Look To The Old to Understand The New

温故 (On-ko) is to ask old things. 知新 (Chi-shin) is to know new things. This is really interesting, the idea or principle of learning should be properly understood and permeate everything in our lives and particularly our martial arts. We are often guided toward modern business and spiritual gurus wasting a lot of time and money, not really understanding that there’s nothing ‘new’ in the universe and that truth stands for all time in all things. If we know how to look, the roots are deep and worth researching. For me, ‘truth’ in the way the world works, the underlying … Continue reading Look To The Old to Understand The New

Eye Usage In Tai Chi

Eye usage in Tai Chi: It’s important to understand that your eyes lead your intention and your intention leads your chi. The more powerful and focused your intention, the more powerful and focused your chi. 1st level – you ‘look’ at the leading limb where it’s contacting the opponent to send your chi to that point. This has to then be internalised and sustained for the whole form. 2nd level – on top of that you then also ‘see’ the other limb using peripheral vision and how that is being used to manipulate the opponent in its passive form. This … Continue reading Eye Usage In Tai Chi

Tribal Chief To Beggar

Tribal Chief To Beggar… I used to be the leader of the tribe.I was the protector, the strongest,And everyone followed my example.I wore my scars with pride and my powerful spirit carried my body with ease.I was intolerant of the weak, convinced that everyone could and should exceed their personal barriers.If I could, they should. Time bought me to my knees.I realised that some battles can’t be won,As my body deteriorated bit by bit,Accidents, sickness, wear and tear and cellular breakdown took their toll.Until I could no longer lead,My spirit became a prisoner in my body,I needed other people to … Continue reading Tribal Chief To Beggar

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