Garth’s interest in martial arts began as a young boy watching Bruce Lee movies and learning about ninjas. Though his dad was a state champion in Judo, Garth did not begin his formal martial arts training until he was attending University. There he studied with a Chinese martial arts teacher who was also a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He learned from him the deep connection between martial arts and medicine. After changing his major to Chinese philosophy and language, Garth was introduced to Dr. Xie Peiqi, 3rd generation lineage holder of Yin Style Baguazhang. The complete system included martial arts, medicine, and health building practices. He devoted himself full-time to the study of Baguazhang and subsequently moved to Beijing. After his return to the States, Garth earned his Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. He continued to expand and explore martial arts and was strongly influenced by Russian Sambo and Systema, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Japanese Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Aikido, and Western Boxing.
Most recently, he trained Xin Yi Liu He Quan and Tai Ji Quan under Derek Notman. Derek is the founder of 12 Rivers Internal Arts and is focused on the internal development that ties the internal martial arts together.
A pivotal time for Garth came in 2015 when he was suddenly struck by viral encephalitis, an infection of the brain and spinal cord. While in the intensive care unit, the doctors were preparing his family for the worst. It was a life-threatening illness that would require months of recovery and the possibility that he would never be the same. Despite all the testing, they could not find a cause and did not have a clear course of treatment. Though the medical staff could not explain it, he made a spontaneous recovery. In a short time, he was discharged from the hospital and within weeks I was back to normal. He credits health-building practices for getting him through the dangerous illness and Chinese medicine for his full recovery. The experience instilled a renewed sense of appreciation and inspiration to share these practices with the world.
Garth is passionate about training and teaching the internal arts with the underlying theme of the deep connection between martial arts and health.
Garth is a licensed acupuncturist, clinical herbalist and co-owner of Circle of Health collaborative health care clinic.