Our Teacher, Instructors & Lineage
Master Ryan Shumaker
Master Ryan Shumaker
Master Ryan Shumaker is a 7th degree black sash in Shaolin Tiger Kung Fu and a 2nd degree black belt in Shuai Chiao, China’s oldest known martial art. Master Shumaker has completed the 108 long form of Tai Chi Chuan Ch’ang style as taught to him by Grandmaster Mollica. Master Shumaker has won a National Championship in Shuai Chiao and competed internationally on Team USA in Paris, France.
In 2022, Grandmaster Mollica passed the Ho-I school to Master Shumaker after decades of tutelage. Master Shumaker is proud to carry on his Grandmaster’s work and teaching as Grandmaster Mollica steps into new roles.
Master Shumaker began his martial arts journey at age 21 when he first began to learn with Grandmaster Mollica at his school in Grandview. He became proficient in many styles including Shaolin Tiger fist forms, Northern Seven Star Praying Mantis, Five Animal style, and traditional weapons including staff, sword, and swing sticks.
In 1999, Master Shumaker began teaching in the adult and youth Kung Fu programs. He quickly proved his talent as a patient and knowledgeable teacher, so in 2002 Grandmaster Mollica named him Chief Instructor, before handing the school down to him 20 years later. Master Shumaker has also taught martial arts at a charter school for neurodivergent youth and has a special talent for working with students with neurodivergent needs.
Master Shumaker would like to welcome every person interested in learning these ancient arts to Ho-I’s beautiful studio and is proud to be the next leader while honoring Ho-I’s legacy and lineage. He continues to aspire to learn as much as possible from Grandmaster Mollica and to pass this knowledge to the next generation.
Sifu Charles Trudeau
Sifu Trudeau is a 3rd degree black sash and lead instructor of the Youth Kung Fu classes. He started his study of Kung Fu 40 years ago under Ho-I’s Grandmaster Mollica and has been teaching for 20. In addition to classical Kung Fu, he has a passion for teaching Ho-I kids practical self defense that can be used in the real world. His favorite form is Soft Tiger, which uses the movements of the Tiger animal style with the softness of Tai Chi. For weapons, he likes working with the arnis stick for its practicality. He has a love of history, baseball, woodworking, music, family, cooking—and, of course, Kung Fu!
Sifu Paul Schkolnik
Sifu Paul is Ho-I’s lead Tai Chi instructor. He’s been with the school for 19 years and teaching Ch’ang Tai Chi for 7. His favorite thing to teach Ho-I students is the 108-movement long form comprising the foundational movements of Tai Chi, and he’s working on perfecting his practice with the Tai Chi sword. Sifu Paul has an infectious appreciation for the way Tai Chi can ground you physically, emotionally and mentally, and his teaching focuses on building from the ground up using “foot-weight-waist”: positioning your feet, shifting your weight into the new position, and finally turning your waist to achieve the final stance. Sifu Paul sees Tai Chi as a lifelong journey.
Mr. Eric Kline
Mr. Kline is a 2nd degree black sash and an instructor of Youth and Adult Kung Fu classes. He started studying under Grandmaster Mollica in 2016. After advancing through the ranks, he started leading classes in 2018. He has a particular love of the Lien Bo Chuan form and the wonderful ancient art of Shuai Chiao, and he’s known in the school for his quick fighting style. He sees parallels between his music career and Kung Fu, both in how he teaches them and how they drive him to achieve difficult goals.
Grandmaster Matt Mollica
Grandmaster Matt Mollica
Grandmaster Matt Mollica is a 10th degree black sash in Shaolin Tiger Kung Fu and has served as Vice President of the Shaolin Tiger Federation, with Grandmaster Richard Greenlee as President. He holds a 7th degree black belt in Shuai Chiao. He studied Shuai Chiao under the legendary Ch’ang Tung-Sheng and many of his disciples, including Dr. Chi Hsiu Daniel Weng.
Grandmaster Mollica is the Midwest Regional Director of the U.S. Shuai-Chiao Association. He had the honor of coaching the U.S. team to first place in the 2017–18 Shuai-Chiao World Cup, where they defeated the Chinese team for the first time in history.
