Pain…

PainWhen I was young I taught myself to like pain, it made me train harder, made me focus and never give up. When I was hit, I tasted blood and fought harder. I constantly found myself joyously saying “is that all you’ve got?” There was a perverse pleasure in pain. As a matter of principle I would never, ever give up and you would have to kill me to stop me. Now at 72yrs old I’m in constant pain, with an amputation and phantom leg pain, painful arthritis in both shoulders and remaining leg, prostate cancer and radiation treatment inflammation … Continue reading Pain…

Podcast My 50 Years In Martial Arts

Key quotes and takeaways from the show: Never practice struggle! “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” – Aristotle. Balance!… Martial arts (and life) are holistic. Develop your mind, body and emotions. A good coach teaches on all of these levels. A good coach sees the kind of person their student is (type of learner, physical, mental and emotional state, etc.) and gives them what they need in that very moment. The same goes for a class. A good coach forgets about themselves and provides students what they need most at the time. Use meditation to … Continue reading Podcast My 50 Years In Martial Arts

The Abyss Of Death

We never truly understand life until the abyss of death is staring back at us into our very soul. The veil that life throws over our head means that we forget we’re going to die and live as if we’re going to live forever and push it to the very back of our mind, occupying our headspace with trivia and human indoctrinated shit. Only the ancient tribes that lived close to and in harmony with nature saw life and death in the right harmonious balance. Warriors confronting death on a daily basis also had to feel comfortable staring into that … Continue reading The Abyss Of Death

The Empty Chair

There is the chair,He used to be there,Hair gone grey,Body wasting away,Cognitively impaired,But with humour shared. Strong when he was young,With punches that stung,A high standard of Kung Fu,With kicks that flew,But time took the skill,And made him sit still. He ended in the chair,And had to stay there,Until the part that cannot be destroyed,Finally returned to the void. Now his spirit is still there,As always willing to share,For those with respect,Are still able to connect. Continue reading The Empty Chair

The Eyes Have It

Where your intention (yi) goes your energy (chi) follows. In Tai Chi we use an ‘eye’ form, whilst practising a hand form we look at certain parts of our own body (usually a hand or hands) with the intention of sending our chi energy there. This has the effect of moving our chi and sending it to where we need it. It helps us to learn how to raise our energy, colour it with the right intention, focus and discharge it. Vision can be focused and unfocused, activating and utilising both sides of the brain and using peripheral vision to … Continue reading The Eyes Have It

Insight

Insight is an important skill and can be trained. Most senior martial artists rely on it in many areas of their life and particularly in their martial art studies. Insight is the ability to pierce to the heart of any subject or problem without having to go through a laborious process. How do we gain this skill? The first step is to develop mindfulness, by calming the body, emotions and thoughts, without the mental and emotional clutter, clarity can arise. Mindfulness arises from a combination of posture and deep breathing until everything calms down and an appreciation that we are … Continue reading Insight

Martial Arts Biggest Secret

I wish my martial arts study had started with this information. The ‘bodycore’ is the most important aspect of all training and study. It consists of: The Spine The Deep Front Line The Vagus Nerve The spine is the ‘main mast’ of the body and everything grows out from it. It will bow backwards, forwards, sideways and twist. The deep front line is the soft tissue core that runs connected from behind the ears to the arches of the feet and manipulates the spine in all the above movements. The vagus nerve runs from behind the ears to the stomach, … Continue reading Martial Arts Biggest Secret

Suck Don’t Blow

‘Suck Don’t Blow…’When your opponent gives you a body part they don’t get it back.‘Nei Jin’ means they when touching they can’t find your bones.There’s nothing to strike, lock or grasp.You stick, follow and redirect their energy.Until they become weak and their balance is broken.‘When a tiger comes to your village you don’t feed it.’Meaning that you ‘suck’ their energy and don’t feed it by collision or giving them your bones.A strategy for both combat and life.Steve Rowe Continue reading Suck Don’t Blow

Stages Of Tai Chi

In the beginning we have to learn about our mind, emotions and body and harmonise them.Then we have to make them all more intelligent and skilful.Then we have to stop thinking so much and watch them, allowing insight and wisdom to arise.Then we have to be able to recognise energy in all its stages, nurture and alchemise it.90% of this work is done in the unworded mind.When all of this work is harmonised we can enjoy Tai Chi at the highest level. Continue reading Stages Of Tai Chi

Finding The Depth

I’ve never understood people with a romantic or joyous view of life. When I was young I hated life, didn’t get on at school or with my family. It was only when I discovered martial arts and Asian philosophy that I found peace and balance. Life is suffering and learning how to see it in the right perspective and deal with it emotionally are good tools to have in your emotional toolbox. It’s always struck me that the people that have the mask of a romantic and joyous view of life also tend to be the most needy and emotionally … Continue reading Finding The Depth