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Lawyers and judges involved in martial arts and mindfulness

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For me, martial arts practice — specifically taijiquan — is essential to my criminal defense and trial law practice. Mindfulness practice is essential to my martial arts and trial practice. With that, here is more of what I have learned about lawyers and judges involved in mindfulness and martial arts practice:


– T’ai chi instructor Doug Noll is a “lawyer turned peacemaker”.

– University of Florida law professor Leonard Riskin directs the Initiative on Mindfulness in Law & Dispute Resolution.

– Lawyer Stephanie West Allen advocates “Mov[ing] From Being a Mindless Lawyer To a Mindful Lawyer.”



Two years ago, I blogged about three lawyers involved in the intersection between the law and martial arts.

– Lawyers Victor Crawford and Leonard Kennedy inspired me on the taijiquan path.

– Pennsylvania prosecutor Peter Hobart writes on “Self Defense Law and the Martial Artist.”

– Recently, the Ultimate Fighting Championship filed a lawsuit over New York’s ban on live mixed martial arts fights, claiming that the ban violates its free speech rights by the law’s allegedly having been passed due to the sport’s violent message.

– Lawyer and mixed martial arts enthusiast Justin Klein runs the Fight Lawyer blog.

– A year ago, lawyer Stephanie West Allen blogged about Elizabeth Bailey, a practicing Pennsylvania lawyer, continuing with t’ai chi and yoga at ninety.

– Miami lawyer John W. Salmon “is a frequent lecturer on ‘Appropriate Dispute Resolution’, often incorporating martial arts and mediation techniques into his presentations.”

– Charles J. Baelanger calls himself the Shaolin Lawyer, and teaches Chinese martial arts.

– New Mexico lawyer Robert Tangora “runs his own tai chi and Taoist healing arts school.”

– Lawyer Niall Yamane apparently veered from the practice of law to open his own mixed martial arts school in Alabama.

– Bruce Ballai is a lawyer and is the “founder and senior instructor for the Omaha T’ai Chi Association.”

– Virginia lawyer and meditation teacher Erin Williams “holds black belts in T’ai Chi and Kung Fu”, although I never heard before of any belts in t’ai chi.

– Ohio lawyer Bryan Nace practices t’ai chi and bagua, and is an assistant instructor at the Center for Body-Mind Harmony.

– Maryland-area acupuncturist/nurse/past lawyer Sherrie Trede Black practices t’ai chi and qi gong.


– The New York Times recently reported that Judge John Phillips (see his 2008 obituary), “ran for the Civil Court bench as the ‘kung fu judge’ because he had a black belt in martial arts.”

– Conservative Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina — and former general counsel to Governor Rick Perry — has a black belt in Taekwondo. See him fighting here, in the black uniform.

– Seattle Judge Matthew W. Williams has a Taekwondo black belt, “and has served as a martial arts and personal defense instructor.”

– Missouri Judge Eric Hylden holds a black belt in Taekwondo, Hapkido and Kumdo, and has been a martial arts instructor.

– Ninth Circuit Judge Sandra Segal Ikuta once served as editor of martial arts magazines including Inside Kung Fu.”

Judicial Candidates:

– Oneida County, Wisconsin, judicial candidate Timothy L. Vocke has “over 40 years experience in the Martial Arts and [has] taught reactive self defense to students at RHS, Judges, Court Reporters, and many others.”

– Florida judicial candidate Kimberly Campbell is a former instructor at “Women’s Self Defense Seminars and Black Belt in Choi Kwang-do Martial Arts.”

– Florida judicial candidate Mark S. Blechman “owned a martial arts studio in Orlando and Winter Park.”


If law enforcement again invalidly Terry – stops me for practicing t’ai chi (see here, too), perhaps some of the foregoing folks will rally to my side.