With the wild support of family, friends and the local community, Golden Phoenix School of Chinese Martial Arts officially opened its doors (or wings, if you will) on October 12th, 2015 by owner and Chief Instructor, Sifu Vincent Sodders.
Nestled at the foot of Fall Mountain in North Walpole, NH the school offers an exciting range of programs for children, teens and adults in the studies of Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Traditional 5 Animal Kung Fu, Weapons, Chuan Fa and Personal Protection.
The virtues of Compassion, Discernment, Fortitude, Integrity, and Self-Discipline are held foundational to developing the characters of its students, that they may fully realize the great responsibility they bare to themselves and others as martial artists. At every opportunity, a culture oriented toward personal growth and the wellbeing of mind, body and spirit, is honed.
The school welcomes students with disabilities, behavioral issues, handicaps and other health limitations, while promoting the philosophy that martial arts can be adapted to meet each need and improve the over-all quality of life for everyone.
Affordable tuition rates are available for group classes, semi-private and full private lessons, as well as discounted programs for individuals and families. Other services include: rank advancement ceremonies, martial art workshops, fun family events, informational seminars, and birthday party hosting.
All are invited to schedule a complimentary private lesson and join a class to experience all that Golden Phoenix School has to offer!
"Our mission is to empower each of our students through professional martial arts instruction and character development that the may rise above every life challenge to positively influence their family, friends and greater community."
Owner, Chief Instructor
Known as "Sifu Vinny" to his students, Sifu Vincent Sodders has been devoted to studying a variety of ancient Chinese martial art systems for well over a decade; enthusiastically acting as conduit to anyone willing to learn the same. He has had the privilege of training under multiple masters and grandmasters, even as far as the monks of the Shaolin Temple in the Henan Province of China.
Most notably, he is now under the tutelage of Master Steven Frankel, a senior instructor of Wing Chun under the late Master (Terrence) Yip Pui, who was a greatly esteemed student and nephew of Grandmaster Yip Chun, the eldest son of the honorable Grandmaster Yip Man. Sifu Vinny regards it as a great honor to introduce this premier lineage to the Walpole area.
Sifu Vinny has received multiple honors as a Master Instructor by former sifus, and is widely regarded as being a true "technician" in martial art communities. He is constantly on the search for the deepest understanding of "why?" each block, lock, strike, kick or manipulation works within the context of a physical altercation and the motives behind its use, applying his knowledge of physics and the human anatomy to inform his conclusions. He believes answering this question is key to effective practice and creative use of any system. However, the heart of his instruction is in presenting a path to deescalate aggression through diplomatic means or the least use of force possible to maintain peace and personal safety.
As an Alumni of Fall Mountain with family on both sides of the Connecticut River, it was only natural that Sifu Vincent Sodders should choose to establish his school in the rural region in which he was raised and whose inhabitants he intimately understands and is desirous to serve.
He now resides in Gilsum, NH with his wife and Program Director, Emily, and their infant daughter, Evelyn Kate. He enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, camping and tinkering with any number of projects in the garage.
At Sifu Vinny's right hand, managing the office, event planning, media, and public relations is his loving wife of nine years: Emily. Now that they have started their family together, more of her support is completed behind-the-scenes from home or on the road, but you'll still see her (and the baby, too!) behind the desk on certain days, carrying out an assortment of tasks and assisting students with a smile.
Beyond being a mother and helpful sidekick at the school, Emily is an artist in her own right...a visual artist, and has been completing freelance portraiture, murals, graphic design and face-painting for the better part of her existence. You might even say that Sifu Vinny became one of her largest clients in opening his school because he needed everything from a logo, business card, promotionnal material, office forms, etc. designed, to mural and sign painting, and an ongoing litany of creative projects!
While she continues to take on new studio work and mural commissions outside the school, she also has big plans to write and illustrate some children's literature and complete some large scale fine artworks. She enjoys home-making, reading, writing, singing, camping, Geocaching, catching little digital creatures on her phone, and someday dreams of learning to figure skate.
Our martial arts instruction centers around instilling the following five virtues into the hearts and minds of our students.