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Three Treasures

In my late teens I spent a few months working in a book warehouse, saving up to go away on another travelling adventure. I wasn’t interested in much else at that age, other than books, so compared to some other mind numbing temporary jobs I had grafted away at in …

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Martial Arts for Stress, Balance, and Happiness

During the 15 years that I had a career in the corporate world, I was often asked how I was able to not display signs of stress when everything seemed to be going wrong – as it very often does when you work in IT!   My standard answer was, …

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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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One Week In

It is a week since we had our first online lesson and my physical contact with the outside reduced significantly. I thought I would share how my week has been and where my thoughts are now. We seem to be heading towards the peak of the virus in the UK …

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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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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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How does an undisciplined person become a martial arts instructor?

I was asked a question recently related to disciple, and how I’d managed to become a martial arts instructor, when as a person I’ve often had a downright disdain for discipline (school!) and have often been one to (at least sometimes metaphorically) stick two fingers up to authority figures.  Admittedly, …

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