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Meet the Staff

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Sifu Mario demonstrating Crescent Moon

Sifu Mario Mayorga, owner and head instructor of 5 Elements Martial Arts & Wellness Center, has trained in various forms of martial arts since 1993, including Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Aikido, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong. He earned his black belt in Kung Fu in 1999 and has specialized in teaching Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Zhaobao and Yang Tai Chi Chuan ever since. He has taught kung fu at martial arts studios and public schools throughout San Diego County and has extensive experience at teaching children’s martial arts.

In 2005 he graduated Grossmont College with an AS degree in Liberal Arts and Science and was accepted to SDSU to continue his BA in traditional arts and graphic design. In that same year Sifu Mario had the pleasure of meeting many talented healers in various forms of bodywork, such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and physical therapy. After seeing the benefits that massage had on an old injury from gymnastics he decided to expand his knowledge of the body by enrolling at the Internal Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB) in 2007. Sifu Mario has practiced many styles of massage but specializes in Thai Medical Massage and Sensory Re-patterning.

In 2010, Sifu Mario became certified as a Massage Therapist and opened 5 Elements Martial Arts and Wellness Center with Senior Instructor Keith Jacobson. His focus was to combine the Northern Shaolin and Wing Chun Kung Fu styles and to continue his healing bodywork practices like yoga tai chi, chi gong and massage.

In 2012, Sifu Mario finished his Holistic Health Practitioner’s training at IPSB with over 1200 hours. In 2014, he completed a special teacher-training course at IPSB and has been continuing his mentorship with one of his Master teachers, James Stewart. Sifu Mario feels that continued self-development leads to becoming a better practitioner of your craft. He is currently spending much of his time refining his martial arts skills and exploring different martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and training with ICE Urban Combat Martial Arts. In addition to his martial arts training he has spent extra time exploring activities such as yoga, gymnastics, ballroom dancing, hiking and bike riding.

Favorite Quote: "The only wrong time to start training is tomorrow" - Anonymous

Connect with Sifu Mario on Linkedin

Meet the Instructors - Instructor Nick
Instructor Nick demonstrating Ride the Tiger


Senior Instructor Nick Ruiz
has been practicing martial arts with Sifu Mario since 1999, when he joined Sifu's after school kung fu program at Hearst Elementary. He received his black sash from Sifu in 2012, and after training as a Junior Instructor, started teaching full-time in the summer of 2013. Martial Arts is his most vibrant passion, but he also participated in cross-country running and track during his junior and senior years at Patrick Henry High School, and will be certified as a yoga instructor by summer 2016. He is currently majoring in Writing and Literature at UCSD, and plans to pursue a career as an Educator.

Favorite Quote: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us" - Gandalf

Meet the Instructors - Instructor Marshall
Instructor Marshall demonstrating Lazy Dragon.

Marshall Hunt, our Business Manager, has been practicing Kung Fu with Sifu Mario for over 7 years and other martial arts styles for a total of 10 years. He received his junior black sash in 2009 at a previous studio and is currently working towards receiving his adult black sash. Martial Arts and body-weight exercises are Instructor Marshall's two favorite ways to work out, and he enjoys going paintballing, laser tagging, and reading. He is also always up for a game of chess if you wish to play him.

Marshall is currently attending University of California, San Diego and majoring in International Business with focuses in marketing and business operations. He plans to pursue a career in project and/or business management upon graduation.

Favorite Quote: "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." – Amelia Earhart

Connect with Marshall on Linkedin

Instructor Nathan demonstrating Eagle Diving

Instructor Nathan Sims' love for martial arts started as a young boy when he joined an after school program at Hill Creek Elementary in 1998 under Sifu Mario. He later participated in their assistant instructor program, where he first found his joy was not just for martial arts, but also for teaching. In 2009, Nathan was offered the opportunity to test as a Junior but instead chose to continue learning the full adult curriculum. In 2010, Nathan earned his black belt in Zhaobao Tai Chi. After some time on hiatus, he returned in March 2016 to pursue a full time career in training and teaching. Outside of teaching and practicing martial arts, Instructor Nathan enjoys hiking, camping, paintball, and laser tag. He wishes to pursue a college education in bodywork and eventually open his own studio.

Favorite Quote: "Be the best person you can be each and every day." – Anonymous

Instructor Delenn demonstrating Sweep the Sea

Instructor Delenn Brennan began practicing martial arts in 2002, participating in a youth mixed Martial Arts program for eight years. In February 2014 she joined 5 Elements to further her training in Kung Fu, achieving her current rank of adult red sash. Martial Arts integrates well with Delenn’s other physical activities including hiking and rock climbing, as well as fits in with her vocational interests in the fields of health and wellness. Delenn has been working with children for many years in various mentoring capacities, and has been working with 5 Elements youth since 2015. 

Favorite Quote: "What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  – R. W. Emerson