Centerline Martial Arts in Miramar Beach: Front and Center

September 4, 2010 by Gina Moreland

Eastern influences seem to grow stronger in America every day, with millions practicing Yoga, Tai Chi, and many different forms of martial arts.

It may surprise you to know there is a timeless, ancient art from the east practiced right here in SoWal taking front and center - the quiet strength of Wing Chun, practiced exclusively at Centerline Martial Arts.

With many styles of martial arts available (and watered down or changed) in America,  you may think all Martial Arts are the same, “Karate.” But Karate is not what Centerline is about. In fact, everything about Centerline from origin and philosophy to training and execution is championed by the qualified owner and Sifu (meaning teacher in Chinese), Chris Damiano.

Chris states his clear vision, “I think today, too many people focus on the ‘martial’ part of the art – the physical side. That is the easy part. Studying martial arts is not about fighting, but about improving mind, body and spirit, which is why we need to preserve the traditional martial arts.

A Master in SoWal Chris studies annually in Hong Kong under Grandmaster Ip Ching to bring Wing Chun to America as true to the style as the Eastern Masters. Impressively, his teacher Ip Ching is the son of most famed grandmaster, Ip Man – who taught the world renowned Bruce Lee. Chris, though humble, is one of only five people in the U.S. to be sanctioned as a Sifu under the Ip Ching Wing Chun Athletic Association.



You might think someone with these remarkable credentials to be inaccessible or elitist. Chris is anything but! Centerline class sizes are small and totally tailored to the needs of each student. He works out with the class, practicing hands-on with each participant. His heart is dedicated to not only teaching a very pure art, but building strong relationships with the students and creating similar relationships student to student. This is evident as each class brims with heartfelt camaraderie.

Amidst the fun, is the ultimate goal of leading students to mastery. In his last trip to Hong Kong, Chris went through the entire Wing Chun system and was graded on his ability to teach the entire system. So, Chris is someone that a student could begin with…and become a master themselves under his instruction…right here in South Walton.


So what is Wing Chun? Wing Chun is a fighting system from South China made famous by Bruce Lee. It is known for its straightforward efficiency and self defense in practical situations. The Wing Chun style does not clash force against force but teaches how to redirect an opponent’s energy to protect. More than self defense, a lesser known fact is that Wing Chun was designed by a woman. As such, it is a natural art for women to embrace (and is a heck of a work out; toning arms, chest, stomach and legs.)

The Experience If you are ready to try something new, and embrace fitness of mind, body and spirit, this is definitely a worthy venue, training with one of the top-rated Sifus in the Nation.

Centerline Martial Arts is located on Hwy 98 in Miramar Beach and is consistently seeking new students to join the growing classes. Private lessons are also available (many students do both private and group sessions). Centerline also embraces families and hosts kids classes (as well as a new Judo class).

Centerline is currently enrolling children for a beginner’s class this fall. Call Chris to learn how you can get started today at 850-585-6153. Visit Centerline online at and put yourself in “front and center” with the best.

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