About Mantis Kung Fu

What makes us exceptional when compared with other martial arts schools?

Our mission is to provide student-focused Kung Fu and Tai Chi training in a bright, safe & clean environment.

Mantis Kung Fu has so many amazing tools that old-school martial artists just didn’t have and many local schools still don’t either! Our new training space is custom built to be bright, clean and safe. At Mantis Kung Fu, we teach centuries-old traditional martial arts with a modern approach. Our school teaches Shyun System Eight Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu and Shyun Style Tai Chi Chuan. Learn more below!

We’ve incorporated 21st century technology into our traditional martial arts school

  • Never go a day without being able to train! Make use of our video content and select class streaming broadcasts to train from home when you cannot make it to class. Also, through the use of our magnetic locking system and video recording safety system, our students can access the schools training space outside of classroom hours during a wide range of open training session times. For those students whose jobs are expecially restrictive, we can arrange for even more expanded hours of training space access.
  • Stay in constant contact! Mantis Kung Fu subscribes to Kicksite, an innovative online martial arts platform, that helps our Shifus and student stay in touch in dozens of ways. This communication system allows us to keep everyone informed of special events and testing dates, to track student progress as they achieve higher sash levels, to track finances and accept automated payments, and to access our growing library of videos to supplement learning. When used optimally, this will help us ensure that no one falls through the cracks.
  • Never worry about training something incorrectly again! Mantis Kung Fu Shifus, along with some of our advanced students, have recorded videos for our students to follow at home, and this reference library is always growing. Keep checking in on Kicksite to see how it grows.

Only The Experts Teach Our Classes!

Only experts in Shyun System Eight Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu are put in charge of classes at Mantis Kung Fu. While some schools will have advanced students and assistants teaching many classes, at Mantis Kung Fu, only Shifus run our classes. Those advanced students who are instructors-in-training and have finished their Gold Mantis 3 rank have achieved technical and pedagogical expertise in our system and may teach a class, but always under the supervision of one of our Shifus.

Many schools have only one Shifu who teaches few of the classes. We are fortunate to have three certified Shifus, with dozens of combined years of experience, who regularly teach, and a fourth Mantis Kung Fu graduate Shifu who returns from Colorado for special classes and camps. We look forward to special event seminars at Mantis Kung Fu with other advanced Shifus and Masters in our system across the nation and are hopeful that Grandmaster Shyun will visit our school soon.

Our CEO’s vision for our new location

Mantis Kung Fu was first opened by Shifu Nic Baker eight years ago (as Mantis Kung Fu Academy). After moving around town, we’ve settled at our fourth location and we’re excited to be offering a full range of classes again in our own space, using the top quality standard mats in the industry in a bright, clean and safe space.

How did we get here? Shifu Nic, the founder and CEO of Mantis Kung Fu, gives us some back story to our school and his vision for our new location!

Mantis Kung Fu Shifus

Nic Baker

3rd Duan Shifu and Chief Executive Officer

Nic Baker learned Kung Fu at the San Francisco school of Eight Step Mantis under the tutelage of Master Alan Nakamoto. Shifu Nic has trained exclusively in Preying Mantis Kung Fu and Shyun Style Tai Chi Chuan. He has a passion for teaching, and has taught many hundreds of students across the west coast, southwest, and in Taiwan.

With a background in martial arts and law enforcement, Sifu Nic is active is keeping the Kung Fu tradition alive here in Albuquerque. Before founding Mantis Kung Fu, Shifu Nic was an owner and operator of Mission Kung Fu in San Francisco, which continues today as one of our sister schools. Shifu Nic has had three of his own students graduate the multi-year Gold Mantis instructor-training program at Mantis Kung Fu and have attained their own Shifu certification at ACMAF.

James White

2nd Duan Shifu

Shifu James began his martial arts journey in Shaolin Kung Fu & Wushu. Two years later he discovered Mantis Kung Fu Academy and he began his training in Eight Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu and Shyun Style Tai Chi under Shifu Nic Baker. In Spring 2017, after many years of hard work, he passed the national testing to become a certified instructor. 

Amarante Garcia

1st Duan Shifu and Mandarin teacher

Shifu Amarante Garcia has a passion for teaching and training the martial arts. He has more than six years’ experience teaching Eight Step Praying Mantis Kung Fu and Shyun Style Tai Chi to both children and adults.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages from the University of New Mexico, and hopes to continue pursuing his dream of becoming a Primary Care Practitioner.

Our Administration

Sarah N. Blake


Sarah has over three years of in-depth experience in customer relations and project management. On the side, Sarah is a creator. She’s written two books, designed three book covers, started a podcast and built several websites.

She currently works at Mantis Kung Fu to gain knowledge, insight, and meet awesome people. She hopes to continue gaining skills to and finding things that interest her before continuing her college education.

Brian G. Lax

Chief Operations/Financial Officer

Brian comes from Montreal, Canada and has lived in New Mexico since 1997. His daughter began at Mantis Kung Fu as a Kid’s Kung Fu student at the age of 7 and continues to study here, now in her 6th year of training. Brian is a serial entrepreneur and Mantis Kung Fu is a passion project for his entire family, who have all been involved in the redesign and buildout of the new space for the school.

Brian is also a licensed paramedic and adjunct faculty of the UNM School of Medicine’s EMS Academy. He has developed training curricula for First Aid and CPR programs and in several NM Emergency Response agencies.

What People Are Saying

Very friendly environment, they make learn kung fu fun and exciting. Their head teacher is professional and kind. You and your children will love this place.

Jole Mad – Google Reviews

As a rank beginner, not in such good shape, I’ve gotten a lot of good coaching and am delighted at how much I have learned. Great teachers and supportive other students. Thanks, everyone in the Mantis community!

Christine R.- Yelp

Very cool stuff. I like they have the “complete” system, not just the fighting component – the philosophy, the healing and chi/movement knowledge. If you are dedicated to learning real Kung Fu… this is the place for you.

Karl F. Kalm- Google Reviews

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