NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Founder Joe Lansdale calls his form of martial arts part science and part art.
The official name is Shen Chuan; translated to English as "spirit fists".
"Our system isn't Chinese or Japanese or Korean," Lansdale said. "It's a combination of many things, and I always thought of the Chinese as being a sort of laboratory for a lot of the martial arts."
Lansdale started learning martial arts when he was 11 years-old, but said he never really focused on one discipline, which allowed him to pick up all lot of various skills. Lansdale said the focus of Shen Chuan is on defense.
"The idea is self defense," Lansdale said. "We are more self defense than a sport or combat art."
Twenty-five years-ago, Lansdale became a grand master of martial arts and the idea of Shen Chuan was recognized.
The discipline is now taught out of Lansdale's Shen Chuan martial science center in Nacogdoches through several courses.
"The science is in the technique itself like where our weight is distributed," said instructor Coy Harry. "The art is how we apply it psychologically."
Lansdale said the class does teach self defense but also teaches people a way to be at peace and have self-control.
"When you learn how to handle yourself in a dojo and you go into a business, you will know how to show confidence," said instructor Billy Jack Worsham.
Lansdale said the confidence people gain from his system or martial arts will lead them on a spiritual journey.
"They don't always start on the journey," Lansdale said. "Most come in for self defense classes, but leave on the journey," Lansdale said. "When I say spiritual, I do not mean theologically. I mean a sort of inner spiritual journey in a way you become more accustomed to yourself."