A Silent Bow ©

By: Thomas Richard Joiner




At some point in our lives, a surprising number of people make the decision to study some form of martial arts. Of course there are a million and one reasons that bring them to that decision, and they can be as different as night and day.  Regardless of the circumstances that prompted their curiosity about the fighting arts, the number of people that continue to train once they become fully aware of the difficulty of the undertaking, are exceedingly few. From the first day that we step onto the mat and begin the slow arduous journey from white belt to advanced black belt levels regrettably, many are lost along the way.  Be that as it may, this is not about those who fall by the wayside; itís an honorarium, to show respect to the survivors. Itís for the ones who didnít make excuses, who persevered in spite of personal hardship, set-backs, training injuries and the pressures of daily living, whose only choice was to follow their heart.


Itís about individuals who have come through the ranks, and after years of training, have been awarded the coveted titles of Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi. These elite upper class high level practitioners, who have risen to advanced levels, are seasoned veterans, high level instructors, and world class performers who are considered MASTERS of their art.


These committed veterans that are only surpassed by an even smaller group of rare individuals who are the supreme authority, the occupiers of the throne or seat of power in the martial arts system. Unlike senseis and sifus whose focus centers on developing the combat capability of their students, the focus of these individuals is on passing on the tradition and philosophy of the art as a way of life, not just the techniques themselves. They are the exalted 10th degree red belt GRANDMASTERS.  


Aristocrats of the martial arts, this hierarchy of men and women who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their chosen art, are representative of Martial Arts Royalty that are considered jewels in the crown of a martial arts system. They are the best of the best, martial artists who have earned our respect for their lifelong dedication and willingness to share their gift. Without them information would not be transmitted to future generations and the martial arts would be lostÖ     Silent bow!




 Thomas Richard Joiner, Kyoshi 6th Dan

Chinese Goju Martial Arts


Treasures from the Sea of Chi

200 Montecito Avenue # 304

Oakland, CA  94610






Thomas Richard Joiner, author of the Warrior as Healer, Blending Botany and Budo, and Chinese Herbal Medicine Made Easy, Kung Fu Medicine, Martial Esoterica, and Slaying the Dragon is a Kyoshi sixth-degree black belt in Chinese Goju Martial Arts and has received certification in Tien Tao Chi Kung, as well as being a graduate of the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine New York City. He has conducted advanced study in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, CA, trained in Chinese Herbology under Dr. Lai Fu Cai as well as studying at the Institute of Chinese Herbology in Berkeley, CA. Thomasís martial arts education includes training in Wing Chun Gung Fu with Sifu Ralph Rodriquez and the late Grandmaster Moy Yat. In addition he has studied Taoist Esoteric Yoga Micro-cosmic orbit meditation, Iron shirt Chi Kung and Seminal Ovarian Kung Fu with Mantak Chia, as well as training in Chinese Goju Martial Arts under Grandmaster/Shidoshi Ron Van Clief. 

            Sensei Joinerís books provide extensive insights into the centuries-old practice of incorporating herbs into your martial arts training as well as making available prescriptions for many of the legendary and most highly regarded formulas used in Asian Martial Arts for treating injuries as well as enhancing oneís training.  

            Sensei Joiner has been a practicing Chinese Herbalist for nearly two decades, and is the founder of an online mail order company Treasures From the Sea of Chi which specializes in traditional Chinese herbal formulas used in martial arts training. If you would like more information on herbal practices in the martial arts, Sensei Joiner can be reached at his company email: