Friday, November 13, 2015

New Insights Into Fascia & Martial Arts

This basically a re-post of some earlier clips I released some time ago, but I stumbled across a nice blog post by Tom Meyers, the so called "Father of Fascia", discussing some new insights into how the body creates and transmits force that go far beyond the simple "levers and pulleys" model of days past.

 The particular insight which really caught my attention was the following quote;
 Muscles transmit beyond their attachments via the fascial fabric to structures both proximal and distal. (Myers, Vleeming, Franklin-Miller, et al) 

Students from multiple I Liq Chuan groups training with Tempe martial arts instructor Ashe Higgs.This statement should not be news to students of I Liq Chuan who have direct experience of creating and transferring force through the body structure via the "winding energy" we generate in the tissues.  Coming across the article was timely, as well as interesting, as we were discussing the use of the body tissue in class just last night.  When you learn to wrap the body there's both a personal effect and an interpersonal effect.

The personal effect is a change in the skin tone.  The skin get's tighter, the surface tension of the skin increases as you wrap more layers in the body.  It creates not only better engagement with the point of contact, but also some defensive energy.  The wrapping of many layers creates an effect similar to wearing many layers of clothing when it's cold out.  More layers means more protection, in this case from blows from your opponent.  The increase in surface tension prevents the power from the blows from penetrating to the inner layers of the body where they will do the most harm.  Traditional Chinese martial arts have various training methods for this kind of result and are often referred to as "golden bell" or "iron body" training.

Interpersonal-ly, the effect of the winding increases control over the opponent as you learn to extend the winding out from your own tissue and into your partners.  You essentially learn how to "grab" their skin with your own, and once you've grabbed it, you tighten it to establish what GM Sam Chin calls "the network".

Sifu says "Once you have the network, it's like a spider web, when anything changes, you know.  The line of tension that signals back to the center."

 Coiling Exercise

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beginner's Meditation Tip - Use Some Cushions

Almost every person who attempts meditation for the first time (or few times) almost invariably discovers one thing very quickly; sitting still can hurt... A LOT.  Especially in modern times where we're used to lounging, slouching and generally sitting with our backs supported most of the time.  Our big "prime mover" muscles are all short and stiff and our postural muscles are all weak.  Consequently, when we try to sit cross legged it's a miserable experience.

Although Im not going to get into the specifics of proper posture in this post, I do want to share with you a simple and easy way to set up some "guerrilla cushions" so you can set yourself up for success.
If you want to sit for 20 or 30 minutes and you can't manage a full lotus, you need to use some cushions, but they can be expensive.  Check out the video clip below to find out how you can get yourself set up for free!

If you would like more in depth instruction or just want some people to practice with in the Tempe, Arizona area give us a call at 6027517003.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Best of 2015!

Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015Great news everybody!  Our Tempe, AZ martial arts classes have been selected as a "Best of 2015" by based on our many great student reviews.

One small error, they said we teach "judo", which we do not, we teach I Liq Chuan, but hey, my dad still asks me "How's your karate going?" after more than 15 years, so I'm assuming that's what they meant.

Check out what our students are saying about us;

3 Classes for $19.99!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Chinese Martial Arts | Guan Dao - Heavy Weapons For Strength & Power

I've been finding a lot of good martial arts stuff on Facebook lately. Although this kind of strength and conditioning isn't specifically a part of the I Liq Chuan curriculum, most of the higher level guys at Falling Leaves Kung Fu practice some kind of personal conditioning routine on their own, like using kettelbells, Indian clubs and gymnastic exercises.

In the video below, a man named Luo, Dahai demonstrates using a 200 lbs Guan Dao 关刀 (pole arm), talk about ligament and tendon strength! I love seeing these old tigers still getting after it.

The Spanish text says
Luo Dahai belongs to the Hunyuan Wushu school in Shandong, Yuncheng province. He's dedicated his life to the study of traditional martial arts and specializes in the Dadao, or Guan Dao, handles 120kg without trouble at more than 60 [years old].  An expert in Shuaijiao (Chinese wrestling) and self defense.  [Actually] he studied Xingyiquan under Master Zhangping, disciple of Grand Master Zhang, Xigui.

Luo Dahai pertenece a la escuela Hunyuan Wushu, es de la provincia de Shandong, Yuncheng, se ha dedicado una vida al...
Posted by Longhun Wudao Guan - 龙魂武道馆 on Friday, August 28, 2015
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Friday, September 11, 2015

Of Kung Fu & Fortune Cookies

I'm not gonna lie.  Things are tough right now. 

Although I know that coming back to Tempe is going to be the right decision long term, bouncing back and forth across the country has left me pretty much starting over again from the bottom, which at 40, is not easy, but this is why we train martial arts; to have the mindset and the skills to persevere in the face of adversity, and I got a timely reminder of that recently in a fortune cookie (it was the only good thing to come out of the meal as the food was terrible).