Grandmaster Mollica has worked with students of all ages and levels, including law enforcement officers, municipal offices and healthcare professionals. He is proficient in many systems of martial arts. Grandmaster Mollica is a Graduate of Ohio University and former faculty member at The Ohio State University. He is regarded as an expert in self defense as well as in martial arts customs and culture.
Grandmaster Mollica has owned and operated martial arts schools for over 40 years and been sponsor to schools across Ohio. Grandmaster inherited Ho-I in the early 2000s. With his diverse knowledge and proficiency, he has built Ho-I into the successful and respected studio that it remains today.
In 2022, Grandmaster Mollica made the decision to pass the reins to Master Shumaker to carry on the legacy. He remains the Grandmaster of Ho-I and will continue to lead in several capacities. Ho-I school continues to honor the path he created and the core values he instilled. In turn, we are committed to passing our knowledge to the next generation.
Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung Sheng
Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung Sheng
The father of modern day Shuai Chiao was Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung Sheng (常東昇, also romanized as Chang Dongsheng). Grandmaster Ch'ang was born in 1908, the year of the Monkey, in Hopei Province in the northeastern section of China (a province long known for the great martial artists produced there). Of all the Masters coming from this region over the past 2,000 years, the legendary Grandmaster Ch'ang is one of the most pre-eminent—perhaps the greatest fighter in the last 300 years irrespective of style, and certainly the most tested and proven in this century.
Grandmaster Ch'ang started serious training in Kung Fu in 1915, when he was seven years old. He learned the basics from his father and grandfather, but later his teacher was the famous Master Zhang Feng-Yen, who was well known as the foremost expert in Pao-Ting Shuai Chiao, the fastest and most powerful of the 3 main branches of this ancient art. Master Zhang was the top disciple of Ping Jing-Yee, who, like Grandmaster Ch'ang, was a legend in his own time. General Ma, the first of the great Masters to compile ancient Shuai Chiao techniques for publication, was another of Ping Jing-Yee's prestigious students.
Grandmaster Ch'ang often stated that Master Zhang was the best teacher in that time regardless of style; as a result, many of the most promising young students wished to study with him. Of the many who came before Master Zhang to exhibit their basic skills, very few were chosen. Grandmaster Ch'ang was not only one of those few, but by the time he was 17, he had already been declared a Master himself, had attained proficiency unmatched by his peers, was Master Zhang's favorite pupil, and had married his Master's second daughter.
When Grandmaster Ch'ang was about 20 years old, he left Hopei Province and went to Nanking to study at the Central Kuo Shu School, the best in all China, in order to learn all the major styles of Kung Fu. Since the best instructors and students from every major style were represented there, admission was an honor. It exposed the practitioner to the widest possible cross-section of Chinese martial arts knowledge anywhere: if it wasn't practiced there, it probably wasn't worth knowing. After five years of training with the best students in all of China, Grandmaster Ch'ang emerged at the top of the program. He became the teacher of the school's Shuai Chiao department, having also mastered the styles of Shing Yi, Lo Han, Tai Chi, Pa Kua, and most elements of Shaolin in addition to his own.
At one point, he challenged the Mongolian champion at their annual meet in Chang-Chia-Kuo; in so doing, he had to fight the well known Kuhli, a giant of a man standing well over six feet tall and weighing almost 400 lbs. Grandmaster Ch'ang agreed to use only wrestling techniques, and, despite the size difference, repeatedly countered dozens of attacks by the Mongolian champion, while throwing him down again and again with a variety of beautifully executed moves.
In 1933, at the age of 25, Grandmaster Ch'ang entered the Fifth National Kuo Shu Elimination Tournament in Nanking. This "no holds barred" competition involved over 1,000 participants, including Masters in all major styles from throughout China, battling each other for supremacy in all-out combat. Grandmaster Ch'ang won all his matches, including one over his arch-rival Liu Chiou-Sheng, becoming the heavyweight grand champion. Significantly, this was the last great tournament of its kind where Masters who were trained in the old ways fought in an "anything goes" manner to determine the very best among them. Many considered this national meet to be the severest test of ability, strength, and skills of any fighter, acknowledging the winner as the undisputed champion of all China. Such open, freestyle, "no holds barred" tournaments on that scale were never held again, leaving Grandmaster Ch'ang the last truly tested fighter open to challenge by anyone, regardless of style or system.
Both before and after his brilliant victory in the national tournament, Grandmaster Ch'ang traveled frequently, with the intent of seeking out different teachers all over mainland China who were famous for certain techniques or movements. Some say he studied with most of the best living Masters, humbly playing the role of "student," even though he could already defeat them. He continued this quest until he had learned the specialties of some 70 different teachers, satisfied that he knew the best techniques in existence.
During World War II, Grandmaster Ch'ang trained elite units of the military, eventually rising to the rank of Lt. General. His exploits during this time are a story in themselves and would take a book to recount. Just one excerpt involved his challenging the top Judo experts at the Kuang-Si Province prison camp. Over 1,000 prisoners were interned there, and they amused themselves by practicing Judo all day long. After they challenged and beat their Chinese guards, Grandmaster Ch'ang confronted them; he had heard of their prowess while teaching in Kue-Lin, the capital of Kuang-Si Province. He fought everyone in turn—including three high ranking champions, Hakayama Taido, Hisa Kuma, and Michi Masao—and he defeated each one handily.
In 1948, the National Athletic Meet was held in Shanghai. Unlike the tournaments before the war, when hundreds of great Masters who died in the war were still living, the meets following the conflict were not organized as open, freestyle, or "anything goes." Along with this major change, Shuai Chiao was now an independent contest, and using other styles of Kung Fu as the Grandmaster had done formerly was not allowed. Even so, the meet drew participants from 32 provinces, 12 special municipal cities, nine overseas Chinese teams, and 58 Military police units. Grandmaster Ch'ang, now 40 years old, represented the Army. He easily won the overall championship, proving he was still number one, even 15 years later.
Having won two national tournaments and proven himself countless times in hundreds of matches, both friendly and otherwise, Grandmaster Ch'ang went on to teach at the Central Police Academy in Taipei for nearly 30 years. During that time, he was also Chief Official for all the national tournaments on Taiwan, as well as Shuai Chiao advisor for the military, the police, and the educational system. Though many Kung Fu styles are taught in Taiwan, none have the prestige of Shuai Chiao, where the Taiwan Shuai Chiao Association boasts over 38,000 members—making it one of the largest Kung Fu organizations in the world.
In April 1975, the King of Morocco invited Grandmaster Ch'ang, then 68 years old, to exhibit the Chinese arts (Grandmaster Ch'ang was a devout Muslim). During his visit, a 4th degree Tae Kwon Do instructor, who was the head of the King's personal bodyguards, challenged Ch'ang. The "match" lasted only seconds, as Grandmaster Ch'ang deftly dodged the Korean man's attack and knocked him unconscious with a slap of the hand. Obviously, the years had not diminished Ch'ang's physical power, nor the skills he acquired from the previous century's Masters—the likes of which now exist only in a small handful of very old men, if at all.
In February 1982, Grandmaster Ch'ang organized the International Shuai Chiao Association. He then spent years promoting his art, traveling throughout the world giving demonstrations, workshops, and seminars.
In June 1986, the martial arts world mourned his untimely death at the age of 78.
The extent to which the Chinese martial arts community respected, revered, and feared Grandmaster Ch'ang is incalculable. Taiwan regarded him as a literal "national treasure," and uniquely granted him the red, white, and blue belt—the national colors of Taiwan. The belt was buried with him and will never be awarded again. Because the knowledge and caliber of men no longer exist who could train someone as Grandmaster Ch'ang was trained, the 10th degree in Shuai Chiao was retired upon his death, never to be awarded again. Some say that as much as 60% of all Kung Fu knowledge that existed in the earlier years of the 20th century went to the grave with him.
In perhaps all of Chinese martial arts history, no one ever went totally undefeated for well over half a century—certainly not if they accepted any and all challenges, as Grandmaster Ch'ang did. He was one of a kind; unfortunately for all of us, we will never see his like again. Amid all of the competing and conflicting claims made by latter-day teachers as to whose style or system is superior, no one except the disciples of Grandmaster Ch'ang can say their teacher defeated teachers from all other styles, at a time in history when the deciding factor in victory was simply who walked away.