Testimonials

Thorin Blanco is the real deal. The SAGE system is simple, effective and immediately applicable the moment you step out of the studio. Mr. Blanco is an excellent instructor and he has the requisite knowledge… but more importantly, he knows how to pass on that knowledge to his students in a practical way, giving you confidence and immediately adding to your skill set. I'm not a huge martial arts student… my empty handed skill set comes from Tae Kwon Do class that I took when I was 12. Basically, level zero. But with Thorin's training, I have another set of tools in my problem solving toolbox. I would highly recommend his training system with no reservations. Do yourself a favor and learn from SAGE Arts.

I currently practice Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate but have practiced various martial arts on and off since 1982. I first met Thorin in 2003 in Thailand. The little time I spent with him, he really opened my eyes and I realised he was one of those rare martial artists that truly live their art (he not only TALKS THE TALK but he can WALK THE WALK) and more than anything I wanted to train with him, but I live in London. We’ve kept in touch ever since. Over the years of being active I have sustained a few injuries that have come back to haunt me in my old age which I have sort of managed by keeping active. The last few years Thorin has helped me immensely with the Joint Rotation routines and Bodyweight exercises that I have used to open and expand my own daily training. These have made me aware of the Range of Movement/Motion that we are capable of and the chance of greatly reducing my body pain by increasing my ROM. The inspiring thing that Thorin has imparted to me is that we can make a difference with even just a few minutes.

 - Martin Thompson (London)

I am 33 years old and I have been training in the martial arts since I was 20. I've trained across a few disciplines including Okinawan Karate, Hapkido, and various Filipino arts. In 2007 I joined the US Marine Corps and while serving as an 0311 (Infantry Marine) I learned MCMAP, the Marines Fighting System, and over the course of two combat deployments spanning 19 months, learned the practical application of physical violence. In 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Thorin Blanco and studying his Sage Arts system for over a year and can say with complete confidence that Thorin is teaching the most complete and most directly applicable martial system I have ever encountered. His system does not just teach a person how to fight or defend themselves, but dives deep into the theory of human movement, which applies to all human endeavors and is where his system's deepest values lie. In 2014, I suffered a slipped disk due to an old injury from my time in the Marines. After a week of seeking medical care through the VA, I was still unable to walk. I called Thorin and that same day he came to my house and worked on me for over 5 hours. At the end of that time I was able to walk with only slight pain, and by the end of the next week, following his recommendations for rehab exercises I was pain free with a greater range of movement than I had before my injury. I literally owe my mobility to Thorin. Some time after leaving the Marines I started my own firearms training company. The value that Thorin, through his Sage Arts system, has also provided to our course curriculums is great. We worked with Thorin to develop a pattern of movements that work well for individuals, as well as teams, when they need to move and shoot in multiple directions across varied terrain, a requirement that was placed on my squad and myself many times in Afghanistan. Again showing that what Thorin teaches applies to so much more than just self-defense. Finally I feel I should speak about the fitness programs that Thorin has developed. He has built a tiered plan that can, in my opinion, when followed closely, create some of the strongest pound for pound, people you will ever meet. His system will not get you big, but it will keep you healthy, moving well, and give you the ability to generate huge amounts of power on demand, as well as maintain that power throughout the fight. In closing, I cannot recommend Thoin Blanco and Sage Martial Arts highly enough. In my opinion and experience, Thorin has created one of the most effective human movement, fitness, and combative systems in existence, and what higher praise can be given than that.

- Chase Welch

When I met Master Blanco I had already been training in martial arts for over 20 years.

I could tell right away he knew what he was talking about and was able to back up what he taught. We both are Krav Maga Instructors from different lineages. In Krav Maga the entire idea is to survive and go home at the end of day no matter the cost. Master Blanco knows this well and is able to relay this message to students who are serious about learning how to defend themselves and their families. Deciding to start martial arts is an emotional decision, a decision that will forever change your life. Will you be prepared if the need arises for you to defend yourself? How will you prepare? Who will help prepare you both physically and mentally? Today is the first day of the rest of your life, start training now!

 

- Master Ryan Cirone

Thorin is a talented martial artist as well as an excellent teacher in both the internal  and external martial arts. Thorin has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in a variety of martial arts systems, and has the ability to break down complex and intricate movement patterns into a simpler and easy to understand format. In addition, I am always impressed with his understanding of how to apply techniques from any martial arts system in both a functional and practical way.

