"Where does one start? I have trained with Sifu George Cassell for nearly 15 years now and I can say that it is very difficult to find a point in my life that his teaching has not had some effect. I have 22 years as a bodyguard and George has refined my skills to an even greater level than I ever thought possible. I am both honored and eternally grateful to have been chosen as one of his students. Some might see his teaching style as unorthodox but one thing that truly sets George apart from other instructors is his determination to see everyone succeed in both the arts he teaches and the fulfillment of each individual students dreams no matter how large or small those dreams may be. What does a new student get when first joining one of George's classes? Well it has something to do with a monkey with a purple mohawk, two rabbits, a riding crop, fuzzy handcuffs, a sky blue tutu and a bar of lavender soap but that ritual is secret and I cannot elaborate any further.... just kidding (no soap involved). Come to class expecting equal parts over-the-top humor and mind blowing amounts of information. A going lament for George is that Ip Man got Bruce Lee as a student and George Cassell drawing the karmic wrath of some divine being got us. George will somehow find a way to pay that divine being back big time. A new student not only gets a teacher that cares about them but dedicated senior students who welcome them and aid them as they undertake a tough but rewarding journey into the Martial Arts. The students of George Cassell's classes are not trained to compete with each other they are trained to push and support each other in the same way a father would want to see his children push and support each other. A common saying amongst us is that once you join you are never alone on your journey ever again. All you have to do is take that first step."
--Jeff H., Sacramento, CA
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"George has charisma and talent that is exceeded only by his knowledge of martial arts and insight into how best to make a connection with his students. In a field where self proclaimed "masters" and "grandmasters" abound, George does not ask for your respect, he earns it every day with his actions and careful instruction as he strives to make you the best you can possibly be. Under his tutelage, I have found myself striving to master each movement and step, not because he is violently pushing me to, but because he simply knows my capabilities and expects me to exceed them each day. With his unique combination of in depth knowledge of a classic art and willingness to accept new ideas and incorporate personalized movements, George has created the best form of martial art that I have ever found. He has created a beautiful style that is effective for every student that comes to him. And what is more, he has created a place where his students become a family. A place of instruction, safety, and acceptance for all who need it. I have never met a man more suited to be an instructor, and am proud to call him my Sifu."
--Brandon K., Sacramento, CA
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"George Cassell has been a great martial arts instructor for me. One of the greatest values I received was the real life application of the training he provides to his students. Not only was there the martial arts physical combat training and conditioning, but there was also street application, situational awareness and reaction, and a variety of scenarios in which we would be challenged to respond with what we have learned. I also have a great deal of respect and gratitude for the confidence building and life changing impact that George has had on many of his students, including myself. I would highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to work with George do so."
--Wade H., Fair Oaks, CA
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"I can't give a high enough recommendation for George as martial arts instructor and mentor. I was a student of his for four years during and shortly after high school and it remains one of the most positive experiences in my life. As a martial arts teacher he is extensively knowledgeable in multiple disciplines and with a decorated military background. His instructions were well balanced with both structured routines and training exercises as well as practical applications and situational awareness. I have taken a number of other martial arts over the years and his class remains my favorite. Beyond his instruction, George is a great mentor and motivator. He challenged us to improve every day and showed us the path to do so. Most significantly, George has a natural ability to instill confidence in his students by identifying each individual's strengths and demonstrating their value in a group setting. It was a privilege to be his student and one of my most cherished experiences."
--Zack, Sacramento, CA
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"George is an amazing and inspirational teacher. He provides a safe place to learn, and has the ability to temper his technique of presentation so that it resonates with the needs of each individual student in that moment. He cultivates mental well-being and wholeness in addition to physical skill and health. His ability, understanding of body mechanics, and vast knowledge of martial arts techniques make it easy to learn not just the steps to perform a technique, but also why you would use it, when, and why and how everything works. Taking classes with George has been enlightening, uplifting and fulfilling."
--Cindy E., Sacramento, CA
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"In the approximately 20 years that I've known George Cassell, he has been a mentor, a friend, a guide, and a gauge by which to judge my choices in life. His martial arts experience and good judgment have provided the foundation on which I have built a productive and meaningful existence. He taught me to never be a victim but always lend a hand. To have the heart of a lion and wear the stripes of a zebra. That I am the captain of my soul. The building blocks that I obtained through his instruction early in life gave me a starting point to build my confidence and keep my center in difficult situations."
--Jay B., Sacramento, CA
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"Conquer your own fears, take the first steps on the journey to self discovery, and become your own super hero." These were some of the first sayings my Sifu, George Cassell, gave me (and my classmates). It's not everyday that we encounter one that has walked the path of a true warrior; it requires a life of sacrifice ... and a will forged of iron. Through him, I learned my true potential, and how to teach in my own right. I know how to pass on what I have learned, and I am forever grateful."
