10,000 Victories Student Stories

Hello, my name is Carol Mirenda, I am a retired scientist, and have been practicing Tai Chi with Sifu Scott Jensen since September 2017.  Learning Tai Chi was my idea of getting my husband, who is in his eighties, to exercise.  I went along with him for motivation so I signed us both up for Tai Chi with Scott and Rachel Jensen through our town’s community center.  I knew it was a gentle method of movement, good for muscle tone and balance.  I had taken previous Tai Chi classes so I thought I knew what to expect.  Over the first few weeks I realized that Sifu Jensen brings a lot more to the class than the step-by-step instructions for the various moves.  He underscores everything we learn with the simple joy of movement.  Nothing is wrong.  As long as you keep moving you are a winner. 

What sets Sifu Jensen apart is his gracious acceptance of everyone who walks into the room.  His deep and broad knowledge of martial arts is freely shared.   One walks away from a lesson a little smarter about one’s body and how to help heal or improve it.  Sifu also has a gentle sense of humor and is a master story teller so one’s funny bone gets a work out during his classes. 

From working with Sifu and within 10000 Victories I have gained friendships and a welcoming sense of belonging.  All ages are welcome; everyone has something to contribute and to learn.  There is a camaraderie among people who share an interest of working toward something better within ourselves.   I love watching people practice the various forms of Kung Fu.  10000 Victories is more than Tai Chi; it is a venue for all styles of Kung Fu.  And there is far more to learn about Tai Chi than what is commonly envisioned.  For example, I have broadened my interests to Tai Chi Sword forms.  Highly rewarding and fun! 

What is important to know is that Sifu lets me guide my own course of instruction.  If I want to learn more he is right beside me to teach me more.  It is that way for every person in his classes.  If you want to learn the movements of Tai Chi or if you want to dive deeper it is entirely up to you. 

Learning a form of exercise that can be done, in whole or in part, anywhere (indoors, outdoors, standing in line, on an airplane) has enormous practical benefits especially during this pandemic.  Learning Tai Chi from Sifu Jensen is its own reward: He imparts the skills and moves and knowledge and you reap the benefits of a healthier body. 

I was guided to meet Sifu Jensen from my chiropractor who said with your injuries the only way you will be able to heal and improve is if you study with Sifu Jensen. This was after receiving a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome from a Neurologist who told me “You will not even be able to feed yourself within 5 years.  Since there is no surgery or cure for your injuries, I can only offer you pain control”. Since I only used homeopathy, I was unwilling to spend the rest of my days on painkillers. Using homeopathy and retraining my muscles and with practicing Bagua Zhang and Qi Gong I was able to improve and eventually remove all the symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome!  

Luckily, I took my chiropractor’s advice and began a healing journey with Sifu Jensen in 1999. I was told that learning “Bagua Zhang” I would be able to rebuild the connections that were damaged – (all the ligaments and tendons and the connective tissue) and learn a new way to use my arms using my ribs to lift them etc. I went back to the Neurologist a few years later and he said he could not believe my improvement and told me whatever I am doing it is working and asked about the details of the training. He had never seen anyone heal from the level of damage I had.  

Within the first few months of training with Sifu Jensen I began seeing results… No more numbness, no tingling, and very minimal pain as the nerve damage was healing.  I improved a little at a time. I now can wake up without any pain! There are no words that can describe the gift of health and pain free living. I still practice all the original exercises but now can begin trying out other martial arts. Once I did get rid of all my symptoms, I was told I no longer would improve unless I began practicing different systems.  I began with Tai Chi and am still improving as I learn new ways to strengthen my body. I now feel I am actually in better shape than I was 20 years ago!  I actually feel 20 years younger than I am. I am now 73 and can do some moves I could not even do at 20 years of age! it Is a lifetime of health that you are embarking on when you begin to work with Sifu Jenson. My new practice is learning the Tai Chi Sword form.  

Sifu was able to give me the exact amount of training in small amounts so I never reinjured and was extremely vigilant to give me alternative ways to do some of movements so I would not reinjure the areas that I had problems with.  I have watched him over the last 20 years give many others this same gift of trusting your body to respond with the proper training and practice.  I cannot recommend anyone more devoted to bringing healing to you!  Do not wait to begin a new journey toward optimal health! 

Sincerely,  Jackie Thompson 

In 2015 I was introduced to 10,000 Victories because I drove my grandchildren to Kung Fu class every week, twice a week, I’ d sit down at one of the tables watching my grands get stronger. During that time, I used to pick my granddaughter up from her elementary school where she stepped in front of me while we were walking to the car and I fell onto my hands and knees onto asphalt. As a woman of a certain age, I did not bounce back. 

Not only had I broken my right kneecap, I had shoved my left hand so far into my arm that my upper arm turned purple and I was convinced I had broken my forearm as well. I still took the kids to class, though, hobbling in with a brace on my leg, on my arm, and working a walking stick. 

Scott looked at me and said words I won’t forget. “When you get that stuff off, come back.” 

