The Quantum Leap 2019


You’re Invited!

Please join us for an evening of community and music, Spanish tapas & wine, and kids breaking boards past bedtime in support of Quantum Martial Arts’ youth scholarship program! If you cannot attend the event, please make a donation online to support the Dojo.

Get tickets or make an online donation!

Quantum’s scholarship program bridges the gap between families who are thriving in San Francisco and those who are struggling. Your generous donation creates opportunity for community members without financial access to myriad after-school enrichment activities. As divisive politics continue to isolate neighbors, we at the Quantum Dojo feel more deeply committed than ever to providing safe space for marginalized communities, supporting local families, and investing in the success of our next generation of diverse leaders. We believe people of all ages who train in martial arts can develop the life skills of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit that will make our planet a kinder, more peaceful place to live.

As we approach our Silver Anniversary in 2020, Quantum San Francisco has set an ambitious goal of raising $25,000 this holiday season. We invite you to get involved by joining us at our third-annual evening fundraiser, or making an online donation if you cannot attend.


Monday, December 9, 2019
6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

*Kids under 13 attend for free!

* Contact us for sliding scale ticket prices!


Canela Bistro & Wine Bar, 2272 Market St, San Francisco, California 94114
North side of Market Street, between Noe and Sanchez, Castro District


An evening of music and community in support of Quantum’s kids scholarship program
Spanish tapas by Canela Chef Mat Schuster and Sous Chef Soledad Castillo
Soulful DJ beats by André Lucero
Sangria and Spanish Wine
Kids karate demonstrations and board breaks!

*The event ticket price includes all food and drink!

Donate Online

Can’t make it to the event? You can still participate in our year-end fundraising campaign by making a donation online right now via the blue button at the bottom of this page (Keep scrolling!). No donation is too small, or too large! Whether it’s $20 or $20,000, every cent is greatly appreciated and makes our expansion to serve more kids and families possible. Below are a few examples of how your generous donation could make martial arts training and the community of the Dojo available to child or pair of siblings:

$50 Buys a new student a uniform
 Buys a pair of uniforms for two siblings
 First month start-up package: Uniform, membership fee + 1st month’s dues 
 First 3 months package for one student, includes Quantum patch for yellow belt test!
 First 6 months package for one student, includes kids Quantum t-shirt for summer months!
 Supports one child for one year: includes black uniform for earning green belt!
$2500 Supports a pair of siblings or cousins for one year, includes summer camp!

Thank you!

We thank you in advance for supporting the growth and deepening community of the Dojo.

My Whole Life I Wanted to be Hip – Part II

My time in the Marine Corps

You might think that boot camp and the subsequent discovery of my athletic self would have had a direct impact on my inner narrative. It did change the way my life flowed forward, but it didn’t resolve the root cause of the physical and emotional trauma left over from my childhood. I still heard those kids taunting me in everything I did, still saw myself as a lazy and unmotivated person, and considered my success in boot camp a way to hide that “truth” from everyone around me. The Marines did help me break through some of the barriers I had placed in front of myself, but the experience wasn’t enough to repair the cracked foundation of my personality.

Boot camp has changed a lot over the past thirty years, but back then, they would “tear you down” by insulting and berating you. They’d tell you that you are worthless and unfit to shine the boots of a “real Marine”. They’d dress you in awkward clothing, make fun of you, and randomly do crazy things at odd hours to test your ability to respond to chaos – and to throw you off kilter even more. Once you were sufficiently torn down, they’d begin to set you back up for success, providing character-building exercises and opportunities to essentially “out-do” your drill instructors.

The problem with me was that they didn’t have anything to tear down. The belittling I suffered at the whims of my drill instructors mirrored the language my parents used throughout my childhood, which laid the foundation for my hypercritical and self-deprecating inner voice. Try though they might, nothing the drill instructors said or did rattled me; I actually thrived. When it came time to participate in the character-building, I was already primed and eager to please. So without really tearing anything down, they simply gave me physical, mental, and emotional challenges that I easily accepted and conquered. I didn’t understand it at the time, but it seemed the universe was giving me two choices. The first was to question the base assumptions I had made about my own worth in light of my empowering success in boot camp. The other would be to modify the narrative of my success so it would match up to closely-held personal beliefs. To go the first route would require the success of my three months in boot camp to outweigh all of my eighteen years of experience at that point. The second path came much easier; I simply had to see my success as cheating or gaming the system. I was a good liar, and I was fooling everyone who saw me as successful. At this point, I was still deeply wounded, but I began to see some of the cracks in the facade of my world view.

