The Complete Guide To The Internal Martial & Healing Arts
WELCOME TO YOUR NEW LOOK COMBAT & HEALING... After 20 years, 59 issues and countless articles, Combat & Healing enters a new era under a new editor. No pressure then as Nasser Butt picks up the reigns from Erle Montaigue...
WTBA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CAMP 2009 BUMPER SPECIAL ISSUE PLUS WTBA NEWS, ARTICLES & MUCH MORE INSIDE
Erle Montaigue Photography Nasser Butt ÂŠ 2009
EDITOR Nasser Butt Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44(0)7792242150 +44(0)1162126541 16 Frisby Road Leicester LE5 0DL 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.
Tai Chi: The Special Energy Movements Erle Montaigue
Are You Afraid? Colin Power
A Glance At Tai Chi & Qigong in Metabolic Syndrome Sebastian Hofbauer Page 9 Embarrassing Misconceptions About Tai Chi Steven Smith
Appreciation And Taking Things For Granted Jerry Shaw
WTBA International Summer Camp 2009 Nasser Butt
Taiji: The Map Is Not The Territory Anthony Court
The Art Of Fighting Without Fighting Nasser Butt
20 Questions: Eli Montaigue - A Brief Profile Nasser Butt
Dim-Mak: A Historical Perspective A. Flane Walker & Rick Bauer
I See It Gord Hill
Internal Yang Balancing Erle Montaigue
Teaching Children Internal Gung-Fu Samuel G. Beatty
WTBA Mountain Training Camp 2009 Eli Montaigue
I Want My Mommy Kurt Levins Sr.
Dim-Mak’s Four Cornerstone Forms Erle Montaigue
THE ERLE MONTAIGUE SYSTEM For Realistic Fighting And Healing Methods... Well… where do I begin???
upon and I wish to thank an ‘old warrior’, Colin Power,
The beginning… I hear you say! Okay. It is a complete honor to have been asked by Erle to take over as the editor of Combat & Healing and at the same time one of the most nerve-wrecking experiences of my life!
for that suggestion.
After 20 years at the helm, Erle has finally
So, if you don’t see an article which you have sent in for publication, it doesn’t mean I’ve trashed it… I’m simply holding on to it for future issues! Please keep forwarding your articles and suggestions to myself. I’ll need all the help I can get and I want to say a big thank you to all those
decided to let someone else step into the editor’s
who have already contributed and put up with my
shoes… and what mighty big shoes has he left behind!
To say that I am going to attempt to fill these shoes (or sandals as in Erle’s case) would be the biggest gag of the year.
C&H has always been a magazine of the people it
So, I’m simply going to hang his ‘shoes’ on the ‘office’ wall and
represents, those wishing to train and share their knowledge of
bring my own smaller pair! That’s better….
realistic internal arts . I hope that this will continue to be the
The easiest part of this issue was the cover. After all these
case in the future too. At this point, however, I must also add,
years it was time to put the man himself on it. Secondly, with
for the sake of clarity, that the points of view represented here
the summer camp having just ended I had a major topic to
are solely those of the authors’ concerned. You do not have to
work around. Sifting through all the articles I have received was
subscribe to them if you do not wish. Nor is their inclusion here
another matter altogether. After many hours of reading, I’ve
necessarily an endorsement by the WTBA or the Erle
decided on a mixed bag, reminiscent of Erle’s eclectic teaching
methods, which I hope people will enjoy. However, I’m hoping that future issues of C&H will be more topical in nature, where a specific area will be concentrated
Take a deep breath. Let the ride begin...
art as well as more power for healing of self and for healing of others.
Tai Chi: The Special Energy Movements Erle Montaigue
By now, most people know that the Tai Chi form activates Qi in the 12 main channels as it would be activated in a 24 hour period. This activation keeps the body in perfect balance both internally and physically and gives the body a better chance of healing itself. This has been evident to me on many occasions such as two days ago when I could hardly walk due to my old "war injury" coming back to haunt me with a vengeance. But I persisted in my morning training doing the Old Yang Style very slowly and easily plus the Bagua circular form, also taking it easy. Half way through the Tai Chi form, I noticed that the pain had gone from my right knee and when I had finished the Bagua form, there was no sign of any pain or weakness in that knee. I could walk, jump and run again perfectly. Such are the healing powers of the Internal Systems.
It's difficult to try to explain what that feeling is like as everyone is different in their perception of energy flow. The old masters simply said that the "Qi Rises Up The Back", as that was the only way they could describe it. It is these special flows of Qi that keep us wanting to do Tai Chi as it feels great and mornings do not become a drudge, having to do your workout. It become a joy and something that you can't wait to get out and do each morning with the birds and other animals as they wake up from the night. And once you are aware of these energy flows, it really teaches you how exactly to perform the postures of the form as it is the energy that causes your arms to move this or that way. For instance from the movement after the "Lower Chee" in the Old style, the Double Spear Hands, and into "Arn", once you are aware of the special energy flow for that movement, your arms will not simply come straight forward after the two elbow strikes, but rather they will open out slightly thus opening up the both arm Kwas and spiraling the arms out and down into "Arn".
Not all of the Tai Chi movements have these special energy flows. Only those special postures and movement from those postures have the Qi Flow through the "Extra Meridians". For instance, the first Special Flow that you will become aware of as you progress, will be from the posture of Sit Back (after the 2nd Chee Posture" into Arn during the series of movements called " Grasping Swallow's Tail". You will feel a huge build up of energy in the tantien area However, there is another energy healing system inherent which then in the Tai Chi form which is just as potent and often even more raises up the pertinent to one's health as it strikes are particular illnesses and back, over conditions via the "Extra Meridians" as we do the form. the head and into the This "Special Energy Movement" also gives us a way to arms. This see how we are going with reference to our internalizing of the energy flow form. You will only feel these energy flows when you are really is excellent getting there and everything that you are supposed to be doing for the brain is working. Like being in a state of "Sung" and each part of the and for body moving in complete harmony, beginning and finishing at gaining internal power in the arms and upper body. exactly the same time, moving like a perfect sine wave, being at one with the world around you, taking it all in as you move etc. Only then will you actually feel the energy moving through the "Extra" meridians thus giving you more power for the fighting
Other Special Flows of energy go from the ground, into the right K1 point (for males, reverse for females) and up the right side of the body, then over the head and down the left side and into the ground via the Left K1 point. This is the case in the "Preparation" posture right at the beginning of the form and this flow grounds the body causing it to be in complete harmony with the ground or earth ready for the next
movements. This initial preparation prepares us for the form practice and represents basically, the whole body which is why I always pay particular attention to getting this movement correct as it is the foundation of the whole form. Other energy flows will work with special postures to send energy through the "Girdle Meridian" which passes through a whole bunch of points on important meridians and joins them up around the waist. This one is probably the most difficult to detect. However, it does become apparent when you are able to just do the form! When I say, "Just do it", this is probably
the most important aspect of one's training as we as humans all think too much and theorize about what we are doing. Once you have the movement and can do the whole form without any conscious thought, you just DO IT. Do not try to be doing Tai Chi, do not try to look good, you are on your own. Don't try to hold your balance, just move in accordance with what the energy is telling you. This will cause your form to take on a different aspect, you will notice that the "Kwa" will open more and often, your palms will be activating the Qi and manifesting it automatically and most importantly, you will begin to FEEL the Energy flows through the extra meridians. I have begun many times to do a video about these special flows of energy, however, I have found it quite difficult as conscious thought must not be a part of Tai Chi movement! So I am trying to simply do my own form practice and after, then write down what I was and where I was feeling the energy flows so that others will be able to get there a little quicker than my some 35 years!
Are You Afraid? Colin Power I’m afraid the world has changed and it didn’t ask me. Now you may be thinking that I’m talking about the global economic crisis or the “ we in big trouble now” crisis but no I’m talking about what happens every day. I’m afraid the change keeps on happening and their is not a damn thing I can do about it. That’s right “I’m afraid”. No it can’t be I’m a big strong fellow just ask anybody. I can be quite intimidating just ask around they will tell you. No I have to admit that I’m afraid and I don’t think that I’ll get any better. I think I should explain about being afraid and why it will never change. I have many fears but at the core of them is the fear of failure. Do you know this fear? I have had it for a very long time, long enough to decide that I must make peace with this fear if I have any hope. Like most fears it started early in life, one day I was happy falling over and the next the pressure was on to take another step (damn nappy got in the way). It kept on getting worse as the years went by. Do you remember standing in front of the classroom doing a spelling quiz or being asked to answer any question. If you got it wrong what would happen . Torture would have been kinder. This fear of failure grew like a tumor on my back but I fought it so hard you would be proud. I once won an award for fighting my fear of failure. Erle presented me the award at a summer camp many years ago. It was not the first time that my fear had been on such public display but it was the first time that I had been recognized for fighting it so bravely. We all have fears but I think the fear of failure is a cornerstone fear and one that many would know first hand. Sadly you can never win but it will definitely influence your life and the choices that you make. It will change you and the world around you without asking permission. All you have to decide is how close you will keep this foe. My fear of failure has taken me to many places and shown me many things about myself that may not have been presented to me otherwise. So if you have read this far you are being very patient with me and I’ll now get to the point. Martial
arts and fear in the same sentence is not a large stretch for the imagination. I’m not talking about the fear of being hurt but the fear of failure. Martial arts for me is the ultimate test for the fear of failure because it shoves this fear right in your face and if you train truthfully you will have no choice but to confront this foe. If you train truthfully their is no opponent to defeat only a partner to train with. My partner is often my fear. Have you ever asked yourself why you don’t train a little more than you do. Fear of failure makes you train less rather than more. Training less gives you an excuse for when you fail to demonstrate your form to perfection or if you are off balance. How could you live with your fear if you had no excuse. Have you ever stopped practicing your form when you start making some mistakes or forgotten the next move. You tell yourself that you need to go watch a very important TV show or talk to the family or that you are just too busy. Fear of failure has reared its ugly head again. Have you ever stopped midway through your form when the park starts filling up with people. Thats right fear. Fear they may work out that you really don’t now everything about Taiji. Some people may overcompensate and be able to convince themselves that they do know everything about Taiji.
MTG351: The Dim-mak cornerstones v.1
In this series, Erle takes you through the ﬁrst of the very rare 4 Cornerstone forms of Dim-Mak. Dim-Mak does not actually have a system on its own, as Taiji and Bagua are the foundation forms of Dim-Mak. However, near to the end of one’s physical training at Wudang, 4 intricate but beautiful forms were taught to give you the “keys” that unlock the whole of your training thus far! They are based upon the four main EARTH elements of Water (River), Air (Wind), Valleys and Mountains. They are based upon the internal aspects of those “elements”, very powerful, often slow and ﬂowing, often very explosive.
OK you have got the point now that fear of failure pervades every part of my life and I am in constant turmoil. Well yesterday you would have been correct and now the world has changed without asking my permission yet again. The fear is still there but the turmoil has gone. That is the funny thing about bringing your fear close to you the turmoil it creates can fade or go completely. The fear still remains and most likely always will but it becomes a great partner a friend so to speak. We love our friends for all the joys they bring along with all the troubles. Next time you are doing anything ask yourself who is running the show. Martial arts is the best tool I know for putting fear to the test. If you are to be a true martial artist you must be
takes you. You may reach a point when you will scream into the darkness “enough” but sorry you are alone in this darkness and remember you decided to step on this path. Sadly few people choose this path, we are herd animals after all. Hopefully we will all meet up at the end , I don’t know I’m not there yet. Lastly when you train or for those that instruct when you teach see if you can help your fellow journeymen. They are on a different path to yourself so you cannot give directions as such. Your presence and the existence of your own journey will present options for their consideration. Just show them that you have made friends with your fear of failure.
Winter Training Camp Bath UK February 12th till 15th 2010. with Eli Montaigue
With the main WTBA camp with Erle being held in the UK now,I will be holding an annual winter camp so that people have more time to prepare, rather than two in Summer. Training will be four days Friday 12pm till Monday 4pm, with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided. Topics To Be Covered: Qigong ✭YLC From ✭ Large San-Sau ✭ Bagua Circular form ✭ Partner Walking ✭Push Hands Training will start on the Friday at 12pm and end at 4pm Monday. Please ensure your arrival by 11am! Accommodation: The Camp will be held at Meadgate Camerton Village Hall Weekesley Lane Bath BA2 0NL You may bring a sleeping bag etc and stay in the Hall, or there are many Hotels etc. Cost:Training: £100, £50 for under 18's Food: £40, £20 for under 18's Sleeping in the hall: £15, £10 for under 18's forever For anyone wishing to attend a single day etc, please contact Eli for the cost. testing Deadline: pushing Please book you're place as soon as possible, with a £40 deposit needed at and probing. the end of December. Any bookings made after December will be You must step charged at 30% extra. onto the path with email@example.com fear as your constant companion, have a vision and see where it
A Glance at Tai Chi and Qigong in Metabolic Syndrome
The same authors also reviewed on the evidence relating to the effectiveness of Qigong in the management of diabetes type 2 in a systemic literature search.