My grands stopped taking class, but I began. Once a week, Tuesdays, wobbly as hell and unsure what to do. I started learning the form. Rachel and Scott were very nice to me. I found the movements relaxing and also deceiving, how could I be sweating when I had hardly moved at all? I felt myself getting stronger. I picked up a Thursday class as well. The classes are very close to my house, and once i had the courage, I started biking to class. Learning the Tai Chi form took time. Sometimes I was the only person in the class, which was tough as I had nowhere to hide. Despite my ballet training and the voices in my head from my teacher yelling at me that I heard from my early classes in ballet, I was never yelled at, just given gentle direction in Tai Chi class.  

Tai Chi took hold. I added Tai Chi sword classes. I added a class in San Rafael. I am still of a certain age – not getting any younger – but because of Tai Chi I can walk for six miles up a 1,500-foot mountain without stopping. I can bike for miles, a cautious rider, I do not ride fast but I can do 20 miles reasonably easily. It’s been five years and for the second time in two years, I’m heading to France to bike 30 miles a day for four days in the Loire Valley. I can’t thank 10,000 Victories enough for getting my life back.  

Susanna V

I am Peter Bauer and have over 35 years in Federal service, starting with Peace Corps and currently working with Medicare.  

For the last four years I’ve been learning Tai Chi & Tai Chi Sword in San Rafael with Sifu Scott Jensen at the City of San Rafael Community Center.  

I learned Tai Chi from over 25 years ago and wanted to re-start and advance my practice. Restarting with Sifu Scott Jensen learning Tai Chi & Tai Chi Sword was awesome. It really all comes back! It has been great for building my strength, balance, flexibility and relieving stress and foot, leg, hip, back & neck pain. I was looking for more advanced Tai Chi lessons and found them at 10,000 Victories.  At 10,000 Victories we study both the Tai Chi & Tai Chi Sword form. (The 46 style Tai Chi sword from the Chen Pan Ling Lineage of Tai Chi.) The Tai Chi Sword form has a complete set of classical sword techniques. There are very few repetitions so the form is full of unique movements. This makes it exciting and fun to learn and practice.  Restarting my Tai Chi studies with Sifu Scott Jensen at 10,000 Victories has been like finding the fountain of youth, who knew it was here this whole time.  

I am Pascale Hery. I am a teacher.  

I have been practicing Tai Chi and Tai Chi Sword for over 6 years.  

I joined the Tai Chi class in order to fortify my body and to improve my breathing, and I was specially looking for standing exercises to strengthen my feet and legs. I also wanted to work on my will power, and test my stamina. I chose Tai Chi because I was inspired by its choreography, and because it is a unique and meaningful way to work on body and mind. 

I deeply benefited from Sifu Jensen’s outstanding technical knowledge, dedication, kindness and patience, and I would recommend studying with him for the richness, comprehensiveness and sophistication of his program, not to mention his Website which provide us with complementary cultural and historical insights.  

Furthermore, being part of the 10 000 Victories community helped me stay motivated and focused. The result far exceeded my expectations, because I learned how to correct my posture during practice, but also in everyday life, and I feel much stronger physically and mentally! The regular workout revealed its utility, and now I find reaching the point where I can fine tune my moves and really enjoy their beauty very rewarding.  

My name is John Granatir. I have been studying with Sifu Jensen and 10,000 Victories since Feb. 2018.  

Tai Chi nourishes my mind, body and spirit. It gives me a sense of balance and harmony.  

Sifu is part of an unbroken tradition and lineage of N Shaolin martial arts. For 40 years he has devoted himself to rigorous study both in US and Asia. He has entered many tournaments, won countless awards, and proven himself a Master of many styles of Martial Arts. He has been a leader in the Bay Area MA community for many years.

Sifu has wide range and depth of knowledge, and mastery of many skills, and still approaches Martial Arts with a spirit of humility and giving. He is genuinely interested in the welfare and progress of each of his students.

10,000 Victories gives students Individual attention. They are patient and respectful, and very giving. Sifu and Rachel create a supportive community of warmth and acceptance. 

Tai Chi has given me focus, strength, and balance. It improves my posture, confidence, and self esteem  

Sifu gives a lot of time and attention to people, encouraging students to progress with humor and encouragement.  

In 2018 some of the senior students earned Back Belts and were empowered with teaching responsibilities. This has been a good thing, especially during the pandemic when a lot of activities went online. During this period Sifu still gives students 1:1 monthly live lessons, which greatly helps to balance out the bi-weekly online sessions. 

I’ve taken many Tai Chi and martial arts classes over the years and I cannot say enough good things about Sifu Jensen and the 10,000 Victories school. They are the real deal.

I began studying with Sifu Jensen in 1991. For the last 30 years I have seen him and his school continue to prosper and thrive, offering “old school” traditional Chinese martial arts. Sifu Jensen’s continuous support and encouragement of his students is why I still practice what I learned from him. He instills a deep desire to want to be your best in life!

– Gary M

Scott & Rachel Jensen dedicate no less than 100% of their time, expertise and care in the continued development of easily accessible curriculum to support all those earnestly dedicated to personal advancement. The Comprehensive Online Program is assured to provide a wealth of opportunity to new and continuing students interested in exploring Chinese Martial Arts and associated Eastern Disciplines.

– Michael Reibin

Sifu Scott Jensen is the real deal. I’ve never felt more confident in my body. I’ve never had more passion for a sport or workout. Northern Shaolin Kung Fu is the ultimate study for the body, mind and spirit. And Sifu Scott is the ultimate scholar and teacher.

– Your proud student, Christina Heartquist