San Francisco Bay Area Native and Acupuncture Student Earns Spot on US Wushu Team

Share Article

Brenda Hatley wins national gold medal in Women’s Hand Forms and advances to the 2011 Wushu World Games to be held this fall in Turkey. Donations to send Hatley to the competition can be made at

wushu san francisco

Brenda Hatley will represent the United States at the 2011 Wushu World Games.

To excel takes many years of hard work, so for me it is more than a sport—it is a way of life

Bay Area native Brenda Hatley recently captured a gold medal in Women’s Hand Forms and qualified for the 2011 Wushu World Games coming to Ankara, Turkey October 6-15, 2011. Wushu is a Chinese martial art that emphasizes athleticism, aesthetics and discipline.

Hatley is enrolled at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco and is also a student at Pacific Wushu, where she trains under celebrated Wushu masters Zhang Hong Mei and Phillip Wong. She says she is proud and honored to represent the United States in Turkey this fall.

Inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hatley took up martial arts at age 11. She has studied many styles, including Kajukenbo Karate and Shaolin Kung Fu. Today, her main focus of study and competition is modern Wushu.

Hatley's competition specialties are Changquan (Long Fist), Jianshu (Straight Sword) and Qiangshu (Spear). She is also proficient in Eagle Claw, Taijiquan, and in the use of several weapons such as staff and broadsword.

“I like the physicality of the art, and how it looks,” said Hatley. “To excel takes many years of hard work, so for me it is more than a sport—it is a way of life. It’s about discipline. You train hard, get injured, and show respect for teachers at all times.”

Literally translated, "Wu" means military and "Shu" is art. Therefore, Wushu is the “art of fighting” or “martial arts.” During the last thirty years, Wushu in Mainland China has become standardized for training and competing, with emphasis placed on speed, difficulty and presentation. As a result, modern Wushu is a competitive athletic and aesthetic performance sport, while Kung Fu—or traditional Wushu—is the time-honored combat practice.

Although most of the best Wushu athletes in the world are located in China, Wushu is gaining global popularity. It is a prospective sport for the 2013 Olympics.

Martial arts set Hatley on a path of lifelong education and discipline. After breaking her knee during a Wushu competition at CMAT (Chinese Martial Arts Tournament) in 2004, Hatley was forced to take a medical leave from San Francisco State University. After undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery at John Muir Hospital, she moved to Beijing to study Mandarin at Peking University.

After returning to the Bay Area, Hatley graduated Magna Cum Laude in Chinese language from San Francisco State University, with Phi Sigma Iota and Phi Beta Kappa honors. This December she will graduate from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine with her master's degree.

Hatley has twice lived and trained at Shi Cha Hai Sports School in Beijing—home of the renowned Beijing Wushu team, and the training school of Jet Li and her current teacher, Zhang Hong Mei. Zhang was a national champion in China for Wushu, Bagua, Tai Chi, straight sword and double straight sword; she has even performed for a US president.

Although her academic career has been very demanding, Hatley still trains up to six days a week. When she is not training, she enjoys time with friends, movies and knitting—and can often be found in a San Francisco cafe enjoying a good book.

In addition to all of the work Hatley is investing into school and Wushu, she is also responsible for raising all of the money needed to compete in the 2011 World Games.

“Although we are on the US Wushu Team, we have no sponsorships, so we have to raise money for our expenses ourselves. Since most of us our young, we tend to have more college debt than income at this stage of our lives.”

To help send Hatley to Turkey to compete in the 2011 Wushu World Games, please go to:

For more information about the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), call Alissa Cohan at (415) 355-1601 x 12.

About the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has been at the forefront of educating students in Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Bay Area since its inception in 1980. Their two degree programs—the Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) and the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM)—provide an exceptional professional education.

ACTCM’s community clinics serve as a diverse and demanding training ground for their students, while providing affordable health care services to the community. ACTCM’s certificate programs in Tui Na and Shiatsu and its introductory classes for the public offer additional educational opportunities for current ACTCM students, healthcare professionals and the general public.

Bay Area acupuncture treatment, as taught by ACTCM, restores balance and health, and is used for everything from chronic pain to drug dependence. It is also effective for allergy relief, weight loss, pain management and fertility treatment.

During treatment practitioners insert sterile, disposable needles at acupuncture points along the meridians. Because of the thin and pliable needles used, most people feel little to no discomfort. Patients typically leave feeling energized or relaxed with a deep sense of well-being.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print