They reviewed on 69 intervention studies published in English or Chinese journals since 1980. But only 11 met the scientific criteria for inclusion. Of these studies all showed statistically significant improvements in fastening and 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test results, blood glucose, triglycerides and total cholesterol. Effects on insulin and haemoglobinA1c were inconsistent and there are no evidences on effects of body weight. Most of the analyzed studies were of short duration, involved small sample numbers and did not include proper control groups. These methodological limitations make it difficult to conclude from these studies.
This short report quotes a recent pilot study on the benefit of Tai Chi and Qigong in the management of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome, is a group of conditions that lead to increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Table 1 summarizes the risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Table 1. Indicators of the metabolic syndrome. High blood pressure High blood sugar levels
Table 2. Indicators of metabolic syndrome analyzed in this study.
High levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood)
MEAN DIFFERENCE (BEFORE - AFTER)
Body Mass Index
-1.05(95% CI: -1.48, -0.63)
-2.80 cm (-4.97, -0.62)
Systolic Blood Pressure
-11.64 mm Hg (-19.46, -3.51)
Diastolic Blood Pressure
-9.73 mm Hg (-13.58, -5.88)
-0.32 % (-0.49, -0.15)
-9.93pmol/L (-19.93, 0.07)
p = 0.051
-0.53 (-0.97, -0.09)
Low levels of HDL (the â€œgoodâ€? cholesterol in your blood) Too much fat around your waist
In an initial study at the University of Queensland (Australia) 11 participants trained regularly Tai Chi and Qigong for a period of three month. The participants were 42 to 65 years old and all showed the symptoms of metabolic syndrome at the beginning of the study. The training schedule was 1.5 hours, 3 times a week Tai Chi and Qigong practice under supervision and training at home. The Tai Chi and Qigong used in this study was specially designed to target metabolic disorders including obesity and diabetes, and no general Tai Chi program. As indicators of metabolic syndrome the body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol and glucose control (haemoglobin A1c, fasting insulin and insulin resistance) were evaluated during the study. The outcome of the study was quite encouraging. Already after three month of training the participants showed statistically significant improvements in body mass index, waist circumference, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Smaller improvements, but also statistically significant, were observed in haemoglobinA1c, fastening insulin and insulin resistance. For details see table 1. The p value in table 1 highlights the statistic significance of the difference.
From personal communication with the author I know that there is a randomized controlled clinical trial on Tai Chi and Qigong in obesity and diabetes completed, but is currently under review, and not yet published. The use of proper designed studies on Tai Chi and Qigong certainly will give more detailed scientific insights into the potential benefit of this ancient health care systems.
2. T’ai Chi is for old people. Well, it is, but not exclusively. The geriatric reputation acquired by my favorite, intense, lively martial art is not deserving of this most Supreme, Ultimate, Death-Point-Striking Martial Art. My guess: pathetic or impotent Tai Chi teachers created this reputation. Damn fools really. How?…Why?…wonders I, guessing again:
References Xin L, Miller YD, Burton NW, Brown WJ. A preliminary study of the effects of Tai Chi and Qigong medical exercise on indicators of metabolic syndrome and glycaemic control in adults with elevated blood glucose. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2008 Apr 2.
● greed — Tai Chi teachers got hungry for a new market of old, wealthy clients. ● weakness: folks recovering broken hips use Tai Chi then teach low-grade Tai Chi. ● impotence. Yeah: maybe that. ●trickery — it’s an easy path to Guru-Master-Sifu wherein one can spout Taoist rhetoric and acquire students who leap and hop when gently pushed. Add green money and big red banners: strike it rich!
Xin L, Miller YD, Brown WJ. A qualitative review of the role of qigong in the management of diabetes. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007 May;13(4): 427-33.
5 Embarrassing Misconceptions About Tai Chi
3. It helps sick people. Sure it does, but not because they practice T’ai Chi Chuan: they’re moving around — that’s enough! Breathing and moving helps all bodies; that doesn’t mean they know authentic T’ai Chi. Better, more appropriate movements exist to eliminate sickness, recover from injury, heal trauma, and develop fitness. Simple things, like large arm circles, squatting, even push-ups, work better at recovering basic physical fitness. Do those: then come play Real Taiji.
Steven Smith Sometimes, when I say “I teach Taiji,” embarrassment haunts me. Other-times, reluctance fills me because I know the common misconceptions grating my sense of the Supreme, Ultimate Fist Form. Oftentimes, I disrupt some common misconceptions about Tai Chi Chuan. Some are ridiculous, some are silly; all of them radiate from a lack of martial training. Martial training is a requirement in Tai Chi Chuan. Do it. Fighting and combat skills set the spiritual stage, the mental mood, and the physical atmosphere for proper confidence, clarity, and calm. Martial training tunes the body, mind, and spirit. Most misconceptions manifest in popular culture (and in pseudo-Tai Chi Schools) because instructors teach wrongly, poorly, incompetently, or deceptively. Get the truth. Don’t believe me. Read it, test it, know it. 1. It’s That-Yoga-Like-Thing. No way, not even close. This misconception spreads because people lack in-depth, sophisticated methods and materials for learning and understanding Tai Chi. Instructors at Colleges and Community Programs often lack deep experience in Tai Chi, though they believe they can teach it. Tai Chi teachers seek health benefits (they were told Tai Chi has health benefits), and they often include, in their curriculum, Yoga Breathing, Yoga Meditation, and Yoga Poses to supplement their lack of Tai Chi knowledge and skill. If they do this, get away. They might be bored; they certainly don’t know enough T’ai Chi to teach it.
4. T’ai Chi is slow. This belligerent misconception drives negative health consequences into long-term practitioners: You too can achieve fat and lazy and tired while fabricating fantasies. Yes we do Taiji slowly. Sure, it deepens our internal experience and manifests Key. Practice it slowly to reduce residual stress and tension, to smooth each joint’s motion and function, and to promote deep, long breathing. But too much slow equals too much Yin. Too Yin, too soft, too lazy — growing too Yin also means that your fantasies about your fighting prowess begin unfolding new and colorful visions of immense strength derived from supreme, ultimate laziness. Seek balance. Taiji is balanced Yin for Yang. Learn Fa-Jing shakes. Try Small San Sau. 5. Tai Chi is Spicy Tea. That’s Chai Tea. Chai Tea flows like Tai Chi, and they’re both liquid. Tai Chi’s hot like Chai Tea; they both steam. Chai Tea and Tai Chi get inside, warming the body and healing the organs. Oh, and, T’ai Chi Chuan, with potent martial applications and plentiful fighting drills and powerful combat forms: it’s spicy! Maybe they are the same.
Appreciation And Taking Things For Granted Jerry Shaw
At the time of writing this I am recovering from a very nasty infection which has put me in hospital for 3 days, with several weeks of medicines. The massive intravenous & oral antibiotics doses have left me feeling sick also, not surprisingly my Tai Chi practice has taken more than a back seat for over 2-3 weeks, it has been practically non-existent. To my surprise I've just managed to do the whole YLC form - which has been different to the way I normally do it. No fa-jing or big kicks (can't face fast moves), I had to keep it slow & small in order to get through it. Afterwards I guess I had what I would call a number of revelations; Having not done the form for quite a while I was acutely aware of what it was doing to me. I reckon we get used to the feeling we normally get when we do the form, a sort of “familiarity breeds contempt”. Most of the time it feels “normal” to feel what we feel & we take the effects and benefits of the form for granted. Also doing the form more slowly and smaller is something I plan to do more of, the so called chi kung level I feel produces great benefits, especially to the mind.
world in general, what we might think is no big deal can change drastically the way others perceive their own arts and lead them down paths they would not have previously ventured (at least for the ones who are able to open their minds). Note that I am not saying that we are better than any other martial art. I have written before that I think this line of thought is a big mistake. The arrogance of superiority is a trap and open mindedness is a two way process. You can't expect people to be open minded when you are speaking if you do not do likewise. What I feel the internal arts really have to offer are the training methods to take speed and power beyond the physical. This sounds a bit metaphysical but what I mean is that the deep knowledge of movement that the internal arts engender allow us to be effective later in life when our physical strength is waning. Erle is of course a living testament to this (and I hope he won't mind me saying that he moves pretty good for a guy who is almost 60). In fact I have heard Erle has said as much himself so I reckon I am safe. There are of course people from the hard styles who are incredibly skilled, and they too have taken their art to the internal level simply by training in their system for a very long time and by figuring how to be more effective. However the lack of training methods means that it is very difficult for them to pass on this internal knowledge to their students. So the bottom line to this short article is to be confident and appreciative of what you have, the grass may not necessarily be greener on the other side...(which of course applies to many more things than Tai Chi..).
Whilst still on my recovery period I went over to Ireland to attend Erle's workshop. I learnt a lot from going there, not so much about Tai Chi per-se, but the effectiveness of what we practice. Most of the attendees were from Karate clubs around Ireland. I must admit that I was a little nervous as many of them were high ranking, very tough looking dudes. The image of big guys in black karate suits with folded arms is not something I generally come across. Also styles such as Karate generally have a fairly strict code in the dojo, the atmosphere is more formal than we are used to (it certainly would be hard to be less formal than a typical WTBA workshop – which I value highly by the way...). One of my main takes from this session was that appearances are skin deep, people are people when you get past the wall many project, and Erle's laid back humor (not to mention sheer martial competence) I believe cracked even the hardest shell in the room. By the end of the session I could not see anyone who hadn't smiled or relaxed. My other conclusion was that the system we do and the people who train diligently in the WTBA have something special to offer the martial arts
Quorn Hall International Centre Leicestershire, United Kingdom
WTBA International Summer Camp July 2009
The Venue: Quorn Hall International Centre
WELCOME TO CAMP 2009
Quorn Hall International Centre is a large country house built during the reign of Charles II and stands in 12 acres of mature landscaped gardens with the River soar flowing through the grounds. It is located in the historic Leicestershire village of Quorndon (Quorn) approximately 2 miles (3 kilometres) south of the old market town of Loughborough.
4 Days - 14 Nations - 70 Participants - 1 Destination: Leicestershire, UK July 23rd saw the 4th annual WTBA International Summer Camp being hosted in Leicestershire, England. The venue was the stately Quorn Hall International Centre. The sun shone brightly as members of the WTBA family started arriving from all over the world for a truly international meeting. Over the 4 days, approximately 70 participants representing, Australia, Austria, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland (Republic of), Italy, Malta, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Wales passed through the gates of Quorn Hall, making it the biggest ever summer camp to date. Erle, as usual, brought a mixed bag of goodies with himself, along with the usual suspects of Eli & Ben, as well as the beautiful Sandra and Kathleen. The main theme of the camp was the Taiji medium pole form, alongside advanced qigong practice and the Yang LuChâ€™an form. Push hands, Baguazhang, Waving form and the opening of the dim mak foundation form - the River, were also covered during the evening sessions. Day one began at 7am with an advanced qigong, followed by the 3 circles, held for a minimum of 20 minutes as Erle walked amongst the crowd, correcting postures to ensure everyone got the most out of their training, setting the pattern for the next 4 days.
After a hearty breakfast (12 eggs in some cases!), we returned to the field to begin the Taiji medium pole form. Erle began with one of the precursor pole training methods, swiftly leading onto the form itself. Over the next 4 days Erle taught the form at a highly intricate level, explaining in detail movements which were difficult to pick up otherwise. Lunch came and went. The chefs at Quorn hall had surpassed themselves, ensuring that all dietary needs were catered for, regardless of weather you were a vegan, vegetarian or carnivore - providing you told them what you ate!!!! Guess who forgot to tell them he was a vegan and came back with a plate full of meat??? After removing the meat from his plate, Erle continued with the pole form after lunch until the late afternoon, after which, tired and aching we all returned to our rooms for a well earned rest and socializing. Supper was another delightful affair, sitting together in the elegant dining rooms, chatting and eating as the warm evening sunlight spread lazily amongst the trees. We returned to the training ground around 7.30 in the evening, for some more form practice and push hands.
Eventually around 9pm the session drew to a natural end. The alcoholics headed to the pub, the serious drinkers brought out their own hidden flasks and beer cans! The rest of us beverages in hand decided to head to the lounge and watch Bruno - Ach ja!!!! Oh my… with hands covering our faces and peaking through our fingers,
sides splitting with laughter we watched the movie and the unhealthy interest Vuyo Mellet took in the subject matter.. Ich don’t fink so! Sometime, in the early hours of the morning we headed to bed, thoroughly tired. Saturday carried on from Friday. The sun burned hot! The ‘Elephant Qigong” was hilarious to watch. I can’t believe no one twigged that Erle was taking the piss! Woz Levins, Jerry Shaw and a few other bald pates were saved by Faith Crompton’s factor 100! The highlights of the day were Jerry Shaw (Mr WTBA Secretary), having to run out of the shower, half naked during the prearranged fire drill, which we conveniently forgot to tell him about and the BBQ!!! Both, Jerry Walker and Daoud (Dave) Ishmael Garcia Khalique Patel, laid on a fantastic array of dishes as we burned the fire by the River Soar. There was enough food there to feed the proverbial five thousand! Kathleen twanged her guitar, Chris Knibbe played the blues.