After boot camp, I was stationed in Virginia Beach at the Armed Forces School of Music. I spent a year on the East Coast, and I loved music school. Compared to the physical and emotional intensity of boot camp, music school was so easy and chill and even fun, it made me feel like I was cheating again. Was being a Marine supposed to be fun? It felt like I was getting away with something too good to be true while many of the recruits I’d met in boot camp were being shipped overseas to fight in Beirut. Again I found myself excelling past my peers; my high school experience in civilian Drum & Bugle Corps had set me up for success in military marching music. But you can’t stay in school forever. What came next, actually being in the Marine Corps, proved to be the hardest two years of my life.

Once I was stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA, I found myself in a truly strange situation. Instead of joining the USMC Band, I joined the Drum & Bugle Corps during a radical reformation of the music program in the military. In the decades before I enlisted, all musicians wanted to be in The Band. Only if they failed music school were they assigned to the Drum & Bugle Corps, which at the time was not considered a legitimate musical group. In the early 70’s however, civilian drum & bugle corps like the one I participated in as a teen were undergoing an artistic renaissance. By the early 80’s when I enlisted in the Marines, these civilian drum corps were performing amazingly complex shows on a level that was unprecedented. But my superiors in Twentynine Palms were part of the generation that had failed the basic music course, and they felt threatened by the throngs of talented young musicians showing up at their unit with more drum corps knowledge than they possessed. To make matters worse for them, the Marines had issued a directive—they all had to go back to school and pass the basic music course, or be transferred. They were technically the ones in charge, but they had trouble finding authority in musical matters in front of this shiny new breed of military musician. They made up for it by latching on to the things that gave them legitimacy—their rank and status as Marines. Similar to the behavior of the boot camp drill instructors, but more maliciously motivated, they berated their musicians and made it unbelievably hard to do what would have otherwise been a simple and rewarding job, playing music for the Marines. At nineteen years old I was arranging music at a level my superiors were incapable of, and instead of building me up as a talented young musician, they wrote me up time after time for showing disrespect. After my incredible success in boot camp and music school filled me with confidence, I ran head-first into a group of senior officers who were threatened by my success. In the end, I was court-martialed and reduced in rank. By the time my service years were up, I felt like I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

My martial arts journey

During my time in the Marines, I rediscovered my passion for martial arts. I had adored Bruce Lee as a child, and although I briefly tried martial arts in my teens, nothing stuck. With an underlying broken sense of self, and still living in my parents’ house, I had a very hard time understanding how to apply myself. But after my athletic success in boot camp, I was ready to try martial arts again, and one of my first priorities when I got stationed in Twentynine Palms was to find a dojo. Having the community of my dojo truly helped me get through the years of struggle in the Marines’ Drum Corps. My karate teachers and training partners were encouraging and supportive in a way I’d not experienced; they exemplified leadership in a way I’d expected my music leaders to in the Marines.

After I earned my black belt in TKD in early 1986, the physical imbalance in my body became more worrisome to me. Being a black belt puts you on display; people look to you as someone to emulate. My left leg kicks were terrible, and my whole left side was out of balance. When I stretched, there was an enormous amount of pain. I remember complaining once about how much it hurt, only to have a teacher respond to me that “we all hurt when we stretch.” I had already accepted that I was lazy and afraid of pain at that point, so I looked for ways to hide my discomfort from others. I was out to fool everyone into believing that I was a hard worker, and I worked really hard at this.

Martial arts made me feel as close to my authentic self as I’d ever experienced. I didn’t fully understand why at the time, but I felt as though martial arts was a life jacket for me after treading water for a very long time in the open ocean. Going to class not only gave me the physical release that allowed me to consistently mitigate the buildup of stress, but also showed me exactly how I was lying to myself. You see, I am a hard worker, and I always have been. The pursuit of martial arts revealed a good chunk of the truth about my journey, but it took years of diligent discipline for me to come face-to-face with what happened to me in the summer of ’69. I worked hard at balance in my body, but there was no way to make that happen on top of my forgotten injury. The indelible stamp of the metal frame of that horse trailer and all of the emotional fallout that rested in my broken body continued to resonate within me, and my amnesia for the event continued to make the case that my imbalance was caused by my laziness.

