Laughing Dragon Kung Fu, Sifu Chris discovered the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute of Herndon, Virginia. He was immediately struck by the high level of skill demonstrated by both students and instructors, but was even more impressed by the balance they achieved between pride in their Kung Fu heritage and personal humility. Sifu Chris was both humbled and proud himself to be accepted as a student of Sifu Reza Momenan in 2009, and has felt honored ever since to receive training in the arts of Jow Ga Kuen, Shaolin Mizong Quan, Qingping Jian and Yang style Tai Chi. In April of 2013, Laughing Dragon Kung Fu became formally affiliated with the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute, opening a new chapter in Sifu Chris Goodbar’s life. He is extremely happy to be able to preserve and promote these traditional Chinese martial arts styles here in Charlottesville.