Vuyo pulled faces and made sounds as if he were seriously constipated, and even Erle sang a tune, while Jos Horst gave a quick fire demonstration of Silat. The chicken flowed, the lamb chops were just heavenly and the vegans got some beanburgers. We can safely say that even the Aussie contingent were impressed by the BBQ and that a good time was had by all. Sunday morning, tired, bloated and weary eyed, we headed to the training field. Well, at least most of us did! Interestingly enough, Erle took everyone through a qigong for a serious
The Flying Squirrel! Ben Montaigue
hangover that morning before we all stumbled towards the riverbank for a group photo. After half an hour of waiting and rearranging we finally managed the photo before resuming our training. Sunday saw the end of the stick form and as the wind picked up and the clouds began to gather, Erle demonstrated the ‘Waving’ form, ‘fluttering’ like a flag. The sky began to darken and the heavens burst open as the rain arrived. That evening, after supper, while the rain and wind lashed at the gazebo and tore it to bits, we all spread out around the various rooms practicing push hands and a few other things.
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The night ended with a few of us gathered in the lounge watching “A Quantum of Solace” into the early hours of the morning, nursing bruises which we had picked up along the way. Monday began in earnest with a review of all the qigong work we had done over the four days, followed by a hearty breakfast. As breakfast ended we all headed to our rooms to pack and tidy up before our final session of the day. Already some friends were having to leave due to early flights
and goodbyes were said whilst packing. The final session began with a review of the Yang Lu-Ch’an form, followed by the medium stick form. By the time lunch time arrived we were all pretty much shattered, both physically and mentally. Erle made a few closing
remarks and brought the proceedings to an end as we all headed back to the dining rooms for one final gathering. The mood was jovial as we sat and ate, whilst exchanging emails and phone numbers. Many new friendships were forged and old ones renewed. Slowly, one by one we began to depart, homeward bound via trains, planes and automobiles! The sun was shining again as the numbers began to dwindle rapidly until the bustling hall fell into silence. The camp had ended. Months of planning, successfully completed. As I headed home, words echoed in my head… “Same time, same place next year!” The preparations have already begun! See you in 2010.
Photography: Nasser Butt & Sean Harding©2009
numerous books and articles on the “Internal Arts” and related subjects, (not to mention the mountain of “New Age” publications|) are falling over themselves to quote various aspects of Quantum Theory, almost ad nauseam, to back up their theories, having said that, I must admit that the metaphor of properties of light, the “wave particle duality” is very tempting to use regarding Taiji. So I will.
Taiji - The Map Is Not The Territory Anthony Court
Alfred Korzybski, an American-Polish philosopher and scientist made the following declaration, “The map is not the territory” although this statement has often appeared in books (especially in the last few years) on various subjects; it is worth looking at this remark in terms of Taiji. However much we believe that we know a subject, we cannot know everything. We communicate with symbols: language, speech, words, physical action (demonstrations), pictures, writing, looking, observing etc. so when we come to teach Taiji which is both complex (hundreds of practices/techniques/methods) and whose principles are at the same time simple (please note I said “simple”, not easy) So we are stuck with a limited way of trying to convey the underlying “isness” (sorry about using this word, but I cannot think of another one) of the practice. We must recognize that the symbols are the map, but not the thing itself, they are only signposts and definitely not the territory i.e. Taiji. I’ll digress a little here, having been with the W.T.B.A for over twenty years, and I believe that I am currently Erle’s oldest instructor, in terms of membership, and age (sixty seven in June 2009…seeing you asked!) but before I joined up with Erle, I had been studying, and practicing for a good number of years. My first teacher was Chee Soo. This year it will be thirty one years in total, of practice, study and research. Recently I asked myself, what have I really learnt? What the hell is Taiji all about anyway? To answer this question I had to reflect on all that I have seen and witnessed over these many years. My conclusions, (please, these are my simply my ramblings, and not necessarily true for everyone) firstly, this maybe obvious, but mastery of any “Internal Art’” is a process, but how this process works, can take many years to grasp. It can also be missed completely. For example, the authors of
All matter, not just light is said to have a wave like nature that contains infinite potentiality, it is only when an observer is involved, does the wave collapse to a particle, and therefore becomes observable. So we could say, wave like nature (the territory) is the Taiji potentiality, whereas that which we pay attention to, the various methodologies, are the particle aspect (the map). Let us say for example, we focus on learning the forms, push hands, the qigongs, the standing methods etc; we may in time become very accomplished, however, do we have enough awareness to understand where all these practices are leading? Practicing forms are a very essential part of our training, but are we developing in other aspects of our Taiji that are not so obvious? Over the years, I have learnt, and quite often had to relearn, many of the forms. As they say…been there, done it, and got the T shirt…but I have also thrown the T shirt away! The practice of the “Internal” systems is to bring power into all aspects of life, and not just the training. I often watch students (and not only students) execute forms, and sometimes, they are physically, pretty much perfect, but there is no manifestation of the underlying power and potential showing itself. Of course the appearance of potentiality when watching an accomplished practitioner can only be sensed, or felt, it is what is implied which shines through, this is the territory aspect, this is not the map aspect. Over the years it has filtered back to me, for example, what others say, I often hear that, apparently, I only teach the health and healing aspects of Taiji and Qigong. Unfortunately this is said by those who have very little understanding of how I impart what I feel is reasonably hard earned knowledge; my emphasis is on helping students understand the power, and energy that is Taiji/Qigong. Yes, I can teach you all the martial forms you want, but can you express the power behind them, that is the main concern. In the past I have demonstrated the Yang Lu-Ch’an form at Europe’s largest festival of Chinese Internal Arts in front of a knowledgeable audience of Tai Chi practitioners, and students.
Also at this festival I also had the pleasure to meet the legendary Master Bow Sim Mark, a very humble and beautiful human being, who demonstrated incredible martial skills (at an age where most of us would have long retired). But now, I only teach the Yang Chen-fu form, I know that other instructors like to teach the more dynamic Yang Lu-Ch’an form (even to beginners) but personally I find this too difficult for anyone who has not had a good few years experience.
am limiting teaching to just a handful of potentially good students) is that the greatest gift I can pass on, is that the understanding is everything. Just playing the “martial art” game leads you no where.
We all start with ideas of what it is we are trying to learn; we struggle with the movements, the sequences, the focus, the breathing, but eventually over a long period of time all these apparent different aspects draw closer together and harmonize. This is the process that cannot When I started with Erle many years be forced. In this process there is a falling ago, there as a grading syllabus, we away of thought, of comparing (oneself to studied the Yang Chen-fu form for at least others) of worrying about the outcome of six years, and then started learning the one’s practice. These facets of one's Yang Lu-Ch’an form. The Yang Lu-Ch'an being, dissolve into almost an abstract was in the old syllabus as a third degree form of natural knowledge. This does not black belt practice. But to get back to the mean that the study, research and practice internal/territory expression, watch Erle are over. What it does mean is that “it” is demonstrate, and then compare it to other allowed to express “itself” in other words demonstrations that you have seen. Does Taiji is an expression of its inner wave everyone express the same raw power, or form potential (the territory) The map/ is there something missing? I’ll let you teacher/guide the practice are all the answer that, yourselves. The one same, they simply point, but not to any conclusion I have come to over the years, goal, but to an inexpressible knowledge as I am beginning to withdraw from where there are no maps. formal teaching, and classes, (currently I
MTG352: THE DIM-MAK CORNERSTONES V.2 AIR/SKY Here Erle teaches the second of the forms, the "Air or Sky" form, representing the 3 organs of Lung, Colon and Stomach meridians. The Qigong associated with this form is called "Mind/Body Qigong.
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MTG353: THE VALLEYS THE V
DIM-MAK CORNERSTONES V.3 For the first time ever, the very rare 4 Dim-Mak forms or "Cornerstones of Dim-Mak" are taught by Erle Montaigue. These are the only forms that Dim-Mak has as it is not an art unto itself! However, the masters of Wudang only taught these 4 cornerstone forms at the end of one's training. They taught you how to turn movement into reflex actions in real fighting situations and also for healing the body. Here Erle teaches the Third of the forms, the "Valleys" form, which works upon the Pericardium, Bladder and Kidney meridians. Some potent Qigong Methods also in this/these forms.
TRAINING FROM A CORRECT DISTANCE
The Art Of Fighting Without Fighting… (Why Has Erle Montaigue Never Taught Me How To Fight?) ©2008 Nasser Butt
I don’t think there are many people A
alive, martial artists and non-martial artists alike, who have not come across what is considered to be Bruce Lee’s seminal work – Enter The Dragon! It was the release of this movie that planted the martial arts firmly on the Western psyche, as “Kung-Fu Fighting” took hold of the 70’s generation! A hold that has only become stronger with the passing of years… albeit the standards having declined as martial arts today have become more sports-orientated and a multi-million pound revenue generating industry! Packed with bone crunching action, the movie also represented many of Lee’s philosophical ideas on both the martial
C A - Both attacker and defender are at an incorrect distance apart, thereby, rendering the training method useless! B - Attacker at correct distance, his fist can now connect with his target realistically. C - This now forces the defender to move, using correct body mechanics, distance and timing to ensure his safety, whilst countering with a devastating Dim-mak combination.
arts and the martial artist. One of these memorable scenes takes place on board a junk, as the modern-day gladiators head towards Han’s martial arts tournament. Parsons, a Kiwi, fighter, passes time on the junk by bullying its crew and wanting to show his prowess as a fighter. He approaches Lee, who is trying hard to ignore him and the dialogue that follows has become a part of cinematic history: Parsons: Do I bother you? Lee: Don’t waste yourself. Parsons: What’s your style? Lee: My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting. Parsons: The art of fighting without fighting? Show me some of it. Lee: Later. Of course, what ensues has been commented upon endlessly for the last 4 decades or so! Lee tricks Parsons into a smaller boat on the pretence that they row over to an island where he will show him his style. No sooner has Parsons stepped into the boat, Lee releases the rope mooring the smaller vessel to the junk and hands it over to those that Parsons was tormenting earlier. Lee has defeated his opponent, who is left sitting helplessly
in a waterlogged boat in the middle of a rough sea, without a punch being thrown!
There are several factors that can lead us to the above conclusions. Perhaps, the biggest factor today is that most martial arts are practiced as a sport, thereby, losing their original purposes – the art of war, kill or be killed!
The story being told here is not new. Martial arts legends are abound with stories of masters who, when challenged on a boat, would use a small rowboat and row their challenger out to an island on Would be fighters hone their skills the pretense for a fight and then leave for a cage or ring, expecting to compete them there, thus defeating their opponents with their opponents for a specific through wisdom. duration of rounds. They are versed in the rules of the said cage or ring and more Lee, no doubt, had this in mind often then not abide by them strictly so whilst shooting this particular segment of that they are not disqualified from the movie. competition, causing them to repress in some cases their natural instincts! Hours No less an authority then Sun Tzu are spent ‘sparring’ with opponents of also makes a similar comment in the ‘Art different size and weight, developing of War’: reflexes that are useful in the ring but disastrous on the street! “…Those who win every battle are not skillful – those who render others’ ‘Masters’ show off their prowess in armies helpless without fighting are the the dojo by fending off students who best of all.” come charging at them from a distance, with raised arms, shouting as if to warn of So what of the ‘art of fighting an impeding attack… without fighting’? Is it merely the perceived idea of being able to defeat In the street there are no rules, no your opponent through wisdom alone as warnings and the attack occurs in your the legends and classics suggest, or could face!!! You win no belts, no titles, if you there be more to it then that??? are lucky; you get to go home alive! What if the physical attack has already occurred, how would this apply or lend itself then? How would I fight my opponent without fighting?
Years of training the brain to attack ‘legal’ targets in the dojo or ring cannot be undone in a split second on the streets. Your brain will instinctively behave the way you have trained it to behave in the Martial arts at their best are mediocre ring! For example, I have trained with fighting systems! We cannot use forms or and come across Muay Thai fighters who fixed katas on the street for combat can kick like mules, put them in a street purposes. In fact, it can be said in all fight scenario and they will execute a honesty, that most modern martial artists kick exactly the way they would do it in would fail miserably on the street against the ring – above or below the knee! a good street fighter, as they are unable to distinguish the difference between selfTheir training prevents them from defence and their own martial art! What instinctively attacking the knee itself, works in the dojo, would probably get which would end the fight in an instant! you killed outside!
The Physical Side.... When attacked or faced with a situation where confrontation is unavoidable don’t fight, rather look to survive the situation! This is the animal instinct. An action of the ‘reptilian’ brain! You do whatever it takes to neutralize the attack as quickly as possible. Do not look to compete with your opponent!
