A Soft Front And A Strong Back

Why do we feel vulnerable? We were quadrupeds that stood up to become bipeds possibly to walk further in the heat to get food but essentially we’re still built like quadrupeds. This means that we face the world and others with our ‘underbelly’. That’s our vulnerability. To understand this is important, we naturally have a soft front and a strong back and can use this to our advantage. Meet the world with your empowered ‘yin’ front, meet it with courtesy, politeness and a caring, giving, empathic, compassionate front. Just understand that it is supported by a strong back. Train your … Continue reading A Soft Front And A Strong Back

Sitting At The Feet Of A Master

Sitting At The Feet Of A Master I feel I need to document this as it’s rapidly deteriorating knowledge. Our world turns on ‘easy access’, ‘easy to learn’, ‘learn quickly’, ‘learn in your own home’ and ‘get results fast’ and there are many businesses and franchises around to fill these needs, it’s not a bad thing, just the way that our culture has indoctrinated us and most people want to fill their ‘needs’ in this way’, often through books videos, online learning and/or from instructors that only have the basic knowledge themselves. Beyond that there is a rapidly disappearing way … Continue reading Sitting At The Feet Of A Master

Dealing With Lockdown Anxiety

Dealing with lockdown anxiety. Find a quiet place.Sit straight and gradually breathe deeper with spaces between the breaths.Never force or stress your breathing.Smile gently.Close your eyes, seal your senses and turn your mind inwards.Use that awareness to go through the body and release any excessive tension.You don’t have to be good at this, just do it.The more you do it, the better you get at it.Enjoy. Continue reading Dealing With Lockdown Anxiety

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