--Sifu Curt C., Sacramento, CA
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"If I had to give one reason to join this class, it would be the practicality of it. George Cassell does not teach a workout routine, he teaches you how to defend yourself realistically. He adapts what he is teaching to your body type and works with you to make it feel natural. I never feel like I am struggling to keep up with what I am being taught because George has the ability to identify exactly what I need to work on. His instruction combined with the help from his senior students has instilled in me a feeling of confidence, and I love being part of his group. I could not ask for a better teacher and I am proud to call him Sifu."
--Andrew C., Sacramento, CA
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"I've been taking part in the self defense class with George for about four months now, and I could not be happier with my decision. I honestly couldn't ask for a better instructor; he takes the time to point out individual strengths and weaknesses and to help you adapt and overcome them making his style your own. It's a rigorous yet constructive environment that's very easy to simply feel like you're really a part of it instead of feeling like you're just going through the motions. When I leave the class, I really feel like I've taken something from it each and every time."
--Morgan B., Sacramento, CA
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"In my first lesson, George asked me to name an attack I was afraid of.
'That's easy,' I said, 'someone grabbing me from behind.'
So he gently grabbed me around my neck from behind and then carefully showed me how to escape and bring down my attacker. He did it again and again, each time getting a little rougher when he grabbed me, closer to what I might realistically expect if someone did indeed attack me from behind.
Then he asked me, 'How did you feel the first time I grabbed you?'
'It was terrifying,' I said.
'How do you feel now?'
'A little pissed off.'
'Good,' he said. 'We're going to harness that anger, so you'll be able to turn it on (the Beast) if you need it ... but when you can harness that Beast, you probably won't ever need it. You'll have a look in your eye that a predator won't mess with. They'll look for someone else, someone who can be a victim, not someone who's going to take them down. I'm going to teach you how to take them down, but that look in your eye alone will probably mean you'll never need to use the combat skills you'll learn here.'
I love George's combat defense classes and what I've been learning, but I want people to know that these classes did a lot more for me than just teach me how to defend myself in the event of an attack. These classes have changed my life. They have given me the courage to stand up for myself in every part of my life. I not only feel more secure in my physical abilities, but also I feel more confident in all aspects of my life."
--Donna T., Sacramento, CA.
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"I learned so much from you as a teacher and a friend. It has served me well and I think of you often. Thank you and I am glad to see you are still at it!!"
--Jamie and Amy C., CA.
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"One should not fear being trapped in a situation (i.e. a dark alley) with a dangerous assailant/s. The dangerous assailants should be fearful that they are trapped there with you."
--Darren H., CA.
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In response to a private class held in Santa Rosa, CA: "Great class today, George Cassell! Thank you for traveling all the way from Sacramento to teach us some self defense skills worth knowing!! We are all going to be more aware of our surroundings, and we will hold our heads high with a whole lotta beast in our hearts! Cause nobody wants to mess with a beast!!"
--Megan P., Santa Rosa, CA.
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"Joining this brotherhood has irreversibly changed my life! Not only am I slowly rekindling my passion for martial arts, but I also found a group of like minded humans I am HONORED to call brother and sisters. Kung Fu is the closest thing I will ever have to religion. Through practice, I finally found the strength to escape an abusive relationship, found the courage to accept and pursue a man who treats me like a queen, I'm booking better and more challenging acting/modeling gigs, and finally landed an 8-5 job I've been wanting for YEARS. I spend my days at work, my nights with loved ones, and I no longer cry myself to sleep every night. Life is BEAUTIFUL. Challenging, yes; but it grows more and more beautiful with every glowing sunset.
Thank you for everything you've taught me thus far, Sifu George. I look forward to class every Sunday a will continue pursuing my passions with equal diligence."
--Cecilia Q., Sacramento, CA.
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"In my car in the right lane, stopped at a red light. Cars ahead, behind and to my left. A pedestrian decides that I'm the person he needs to be yelling at.
Now, I've never had an issue with feeling unsafe generally. In college I used to walk people home from parties and events. I'm tall, I'm confident and it's pretty hard to catch me unaware. I have never been afraid, alone or at night. But before George's class, today would have left me freaked out. Locked in my car, nowhere to go, with a drunk or crazy man banging on my car. He was behaving erratically enough that I would have been unsurprised if he went through my window.
It's been about a year at Way of the Beast, give or take. I didn't predial 911, didn't reach for the pocket knife in my purse, didn't stare straight ahead in fear that engaging would make him escalate. You know, the things women are told to do to 'be safe'.
We made eye contact. He walked away. The light turned green.
Way of the Beast meets Sundays at noon. If I can do it, so can you and I promise to be your buddy if you're nervous."
--Amanda B., Loomis, CA.
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