Articles, Posts

Welcome To My Blog..

14316810_10154002469378576_580608977925484872_nWelcome to my blog and post index page. My name is Steve Rowe, a martial artist of over 40 years and I’m a writer in the martial arts, a columnist for the martial arts magazines, an author of books on the arts and martial arts philosophy. Over the last 40 years I have written many interviews, poems, articles for magazines, blogs for websites and books. Many have been lost due to website crashes and the internet demons that seem to snatch them from the t’internet world, but I still have a few hundred on my computer and will post them on here along with anything else I write in my dotage.

If you are interested in my Tai Chi Coaching Programme click here Tai Chi Coaching Programme 2020

What Did The 2018 Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching Programme Participants Think?

book coverIf you would like to buy a signed copy of my latest book (pictured) email steve@shikon.com

If you would like to attend any of my seminars the calendar click here….

For the website for my Martial Arts Club click here…..

If you would like to read my poetry, click here….

If you would like to read my articles, click here…..

I’ve started compiling my old interviews and have listed them here…

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Why I’m Different

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It took me a long time to find myself, to realise that I think differently to most other people. Never got on with family or at school, always the outsider. It was only when ‘Kung Fu’ came on the TV in the ’70’s that I found Buddhism, was already training in Karate and working in security to find an outlet for my inner violence, but in Taoism, Zen and Buddhism I found myself, I found peace. I could stop hurting other people and myself.
 
Without ‘Kung Fu’ and the underlying philosophy I don’t where I would be. I’m right brained, I’m artistic, I see behind the curtain all the time in life. I can’t work with logic, with sequences, with lists, I can hold everything in my brain all the time in one almighty mess, but when required, it all comes out in perfect order. When I took a MENSA test I was in the top 1%, but could not pay attention in school and failed all my exams.
 
I work and think in principles and open concepts and that’s why my training programmes are so different. Harder to understand because they are not laid out and academic, but more like the open spontaneity and responsiveness required in real life.
 
If I’m not interested I can’t do it, but I love martial arts and philosophy, that’s where my real skill lies. I don’t care about business, money, certificates, reputation or networking and that’s why I don’t fit in, always alone but still comfortable in a crowd, I don’t need attention. I love silence, stillness, intensity, the profound, training and sharing knowledge, that is my life and why I have many real friends and students.
 
I scare the shit out of some people because they can’t understand me, but I can’t help that. I am what I am and if you love martial arts and the underlying philosophy, you’ll always have me as a true friend.
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What Did The 2018 Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching Programme Participants Think?

From Dill Young – Karate Instructor

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I was introduced to Steve Rowe many years ago through the pages of Combat and Traditional Karate magazines. His insights and subject matter always interested me and stood out from the crowd. I finally got to meet and train under him on his regular summer school during the mid to late 90’s in Chatham. Over the years I have had the pleasure of studying with him on and off as I pursued my Karate career to the present day, training in most of the major systems including trips to Okinawa.

I only had a passing interest in Tai Chi until recent years and have now managed to engage with this fascinating martial art through his Tai Chi coaching programme. I have always been aware of Steves teaching method and principle based learning structure, but to be honest until I enrolled in the programme I was unaware of how much he has influenced me both as a martial artist and in my personal development.
I feel now that I not only have the analytical tools from which to teach karate and Tai Chi to a higher standard but can also develop along a more detailed and progressive route. Adding Tai Chi to my school has benefitted my students and myself on many levels. I highly recommend the coaching programme and firmly believe that it will add another level to whatever Martial system you practice.
Steve Rowe’s friendship. guidance and willingness to share is a rare and precious thing and for that I cannot thank him enough.

From Carl Jephcote – Wing Chun Sifu….

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A few years ago I was introduced to Sifu Steve Rowe, who luckily for me, accepted me as a private student.

Little did I know how much this ‘down to earth’ knowledgeable guy would impact my life.

When he put together the Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching Programme I jumped at the chance.
The well structured course far exceeded my expectations.
On a personal note, my health and wellbeing have improved dramatically as a result and I have a far deeper understanding of the internal aspects of my own art of Wing Chun.
I have also been running a successful Shi Kon Tai Chi class with the help and guidance from Sifu Steve.

If you are looking to improve your health and your chosen art, I highly recommend that you get in touch with Steve and sign up for the next course, you will not regret it.

From Mikey Wright – Systema Instructor…50973662_10156188078533576_5978085741450756096_n

I was fortunate to start training privately in Tai Chi with Sifu Steve Rowe a few years ago after years of following his teaching and philosophy online.

