The Right Perspective

When you have the ability to separate yourself from human dogma and view life from heaven’s perspective you see that every person has their own challenges and they measure up very differently to the human cultural approach. If you look at it from a martial arts perspective, who achieves most, the natural athlete who easily gets to black belt or the disabled student who struggles their way to green belt? You can look at life in the same way, it’s not about looking at others and what they have, can do or have achieved, reality is focusing on where you … Continue reading The Right Perspective

Engage The Core & Spine

Anyone that studies with me knows that I use the word ‘engage’ a lot to do with the spine and core. This is because it takes a lot of study to learn how to use them for internal power, we have to forge really strong intimate connections to the ‘feel’ of every part of the core and spine and how to utilise them in technique. From the way we press and pulse the feet to the floor up through the legs to open and close the hips to manipulate the pelvic floor and bow and pulse the lower back, kidneys … Continue reading Engage The Core & Spine

How To Learn

When I learned my martial arts in the 70’s and 80’s I went to lessons, took a notebook and took notes in my own way. When I went home the notebook went up on the mantelpiece and I worked from there, it was very personal and taught me how to learn. When I went back for my next lesson my instructor expected me to have practised and learned what we did last time. IMO it’s still the best way to progress. Nowadays we produce the notes for the students and videos that can be used on any device, the problem … Continue reading How To Learn

The Power Of A Logo

This is an original handmade piece of glass made by Ruth Dathorne for our Dojo and is important to me as it is the only 2 logos I’ve ever used in my 50 years in the Martial Arts. ‘Logo’ means ‘word of god’ and represents the soul and ethos of my path in the Martial Arts. The person in the foreground was hand drawn by me in the 1970’s and is a yin/yang representation of a technique used in both Tai Chi and Karate and was our logo, badge and used on the front of the book we did in … Continue reading The Power Of A Logo

The Name Tai Chi

There is often a misunderstanding about the name ‘Tai Chi’. It translates as ‘grand ultimate’ and as ‘chuan’ means ‘fist’ which is the generic term for martial arts most people read it as ‘Grand Ultimate Martial Art’ and see it as arrogantly stating that it’s the best martial art which is wrong. Tai Chi is a kung fu system and had many names like ‘deceptive boxing’ and ‘soft cotton boxing’, what most people call the yin/yang symbol is properly named the ‘tai chi’ symbol and existed for a long time before the art representing the harmony of Taoism, so legend … Continue reading The Name Tai Chi

The Skeleton & Martial Arts

The skeleton plays an important part in martial arts. It gives structure to the soft tissue.If you cut it down or across the middle you can see it’s symmetry, therefore you can see the importance of left and right and upper and lower body harmony for balance, mobility and power. When balanced and the soft tissue around the joints has no excessive tension the joints are unlocked, loose and aid mobility. To destructure an opponent and make him lock his own skeleton up you only have to make any part collapse, protrude or lean out of alignment. Continue reading The Skeleton & Martial Arts

Instructor’s Eye

You think your instructors can’t see behind your BS, your excuses, your mask… but the truth is they can see right into your soul. It’s just polite for the instructor to not reveal what they see, so they smile patiently as they listen to the excuses, the distractions and only help or reveal what they see when appropriate. It’s up to the student to tread the path, to put in the time and effort, to sort out their life and emotions, an instructor has to wait until the time is right to put in their bit. But don’t think for … Continue reading Instructor’s Eye

Why I’m Different

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 … Continue reading Why I’m Different

Interviews

I’ve started compiling my old interviews and have listed them here: Interviews & People Steve Arneil Kyokushinkai Legend Wado Ryu Training In The ’60’s Toru Takamizawa Julian Dale – Eagle Claw Dave Rubens – Aikido and Security Yoshinobu Ohta Interview 2003 Mick Randall MBE Interview 2003 Mick Billman Interview 2003 Mick Gooch Interview 2003 Peter Spanton Interview 2003 Dave Hazard Interview 2003 Dave Courtney Interview 2010 Doug James Interview 2003 Jim Uglow Interview 2001 – Chap Sau Ray Fuller Interview 2003 Mick Nursey Interview 2003 Talks With Dennis Jones Giri Dennis Jones Interview Continue reading Interviews

Doorstep Zen

Doorstep Zen This is my Dojo (place of learning the ‘way’) doorstep, as you enter you bow, as you bow you look down and this is what you see. ‘Shi’ means ‘warrior’ but more in the sense of ‘cultivated person’. ‘Kon’ means ‘spirit/heart’. ‘Budo’ means ‘to stop the spear’ or peacemaker. ‘Kan’ means ‘place/clubhouse’. So, ‘the place of the peacemaker with a warrior spirit’…. As you enter the Dojo the doorstep reminds you to leave the past and and future behind and become fully immersed and engaged in the present. The bow is an act of  mental cleansing, reminding you … Continue reading Doorstep Zen