Decades of martial arts training and my devotion to healing eventually made their mark upon both my movements and my psyche. My movements became more fluid; my ability to take on opponents much larger and stronger than me and throw them to the ground while barely breaking a sweat showed me I was doing something right. My body felt more grounded, more resilient than I’d ever experienced. I realized that I had a choice, and it was one that I could make at any time. The stark realization of how strong I’d become through hard work of training, and the truth of the person I’d grown into as a result, came into direct opposition with that old voice in my head telling me I was lazy. It was an easy choice to make, as my investment in the truth-telling properties of my training were immersive – especially while physically present in the dojo. My “lazy side” never stood a chance.

But it didn’t happen overnight. It still took me many years to go from the moment of realization that there was no “lazy one”, to truly internalize that in truth I’d put in a lifetime of hard work and come out the other side a leader and pillar of strength. Even when those around me all saw me as someone in pique health and fitness, the inconsistency between my outer and inner self was still a powerful force in my head far past the point of making the decision. Quantum is a testament to the tools I developed to release myself from bondage – another way of saying that the Quantum Style is a vehicle for change and transformation.

Quantum SF doubles space, increases classes, and introduces 4 new summer camps

Quantum Martial Arts Philosophy to “Leave No Child Behind” Thrives in San Francisco; the USA’s Most Expensive City —

SAN FRANCISCO (May 16, 2018) — Quantum Martial Arts, one of the only non-profit martial arts centers in San Francisco which teaches a non-competitive version of Tae Kwon Do, now has doubled its size with two studios to accommodate up to 240 students.  The Dojo, which has been operating since 2007, is located on the top floor of the historic El Dorado building in San Francisco’s Mission District.  Starting today, Quantum will now offer 16 weekly classes for kids ranging from ages 3 – 13 years old, eighteen adult classes for people ages 13 years and up, as well as four summer day camps.


“Thriving kids are so essential to the health of the community, and yet there are few places where kids can process life lessons, explore social skills, and develop self-awareness, particularly in the center of the city,” said Rachael Evans, Quantum Dojo Master and sixth-degree black belt who has been teaching martial arts for more than thirty years. “We believe that all kids should have equal opportunities and our dojo reflects the diversity of this city. With scholarships and sliding-sliding scale tuition, donations, volunteers, and mentoring programs, we are committed to making a place for everyone in our Dojo.”

For the first time ever, Quantum will offer Martial Arts Summer Camps (with before and after-care available) allowing kids of all ages, levels, and experience to develop a deeper appreciation of martial arts with both practical lessons and fun activities:

  • Leadership Camp: Kids 11 years and up will focus on how to become a mentor, teach and assist others. (One week: Monday, June 11 – Friday, June 15, 2018)
  • Superhero Stunts Camp: Kids ages 6–16 will create superhero characters and learn how to coordinate stunts and fight scenes that look cool while staying super safe. (One week: Monday, June 25 – Friday, June 29, 2018)
  • Martial Arts Movie Camp: Kids 8–14 will collaboratively create the plot of a short karate film, including scripting, stage combat moves, acting and behind-the-scenes production – lighting, audio and camera work. The camp will include field trips to Dolores Park and watching a classic karate film at the Alamo Drafthouse. The campers’ film will be screened with a release party at the Dojo a few months later. (Two weeks: Monday, July 9 – Friday, July 13, & Monday, July 16 – Friday, July 20, 2018)
  • Karate Camp: Kids 6–14 from beginners to all levels, this karate intensive camp will be filled with Tae Kwon Do lessons and physical games. New students will learn stances, blocks, punches, kicks, and the Basic Form, and have a chance to test for their first belt promotion by the end of the week. (One week: Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 3, 2018)

“For my eight-year-old son, Jaja, Quantum Martial Arts is so much more than a Dojo—it has become like his second home,” said Maria Young, a native San Francisco resident and single mom. “I have seen so much personal growth in him since he started taking karate two years ago. He has developed a greater sense of self-awareness and confidence which extends to all other areas in his life. It inspires me to see my son’s strength and self-discipline grow as he deeply progresses as a martial artist. I enjoy watching the children have fun in class as they are engaged in learning such a highly refined and developed art form.”

About Quantum Martial Arts

Quantum Martial Arts is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit community dojo offering martial arts classes for all ages focused on self-actualization, total body healing, and strength. Our goal is to help people tap into their potential, seeking balance and grace through movement, while establishing a strong foundation of integrity and self-discipline that will facilitate personal and professional success. We believe the inherent values of our core tenets: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, can guide any human to create a rich and full life of endless possibilities.

