Senior Head Instructor Peyton Hunter
- Senior Head Instructor of the Kung Fu Program
- 4th Degree Black Sash Kung Fu
Senior Head Instructor Peyton Hunter was ten years old when he spotted a sign for Master Gohring’s school of
Tai Chi and Kung Fu. The sign showed one person throwing a kick and another blocking. Already a huge
fan of Kung Fu movies, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Bruce Lee, Peyton immediately pointed to the sign and
told his mother, “I want to do that.”
Not long afterwards, she enrolled him in Master Gohring’s beginning Kung Fu class for kids. At eleven
years old, Peyton was quiet and tentative, but he came to class as much as he could and tried to soak up
every word his teachers said. Before long, he was working his way up the ranks and practicing on his
In eighth grade, a kid who was into gangs, graffiti and fighting was hassling Peyton’s twin sister. Peyton
intervened. Against all odds, the two became best friends, and since Peyton wanted nothing to do with
gangs, graffiti or fighting, his friend ended up going straight. At thirteen, Mr. Hunter already had the
capacity to lead by positive example.
Through his friend, Peyton discovered wrestling, a skill that he has incorporated into his Kung Fu.
“You’re not supposed to end up on the ground in a fight,” he explains. “But if you do, you have to know
how to handle it.” Working with the wrestling coach at school, it was Peyton’s idea to practice
blindfolded, to use the tactile “listening” skills of Tai Chi to anticipate an opponent’s moves more quickly
than by using eyes alone.
By the time he reached high school, Peyton’s Kung Fu had given him a new confidence that spilled over
into everyday life. Early on, in an unsupervised classroom, another kid decided to pick on Peyton, who
was, as usual, quietly attending to his studies. Peyton shook off the first few pokes and prods. Then the
other kid rolled up a newspaper and smacked Peyton on the head from behind. Peyton instantly sent
him flying. Word got out that Peyton Hunter knew Kung Fu, and that he was not somebody you would
want to mess with.
From Master Gohring and the other instructors at Kung Fu school, Mr. Hunter learned the code of the
true martial artist: His skills were not to be used for domination, but for self-mastery, self-defense, and
defense of others. In high school, if another kid was being pushed around or teased, Mr. Hunter could
walk through the middle of the crowd and say, “Leave that kid alone.” And they would.
Peyton finished his 1st degree black sash in Kung Fu at the beginning of his sophomore year in high
school. An excellent technician, he began to win sparring competitions at tournaments and collected
gold medals in forms as well. He became a crowd favorite at Master Gohring’s graduations,
demonstrating Kung Fu Saber and Wudang sword. By the time he was a senior, he was a 2nd degree black
sash assisting with all the Kung Fu classes.
As an instructor, Mr. Hunter combines patience and humor with the ability to calmly redirect the
attention of a distracted kid. “I might make him do push-ups,” Mr. Hunter says. “I explain that it’s not a
punishment, but it will bring his mind back into the zone where he needs to be in order to learn.” He’s
careful to distinguish the distracted student who needs push-ups from a student who is confused.
“When a student is confused, I need to give him or her individual attention, to explain what I’m teaching
in a way they can understand.”
Since graduating from high school, Mr. Hunter has been taking classes in business administration at
Austin Community College. He’s a great cook and has begun to do some catering. He’s interested in
boxing, not to fight professionally, but to expand his practical self-defense skills. But Kung Fu remains
front and center: A 4th degree black sash since 2019, Mr. Hunter is now Senior Head Instructor for the Kung Fu
program at Master Gohring’s School of Tai Chi and Kung Fu.
"If you're knees aren't bent, you're just standing funny"