Techniques are there to teach us When attacked or faced with a principles, which once learned, render the situation where confrontation is techniques as useless and they should be unavoidable don’t fight, rather look to Take a look at a list of what are discarded. survive the situation! This is the animal deemed official fouls in Muay Thai and instinct. An action of the ‘reptilian’ brain! you’ll begin to understand what the Once we have gained competency You do whatever it takes to neutralize the fighters must train themselves NOT to do with our form or kata as well as the attack as quickly as possible. Do not look and how this could be their undoing in a various other drills, we then move out of to compete with your opponent! street fight without any rules: our martial art and step into the realm of self-defence. Note, self-defence and We do not play the ‘fighting’ game, Fouls martial arts is NOT the same thing! whereby you attack and I defend. Then I 18.1. Biting, eye gouging, spitting, or attack and you defend. No! As soon as head butting. Here, two training partners (or more) your opponent moves you move and 18.2. Wrestling, back or arm locks or play out a realistic attack and defence attack and attack, and attack until he is no any similar judo or wrestling hold. scenario. The objective is not to compete, more! 18.3. Deliberately falling on his but rather to learn! opponent. We learn to break ‘switches’ or 18.4. Holding the ropes for any The ‘attacker’ would attack from a responses, which our opponents expect reason. realistic distance and not come screaming thereby, sowing confusion in their mind. 18.5. Swearing or the use of abusive from a mile away with his hands raised! When my opponent attacks, I do not step language during the match. Take the opening movement of the small backwards and block and be where he 18.6. Knocking out or injuring his san sau from Taijiquan (see above), as an expects me to be, rather I move forwards opponent after the referee has ordered the example: The attacker here must be able at an angle and attack! match to stop for any reason. to hit and connect with his opponent with 18.7. Deliberately striking the groin his hook punch. Likewise, the defender These are the ‘broken rhythms’, area. must be at the right distance to connect which Lee refers to in his last movie – To be penalized by the deduction of 1 with neigwan and stomach (ST) 9 in “The Game of Death”. No doubt, he is point for each time committed. response and not only that, he or she must once again echoing an older warrior, A boxer who has been hit in the groin ensure that their hands connect with the Miyamoto Musashi: may request a 5-minute break before appropriate target, only then will the continuing the match. "The way to win in a battle... is to know correct body mechanics be learned! So, what has the above got to do with Of course, for the object of learning, ‘art of fighting without fighting’? both the attack and defence would initially be devoid of any real power or Firstly, that fighting and competing speed and done from a static position. But for a prize are a human mindset, whereas over a course of time as our in nature animals ‘fight’ to survive. This understanding and skills improve, power, is true whether two animals are speed and movement would gradually be combating for the survival of their genes introduced into the equation, until one or simply to prevent themselves day, our attacker (wearing appropriate becoming the evening meal of the other! safety gear) would launch an all out In other words, animals instinctively attack and it would be up to the defender attempt to survive an attack and do to get his defence right! whatever it takes. The forms or katas of martial arts should be looked upon as a way of developing certain body mechanics and skills, such as, timing, distance, balance, coordination etc. All of which are the required prerequisites of combat.
This is true sparring. As one trains one’s body for selfdefence, likewise, the mind must also undergo a fundamental change.
the rhythms of the specific opponents, and use rhythms that your opponents do not expect, producing formless rhythms from rhythms of wisdom." The Earth Scroll - The Book Of Five Spheres
So, in my opinion, here is another way to look at the concept of ‘the art of fighting without fighting’ – this is where a system teaches us how to move to survive as opposed to ‘fight’ and leads me nicely to the subject of my current training! For almost two and a half years now I, with a few like-minded friends, have
been burning the proverbial rubber and clocking up the miles attending Erle Montaigue’s instructors’ only training sessions. The sessions originally started in Camerton, Bath before moving to their current location of Llangadog, Wales. Although originally planned for instructors only, Erle opened up the sessions to their senior students as well. What he has done over the past few years is to have taken his students on a journey, a tour you may say, of a welltrodden destination. However, the difference here is that not only has he shown us the common sites but, also, has taken us off the beaten track to truly understand what we have before us. This is a rare and invaluable sharing of a wealth of knowledge and experience, especially in an age where most ‘Masters’ walk into a room, aloof, share very little, let alone spend time mucking in with their students, collect their extortionist fees and leave! The sessions began with the onestrike kill methods and have since moved onto the multiple striking methods, showing in depth the most vulnerable areas of the human body. En route, we have also looked at conditioning, the development of the physical body as well understanding how to train and enhance internal power. Body mechanics have been taught via the Yang Lu-Ch’an old form, Baguazhang and Xingyiquan, as well as stand alone training methods such as Long Har Ch’uan and the small and large san sau and a host of others. Correct push hands, both single and double, have and are being taught in immense detail to ensure not only correct body mechanics and structure, but also how this translates into a real fight!
The underlying principles behind each posture of the Yang Lu-Ch’an form have been shown in large frame and small, translating the movements into the ideas behind small circle Chin-Na and close quarter combat. As have the ideas behind the linear form of Baguazhang, shown at its ‘qi-activation’ level, alongside the 5 element fists of Xingyi. Knives, sticks, empty hands, yielding, sticking, folding, kicking… the list is endless and ongoing with each session revealing a new gem or an old friend in a new light.
of the ‘internal’ way are essentially the same. But more importantly, he continues to show their practical combative ideas with no nonsense or exotic techniques!
It is imperative that those of us who purport to study and represent the system both, as instructors and students, need to make the most of these sessions to truly understand what the Erle Montaigue system is about. The ‘art of fighting without fighting’ is there, being demonstrated right under our very nose in all its guises. It is up to us, the practitioners, to understand and train the system with due diligence. There is no It was during these sessions, point claiming to be doing the ‘supreme especially whilst learning the “physical ultimate, yet not knowing how to throw a side” of the system that I had an epiphany punch or deal with an attack! All systems – Erle doesn’t know how to ‘fight’ nor are ultimately, rightly or wrongly, judged does his system teach you how to ‘fight’! by the students and instructors they Erle, in my opinion, is teaching the produce. ‘other’ side to the ‘art of fighting without fighting’. The side where combat So, you can learn to fight or realize becomes inevitable, yet one still does not that… “Humans fight, animals survive – fight. We merely “move to survive” as he move to survive!” This is the Erle says, and look to end the conflict Montaigue and the WTBA way, and that instantly. is the reason why Erle has never taught me how to fight! His system is based upon the idea of survival – doing whatever it takes to To end… I have just seen a remove the danger at any cost by striking demonstration, on video, by no less an the body along its most vulnerable authority then William C.C. Chen, pathways, using fluid, natural body showing a variety of Taijiquan strikes or mechanics, which allow you to generate punches as he calls them to a live powerful strikes from short distances with audience. Dressed in the obligatory silk destructive consequences! pyjamas and wearing a pair of MMA mitts on his hands, he strikes a focus mitt Isn’t this exactly what animals do being held by a student in a way that when in a combative situation? Do they would embarrass an amateur boxer! This compete or stand there trading blows? statement may offend some… but they No! They look for a way in and instantly need to ask themselves why? attack the most vulnerable part, usually the neck in most cases, and continue with I simply thank God for Erle their attack until they prevail. Montaigue! The instructors’ sessions are an invaluable set of sessions, which have and continue to be a master class on the neijia. Erle has clearly shown and demonstrated why the 3 so called family
Nasser Butt is a Senior Instructor and North England Representative for the World Taiji Boxing Association, and is based in Leicestershire.
20 Questions: Eli Montaigue A Brief Profile
at home, and hoping that at least one will love the WTBA as much as I do. C&H: Martial arts or music... which is your first love? Eli: Arr? Well, I love them both, But I guess the Martial Arts have made me more of who I am today, so I'd have to say that music comes second.
C&H: When and where were you born and what is your star sign? Eli: I am a Leo, so am a lion, year of the Tiger, a fire sign, and then there was something in the day and the hour where C&H: Bagua or Taiji... do you have a I've got some monkey and sheep, I think. preference? And no I did not do any of that research myself, really don't have any interest in it. Eli: Not really, I'd say I do more Taiji, but that's got a lot to do with the fact that it's more popular with students C&H: When did you start your training formally? so I teach it more. I love them both, but if Eli: I started daily classes with Dad I had to choose, I think I've learnt most every morning at 7am when I was 14, and from the Lu-ch'an form and Taiji Push I just got more and more into it as time Hands. So, if I could only do one it'd be went by. My first memory though is of Taiji, but I've gained loads from Bagua as doing the first few movements of the Taiji well. form was when I was 4 or 5. I did my first 15 minutes of standing C&H: What made you want to teach the martial arts? Qigong at age 9, and also learnt up to Eli: Just want others to get what I've Stork Spreads Wings of the Chen-fu form. gotten out of it, and I can earn money C&H: When did you realize that your doing something I love, I'd have to be stupid not to! dad was a famous martial artist? Eli: Always knew, I think? C&H: Who rules the house... Mum or Dad - be honest? C&H: Who has been the most Eli: Well. Dad. But Mum can still put influential person in your life so far and her foot down! why? Eli: Dad, because he's taught me just about everything I know.
C&H: Did you get into many fights growing up? Eli: I've never in my life hit another C&H: Describe a typical day in the person for real (Jerry might have Montaigue household? Eli: Orders first, working through the something to say about that). I play-wrestle with friends, but day, emailing and organizing. With a few always with a smile on my face. The most fights thrown in in-between. A walk up the I ever hit anyone is in training. mountain with the dogs and music in the Have been in situations where a lot evenings. of people would throw a punch, but I have always talked my way out. C&H: What do you hope to have One girl I met couldn't believe that achieved by the time you are 40? I'd never hit anyone, after I had just given Eli: To have found and married a a class on the mother applications. girl, had the kids, and be settled on a lovely farm in Australia, raising our kids
Eli: Yeah, Hiking, camping, tennis, riding my very cool motorbike! Swimming in the river in the summer, hitting Dad, rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing, I think thatâ€™s enough off the top of my head.
C&H: Favorite food & drink? Eli: Hippie Mango Smoothie, just shit loads of frozen Australian Mangos blended with a little Soya milk and some honey. I invented it! And the smoothie bar named it for me C&H: What's the worst thing you've done that your mum so, I didn't have to always explain what I wanted. and dad are unaware of? Food, well I love bean nachos, and soya ice cream, not just Eli: I'm not that stupid! Don't you think dad will read this? because I'm vegan, I really do like it more than dairy now. But to be honest, I'm a pretty good boy really, I don't think I'm hiding... oh wait, there is one thing they don't know about me, C&H: What has been the highlight of your life so far? but it's not a bad thing. Eli: My amazing family has always been the highlight of The main thing I did behind their back was when I was 14, my life, but in terms of things I've done, I'd say getting to travel they said I couldn't go out with a girl I liked, she was 17, so for the world teaching, especially the places like Utah, hiking up about 6 months she used to ride over and spend the night in my mountains to 11000 feet, camping under the stars, exploring the bed with me, and leave in the early hours of the morning. But deserts, and in Norway going on skiing expeditions, Austria they know now. Dad was way worse than me anyway, so he rock and ice climbing. didn't care! It's been so great! Now that I think of it actually, holding my first WTBA camp C&H: How do you see the future of the WTBA? in Australia was pretty amazing, as I've always grown up with Eli: Would just like to see it keep growing bigger, and for them as a big part of my life, use to have so much fun playing more people to join and see how great it is. with friends at those camps. And then to actually be at the front, in charge of teaching all those people, some of which I C&H: Describe yourself in a single sentence. remember learning from Dad when I was a kid, that was a big Eli: What you see is what you get, no bull shit. achievement for me, it made me feel so special, the first big step to following in Dad's footsteps, (Thanks to Steve and Kerry for C&H: Thanks mate for your time and honesty, and Iâ€™m sure making this possible!) all WTBA members would like to wish you the best for the future. C&H: How hard is it following in your father's footsteps? Eli: I would say pretty damn easy really. I think if I was shit at Taiji I'd have a problem, but I've been lucky enough to have been accepted as chief instructor by all our other instructors (bar a few with huge egos) still hard work of course. I've put in a lot of training to get to where I am! C&H: What do you do to relax? Eli: When it's sunny and warm I like to go out to the river, maybe go for a bike ride with Ben, or if the weather's no good I do like a good film. C&H: What is a typical training day for yourself? Eli: Don't have one! I used to do good session in the mornings; Qigong, Taiji form, Bagua form, then some explosive stuff. But nowadays I just do what ever I feel like when I get the chance. If I'm just standing around I'll go through some forms, and if Dad's standing around, too, then I'll hit him and we'll do some push hands. Still try to at least do some Qigong in the mornings, if I don't have time to do the form though. C&H: Do you have any hobbies?
In the recent translation of the Shao-lin Dim Mak book, DIAN XUE SHU,1 which was originally published in China in 1934, the translators noted: “[This book is about the] method of acting on acupoints and their practical application in Martial Arts. DIAN XUE SHU… literally means “The Art of Touching Acupoints” [and is more commonly known] in the West as DIM MAK (“Blows to the Arteries” in Cantonese dialect) or “Death Touch.” It should be noted that the last two names do not fully reflect the essence of this method.”
Dim Mak: A Historical Perspective A. Flane Walker and Rick Bauer
The above assessment is correct. The full concept of Dim Mak includes attacking arteries, but it is not limited to it. The old Chinese Masters always taught Dim Mak using references to traditional Chinese vital points / acupoints as targets. That is why you will often see teachers refer to the subject of Dim Mak as: “The skill in striking Vital Points” or “The Art of Attacking Acupoints” or “Acupoint / Meridian Pressing”… just to name a few. Arguably the first English reference occurred in 1958, when James Yimm Lee published his books on Iron Hand training.2 Bruce Lee alluded to it in his 1963 book on Gung Fu, 3 and then mentioned it more fully in this book TAO OF JEET KUNE DO.4
Within the Asian Martial Arts, Dim Mak is a legitimate subset of many martial styles. Essentially, it is precision striking, which takes advantage of anatomical weaknesses of the human physiology. Historically, it took ten years of hard study and practice in order to wield correctly. It was anything but easy.