 

I am currently working with Thorin’s joint rotations and mobility video series. The video series take you through various levels of joint rotations and movements that open up the entire body in a progressive manner. If performed consistently, these exercises will keep your body healthy and strong for many years to come. After working with these exercises for only a short period of time I already feel greater ease of movement and joint mobility in my martial arts practice and in everyday life.

- Eric Deutsch

Instructor Blanco has dedicated much of his life to the training and study of many forms of martial arts. From his decades of training, he has developed his own style by synergistically combining arts for maximum effect, or by developing his own techniques as needed. Mr. Blanco appreciates the internal and external health benefits of the many styles he studies, but also equally understands and instructs how to effectively use devastating violence in realistic life-threatening situations. As an instructor myself (and always a student), I continue to expand and refine my own knowledge from training with him. In my opinion, every practitioner, despite their level of experience, can benefit from his instruction.

- Walter McGonigle

I’ve had some training before, including some Jiu Jitsu and boxing but never thought I would enjoy a formal martial arts program. After one class, I changed my mind and trained with Thorin for over three and a half years. Thorin’s SAGE is for the real world – no B.S., no fancy moves like you might see in the movies, just real moves that anyone can learn. I recommend these classes to anyone who wants to build self-confidence, learn useful self-defense skills and make friends for life.

 

- Colonel Jim Hampt

Over time, I have come to Sage Martial Arts with different types of joint pain, mostly hip, knee, and ankle, that are ongoing repercussions of playing competitive level soccer for most of my life. Through instruction and training in joint rotations, body-weight exercises, and effective movement, I have fully recovered from knee pain that forced me to stop most of my activity and caused me to limp for weeks. Sage Martial Arts has allowed me to become a better athlete and has increased my knowledge of my own body and how it performs. Now I feel more capable of remaining healthy while participating in activities that are hard on the body and can cause injuries over time.

 - Thumas Winans

While I was visiting family overseas in London, my brother-in-law and I were accosted by thugs when we stepped outside a pub. Before we knew what was happening, they had punched my brother-in-law in the nose, breaking it and taking him out of action, leaving me to face the three on my own. Instinctively, the training I had received in Thorin’s classes kicked in, and I managed to fend off the would-be thugs with no serious injuries whatsoever, and only a few bruises.

 

From this experience, I’ve learned that Thorin’s circle drill is both practical and instinctive, allowing someone caught off guard by multiple attackers to instantly react to protect themselves, simultaneously defending and attacking with every movement of the body. It is worth noting that I hadn’t been attending Thorin’s classes for some months, as I was studying abroad–this further highlights just how instinctive the circle drill is, and how in the most adverse and unexpected of circumstances, it can enable you to defend yourself.

 

I’m very grateful to Thorin and his self-defense classes – without his training, I would have ended up in a hospital that night. SAGE is truly a unique art, and eminently practical for beginners and advanced students alike.

 

Note: I was in no way compensated for this endorsement of SAGE Martial Arts. I am simply expressing my gratitude for the training Thorin has given me, and the many benefits and blessings it has

brought into my life.

 

 - S. G.

As a single woman living in D.C. for the first time, I wanted to find a martial arts program that would give me self-defense skills and a confidence in my abilities. Sage Martial Arts has given me that and more. I have been able to develop my combat abilities as well as develop my muscles and body in a healthy, challenging way. I now feel confident that I can defend myself if necessary. Thorin is a dedicated and extremely skilled instructor and his program can be tempered to fit all skill levels and abilities. I love training with him in a healthy, rewarding environment and I urge anyone with an interest in self-defense or martial arts to try this program.

 

- L.P.

I have known Thorin for a few years, taken a few classes with Sage Martial Arts, and worked up to his Level 1 program of body-weight exercises. Recently, I dislocated my shoulder and began the path back toward full use of my arm. I have been involved with a conventional physical therapy program but was frustrated with my slow progress. Through the use of Thorin’s innovative combination of joint rotations, deep tissue mobilization, and eventually integrated body-weight exercises I have regained my mobility and have begun restoring the strength of my arm. Thorin’s holistic approach has definitely made the difference in the length of my recovery and my ability to use my arm throughout the day. As an Occupational Therapist, I can appreciate the breakdown of individual exercises in Thorin’s program. It is the use of the exercises as a whole which created the fundamental changes I was looking for to rehab my shoulder. I would definitely recommend Thorin’s programs for improving one’s strength and health following a specific injury as well as for overall improvement of fitness.

