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.
Words are easy, but we can avoid just blowing mouth-wind here by listing some timeless guides for self-growth, followed by training suggestions:
* The physical and cerebral functions die, while the spirit continues to grow. This is a no-brainer, but it's amazing how many clubs are satisfied with learning only to kick butt. What's left when full contact is a thing of your matured past, with only knee pains to jolt a dim memory? Lots of ways to answer that one-and it's better to cultivate chi and meditation practices now.
* Assume you know nothing-then the Superior Man will appear. The most formidable opponent is your own ego. In training, first learn to listen and watch carefully, then proceed with selfless attention and caution. Your higher functions will then operate without impediments.
* No authority exists outside of your Self. The successful student-master relationship is necessarily a symbiotic one. Each needs the other in order to bring the task at hand to fruition. Many modern followers of the martial arts have forgotten that the grading system produces no absolute ranks. The system is circular: the student must decide by what criteria he wishes to be graded, and then he finds an acceptable person to confer the content of the desired curriculum. Similarly, the teacher must decide the qualities of a potentially desirable student, then contract with that candidate. Both are dipping from the same well, both are reflections of a Being offering meta-cultural sustenance.
* Nature points the Way. It is not possible to express in words what is most real, sublime, and ultimate. Recognizing the limitations of the intellect, martial training traditions guide with the lamp of direct experience. The fool wastes energy talking, while the Master gets on with the work-usually outside.
* Change or die. You are here to evolve, and that means transformation-rarely pleasant, always necessary if we wish to do more than languish in a past of illusions. That which does not change dies soon thereafter. It's important to keep your training fresh and stimulating; this usually will mean putting some quality hours into solitary disciplines.
* Comfort is dangerous, seek the difficult. In training, eat bitter every day. Don't forget to hammer the basics: they will keep your workouts honest-and provide you with powerful tools to manifest new ideas.
* Bitter alone is a poor diet. Eating bitter every day is only one side of the tri-lateral equation. One thousand kicks daily will not stretch your mind's rational capabilities, nor will it feed psychic circuits of intuition. A complete Art of leg maneuvers combines proper attention, visualization, and conscious breath control patterns, along with repetitions of well-aligned kicking form.
* Suffering is a great Teacher, but life-threatening poverty is not Noble. It is a fact of human existence that we learn a great deal more from our struggles than from complacency. But if we are to advance in training, we must maintain a decent standard of living, thus guarding the Three Treasures of the Temple.
* Chasing the illusions of wealth, position, status, social power will stunt your evolution. Modern men have been divested, emasculated, and tamed through social programming by the culture of commerce. We are told to defend marketing strategies, bottom lines, and aggressive growth policies of business cartels. These social programmers love money. What do you love?
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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's a featured writer with the on-line martial arts magazine DRAGON'S LIST (dragonslist.com).
Nuts & Bolts of Self Defense
Fundamental "Nuts & Bolts" training for close combat should be directed at dealing with the extremes. That is a life and death struggle for survival, i.e. worst case scenario. Restraint, control, and use of force scenarios and methods are peripheral to this core training. In other words train to deal with these beliefs at the forefront: The enemy is quite willing and capable of killing you - there are multiple threats - they are armed - the assailant(s) are bigger, stronger, faster than you and they CAN FIGHT! Can it get any worse that that? Now add this to the mix: You are physically/mentally exhausted - ill or injured - caught by absolute surprise - may have to protect others as well - no viable avenue of E&E.
One of the 'mystical' aspects of the martial arts has always been the ability to feel another persons intention.
5 Steps to Choosing the Right Martial Art for You
One of the questions I get asked most frequently, in several different variations is about which martial art an individual should study. Generally which martial art, and more importantly which school to choose are fundamental decisions someone should make. My answer is usually something along the lines of, "choose the school and the system that you are going to stick with and stay with it for the rest of your life."
Break the Bones
"HONE O ORERU" is a Japanese term that translates literally as "BREAK THE BONES". It is an essential concept of true SHUGYO and a central theme of a true Budo Dojo. What this term means at it's essence has EVERYTHING to do with the forging of an iron will and a determined resolute SPIRIT. Hone O Oreru epitomizes the nature and purpose of true Budo as expressed in physical "keiko" or training.
Samurai Armor Part 1
The first prototype for Japanese samurai armor came about in the form of the yoroi during the Gempei War of 1181-1185. The weight of the yoroi was around 60lb. The upper-body armor of the samurai was known as the 'Do'. This comprised of the 'Sode', the suspended shoulder and upper-arm protection plates. The Sode had hoops by which silk cord was tied and then fixed to the back of the armor in an 'agemaki' / decorative knotted tassel. Guards were also placed over the shoulder cords, and a leather plate placed across the bow cords to prevent them from been cut or becoming ensnared during a skirmish.
Aikido Philosophy: An Oriental Concept of Energy, Self, and Mind
Interesting Facts on Samurai Sword Manufacture
A samurai's sword is his most sacred and prized possession. Not only did the samurai rely on his sword to defend him, but spiritually the sword held greater significance as the samurai actually believed his soul inhabited the sword. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the same discipline and respect in which the samurai wielded his sword, went into the actual making of the sword itself.
Safety Awareness & Self Defense: Circle of Safety
Safety Awareness & Self Defense is the responsibility of each individual. Knowing your surroundings and being aware of potential dangers is your first step towards self-defense. Avoiding and distancing yourself from circumstances that could be trouble are your responsibility.
Shigeru Kimura Sensei 9th Dan Tani-Ha Shitoryu Shukokai had a punch that was like getting hit with a cannonball.
Content, Are We?
I asked a simple question at the last seminar:
Things to Know About Learning Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)
For Easterners, particularly Chinese, this MAY not be an issue. Tai Chi Chuan is deeply rooted as part of the Chinese culture. It is known to almost everyone what Tai Chi Chuan is all about. Note there: I said "?MAY not be an issue", meaning that there are exceptions, particularly to Chinese who are not born and grown up in China.
Its Not a Matter of Who is Right
"People here may belittle sports arts...."
Have No Misconceptions
I just received an Email from a woman who has a child (3 year old) and about to have another. Considering my wife is in a similar situation, this question couldn't be more relevant. This idea can be expanded to those of us getting older, injured or of smaller stature. Keep in mind, a little common sense goes a long way.
Just as an aside. For those who would "box" us in to specific "category".........
A Few Things Everyone Should Know to Keep Themselves Safe
The following are a few thoughts about how to decrease your chances of being a victim of a violent crime. I know a lot of times we focus on the nuts and bolts of a fight and we assume most of us know these things and this information is common knowledge for some of you, but it some times it's always good to review.
Elements of Unarmed Combat
Custom build your own personal "system":
The Thumb Jab
I'm sure a lot of you remember the scene in the movie "The Presidio" were Sean Connery's character decimates the jackass in the bar with nothing more than his thumb!
Samurai Swords ? Choosing a Sword to Buy
It's undeniable that a well placed and mounted samurai sword or samurai sword set looks fantastic and an ads character to any room of the home, but is it worth spending upwards of $650 on such a sword or sword set? This all depends on your reasons for buying a samurai sword.
Who Created Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)?
I have read a number of books, articles, and novels, and have watched movies and television series that touched on the origins of Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing), and the question, "Who Created Tai Chi Chuan?" made me concern very much!
Martial Arts Sparring and Training Protective Equipment
The benefits of Martial Arts has always appealed its practitioners. The disciplined training of the mind and body give a sense of well being but some aspects of Martial Arts training do present a problem.
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