The Martial Arts have always been an important piece
of my personal practice. Along with Dance, Performance Work, Hands On Work and Movement Awareness, the Martial Arts have been a cornerstone in my personal and professional development. I have always seen the relevance of the Martial Arts for anybody studying movement in any
of its myriad of manifestations.
My history began with the study of Tai C'hi Chuan in 1970.
I studied it for four years before stopping. In the 70's I also
studied Aikido for a couple years and then in 1978 I started
my 14 year affair with Capoeira. This Brazilian Martial Art
felt like I had come home. I first saw it in Brazil in 1969
but couldn't find it in the Bay area until 1978.
In 1982 I began started studying the Filipino Martial Arts. It is a powerful art that has many applications beyond the "martial" aspects.
I began QiGong in 1993 and still practice, and teach this practice, which I find incredibly valuable as a Martial Artist, Body Worker and Human Being. I studied Tae Kwon Doe for two years in the mid 90's but at my age at the time it was too much stress on my joints.
?When we begin to have a relationship/dialogue with our Kinesthetic selves we open to the possibility of a new way os seeing, perceiving, thinking, moving and ultimately, being.?
Then the circle came back around in 2000 when I started back with Tai Qi Chuan. I have included single and double Fan.
Additionally, I have been studying a unique form that combines Tai Qi with QiGong, Yoga and Dance called Tai Yi Swimming Dragon Swimming Dragon Chuan.
This is a unique and quite beautiful form. I then added
a Tai Qi Sword to my practice. It is out of the same family as the Swimming Dragon form called Tai Yi Riding the Wind Sword.
Presently my practice with and in the Martial Arts is one of repetition of the forms. My intention is to deepen my understanding of the movements, to deepen my relaxationin the practice, to calm and center myself in my body mind, and to deepen my movement as a meditation in action.
I feel an important aspect of the Martian Arts is to learn to relax in action, in the stress of the moment. The more relaxed
I am the more efficient and effective I am going to be in anything I do.
My overall approach is in the tradition that the enemy I am confronting is within. The problem is not out there, the problem is inside of me. It is my fear, anger, frustration etc that I am training to master and not have them running me.
The training is to wake up to the reality that I am training to be a warrior for peace and love. That is an on going study and begins with myself. From there I can start to move out and affect others;
Watch The Swimming Dragon video here.
I would like to conclude with a short quote from Everyday Tao:
Living with Balance and Harmony by Deng Ming-Dao
Martial skills are the same as any learning:
they are a matter of personal ability and integrity.
The dedication it takes to write poems or recite
scripture is the same dedication it takes to be martial.
Those who follow Tao understand that the value
of being martial is not aggression toward others,
but the development of skill, confidence, loyalty,
The sword in the word Wu is not to slay others,
but to subdue the self."