USA 2010 WTBA International Summer Camp 2010 Qi Development Tools plus
WTBA News Articles Upcoming Events 2011 & much more inside
The Complete Guide To The Internal Martial & Healing Arts
Combat and Healing Volume 61 December 2010 Editor
ÂŠDecember2010NasserButt/Combat&Healing. All Rights Reserved.
The points of view represented here are solely those of the authorsâ€™ concerned. You do not have to subscribe to them if you do not wish. Nor is their inclusion here necessarily an endorsement by the WTBA or the Erle Montaigue System.
USA 2010: A Special Report P.12 Erle Montaigue Photography Nasser Butt ÂŠ 2010
EDITOR Nasser Butt Email: CombatandHealing@gmail.com Tel: +44(0)7792242150 +44(0)1162708730 83 The Fairway, Oadby, Leicester LE2 2HP England, UK http://www.fajing-chuan.co.uk
COPYRIGHT All articles, images & logos appearing in this publication are protected under international copyright law. Please do not copy, reproduce or redistribute without prior written consent of the copyright owners.
Editor’s Note! !
Tai Chi Esoteria: The Small Frame (also for Baguazhang "Little Dragon Form") Erle Montaigue!! ! ! ! !
Leaving The Temple Kurt Levins Sr.!
Who’s Got All The Secrets? Gord Hill! ! !
WTBA USA 2010 Nasser Butt!
The Great Fighting/Healing Art of Baguazhang Samuel G. Beatty! ! ! ! !
Ji Wally Simpson! !
The Yang Lu-ch’an Root Methods Erle Montaigue!! ! !
The 5th Annual WTBA International Summer Camp Nasser Butt! ! ! ! ! !
Tai Chi Fighting Erle Montaigue!!
Tai Chi Participants Are ‘Aging Well’ Jane Hammersley! ! ! !
The Short History of Colin Power Colin Power! ! ! !
The 12 Qi Development Tools From Yang Lu-ch’an Erle Montaigue!! ! ! ! ! Page 48 WTBA International Summer Camp 2011 Information! ! ! ! !
Letters To The Editor!
Shifu or Sea Food? Nasser Butt! !
“Not Bad, Not Bad AT All” Aileen (Age Concern)! !
WTBA News & Events!
THE ERLE MONTAIGUE SYSTEM For Realistic Fighting And Healing Methods... here in Leicester and it’s turned out a beauty! Over 6 Wow... I can’t believe that a year has already elapsed
months of hard graft, recycling and some amazing
since the last issue of C&H and that Christmas is already upon us! So much has happened in the past 12 months that I don’t know where to begin. Well, I do actually - Erle headed out to the US after almost a 10 year absence and what a weekend it
energy has gone into the project, but we now have a
turned out to be, but more about that later.
venue worthy of the Erle Montaigue system. Again, more on this subject matter in the pages to come. Finally, an appeal: I am in desperate need of new articles, hence the long delay in publication. Please, get your
We had another amazing summer camp in
writing heads on and share your thoughts, skills and
Leicestershire, despite the global economic meltdown,
training methods with your WTBA community. Erle has
many friends returned for what can only be described as an
enough on his plate and it’s time for the rest of us to step up to
amazing energy-filled gathering.
the mark. You don’t have to write a best seller... just share your
Erle, having injured his leg trying to outrun the dogs, still
thoughts and ideas on the subject matter. Hey, if Gord Hill, the
managed to hobble through the camp and, as I’ve just realized,
boy from the Canadian prairies with a population of 10, can find
also, managed to release a further 28 or so DVDs on matters
something interesting to write and say, then it should be a piece
‘internal’ this year!
of cake for the rest of us! Lol.. just kidding Gord, I know the real
Eli, too, has spent the year busily globetrotting. He must
population there is 15!
have accumulated a fair few frequent flyers points by now,
All that is left for me to say is that watch out for next year, it
whilst sorting out his new abode in Swansea and injuring
promises to be an action packed one!
himself jumping into rock pools to impress the ladies! Ha, that
Have a wonderful holiday season and may whatever God it
was funny when he hobbled into the Instructor’s sessions with a
is that you do or don’t believe in grant you a peaceful, love-
suspected broken toe only to have Erle knock it!
filled and prosperous 2011.
Yes, it has been an eventful year. I myself, along with some amazing friends, have just finally finished our new training hall
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Tai Chi Esoteria: The Small Frame (also for Baguazhang "Little Dragon Form")
enhance the Qi flow and activation through each of the 12 main meridians and also through the 8 extra meridians, we enhance that healing process greatly. And this is where all of the stories of great healing come from with reference to the internal arts especially Tai Chi Ch'uan. At a beginner's level and intermediate level we do get some healing happening, but this is purely physical, like stretching or just good exercise. We do not for instance produce Human Growth Hormone while simply doing the movements of Tai Chi. This happens only when we are able to get into the advanced state of "asleep/awake".
ÂŠ2010 Erle Montaigue
Just like everyone, I would read and read then read some more when I was younger, thinking that I understood what I In writing was reading. Intellectually, I did understand, but experience this article, wise, I knew nothing. Luckily, I was taught the real thing and therefore was able to have an organic growth in my Tai Chi so I almost simply put that when I was nothing ready, IT taught me and then I onto the page. KNEW! SO Because nowadays, I hear young "masters" that's what sprouting quotes real small frame or from books and them thinking the most that they know advanced method of what they are Tai Chi is. talking about, but it is only Everything that we have ever read from the old masters, the "classics", was meant with reference to the most advanced way words. What is of doing Tai Chi as they wrote what they knew from their own real, shows in how they are experience at at that level of their own training. They never moving, or more meant for stark beginners to read those classics and try to put that advice into their big open block type of beginner's form. importantly how they are NOT moving! Nothing One of the most pertinent things that my main teacher told me which meant nothing to me back then but which means to do, nothing to say, I just walk away as, just like stuff my everything now, is that we must do Tai Chi, asleep/awake! Father told me when I was young, that which I would dismiss because HE had experienced what he was saying and I hadn't, Sounds like an oxymoron, but in fact that is exactly how the most advanced way of Tai Chi is. That wonderful feeling when so too I know that it is impossible for me to even talk to such you are just falling off to sleep, that instant that feels so good. people about the internal. All I can do is to show by physical or What if you could extend that feeling and actually move around non physical movement and hope that as they progress, (if they do given the type of Tai Chi they are doing) they too will come while in that state? That's what I feel when I perform my Tai Chi. In fact, as I explain to my students when TRYING to teach across what I have come across. Not may do though. Which is why I have been almost maniacal in making videos in order to them this level, I find it very difficult to actually DO my own help those who have the potential to "get it". Most will never Tai Chi in class as I just want to keep going and not do any work. understand even given the nature of what I put onto those videos and sadly a lot of the time it is pearls before swine so to speak, but occasionally one or two students will get it and that In moving while in the sleep/awake state, we enhance the healing process that we would normally get while actually makes it all worthwhile. There are those in their little silk suits asleep when the body heals itself, muscles, sinews bones mind calling themselves "sifu" or "Master" or "Laushur", or Si Hing etc., are all healed while asleep. But doing the movements that or whatever, who criticize my videos saying that I am not
Changing your circumstances through Tai Chi is possible. at an advanced level, we are able to access the inner workings bending down enough or that I simply stand up when doing of the very cells that go to make up the body/spirit. Each cell in push hands. (It doesn't dawn upon them that someone is taking our body joins in harmony causing a huge amount of energy to very heavy attacks while in a normal position rather than taking be available to the total body/mind for changing things. What a strong low stance, that maybe there is something here). we ARE is a bunch of cells joining together for the good of the whole. As I write this article I am aware of the fact that it is not The Hands my mind that writes this nor it is actually me as others see me, The hands tell the story of what is inside. The hands are the but rather a bunch of cells causing my physical body to move in manifestation of everything we do in Tai Chi, some call it the the appropriate manner to get things done. Cells are able to "beautiful hand" or the "woman's hand" but it all comes down make thing happen for your body, they are able to cause things to the minute movements or non movements that the hands to happen in your life in order for you to learn whatever it is make and how they interact with each other, crossing at exactly that you have to learn. And the study and practice of advanced the correct places in order to activate the Qi and "pull the silk tie". The fingers will vibrate internally so that an onlooker cannot see it. Once you get the hands right, the rest of the body will simply fall into place. The hands are so important in Tai Chi and Qi Development, that one can even just do the hand movements for instance from Brush Knee & Twist Step, and still get that feeling, that Qi activation that heals the heart. The hands seem to be not moving at all to an untrained eye, but they are. We cannot actually SEE the Qi so the hands are the closest we will ever get to seeing Qi in action. However, as the Qi is minute in its movement, so too are the hands. This gives rise to the fact that we are able to strike a heavy bag for instance from a distance where the fingers are actually touching the bag and without pulling back, we can make the bag explode. This is "small frame Fa-jing" and comes from doing Tai Chi at the most advanced level of Small Frame. We can also, on the other side of the coin, use that same action only internally for healing. We can use small frame fa-jing to put healing Qi into a point on someone's body to activate their own healing mechanism. And this is what TCM is all about. Qi Development The 12 Qi Development Tools contain the very essence of Tai Chi and every time I perform them (every day), I learn something more about myself and my training. In fact, nowadays, I am convinced that these 12 brief hand movements should be learnt before one begins to learn Tai Chi. Perhaps this is one of the great "secrets" of Tai Chi? It has been my goal to try and find better ways to teach people what I know so that they can come to a higher level quicker than the 40 or so years that I have taken. And in many ways, this has worked as I now have a number of advanced students who are finally getting it. Even at a younger age, a student is able to gain the inner knowledge necessary for advancement in their Tai Chi and in their daily lives using these methods . Using The Qi/Mind
Tai Chi will help the cells to harmonize together so that you as an individual and as part of the "whole" will have power over your circumstances. We are all different and that which I would like for my own children for instance is not necessarily what they want for themselves. We can only ever cause circumstances to change for ourselves. However, when we find someone or someones with whom we can join with at an energy level, we are indeed able to change things for others and eventually the Earth. Why is it that if one person in one of my classes is feeling a little off or down, or if I myself aren't feeling the best on that particular day, the whole class is also feeling that way, whereas if I am feeling "up", the whole class is also feeling that energy and our cells join to lift the total energy of a class.
perhaps put a handle to. And here is where it all comes to life. I mentioned many years ago about something called "Internal Learning Keys" which are only ever given at a sub-conscious level by the teacher. Many of my students when they come to a workshop or class go away with those "keys", that which will then grow inside like a minute oak tree seed, which grows into something huge.
I have noticed at band practice, (those who know me, will know that I am an old rock musician and work in a band with my children), if I am feeling a little not right, the practice will be mediocre. But if I am really up and wanting to rehearse, that
This is what Tai Chi is all about. It is not about becoming the world's greatest fighter, not about becoming the World's greatest healer, not about being able to pull girls or boys or how to get a bigger penis (yes I get those questions!!)! It is simply about the immense power that is inside of you and how to access it. "Something" causes us to move and not one scientist in the world past present or future has been able to explain why that happens! Sure they can tell us that this muscle uses energy
energy will float over everyone and the whole practice will be huge and full of energy. Often just being there is enough to teach a student/friend about the internal stuff. We of course have to have a reason for holding a class and charging money in order to make a living, although for my own classes in my village I do not charge, but the physical stuff is not the main thing and reason that people come along. They THINK that they are coming along to learn a form or how to punch or how to fight or how to heal etc., but the real reason is to simply be in closeness to the advanced teacher/healer. This is why although my videos are the best that can be obtained anywhere in the World (even if my cells do say so themselves), and it is important to have had some experience in the forms from those videos, it is very important for those same students to be in close proximity with the teacher at some time. I have had many hundreds who have learnt so much from my video titles, but then they come along to a class where I am only teaching something perhaps small like a short form or Qi development tools etc., and they all say, that for some reason, they have learnt that "something else", something that they cannot
made from glucose etc., but HOW, they cannot tell us. Something that can cause a human body to be able to move around freely, something that we all take for granted is something that is huge! Think about it. We MOVE! WHY? Because our cells are alive and full of "God". If we can access that power, the world is open to us. And Tai Chi is that way.
Leaving the Temple
not be taught in the original temple. I have reflected on the reality of this many times.
Kurt Levins Sr. When I first began my search away from the Western tradition in which I had been raised, I could have never imagined where I would be at this time. An initiated Master in a shamanistic school of Taoism and a Master of Kung Fu. How I got here was up and down many twisting and turning roads, typical of the Tao. Along which, I learned many lessons; Some hard some easy. I hope this is a lesson that may help you in your journey. Many of us learn and are taught in a single tradition throughout life and there are many good reasons for this. First, it seems to take a lifetime of learning to gain any mastery in any single school or tradition. Years of learning and practice are needed to reveal what works in any situation and how things work. Let’s face it, do not most of us struggle under the old trial and error method? Whether in Qi Gong or Taiji. Another reason for staying in a single system is that many teachers and masters require you to prove that you are a serious student before bringing you along in terms of revealing knowledge and practices. This is a method that can take years of dedication to prove. There is a legitimate nature to this. Some of these practices can cause serious damage if performed by someone who is not emotionally and or spiritually prepared for them. There are channels that need to be cleared before being exposed to intensive chi flow or trapped chi will cause problems such as bi syndromes. Or chi can become trapped in the head resulting in awful chi headache. There is another reason many stay within a single tradition. There are teachers and masters who dissuade or even insist that people stay in their single tradition. I had one teacher who I thought was very humble. He had a worldwide reputation in a certain scientific field of endeavor which he downplayed. I told him that I was going to attend some training with a different Master from a different tradition. I was then told if I went, not to return; because he was the best there was and his tradition was the true thing with nothing better. At that time I realized he was not what I thought he was and went to train with the other master. I learned more from the other master in a short period of time than I had in years with the original master. The second master was open with information and welcomed questions and dialogue which were not welcomed by the first. I eventually discovered that the first master had actually studied under the second master. I was discussing this with a friend who was a practitioner of another style of martial arts and he said that by leaving the temple you would learn new techniques and ideas that would
The martial artist who studies one style and one style only for a lifetime is usually easily defeated by another who has learned many styles. My good friend Professor Frank DeFelice was one of the best street fighters I’ve ever known. Why, because Frank held black belt ranks in eight different martial arts. All the time remain true to his primary art. I have left the temple many times often in unusual ways. Recently I researched “my bones” and located a strong Celtic witch in my maternal heritage. So I studied Celtic magic and heritage. What I found was amazing. The difference between Taoist shamanism and Celtic Magic was negligible and mainly in societal imagery. Where the Chinese had the trigram, the Celts had the triskelion. The contrasts of the yin and yang symbol are easily seen in the intricacies of the Celtic knot. I compared Eastern mandalas side by side with Celtic art and found more similarities than differences. I realized Mother Earth was Mother Earth. Around the same time I met and befriended a Native American Comanche Medicine Woman and we began working together. Guess what? We found the same thing- more similarities than differences. One of the similarities was that between the Chinese Five Element Theory and the Native American Medicine Wheel. Yes, certain imagery had cultural differences but these were small in comparison to the similarities. Unfortunately along life’s journey I have also observed one extremely negative side effect of not leaving the temple. Staying in the temple does make us comfortable and new things make us uncomfortable. Look at the wolf, anything new in their territory makes them suspicious. If I change the arrangement of furniture in my den, my pit bull growls and sniffs and snaps until he realizes it is not a threat, typical wolf like behavior. This is the comfort zone. The more we live in a certain tradition and conduct specific rituals, forms and katas over and over, the more comfortable we become within those traditions and rituals. They are like well worn slippers- easy to slip on and comfortable to wear. We as human beings love homeostasis. See I did learn something in High School. The body loves to remain as it is and does not like change. That’s why it is so hard to lose those pounds, change an old habit or start a new habit. We simply love to stay in that comfort zone. Many people respond in the same way when confronted with or meeting traditions and roads that are different from their own.
