The Alchemy Of Tai Chi Chuan

A strange challenge – in Beijing in the early 1800’s in the house of Prince Daun sat two men facing each other with their right fists pitted against the other. Yeung Lou Sim (also known as Yang Lu Cha’n) the founder of Yang style Tai Chi Chaun or “Soft Cotton Boxing” as it was commonly known had been teaching many nobles of the Qing dynasty refusing challenges until he had been made the “offer he couldn’t refuse” by a boxing master of high prestige……. Yeung Lou Sim sat calmly as the boxing master began to sweat profusely and his chair … Continue reading The Alchemy Of Tai Chi Chuan

Mick Gooch Interview 2003

This interview was published in January 2003 We need experienced Martial Artists to stay around and help the younger generation; far too many of them fade away and either stop training and teaching altogether or simply end up training on their own.  Therefore I was very happy to see Mick Gooch in fine form after a 14 year absence. Mick Gooch is one of those Kyokushin “names” from the Medway towns in Kent, along with Paul and Terry Owen, Dennis Jones and Norman King, Mick bought the Kyokushinkai style of Karate to Chatham.  Mick is a natural, easy going, likeable … Continue reading Mick Gooch Interview 2003

Mick Billman Interview 2003

This interview was conducted in 2003. Mick Billman is one of those names that is well known in the higher echelons of the Karate world and particularly at National, European and World levels.  He has tirelessly served the English Karate Governing Body on the Technical and Executive Committees for many years and has now recently also been elected on to the Management Board of the restructured English Karate Governing Body Ltd. Mick sits on the Technical Committee for Europe and has done a sterling job in getting all our English representatives known and acknowledged at European and World level.  His … Continue reading Mick Billman Interview 2003

Age With Dignity…

There’s nothing more undignified than an old person trying to behave like a younger one.  If you train well over the years, it’s only natural that you lose the aggression and ignorance of youth and the bullishness gives way to wisdom, emotional intelligence, cunning and skill.  A problem only arises  if you don’t continue learning and hanker after that which is past, then it can become embarrassing if the OAP is trying to convince everyone that he still ‘has it’ – a bit like your Grandad trying to dance on a nightclub floor to the latest music. When someone has been … Continue reading Age With Dignity…

Internal Or External?

Internal and external has many translations in the Martial Arts, You cannot be one or the other, Because we all have an inside and an outside, If you are more one than the other, you are unbalanced. If you’re taught externally, Your instructor will correct you by how you look on the outside: If you’re taught internally, Your instructor will correct you by how you feel inside. Ideally, you need both. If you train externally, You will utilise the power of emotion, If you train internally, Your mind will be calm and focused. If you train externally, You will use … Continue reading Internal Or External?

Mick Randall MBE Interview 2003

This interview was published in 2003 A true Founding Father of English Karate, it was at this time of the year in 1963 – that’s 40 years ago – that Mick Randall and Ray Fuller decided to join the first Karate Club in Great Britain run by Vernon Bell. That 40 years of service to Traditional English Karate has earned Mick an MBE.  He trained under the first visiting Japanese Instructors like Tetsuji Murakami and Hiroo Mochizuki, featured in the first colour film of Karate in England in 1964 that was shown in cinemas all over England and took part … Continue reading Mick Randall MBE Interview 2003

Yoshinobu Ohta 2003 Interview

This interview was published in 2003 Whenever anyone spoke about Yoshinobu Ohta to me, they always spoke well of him. He was always quoted as being “all right’ or “a nice guy” and his Karate was always described as “good quality”.  He began Shotokan Karate at High School in 1974 and graduated from the famous Takushoku University that lists former students such as Nakayama and Enoeda. A talent such as his could only find it’s way to the JKA Honbu. Luckily for Shotokan Karate in this country, Ohta Sensei came to England in 1982 to assist Enoeda Sensei and has … Continue reading Yoshinobu Ohta 2003 Interview

Simple Neigong – Insomnia Buster!

In our seated Tai Chi programme we teach a lovely seated Nei Gong exercise.  It is an exercise that reinforces correct posture and breathing and also serves a method for calming the body and mind.  It can also be incorporated into a pre-sleep ritual for those who suffer from insomnia – it help’s prepare the body for a peaceful night’s sleep.  It can also be used at your desk and in your car. Simple Seated Nei Gong 1 – Firstly you will need to be seated – either sitting on a chair or on the edge of the bed.  Ideally … Continue reading Simple Neigong – Insomnia Buster!

Buddhist Alchemy In The Martial Arts

“I don’t like any of that religious stuff in my martial arts…” You may not, but Buddhism is inextricably linked to the Martial Arts and it’s not religious in the formal sense.  Buddhism is simple, logical thinking in search of the truth – and that is in line with martial arts study.  A Buddhist is required to challenge what he is taught and to discover the truth for himself.  The term ‘Buddha’ means the ‘awakened one’, one who is awake to the truth. It’s often referred to as the ‘atheist religion’ as it has no gods or deities, it doesn’t … Continue reading Buddhist Alchemy In The Martial Arts

The 4 Blocks Of Karate

Around 30 years ago I was taking a private lesson in Iaido with Okimitsu Fuji and we were practicing a form called ‘Uke Nagashi’ which involved me kneeling down with him walking towards me and cutting down towards my head.  I had to stand up drawing my sword in such a manner that it deflected his sword and then I would pivot and cut him from neck to hip in one fluid motion. As we did this our swords clashed as I blocked his.  “Uke!” he said as he walked back to repeat the process.  The swords clashed again and … Continue reading The 4 Blocks Of Karate