Master Rachael Evans opened her first martial arts dojo in 1995 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and began creating a unique style blending Tae Kwon Do, Wing Chun, Jiu Jitsu, and Arnis, among others, all examined through the lens of Quantum physics and Eastern philosophy.  In 2007, Master Evans began teaching the Quantum style in San Francisco’s Mission District, and in 2015 broke ground on the San Francisco Dojo.  In 2018, Quantum SF doubled its size and renovated its 1740 square foot space offering two training rooms, more than 20 weekly classes for kids, teens, and adults as well as a youth summer camp program.

For more information about Quantum Martial Arts Camps, please visit: or watch our YouTube video:

For information and schedule information about Quantum’s daily martial arts classes, please visit:

Media Contacts:

Carmen Caricchio                                                                    Amy Popovich
CoActive Communications                                                     Quantum Martial Arts
415-350-7050                                                                             415-676-7217                                             



My Whole Life I Wanted to be Hip – Part I


My hip odyssey began during the summer of 1969. I wasn’t quite five years old, and I was just a few months shy of starting kindergarten. The day began innocently enough; I had finally been given permission to play with the “big kids,” and hide and seek was the name of the game. I thought I understood the game correctly. One person turns around, covering their eyes and counts to 100. During those 100 seconds, all the other kids would find a hiding place and wait to see if they were found. I found the perfect hiding space amongst the trees next to the red wood fence that ran all the way around the Aurora Drive-In Theater, just up the street from my house.

After what seemed like hours (probably only 20 minutes…), I emerged from the tree line only to find myself abandoned. At first I thought that I had hidden myself so well that I had stymied all of the big kids, and they were looking for me somewhere else. Furtively, I crept out of the woods and up to the side of the street. With no one else in sight, I pondered what to do next. Should I go and find them, sneak up and yell surprise? I knew about the secret code “All-y all-y in-come-free!” – the signal that whomever was “it” was at the point of giving up, and it was time to re-start the game. But was there a secret code to call out if no one found you?

I walked across the street to one of the kids’ houses; they had a two-wheeled horse trailer parked in their yard. Like any two-wheeled trailer, it was perched on the tongue of the trailer hitch, the back side of it way up in the air, suspended over two wheels. I used to love watching my dad work on cars; he would jack the car up, grab a bunch of tools, then slide underneath and proceed to get his hands greasy and dirty. I liked the idea of being a mechanic and fixing things, so I dove under the back end of the trailer and began getting my hands as dirty as I could while I was “fixing” the vehicle.

I was completely unaware that while I busied myself under the trailer, I had actually been “found” by someone still playing the game. Only after all this had happened did I find out that the goal was to ditch me from the beginning; finding me under that trailer was just another opportunity to torture me. My oldest brother was the ringleader at the time, being virtually the oldest child in the neighborhood. It was his idea to surprise me while I was hidden under the trailer. They all snuck up to the tongue side of the trailer and rammed into the side of it in tandem, sending the back end crashing down, crushing my right leg under the weight of the vehicle. As soon as it was knocked over, they all clambered up on top of it to really smash me into the ground.

While they jumped up and down on top of the trailer that was crushing my leg, I could hear their laughter at the great practical joke they had played on me, oblivious to the terrified screams emanating from beneath their feet. While the whole incident probably only lasted a few seconds, it felt like hours to me. They jumped and laughed and I wailed and writhed until the ruckus brought out the mother of one of the kids who lived next door to the horse trailer. The kids instinctually fled and she immediately drug me out from beneath the vehicle. She scooped me up in her arms and whisked me in to her living room where she lay me down on the couch and proceeded to ice my already blackening leg. Within a few minutes, my entire leg turned black beneath my cut off jean shorts. The edge of the vehicle had impacted on the upper part of my right femur, but the discoloration reached my toes. I remember the intense fear of not being able to feel my leg coupled with the discomfort of being in a stranger’s home, surrounded by strange smells and a language I didn’t understand. She and her family were immigrants, having recently arrived from Greece, and the strange and foreign nature of those surroundings plunged me further in to panic. It was my first time in the home of a family from another culture.