Ark Yuey Wong wrote a considerable amount on the topic in 1965 and 1969, in his books GRANDVIEW OF KUNG-FU 5and SECRETS OF KUNG-FU.6 And Ed Parker also made reference to it in his book, SECRETS OF CHINESE KARATE. 7
Chinese lexemes can sometimes be very difficult to translate into English, and often times refer to a concept, image or process, and not an actual thing. In addition, their exact meaning is influenced by the order in which the brush-stroke characters appear in the sentence.
Since the 1970’s, there have been countless magazine articles and books on the subject… particularly in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. With all things in the media, some of this material was accurate, and some was not. One of the many problems which exists today is the martial arts public has been inundated with less than authoritative material on this subject. This continues to lead to a number of repeated misconceptions on what is and is not Dim Mak. For example - back in the 1960s and 1970s, certain infamous comic book and pulp fiction versions of Dim Mak were produced and sold in the North American and European mass-market, which purported to teach “Dim Mak – The Death Touch;” this started around 1963. The first may have been a well-known judo instructor in LA, who sold booklets via comic book ads, under the name “Honorable Master Kung Fu.” This material purported to teach the “secrets of DimMak… and the fabled “No Touch Knockouts.” In reality, it was a well-illustrated booklet of judo techniques. It was not Dim-Mak.
In the Chinese martial arts, the process of studying Dim Mak (Cantonese) is often referred to in Mandarin as Dian Xue Shu, or the skill / art of spotting (striking / attacking / pressing) acupoints / vital points.
Dim (Dian) (Tian) can translate by itself to: dot, speck, spot, point or degree
Mak (Muk) (Mai) (Hsueh) can translate by itself to: blood vessels, veins or arteries
The Mandarin term Xue can translate by itself to: cave, den, or hole
In the simplest of translations, dim mak (dian xue) can refer to “spotting points” or “spotting acupoints”
Beginning in the late 1960’s, another martial artist in Chicago did a similar thing… selling booklets thru comic book ads, also purporting to teach “Dim-Mak” and the fabled “Death Touch.” Again, this material was not based on any credible source material or training. At best, it was akin to street fighting techniques. But the author called it “Dim-Mak” - and many people accepted that. These over-hyped versions were not factually accurate, and were designed to sensationalize and sell. This marketing trend… which was part of the pop culture phenomena of the times, helped turn the subject of Dim Mak into a morass. It was akin to learning Karate or Kung Fu from a tabloid. In addition to the above problems, regrettably, when the subject of Dim Mak first begin to appear in Western literature in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s most of the cause and effect descriptions were very limited, and cloaked with eastern imagery (such as “Hit here, and the person will fall down like frightened chicken”)… which fueled pessimism in the West, and comparisons to Voodoo. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, a new wave of material came out. Some was good; a lot was bad. In internet forums, when the lineage or credibility of certain techniques was brought up, some of these instructors would simply allude to un-named “old Shao-lin poems” which they claimed “proved” any martial use of acupoints was really Dim-Mak… and therefore, what they were teaching was “100% authentic”… no mater what it was. This was all highly incorrect. The legitimate source records which specifically reference Dim-Mak (such as the Bubishi), are very specific on what is and is not Dim-Mak. In reality, a large number of these types of instructors were never classically trained in this subject. In certain cases, they had, at best, developed their own approach to the topic, thru trial-and-error, or personal research trying to reverse engineer concepts. Or they used techniques from an existing style which they did know (like judo or chin-na), and simply modified it and called it the same as “Dim-Mak.” In the swirl of concepts and pop culture, much of it became part of the urban legend. Regrettably, the legacy of that period of bad information continues to live with us, along with the gross misconceptions Another problem with the subject of Dim-Mak is credibility. When folks started to write about this topic in English 40 years ago, it was often described as “one of the greatest plateaus” within the arts, and often shrouded in mystique. In reality, the subject was originally the study of medicine (from the old Asian perspective), and it was all about understanding how people became injured in fights, and what needed to be done to treat the injuries.
Prior to the Boxer Rebellion Era in China (1899-1900), the Asian approach to medicine was simply termed “Dim-Mak.” It was all about healing people. But in order to understand how to treat trauma, the old Chinese Martial Arts Masters (who were considered doctors from the temple orders) also studied how it was inflicted. And so they kept notes on both. That was the original genesis of this subject. And it took lots and lots of skill and practice to learn correctly. It was hard and rigorous training. It was NOT a shortcut. It was not systematized around simple point sequences. It always required physical skill and action. For example, Dim-Mak material from China and Okinawa, dating prior to 1900, was usually presented in the following manner: (a) On the top of the page – there would always be a description of the type of injury being discussed. The descriptions were usually brief, but were always specific as to the place on the body being hit (usually defined by the acupoint and meridian areas being affected). If the strike was causing a serious level of trauma, this was also discussed – using the Asian medical imagery of the time. (b) On the bottom of the page – there was a description of the herbal formula needed to treat the injury, along with acupuncture notes. Dim Mak, as a legitimate historical subject, was an outgrowth of Chinese medicine and Chinese Kung Fu. The ancient doctors of the period witnessed the outcome of fights and battles, and thru empirical observation, recorded what they believed was the cause and effect outcomes of specific, focused trauma, applied to sensitive areas of the human body. As a matter of medical physiology and biomechanics, the body is not uniformly strong. It has areas which are more vulnerable to damage. The way in which trauma can be inflicted on a person’s body can vary significantly, and is directly dependent on the manner in which they are hit. The Old Chinese Masters, thru centuries of cause-and-effect observation, determined a specific number of ways of inflicting certain types of trauma to specific parts of the body. They divided this information into three distinct subsets… the most viscous of which they referred to as Dim Mak strikes. Biologically, the human body runs on regulated cycles. For example, the circulatory system was of particular interest to the Old Chinese Masters, as it followed a consistent, rhythmic pattern. This gave the Old Masters a timing mechanism, of sorts. For certain types of strikes targeting blood gates, they charted out the length of time it took from the moment of impact, when the arterial wall was severely traumatized, to when it ruptured. The Old Maters made records of these cause-and-effect patterns, originally to understand how to heal the condition. They then spent
a considerable amount of research on the health and restoration techniques (such as herbology), which were necessary to heal the trauma. Feudal China was plagued with massive wars, and fighting was almost a routine part of life. Originally, the Old Chinese Masters begin the study of Dim Mak to understand how to try and heal a person, in the event a person in their care was struck and hurt in a fight, battle, war, etc. From a research historian perspective, legitimate references to this subject appear in several original Chinese works, which were published in the late 1800’s; particularly the book attributed to Master Huo Tuo (circa 1878), 8 and the book by Grandmaster Li Shi Zhi (circa 1881).9 The three proper sets of Dim Mak (aka, Dim Mak, Dim Hseuh and Dim Ching) also appear prominently in the Okinawan Bubishi10 (circa the late 1700’s), which was first publicized in the 1930s.11 Gichin Funakoshi also mentions the subject in his published work in the 1920’s and 1930’s,12 and so did Choki Motobu in his books of the same time period.13
advice. It also contains some information on traditional Chinese medical techniques (acupuncture and herbology), which the old masters used. 9
The Dim Mak book <LI SHI ZHEN ZHI LIAO DIE DA MI FANG> attributed to Grand Master Li Shi Zhi, was written in the spring of the sixth year of the reign of Guang Xu (1881). The book describes how the old Masters used to treat certain types of kung fu injuries, such as broken bones and deep cuts. The book contains a two-page chart of the body (front and back views), which heavily influenced many of the point charts published since that time. 10
The Japanese term <BUBISHI> can translate into English as “Accounts of Military Arts and Sciences”. In Cantonese, it is pronounced <WU BEI JI>. 11
Mabuni, Kenwa <SEIPA NO KENKYU> (1934)
Funakoshi’s books <RYUKYU KEMPO KARATE> (1922), <RENTAN GOSHIN KARATE-JUTSU> (1925) and <KARATE-DO KYOHAN> (1935) all make reference to the Bubishi and vital point striking methods. 13
Motobu’s books <RYUKYU KEMPO TODE JUTSU KUMITE-HEN> (1926) and <WATASHI-NO TODE-JUTSU> (1932) both discuss vital point striking methods.
Photographs of Grandmaster A F Walker appear courtesy of Rick Bauer, who is a long time student of Grandmaster Walker. In 2002, Grandmaster A F Walker & Rick Bauer coauthored the book “Ancient Art of Life and Death: The Book of Dim-Mak”, with a forward by Erle Montaigue.
Jing Zhong Jin SKILL OF ACTING ON ACUPOINTS <DIAN XUE SHU> (1934) 2 Lee, James Yimm KUNG FU KARATE: IRON HAND / POISON HAND TRAINING (PT A & B) (1958) 3
Lee, Bruce CHINESE GUNG FU: THE PHILOSOPHICAL ART OF SELF DEFENSE (1963) 4
Lee, Bruce THE TAO OF JEET KUNE DO (1975)
Yueh-Wong, Ark GRANDVIEW OF KUNG-FU (1965)
Yueh-Wong, Ark SECRETS OF KUNG-FU (1969)
Parker, Ed, SECRETS OF CHINESE KARATE (1963)
The Dim Mak book attributed to Master Hou Tao was written in the third year of the reign of Guang Xu (1878). The book briefly describes how the old Masters used to treat certain types of kung fu injuries, such as broken bones, as well as some self-defense
I See It
he did it for health. That was my tai chi experience.
I also read on baqua and xingyi (read, because finding a teacher was next to impossible). I found the 5 elements of xingyi rather interesting. Why should these 5 movements represent those Gord Hill elements? At the time, I just did the postures. I didn’t understand fajing, so you can imagine that they were indeed static postures! Or, in the best way I could, what a karate kid (I was 19) could see in the static pictures. As time went on, I did begin to realize that the 5 movements DID have some uniqueness to I wonder each other, but that was that. if you are In 2003, Friday June 20, I was looking like me? I around the internet and happened across Erle’s website. For the very first time I wonder SAW fajing (and a wonderful discussion this to on how karate taught it. Wonderful myself, you see, I because that is how I was taught!). In that moment my mind changed and I have like to done only 3 or 4 repetitions of ANY of find the “sameness” in things. It started way back the 50 I kata I once knew. when I was learning my karate kata. I would piece them together in chunks as I The first 6 months of my taiji, which was really done on my own with a very few learned them. Then, when I learned a “new” one, I would just store the chunks I video clips Erle had out for download at knew together with movements that were the time (you-tube WASN’T up yet), the yang chen fu clips and his ebooks and new. Doing it this way, I figured out articles, I began to piece together this art about 50 of the kata from different of taiji. I should mention that I did have sources. one of Erle’s books, The 12 Dim Mak Kata (it said KATA which to me at the When I started learning Taiji, I did the time was a must have!). What fascinated exact same thing. I always found it so me was how the 12 kata AND the nice of the people who made up these fantastic forms to repeat themselves three postures of the taiji form were tied to organs or meridians of the body! The times. It really does make the learning chart that Erle put up in his Internal process easier. What I hope you gain from this is NOT to agree with me. What Gung-fu volumes helped me so much. See, in my mind it all started to fit. Grasp I hope for you is to maybe see the thing you do in a different way. If what I say is Swallows tail helps the Colon. Colon is a the SAME, then know there’s another one Metal. That is the FIRST xingyi palm! What are the similarities? Then, how is like you out there! the movement similar to Fishes in 8, the Lung healing posture? This is how my See, I grew up in the middle of Canada. mind started to chunk out the form. The only real martial arts around were The fun starts with “Why is single whip karate and tae kwon do. I happened by an Earth posture?” How is single whip karate and met some amazing people along that journey. When I was 18, I was similar to wave hands, for example? diagnosed with diabetes (4 months later I And, how are they similar to the Earth tested and passed my shodan). Now that punch of xingyi? health was important to me, I looked around and didn’t really care for what health there was in the karate I was doing. I wanted more. I had read of tai chi. I spent energy figuring things from books. I even met with a few people who did it. The problem was, my karate kept getting in the way. I kept thinking “what is the reason for this posture?” The gent I was working with actually told me he had no care in the world as to what they meant,
What really took me a long time to get was how Raise hands is a Wood posture! In xingyi, the Wood punch is the Beng chuan! Apparently it was the big finisher for many xingyi boxers. How is it similar to the taiji posture? And, since it works the liver, how is it similar to Repulse monkey (and tripping repulse monkey in Lu-Ch’an’s form)?
