The Green Dragons is a non-profit organization which seeks to address the problems of diet-related diseases and poor fitness in our youth by combining food and martial arts education. Gardening lessons paired with the physical and mental training of martial arts provide young people with tools for a life-long practice of personal and community empowerment. In an era where low-quality, mass-produced food is a threat to our well-being, learning how to grow our own food is a martial art.
Green Dragon founders (from left) Ben Warner,
Matt Briggs, and Mike Cermak
Matthew Briggs is a video and sound engineer/artist who received his Masters degree from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University while working at the education department at the MFA. He started studying at Yang’s Martial Arts Association in 2002 and has been assisting with the children’s program for the last two years. He has worked on shooting and editing a number of productions of instructional DVDs for YMAA publications. Currently he works at The Harvard Business School as a Senior Classroom Technology Specialist aiding faculty with research and the delivery of the school’s pedagogy through the use of technology.
Mike Cermak has worked for four years in the food justice movement, collaborating with public schools, non-profit organizations and researchers to start and maintain numerous gardens and food education programs and curriculum. He has also taught martial arts for kids age 5-12 since 2005, including recurring programs at the summer camp of The Beaver Country Day School, at the Needham Children’s Center, and at the Pierce School Extended Day Program. Mike originally trained with Master Roger Whidden of Whidden's School of Fitness. Mike is also a researcher and PhD from Boston College in the Sociology of Environmental Education.
Ben Warner is the owner and director of Yang's Martial Arts Association of Boston. He has designed and implemented programs for several schools in the Boston metro area including the E.A Jones school in Stoughton, Haley pilot school in Roslindale and the Deerfield school in Westwood. In 2009 he released the popular instructional DVD "Kung Fu for Kids". He has been featured in several YMAA books and DVDs, including productions in Chin Na, White Crane Kung Fu, Shaolin Staff Training, and Tai Chi Ball Qigong. Ben is currently teaching kung fu, tai chi, kids kung fu, and kettlebell classes at YMAA Boston.