I asked a question of my website members two nights ago on our private discussion page for members only. There was a great response.
I asked if they joined to learn the arts (and Qigong) for health, fitness and meditation, or did they join for the self-defense instruction?
The answers were a mixture. Some do it primarily for health and fitness, especially if they are older.
Some people say they do not have training partners, so they are hampered in learning self-defense.
But some members are already studying in other schools with other teachers and are looking for more authentic internal principles, or their instructors do not teach self-defense at all.
I believe if you are studying with a teacher who does not teach fighting applications of every movement, you should run away and look for a new teacher. But if you are in that situation, you can learn the information you need on my site and you will probably then be able to teach your instructor. He or she should be paying YOU....
Do you know all six of the key skills you need to know for quality internal martial arts?
These skills are taught in the Internal Strength section on my website, and I always urge new members to begin in that section.
Beginning your own study can be overwhelming. Where do you begin?
This post is an attempt to answer that question.
Step One -- The Ground Path.
You will read this quote from many masters: "All strength begins with the ground." The ground path gives your movements a foundation of strength.
To use the ground, you need to set up your body structure so there is a "path" from the ground to the part of the body that is most active in attack or defense at that moment.
Step Two -- Peng Jin
The ground path and peng jin work together. Good internal movement requires both.
Peng jin can be described as an expansive force or feeling through your movement, like a beach ball filled with air. You can press on a beach ball and it will give a bit, but not much, and the...
I have been doing this podcast for a few years now, but I have never talked with someone who has studied tai chi directly from the Yang family.
Holly Sweeney-Hillman teaches in the Bedminster area of New Jersey. She is a student of Yang Zhenduo and Yang Jun. Holly is the Center Director for Bedminster/Montclair Yang Family Tai Chi Center and Senior level instructor of Traditional Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, has been teaching movement arts for 25 years and is an Adjunct Professor of Tai Chi Chuan at Kean University, Union, New Jersey.
We had a very enjoyable discussion. It is always fun for me to realize how much we can have in common with people who love the internal arts, or any martial art, even when we come from different "styles."
I hope you enjoy this program. You can listen to it here or download it (see the little download button on the right side of the controls). If you like it, please spread it to your friends in the arts.
The podcast is also available from...
Life is fragile. We live day-to-day and take a lot of things for granted -- our health, our futures, and the people in our lives.
Sometimes, we are slapped with the cold hand of reality.
One of my website members, Michael Todd, passed away last night in Port Richey, Florida.
Michael was about 50 years old, with a loud voice. He has been a member of my website for almost two years and began calling on the phone almost immediately.
"I'm working on the Xingyi, Mr. Ken," he would say.
"You don't have to call me Mister," I said during the first call.
"Oh, that's just the way I talk," he said. "I love you, brother."
Now, it's unusual for a guy you don't know to tell you he loves you right off the bat, so I was a bit leery of him at first. I just wasn't sure. But he kept calling every week, letting me know how he was progressing, and finally, we set up a live one-on-one coaching session via Skype.
When we did the live session, I was surprised at how well he had learned the Xingyi...
Are you a former martial artist, in your thirties, forties or fifties, still athletic and looking to stay in shape, develop more mental and physical balance and continue learning self-defense skills in a way that will challenge you but won't leave you injured the next morning?
Do you live in the Quad Cities area (Iowa/Illinois)?
It is time to resume your martial arts journey by trying a free practice with our small group of adults.
I don't seek "local" students very often, and what we offer is more complex than some younger guys want to study. Young guys want to learn to "fight." But we have a few more years under our belts, and we are not preparing to enter an MMA cage with an opponent who has cauliflower ears.
We are learning self-defense arts that have tremendous depth in body mechanics and in the mental aspects of maintaining balance. There is a reason these are called "martial arts."
Anyone can pound on another human being. The internal arts focus on something...
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