Uncategorized, Articles

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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Articles, Uncategorized

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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Articles, Uncategorized

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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Articles, Uncategorized

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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Poems, Uncategorized

The Silence And Stillness Behind It All

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Just standing;
When I am still my body listens;
When I stop transmitting I can receive;
When my mind is still;
I can perceive the unworded language;
Of the trees and flowers;
Nature is always talking to us;
Normally our mind is filled with words;
We are concerned with the past and future;
But when standing we become ‘joined up’ with nature;
At one with the Tao;

Behind everything there is profound stillness;
A deafening silence;
Stand tall;
Breathe deep;
Focus your mind;
Stop moving;
Stop thinking;

Ah! there it is…….

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Uncategorized

Tai Chi Coaching Programme 2019

This Programme is filling up nicely with just a few places left BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW!

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Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching Qualification

Introduction
This one day a month for 10 months intensive course will be taught personally by Steve Rowe 9th Dan, an internationally renowned Tai Chi teacher, Chairman and founder of both the Martial Arts Standards Agency and Shi Kon Martial Arts International. It is designed to certificate and give Tai Chi Coaches the ability to teach Tai Chi and run and administer a club to gold level standard. Participants will be registered with Shi Kon Martial Arts International Association, the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (the Sport England registered Governing Body for Chinese Martial Arts) and the Martial Arts Standards Agency. The coaching part of the qualification will be the BCCMA level 2 and through these registrations we can lead you to the required DBS and Child Protection courses and the work required to gain the prestigious Sport England ‘Clubmark’ accreditation for your…

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The Fork In The Martial Road

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The Fork In The Martial Road

We start training in the martial arts to improve ourselves. We get fitter, healthier, better at technique and go up in our own and other’s estimation, often taking responsibility to teach and having others look up to us. This brings us to an important fork in the road of our martial arts training.

We may have been weak, greedy for money, lust driven to manipulate others, bullied or a bully and/or a narcissist. Martial arts training SHOULD then reduce those weaknesses and make us a more disciplined, empathic, compassionate, tolerant and helpful person, but at this ‘fork in the road’ we may take that route or with our new found power become more greedy, lustful, bullying and narcissistic.

Good quality martial arts should be our priority and helping others to get there is our role as mentor to others. If money, sex, vanity, or the control of others becomes our priority, then we took the wrong road at that fork.

When it’s all about the teacher and not the teachings, it’s wrong. When it’s all about the ‘business’ and not the standard of the art, then it’s wrong. We need to know about the teacher, we need to pay the bills, but the art, the standard and the transmission should come first, if it doesn’t, you’re on the wrong road.

Any mentor of martial arts teachers and coaches should teach this first. Our primary function is as martial artists and then we take care of business and encourage and help others to become better people without harming or damaging them.

The irony is that if we work this way, others recognise what we are and that we don’t see them as ‘punters’ or targets for our narcissism. Students will have confidence in us, we will retain them and have a successful club.

As the business guru’s would say….. win/win…..

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