Ok, enough already! I can actually hear Erle saying, “Only Gord would EVER come up with this type of stuff.” How can I say that? I actually just got that exact response from him in an email the other week about trying to figure out the Palms in the combat form! Well it was the above with a “Stop thinking and just DO IT!” Thanks Erle. What is the point in all of this? I have been told over the years that our minds think in pictures. In order to do anything or create anything, you must have a picture of it in mind first. I believe that it is the image of the person that taught you the form you practice that helps you get to the internal! That is why it is so important to learn from a teacher who has learned the internal! If your teacher is doing only a physical posture, HOW can that teacher give your mind the correct image to work with? Erle said one time that the Form will become your teacher. I have accepted this wholeheartedly (I had to, I live in the middle of Canada, 3 days drive to the nearest WTBA teachers!). If I could be so bold, I would actually correct it by saying it is the Form from a teacher who knows the internal that becomes your teacher. I am convinced that the most important part of internal training isn’t doing the form or joining hands. While you MUST do this training, as they are how we get our bodies to DO the movements, it is the time spent watching your teacher DO the form that is vital to understanding. I don’t mean watching and TRYING to understand! Just watching and let your mind SEE! It is my belief that once the correct images get into your mind, those images will start to guide you. I have also found that leaving the images to settle is also a good thing. In other words, once you have SEEN them done and WORKED on them a few times, leave for a few days. Work on other things. I have found that they become much easier! Now, I can hear you all saying I am crazy, and I may very well be (my wife certainly has that opinion at times!). The question that began to plague me is “How do we get the Internal?” We start that process by getting the correct images to our internal, our mind. The internal part of all of us that we have regular access to is our mind! I have found that when we can get our mind doing the form, it becomes apart of us and we don’t HAVE to “train” any more.
MTG358: THE MOUNTAIN FORM
Dim-Mak Cornerstones V.4 Here Erle teaches the Fourth of the forms, the "The Mountain" form, which works upon the Gall Bladder, Liver and Triple Heater meridians. Here we gain the power of stillness within. However, there are times when the stillness has to explode into action such as a volcano! This form gives you that ability. Some potent Qigong Methods are also included in this/ these forms.
In my case, and I am probably unique in this respect, I never really stop DOING the forms, or I don’t ever stop “training”. NO, I don’t do the forms physically, though my wife may say something different! I seem to be always adjusting my weight when I am standing waiting for something, or taking a walk I used to run through the form in my mind (there is a whole article in that!). One of the most important and the most freeing ideas that I have ever heard, was said near the beginning of the first video on Chenfu’s form. He said something to the effect that all of taiji is an illusion: that preparation is everything. I took that to heart as well. I spend so much time just working on preparation that I can’t even count the hours! The idea that all of taiji is in a simple raising and lowering of the arms! WOW!
As I started to open and close I notice that my body gently twists from right to left to right as you settle into the posture. On a small scale, the body is doing what beng chuan does overtly. Similar things happen in the body when you do repulse monkey. I could go on about how, when I was working these images out, I was using the 12 kata as well, but that would just bore you. And please understand, this took
several years of lots of doing and thinking.
What I found to be the most amazing thing in all of this is how simple it all becomes. We hear that taiji is fajing. It is easy to say that that makes sense and leave it at that. What I have found though is that it is indeed, all in fajing. The way I see it, and it could be wrong, in order to So, how does all this fit together? do a form, the image comes to our mind Images! To understand this, it may be and through the waist, through fajing, we fun to do your Chen-fu or Lu-ch’an form WITHOUT stepping or moving the waist. make the posture. Then it really comes down to what energy or what element do In your mind do the form, but in your I want to express in this moment, which body, you are really only doing is made easy because we just do the preparation! posture in our mind! We literally don’t have to think about it anymore because When you do this, all of a sudden, the images are doing the work. We just swallows tail is a lowering of the arms raise our hands in the air and shake our and a strike (much like Pi chuan in bodies and the work is done. xingyi). Single whip becomes, well, you begin to realize that it is lateral, just like I realize that a lot of what is put wave hands and Heng chuan from xingyi. down here may be confusing or vague. By the way, if you are actually doing It’s just my ideas. It is how I have what I suggested, you won’t really be moving the arms to your side! You would figured out the material. probably have your right hand in the whip I sincerely thank you for taking the form and the left would look something time to read this. like the sanchin position in karate. The whole idea is that in order to make single whip from that position, you MUST do a lateral movement, or more correctly, a lateral motion with ascending descending aspects! And raise hands, how is it like Beng chuan? It isn’t when you do basic form.
INTERNAL YANG BALANCING ÂŠ2009 Erle Montaigue Someone just asked the question; " Why can't I simply do a karate kata or pump some weights or go running in order to balance out the YIN build up from doing all slow Tai Chi forms"? He asked if those types of exercises would be YANG enough to re-balance rather than learning for instance the Pauchui form, or the Bagua Linear form, or the Wudang Qi Disruptive forms and the list goes on. The answer is simple. Exercise without any "internal" expression or movement actually blocks Qi. One of the main reasons for this is that most exercise apart from the obvious, running or swimming etc., (provided they are all done with relaxation to allow the body to move freely) is not natural movement. A karate kata for instance is not natural movement so will not allow for a natural flow of Qi throughout the meridians. Any tension without "sung" will create blockages so these exercises aren't actually YANG so will not re-balance the body.
Yang Luch'an's form, however, is perfectly balanced and even has elements within it to make up for the more YANG forms, which is why we would normally practice YLC form AND one or two of the more explosive forms such as Pauchui throughout the day.
If you allow the YIN to rise, you will just get sicker and sicker until you will no longer even be able to force yourself to perform the explosive forms. This is what If for instance you rise in the happened to great men like Yang Chengmorning, feeling a bit down, or lacking of fu who was so YIN that he died young. energy, a bit depressed from maybe too much coffee, you would force yourself to Any of the more explosive forms will perform one of the explosive forms. And work; such as any of the weapons forms, sure enough, this is enough to cause the provided they are done in a correct YANG to rise and lift your spirits for the manner, with Sung and looseness, with no day. appreciable external tension other than
The reason is that the slower movements from these forms cause Yang energy to rise up; the backbone, which is one of the main "classic sayings" from The pauchui forms both from Tai Chi Tai Chi. Then as we fa-jing that energy or Bagua Are VERY NATURAL out, more YANG is forced to rise to MOVEMENT with each movement replace it and this causes an immediate re formulated to allow the body to move in balancing of the body. accordance with the natural flow of energy within the body. Because of the You will discover that after explosive nature of these forms, they will performing these explosive forms, you create YANG Qi and therefore will re will just feel like doing things. Perhaps balance and out of balance body that is there has been something that you have too YIN! This is the reason that the been putting off, a song to write, or explosive forms were created, to balance something purely physical etc. You will out the slower forms. then WANT to do it, having some incentive to do that work.
that which is required to allow you to move and hold the weapon. For me, he who is allergic to caffeine, it is like having the high that caffeine gives but without the bad elements of the come down after. The pauchui training and the good effects that it imparts lasts the whole day. You wouldn't do pauchui for instance before going to bed! There is something for everyone in the area of explosive forms from either Bagua, Tai Chi or Wudang. And I will also add to the list, the Dim-Mak Foundation Forms as they also work to re-balance the YIN and YANG Qi.
COST TRAINING: £200 ACCOMMODATION FULL BOARD(Breakfast/ Lunch/Evening Meal): £60/DAY DEPOSIT: £200/PERSON (NON-REFUNDABLE)
THE WTBA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CAMP JULY 2010
The date is set… let’s make the 2010 summer camp bigger & better still! I can’t believe it… the 2009 Summer camp has not been the secondary training method. Informal training and practice long gone and we are already well into planning next year’s will continue in the evenings, as well as Qigong & Push Hands event! & YLC form. For those who missed out on the fun and frolics in If there are any other topics that people would like July, it’s time to dust off those passports and join the to see on the menu next summer, then please party in July 2010! contact either Erle or Nasser via the usual nd th The venue again will be the splendid Quorn Hall channels and we will go with the consensus, time International Centre, located on the banks of the river permitting. Soar in Leicestershire. Please let Nasser Butt know asap to reserve your We will arrive for Camp 2010 on Thursday 22nd July space, as places are already filling up nicely by friends and training will commence early Friday morning, departing who visited us this year. The closing date for deposits will be after lunch on Monday 26th July. March 2010. The backdrop to the 2010 workshop will be the Pau Chui/ Watch this space for further news and developments. Large San Sau form, with the two-person Medium Pole Form as
July 22 -26 2010
TEACHING CHILDREN INTERNAL GUNG FU SAMUEL G. BEATTY I love teaching my children and they
a great youth ambassador for indigenous Australia, love learning internal gung-fu especially being a professional the WuDang forms and the weapon didgeridoo player and hands, they love it. My oldest daughter dancer traveling the Majeda-Mo’ who is now 11 years old globe. We never forced started training with me at the age of 4 him to play didge or years old and my youngest daughter dance, he just saw his Xing-Yee also at the age of 4. My oldest Uncles play and perform son Ryka started training with me at the and taught himself. We also have a new age of 10 years old, he started a little later addition to the family named Djakapurra, because he is my stepson and I was still a he’s only two and he’s picked up the beginner of Erle’s system. Over the years family tradition playing didgeridoo, of training my daughters are getting a dancing and also internal gung-fu. good grasp of it. My oldest daughter just finished learning Qi Disruptive #5 and As all parents we all want our my youngest daughter just finished #2. children to strive to be the best they can They’re also up to WuDang Weapon be. Through their training the children get Hands Sword. to know themselves. When they train with each other the girls communicate When I first started teaching my through internal training, they know they eldest son I taught him like I was taught have to concentrate on not hurting one as a child, but as I was reading another as they understand that they’re information on Erle’s training with his doing Dim-mak martial arts. I’m not as own children I changed my way of bold as Erle to have my kids strike my teaching. My youngest daughter Xingpoints, but I do let the girls attack me to Yee, at the age of 3 years old would stand have a realistic feel. My oldest daughter between my legs while I was teaching Majeda hated hitting daddy but I had to Ryka, Majeda and my wife Taryn. She explain to her why she was doing it in became very keen to be involved. terms of her safety (so she would use her training if ever she was attacked, Lord I do my best to teach them as natural forbid). If she continues to train in this as possible, my children do home system, God better save the attacker. schooling because we travel and perform She’s serious!!! Xing-Yee, on the other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island hand, loves to hit daddy. I’ve never had dancing throughout Australia and to tell her twice she gets a joy out of overseas. My wife teaches them their hitting Daddy. Xing-Yee’s learning traditional dancing and by mimicking the process was different from her sister, girls have naturally picked up the dances Majeda picks up movement very quickly and songs. My eldest son Ryka from the where as Xing-yee would take a little age of 7 picked up the didgeridoo and has longer but once she’s gets it, she’s got it! never looked back. He has gone on to be
The way the children learn keeps me on my feet, Xing-Yee never complains about her training she goes with the flow. She and her sister have just started the broadsword form, I hadn’t even bought the swords from the gentlemen in the store and those two were going at in the store with the swords. Now we just have to hide the swords them from the 2 year old, but somehow he finds them and is usually caught dragging the sword around. We all laugh because you can’t take it off of him, he has a tantrum fit. So we have to trade something for it like his didgeridoo or his clap sticks, which works until he finds the swords again. I learn so much from the kids and they teach me so much about being a kinder human being. The kids see it for what it truly is. My oldest Ryka came with me to Camp 98 and he loved it. He got to hang out with the Montaigue children and Murwillumbah was such a nice break from Sydney. Getting a break from the big city was a great experience for him and me and then at Camp 2000 I brought the whole family. My family did some Aboriginal dancing and singing with Ryka playing the didgeridoo. During these Camps the knowledge that Erle and the W.T.B.A. members shared will never be forgotten.
I introduced the Reptilian brain and the C back to the kids; we approach it like a science project. At one time we use to own a beautiful blue heeler dog named Popeye. He was the nicest dog; he played with the children all the time, maybe too much sometimes. One day Ryka was walking Popeye and a Rottweiler came full speed barking and showing his teeth ready to attack. Both Ryka and Popeye stood their ground. Popeye’s hair on his back rose, his eyes changed, his whole state of being stopped the Rottweiler in his tracks, and the Rottweiler put his tail between his legs and ran off. Afterwards Popeye went back to being his happy go lucky self. Through the information that Erle had provided about the reptilian brain it all made sense. The kids would witness Popeye do this a few times more, so the lessons they learnt from him was becoming clearer in understanding how the reptilian brain works. The girls now have a good idea of how it works within them with their internal gung-fu training, again I speak at their level or I should say they speak to me at their level. They find the C back interesting especially on a chicken or whilst feeding the birds in the park and watching the birds fight one another over a breadcrumb.
we go over it until the girls get it, no rush! There’s a lot to learn and I don’t overload them with too much information all at one time. I give them a chance to digest it and the girls ask a lot of questions, so I know their brain is working. Sometimes the girls watch a Kung-fu movie for entertainment, also to see what the culture was like back in rural China before the invention of the gun and show how people had to protect themselves back then. Internal gung-fu, like anything for a child, is that their learning should be fun and exciting. In today’s world there’s so much to distract them and as the children get older I get more in depth of what their learning. I keep it at their child understanding, just like the cubs in animal world. As they grow up they will have a better respect for themselves and for all of humanity, also for the animal world and plant kingdom. The benefits they receive from their Taijiquan and wudang vary from studying better to sleeping better and keeping their minds open to which the world has to offer them. Knowing that they can walk down the street not in fear of being harmed and that they are also keeping themselves internally intact protecting themselves also from disease.