I have seen it in the pages of magazines of various spiritual paths and martial arts where people cast dispersion upon those practicing differing styles and traditions. It seems many times this is done without any true knowledge or understanding of the other tradition. Now when this attitude meets with those Instructors who believe they are the best and only and refuse to allow their students to even consider studying with another it seems to result in an almost cult like atmosphere. I have heard statements from members of these schools that border on the fanatical.
suffering of the people. This lead to his sitting under the wonderful bodhi tree; where he received his inspiration that leads us to call him Buddha. Sometimes you don’t physically even have to leave the temple. When studying with Master Erle, you see how Tai Ji, works with Bagua and Hsing I. Each complete in its own, but each complementing the others when joined together into a much stronger chain. Recently while learning the River Form during Erle and Eli’s visit to the US, I admit I had trouble with some of the Bagua portions of the form and was much more comfortable with the Tai Ji portions. But by doing and learning both I learned the form and bettered myself .
I like the students who tell me their teachers are the greatest. I usually then ask to fight their teacher. I know this is a breach of tradition but heh, I am a friend of Erle Montaigue and isn’ t that what we all do, challenge tradition? I laugh when they say,” Oh my teach can’t fight any one because he is so powerful he would hurt them.” So, of course I say I’ll take my chances because I know my Iron Body is very good and they then make another excuse. Proof their brain washing is complete. I’ll ask them to come and study once with my group and they’ll say they don’t have to because their teacher has told them their style is best and not to study with any one else. To me, I have always found the tree of fear and prejudice to have its roots in ignorance. It is through learning and experience that this tree can be cut down and laid aside.
Now this concept of Leaving the Temple can be applied to almost any part of your life. I came to a love of Celtic music late in life as well as Native American music. Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching reminds us that the usefulness of a cup lies in its emptiness. I’ll modernize it, a notebook can be used only when its cover is open. So too, your mind can only be used when it is open, nothing enters a closed mind. So I ask,” have you ever left the temple?” Would you leave the temple? If you do leave the temple, you may be surprised by what you find. Not only are there people out there who only because of man made labels, are practicing traditions different from your’s, but who are in reality practicing traditions very similar to yours. By cross training in traditional Chinese martial arts I have learned many techniques and principles which have complimented and assisted my own style. Through the study of Native American tradition I have obtain great insight into many aspect of qi gong.
Perhaps the greatest example of leaving the temple is that given to us by Prince Siddharta Guatama. Kept in the regal elegance of his temple he never saw any suffering of the true world. His father, the king, wanted him to be a ruler and conqueror and not a holy man. But destiny, being what it is, was fulfilled when one day when the young Prince was left out of the temple and saw the
Now, reflecting back, had I elected to remain within my temple, I would have had an enjoyable life: Obtained meaningful insights into life and enlightenments along the way. But what I would have not found was the communal world link to these other traditions. I would have not met some truly amazing and wonderful people, who have added knowledge and inspiration to my life. And I would not have chopped down the roots of several trees of prejudice and misunderstanding, and replaced them with trees of life and understanding that I hope will lead to an improved world.
WHO’S GOT ALL THE SECRETS? Gord Hill
“The SECRET has not been directly named, for it seems to work more successfully when it is merely uncovered and left in [plain] sight, where those who are ready, and searching for it, may pick it up.”-with adaptation from Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich. I recently came across a comment that said that such and such held back too much in his teaching. In my experience, it isn’t the teacher that holds back. A student can be shown everything that he needs to know, but it is the student that has to comprehend what it is he is seeing. To illustrate what I mean, let’s go back to the first taiji class. The first thing I learned was 3 circle standing qigong. For those that aren’t aware, your hands held as if hugging a tree in front of your chest; your weight is equally supported on both legs; and you breathe with slow relaxed breathes from the diaphragm. You simply stand and hold this posture and relax into it for 15 minutes. That’s it, that’s all, and for those that have done it, know how hard it is to do it correctly. The whole key to taiji is to get this posture correct so the rest of what you learn has a foundation. Then we learn the Form. In this article I will use the Chen Fu form, but it doesn’t matter what form you use, be it Lu-ch’an, any of the Wudang, Bagua, or even the 12 Dim Mak katas. As we learn the form, it
appears very different from what we just did in the qigong. For one thing, we are moving. But, we are also using wider stance postures, our arms move in different directions. It is most certainly NOT relaxing (if you are doing it correctly!). The question that I asked myself is, “How are the 3 circle qigong and the taiji form related?”
right before your eyes, but you must be seeking it to see it.
When I learned the weight shift, I used the “spare” time I had like waiting for the bus; waiting for the elevator; or waiting for the line in the cafeteria. My experience is that if you do this enough, you learn to sense your weight on your feet, and you no longer have to think We are told that taiji IS qigong. This tells about it. It just happens. With this me that the two must be interconnected. learning, you start to enter the idea of I spent a lot of my time away from my “the power is generated in the feet, “formal” training sessions, thinking on managed by the waist and manifests in how qigong and the form were the same, the hands.” It takes a lot of time. I and how they were different. I am worked on this daily for years in those inherently lazy, so if I can do one thing odd moments where you have nothing and have it do 10 things, I would rather else to do but wait! It seems that the best do that than do one thing for one thing! learning takes place in these moments all of us that we have regular access to is where you have integrated your “art” with our mind! I have found that when we your life. can get our mind doing the form, it becomes apart of us and we don’t HAVE It is extremely important to understand to “train” any more. another secret of taiji before we go further: all of Taiji is an ILLUSION! To The Chinese also say that, “from put it very simply, the ONLY thing the movement, find stillness. From stillness, arms do in taiji is move up and down. comes movement.” I learned this as I That is it. There is no “punch”. The arms stood for hours in qigong. As you stand, do not move both out to the sides. All you begin to notice that the body moves they do is move up and down. The on its own. I found that my weight BODY, by moving in with the taiji motor, began to shift forward and back first. makes the body APPEAR to do Then as I progressed, my body seemed to something more than what is actually circle in place. What I mean is, my taking place. This is a very deep idea and weight started to shift from one foot to it was taught to me in my very first another, and your body begins to make lesson. Unfortunately, I don’t have the circles. words nor the space to attempt to explain this in words, so I will leave it to your When we learn the Chen fu form, the instructor. It is important to get the idea opening posture, Preparation, is first in your mind that every posture you do in taught without weight shifting. As you taiji can be done by just raising the arms progress, you learn that the body weight up and down, with a movement from the is actually shifted from left to right to left body. in a circle. Another thing we learn is to keep our So the journey starts. One of the most centre. In taiji, this means that one wrist vital “secrets” I have found has to do with is always on your centre. This was a this simple shifting of your weight. In the revelation to me when I finally started to beginning of your training, the idea of work on this. My experience was, as I having to worry about where the weight was doing qigong, my body started to is on the foot, forget having to worry circle slightly. What was happening was about which leg is weighted seems my centre was moving to each wrist. I do overwhelming. It is hard enough to make NOT mean to move the torso in big sure the knee is bending in line with the circles! It is a very subtle movement, leg or the hips are faced square to the imperceptible to someone watching you. front to get stretch in the back thigh, now What I felt was a connection from my you want me to be concerned if my centre to each wrist. This led me to weight is on the ball or heel of my foot? experimenting with Grasping Swallows This is a ‘secret” because many learn it in tail from the form. class and forget about it the rest of the time. Could you imagine a whole hour From the basic posture, I was taught that and a half the instructor taught you to the left leads the right in Preparation. In circle your body weight on your feet? my mind, with my center on my left The instructor, while doing a world of wrist, I tried to keep the posture as best I good, but would have 0 students the next could while doing the movement. week! And so the secret is presented
We are Tai Chi Renegades… …and No we Don’t wear Silk Pyjamas. Visit the site they’re all talking about and hear Erle Montaigue’s most in-depth interview ever recorded by the founder of the site, Colin Power - “The Tai Chi Foot Doctor” - at
The movement of the arms is VERY small as most of the work is done in the mind. Remember, you are NOT trying to make the postures! This is to experience something different than the physical postures that you may normally be doing. Moving through Swallows tail, I kept the upper 3 circle posture as best as I could as I moved my intent into each posture. Trust me, you look rather silly doing this, but I found it an interesting way to learn about the body causing the movement. In order to do this, you must give up the idea of what the outside “posture” is. It is only the body and the centre that we are working with. The idea is to teach your mind that it is ok to not look pretty. There are many other methods to learn this, but this is what I found helped me. The result of this work let me see that indeed, taiji IS an illusion. That the ONLY thing you have to worry about is lifting your arms up and down and that it is Fajing, the taiji motor, that makes it happen. Whether I am doing 3 circle, Chen Fu, Luch’an, any of the Wudang forms, a Bagua form, 12 Dim Mak kata,
Pauchui, or any other form, it all comes back to this for me. Once I do the physical movements a few times to make sure that my body has an idea, and more importantly, my mind has the right picture, I will go off by myself and do this type of exercise. It has taught me that I could be doing the Chen fu form but really I am doing ALL the forms. Now, I can focus! I can choose a form or method or qigong and work on it specifically to balance an area, without worrying that my “technique” is being neglected. To me, it doesn’t matter, as the “techniques” all come down to the same thing: the centre moves the hands, which is propelled by the waist, which was originated by the weight shifting on the feet. Are there secrets? No. Secrets are only the gaps in our own knowledge of a subject. We all have them. Just last night I was reviewing a form and I noticed something that hit me square between the eyes. Why hadn’t I noticed that before? I had. I just wasn’t ready for it. When you learn this way, it is YOURS. When someone tells you something, you have to work ten times harder to make it yours. And to think, I learned the roots of all of this in the first ten minutes of my very first taiji lesson. Of all those who were there with me, I wonder how many others got it. The difference was, I had been looking for the “secret” for nearly 20 years at the point I saw it. The thing that keeps me coming back is that I know that there is SO MUCH MORE! This is barely the tip of the iceberg. What a wonderful thing we have in taiji that the more we work at the “good” stuff the more it teaches us! Thank you for taking the time to read this. I sincerely hope you learned something of value from it.
©2010 photograph appears courtesy of Park’s Martial Arts
Holiday Inn, Salisbury, Maryland
USA, May 8-9th 2010
ALL ROADS POINT TO SALISBURY, MD.
0 1 0 A2
the Eerie Montaigue show comes to town Nasser Butt
Australia - Canada - United Kingdom - USA Over 70 participants attend Erle’s first US workshop in almost a decade May 2010 saw Erle Montaigue return to the USA for his first workshop after an almost 10 year absence. Set in Salisbury, southeastern Maryland, on the Atlantic coastal plain, the 2 day workshop was hosted by USA WTBA representative Master Brian Alexander of Park’s Martial Arts school. Scores of participants, young and old, converged onto the Holiday Inn in Salisbury from across the US, as well as representatives from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Woz Levins kindly dropped me off at Heathrow and we arrived in good time. I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time in case of any unforeseen disasters. And disaster struck as soon as I had passed through passport control, having waved Woz goodbye! To my horror, I discovered that I had left my hairdryer and brush at home! I had been so busy ensuring that all my documents (ESTA) and passport etc. were in order, that I had forgotten to pack the first item that would usually go into my backpack!!! I rushed through passport control, agitated and annoyed with myself, wanting to get past the security detail as soon as possible, knowing that it would take ages as this was a flight to the USA. So, to say that I was surprised that it only took me 5 minutes would be no exaggeration - “Do you have any forbidden items such as knives, accelerants or explosives in your baggage and did you pack them yourself?” “Erm.. no to the former and yes to the latter!” “Great. have a nice flight.”
It was in the UK that my journey began, a few days earlier on a pleasant May morning, chasing Erle across the ‘pond’ to the east coast of the United States. I had never been to the US before and this was my first ever foray into any part of the Americas and a great honor to be accompanying Erle on this tour. To say that I was nervous and excited would be an understatement - nervous, because I had heard some nightmare stories about US immigration control and excited because I was So much for heightened security and as if I was going to finally going to get to meet one of Erle’s ‘old school’ say yes if I had! Anyhow, that gave me plenty of time to browse campaigners, Al Krych - the head of the WTBA, USA! through the various electrical stores in duty free to purchase a hairdryer and brush. Finally, balance restored to the universe, I
headed to find my gate, destination JFK, New York - the Big Apple! 10 hours later we landed at JFK after a 3 hour delayed flight from Heathrow. Hungry, annoyed and angry, I joined the throng of hundreds of other passengers, queueing to gain entry into the USA. After a further hour, I finally made it to the front of the queue and just when I was in touching distance of the immigration desk a bizarre thing happened - All the immigration officers upped and left! We all looked at each other, the queue still stretched out behind me, not having a clue what had just happened??? Finally, someone came along the barriers to tell the bewildered passengers that a ‘shift change’ was underway and we simply had to wait until the next shift arrived! Never in all my years of traveling had I ever witnessed such a thing!!! Another 30 minutes passed before, finally, I stepped out of the airport and into the warm night of New York, hopped into a cab and headed off to Brooklyn to get a good night’s sleep. Friday morning I awoke early to start the second part of my journey a 3½ hour Greyhound bus ride to Baltimore, where I was to meet up with Don Jennings, a fellow WTBA enthusiast, who lived locally and had kindly offered to give me a lift to Salisbury. I headed out from Brooklyn, with slightly less baggage, en route to Times Square, where I was to catch my bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Having disembarked at the correct station, I soon realized that I had taken the wrong exit from the station as I emerged into the heart of Time Square! I looked around, trying to catch a glimpse of a sign that would point me into the right direction
but to no avail. I was starting to get a little bit nervous at the thought of missing my bus, as well as the fact that here I was, an Asian, with a huge black backpack on my back, wandering aimlessly in all directions in Times Square, where only a few days earlier another American Asian had tried to detonate a car bomb!