Steve’s depth of knowledge and structured, principle based approach to martial arts is in my mind virtually unmatched.

The Shi Kon Tai Chi coaching program has given me the information, skills and confidence to now offer Tai Chi as part of my offering as a martial arts coach.

I chose to continue my development Under Steve and his team on the 2 year advanced coaching course which started this year and look forward to many more years learning and training under his mentorship.

I highly recommend the Shi Kon Tai Chi coaching program to anyone looking to broaden their skill base and offering.

From Wayne Challoner-Keough – Karate Instructor

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Wayne Challoner Keough took the 2018 programme and is now running successful classes in his karate club and is now on the advanced programme. This is his story.

I started training with Steve Rowe around 4 years ago, straight away I knew that Tai Chi was what I had been looking for in my martial arts journey.

I had practised Karate for around twenty years and since starting tai chi both myself and others have noticed the difference in how I move and the connections I am able to make when both training and teaching.

Last year I made the decision to take part in the level one Tai Chi coaching programme with Steve, it was the best decision I have ever made. I have found a new passion alongside my karate and I have now opened my own Tai Chi classes in the Walsall area. I am teaching people and they leave feeling positive.

I would highly recommend the course to anyone, in my opinion there is no one better to learn from than Steve Rowe. I have just started the level two course and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to what’s in store.

From Keith Collyer – Wing Chun Sifu and Krav Maga Instructor

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“I have been training and teaching martial arts for over 20 years and as I have got older looked at training and teaching a system that can have some longevity, so I can teach and benefit from the wealth of health benefits into my old age.

I have followed Steve’s Rowe’s posts and read articles his written over the years, so when he put together the Shi Kon coaching program I thought this the ideal opportunity to train with such an experienced martial artist.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Tai Chi coaching program, and love the depth that this art has, also the way the course is presented and taught, with great assistants there to guide you and assist Steve’s fantastic instruction.
To me, learning the application for techniques reafirms and helps me learn, Steve has so much in depth Knowelege that you get this in abundance and apart from learning the many other benefits Tai chi can give you the martial applications are there which are often not taught in other Tai Chi Systems.

It has also helped in other areas and enhanced the other arts I teach so a no brainier if you all ready teach or want to start something new.
I enjoy the sessions so much that I have joined the level 2 programme so I can look forward to the monthly training with a great bunch of fellow martial artists and have something to train that’s more for ‘ myself’ though I am looking forward to opening my class very soon.

Thoroughly recommended.”

From Matt Hudd – Lau Gar Sifu

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I have been studying under Sifu Steve Rowe as a long distance student since 2013, Steve is a very knowledgeable and experienced martial artist and the sort of person you could listen to for hours.

Going back to my first seminar and any other time I have trained with him any confusion I had about the arts was cleared up and I would have loads of eureka moments. Things would just fit into place, even in my own art. It isn’t necessarily about his style or your style, I’ve never trained in Karate and had done little Tai Chi at that time but Steve’s principles and teachings fit into any style of fighting.

Because of the 4 hours’ drive from my home town of Hereford to Chatham and my own clubs’ commitments, I was finding it hard to get to train with Steve, it was frustrating and slow gaining the knowledge I wanted that he so freely gives. Therefore, I didn’t have to think twice when Steve invited me to attend his Tai Chi Coaching Programme.

Since starting it, my whole martial arts training and teaching skills have dramatically improved, beforehand, I was just dipping into Steve’s training and taking away what I could, but the Tai Chi Programme starts at the beginning and as I have mentioned previously, it fits together and makes sense as the course continues.

Now I am doing level 2, it is so obvious why Steve teaches the way he does. His own years of training under great masters is evident and he has developed a formula to teach that is structured and layered. I believe that anybody that says that they are a true martial artist needs to be on this course, it will bring about a new meaning to your own art.

On a final note, for me martial arts is all about personal development, take away the martial aspect of this course and it is also up there with the top personal development courses that I have done, in today’s society where it is all about material items and social media, we need to be able to look into ourselves and work from the inside out. Steve teaches you all this and more at an affordable price.

I am truly humbled and will be eternally grateful for all the knowledge and wisdom that Steve has given me. This course really will change your life!

From Jeremy Hicks

After completing Steve Rowe’s Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching course last year, and benefiting physically and emotionally, in both my training and my personal life, it was obvious to join the Advanced Coaching programme this year.

Even this early in the course it’s extraordinary the extra depth and layers, in Tai Chi, that Steve and his team are teaching us. Showing, demonstrating and explaining techniques, moves and concepts in a pragmatic, open way that leaves you hungry to achieve what you’ve been shown and understanding why and how the techniques are done in a certain way and why they work. No ‘smoke and mirrors’, but sometimes it does seem like magic.