Learning doesn’t all happen at once, it’s a matter of taking ones time. Do not If you have a child or children and to overwhelm them with too much your thinking about getting started, then information, practice at the right pace do it! There are a lot of great forms or and of course have a laugh and enjoy it. katas that they can learn. The children Have a green tea, sing and dance a little. love the BaGua animal names and they In other words just make it a part of love the idea that they are learning their everyday routine. At times we all something that is hundreds of years old. get a little lazy but that’s alright because (As they do love learning about their sooner or later if they love what they do own ancient dream time culture). I read they will get up and play internal gungthe stories to my girls of how Yang Lufu. Ch’an invented Taijiquan, then they ask me all these questions and I make it fun for them. I show them the meridian points on the body and how they work, we might just do one or two points, and
Top(Left to Right): Taryn Beatty Majeda-mo ,Xing-yee, Samuel Beatty & baby Djakapurra Beatty Middle & Below: Majeda-mo & Xing-yee practicing the Wudang Hand Weapons. Photography©Samuel G. Beatty
WTBA MOUNTAIN TRAINING CAMP 2009 with Eli Montaigue July 31st 2009, 7 of us hiked up to the top of one of the peaks in beautiful Rhandirmwyn Wales, for a
Even after all that hiking, we still managed half an hour of Qigong! Looking out over the valleys, was truly
weekend training in the mountains. Myself, Lars-Erik,
Silje, Goran, Dennis, Chris and Mathieu, were joined by Ben early the next morning, and even Dad and Kathleen came up just for the day. We set off at 5.30pm, making our way up the
All alone, nothing to see but mountains and valleys. And Sheep!!! Packing up late Sunday afternoon, after a nice swim to freshen up.
mountain, packed with gear, including all the fire wood
We all had such a great time, just easy going training
(as there are no trees up there, though we did find some fences!), with some of us carrying up to 30kg! It was a
and chilling out. Get booked in for the next one!
IfÂ you can make it up the mountain you'll have a great time!
“I Want My Mommy” Kurt Levins Sr. Taoist teachers come in many shapes and forms. There was my first, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. Then a Chinese guy who owned a fly by night construction company. Then the Chinese cook. Master Lein told me that Taoist teachers are always around if we just open our eyes and ears to find them. When Master Lein left I retreated to nature and nature became my teacher as he said it would. It still is and I’ve found it to be the best teacher. However I doubt if I could learn from nature if I didn’t have the form (yang) and structure (yin) that my previous teachers had provided. Well a little while ago I found another great teacher – Sifu Alex. Alex is a physical marvel in tip top physical condition. Able to do full splits and other amazing things with his body, like stick his foot in his mouth. He can climb like a monkey. Amazing simply amazing. His Taoist breathing is perfect. Watching his abdomen rise and fall with each breath represents a pure example of the bellows described in the Tao Teh Ching. But what may be most amazing is that Alex is three years old. I retired after 27 years of police work and my wife and I decided to have a baby. Alex was born when I was 49. Sometimes I teach him and other times he teaches me. Who am I lying to, mostly he teaches me. Alex is pure Tao, unpolluted by education, science, religion or other constructs of man. What I want to share with you is an important lesson that Alex has taught. Oh, I had read the lesson and heard the lesson a million times before. In fact, I’ve lived
the lesson before. But it was Alex who in I have found that Mother Earth with one of those instant flashes of insight, that her magnificent yin power is a great Master Montaigue talks about, taught me healer. And it seems to me that many of this lesson. the recurring ills affecting modern man are from excessive yang energy-whether Only now as I look at the lesson from on a micro or macro level. On the macro my seat as a trained and initiated Master I level global warming is a yang problem. can appreciate its importance. The destruction of the rain forest is a yang problem. Pollution of our seas is a As I said, I am retired. I am a stay at yang problem. Mother Earth can and will home Dad while my wife, Alex’s mom, heal these problems with her yin power. finishes her law enforcement career. I But remember in the Taoist world, what is wake with him and take care of him all reflected without is also reflected within. day. Make breakfast and lunch, play with That is where this lesson can help each him. Change the diapers, settle the and every one of us. tantrums and so on. Some might call me Mr. Mom, and I love it. After the yang I will now teach you a simple career of a warrior, spending yin time at technique that can cure many ills such as home with Alex is a great teacher. headache, sinus congestion, upset stomach, and many others. I’ve used it Despite all of my time with Alex, and it works. Do not be alarmed at its when he gets sick what does he say, who simplicity. does he turn to? “I want my Mommy,” is what he will say when he is sick. That is The technique is this, simply stand or the lightning strike of this major lesson sit with your bare feet on the ground. that he has taught me-“I want my That’s it folks. It is that simple. Let Mommy.” Kidney 1, the Bubbling Well connect to Mother Earth. She will take the injured or How many of us when ill, wouldn’t damaged yin energy and replace it with like our Mommy to show up and take healthy yin energy. The length of time care of us as when we were a baby or you need to remain in contact with the toddler or at any age. To wipe our Earth varies with the illness. forehead, give us something to eat, rub our backs or just comfort us. I know I In early stages of illness, five to ten would. minutes may be enough. For serious problems 30 minutes to an hour may be My Mom was a special person. Born needed. Also you may have to repeat this of Irish heritage she really represented the exercise several times. I have used this strong matriarchal image that she had technique to reduce fever, cure headache learned from her Mother. So to me as a and many other problems. It truly does young child, Mommy could fix anything work. Even if it does not remove the and was always there for comfort. problem completely it almost always offers some relief. If the problem is not a So where is the big Taoist lesson? We lack of yin but chi moving in the wrong all know we are attached to our mothers direction (a cause of vomiting and in some way. Well here it is. Just as our nausea) this exercise still seems to work. biological mothers were such great healers when we were young, curing It is my belief that we are complete bumps, bruises and assorted other bangs, when we come into the world-as is. That Mother Earth is a great healer for us all. is the design of the Creator. Unfortunately man has decided at times that he is
MTG367: YLC “ROOT” METHODS VOLUME 1
smarter than the Creator and so man has created things like shoes. When we walk without shoes, every step allows an infusion of yin energy from Mother Earth. Shoes impair this exchange. Master Lein always required us to do Tai Chi using cotton-soled shoes. Dr. Martin Eisen always liked to do chi kung without shoes. Modern shoes with their rubber, leather or synthetic soles do not allow this exchange of energy. Try doing Three Circle Chi Gung with shoes and then without shoes. You should be able to notice a difference. But here is a warning. Do not do tai chi forms in bare feet on sand. Instead wear cotton-soled shoes. Why? I did this one-day at the New Jersey shore and it was glorious: Sun, wind, water earth, it was a fusion of the elements- tremendous. The problem? All of the twists and turns of tai chi acted like a dermabrasion on the bottom of my feet- all of the old dead skin was rubbed off by the sand. Later that night when I went to put on shoes and walk, oh boy, very tender feet, sore,
pain even. I had promised the family we would spend the evening on the Boardwalk and I kept my word and every step reminded me of the lesson- no tai chi in bare feet on the sand. Also, when troubled and your mind is jumbled and rumbling with thoughts that won’t calm down, simply sit down in a quiet place and put your bare feet on the ground. Try it and see what happens. Mother Earth will calm you down. Isn’t that what you learned as a child? When things were confusing, when something scared you, what would you do? Go to Mommy for comfort. Well, you still can. I must go now, Sifu Alex is teaching me another Taoist lesson. What may start out as a wonderful meal, always ends up as poop. Now isn’t that a complete Taoist circle if there ever was one. Kurt Levins Sr. is a master and Taoist priest under the Lu Shan tradition, and traces his tai chi lineage from Li I Yu.
Erle will begin teaching the Old Yang Lu-ch’an Form at its “Small Frame Level”. Also Combat Push Hands at its double level and also small frame level. This is NOT competition push hands but rather teaches us about how to ﬁght and defend yourself and at this level is one of the best training aids ever invented for real self defence! Also, time permitting, Erle will teach one of the “Wudang Dim-Mak Cornerstone Forms.” and perhaps the ﬁrst three of Yang Lu-ch’an’s “Root Methods”.
This series shows you how to use the postures from the Old Yang Style of Yang Lu-ch’an for realistic self-defence. YLC invented a brief set of fighting forms around each of the main self defence postures from his Tai Chi form. Each posture is taken out from the main form and is then treated with a set or form of its own. These forms teach the student how to react instantly, without thinking and how to use any method to get the job done quickly and efficiently. They teach about fa-jing and dim-mak, as well as having a healing property the same as the original posture from which they were taken.
Cost: For the whole weekend the cost for training will be $150.00. 4 Hours training per day with a one hour lunch break.
E ERL E IN U TAIG 010 N O M SA 2 U E TH
Salisbury MD: USA May 8th & 9th
Please contact Al or Brian for details of venue and exact times etc.
Al Krych: firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Alexander: email@example.com
DIM-MAK'S FOUR CORNERSTONE FORMS ERLE MONTAIGUE ÂŠ2009
There are only four forms for Dim-Mak. Actually, there are many if you include those from Tai Chi Ch'uan and Baguazhang which are the foundation systems for Dim-Mak, without which Dim-Mak is not that useful and is almost impossible to use in any other system. When Tai Chi and Baguazhang and to some degree, Xingyi came out of the Wudang system, the masters of old kept the four cornerstones of Dim-Mak to themselves, preferring to make up their own forms in order to teach Dim-Mak. Eventually, the cornerstones of Dim-Mak were forgotten about until now, Dim-Mak is seen to not have any forms on its own. My main teacher Chang, knew the four cornerstone forms so I will now present them in their entirety on DVD. One of the main reasons for the old masters keeping these forms back, was that they knew that almost everyone would prefer to simply learn these building blocks of Dim-Mak rather than do the hard work necessary to take Dim-Mak internally. Which is why these forms were always kept until last. It is impossible to actually learn much about Dim-Mak by simply learning these cornerstone forms, other than perfect body movement and a few points to strike, albeit the most dangerous and practical points. So, although these forms are really nice to learn, and give great benefits, it is always best to learn one of the foundation forms such as REAL Tai Chi or Bagua.
movement teaches us to strike to TH8 point on the forearm in a downward direction in order to set up the main killing strike to GV26 just under the nose with a "tiger paw" fist. At the same time, as usual, we are put into the worst scenario of having to defend against two or more attackers, so we are also attacking a 2nd attacker with a sharp cross kick to break his leg at the knee.
Nowadays, I have literally thousands of students worldwide who learn not only from my DVD titles but also directly from myself or my sons Eli and Ben. So I have decided that this is perhaps the time to put these four Dim-Mak forms out so that everyone who has studied and trained hard, can gain the benefits from them as I have done.
You will find when practicing these forms, that the energy builds up very quickly, giving a feeling of well being and power. This happens because the same energy we use for self defence, is also used for self healing.
Form No. 1 is called "River Form" and is called such because of the flowing nature of each movement and how it flows effortlessly into the next movement, building up great power issued from a very short distance, gaining that power from how the body is moved, like the great river. Each movement is linked to the next in a complex, yet flowing set of postures that emulates the internal flow of Qi throughout the body. This is turn builds up an EMF, or "electromotive force" within by combining every bone, sinew and muscle in the body. Like a generator in a car, the hands are used in such a manner as to cut across the magnetic fields of the body causing a current to flow, be stored and issued when necessary.
The River Form: Normally, the River form is taught first as water is the giver of all life. Its elements are, LUNG, COLON and STOMACH. Representing the Power house of the body, (Lungs), the Stomach, that from which we gain sustenance and the Colon, that which takes the garbage out so more good stuff can come in. This form is beautifully flowing but very explosive at times just as a river is often calm and often turbulent as in the rapids. Each of the Cornerstone forms has its own Qigong method of Yin and Yang. The first of the Qigongs in this River form is the "Heaven/ Earth" Qigong, taking energy from the ground into the body. The 2nd or Yang Qigong connects physical to spirit or heaven. The Qigong methods in all 4 forms are done slowly usually followed by an explosive set of movements to release that accumulated Qi. The River form is probably the shortest of the 4 and also the easiest to perform. As all 4 forms are DimMak forms, all of the self defence techniques are aimed at deadly DM points. The water form at a self defence level, like water, teaches us to get into spots easily for instance when someone has a strong en-guard stance etc. Like water gets into tiny cracks in stone.
The practical side of these forms is such that we are taught about the main striking points on the body. Initially, we are taught about every point when we first learn about Dim-Mak, its effect, how to strike them and the set up points as put forth in my Encyclopedias of Dim-Mak. However, many of these points of course just aren't practical, hence the need for the Cornerstone Forms. We are taught with each movement, exactly which points to strike in order to gain the maximum effect with the appropriate set up points, how to strike them, and in which directions to strike or set up. For instance, the very first
The Air or Sky Form: The "Air" form is beautifully flowing in the upper body in particular and also in the hands representing the wind as it gently flows and also violently demolishes as in tornadoes etc. The organs associated with this form are Spleen, Heart & Small Intestine meridians. The Qigong associated with this form is called "Mind/Body Qigong. It begins with a very beautiful small hand set of movements and builds to a violent energy release then continues. Some very powerful self defence applications are also prevalent in this form. Like all of the forms this one too has very deadly Dim-Mak strikes powered by fa-jing or explosive energy.