My memory after this is quite fuzzy; somehow, I was ferried back to my mother’s house less than a block away, but I have no recollection of it. I don’t remember going to a doctor to have my leg examined (my mother has no memory of this either…), nor do I remember being immobilized by the incident. I’m certain that I must have spent some time after this sitting still, icing, limping for a while until it healed enough for me to start putting weight on it again, but I can’t say for sure. Somewhere over the next few months, this entire incident had been filed under “horse trailer” in my mind, and nothing else was said about it. I remember when the last of the discoloration left my body; the lingering bruise was at the point of impact, an indelible stamp up high on my right leg in a straight, horizontal line. Along with my persistent limp, that scar should have served as an inescapable reminder of that fateful day and how it would affect me for the rest of my life.

What happened next is a little difficult to explain. I never really forgot about the accident, but it shifted in my memory from this horribly traumatic violence that had been inflicted upon my body to something benign, even banal. The damage that was done to my leg left a deep swath of scar tissue in my young muscles. My quadriceps had been “pinched in half” and the scar tissue was deposited along a broad, thick  horizontal band in a desperate attempt at keeping the upper and lower halves of my quads together as one piece. The resulting tension in my leg needed to be balanced, so my body recruited surrounding muscles to keep everything in tight. This was all put in place as my body was initially healing, and as a five-year-old, I had no idea that I needed to release that tension. My limp simply became a part of my world and my injury’s importance faded into the background of my memory along with the emotional trauma that had inflicted it.

Through my martial arts training experience, I have come to understand the relationship between fear, trauma, and pain. Muscles recoiling against a painful event (like having a trailer dropped on your leg) often are later recruited by the afflicted area to help immobilize the trauma site. This can assist the body in preventing further injury to the affected site. Wincing away from pain is more of an emotional response than a physical one. Most people naturally recoil from pain, pull back and scrunch up their brows, maybe even yell out, and understandably so. When the physical trauma couples with the emotional response, the outcome can be a materialized emotional blockage that becomes physically stored in your body. This is how my body responded to this event, albeit without my knowledge or consent. My right hip lost a significant amount of range of motion; the scar tissue on my leg became buried deep under new muscles, and I eventually forgot how traumatic the whole experience had been.

There was a lot of violence in my childhood; but this was the most extreme thing that happened to me as a child. By the time I was eight or nine years old, I had effectively buried the whole experience in my subconscious mind, a kind of PTSD. While my mind had blocked out the event, my body still carried the scars – and the effects of those scars. It was always hard to move in my body; I ran funny (or so I was told over and over). I wasn’t particularly graceful either, often tripping and hurting myself. I was also lopsided; I always walked a little lean to the outside of the outstep of my right foot. But I never knew why I limped, it was just a difficulty moving that I had. Had I remembered my experience at the bottom of the horse trailer, I may have put it together that my imbalance was due to an extreme event in my life.

The human mind is a curious thing. When our world doesn’t make sense, our minds will fill in the gaps to come up with a relevant story that explains it to us. We need to make sense of our world, and if part of the information is absent, whatever is left is assumed as the whole truth. My mind came up with the only answer that it could at the time. I never realized that I limped, nor did I remember the scar on my leg. I did know that I had a lot of tightness in my hips, and it was painful to stretch. The only possible explanation was that I was lazy and afraid of pain.

I didn’t think there was anything different about me; I assumed that everyone had the same pain when they stretched. I thought there were simply those who had athletic prowess, and then there was the rest of us. I spent a good chunk of my childhood with my nose in a book. I stayed as sedentary as I could, and I was further teased mercilessly for it. Chided as uncoordinated and lacking any gift for physical activity, these taunts helped me explain my inherent klutziness. I always tried my hardest; but since my very best efforts yielded milquetoast results it became increasingly clear to me that my agitators were correct – I was better off in the corner with a book. This root part of my personality became an integral part of the bedrock on which I began to build my sense of self. It would take Marine Corps boot camp to help shake some of this illusion apart.

I was able to walk in to the Marine recruiter’s office on my own two feet; no one ever questioned me about my limp. The physical I was given at my inception did not include MRI’s or X rays of my legs. No one noticed, and I had not thought to tell them about my scar tissue (had I known about it, undoubtedly they would have looked). I was destined to be a musician, having auditioned for and been accepted by the USMC Drum and Bugle Corps. Boot camp made me punch through every physical barrier I had ever known before. I still ran funny, but I could finish 3 miles. Many of the psychological hurdles I had inadvertently placed in my own way had to literally be kicked out of the way for me to make it through the physical rigors of boot camp. On the surface, I just kept doing everything as fast and as hard as I could, but deep down I still heeded my tormentors’ words – I would be better off in the corner with a book.

Part II coming soon!