Monday, September 21, 2015

Verbal Judo

A full seminar (90 minutes) with the late George "Rhino" Thomson, English literature academic turned beat cop, on his system for de-escalating conflict:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kung Fu animals

Many styles of Chinese Boxing (aka kung fu or gong fu) have origin stories based around the observation of animal movements and fighting styles. This notion has been popularized in the Kung Fu Panda animated movie and its sequels.

Many kung fu styles incorporate aspects of multiple animals, with specific animals
  • identified with specific techniques, or entire "sets"
  • taken to embody a particular of mindset and/or physical characteristics
In drawing on the animal heritage of kung fu it is helpful to learn more about the nature of the animals in question. Ways to do so include:
  • Visiting a zoo for direct observation
  • Watching nature documentaries and clips
  • Learning about the cultural significance of the animals
And, of course, go practice and pay attention to what you find!

* * *

In Hung Kuen chinese boxing (and other styles) the main five animals are:
  • Tiger (trains bones): sheer power, prowling, connection to the Earth, ultimate predator, claws
  • Crane (sinews): balance and grace, light footwork, wings, beak, little claws
  • Leopard (strength): speed, unusual angles of attack, no blocking, leaping, claws
  • Snake (qi): adaptability, fluidity, precise attacks, bite
  • Dragon (spirit): combines aspects of the other animals, mysterious, omni-directional, powerful twisting, wings, tail, claws
A Tiger posture

The Five Animal Frolics is a qigong based on a different set of five animals (with tiger and crane in the overlap): bear, tiger, monkey, crane, and deer.

Other animals of note include the praying mantis, monkey, and eagle. 

Xing Yi features ten to twelve animals, depending on lineage.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Jiu-Jitsu: Challenge yourself

Our new promotional poster:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

A few throws: animated!

We pulled out a camera (thanks Ash!) at the end of 2014 and several of my senior students demonstrated a few of their favourite throwing techniques.

Although we were after stills, I thought some of the sequences might make nice animations:

Lejoe throws John: 3rd shoulder throw (kata guruma)
John throws Damian: stomach throw with stick 
Damian throws John: 3rd sutemi (maki tomoe)