Normally, the heightened security wouldn’t have bothered me, but here in the US, the cops carried guns! I tried to retrace my steps back towards the entrance where I had exited and as I crossed the road, I saw 2 uniformed police officers on the opposite side of the road. I tried to act as casual as possible as I crossed the road, when one of the officers looked directly at me, whispered something to his colleague and beckoned me over with his hand. Crap, was the first word that went through my mind, well actually it wasn’t - the actual word, although very commonly heard at an Erle workshop, is perhaps not suitable to print! I headed towards the 2 officers, very methodically, ensuring that there were no sudden moves on my behalf and as I neared them, one of the officers stretched out his arm and shouted: “Jeez, buddy! You’re the spitting image of our desk sergeant, would you mind if we take a photo of you to show to him?”
the car and started the last leg of my journey to Salisbury. Don and his wife were a lovely couple and the conversation in the car was engaging as they explained the history of the areas that we were passing through and presented me a baseball cap for the local baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles. It felt a very familiar place, with roadsigns pointing to Dover and Cambridge, I could have been anywhere in England! The journey ended outside the main entrance to the Holiday Inn, the workshop venue, where Jeremy Wolfer, a Master in Hapkido from Park’s Martial Arts school was kindly waiting for me, having so generously offered both Al Krych and I lodgings at his beautiful house in Salisbury. Outside the entrance I bid Don and his good lady farewell until the following morning and was briefly introduced to 3 of the nicest guys and Bagua enthusiasts I’ve ever come across - Jack Davis, Matt and Gerg (aka Greg), who had also come down for the workshop.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as the other officer whipped out his mobile phone - and wait for it - adjusted Jeremy and I headed back to his the settings for his camera for the dazzling lights of Times Square and took house for the night where the lovely Lisa Ludwig, another ranking officer of the snap, while his buddy stood with his Park’s Martial Arts School, had been arm around my shoulders! busy tidying up and getting the guest room ready. Relieved that I wasn’t going to appear on the evening news back home Not long after our arrival, Master wearing an orange jumpsuit, I asked the Brian Alexander arrived with Al Krych. officers to point me in the direction of It was a great honor to finally meet Al, the Port Authority Bus terminal, so I as I had heard so much about him from could catch my bus. Erle over the years, and he was exactly as I expected him to be - a warm, The journey to Baltimore was, friendly guy with an amazing thankfully, uneventful. The 3½ hours seemed to fly by as I looked out of the personality. window, taking in some amazing views. Brian, on the other hand, was I arrived at the bus terminal in Baltimore and almost instantly found Don and his nothing like I’d imagined him to be. A giant of a man (literally, I think I only wife, who had been waiting there for came up to his waist!), powerfully built me. We pretty much jumped straight into
and I realized in an instant I’d brought the wrong size WTBA t-shirt for him! He was every bit as generous and welcoming as I had found him to be in his emails.
movement of the form intricately at both its martial and healing level.
The night came as a welcome. It was pleasantly warm and we were all pretty much beat from the busy day we’d had. We bade each other goodnight and headed to bed. Saturday morning we all awoke bright and early. Jeremy prepared a fantastic breakfast, which we eagerly sat down to eat. Al and I chatted about how we had both come across Erle and how much we had in common. I think this tends to be a trait in most people who train with Erle. Finally, we headed out to the Holiday Inn ready for a full day’s training. The entrance hall was buzzing with activity. A lot of the students from Park’s School of Martial Arts were busily running around, setting things up and greeting all the participants. As we entered the conference suite, where we’d be training, I spotted Erle walking around working his magic saying hello to everyone. Alongside, Eli too, was busy shaking hands. We spotted each other and gave our customary bear hug of a greeting. As I scanned the room. it dawned on me that I recognized several of the faces in the room. So much for the power of facebook! The lovely Joel Friedman came forward and shook my hand dearly. I was so pleased to finally meet him. James Yamakawa, another familiar friend said hello and the beautiful Josephine Anderson - WTBA Chief Instructor for Canada, greeted me with an infectious smile and hug as did a dear old friend, Wayne Wolfe. There were still 2 others I was eagerly waiting to see; The beautiful Colin Power and his equally beautiful wife, Lauron. We had all met a couple of years earlier at Erle’s summer camp in Rostock, Germany and had instantly struck up a friendship. Both, Colin and Lauron, had travelled across from their native Australia and were busy exploring the US as well as using the trip to catch up with some training. It wasn’t too long before I spotted Colin, towering above almost everyone, except Master Brian and Lauron wasn’t too far behind! It was great to see them both and Lauron pretty much instantly set about taking photographs with her new camera. Erle started the workshop with one of his customary warm ups and within a few minutes had the room buzzing with energy. It still amazes me, even after all these years of seeing it, at how quickly Erle gets people settled and into the training stride. The main topic of the day was one of the Dim-Mak Cornerstones - The River. It was a great opener as it satisfied both the Taiji enthusiast as well as the Bagua practitioners. Lauron busily hurried around the room, clicking away madly at her camera, as Al set up stall, selling WTBA tshirts and both Colin and I spread out on one side of the room training and Eli covered the other side, whilst Josephine covered the centre and rear. Thus positioned, we continued to train until lunch. Erle, explaining each
Lunch was a pleasant affair, having been joined by Josephine and Lisa for company before training recommenced and we continued with the River. Erle was busy moving up and down the room. Giving detailed attention to everyone with Eli holding court on the other side. Movements were repeated over and over again, ensuring that all detail was understood. The afternoon session ended to a thunderous amount of applause with a huge amount of ground being covered and still with a lot more to come. Wearily we all headed back to our homes or rooms at the hotel to freshen up. The evening meal had been arranged at a local restaurant with a fantastic choice of food and we sat down to feast. The food was delicious and the company was great. Jack, Matt, Gerg and I sat around talking about the current state of martial arts in both the USA and the UK and Erle told some amazing stories of how they used to train in Australia during the ‘old’ days. As the evening grew, Jeremy and Lisa offered to take Josephine, Al and I to a local beach and we arranged to meet Colin and Lauron there too.
Main picture: Erle demonstrating an application from ’The River’ with Kurt Levins Sr. looking on.
Erle teaching the Dim-Mak foundation form - The River.
Located not far from the quaint little town of Berlin, (Where I was duly informed the movie “Runaway Bride’ with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was filmed), the beach was breath-taking. Lauron was already paddling amongst the waves, frantically inviting us into the water, as a strong breeze came off the Atlantic.
The following morning we made an early start. It was going to be a long day of training as well as the return journey back to New York. Being Sunday, I still didn’t know how I was going to do it. Jeremy kindly looked up some bus timetables for me on the net and where I could catch it. Erle hit day two running! He had a lot still to cover and got stuck right into the River and finished it off. We then began the Yang Lu-ch’an form at its small frame level.
As Lauron continued to paddle and Colin, Al, Jeremy and Lisa stood chatting, Josephine and I stood on the sand and practiced some push hands. It was a great session and a joy training with Josephine, Judging by the reaction, it was who has one of the most distinctive and apparent that most people had not seen infectious laughters I’ve ever come across. And when she laughs, she laughs Erle perform the form at this high level. Again, the energy level rose as Erle whole-heartedly! moved through the first third of the form. As the skies began to darken and Having already covered most of the winds picked up we started to head back and were treated to a most wonderful stuff at Erle’s instructor sessions in sight of feral horses roaming freely on the Llangadog, it was a great refresher for beach. We returned back to our respective myself and also the fact that each time abodes via Berlin, tired and ready for bed. you see it, you seem to see and understand more! Here, to me, is a clear
example of why we need to meet up with our instructors on a regular basis.. The forms are organic and alive. Always showing and revealing more of themselves at these higher levels. Eli is a fine example of this. No matter how many times he has seen his father do the form or teach it, he is always constantly observing and picking up more and more detail at a very intricate level.
Main picture, left to right: Lisa Ludwig, Jeremy Wolfer, Josephine Anderson, Nasser Butt, Colin Power & Al Krych.
With the clock ticking away, Erle most definitely saved the best for last. Firstly, he demonstrated one of his ‘pet soapbox’ subjects of silly grabs from behind. This appears to be one of the most common questions asked at workshops and Erle’s demonstrations are always ruthless and entertaining to say the least. It’s a good job he has several kids, so his family line is bound to continue via many grandchildren in times to come. Alas Eli, however, may not be participating in the propagation of this line if his groin continues to take the flak from his dad’s demonstrations! As Eli attempted to grab Erle and lift him from behind, he expertly rolled as they fell to the ground with both arms opening up to break the hold, whilst both elbows struck downwards - one to the neck and the other to the groin. The groin got unlucky as the blow landed causing Eli to yelp! As Eli rolled on the ground, laughter erupted in the hall as Erle offered to rub it better, leaving him more red-faced with embarrassment then the actual blow itself! After a brief interlude during which a TV
crew came down to do some filming and interview Erle for the local network (which aired later that evening and
referred to Erle as “Eerie” Montaigue!), we continued with the final phase of the workshop - push hands.
kindness that you showed during our stay there. Not only did you welcome us I n m y o p i n i o n , E r l e w i l l b e into your homes but into your hearts too. I remembered for many things however, it is will always be proud to call you both my ‘his’ push hands which will be the jewel in friends. the crown of his legacy! Over the years, I have seen and come across many experts in the so called ‘internal’ arts, but NONE have come close to his understanding of push hands - No exception! Erle and Eli spent the final hour or so of the workshop demonstrating push hands, from what Erle refers to as ‘walking down the street’ level to the higher small frame level, incorporating all the elements of fa-jing and the martial. Clearly explaining away the silly push vs. pull methods and why they would fail in a street attack!
Al Krych and Josephine Anderson, two of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met. Skillful, yet humble and willing to share their experience with an open heart. The WTBA in North America can only grow successfully under their guidance. Last and by no ways least, Colin and Lauron, for the wonderful memories they helped create. Lauron with the camera and on occasions my camcorder, when she remembered to switch it on, and Colin for his jovial wisecracks that always kept a smile on mine and Al’s face. Oh, and thank you for the ‘thongs’,, I wore them throughout my stay in New York!
Soon virtually the whole hall was busy doing push hands. This again was a great opportunity for myself to get some experience in from the wise heads of Al Krych and Josephine Anderson, who gladly joined hands and gave me a good workout!
I finally headed back to New York with Joel Friedman, who so kindly offered to get me back. It was a fantastic drive, the hours flew by as we conversed from subjects as diverse as martial arts to the political and moral state of the world in which we live and our common With energy levels raised and all in a heritage. Perhaps the subjects were not jovial mood, the workshop drew to a that diverse after all, it’s all Taiji in the natural close. Again, the hall erupted with end! applause as Erle announced in his closing remarks that he’d be returning in 2011, as Joel kindly got me to the outskirts of he had had such a wonderful time. New York from where I caught a train to Brooklyn via Manhattan. We didn’t have All that was left to do was to say our much time time to say goodbye as the thank you and goodbyes and gather around train was pulling into the station whilst for some memorable photos. we were purchasing my ticket. But, then, goodbyes are not always necessary Thank you to Master Brian Alexander, between friends as we know we’ll be his fiancee, Amanda and the students of seeing each other again. Park’s Martial Arts school for hosting such a wonderful event. A huge thank you for Many years ago when I first came the warmth, hospitality and respect with across Erle’s website, it stated ; which we were greeted and shown. “...Bringing people together in harmony across the world.” - I certainly left the To Jeremy Wolfer and Lisa Ludwig, USA richer in friendship. See you next words can’t express the gratitude for the year.
Erle & Eli demonstrating double push hands.
Main Picture, left to right: Al Krych, Eli Montaigue, Colin Power, Erle Montaigue & Nasser Butt.
Main picture above, Front: Erle Montaigue & Josephine Anderson (Chief Representative WTBA Canada). Back, left to right: Eli Montaigue, Jeremy Wolfer, Brian Alexander (WTBA Maryland), Al Krych (Chief Representative WTBA USA) & Nasser Butt.
Top: Lauron Power. Below: Brian Alexander & Jeremy Wolfer practice Push Hands.
Photography by Nasser Butt & Lauron Power ÂŠ2010
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THE GREAT FIGHTING/HEALING ART OF BAGUAZHANG
SAMUEL G. BEATTY When I was a teenager growing up in NewYork City I spent a lot of time in the cinemas down on 42 St. in Times Square watching kung fu movies. I escaped into this world completely different from the fast pace world I came from. I had saw thousands of kung fu films, one particular film caught my eye was called “Holy Robe of Shaolin”.In this film I would see this circular kind of movements that was very graceful and it was different from all the other systems of Gung fu. It wouldnʼt be until years later what I saw was the Wu shu version of Baguazhang which at the time I had no knowledge of this great Internal martial arts. In the early 90ʻs there was a black and white magazine called ʻBaguazhang Journalʼ which I started collecting. In each and everyone of those magazines it had rare photos of the great masters of the past and how many of them never got defeated. I read every word and I soaked it up like a sponge, although it would be another year before I would get a chance at learning it in Norway (of all places, right?). I was taking a class in Tai chi and the teacher at that time had introduced Baguazhang to the class. I just remembered thinking, “Wow! Iʼm learning Baguazhang”. I was walking the circle learning the 64 trigrams and trying to keep my palms in the center. I was walking, stepping but I was a mess! It was great I wouldnʼt want to change it for anything and it would be a few years before I would learn Baguazhang again.
It wasnʼt until I came to Australia that I would really learn this beautiful Internal martial arts. I took my wife who was my girlfriend at the time to
basics of Baguazhang circular form in detail. Here Erle would show us all the little things like crunching ours toes while stepping, also what the purpose was for Senior Instructor Keith Brownʼs class. He brushing against your inside foot where taught myself and her the circular the hidden kicks are. The knowledge just walking and she picked it up quite went on and on! quickly and I remember clearly Keith So now when I hear people talk saying to me sheʼs a natural! He said, “what took me years to learn sheʼs picked about Baguazhang in the Wu shu term I just laugh to myself. As I think they have it up in just a couple of hours”. no idea of the true nature of Baguazhang. My wife and I are both dancers by They so whole heartily believe that the profession and we were very busy circular form is for fighting and they dancing and starting a new family, so I know nothing of the linear form. I watched one fella on you tube ordered Erleʼs basic Baguazhang tape and demonstrating his style of Bagua and he practiced as much as I could. I remember was doing kick boxing and also fighting practicing the Baguazhang Qi Gung in a circle. Many other martial artists Palms and it was an eye opener! My from other systems laugh at this foolish horse stance was fine but my fingers were way of sparring. He has many people killing me and I followed Erleʼs believing that heʼs doing the correct style instructions to the T! At first I started out of Baguazhang. These so called teachers at 2 minutes each palm and I did that for a are making a lot of money off us naive while, then I moved up to five minutes westerners. each and when I finished my hands were shaking! Shaking in a good way but I When you look at the linear form you couldnʼt hold a fork or chop sticks at all!! learn everything on both the right side and the left side, it takes some time to I would go on to practice the circular understand the mechanics of it all. After form walking and twisting my body, it you learn the linear form you then can felt like I was squeezing the toxins out of take that form and use it as a two man my body through the twisting and fighting form. Then you can use the turning. One late afternoon while I was applications from the form to heal practicing, I got this tingling sensation. It yourself internally. The circular form isnʼt was great, I was tapping into my reptile for fighting even though there are fighting brain and I didnʼt want the feeling to stop. applications. Erle explained to us that I was starting to experience everything when masters of old invented the system Erle would speak about. I t w a s a n they made the movements difficult. So for addiction and it was like I wanted more those starting off at a basic level they and more information. It wouldnʼt be could easily pick up those movements at until camp 2000 that Erle would teach the the advance level.
Baguazhang as a whole is one of the best therapeutic martial arts of itʼs kind. You have an aerobic work out whilst the linear form can help in losing weight. It tricks the body to thinking itʼs younger than it is. It triggers the right hormones to feel younger than you actually are. Baguazhang as a whole comes from the very best of taoist philosophy in healing the body and mind. Also Bagua push hands (yes Baguazhang also has a push hands) you may have only thought Tai chi just had push hands well Bagua also has their style of push hands too. This is a great way to introduce beginners to fighting and I love doing these push hands with my wife because sheʼs quick and I have to stay on my guard!!! If your looking at training in this system of self defense then know that you are learning an internal gung fu that adapts to your body structure. I always say follow the building block get the basics and donʼt try to jump the gun. One can be very excited by it all but it will take some time for you to adjust to it. Be patient with yourself, remember youʼre also learning a dim-mak system. Practice with your partners to learn from one another and to teach each other how to protect one self in the mean streets and most importantly rid the body from disease. This was one of Chinaʼs jewels, the families who were true Baguazhang masters were fearless when the Westerners came to China to invade. Many Baguazhang masters were fierce fighters. They took on the westerners who had guns and the masters only had their knifes. Many lives were lost due to the gun being more powerful but so too were many westerners from the masters skills. They were part of the boxer rebellions and those who survived lived a long healthy life, well living into their eighties. Hopefully from my little knowledge as a layman, you will gain a lot from this gem of internal Gung fu.
Taryn Beatty & Samuel Beatty Photography©Majeda-mo .T .Beatty
that of separator of pure from impure. Other Pts in the area include: -
Ji Wally Simpson
Tai Ji Chuan or Tai Qi Chuan or is it Tai Chi Chuan. Chi is the Wade-Jiles transliteration of the character
. Rough I know. Qi is the Pin Yin transliteration of the same character. So what is Ji it depends on the character but the one I have attached is an ancient term for the firing mechanism of a crossbow.
! This one is even rougher. When I read about this in a Journal of Tr a d i t i o n a l C h i n e s e M e d i c i n e published in Melbourne called “The Lantern”, I immediately thought about the sacrum and how it sits at the base of our spine angled slightly forward. During the Internal Martial Arts we load it by tucking in the butt which results in a slight thrusting forward of the lower aspect of the pelvis straightening it out so it is plumb to the spine. This tensions the sacrum which acts a bit like a firing mechanism for explosive strikes / movements etc. Try doing them without first engaging the sacrum, they don’t work nearly as effectively. The article made me revisit one i had written some years back titled “Why do we breath into the Dantian” In this article I point out how the Points along the lateral side of the Sacrum mostly effect the Kidneys and Adrenals. An exception being Xiaochangshu - Bl 27 which is a major Pt for the Small Intestine the Yang channel of the Fire Element, the Small Intestines physical & spiritual aspect is
Pangguangshu - Bl 28: Back Shu Pt for the Bladder organ channel complex, which is the Yang of Water Kidney organ channel complex is the Yin. Zhonglushu - Bl 29, Baihuanshu - Bl 30 and Huiyang (meeting of Yang)-Bl 3 5 , t h e s e a l l h a v e Tr a d i t i o n a l Indications which include Treating the Lower Jiao, acute pain of Lumbar Vertebra, seepage of sperm, impotence all of which suggest the connection with the Kidneys. The action of the adrenals from a Chinese Medicine viewpoint encompasses that of both Kidney Yin & Yang. This is possible another reason why we access so much Qi when we activate this region by loading the sacrum. Straighten out the spine in this region begins the formation of the C back and also begins activation of the reptilian brain. Hopefully, if our training has been through, this will allow us to act with intent but without attachment to that intent. When we load the sacrum it can act on the spine in a similar way to a woomera on a spear as it unloads during the beginning milliseconds of a strike. A Woomera is an Aboriginal tool that is simply a flattish piece of timber with a small hook on one end and a handle on the other end. You hook it on to the end of a spear which places the handle about a third of the way from the tail to towards the tip of the spear. When you throw a spear using this implement the spear will travel at a high velocity over a greater distance. So when we unload the Sacrum it hurtles the spine and the whole body forward and slightly upward hence we can leave the ground momentarily when we do a Fajing strike. This elongation of the Spine momentarily releases the energy stored in the capacitors of the spine increasing the ferocity of our attack. Then at the end of the strike the firing mechanism of the sacrum loads again, allowing the spine to relax on to the sacrum and replenish Qi in the emptiness of Sung. Our shoulders should always be relaxed but a violent movement can sometimes result in the shoulders rising
in those with insufficient training, Sung will only occur if they relax again. The toes being gently curled create a synapse with the Earth allowing the interchange of Qi between Heaven and Earth to pass unhindered through our being. In Sung our Qi becomes centered in the Dantian and is refreshed and augmented by the free flow of Qi between Heaven and Earth. Heaven can be thought of as the Cosmic energy of creation or simple as our head / upper Dantian, while Earth can be thought of as this beautiful planet we exist on or as the lower Dantian. In Sung we become acutely aware of everything in our sensory field, all movement and sensation may be perceived and acted upon. Ji can also mean Dynamic;
! Mechanism . It would be nice to have a program to draw these characters for me as my art sucks. This could also tie in with the Tai Ji Chuan being the Greatest Explosive Fist. There other characters for Ji which have meanings such as Flesh or Muscle; Hunger; Accumulation; Chicken; Sap (to draw out); Tense (tension of sinew); Disease; Gather; Marked Emaciation; Sixth Heavenly Stem; Spine; Palpitation; Save; Packet.
! I thought Extreme could be one that could be a contender. The Ji in your (Erle Montaigue’s) Internal Gung Fu book (the white one)
! is roughly like this which could be a version of the one for i have attempted to draw for extreme, there can be huge difference between new character and the old characters. Any way it has all been a bit of a plunge into the realms of intellectualisation and has made me a bit tired so I am off to do some Qigong and form.
imagine that we are actually fighting someone and doing those particular martial movements that we have been taught. We only ever have to do this once as it then goes into our sub-conscious. Then, every time we perform the Tai Chi form, we sub-consciously are actually fighting!
The Yang Lu-ch'an Root Methods Erle Montaigue 2010 Everything we learn in Tai Chi has a double meaning, or even triple. When we first begin, most people want to know what each movement actually means and why it is there. The martial application that is inherent in each posture helps the beginning student to learn each movement and posture. Knowing where to put one's hands and why we are standing in this particular way is important in basic learning of the Tai Chi form. To this end, I have always shown at least one basic application of each of the postures from the form. Some of the movements and postures can seem fairly obtuse and beginners often find it difficult finding a reason for placing their hands in such positions. There is another more important reason however, for knowing the basic applications of each posture and it is an "internal reason". In order to do "work", Qi (energy) must move through the body from somewhere to somewhere. If for instance we open a door, energy is directed to our palm and causes the correct movement to do that work. However, Qi has to move through meridians or channels throughout the body, like water moves along a stream or blood through a vessel. There are 12 main meridians or channels in the body and each of these are associated with a major organ such as heart, lung, liver, kidney etc. As the Qi flow through each meridian to do certain work, the organ through which it passes is bathed in life giving energy, hence the healing benefits of Tai Chi. If then we have a way of directing sub-consciously the Qi through EVERY meridian by doing certain movements that mean some kind of work, we have indeed a potent healing exercise. This is what Tai Chi is! The old masters made up a set of movements that directed the Qi through each meridian and thus through each major organ in turn to cause healing and rejuvenation of those organs. The old masters in China all knew martial arts for self defence, so their way of making a healing set of movements was also based upon their inherited martial systems. Being people of great genius and also having great knowledge of the human body and the Qi or energy system, they invented a set of self defence movements that would not only cause one to be able to defend against physical external attack, they also invented a set of movements that would send the energy around each meridian or rather "activate" it in each organ. So when we perform the Tai Chi form for the first time after having learnt all of the postures, we are told to
Now, here is the science. The human sub-conscious brain doesn't know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. So we imagine cutting a lemon in half and sucking the juice. What happens? All of the same things happen like saliva welling up in the mouth etc., that would happen if we were eating a lemon for real. And it's this principle upon which the old masters based their teachings. So now, when you practice your Tai Chi form, although you are doing relatively slow movements and very gently, apart from the obvious fajing (explosive energy movement, you are actually fighting someone for 20 or 40 minutes! This is how Tai Chi teaches you how to fight without teaching you! Now we come to Yang Lu-ch'an, the man who invented Tai Chi. He saw a need for another set of movements for when someone had risen to a very high level and had gone past the stage of the sub-conscious fighting movements. He then set about over many years to invent another shorter set of movements which would be based upon each of the main postures of the Tai Chi form. These he would call "The Root Methods" or some translation like that. These Root Methods were short sets of movements that covered many of the more advanced fighting, self defence applications from the form based upon the art of "DimMak" (Striking the death points) and also upon fa-jing (explosive energy). These short sets were based upon Tai Chi at a much higher level called "Small Frame" and were only meant for the advanced student who had come to this "small frame" level. These sets or "Root Methods" were inspired and when one learns them, it sort of puts a key into the lock and opens the final door into the very advanced methods of Tai Chi. We still have the movement of energy around the body, however, these sets also teach the body how to move instinctively in a reflexive manner. Although we learn devastating fighting methods with these sets, we also learn sub-consciously how to deal with any situation at an instant level without thinking. Some of the Root Methods can be daunting at first as there are many hidden applications to each movement and some are difficult to even recognize based upon what the student already knows of the basic applications. However, once a teach who actually knows these tells the student how they work, it is easy to see how they came from each of the main postures. Some of the Root Methods are longer or shorter depending upon their importance. Some also add the next one or two postures as, often it is important for the sub-conscious reactions to get a flow from one posture to the next. The Root Methods teach you about body movement; how to move the body sub-consciously in any given
situation, where to place your body in order to gain the maximum amount of power for the least expended energy; how to knock someone out by placing your body into the exact position so that you can shoot off a strike from any position at any time and from any distance away and do great damage. Each of the Root Methods also works upon the particular organ or meridian upon which the original posture is based. So performing the root methods not only gives you a great physical work out as there are MANY of them, they also work upon your internal energy system thus balancing and boosting to protect you from pathogenic attack. And this is what a REAL fighting system is all about, protecting oneself and family from external attack as well as attack from disease. So we have three areas of excellence in the Root Methods: Protection from external attack: A great physical exercise workout for the whole body and: Protection from internal Pathogenic attack. Just Do It!
PhotographyÂŠ2010 Nasser Butt
The 5th Annual WTBA International Summer Camp July 22-26th 2010
Erle teaching the Qi Development Tools at Camp 2010
July 2010 saw the WTBA family return to Quorn Hall International Centre, in Leicestershire, for the 5th Annual International Summer Camp. Despite the crisis in the global economy, the summer camp was healthily attended by over 40 participants from Australia (via Sudan), Austria, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, UK, USA & Uruguay. In fact, the biggest threat to the camp was not so much the global meltdown but, rather, Erle himself! He casually sent me a message approximately a week before the camp was due to start, informing me that he had torn a calf muscle whilst racing his dogs uphill! And, that, he hoped it would be okay for the following weekend, the start of the summer camp! Did my heart skip a beat? At least a couple, I’d say! Elliot and I were training at the time when the message came through and I showed it to him, causing him to exclaim, “Oh, no!”
Alas, the next few days were spent worrying about how we could get through the camp wheeling Erle around in a wheel chair. Luckily, Erle had the 12 Qi development tools at hand and spent the next week doing them in order to strengthen his leg - and boy did they work. I can’t tell you how relieved I was as I saw him pull up at the camp venue on Thursday afternoon. Despite heavy bruising around his ankle, he hobbled in with a smile. With Erle safely tucked away in his room, I finally relaxed and waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. Gradually, in ones & twos familiar faces started to appear through the doors. It’s always to great to see old friends returning, but even better when you see new faces amongst the old. So, we sat to our first evening meal, having allocated everyone to their rooms and with only a couple of late arrivals to come. It was nice to be in the familiar surroundings of Quorn Hall. Since a lot of the participants had been here last year, it became a lot easier to settle in as most people already knew where everything was and what to do in case of an emergency.
WTBA International Summer Camp July 2010
Quorn Hall International Centre, Leicestershire, UK
Day one started nice and early at our customary time of 7am. The Gods were smiling upon us as we were greeted by clear blue skies, with the sun already shining and promising us a warm day ahead.
With the first day complete, whilst everyone else’s thoughts turned to bed and rest, Dave and I sat down to
After our warm ups, Erle wasted no time in getting straight into the 12 Qi development tools. These tools are taught in pairs and Erle had already introduced them to his instructors at his classes in Llangadog, in Wales. However, without going into too much detail here as an article will appear on the subject later, it needs to be said that it is imperative to watch Erle doing these forms over and over again! The intricate detail of each and every movement requires intense scrutiny. Many ‘lights were lit’ during the instructors sessions whilst learning these tools and no doubt, from the response we had, many more were ‘lit’ during the camp.
ensure that our now legendary barbecue was on track for the Saturday night fun and frolics by the river.
Ben training hard during the early morning sessions!
Lunch came and went. Having been fed and watered we returned back to the training field for some more Qi development tools followed by the two-man Pauchui form. These two subjects were to form the backbone of the summer camp in the days to come. Erle wanted to ensure that most people left with at least one whole topic under their belt. During the evening sessions, Erle took everyone through various drills for gaining Fa-jing using, both, solo and twoperson training methods. Erle demonstrating Fa-jing.
Day 2 continued with the Qi development tools, however, Erle also gave everyone a tantalizing preview of the Bagua ‘Little Dragon’ form. Having seen Erle demonstrate both, the circular and linear forms of Baguazhang over the years, this was really a special treat for all Baguazhang lovers, including myself! To see the circular form at this highest small frame level, like its sister Taiji, was an eye-opener to say the least. I have often seen pictures of Sun Lu -tang performing the circular form at this level, but here it was, alive, right in front of us all to see!
Left & above: Erle demonstrates the Baguazhang ‘Little Dragon’ Form.
