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The Plight of Industrialized Man
Living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge for any body: the poor excuse for weather west of the Cascades is one of the worst on earth for human health. Luckily our Ch'uan Fa Club meets in central Oregon several times a week, rarely missing an opportunity to train outdoors .
I'm not speaking here of a prepared arena of asphalt or even grass. I mean we use/find/even search out poor footing surfaces, including ice, deep snow, pebbles, desert sand, and forest floor.
Admittedly, it's a challenge to get new students to be involved with a teacher who trains his school outside regularly in the woods and desert, and even on mountain tops. (I never have more than 10 guys-seldom any women-who are tough enough to dare to be different.)
But it's my experience that once the cultivated, civilized martial artist gets exposed long enough to the exhilarating benefits of fresh air, wildlife and trees, his deeper roots take hold. Most of my students now find it difficult-even unpleasant-to go back to the enclosed, stuffy conditions of "normal" training halls. It's not that tough to understand why, as most of us came from peasant stock a very few generations ago, putting our reliance on modern life-style within the realm of the absurdly tenuous-not to mention degenerative.
It may not be chic or socially advantageous to admit your recent connections to Earth rhythms, but it could save your life. For a man to deny his biological heritage is a fatal error. Never mind that the industrialized world is going to hell in a mechanized hand-basket (and taking the rest of the earth's humans with them): you can marshal your piercing powers of striking to the heart of the matter by coming to terms with your natural place in this biosphere.
It is a common musing among older teachers to speak of the great "immortals" of bygone eras in martial arts. We've all heard the stories and wished we could approach the skill levels of the great ones. I think we're sliding over important points that get buried in the telling. The First Principle to successful training is to "Eat Bitter Every Day." If you don't know what that means, you may be incorrigibly industrialized and your male principle de-germinated by urban life-style. You well know that the dominating principle of modern life is to promote comfort and convenience. You tell me how such an attitude can possibly create excellence of skills and evolution of spirit.
Why have the bulk of the great men retreated to natural environment and even harsh circumstance, with only the basics of survival to sustain them, while they cultivated excellence? The answer to this question brings us to the integration of the First Principle with the Second: "Nature shows the Way." Correct me if I am misguided, but I can't seem to recall advice from any culture in synch with its environment that directs us to "come downtown" for wisdom and health.
When a human extricates himself from the rhythms of the Earth he becomes a foreigner in his own house. The strident make-up of the modern life-style has left most of us without the means of carrying forward the natural abilities and skills we inherited as a creature of natural rhythms.
The Ch'uan Fa Kempo school recently met with me for a training session that lasted 3 ½ hours. That wasn't too radical in itself (we've met over 2 ½ days before, isolated in the woods), but toss in the heavy snowstorm that swirled around us, and you get the idea. Actually, maybe you don't: we've found that it's difficult to impart to observers the changes in self-regard, the increase in focus and intent, and more importantly, the appreciation of just being outside.
View this article in its entirety:http://kempochuanfa.com
Sifu Orem holds the following ranks:
-Certified Instructor, Guang Ping Yang T'ai-Chi Assn.;
-Black Sash/Instructor, from Gung-Fu Wu-Shu Institute;
-6th Degree Black Sash in Chinese Boxing, from the International Chinese Boxing Federation;
-8th Degree Black Belt in Zen Kempo-jitsu, from the World Nibuikai Budo Federation.
He was also voted into the World Martial Arts Masters Society (head-quartered in Germany), as the ranking member of the Society.
Sifu Orem is the author of several manuals focused on the practicum and methodology of effective training, including the acclaimed SENG PING TAO: PATH OF THE WARRIOR MONK and ESOTERIC MARTIAL ARTS OF ZEN: TRAINING METHODS FROM THE PATRIARCH. He has also created and produced 50 training videos with such diverse topics as Kempo Ki/Chi Development, Northern Shaolin for the Mature Athlete, T'ai-chi and Pregnancy, a children's Kung Fu series, plus many northern and southern Shaolin hand and weapon forms. He was a featured writer with the on-line martial arts magazine DRAGON'S LIST (dragonslist.com).
Mixed martial arts knocked out, other legislation remains in the ring - The Business Review (Albany) (blog)
State Assembly Kills Legalizing Mixed Martial Arts In New York For Another Year - New York Daily News (blog)
Fun Games for Children Training in Martial Arts
Keeping children interested in their Martial Arts training requires an element of fun and games. Traditionalists are usually only concerned with the discipline and structure of their training, but incorporating fun games involving proper techniques will add to the value of training and keep the kids interested.
Samurai Sword Basics, A Brief History
Capturing the spirit of old Japan and recognised by its deadly curvature, the samurai sword is widely recognised throughout the world as the most deadly of all Japanese weaponry. Although gaining modern fame and notoriety in modern epic cinema in such films as The Last Samurai and the Kill Bill series by Quentin Tarantino, samurai swords have long being an iconic symbol of Japan and its history.
British Aikido Board National Nepotism Seminar
For many years The British Aikido Board (BAB) have shown no interest whatsoever in the true history of British Aikido, to be fair to the BAB, they have shown a great deal of interest and support for the false history of British Aikido for which they have now publicly apologised, the apology by the chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter can be viewed on www.geocities.
Martial Training as a Timeless Portal
Thanks to several centuries of enlightened teachings by extraordinary men in the martial disciplines, we don't have to be restricted to lives of getting and spending, waiting in quiet desperation for the pain to cease.Most of us in the Arts focus on the tasks in front of our noses (the correct hand forms/kicks/body alignments), forgetting our option to consciously evolve along the way to physical perfection.
I Know Karate and Kung Fu and Lots of Other Foreign Words!
Martial arts have become incredibly popular in the US. Drive through any little strip shopping center in nearly any city and you're likely to see a martial arts studio.
COMBATIVES A Rose by Any Other Name?....Part 2
The advent of World War One (the war to END all wars) brought warfare into a new and foreboding era of man to man killing and slaughter. Air power, mechanized warfare, chemical warfare and the general widespread use of machine guns changed the face of battle almost completely.
Expect the Unexpected Grass Hopper
The Myth perpetuated by Self Defense Oriented Martial ArtsI just received the following Email. I felt it needed to be shared because I feel a lot of people feel the same way?"Hello Damian,I ran across your website searching for what was out there for self defense information and have found myself researching your and Mr.
The Acronym That Saved My Life
Frequently, I get asked about certifications, systems or methods. We made a decision a long time ago of purposely staying away from things like this.
Tai-Chi for the Masses--and Others
Kuang Ping was the T'ai-chi set favored by Yang Lu-Chan, the man who brought forward the "Yang" style in the mid-1800's, now so popular throughout the world. Kuang Ping is what the man trained with himself.
Why Every Cop Should Study Judo Part 1
Up until 30 years ago, JUDO was the martial art. Then with the introduction of the more mysterious martial arts with more of a "killing" edge to them this coupled with the focus of the USJF/USJI (the leading Judo organizations in the US and the world) focus on Olympic competition and the simple fact that training in judo is painful and to this day, very difficult to get a black belt rank in it, especially if you are in a competitive area.
"Will this work so that I can use it instinctively in vital combat against an opponent who is determined to prevent me from doing so, and who is striving to eliminate me by fair means or foul". ~ Rex ApplegateIt really does NOT matter one iota what style, system, method, or technique you MAY wish to apply to your personal survival training.
COMBATIVES? ...... Don't Tell Me. I Know What That Is! (Part 1)
"Combatives" from the root word COMBAT - "to fight in direct contact", "active fighting between enemies", "any fight or struggle".Well, let's see??????.
Applying Law of Gravity to Judo
In judo it is important to throw your opponent by making use of his loss of balance, the law at work here is the law of gravity. We know that Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravitation by seeing an apple fall from a tree.
Just as an aside. For those who would "box" us in to specific "category".
Choosing a Self Defense / Martial Arts School: A Parents Guide
"Daddy, I want to take Karate!""Mommy, Jimmy on the bus hit me again today"There are many reasons why parents want to sign their children up for Self Defense or Martial Arts classes. Once you have made the decision, now you are faced with many different options and questions.
So you are thinking of starting to train in okinawan karate. There are a lot of choices as far as okinawan karate schools are concerned.
Benefits of Martial Arts Training For Kids
Admit it. When the going gets tough at home, we've all plopped the kids in front of the television and breathed a sigh of relief.
Do not believe that practicing "by rote" 1-2-3,etc. type "responses" to street attacks is a viable or particularly useful training exercise.
Do You Take Yours Trained or Untrained?
If you ain't pissing anyone off, you're not doing anything worth while. Like religion and politics, martial arts are not for a lack of its zealots.
A Great Question!
It's a question that we went back and forth with for awhile ourselves many moons ago. The "how" and "why" of our conclusions may be of some interest.
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