Articles, Uncategorized

Why Tai Chi Is Losing The ‘Martial’

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We are in danger of losing real Tai Chi. Whilst many practice for the health benefits, few still teach the martial. Many that do either try to to make it ridiculously ‘magical’ or they apply their other martial skills to applications, but in doing so are losing the unique skills that make it special.

The combination of peng and sung give Tai Chi continuous structural integrity and root. The continuous spiralling and internal system gives the ability to receive an opponent in a combination of the 13 dynamics, disrupting their structural integrity and root, negating their ability to continue attacking without losing that of the practitioner.

The training structure is uniquely layered to build these skills in a way the I’ve not seen in any other art.

The ‘hidden’ aspects therefore are merely subtle use of these skills that are difficult to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for and because they are not ‘obvious’ they’re not youtube friendly.

Because they don’t fit into the social media zeitgeist they are fading away.

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Articles, Uncategorized

Making Tai Chi Your Own

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Making Tai Chi Your Own

At 68 years of age, after nearly 5 decades in the Martial Arts and 15 surgeries and 2 life threatening infections in my legs leaving me with one leg 2 inches shorter than the other, one with no knee and fused straight, the other with a metal knee and 3 quads missing on both legs, the powerful antibiotics have ruined all my joints and left me with severe and painful arthritis, I have to use a crutch to walk and have terrible trouble balancing on my legs with no ability to control a forwards pull or push.  Without my Tai Chi I would have been relegated to a wheelchair many years ago.

The meditation and neigong have been invaluable in helping me cope with an immense amount of pain and illness giving me the ability to accept what I have and don’t have and the power to change that which I can. It has helped me to cope with ageing, sickness and cope with the possibility of death. It has helped me to develop emotional intelligence and the ability to work with a support team at the Dojo and in my seminars and coaching programmes.

The qigong has helped to maintain mobility, opening the joints and soft tissue enhancing blood, air and neurological flow and to assist the lymphatic system. It also encourages the power lines through the body.

I have to adapt much of what I do, I can do the form without the crutch but adapt, stances, turns and kicks, taking my body through it’s full range of movement every day and when my legs are tired I train leaning or seated. I can still do the full range of the Yang family system, the standing, exercises, Yang Chen Fu form, Long Boxing, all the weapons, push hands drills and 2 person Sanshou Form, albeit in my own way.

I still teach and train every day, do seminars every weekend (68 last year) and teach the Shi Kon Tai Chi Coaching Programmes to many Instructors.

So many people give up when they can’t do technique the same way as others and yet we all teach that martial arts should be for everyone, many students enjoy learning from me because they know that I can teach anyone to train well and having been ‘through the mill’ myself, will have the patience to work with their problems.

Until you’ve been there, you can only guess what many people are going through, having been in the very worst of crippling pain and mental anguish, I can validate what I’m teaching to others from personal experience.

The moral of this story is that no matter what problems, physical, emotional and mental you may be going through, Tai Chi is an adaptable and useful tool for you to utilise to maintain and improve what you have and a focus to move forwards with, whatever your age or ability.

I make sure that all my Shi Kon Coaches develop the patience, kindness, tolerance, compassion and knowledge to be able to teach whoever comes to them for help.

I have coaches all over England and the Czech Republic, if you would like to find one close to you get in touch with me.

 

 

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Articles, Uncategorized

The Fork In The Martial Road

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The Fork In The Martial Road

We start training in the martial arts to improve ourselves. We get fitter, healthier, better at technique and go up in our own and other’s estimation, often taking responsibility to teach and having others look up to us. This brings us to an important fork in the road of our martial arts training.

We may have been weak, greedy for money, lust driven to manipulate others, bullied or a bully and/or a narcissist. Martial arts training SHOULD then reduce those weaknesses and make us a more disciplined, empathic, compassionate, tolerant and helpful person, but at this ‘fork in the road’ we may take that route or with our new found power become more greedy, lustful, bullying and narcissistic.

Good quality martial arts should be our priority and helping others to get there is our role as mentor to others. If money, sex, vanity, or the control of others becomes our priority, then we took the wrong road at that fork.

When it’s all about the teacher and not the teachings, it’s wrong. When it’s all about the ‘business’ and not the standard of the art, then it’s wrong. We need to know about the teacher, we need to pay the bills, but the art, the standard and the transmission should come first, if it doesn’t, you’re on the wrong road.

Any mentor of martial arts teachers and coaches should teach this first. Our primary function is as martial artists and then we take care of business and encourage and help others to become better people without harming or damaging them.

The irony is that if we work this way, others recognise what we are and that we don’t see them as ‘punters’ or targets for our narcissism. Students will have confidence in us, we will retain them and have a successful club.

As the business guru’s would say….. win/win…..

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Interviews & People, Uncategorized

Interviews

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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

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Articles, Uncategorized

Steve Rowe Articles

Steve Tai Chi Pose

These articles have been written over a 40 year period and many appeared in Martial Arts Illustrated, Traditional Karate and Combat magazines.

Time and Awareness
Making Tai Chi Your Own
Dieting Is Mind and Emotions
The Fork In The Martial Road
Dealing With Obesity
The Spirit Door
Fasting Diet & Buddhism
Obesity – What Happened?
How To Change The World
Doorstep Zen
3 Ways To Practice Tai Chi
Putting Your Head In Your Anus
Martial Arts Bullies
My Body Is Like My Dog
What’s In It For Me?
Why Are You Ignoring Your Oldest Friend?
Meditation, Sleep and Dying
Intensity In Meditation
Being A Good Student
Buddha Was A Proper Geezer
2 Triples For Happiness
Making Sense Of The Universe With Kata/Form
Come Together…
Find Your Own Martial Art
Why ‘Positive Thinking’ Doesn’t Work…
The ‘Empty Force’ Of Tai Chi
The Dark Side Of Pain
Cognitive Dissonance In The Martial Arts
Keep Your Child Safe!
Direct Knowledge Is Different
Principled Training And Existence
If I die tonight
Teaching Older People
Rules Of Self Defence and Bullying
I Should Be Dead
Stop Bullying
Iaido – The Cutting Edge
Standing Neigong
Mindulness
Back To Front Martial Arts
Compassion
Winner Or Loser?
Rules To live by…
Guns, Violent Crime &The Elephant In The Room
How To Ruin Your Child’s Training
Compassion And The Martial Arts
Fighting Yourself
How Tai Chi Saved My Life
Don’t Think – Feel
Kung Fu Kids Codes
What Tai Chi Gives Me
The ‘Taste’ Of Kung Fu
Why Bowing Is Important
Yang Tai Chi ‘Head & Feet’
Do You Train To Fight?
What Is Natural In The Martial Arts
Internet Tough Guys
Don’t Mess With My Martial Arts
The Magic Key
Tai Chi And Driving Your Car
Sanchin – Harmonising Mind, Body & Breath
Pain In The Martial Arts
Use Your Head!
Why Yang Tai Chi Is A Deadly Fighting Art
Fa Jing In Yang Tai Chi
I Don’t Believe In PMA
13 Dynamics Of Tai Chi
I Only Wanted To Be Kwai Chang Cain
The Path To Success
What Is Reiki
How To Deal With Bullying At School
Milk Of Amnesia
10 Essential Points Of Martial Arts Leadership
Peace Is Earned
Grading At Shi Kon
3 Most Important Points In Martial Arts Training
Who Are You Kidding?
The Power Chain
What’s Wrong With The Martial Arts?
Arousal In The Martial Arts
Women In The Martial Arts
Kata Doesn’t Work In A Fight
Connecting Hands And Feet
The Art Of Listening
The Language Of The Body…
Continuous Neigong…
The 4 Blocks Of Karate
Buddhist Alchemy In The MartIal Arts
Simple Neigong – Insomnia Buster!
Age With Dignity…
The Alchemy Of Tai Chi Chuan
Grading Problem…
The Best Martial Art And Teacher…
Martial Arts – The Masterkey!
25 Signs You’re Ageing In The Martial Arts
Martial Arts Biggest Secret…
Tai Chi Does You…
Chinto Kata (Gankanku)
Invest In Loss..
Soft And Slow Or Efficient…
Arrogance At Black Belt
Revenge Of The Stolen Pen
Move Like A Porsche
The Structure Of Kata
Training With Age
Power For Punching
Beginner’s Mind
The Yo Yo as a Martial Arts Weapon..
What Is Chi..
When Your Imaginary Opponent Wins
Healing In The Martial Arts
How To Get A Black Belt
Ethical Is Successful Business In Martial Arts
Vicars, Tarts and Martial Arts
Emotional Intelligence in Martial Arts
No One Fights With Swords Anymore
I Have A Dream…
Cultural Stories In Tai Chi Postures
The Simple Guide To Meditation
The Chakras
How To Be Happy
10 Stress Busters
Why Questions Are Important
Dojo Visitor
Tai Chi Makes You Beautiful
The Speed Of Chi
Feather On The Breath Of God Qigong
Sanchin To Tensho
Defence Against The Self
Powerful Grading Speech
Why Karateka Can’t Make A Stance
Injury Prevention
How To Hammer And Screw Your Opponent
MMA Or Karate?
I Don’t Do Nice
Responsibility Of An Instructor
Positive Visualisation In Kata
It’s Not What You Do
The Meaning Of Life
How To Avoid Being Clumsy
Icebergs Instead Of Mountains
Kamae In Karate
Ignorance Of Youth
Hands Of A Clock
Chi – The Users Manual
There’s One In Every Martial Arts Club
Right Effort In Training
Grading In The Martial Arts
Yin Yang Tai Chi Method
Gossip In The Dojo
Training Children Need Parents Support
Kata – Wearing The Skin Of Your Ancestors
Sink, Swallow, Float And Spit
The Internet And Martial Arts
Magpie Mind And Tai Chi
Stand, Walk And Run Skills
Freestyle (Ji Yu) Kata
How To Stop Bullying
How To Do Kata
No Competition – No Fight
Waving Hands Like Clouds
The Importance Of Qigong In Form
Hand Healing In The Martial Arts
Mindset In Karate
Tai Chi – The Ultimate Skirmish Art
It’s All About Respect
Martial Arts Merchants
Europe’s Warrior Monks
Disguised Buddhism
Martial Chakras
Martial Parenting
Both Sides Of The Brain
Religion And Karate
In Memory Of Alan Emery
Translation Of Uke
The Old Days
Working Together
One Foot In Life And One In Death
Perspective In Tai Chi
Dealing With Clumsiness
Happiness
It’s Simple
The Green Eyed Monster
A Street Fight
Simple Or Skilfull RBSD
The Bows And Pumps Of Tai Chi
Training For Pleasure
Want And Need In The Martial Arts
Deception And Speed
4 Elements And Martial Arts Training
Philosophy Is Important In Training
Bowing In Karate
Sensitivity In The Martial Arts
The Martial Arts And Violence