The late afternoon saw us return back to the Pauchui after finishing off the next set of the Qi development tools. We trained a little bit longer then usual as we had the barbecue to come that evening and we planned to party late into the
Having served everyone until they were stuffed senseless, Dave finally sat down with his platter of food, which I swear had at least the equivalent of 3 whole chickens on it! What was more shocking was the fact that he actually ate it
all and to think that ha has the gall to call me fat!
Last summer, the barbecue put on by Dave Garcia and Jerry Walker became an instant hit, so much so that we decided to do it all over again! However, this year, we made sure that there was plenty to go around even for the Vegans! Dave had spent two whole days preparing the meat for us carnivores and had made so much couscous that, Iâ€™m sure, had I asked Erich Ball (he of the Ricky Gervais lookalike fame) to confirm, that we could have fed a small African nation. So, early evening, we all gathered by the river Soar as Dave lit the fires and the air filled with the smell of charcoal, charred flesh and vegetable kebabs. As the smell of the food grew stronger, so did the pangs of hunger until Dave finally allowed us to dive into the delicious servings! I lost count the number of times I went back to fill up my plate. Even the Aussies, famed for their bar-bâ€™s, were impressed by what us Poms had managed to serve up. In fact, Iâ€™m sure I saw even Erle had back to the food table on a couple of occasions!
Finally, the entertainment started, as the alcohol began to pour, Kathleen strummed the guitar and sang a tune and was soon joined by Massimo, playing some amazing blues.
Having partied late into the night, followed by a kung fu flick, we awoke bleary-eyed on the Sunday morning. Only Erle appeared totally refreshed from the previous night, having snuck off early and leaving Sandra to deal with the rowdy kids!
finally came, everyone braved the showers and continued to train outdoors. Even after Erle had finished to teach, most people stayed out, training well into the evening. It was great watching everyone. There was a small group practicing the Pauchui form, whilst others were going over the Qi development tools and Ian Campbell, much to his delight, finally got to do some Bagua!
With the final full day of the camp having arrived, Erle strove to finish the final set of the Qi development tools. Already, great things had started to happen during the learning of these tools. Suddenly, the small frame level of the form took a whole new significance in light of these training methods. The theme for this year was definitely ‘small’! Thus, having gone over the Qi development tools in their entirety, Erle continued in the same mode for the Pauchui twoperson form. Again, highlighting the finer details and more intricate applications at this small level. The final evening meal saw Erle present a signed copy of his Encyclopedia of Dim-Mak to Annick Fournier, in memory of her mentor and fellow WTBA member, JeanPierre Dufaure, who sadly passed away early in the year. Annick was also made an instructor for the WTBA, teaching the Yang Cheng-fu form of Taiji. Jean-Pierre had attended the camp last year and was one of the first to sign up for the 2010 campaign. Having had the opportunity to spend some time with Jean-Pierre, I, along with others, had found him to be a truly nice person, with a great love and knowledge of Taiji. Softly spoken, he always greeted everyone with a smile and was extremely touched last year, when Erle led the chorus with the rest of Camp 2009 attendees, to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. We all, at the WTBA, send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The final evening was spent learning the first palm change from the Bagua ‘Little Dragon’ form. As the predicted rains
Monday, the last day of the camp saw an extended morning session as we were all due to depart after lunch. Most of the session was spent revising and going over what we had learned the previous three days. The rains intervened once more and we all hurried indoors and
be difficult - But that is also a sign of the strength and diversity of the WTBA family and the bonds which unite us all. Camp 2011 will see us at a different venue, however, I
gathered in the common room. Here, Erle decided to spend the final hour of Camp 2010 doing a question and answer session. Erle has often said that in the past, in Australia, some of the best training came from these sessions. have no doubt many of the â€˜oldâ€™ faces will be there, along with some new!
Many questions were put to Erle, from how to train the form to what the classics were implying to when they were written all those years ago. Questions were based on the martial as well as the health side of both Taijiquan and Baguazhang. After several demonstration to illustrate his points and with ample anecdotes delivered in the classic Montaigue custom, the session drew to a close. along with Camp 2010 itself. Erle was presented with a book at the end, signed by all the participants, with their thoughts and views on both the man and his system. Finally, it was time to do the hardest thing - say goodbye! Having spent so many days with so many wonderful people, old friends from Austria, Holland, Ireland and France, and new friends from Italy, Germany and the Sudan ( an Aussie really!), goodbyes were always going to
Photography by Nasser Butt ÂŠ2010
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they can. The always pull their fist back to their hip. So I stop them and tell them to touch their finger tips onto the
Tai Chi Fighting
bag and without pulling back hit the bag. They usually look at me as if I am insane as how can anyone generate power from that distance? I then show them that it can be done and they begin to listen. I also tell them that in pulling their fist back to their hip, they are simply telling their opponent that they are gong to hit them! Sure, these methods work fine in the ring in a tournament, but tournament and sparring has nothing at all to do with real fighting! In fact sparring is the most damaging thing for real life self defence! You have two martial artists in a ring using kata oriented methods against each other in a "you hit me, then I hit you" manner. High kicks and one step sparring or block and attack methods will get you decked in the street or worse, killed!
Erle Montaigue ÂŠ2010
Some people call me a "Tai Chi Renegade". I am happy to be this as by definition, a "renegade" is Someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw. I was expelled from school for being a rebel and often an outlaw and I remain as such to this day. My being a renegade in Tai Chi terms was brought about by my not being normal and following the common ideas about Tai Chi. And it's not simply that I regard Tai Chi as the most deadly fighting art ever invented as there are others who also believe that. It's the way that my lineage has taught me and my students to learn how to fight in a self defence situation that is for the most part totally different to what other instructors teach.
The greatest method for learning how to fight like an animal, reflexively and instantaneous, is the Tai Chi training method of "Push Hands". However, REAL push hands is not like what most people practice. Because of the name "Push Hands", most people think of pushing! There are NO pushes in Tai Chi! Worse still many have put this once brilliant training tool into a sort of competition and they go into a ring and try to push each other over! What kind of self defence is that? Why would you want to push someone? He just gets up and attacks again. Why would you wish to push someone who is attacking you with a knife? Try yielding to that mate bang, you're dead!
My main teacher was a deadly human being! However, he was also a most gentle man and a gentleman. It's just that he has the ability to kill with his fingers only and never once did I see him use any Tai Chi postures for this purpose. I would try to ask him (as he didn't speak much English) what posture the move that he just did on me was. He would simply hit me again! So I soon learnt that what he was doing was something else other than just learning what each of the Tai Chi postures was used for, or what application they were designed for.
Push Hands in the real sense teaches us at a subconscious level to strike from anywhere at any time with great power, enough to kill an attacker with one strike! We have the basic movements which are also unlike anything that others will teach, in that we never have low open stances, stances that you would never be in walking down the street. We take a normal standing position as if we are standing at a bus stop. Then we begin the basic movements of P'eng, Lu, Chee and Arn, with the corner movements also thrown in for good measure of Tsou, K'ao, Lit and choi. However, these also are unlike those movements from the Tai Chi form or kata, they are very small with no sitting back and moving forward, but rather changing the centre from side to side. This all happens in a blink with a potential deadly strike happening in the MIND of the practitioner at a subconscious level. There is never any big Yielding movement, that happens instantaneously with an almost instant attacking movement.
Many years later I learned from my own experience (which he told me would happen), that what he was doing was a very advanced method of Tai Chi ch'uan called No Tai Chi. He called it such because the movements looked nothing like any Tai Chi, they were so small that it looked like he was doing nothing at all! The main thing that I did learn was that if you learn Tai Chi, or any martial art as it was and try to use the postures or katas for fighting, you would lose in a real street situation where your life was threatened. Our lineage teaches that we Fight Without Fighting. And we learn to fight without learning! In Tai Chi (or Bagua), we have certain brilliant training methods designed by those genius of old that teach us how to fight at a reflexive level; like a dog fights. These training methods teach us sub-consciously to react instantly without thinking with the correct method using a huge amount of power from a very short distance. This is the ONLY way to defend yourself in the street as a good street fighter will literally be in your face in the time it takes you to blink! And you need to attack and keep attacking with devastating dim-mak and fa-jing attacks before he even knows what has hit him. So you need to be able to act instantly from a distance for instance, from his neck of only one inch. And you need to have a way of generating such power from that small distance that will have the power to kill the attacker. When I first go to a new club to teach, I go to one of the large kick bags hanging on the wall and ask the attendees who are always highly ranked, to hit the bag as hard as
The movements from Push Hands as mentioned above, we call, Walking Down The Street. These are those movements that are our everyday movements and do not require any retaliation or re-attack from us. They just happen in sequence like a flowing river. However, at a subconscious level, the very instant that something different happens away from walking down the street, we strike! Others from other schools who come and want to do push hands with any of our students usually get a shock when they try to push as they find a fist in their temple or neck! They then say that that's not push hands! So we just walk away. Photo No.1 shows most people's idea of push hands, showing the method of Lu or Roll Back. Photo No. 2 shows our way of doing Lu.
Well of course we are! You HAVE to use force in a real life situation, however, that force always come from an angle, never head on and always after a split second movement that is designed to take the opponent's mind away from what is really happening to him. For instance, if we are to very quickly squeeze his wrist at Neigwan, and this takes less than a split second, his mind will go directly to that point as that is where the main energy systems of the body meet, so in that split second when his mind is wondering what the F is happening, we are hammering him. And this is what we learn through doing push hands, not how to push someone or how to avoid being pushed! After all, only kids in a school ground use pushes. In the real street, we are attacked with powerful punches and other attacks or grappling methods so we HAVE to be able to deal with those attacks instantly and it is push hands that gives us that ability. So why then do we even DO the forms? There is of course a huge reason to do forms, i.e. a set of movements designed to cause the body to do something different.
Photo 1 - Shows what most people's idea of push hands is, showing the posture of "Lu".
Firstly, we do martial arts movements in our Tai Chi or Bagua because China's history is steeped in the martial. The body needs to be strong and healthy in order for us to defend ourselves and family and it is the formwork that gives us this. Each movement we make causes the energy or QI to become activated in a particular meridian or channel in the body. Each channel is associated to a particular major organ in the body. So this in turn heals each organ as we perform our Tai Chi or Bagua form. The other reason is that as we perform each movement to do each bit of work that it was designed for, i.e. a certain martial application, the Qi is directed through a certain meridian in order to do that work.
Photo 2 - Shows our idea of Push Hands showing the same posture at small frame level.
Push Hands is probably the most balanced self defence training method ever invented as it not only gives us all of the above, but also gives us a huge whole body physical workout. For self defence, you MUST use methods that build the body using a changing state of weight and power, in fact pumping iron in a gym will take you backward as the weights are dead. A good push hands session will see your whole body sore afterward as every muscle is used in self defence and attack. We DO attack hard and fast and every so-called push is regarded as a striking attack which can come from anywhere at any time. Any grab of the wrist or arm is regarded as an attack and we attack relentlessly to such grabs. Always using the Tai Chi principle of never use force on force. Many will see us doing our push hands and not see this and will remark that we seem to be using force!
Photo 3 - Shows the posture called Brush Knee & Twist Step.
The other main reason is that the form teaches us how to move the body in a different manner in order to gain great power and speed without thinking. It does not teach us to use the hands in a certain way every time we are attacked! To do it this way would be to THINK about it and so, lose. It teaches us to place the feet NOT in the place that we are physically taught to place them, but rather that we place the feet sub-consciously in order to be in the optimum position at all times. Slow form or the Pauchui/San Sau forms all teach us how to move the body. The two person sets of San-Sau teach us how to deal with an attacker. However, it was never meant to be used exactly as it is! It CAN become quite heavy and fast, but it should never turn into a melee or fighting method! It causes us to gain lightness of foot and exact placement of foot when an attack is being put upon us. We learn to feel the opponent's weight instantly and how to deal with it sub-consciously.
Photo 5 - Shows a posture from the Pauchui form or Canon Fist form.
Photo 4 - Shows the basic physical application of Brush Knee & Twist Step which causes the sub-conscious mind to activate the Qi in the correct meridian and organ but without thinking about it. All we have to do, is to perform the whole form once, THINKING about the basic application and from then onward, we never have to think about it again.
Tai Chi teaches us how to fight in the real world against life or death situations without teaching us how to fight! If we learn how to fight, we will lose in the real world as we must become like a wild animal who doesn't even think about it, it just goes for it and automatically, it uses the correct weapons and methods to get the job done. Once it is over, it becomes little Bluey again, your pet dog. Learn what to take from your kata or form, know that it was never meant as a fighting system, it was meant to teach you about body movement and placement.
Photo 6 - Shows the application from that posture. PhotographyÂŠ2010 Moontagu Books & Video Wales, UK.
Tai Chi Participants are ‘Aging Well’
regular activities including walks, seated exercise, dance, pilates, yoga and lots more. For a comprehensive guide to activities in your area visit www.lrsport.org.uk/active or contact the Physical Activity Team on 01509 564870.
Jane Hammersley Individually prescribed exercise is expensive but Tai Chi instructor, Nasser Butt, was passionate and persistent in his message that ‘everyone must work WITH their own bodies, understanding their own individual minimum and maximum ranges’. His teaching was both patient and considerate, ensuring that everyone gained maximum benefit both from the culture as well as the movement offered by this Chinese system of slow meditative physical exercise. This therapeutic exercise is taught in mixed ability groups, in this case Melton Age Concern hosted 20 ‘senior’ participants through a session delivered under the Active Together programme. A calm, tranquil atmosphere descended upon this bright and airy environment, yet the energy produced by the concentration and control of the Tai Chi movements was tangible.
Photo©2010 Jane Hammersley
Active Together Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport has secured almost £1 million per year through Leicestershire Together and NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland to support and encourage more adults aged 16 years plus to take part in more physical activity to benefit their health.
Tai Chi contains a combination of both strength and balance training and there is evidence that Tai Chi can significantly reduce both rate of fall and risk of falling. Joan Wrottesley (a spritely 84 years young) is a regular attendee, “since I have been coming to these sessions I am much steadier on my feet and the moves really help with my balance. I have been coming for 3 months and I have not missed a single session.”
The Active Together programme is a countywide initiative, with Physical Activity Development Officers across Leicestershire, based at the Local Authorities, there to help you become more active. Each district has a programme of regular activities including walks, dance, aerobics and lots more.
Pete Franklin (69), another session regular who was fitted with two artificial hips two years ago commented “Since attending the taster session, I am hooked, I won’t miss a week. I can exercise without putting my body under any stress, and although I ache a little the next day I benefit greatly from a workout in a gentle, controlled way”.
‘Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport a voice for sport across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland.’ One Vision Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland the most sporting and physically active place in England by 2025.
As well as the benefits derived from the gentle body workout, instructor Nasser Butt also focuses attention on breathing techniques and general body strengthening, designed to help participants stay active for longer. The group also appeared to have developed a fantastic unity and the positive benefits of regular social interaction for the emotional well-being of older adults is well documented.
Two Outcomes More People More Medals Three Guiding Principles Safe Sport Fair Sport Well Led Sport
The Active Together programme is a countywide initiative, with Physical Activity Development Officers across Leicestershire, based at the Local Authorities, there to help you become more active. Each district has a programme of
Visit our web site www.lrsport.org.uk 
to continue his life journey but he would remember and file away the name Tai chi for another day.
The Short History of Colin Power
Eleven years passed as if they were only days. Building a business meeting a beautiful woman and getting married. Holding a baby boy in his arms then another, he is going to have to work out how this is happening. He is happy but his life is not to be a simple one and the winds of change are Colin Power whispering in the trees. He dares to ask “is this all that their is”. Remember he has been taught to ask questions of life all those When you are asked to write about yourself it can be a years ago and what is learnt can not be unlearnt. He had not problem. What do you write that won’t bore the pants off the seen tai chi again only something that others called tai chi. poor sods that are reading and won’t sound like a job applicaHis nights have become restless and his mind is journeying tion. So instead of dazzling you with BS I’ll tell you a story again. He stumbles across some old martial arts magazines he about a young man that has journeyed to middle age and some has kept and it is like welcoming an old friend. The articles that of the interesting people he has met along the way. attract him are not the ones that he had retained the magazines The story begins with a very troubled and isolated young for. This is 1997 and he is reading articles by Erle Montaigue, man questioning the world and sometimes shaking his fist in articles that he read many years before but now have new frustration. Well you know it, he was over-weight and seemed meaning. All common sense aside he decides to try the old not to fit in with what was expected of him. He was not happy phone number and find if Erle has any instructors in his area. for he knew there was a meaning to everything if he could only The phone still rang and was even answered by Erle but “sorry see out of his depression. You guessed it, along came martial mate no instructors close by but you can come to my classes if arts in the form of Tae kwon do and he slimmed down and felt you like”. I thanked him for the offer but he lived 6 hrs drive comfort- able in himself for a time. It served its purpose and got away. This was when the not so young man’s wife said “what is him out of his funk that so many young men find themselves in. the problem with a little drive if it means so much to you”. The Tae kwon do was wonderful not because it was the end of his not so young man’s wife is very special. journey but because it showed that there was a journey to be He had never trained in Tai chi and his first class was going had. He had changed but those around would not allow to be an advanced class with Erle and students at his property themselves to see it. “Horse’s Head”. Erle thought this new student would do the So the young man left to go to university at 17 years of age long journey once and never be seen again. The not so young and continue his journey. He met a man that had just returned man knew differently and travelled this path more times than from Japan and brought with him the permission to teach Nin- can be remembered. His family supported him and travelled jutsu in Australia. Remember this was 1983, before it was with him many times. His children played with Erle’s children adulterated for commercial gain. That came later and he was and the others that were frequently at training sessions. His wife lucky that he had learnt what was needed and moved on. Nin- became well loved by all even though she did not train. The jutsu taught the young man many skills that he still has today. whole family still sit around the dinner table and tell stories of For four years he was taught to look at the world in a different Summer camps and training sessions, stories of life not Tai chi. People they know want to see these places because of the way and use the tools of the world were ever they may lay. In this time he met another interesting man, the father of stories that are told.The WTBA has influenced the man’s life as his Ninjutsu sensei. This man had only one student and the art well as the life of his whole family. was very forceful, explosive and dynamic. The young man was encouraged to watch the older man train and told to try and work out were the power in his art came from. The power was raw like a wild animal but seemed to be able to re- claim what it had expended. The violence did not deter the young man as he was trained in violence and had gotten over the shock of being hit a long time ago.
The not so young man uses everything he has learnt in everything that he does. It would be a shame to waste all that he learnt on just fighting. Hopefully no-one notices that he is always trying to move from his centre and he is trying to interact with life as a true martial artist should. His training is not perfect or as extensive as some. There are many holes in his skills as he started with advanced techniques. The names of all The timing was not right and the young man with only a the points often allude him and he is by no means an academic few interactions with this violent old man would have to leave of all things martial. The journey has just started and the
horizon seems to grow further away every day. If he was asked where he was now he would not have a clue. Does this make him a poor martial artist, probably not. He was asked not long ago by a not so close acquaintance if all this martial arts made him a violent man. He thought and replied “ I am not a violent man but I know how to be violent”. The journey is always about self, and the changes that the road brings. One day you may meet the not so young man and all he will ask is for you to tell him your story. No story is better than another it is just a story after all. He cherishes the stories of the great men and women of WTBA and proud to call them friends. He has looked inside the warrior’s soul and been forever changed.
Colin Power Photography by Lauron Power
Erle Montaigue Back In USA
usa mini camp may 13th, 14th & 15th 2011
Erle Montaigue will be in the USA for a Mini Summer Camp on the 13th (7pm to 9pm) 14th and 15th of May 2011. The venue is here: http://www.poconoplateau.org/ and it is in PA about 1/2 hour from NJ. This will now be a "mini-camp" where everyone is together for the duration from Friday late afternoon until when we leave on the Sunday afternoon. The price for the venue is $118.00 each attendee for the time there which includes full accommodation, 3 meals a day and a snack on the Friday evening. The Training Cost is $155.00. So for a total of $273.00 you are getting full accommodation and training! A deposit is needed to secure your place as we must pay up front for the venue. We have a limited number of spaces so please, if you are interested get in early with your deposit which will be paid directly to Al Krych (Chief WTBA Representative USA). Training will now have two parts. A formal part which will consist of Erle's regular workshop schedule covering as much of the Old Yang Style as possible plus the 12 Qi Development Tools Qigong methods. The other part is informal as we are ensconced at the venue so training in things like push hands, self defence methods etc., can continue at other times. An ideal opportunity for those in the USA to experience one of Erle's "Summer Camps" even at a mini-level. Erle will also try to cover the next of the Dim-Mak Cornerstone forms.
Spaces are limited so PLEASE book with your deposit early!
Contact Al Krych: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Phone: 908 475 1619
The 12 Qi Development To o l s f r o m Yang Lu- ch'an
heel is on the ground and whether the front knee is over the front toes etc. They miss the intricate movements that only the practitioner can feel as they perform these tiny hand movements. The very first of the 12 Qi Development Tools belongs to the HEART meridian and is the most simple of them all. it is based upon the Tai Chi postures of Brush Knee Twist Step. Someone watching would probably dismiss this first method as nothing special. However, what they miss is what this simple movement is doing internally. Many would look, and pick up the movement easily. But they will not have it. Because they aren't seeing the hands! During the most advanced method of Tai Chi, the Small Frame Form, some of the basic rules written in the classics (a bunch of sayings left to us by the old masters) are or seem to be broken. The reason is that the Classics were written with the beginner in mind, giving some basic guidelines for beginners so that they are able to at least have some body alignment etc. However, when watching a real master of high level, you WILL notice that he does occasionally bend very slightly so slight though that someone watching who is not in the know, would not notice it. Lowering of the body is also allowed in certain postures as this increases the Qi activation in that meridian. What you get out of the 12 Qi Activation Qigong methods, is what we are all searching for from our Tai Chi practice. It seems to set you up for the day. After morning practice, it turns on the motor and things just get done a whole lot easier and quicker. A certain calmness comes over the whole mind and body and a grounding that puts everything into perspective so that you can get on with life. Below is a brief intro to each of the 12 Qi Development Tools which are now out on DVD in two volumes. See www.taijiworld.com for details.
Photography©2010 Nasser Butt
Erle Montaigue ©2010 July
Each of the 12 Qi Development Tools also has a Heavy or Weighted Hand training method.
For me, the 12 Qi Development Tools are the most important area of one's Internal training. Not many students of the Internal Arts will ever appreciate these gems as they will never even get to the highest levels of the Old Taijiquan Form of Yang Lu-ch'an. However, it is only when one does rise to the highest level of Small Frame that you will realise how important these 12 methods of Qigong are.
The area of gaining very powerful strikes from a very short distance. Even a small person is able to gain the power from only one inch away from the target and that's where real fighting happens. If you take someone’s arm, rip it off and hit someone with it, you could kill them as an arm is a very heavy object. However, most martial artists never realize their full potential in that they will use adverse muscle groups to make their arms “light”.
What Basic 3 Circle Standing Qigong gives to the beginner in that; while we are waiting to actually get something Internal from our form practice, the 3 circle, or Mother qigong gives us at least some internal development while we are still thinking about where to put our hands and feet etc. So too does the 12 Qi Development Tools give the more advanced practitioner if for instance they are only just beginning to understand and to train in the small frame method or if they haven't the time to perform the whole form in the mornings and evenings.
Here is where the 12 Qi Development tools come into play. Each of them teaches at a sub-conscious level, a different striking method, causing the attacking arm to remain heavy. The first Qigong Tool “HEART” teaches us how to keep the heavy hands during the normal Tai Chi fist. As soon as you THINK about striking someone, you have lost it and you will lose this ability. So the “SUNG” State gained from each of the 12 methods gives you this ability to not telegraph the attack and to not THINK before or AS you strike. Each of the 12 Qi Development Tools is shown once only as this is not a DVD to actually TEACH the 12 as that is already covered in previous volumes. But the “Heavy Hands” or putting the WEIGHT in to your hands and arms is taught for each method. Some very useful SELF DEFENCE Methods are also taught in this volume and the next along with more ideas and methods of fighting.
The hands are singularly the most important area of the body as far as Taijiquan is concerned. When watching someone practice their Taijiquan, an advanced practitioner will never look at beautiful low stances or perfect body alignment. The hands are what to look for as it is the hands that show the internal. "The Qi Manifests in the Hands and Fingers." And it is this area that most people miss completely as they don't see the wood for the trees! What they miss is what is happening at an internal level, preferring to look at perfect body alignment, whether the
12 Qi Development Tools Heart Yin
11am to 1pm
Small Intestine Yang
1pm to 3pm
Abdominals & Quadriceps
Helps with Healing
3pm to 5pm
Sacrospinallis: (A bunch of muscles in the back) Peroneus; Tibialis; (Calf & Front of Calf)
5pm to 7pm
Upper Trapezius; Psoas; lleacus Psoas; (Attached to Femur and lower spine it is the Hip Flexure.
7pm to 9pm
Gluteus Max; Gluteus Med; Piriformis; Abductors; General Pelvic
Triple Heater Yang
9pm to 11pm
Gastroenemius; Soleus; Sartorius; Gracilis; Teres Minor; Flexor Hallicus; Longus
Calf & Foot
11pm to 1am
Anterior Deltoid; Politeus
Shoulder & Upper Calf
1am to 3am
Rhomboids; Pect Major Sterral
3am to 5am
Deltoids; Diaphragm; Anterior Serratus; Coracobrachiallis
Shoulders and Diaphragm Deep Chest muscles
5am - 7am
Hamstrings; Quad Lumborum; Pascia Lata; Flexor Digitorum; Longus
Lumbar & Kidney region & â€˜sweet spotâ€™
7am - 9am
Neck Ext/Flexors; Levator Scapulae; Peet Maj; Clavicular; Bracioradialis; Sterno- Cleido Mastoid
Neck Upper Forearms on Top.
9am - 11am
Trapezius; Latisumus Dorsi; Oponens Pol Lngs.
Traps & Lats
1/- Heart: BKTS: Then Fa-jing side.
Tongue up on inhale then down on exhale thru mouth. Works on: The power centre for fighting and with the SI qigong, helps the healing side. Heavy Hand Method: Snap Punch.
2/. Small Intestine: Pigeon Flies one. For YIN ORGAN: Tongue up and down breathing in nose out mouth. Visaversa for YANG. Only for the HEART & SI though. It is the reverse for the other ten!
2/. Small Intestine YANG: 1p to 3p Muscle: Abdominals and Quads. Pigeon Flies Rt foot fwd. Scoop L palm upward as in "Pigeon Flies", as Rt goes Yang. Step w. L foot: As you step, turn waist to the L then back to the Rt twisting the waist but keeping the hips to the front. Then turn back to the front as you finish with a downward Yang Palm something like "Repulse Monkey". The Rt palm, long finger will move down the inner forearm to HT3 to activate, then goes Yin as it draws a line up the inner arm
1/. HEART YIN: 11 a to 1 p: Under Scapulars BKTS Rt ft fwd: L long finger scribes up PC meridian to longest finger. Rt palm rolls Yin small finger upward and long finger scribes back down PC to wrist. Spiral it fwd as step fwd with L leg, feet parallel: L palm goes Yang, then Yin as Rt goes Yang. Repeat on the other side with L foot fwd. Step with Rt foot fwd. LIttle bob or lean at finish of each. 
along the HT meridian and out of HT7 to finish. The Rt palm will do as before and go Yin as this happens. Tongue upper for the inhalation and down for the exhalation but breathe in and out of the nose. Inside forearm strike.
(Foot)) Arn: Pigeon. Ball Foot. Begin L ft fwd. Inhale, sit fully onto Rt ft. Rt palm yang lowers. L palm scoops inward to body as you lift front ft and lift heel standing on K1. Place L foot again and begin to step w Rt foot as Rt palm Yang comes across the L palm and traces along PC meridian along PC7 Middle of wrist band. Thru PC8 and out along long finger thumb side. Place R ft as hands make the cat movements ending up w Rt fwd Yang and L is Yin. In Nose and out mouth. tongue up & down. Single Pounding Palm X 3.
3/. Bladder: YANG: 3p to 5p (Muscles in Back, and calf) Scoop Before Arn Activate on the KD meridian: 21 to 27. rt of cv 14 to rt on clavicle: Scooping before Arn: L leg fwd. Sit right back onto Rt and Scoop Rt palm as your waist only, turns fully Rt. L palm is Yang and follows. Place a little wgt onto L as Rt now scoops over to L fully and wgt sits back onto Rt fully. As you begin to Step fwd w Rt foot, Rt palm lifts right up over head and L palm rolls over to YIN in order to rub upward over KD 21 to 27. From side of CV14 unto clavicle. Centre of middle. AS Rt palm changes to YANG and strikes down, L palm simply moves out from clavicle and ends up L of Rt forearm. To begin the next side, Rt goes yin as L goes yang to begin the scooping. And repeat on other side. Breathe in through nose and out through Mouth! Forearm outside upward, then Palm strike.
7/. Gallbladder (YANG) 11p to 1am. Anterior Deltoid (OUter shoulder) and Popliteus (Upper Calf) Stork: Activation Point is run from LIV13 to LIV 14. L ft fwd. Cross arms so that Rt Yin hand is on LIV13 and L Yang hand is acroos Rt side of face as you turn fully to rear on waist. As you turn to N again, Rt palm longest finger runs along LIV 13 to 14. as L palm comes down to side and L foot raises (Stork). L hand changes to Yang and Rt changes to YIN in posture. Hold for 3 Breaths. Tortoise breathing. Hands change yin and yang as you breathe. L hand comes up middle as Rt goes down Then into end posture as L goes Yang and Rt goes yin as normal. Strike upward with knife edge palm, then down with same palm then into vertical fist.
4/. Kidney: YIN: 5p to 7p (Upper Traps and Hip Flexure) 1st Kick L ft fwd. Do the small frame hands from the first kick in Old Yang. Only turn the Rt hand upward yin as the L is Yang. As the Rt hand comes around the L it goes Yang as L goes Yin. Turn Rt Then L goes Yang as Rt goes Yin as Rt goes underneath the L. Turn L. Step with Rt foot And come into posture lifting Rt foot flexed. Then place it down to begin the other side. Breathe in nose and out nose. Lateral Palm strike into back elbow.
8/. Liver (YIN) 1am to 3 am: Scapular Preparation Start L ft fwd. Activate Rt scapular as move wgt naturally fwd and inhale through nose. Activate L scapular as exhale and sit back. Do this 3 times. Lower wgt as both hands out to sides and inhale. Hands up and over turning so that little finger up. lower down front as wgt sits back. Scoop both hands inward and palm toward you up the front as step w rt ft. Bring hands down into position as wgt fwd and finish normally. Stork Wings punch into back fist type, followed by leaping change step and L palm strike.
5/. Pericardium: YIN: 7 p to 9 p. (Gluteus Max Buttocks: General Pelvic) Repulse Monkey Fold Arms. Starting position. Turn Rt wgt Rt foot. Allow both hands to flop over, the L hand crosses under the Rt, Palms up. Rt is YIN. L is Yang. AS you turn L, Your L hand slides around to the inside of the Rt inner forearm and remaining YANG slides down the inner forearm as the Rt fingers poke upward. Rt hand turns over and comes on top of the left which is now palm up. L is now Yin, Rt is Yang as the Rt now slides down the inside of the L forearm. Step and drop down really low as both palms go to the Rt and load. Rt YIN L Yang. Step and come down in the normal stopping position. That last load, sink right down into the L leg. Breathe in nose out Nose tongue up & down. Lateral Palm strike into back elbow.
9/. Lungs (YIN) 3am to 5am: Deep Chest Muscles: Shoulder: Fishes in 8 up CV CV Meridian Third Eye. Start L ft fwd. Make like Fishes in 8 to Rt turning waist fully. L palm Yang, palm pointing Rt. Rt palm yin palm pointing L. Reverse hands and turn fully L. Exhale. Rt palm makes silk tie over L wrist. Rt foot comes off ground and holds next to L. L palm pushes down Yang as Rt palm Yin fingers point up. L palm goes Yin and scoops up the CV meridian as Rt goes Yang pushes down. L goes up to third eye point. Hold for 2 breaths as Rt foot touches. Then as Rt foot places, L goes Yang and Rt goes Yin to finish in normal posture. Both palms strike to Rt. L is Yang Rt is Yin, then do same over to L only reverse. Follow with Tiger paw going slightly downward into the body.
5/. Pericardium: YIN: 7 p to 9 p. (Gluteus Max Buttocks: General Pelvic) Repulse Monkey Fold Arms. Starting position. Turn Rt wgt Rt foot. Allow both hands to flop over, the L hand crosses under the Rt, Palms up. Rt is YIN. L is Yang. AS you turn L, Your L hand slides around to the inside of the Rt inner forearm and remaining YANG slides down the inner forearm as the Rt fingers poke upward. Rt hand turns over and comes on top of the left which is now palm up. L is now Yin, Rt is Yang as the Rt now slides down the inside of the L forearm. Step and drop down really low as both palms go to the Rt and load. Rt YIN L Yang. Step and come down in the normal stopping position. That last load, sink right down into the L leg. Breathe in nose out Nose tongue up & down. Downward striking palm then into tiger paw punch then forward elbow. Follow him etc.
10/. Colon (YANG) 5am to 7 am: Hamstrings: Top of foot where Sweet Spot is: Grasp Swallow's Tail. Lung Activation is LU 5 to 11. Upper inner forearm to tip of thumb inside of forearm/ Grasp Swallow's Tail. Lift L foot from beginning posture. Turn waist Rt as L palm is Yang and Rt is Yin. L palm drags tie over top of Rt wrist. Almost join palms as in Grasp Swallow's Tail and releasing, turn L. Rt is the Yang and L is the Yin. Release over to Left. L palm drags tie over top of Rt and then perform Grasping Swallow's Tail as you release over to Rt again. Repeat this two more times while standing low on one leg. On the third time, release to front as you step w Rt foot. Then L palm pokes fingers fwd under rt palm. As you come into posture, the L palm will pull the tie over the
6/. Triple Heater: YANG 9p to 11p (Gastrocnemius: (back of calf) Soleus: (Also Back of calf lower) Flexor Hallicus 
whole of the Rt palm from LU 5 to LU11 (Thumb) and come into posture with Rt hand Yang and L hand Yin. Rt hinge striking back with back of forearm palm dangling down. Rt palm circles CW up and over flow with Chee Rt then step into Chee Left.
11/. Stomach (YANG) 7am to 9 am. Activation: SP20 to SP17 (Wave Hands) Neck: Sternocleido Mastoid. Upper Forearm Top. Beginning posture L ft fwd. Wgt Rt, turn L as Rt palm goes past face like dragon prawn. L goes down like willow tree. Turn Rt as L scoops upward and L traces along SP20 to SP17. Turn L as in Wave Hands WGT Rt. Change Hands as WGT fwd onto L. TUrn and change hands as step. Change hands (third time) as Rt placed and finish. Rt Yang L Yin. 3 wave hands like clouds hand movements. Rising Back Palm Downward Palm strike then into shoulder strike.
12/. Spleen (Yin) 9am to 11am. Trapezius & Latisumus Dorsi (Lift Hands) (Kick to rear) L leg fwd. Raise hands into Lift Hands Posture. Stand with L foot off ground for 3 breaths. Tortoise Breathing. Kick L foot outward to the rear to activate Spleen meridian. Bring it back and step fwd w Rt as R hand comes up under To finish normally R hand Yang. Two quick lateral palm strikes L, R, from short distance, followed by two also quick short over- turned fists.
Combat & Healing is opening its pages to advertising for all its readers. If you wish to advertise your school, classes, workshops or any other products related to the martial/healing arts, in these pages, then please contact Nasser Butt on the email
below for costs and further information: CombatandHealing@gmail.com
This is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to raise the profile of their school or business within the pages of an established
journal with an international readership running into the 1000â€™s.
Hurry, as only a few limited spaces will be offered!
venue: the studio, top floor, unit 36 faircharm trading estate, evelyn drive, leicester le3 2bu, uk
WTBA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CAMP 2011
28th july - 1st August 2011
Home of the WTBA Leicester
e u ig ina) a t Ch n o ree,
M eg e l rD
ÂŁ280 Per Person This includes daily lunch served at the Studio & training fees
The Premier Inn, Leicester (Braunstone South). Braunstone Lane East, Leicester LE3 2FW Tel: 0871 527 8588 Fax: 0871 527 8589 Web:
Deposit: ÂŁ140. Please pay Erle direct via website. All deposits must be paid by 31st May 2011 & are nonrefundable!
All participants MUST secure their own accommodation in advance of arrival! Please make your bookings asap as July/ August are peak periods and costs are likely to rise for late bookers and/or rooms unavailable!
WTBA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CAMP JULY 28TH-1ST AUGUST 2011
Welcome to the Studio: Your training venue for Camp 2011 is ready & waiting. Six months in the making, with blood, sweat and some tears - accessible via train, bus or car. The train station is a brisk 30 but mostly an abundance of love and goodwill from an minute walk via some of the oldest canal networks in amazing group of guys and gals - WTBA England or, a 10 minute drive by car. Leicester are proud to present our training studio, your venue for Camp 2011. Our two nearest airports are Birmingham International & East Midlands Airport less After years of hiring expensive venues, it then an hour away, with both rail and bus was only logical to set up our own training networks to Leicester! facility, fully equipped to train the Erle Montaigue System. With almost 4000 sq. feet The Premier Inn Hotel (Braunstone of brightly lit open space, filled with some South) is approximately a mile from the lavish plants, we feel we have found our perfect Studio and takes only a few minutes walk to place. reach. It has everything you'd expect, incredibly comfy beds in every room and an integrated restaurant serving Conveniently located, the Studio is a mere 5 minutes drive from a mix of traditional and contemporary dishes. For those who the M1/M69 motorways and a stone’s throw from Leicester city like to ‘tweet’ or update their status on facebook regularly, wi-fi centre. Being at the heart of the Midlands, Leicester is easily is available!
The training schedule is not set in stone! Erle will be continuing with the ‘magical’ Qi Development Tools at a medical therapy level.
It is imperative that all participants make their own accommodation arrangements for the summer camp. You will need to book your own rooms for the duration of the camp. I have posted a web-link and phone numbers for the Premier Inn Hotel, Leicester (Braunstone South), in the box above.
The Yang Lu-ch’an form at its ‘just do it’ level’, alongside the Pauchui, Push Hands, Qi-gong and the Bagua circular form (The Little Dragon Way) will also be taught.
Each room can sleep 2 persons and you pay for the room not the person. This can bring the cost considerably down for people sharing. If you’re coming in a group, than I advise you arrange amongst yourself the sharing arrangements before booking the rooms!
As always, we will arrive on Thursday 28th July 2011 and will meet at the Studio in the afternoon, where the full itinerary will be given. We will depart on Monday, August 1st after lunch.
Breakfast and Evening meals are available at the hotel, however, these are in addition to the room cost! Lunch will be served at the training studio and there will be plenty of tea, coffee and water available for free throughout the training! Book your accommodation early, as July/August are peak times and you may not get a room or pay the premium rate! The Premier Inn have not blocked off any rooms especially for us due to their varying price structure. It is simply a case of first come first serve and by booking sooner you are more likely to get the cheaper prices! If you fail to secure your accommodation, then please contact Nasser Butt on the details below, for alternative B&B’s in the area: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44(0)7792242150 (Mobile) 0116 270 8730 (Home) The total cost per person will be £280. This includes your training fees, lunch and sundries at the Studio. Please forwards your deposits of £140 directly to Erle asap and no later then May 31st 2011. The remainder can be paid upon arrival at the camp. Once you have paid your deposit, please send an email to Nasser Butt at the above contact details, so I can add your names to the list of attendees for logistical purposes.
There will also be informal training sessions during the evening as well as daily Q&A sessions with Erle.
As always the summer camps are not just for learning forms, but also a time to renew old friendships and build new ones. It is also an opportunity for Erle to assess your progress and offer gradings BUT far more importantly they’re about having fun! See you in July... Directions from Premier Inn to Training Hall: 1. From main entrance of hotel walk towards main road (Braunstone Lane East). 2. Turn right and walk towards junction with Narborough Road (A5460). 3. At junction turn right onto Narborough Road and walk straight. As you walk you will see a Sturgess Jaguar car showroom across the road on your left hand side and a Tesco Express Petrol station on your side of the road. 4. Make a right turn onto the 5th road on your right, Evesham Road. 5. Walk to the bottom of Evesham Road and turn left onto Heyworth Road. 6. Walk for approximately 400 feet and turn right onto Evelyn Drive. 7. Walk straight down to the bottom of Evelyn Drive and enter the Faircharm Trading Estate. 8. Continue to walk straight ahead and cross the bridge on the river. 9. After the bridge turn left, you will now be standing in a square. Walk straight ahead for approximately 100 metres. We are number 36 with a blue door, on the right, and based on the top floor.
If you have any special dietary requirements for lunch, please let Nasser know asap. We will be serving vegetarian, vegan and carnivorous options as usual! There will be the usual shenanigans on Saturday night with our customary barbecue for which there will be a small additional fee. We’re hoping that by structuring the Summer Camp as above, we are able to reduce the overall cost for all our friends and give them more options and control during the current economic climate. Please let us know if you have any difficulty in making any arrangements.
Shifu or Sea Food? Nasser Butt ©2010 師傅 and 師父, are both Chinese terms referring to a ‘Master’. Although both are pronounced identically, Shifu ( sounds like ‘Sure foo’ - there is an ‘R’ sound in there not so obvious from the Mandarin romanization) the words are distinctive and different in usage, and can be broken down into the following:
師 = Teacher in both cases. 傅 = Tutor 父 = Father Taking the above into account we realise that the term 師父 is dualistic in nature and can be more accurately described as ‘teacher father’ and/or ‘master father’, whereas, 師傅, was generally used as ‘master’ referring respectfully to a general tradesman and his skill! The former, since it was also used to refer to Taoist priests, could further be loosely ascribed as ‘spiritual father/ teacher’! Thus, confirming a linear relationship between a student/disciple and teacher of religious instruction and / or martial arts. I, myself, would add here perhaps, even, the relationship between a father and son! Whichever way we look at it, the word 'Shifu’ takes on a monumental meaning and responsibility. I have often wondered how many of those who throw this word around so cheaply, actually understand its true significance? Firstly, most martial arts schools and martial artists pronounce the word incorrectly as ‘She foo’, using the Cantonese romanization - ‘Sifu’ and almost sounding like ‘sea-food’ without the ‘d’ at the end!
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Letters Dear Homies!! Thanks a lot for everything! For me, inside, this has been my greatest experience ever....thanks for all your work. Ha-ha, when running into Erle limping up the stairs thursday evening, I felt a brief sensation of mild curiosity and worry of, huh!, How is this going to work out. I knew it would be great anyway, but perhaps not just as great as it could be. First minute early friday morning, when saw you just standing there, that blew away in blink, and as just starting to move, showing the little dragon form, I found myself giggling in awe of cool movements. And from then on, and during the whole camp I don't think it mattered to anyone apart from the pain in leg. Quite impressive actually! Apart from the winter camp, its been a while since I had what I call a tai chi smile, when a student realize and takes inside a quite new sensation without having to work hard for it. And you cant help but smiling cause it is just so cool. But this weekend I haven't only been smiling, but literally laughing several times, cause it is beyond cool. So tai chi laughter from now on:-D The qi development tools gave something I have seen in others but, not been able to do very much myself. On the way home, while relaxing and listing to music I felt very nice emotionally all the way, gently smiling, and occasionally feeling some lump in the throat, slightly similar to when before crying, but of joy and amusement! Feeling the thrill of everything. I can now also relate a lot more to the story of the dude who was struggling to get a baby with his wife, but after coming back from tai chi camp, puff! wifey pregnant. I always feel particularly great in one way or another after a camp but. When back home monday evening, I felt so potent and full of life inside, in a way never felt before, and if you excuse my french, I thought if I spiderman`d even the garbage bin, something....will grow out of it the next day!! (well something was probably already growing in that bin, after been away for a few days, but thats not what I meant:) Also after this camp, I feel its like my "alternator" is working a lot better. It is now like I can hook up other car’s battery to mine, and not only jumpstart it, or ride along sharing some power to the garage if necessary, but run it permanently without gradually losing my own charge. I know a beautiful purple Jeep, with good looking rims, that will enjoy that. Although it is a lovely, strong and comfortable car,
it is sometimes easy to forget that, when to heavy to push when the battery is f**king flat. Thanks a hell of a lot for great time, and good insights and meeting all the people!! Regarding the jelly, for a while I been feeling different jelly inside when doing the form, but recent weeks before summer camp I’ve started to feel like I’m also moving in a nice lump of jelly, following my body, and I mean a fairly round and fat one, not only like an aura following the body shape. But when screwing up to much, its like breaking/jerkin/jumping out of the jelly and the nice feeling is gone. However now after camp, it is even cooler, it is like when "mixing?" the inside jelly with the outside jelly, via the hands, it is like manifesting a new piece of jelly to play and to move around with your hands!! That is really different to what I felt before!! Then it was only like "extending" the same inside jelly. " so now I have to handle all the jelly that I have" :) From the qi development tools I think. See you later alligators. And already looking a lot forward to 8 days camp in October. 8 is the chinese lucky number isn't it? Lots of Love from Lars-Erik, Tudelidu!