 

 - P.A.

​​I started studying self-defense with Thorin when I was 14 years old. I had a great time and learned some really valuable self-defense skills. I quickly began to feel much more at peace in my daily life, because I knew that I could defend myself if ever necessary. But this was only the first step in a total transformation in all areas of my life. The things I learned from Thorin – not only the self-defense skills, but discipline, leadership, gratitude, and meditation – have transformed my life from the inside out. I could not have imagined how much better I would feel after only about a year. I went from being depressed and somewhat afraid of living a truly happy and abundant life.

 

I’ve been studying with Thorin for about 9 years now. I’ve had many opportunities to share the skills he’s given me, including teaching a semester-long women’s self-defense class at the University of Virginia. I’ve seen these skills help others experience the same peace that I felt when I first learned how to defend myself.

 

Thorin also has a lot to offer the experienced martial artist. His fully integrated, highly organized system has broken several higher-level martial arts (Hsing-I, Bagua, Tai Chi, Filipino stick and knife fighting, and more) into several similar component parts (elemental movements), and rebuilt these systems literally from the ground up. You will truly gain an understanding of these highly technical martial arts that is more simple, and easy to apply, than anything you have seen before. It is advanced martial arts made simple, and it will dramatically increase your ability to perform your favorite techniques and achieve a level of grace and flow in combat that has always seemed out of reach.

 

For those that are interested, (this may be especially interesting for military and law enforcement personnel), Thorin can teach modern-weaponry techniques for close quarter combat that will increase your confidence and proficiency with any firearm.

 

Thorin also teaches martial arts healing exercises. With a diverse background that includes Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and massage, Thorin has a lot to offer if you are suffering from long-term pain, a niggling injury, or purely interested in the healing arts yourself. I have had great success with people who have chronic back injuries.

I highly recommend Thorin’s classes. It has changed my life so much for the better. The skills I’ve gained are very important to me… but the real change is that I feel so much more peace than I ever thought possible. Thorin’s classes were the first step to a whole new me.

 

   - David Hughes

I currently practice Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate but have practiced various martial arts on and off since 1982. I first met Thorin in 2003 in Thailand. The little time I spent with him, he really opened my eyes and I realised he was one of those rare martial artists that truly live their art (he not only TALKS THE TALK but he can WALK THE WALK) and more than anything I wanted to train with him, but I live in London. We’ve kept in touch ever since. Over the years of being active I have sustained a few injuries that have come back to haunt me in my old age which I have sort of managed by keeping active. The last few years Thorin has helped me immensely with the Joint Rotation routines and Bodyweight exercises that I have used to open and expand my own daily training. These have made me aware of the Range of Movement/Motion that we are capable of and the chance of greatly reducing my body pain by increasing my ROM. The inspiring thing that Thorin has imparted to me is that we can make a difference with even just a few minutes.

 - Martin Thompson (London)

I became a student of Thorin Blanco in 2006 in order to rehabilitate my degenerative spinal condition as the result of several auto accidents. Thorin customized an exercise program, primarily martial arts, which enabled me to regain full function over a relatively short period of time. My regular attendance of classes continued up until 2015, at which time I moved to Florida. However, I have kept in touch with Thorin and we have reconnected in 2018 for further guidance in holistic health and exercise practices. Thorin practices what he teaches in all aspects of his physical well being. There is no one I know, who is better suited, that can provide a health maintenance customized program including exercise and martial arts.

- Michael H. Goldman

Thorin worked closely with my 11 year old son to carefully prepare for a Traditional Weapon District Taekwondo competition. He made the training sessions fun, focused and extremely effective. My son achieved District Champion while only working with Thorin for four sessions. Thorin brings a passion to his teaching that inspired my son to want to try even harder with the training sessions and with practice at home. Thorin’s unique teaching style both emphasized technical skills as well mental sharpness and fortitude. He helped my son balance the desire to compete at a high level without him losing the love for Taekwondo. While Thorin is a formidable martial artist he has a kind heart. This duality creates a very unique and effective learning environment.

- Sarah Hetsmanzanski

Sage Martial Arts    434 906 5491    thorinblanco@yahoo.com

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