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self improvement

Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong

One of the oldest and most famous of all qigong sequences is ‘Ba Duan Jin’, or ‘Eight Pieces of Brocade’, also known as ‘Eight Treasures’.  Visit parks across China in the mornings and you’ll see individuals or groups practicing a variation of the form which has been passed down and …

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Routine, Reflection, and Readiness

As we slide into week two of isolation and / or social distancing it is beginning to feel like a new kind of normal and I am sure that I am not the only one who has slipped into a new routine that is making my ‘normal’ day to day …

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The Subtle Power of Qigong

It’s easier than tai chi and less physically strenuous than yoga. It builds a subtle strength and flexibility throughout the whole body and you feel great afterwards.  Entrenched in Chinese medicine and having stood the test of time (5000 years by some accounts), Qigong might just be the perfect activity …

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Kung Fu Beats Coronavirus

As a martial artist we spend a great proportion of our lives putting our bodies as well as our minds into uncomfortable situations and positions.   Take my favourite exercise for example, the low horse stance (those who know me will not be surprised!). It’s the perfect example of physical …

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Jack Kerouac, Toilet Paper, and Finding Your Purpose

I haven’t written a series of blog posts for a while, the last time was whilst I was in China last summer. I was expecting to do something a little similar this summer coming but you know what they say about the best laid plans.    So here we are, …

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Tick Tock Tick Tock

I really don’t like the sound of a ticking clock, I find it incredibly irritating and (as happened in my kitchen this morning as I had previously been enjoying a coffee) my conscious thoughts and the tick tock tick tock became synchronised and I swear it became louder with each …

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Death

This week, to ease her suffering after a couple of illnesses that she couldn’t shake, I was forced to make the difficult decision of putting my cat to sleep. It is a week in which I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about death. It seems to me …

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When things don’t go to plan…

I know of quite a few people going through a hard time at the moment – personally, and/or professionally – and life’s crueler events often seems to happen at this time of year, when in my part of the world at least, it’s grey, damp, and generally a bit miserable …

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Benefits of Martial Arts Weapons Training

There comes a point in the training life of every traditional martial artist when the shiny glint of a blade catches their eye and lures them into the temptation of training with traditional weapons.  For me, it began with the ‘jian’, more commonly known on these shores as a Chinese …

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Just get started…

This week’s theme is all about how to get yourself started on a task, instead of delaying, and I have to admit that I don’t have anything other than a general  topic for this blog post as yet. So, I’m just starting… One thing that I like to do sometimes …

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