Hi Nasser, Thank you very much for organizing the workshop, We all enjoyed it very much. Kind regards Aude
Hi Nasser, A small word to tell you that the travel back to home was ok, and also to thanks you a lot for all you did for me during the camp. I enjoy this 2010 camp, even the missing of Jean Pierre, and i was really pleased when Erle give me the dedicated book. Now I am learning Yang Lu Chan form from the dvd, it is no easy but this is the only way to go forwards. Have a good summer, even if you work hard; I am sure that your new job will be ok. Take care, Sincerely Annick
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Secondly and far more importantly, martial artists, particularly in the West, have almost totally failed to grasp its relevance - spiritually and philosophically - and wear it as an egotistical title on their t-shirts and jackets just like a Premier league footballer, with an equivalent swagger! Can you imagine Yang Lu-ch’an walking down the street with “Yang the Invincible” or “Yang of the Eight Lords” written on the back of his shirt or a ‘holy man’ sitting atop a mountain with the legend “Holy Man” engraved down the side of his robes??? No! In my 30 years or so of walking the martial path, I have lost count of the endless number of ‘Sifus’ I have come across, who were not ‘Shifus’ (or Sensei) in either sense of the word! To be a ‘Teacher/Father’ was to take on a formidable task. It wasn’t a title to be worn or demanded, as is often the case today, but rather a term of genuine respect and endearment offered by a student/disciple, who saw his ‘Shifu’ as his true guide in all matters spiritual, philosophical, worldly and skill. In other words, it was no different to how a child may see his own father in terms of love, security, knowledge and guidance in at least his or her formative years! And the would be “Shifu”, when addressed as such, would also have to contemplate if he or she were truly deserving of that title and whether they could genuinely offer all said guidance. Yet, in the modern world, far from looking after their welfare and offering true guidance and in a lot cases even genuine skill (as the martial arts industry is littered with bogus ‘Masters’) - most said ‘Sifus’ regard their students in monetary terms and treat them like a business plan! They only place a commercial value upon their students, such as the fact that, they MUST and are only allowed to purchase merchandize from them, with their names engraved on their backs, becoming no more then an advertising board for the ‘master’! In some cases, as was recently pointed out to me by a friend about a school in London, the ‘Master’ even forbids any social contact amongst students, themselves, continued on page 57
“Not Bad, Not Bad At All” Aileen©2011 (Age Concern, Leicester) The arthritis in my joints was worsening when a hospital “scan” showed a problem with osteoporosis. This seemed to progress the problem of movement and pain in the knees and ankle joints, and soon I was losing a lot of confidence. It was not long I began to feel very thankful that I had moved into a bungalow a few years previous, so, I began to make plans to make myself as safe as possible around the home; A Zimmer frame to get me to the bathroom, and sturdy chair by my bed to hold onto and handles all around the shower, plus rails around the garden etc. The need to go out and about needed some preparation. Firstly, two walking sticks, one for home and one in my car. A routine settled quite soon - switch off the engine and grab the walking stick. Having a stick in my hand gave me confidence, but the fear of falling was always with me and visiting family and friends with an upstairs ‘loo’ became a
problem - if no one was looking, I would go upstairs sitting on my bottom! I am not mentioning too much the increasing weakness, pain and discomfort, and to find help I joined the hospital osteoporosis group. A leaflet about a new Tai Chi course starting shortly caught my interest. I had seen a demonstration years ago and was impressed. I recalled the slow movements and the calmness. Several people in the osteoporosis group had benefitted from yoga etc., so I decided to give Tai Chi a try, that was in June 2010. Here I am now, about to celebrate my ‘coming of age’ birthday (80) in a few weeks. I am not at all sure where my sticks are at the moment and the Zimmer is now gathering dust in the garage. With care I can walk up and down stairs and walk up to two miles with reasonable confidence. I do attend classes regularly and make an effort to practice regularly. There is still some pain BUT my joints are moving again and my confidence growing too. I don’t want to get over confident and I must confess I still wobble trying to stand on one leg! I put it down to Tai Chi and the encouragement of our Instructor, Nasser, who smiles and says, “not bad, not bad at all.”
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and or their ‘teacher’ unless expressly invited to do so by him! According to this school, the ‘master’ is not their friend but rather a person to be revered, alongside the ‘ancestors’!This usually is a sign of weakness, of someone who has very little confidence in his system and fears that his students may leave, hence the control! Or, there are those who insist students sign up to monthly or annual standing orders for making payments to the ‘master’ who then fails to even preside over the lesson! I have had the good fortune of meeting some genuinely good teachers on my journey but can honestly say have only met one person deserving of the ‘Teacher/Father’ title in its actual sense!
WTBA NEWS & EVENTS 2011
What’s more, I have never had to call him ‘Master’ or ‘Shifu’ or had to approach him via an intermediary or have to bow to him seven times and then crawl backwards out of his presence. Nor have I had to undergo the elaborate ‘Bai shi’ or discipleship ceremony and buy him extravagant gifts No, no...! Yet, it’s all there... A warm smile and hug upon meeting. A genuine concern for myself and the well-being of my family. Correspondence ending with a simple “love to all the family”. A gentle guiding hand on the shoulder in training. A complete sharing of knowledge and skill. A “We missed you” call or email, if I’ve failed to turn up to training and not - “You ‘ll still have to pay me, mister!” As for the ‘tea ceremony’ - rather, an invite to his dining table, to share his food with his family and to seal the deal - my youngest climbing on his back and pulling his hair! Yes, it’s all there and I am fortunate and blessed for sure.But, I say to you look carefully. Certainly respect your ‘teachers’ yet ask the question when certain demands are made or if insisted that you call your teacher , “Sifu”. Respect is earned through one’s actions not demands. And no wise man will refer to himself as a “Wise Man”! continued on page 58
Congratulations to Matthew Sayers and Raj on their wedding in July 2010. The WTBA family wishes them all the best for the future.
Breaking News Erle has announced that 2012 could be the year of seeing an additional summer camp in the USA, as well as the traditional one in the UK! This will be a full 4 day camp, arriving on the Thursday and departing on Monday. If you are interested in the USA event, please contact Erle via the usual channels to register your interest!
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In Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, these great ‘Teachers/ Fathers’ (Sufis) referred to themselves with genuine piety as “Idiots”. That is because, coincidentally, the Arabic for ‘Saint’ (Wali) has the same numerical equivalent as the word for ‘Idiot’ (balid). Here too, we see a dualism of meaning. These great non-linear thinkers or ‘Idiots’, left us an amazing amount of knowledge in the guise of stories, used as tools for teaching. I’ll recount one here entitled, ‘The Knife’: A wandering dervish ran to where a Sufi sat deep in contemplation, and said: “Quick! We must do something. A monkey has just picked up a knife.’ ‘Don’t worry,’ said the Sufi, ‘so long as it was not a man.’ When the dervish saw the monkey again he found, sure enough, that it had thrown the knife away. (Kardan) Taken from ‘Wisdom of the Idiots’ by Idries Shah To the student then, know what calling someone a ‘Shifu’ means. To the would be Shifu, know what being one requires. Otherwise, you may just discover that your ‘Shifu’ is merely ‘Sea Food’!
Eli Montaigue’s Diary 2011
Also with Thursday night training after dinner, Monday train till 1pm then pack up and leave camp.
Eli's weekly classes Monday's, London, Battersea. Tai Chi and Also, as we did last camp, people wanting to train Bagua or Two person San-Sau etc Bagua etc, can do this During the 2 till 5 session each day. Swansea classes are free for a month Tuesday, Swansea Bagua Wednesday's Swansea Tai Chi Thursday's Swansea Street Fighting http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/ Foundation Training Camp March 10th till 14th 2011.
Plus the biannual WTBA Dodge Ball Competitions, and Sumo Wrestling Championships! Venue:
1st Swansea Valley "Oak" Scout Troop Foundation methods Training camp with Ystradgynlais, Swansea, SA9 1QB Eli Montaigue March 2011! A g r e a t Ve n u e , w i t h B u n k b e d Foundation Methods are the most accommodation for all, (well the first 24) Clean toilets and showers, big training important part of your training. Rather than learning new stuff every hall, another big room for messing about in, dinning room, foot ball pitch and ping camp. This includes, Yang Lu-ch'an's form, pong! Large San-Sau, Push Hands, Fa-jing Set in the Brecon Beacons National park, methods, Qigong, Bagua Circular form just check out the pictures I've put up, it's such a beautiful place! Peaceful and a etc. great energy, and we can have a fire! Training will be 4 days Friday to Monday, Cost: arrival on the Thursday afternoon. with Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Training: £140 Food: £40 provided, Accommodation: £20 for 4 nights, you will have a bunk Date: March 10th till 14th 2011 bed, but need to bring your own bedding. Camping is also welcome Schedule: 8am: Standing Qigong and Yang Luch'an's form, just doing it 9am: Breakfast 10am: Special Session with Erle Montaigue, 11am Push Hands 12pm: Lunch 2pm: Pauchui B side plus bag work 5pm: Break 6pm Dinner 8pm: Standing Qigong and Yang Luch'an's form, just doing it
For anyone wishing to attend a single day etc, please contact me for the cost. http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/ Malta: February 26th/27th 2011 Weekend workshop covering Taiji/Bagua Street fighting methods. Bagua Snake Qi Awakening form. http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/
Covering Large San-Sau Pauchui, and Push Hands â‚Ź150 http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/ Missoula, Montana September 2011. 4 days US Camp! What a great camp we've just had! September 2010 the first WTBA camp Montana. A big success! Thanks to Steven and Shannon, and all those who attending. A very Yanged up week, with B side Pauchui, Fa-jing training, and Taiji Stick. Next year will have a mix of slow and fast though, showing Yang Lu-ch'an's form adding the Qi.
Next Camp covering Large San-Sau two person set Yang Lu-ch'an's Taiji Form, adding the Qi Push Hands, getting it right Fa-jing, Hands and feet. Knife Defence And More.Only $300 for 4 days h t t p : / / w w w. t a i j i - b a g u a . c o . u k / Yang Lu-ch'an's form Australian Annual Camp 20011: Byron Bay http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/ Ottawa October 2011 2011: Weekend covering: September Yang Lu-ch'an's form, adding the Qi. A week of great fun training in beautiful Push Hands, getting it right. Weekend covering: Byron The Bagua Dragon Qi Awaking form Yang Lu-ch'an's form Push Hands Covering: Training for 4 hours per day with an hour Fighting Techniques Not Sure yet, tell me what you want! for lunch. And more. This year will have full catering, http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/ Austria Training will be 4 to 5 hours per day with you can stay in cabins or tents Graz: an hour for lunch. http://www.taiji-bagua.co.uk/ March 2011 Norway, Skjbeerg. March 5th/6th 2011. â‚Ź100
Weekend covering Small San-Sau Push Hands.
h t t p : / / w w w. t a i j i - b a g u a . c o . u k / Germany, Rostock or Stralsund May 28th/29th 2011
Erle Montaigue's Invitational Sunday 10 am to 3 pm Instructor and Senior Student Classes.
(near Nantes in the south of France). June 25th 1011 Weekend of June 11th & 12th 2011. Saturday: 10 am until 3pm. Yes, that's Erle will be covering basic Yang ChengSATURDAY, couldn't get Sunday. fu form plus basic push hands and Small July 24th 2011 San-Sau. And will begin The Old Yang Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Lu-ch'an form. What Taught: April and beyond. All the Secret Stuff :)
Please contact Pascal Jaunay on email: email@example.com
Goirle Holland: (Near Tilburg) April 2nd & 3rd 2011.
A Weekend Workshop in Belgium 12th and 13th November 2011: Erle Montaigue's and Eli Montaigue's 2nd workshop in Belgium. All Welcome!. WHERE: Hasselt WHAT TAUGHT: Yang Lu-ch'an Old Form, (2nd Third): 6 of the brilliant "12 Qi Development Tools". The above will have something for everyone regardless of style or system that they currently study. Qigong practice to begin each session. COST: €150.00 TIMES: Training will begin at 12:00 pm Saturday and end at 4:00 pm. (Half Hour For Lunch). Sunday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. CONTACT: Liesbet Marsoul Wuwei Hasselt 0032 499167215 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Leicester UK: Twice in 2011. April 16th & 17th September 3rd & 4th Erle will be covering (and continuing) the Old Yang Style Form. Push Hands. Large San-Sau, both solo and two person sets. Plus anything else people wish to cover. This is not set in stone though! We want to get the YLC form finished in All Llangadog Classes (See Below) are 2011! Cost: £70.00. Covering 3.5 hours of now free of charge! Free of Charge!! Totally free. If you want training each day with 1/2 hour for lunch break in between. 10 am until 2pm. to though, bring some fruit :) L l a n g a d o g C o m m u n i t y H a l l Will be held at WTBA Leicester’s new school location. Please email Nasser at Carmarthenshire. firstname.lastname@example.org for January 30th 2011 details! Sunday: 10 am until 3pm. March 20th 2011 Sunday: 10 am to 3pm. May 1st 2011
USEFUL CONTACTS Erle Montaigue www.taichiworld.com Moontagu Books & Video Ltd PO Box 35 Gwynfe, Llangadog SA19 9SY Wales UK. +44 (0) 1550 740136: Ph: 07868361519 MOB
Eli Montaigue Chief Instructor WTBA email@example.com
Erle Montaigue in Montaigu France
Nasser Butt Senior Instructor & North England Representative Editor Combat & Healing http://www.fajing-chuan.co.uk CombatandHealing@gmail.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07792242150
Peter Smith Senior Instructor WTBA Representative for the United Kingdom Email C/O Georgina Smith: email@example.com
COMBAT&HEALING 83, THE FAIRWAY OADBY LEICESTER LE2 2HP ENGLAND UK.