 

 

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Poems, Uncategorized

Steve Rowe Poetry

Photo on 27-09-2016 at 12.30

These poems are my martial arts soul, each one is the result of a meditation.

The Silence And Stillness Behind It All
Finding Myself….
Breathing With Your Body
The Tao Through Yin & Yang
Neigong Balance
Seeing Your Soul
Old Man Martial Arts
I Alone Am Still….
The Sky Weeps To The Earth
Tai Chi Is About Depth
The Yin Yang Transitions
The True Perspective
Lose Yourself
Nature’s Way
They’re Not Your Friends….

The Present Is A Present
Liar, Liar Your Pants Are On Fire
Old Man On A Bench
Winter
 Sun
Like Waves On The Sea
I Can Beat The Buddha In A Fight!
Letting Go…
Inside Out
I See You
Mass Slaughter
A Walk In The Woods
The Eyes Of The Dead
A Golden Cage Is Still A Cage
The Softest Touch
A Different Tao
I’m Only Visiting
Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory
A Door Inside
A Past Life
Losing The Way
Heaven Or Hell
Zombie Or Alive
DoThe Dead Speak?
It’s A Kind Of Magic
Death In Battle..
The Training Bank
Stick A Needle In Your Eye…
A Black Belt…
Internal Or External?
The Stopped Breath…
My Immortal Soul
Inside Out…
Blind Assumptions…
Blood On Wood…

Bullying….
The Yin Factor
Martial Arts Are Defensive
Life’s Not Fair…
The Aliens have Landed!
Magpies and Monkeys
Looking Back Down Our Eyes..
Who Do You Train For?
You Can’t Stop Growing Old…
Armed Or Unarmed?
Bringing Zombies To Life
The Peng Balloon
Kata A Waste Of Time?
Like A Never Ending Circle…
Putting The Egg In The Eggcup
The Deepest Door..
Direct Transmission…
Eating Bitter..
Death Is A Warm Blanket…
Dealing With Fear
Are You A Fattist?
The Happy Button…
The Learning Process
What Happened?
Seeing With Clarity
It’s Yesterday No More
Diversity and Compassion…
The Beast That Lurks Within
You’ll Have To Kill Me…
3 Essentials To Enlightenment
Taking Or Giving?
It’s Not What You Do
Why Me?
Learning Friendship..
The Secret Of Internal Power

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Poems, Uncategorized

They’re Not Your Friends….

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They’re Not Your Friends….

Those thousands of voyeurs you have on social media;
The people that appear to be friends all the time they get what they want from you;
Using you as a stepping stone to climb the social ladder;
They’re not your friends;
They will stick a knife in your back as soon as it suits them.

Your friends are always there;
Whether they agree with you or not;
Even if being friends with you harms their ‘social standing’;
They support you in the hard times;
Phone you when there’s no reason;
Send you jokes they know you’ll find funny.

Friends don’t need reminding that they are friends;
They are always just one call away;
Their help is never conditional;
Never an inconvenience;
They always know it’s mutual.

Martial Arts students and peers become friends;
They sweat together,
Bleed together,
Cry together,
Laugh together,
Forging memories from the fires of hell.

A martial artist has 2 families;
Both made in blood;
Shallow people will never understand this;
If you think everyone is a deceiver;
Maybe you should look at yourself?

There are diamonds on that beach of pebbles;
What you give you shall receive;
If you can stick to your guns;
Follow the ‘way’ assiduously and with honesty;
Others will recognise you soul to soul.

And they will become your true friends.

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