CALGARY, Alberta — Red Jade is an international chain of martial arts schools. Known for their high quality of authentic teaching styles. Shifu Neil Ripski started as a young kid with a simple interest in martial arts. In 1986, he took a martial arts class at a local gym and found a passion.
“The only thing in my head was that I wanted to be good, and I wanted others to be good. That was it,” said Ripski, “I never had any aspirations that I’d do that for a living.”
Fast forward to 2021, Ripski has an international chain of martial arts schools. Ripski has Red Jade franchises throughout the world in the United States, Canada, Israel, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Each one of the schools is run by students he taught himself.
Not only does he have school throughout the world but has taught workshops throughout the world. These workshops dive deeper into the topics of Drunken boxing, leadership, martial arts, wellbeing, Internal motions, Nei Gong in the United States, Canada, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Thailand.
“Red Jade provides a rare form of traditional kung fu to its students. Neil is world renown for his style of Drunken Kung Fu, but he also teaches arts such as Bagua, Xingyiliuhe, and others,” describes Danel Fisher, a student and long-term friend.
Red Jade was founded on authenticity and accuracy in the art form. named after an antique Chinese sword gifted to Neil Ripski, the founder had the simple goal of preserving Martial arts and philosophy. Red Jade is dedicated to preserving Chinese martial arts. Based on the elements of “wu de” (martial virtue), Red Jade is based on the wu 武 is “to stop” and “Spear” as well as the character Shu 術 which means art or methods. Together they mean an art form of protection, of preserving the peace.
Not only are martial arts a passion for Ripski but it’s made him a success. Starting with no financial assistance from loans, credit, or investors, he started with a simple room rental at a local recreation center. And now Ripski is known throughout the world for his status as a martial arts master.
The premise behind the school is to break the mould of modern gyms and return to tradition. Ripski wanted red jade to be different, to bring martial arts in a new but authentic way. Red Jade doesn’t just offer martial arts training but also promotes holistic wellness for the mind and body.
“I cannot stomach the consumerism in martial arts,” said Ripski, “My rebuttal has been to continue to give only the most authentic thorough teachings I can. Hiding nothing. Authenticity always has a niche market”.
Ripski explains that most martial arts schools are not much more than babysitting services that teach kids how to punch and kick. With this model, he explains martial arts, “becomes a watered-down business for the sake of profit”.
“I feel each student has to be treated as an individual, cookie-cutter martial arts curriculums do not turn out martial artists, they churn out look-a-likes with little to no understanding or skills,” Ripski explains, “Students need a balanced approach to cultivate real skills, you cannot just fight all the time, nor can you just talk about theory or do qigong neither of these people ends up as powerful martial artists.
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