Long Term Students who also run successful Tai Chi Clubs in the Shi Kon Family

From Gavin King Karate and Kung Fu Instructor

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When I was a kid I used to read my Dad’s Martial Arts magazines. There was a column in one called “A Voice from the Deep” written by Steve Rowe. It was a series of tales about a wise Karate Sensei and life in his dojo. They weren’t stories simply about learning to kick or punch, but lessons about how martial arts had the power to transform lives. Those stories shaped my whole view of what studying martial arts should be and inspired me to take to the path of a life long student of the fighting arts and philosophies.

About 10 years ago my martial arts journey led me to have a private lesson with Steve and the entire direction of my life changed. Through Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Meditation Steve has guided me to becoming a full-time Instructor running my own full-time martial arts centre. But he’s become far more than that, he is a mentor, a counsellor, a business coach and most importantly one of my closest friends. No matter what he is always there for me for support, advice and friendship.

In a very short period of time, Steve has helped transform my life to the point where now every day is like one of his stories that inspired me as a child. He has helped me turn my passion into a way of life. When you study with Steve and the Shi Kon system you are not becoming a student, you’re joining a martial arts family. Being part of that family is the sole reason I have the life I have now.

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Poems

The Darkness

The darkness is always there.
Shine a light and it only covers it up;
We are awake in the light;
When it is dark we put lights on or sleep;
But it is always there.

It is reminding us of the Tao;
We can be ‘happy’ and ‘positive’;
But they can’t exist without the underlying darkness in our soul;
It is always there.

We need to meditate in the dark;
In the stillness of the night;
To feel the other side;
To be comfortable;
To know the balance.

We are that light;
As brightly as we might shine;
We rise from the dark;
We return to it;
And it is always there.

Know it.

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Why Tai Chi Is Losing The ‘Martial’

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We are in danger of losing real Tai Chi. Whilst many practice for the health benefits, few still teach the martial. Many that do either try to to make it ridiculously ‘magical’ or they apply their other martial skills to applications, but in doing so are losing the unique skills that make it special.

The combination of peng and sung give Tai Chi continuous structural integrity and root. The continuous spiralling and internal system gives the ability to receive an opponent in a combination of the 13 dynamics, disrupting their structural integrity and root, negating their ability to continue attacking without losing that of the practitioner.

The training structure is uniquely layered to build these skills in a way the I’ve not seen in any other art.

The ‘hidden’ aspects therefore are merely subtle use of these skills that are difficult to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for and because they are not ‘obvious’ they’re not youtube friendly.

Because they don’t fit into the social media zeitgeist they are fading away.

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Time and Awareness

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Time and Awareness

This is really important.

We are constantly being told that time is precious and we have to set our goals, focus on them and then go out and get them.

I have a problem with this.

Firstly, time is precious, the more research is done, the more we realise that time has little connection to clocks, all time exists all of the time.

We don’t pass through time, time passes through us.

Let that soak in….

The past does not exist, the future does not exist, there is only the present.

So time passes through the present.

Why is this so important?

Because if we are fettered by our past, or if we are anxious about the future, we are asleep in the present.

The present is a ‘present’, it’s a gift to us.

If we are able to fully exist in the present moment, unfettered by the past that doesn’t exist, fearless for the future that doesn’t exist, we are fully aware and awake in the present, able to take full advantage of it and actually be fully and completely alive.

Life comes to us, but if we are focused on ‘goals’, fears and anxieties and out there chasing our tail, our vision is so narrow that we are missing a plethora of opportunities that it is being presented to us.

Stop. Be still. ‘Be’ fully and completely in the moment, let life come to you, let the opportunities come to you, broaden your mind, accept life as it comes, see all those things that you’ve never seen before because of the fog and narrow vision that anxiety from the past and for the future gives you.

Life is truly the gift that just keeps on giving, if your vision and perspective allows it.

If your mind is preconditioned, you won’t see the opportunities, you will just continually keep walking past open doors.

Every time I start to get anxious, I stop, become still and become fully alive and take each moment as it comes.

Meditation, mindfulness, neigong and Tai Chi will enhance this skill.

A big, life changing difference!

 

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Making Tai Chi Your Own

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Making Tai Chi Your Own

At 68 years of age, after nearly 5 decades in the Martial Arts and 15 surgeries and 2 life threatening infections in my legs leaving me with one leg 2 inches shorter than the other, one with no knee and fused straight, the other with a metal knee and 3 quads missing on both legs, the powerful antibiotics have ruined all my joints and left me with severe and painful arthritis, I have to use a crutch to walk and have terrible trouble balancing on my legs with no ability to control a forwards pull or push.  Without my Tai Chi I would have been relegated to a wheelchair many years ago.

The meditation and neigong have been invaluable in helping me cope with an immense amount of pain and illness giving me the ability to accept what I have and don’t have and the power to change that which I can. It has helped me to cope with ageing, sickness and cope with the possibility of death. It has helped me to develop emotional intelligence and the ability to work with a support team at the Dojo and in my seminars and coaching programmes.

The qigong has helped to maintain mobility, opening the joints and soft tissue enhancing blood, air and neurological flow and to assist the lymphatic system. It also encourages the power lines through the body.

I have to adapt much of what I do, I can do the form without the crutch but adapt, stances, turns and kicks, taking my body through it’s full range of movement every day and when my legs are tired I train leaning or seated. I can still do the full range of the Yang family system, the standing, exercises, Yang Chen Fu form, Long Boxing, all the weapons, push hands drills and 2 person Sanshou Form, albeit in my own way.

I still teach and train every day, do seminars every weekend (68 last year) and teach the Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching Programmes to many Instructors.

So many people give up when they can’t do technique the same way as others and yet we all teach that martial arts should be for everyone, many students enjoy learning from me because they know that I can teach anyone to train well and having been ‘through the mill’ myself, will have the patience to work with their problems.

Until you’ve been there, you can only guess what many people are going through, having been in the very worst of crippling pain and mental anguish, I can validate what I’m teaching to others from personal experience.

The moral of this story is that no matter what problems, physical, emotional and mental you may be going through, Tai Chi is an adaptable and useful tool for you to utilise to maintain and improve what you have and a focus to move forwards with, whatever your age or ability.

I make sure that all my Shi Kon Coaches develop the patience, kindness, tolerance, compassion and knowledge to be able to teach whoever comes to them for help.

I have coaches all over England and the Czech Republic, if you would like to find one close to you get in touch with me.

 

 

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Dieting Is Mind and Emotions

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Dieting Is Mind and Emotions

Dieting is about manipulation and business. They know how to appeal to your basic instincts and emotions.

If you’re fat no-one will love you, that instills fear and you can’t even love yourself. How deep and sad is that? That leaves you vulnerable to those that know how to manipulate you at that level.  Self loathing is a powerful demon that can drive you into all sorts of unnatural thoughts and actions and everyone from the dieting, plastic surgeons, make up and clothing businesses and even narcissistic friends and partners love it.

So take control of your mind and emotions, it costs nothing but a bit of effort and wisdom. Watch them, watch how you react to food and to how others try to take control and use your weaknesses.

Your self loathing and weakness looks for rewards, note how you eat to reward yourself, notice the triggers in your mind. It’s been a hard day so I will ‘treat’ myself. When you see food how do you react? Does your mind already start to ‘taste’ it? Do you make yourself ‘hungry’ simply because it’s there? Does your body require food simply because it’s a certain time or place? What are your personal triggers?

Watch and learn. You think that this is ‘you’ but it’s not, it’s simply learned behaviour or habits that arise because you weren’t watching your mind.

Who is manipulating you? Watch your response to advertising, that which subliminally makes you want food or drink, that which makes you feel guilty because you don’t look a certain way and those that make themselves feel good by putting you down albeit subtly, often ‘encouraging’ you like you are some kind of dog or simpleton.

Recognise and acknowledge your bad habits and weaknesses, just that act of recognition means that you have already initiated change. People yoyo diet because they give the control over to others or panic out of weakness so as soon as the control ends or the regime is unsustainable, they fold and return to entrenched habits.

Your body is always talking you and if you know how to listen, not in words but in feelings, your mind and body work through anticipation, so your habits will dictate how you think, feel and react. See advert, feel guilty or hungry, see food, feel hungry, see slim, fit, people, feel guilty.

DO NOT HATE YOUR YOURSELF! That is other people doing that to you. work with your body and mind, they are on your side, all they want is a bit of care and mindfulness. watch and listen, take care of them and they will take care of you.

They say that when you know the name of the devil he can’t touch you. When you see how you are being manipulated – it won’t work, when you see how you have formed bad habits through being mindless, they will stop working.

You don’t need other people putting you down, you don’t need those trying to sell you something to manipulate you, so don’t get taken in. Change the way you are permanently and understand your mind and emotions to change your life forever.

And that my friends – is free.

 

 

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