I recently had a student from our classes here in AZ ask me
Sifu, I want to ask something. How in the HELL have you kept your heels in the ground with ILC as long as you have? What's kept you from going the easy route? At least in the beginning, when things seem so intangible and downright friggin impossible sometimes?
it's simple. when you want to quit; don't.
It doesn't have to be martial arts, but if you just pick one thing and start there, keep at it no matter how tough it gets, don't quit, don't give up, pretty soon that resolve and determination starts to become a skill you can apply to any area of the rest of your life.

Everything in life is "come /go".  There will be easy times and difficulties. When you find yourself in a tight spot somewhere in your life, if you've developed this kind of attitude, you'll have the tools to deal with it.  Not to mention that some outcomes can only be achieved through long term, relentless grinding.  That's the true meaning of kung fu; effort put in over time, weeks and years.

As they say, "eat bitter to taste sweet", or as I heard someone say more recently "Without the challenges you can never be f*cking awesome!"

Yes, things are tough right now, but they won't always be.  In the mean time, we just keep grinding.
Tough times are easier when you're surrounded by a positive community! Take advantage of the special offer above and get three lessons for just $19.99!

Friday, September 04, 2015

Martial Arts & The Elderly...

You wouldn't think this little old lady could be a martial artist, but just look at how great she does! Don't let your excuses, whether it's age, your weight or other circumstances get in the way of what you want out of life. Sometimes, all you need is to be around the right people to help keep you moving forward. If you'd like some help meeting your goals, we'd love to be a part of your experience!

Uma arte chamada capoeira, só quem pratica entende.Capoeira Movies
Posted by Capoeira Movies on Monday, May 18, 2015

If you'd like to know more about our Tempe, Arizona martial arts classes use the coupon below to take advantage of our special offer or call 315-628-0777 to get started!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Chinese Martial Arts | Culture -Ghost Month

Here in Tempe, Arizona most people are no strangers to the Mexican holiday of Dia De Los Muertos which takes place before Halloween, but did you know that the Chinese have an equivalent holiday on their calendar?

This month, - the gates of hell open- ghosts/spirits come to visit the living world- most Chinese people avoid...
Posted by Chineasy on Friday, August 28, 2015

This month happens to be the "Ghost month" on the Chinese lunar calendar, during which the living mourn the loss of loved ones, although according to my I Liq Chuan kung fu brother Jeff Wong, most people in Chinese culture seldom observe the old customs associated with Ghost Month anymore.

The Ghost Festival (also known as Zhongyuan Festival by Taoists or Yu Lan Pen Festival by Buddhists) is the day to sacrifice to the deceased.

In Chinese culture, it is thought that all ghosts will come out from the hell on the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month, so the day is called the Ghost Day and the seventh lunar month is the Ghost Month.

In China, people also have the custom of sacrificing the deceased on the Spring Festival, Qingming Festival, and the Double Ninth Festival. But different from these festivals, the Ghost Festival is the day that all ghosts will come out to visit the livings. Also, people only offer sacrifices to their ancestors and relatives on the above festivals, while during the Ghost Festival, besides ancestors and relatives, people will sacrifice to all the ghosts or spirits. The Ghost Festival is regarded as the most important one among all the festivals that sacrificing the deceased.

In honor of the Ghost Month, we offering a short term special on our Tempe, Arizona martial arts classes! Call 315-628-0777 to take advantage of the coupon below.

Service To Others...

Or "What I Learned Serving Tea To Sifu"

If you spend much time learning Chinese martial arts (kung fu), you're sure to be exposed to Chinese culture as a matter of course. (I've written some about this before here.)

One of the most time honored traditions of Chinese martial arts is serving tea to your Sifu and to your seniors in the art.  The practice varies widely from school to school, and in China, from village to village.

Since I recently spent so much time at Sifu's house, naturally I spent a lot of time serving tea! Over the years I experienced a lot of stress trying to make sure Sifu's cup was never empty.

Initially I viewed the practice as one of a) Confucian fealty and b) an exercise in awareness. (Can I keep my attention on Sifu's cup strong enough to notice when it's getting low.)

However, after my most recent trip to Sifu's house I had, what I think, is a revelation;

Serving the tea as a sign of respect for Sifu is only a very superficial level of understanding.  Rather than try to watch Sifu's cup like a hawk, I started to think "if I'm thirsty, maybe Sifu is too.."

"More tea Sifu?"

I think when you look at things this way, you start to see "the other" in yourself more.  I'm starting to see the needs of others in my needs, and trying to use that as an opportunity to be of service to others.

If you'd like to know more about our Chinese martial arts classes in Tempe, Arizona, please call us at 3156280777, to use the coupon below - Just $19.00 for three classes. 100% money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied!