About Us

Sifu Chris evaluating students during a sash test

Laughing Dragon Kung Fu is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and emphasizes personal excellence in a safe, non-competitive atmosphere. We foster a positive attitude towards yourself and others, and, most importantly, Laughing Dragon Kung Fu is fun!


Our Philosophy

The mission of Laughing Dragon Kung Fu is to combine practical self-defense skills with a total body workout and inspire a lifelong love of Chinese martial arts. Our training is available to anyone interested, provided they have a sincere desire to learn and are of good moral character.

As a traditional school, we believe that kung fu is about much more than the physical training. We consider the cultivation of honorable and benevolent students to be of paramount importance. When the Jow Ga Five Tigers established the first Jow Ga school, they appropriately called it “Zhou Jia Quan Ren Yi Tang”, or the “Jow Family Boxing’s Hall of Benevolence and Justice”.


Code of Conduct

Our Mizong teacher, Grandmaster Lu Junhai, has taught us that: “You must first be a good person, then a good martial artist”. In that spirit, we have developed the following code of conduct. It is based on the principles of our larger code of Martial Ethics, or Wu De. We ask that students familiarize themselves with these ideas and strive to respect and adhere to these principles.

* Observe proper martial arts etiquette. Please refer to the chief instructor as “Sifu”. Sifu is an honorific title for someone who as achieved a certain level of mastery of an art or skill.
* Show respect for instructors, elder classmates, each other and yourself. 
* Pay respect (using our kung fu salute) to instructors and to the founders of our styles when entering and leaving the training hall.
* Respect the hard work of others even if they make mistakes. Remember that none of us are perfect and that we are all striving to improve ourselves.
* Be helpful to those who need it, in and out of the school, but do not teach new form or technique unless asked to do so by an instructor.
* Do not abuse your knowledge of Kung Fu, especially against those junior to you or deemed weaker. Under no circumstances will the abuse of Kung Fu skills be tolerated.
* Do not disparage other martial arts styles, schools or their members. Remember, we can always learn something from others.
* Strive to balance pride in your achievements with humility. Avoid behaving in ways that reflect poorly on you or your school.


Our Instructor

Shifu Chris Goodbar

Sifu Chris Goodbar is the founder and chief instructor of the Laughing Dragon Kung Fu Academy. He began his martial arts training in 1994 at the age of 21 and has devoted his entire adult life to the study and promotion of these skills and values.

His early training began in Western Massachusetts with Kokondo Karate and the Shaolin Five Animals style of Kung Fu; a relocation in the mid-90’s led him to the Wah Lum Tam Tui Northen Praying Mantis system. He studied Wah Lum until 2000 when he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia.

In Charlottesville he began his study of Tai Chi and Qigong, as well as continuing his Kung Fu training in both traditional and contemporary Northern Shaolin Longfist styles. While Charlottesville had no established full-time kung fu school at this time, Sifu Chris was able to work with a number of excellent instructors during the early and mid-2000’s, studying Northern Shaolin Longfist (changquan), another system of Praying Mantis Boxing, as well as the “internal” arts of Xingyiquan and Baguazhang. 


Laughing Dragon Kung Fu is honored to be formally affiliated with the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute.

Shifu Chris with the Dow Ga Shaolin Institute

In 2009, three years after the establishment of Laughing Dragon Kung Fu, Sifu Chris discovered the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute of Herndon, Virginia. He was immediately struck by the high level of skill demonstrated by both students and instructors, but was even more impressed by the balance they achieved between pride in their Kung Fu heritage and personal humility. Sifu Chris was both humbled and proud himself to be accepted as a student of Sifu Reza Momenan in 2009, and has felt honored ever since to receive training in the arts of Jow Ga Kuen, Shaolin Mizong Quan, Qingping Jian and Yang style Tai Chi. In April of 2013, Laughing Dragon Kung Fu became formally affiliated with the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute, opening a new chapter in Sifu Chris Goodbar’s life. He is extremely happy to be able to preserve and promote these traditional Chinese martial arts styles here in Charlottesville.


Our Facility

Our 6000+ square foot facility features two large training halls, a spacious family-friendly lobby with play area, a pro-shop, a quiet study room for homework as well as dressing rooms with showers and lockers. We’re conveniently located just off 29, midway between downtown Charlottesville and the Forest Lakes and Hollymead area, with ample off-street parking.

Our training halls are ideally suited for the needs of Chinese kung fu practitioners, with high ceilings to allow for long weapons work and a large variety training equipment, including heavy bags, jade padlocks, battle ropes, the wooden dummy and much more! In addition, our facility is available for sublet during some morning and weekend hours.