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

Shedding Skins

Shedding skins As you train, meditate and grow, it’s inevitable that you will leave some family and friends behind. When you don’t fulfil their expectations and they don’t get what they want from you, they can become bitter, disappointed and accuse you of changing, if they aren’t big enough to accommodate the ‘new you’ a parting of the ways is inevitable. You will reach a point that the relationship becomes toxic for both of you and no reasonable compromise can be reached, don’t be afraid to let go because it’s best for all concerned, sometimes we have to shed our … Continue reading Shedding Skins

Setting The Right Goals

Looking at the conversations on FB this morning it struck me that many people are perfectly happy learning and teaching a martial art at a superficial level and I guess that’s the same as any other art or sport and creates a gateway and introduction for many people, but what happens when you want to go deeper? Firstly you have to decide your goals as deeper can be anything from Buddhist priest to street fighter, so the search for deeper instruction becomes the major difficulty. I could never find THE instructor I needed so had to got to various sources … Continue reading Setting The Right Goals

I’m not normal, I acknowledge that. I’m out of synch with what is accepted as ’normality’. I don’t have to try to think outside of the box, I have a problem understanding the logic of inside of it. I have never related to our culture, was a very troubled person until I discovered the intelligent analysis of Buddhism and Asian philosophy. It didn’t bring me to normality but helped me to understand that my cursed mind in our culture was also a gift that has helped me to share my ‘outside the box’ thinking with others who feel out of … Continue reading

Don’t Waste Your Time Training

Sometimes I wonder how much energy and time have I wasted on pointless exercise. All that mindless running, weight training, push-ups, sit ups, ‘warmup’ exercises and sparring that burned valuable energy, wasted time and did nothing to direct me where I needed to go. You can’t put an old head on young shoulders but with hindsight I could have done things in a far more intelligent fashion. A lot of ‘traditional training’ had so many repetions of useless movement and the blind ignorance of teaching ‘in the way my instructors taught’. Training should have a far more intelligent, structured approach … Continue reading Don’t Waste Your Time Training

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

Cultural Indoctrination

When you’re young your body can consume your soul. People notice your body, you’re proud of it and carry it in that way. You train it, dress it, preen it people notice and you are flattered by their attention. You only exist in the eyes of others and they notice you. Social media ‘selfies’ bear this out.  The gym pics, the 6 pack pics, the bathroom selfies, the desperate need to be noticed, how you look on the outside is who you are. Martial Arts clubs pander to this, meditation and a deeper, holistic health are pushed to the side … Continue reading Cultural Indoctrination