Event Calendar December 4th 2009 Instructors Only Training Session Friday 7pm - 9pm Llangadog, Wales December 5-6th 2009 Annual WTBA Party & Training Weekend. Party Saturday: 7.30pm. Llangadog, Wales April 10-11th 2010 Workshop, Goirle, Holland (Near Tilburg). Contact: Jos Horst: Holland firstname.lastname@example.org April 24-25th 2010 Workshop, Montaigu (Near Nantes), France Contact: Pascal Or Michel: email@example.com
The Valley Form: This form is more physical than the first two with some very low "Snake Creeps Down" types of postures, leaps and kicks. Pericardium, Bladder and Kidney meridians are those associated with this form. Some potent Qigong methods are also within this frame. The main Qigong from this form is called " Heaven/Valley". It gives us the power of the Tantien or the pelvis. It allows us to better circulate the Qi through the bones and make "jing" or marrow. Thus our autoimmune system is toned up as well. This form as with the "Mountain" form works more upon the Life-force meridians such as kidney, liver, and spleen because of the lower postures.
May 15-16th 2010 Workshop, Leicester. Contact: Nasser Butt firstname.lastname@example.org May 22-23rd 2010 Workshop, Hasselt, Belgium Contact: Liesbet Marsoul email@example.com
The Mountain Form: The last in the series is based upon stillness. Because it is representative of the Mountain. Here we gain the power of the INTERNAL so this one is a very special form. It works upon the Gall Bladder, Liver and Triple Heater meridians. The main Qigong in this form is called "Life" Qigong because it works more upon the Life-force Jing. At times however, the mountain explodes such as with a volcano! We have a very solid grounding but the upper body is free to explode in rage when attacked. The Qigong for this form is quite severe which is why it was left until last. It has some very low qigong methods requiring some flexibility and leg strength.
July 22-26th 2010 Official Summer Camp of the WTBA. England UK Contact: Nasser Butt firstname.lastname@example.org September 18-19th 2010 Workshop, Leicester. Contact: Nasser Butt email@example.com
These four relatively short forms will give you the very foundations of any dim-mak training. However, they were always saved for last traditionally. The reason was that the house was built first to see if it was good enough. THEN the foundations were placed under the house! In other words, these were reserved for the more advanced and therefore dedicated student who has already put in the hard yards and proven him/ herself worthy to receive such gems. 
WTBA NEWS important that every instructor who was within driving distance should come to lessons at least some time during each year in order to update and progress. Most even came from Europe regularly. Some WTBA instructors did not attend any classes, some only one or two in the past 6 years. It was never a monetary thing as you all know that if you cannot afford my classes, come anyway!
Early in May 2009, Paul Brecher resigned from the WTBA. What followed were a bizarre set of statements by Paul on his website, as well as comments left by his students under his You-tube videos and on the WTBA forum on facebook. Some of the statements and comments were highly derogatory and inflammatory in nature, as well as untrue, so much so that Erle had to make a public statement to clarify certain matters.
I will be allocating a new official representative for the London area soon, and we wish Paul all the best. However, Paul had posted the following on his site 2 days earlier, spotted by several WTBA members:
Most of Paul’s statements appear on our facebook forum and a lot of WTBA members read them directly from Paul’s site and were rightly angry that such comments should be made by someone who has gained so much of his reputation on the back of Erle and the WTBA. Others, who do not have access to facebook requested that the information be put into the public domain to prevent any future ambiguities from arising. Below are Erle’s original statements which he made upon Paul’s resignation, followed by what ensued.
11th May 2009 "I was a member of Erle Montaigues WTBA for twenty years, he has now handed over the organisation to his youngest son Eli. I have chosen to no longer be a member of the WTBA." As can clearly be seen, Paul cites “changes in his personal life”, in his resignation letter to Erle, yet states something totally different on his own site!
I should, however, clarify that Paul has since removed most of the offending material from his site and reworded the rest. To date, no apology or explanation has been offered to Erle as to why these comments were made by Paul and his students!
This statement, alongside others being posted by Paul’s students on You-tube stating that Erle had retired, led to the following response emailed by Erle to all concerned:
Paul Brecher Resigns - A Message from Erle Montaigue (Posted on facebook 13/05/09 & emailed to all friends on the WTBA mailing list)
Important Message From Erle (14/06/09) Friends of the WTBA and other interested people.
Dear WTBA friends, students and instructors,
As you know I try not to become involved in problems with WTBA members or ex WTBA members. I have been there when younger and now leave all that to my students as it is a good learning curve to have to put up with all of that and to learn how to deal with it without punching someone! :)
Hi everyone, Paul Brecher our representative for London has resigned from the WTBA, due to changes in his personal life. Paul is therefore no longer a member of the WTBA nor a representative of my system. I wish him well as he is a friend and has been loyal over the years.
However, of late, a few issues have been pointed out to me which I must now address as they simply aren't true!
Henceforth, all those who wish to continue in the Erle Montaigue System may of course continue under our soon to be known London Representative. Everyone should know that all of the advanced forms, as well as the Dim-mak foundation forms, which have been taught during the Instructors sessions over the last 4 years, can ONLY be taught by fully qualified current instructors under the WTBA banner, who have learned these forms from myself directly!
Firstly PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT nor have I retired!! I am still very much actively teaching and holding even more workshops and if those instructors who are putting out this misinformation bothered to come to class, they would know this! The 2nd thing is that some teachers claim that they have been studying with me for 20 years! Sure they might have met me that long ago but in actual hours some have taken with me over that period only 12 lessons! 12 hours!! My son Eli however has been with me now for 19 years and during that time his actual training time goes into literally hundreds of hours! Which is why I have handed the running of the WTBA over to him as he is the only one who has received almost everything I know to a degree where I know I can trust him to teach the real Montaigue system.
I shifted to the UK in 2003 as a way of being where the rest of the World was, so that my WTBA instructors could gain the benefit of my being close by. I figured that they would all attend my classes regularly as it was better to travel 180 miles or so than 14,000! However, although many of you have come to most or all of my classes, some have only come to one or two in fact! I stressed back then that it was
Some have made disparaging remarks about his young age! I urge those to come and visit him and see how well he has learnt from me! If I were retiring, Eli, would inherit the true system aided by his brother, Ben and my trusted students including Nasser, Jerry and Peter Smith. There are of course many others such as Al Krych, Peter Jones and the list goes on and in terms of WHEN they started with me Pete Smith, Al, Tony Court, Pete Jones etc (the list goes on) would have precedence over some who have only had 12 lessons over 20 years! Some might have thought that because I was back in the music business that I would give up teaching!! Wrong! I simply had too much on my plate and after 30 years or so doing it all by myself, it is nice to have some help from my children. Hence my handing the running of the WTBA over to the only obvious successor, Eli.
I held this position teaching the WTBA syllabus and promoting this organization until I resigned from the WTBA in May 2009. I was glad that I had spent some time being part of the WTBA, I learnt a different interpretation of the
forms and training methods that I already knew and also learnt some new forms and training methods. So I have had many teachers who where guides that showed me how to become my own greatest teacher and find the answers within myself. With this in mind I have decided to once again run my own independant martial arts school in London.” **********
So from hence forth, the only instructors who are authorised to teach my system, are those listed on our WTBA instructor list. So, if students wish to learn the real internal system as taught by myself, there is only one choice, apart from directly from me as - am NOT retiring!!
The above post, along with some remarks made by Paul’s students on facebook & elsewhere, finally prompted the following response from Erle on 29th August 2009: What Paul Brecher Knew - A Message From Erle Montaigue
My sincere advice to those who find it difficult to accept that a 23 year old man can take over running the WTBA, is to take a look at your own ego.
I hope this puts an end to this bs.
As you all know, I have held off saying anything about Paul Brecher as I try not to become involved in such trivial matters and out of the last bit of respect I had for Paul, I have said nothing. However, after reading many posts on Paul's web site containing untruths and twisted truths, he has forced my hand so I will say the following TRUTH as to what Paul knew prior to meeting me in Australia. I am not being nasty or involving myself in all of the shit that is coming mainly from Paul and his students, but I must clarify a number of statements.
Regards Erle ********** This response from Erle,( a copy of which was sent directly to Paul), prompted the following redaction from Paul on his site on June 15, although he posted it over the above 11th May statement:
What Paul Knew!
“For the last eight years I was Chief Instructor for London of Erle Montaigues WTBA. I have now resigned from this position to focus on my own school.”
I received a phone call from a chap from the UK who was traveling the world seeking out Tai Chi teachers. He was traveling with a friend of his. Paul proceeded to tell me how much he knew so I agreed to meet him where he was staying at a caravan park in beach suburb called Byron Bay in the Northern Rivers district of the State of New South Wales. I took along with me one of my advanced students. Paul proceeded to show me what he knew and what he had learnt along the way. From what he showed me it was a version of the common Yang Cheng-fu style of Yang. Paul knew nothing of the Old Yang style, hadn't even heard of it at that stage. He then went on to show me the dance version of Yang Cheng-fu san-sau which I immediately recognized as what we call the "Dance Style".
Thinking the matter had been finally laid to rest, no more was said until the following claims appeared on Paul’s website posted on August 18th: “In the late 1980's I had my own Martial Arts School in London called Thunder Dragon Tai Chi I taught Chi Kung, Old Chen and Yang Style Tai Chi, empty hand forms, two person sets and weapons… Then I decided to join The World Tai Chi Boxing Association and rose through the ranks, in August 1990 I became a basic Instructor for the WTBA, then in September 1993 I attained Black Belt Instructor Grade and in May 1997 I was promoted to WTBA Senior Instructor Grade Two. And then in June 2001 Erle Montaigue the head of the WTBA presented me with my Certificate of 4th Degree Chief Instructor for London Qualification.
After this, I demonstrated to him using my partner, firstly the Old Yang Style and then a very explosive Large San-Sau set. I noticed that Paul was very quiet afterward and his chin was on his chest! He told me that I was only an afterthought on his journey that he had tacked into the last leg of his trip! However, he then said that he should have come straight to Australia and spent the whole time with me as he
did NOT know any of the Wudang forms or weapons, he did NOT know anything about Dim-Mak, he did not know the real Qigong method! His push hands was the same stuff that everyone does! He knew nothing about P'eng/hinge push hands. Paul knew nothing about fajing before Erle Montaigue. He needs some more training on this though!
had wasted the last 3 months ( or however long it had been). I believe he also had a tear in his eye as he said this. That was ALL Paul knew at that time before meeting me. After he went back to the UK, he gave up all other systems to concentrate upon my Old Style system. Paul then set about obtaining my videos on the system and learning from those. I think he attended one or two workshops that I held in the UK, I have lost count of those however, I think he came to Swansea and again to Folkestone and then I went up to London to hold workshops that Paul had organized on a number of occasions. Paul came to one of my Instructor's workshops in Wales but didn't do much training. I do not remember him having any private lessons from me at any time.
So after meeting me and from learning from my videos .... now he does???? I don't know as I have never corrected his forms. Back in the beginning of the WTBA, we needed people in other countries to run things for us. At that time, we had a grading system consisting of 16 grades. 4th degree black belt was at that time not a very high grading!
Paul continued to learn from the Videos and later DVDs, however, he would get the more advanced titles, jumping over the more basic ones. He would send me emails saying what he was doing to the original forms putting in some martial applications to the actual form upon which I would always tell him that they were supposed to be hidden. In the end I just became tired of him changing the form and asking if it was correct to do such and such etc. So I just would say "Ok, you do it your way Paul". So I was a little shocked when I saw Paul's form again after a long time to see that the whole form had changed into something that was almost unrecognizable! There was nothing I could do to correct his from as I would have had to start him right from scratch in basic form.
Since then we have changed the whole grading scheme to that now a 4th degree is quite a high degree of which few people have attained! Paul Brecher was given at that time a low degree of 4th based upon the grading scheme at that time! Since then all of our senior instructors have been re-graded to represent the current scheme. Paul Breacher has never been re-tested or re-graded in the current higher grading scheme! Paul Brecher lists the following in his "syllabus" on his web site (see below). All of which he has learnt from Erle Montaigue's videos! Paul Brecher's Syllabus comes entirely from Erle Montaigue's video catalogue (You can compare it yourself)!!
Paul wrote a number of books and also wanted to write a book on the Old Yang style, however, I told him not to as I held the copyright on that form! I even wrote forewords to some of his books in an effort to help him as he is a family man and that's what I do! However, I could also see and was weary of Paul, as I had had some problems with others in the past learning a little and then thinking that they could do an Erle Montaigue and go out on their own. So I always held back information from Paul. His only method of gaining the information was from my videos. Now, my videos are the most comprehensive of their type ever published. However, I always expect those who wish to be my main instructors to come to lessons and be updated and corrected. And this was a condition to Paul becoming a WTBA instructor for London. Paul has NEVER done this and I have always wondered WHY he never came to me for corrections? I would have gladly corrected his forms and put him onto the correct path so that he could be confident in what he was teaching his students was correct.
I hate writing stuff like that above, but my hand was moved due to Paul's insistent and continuous rubbish on his web site about me and my son Eli! And Paul, as I have always told you mate, "NEVER COME BETWEEN ME AND ONE OF MY CHILDREN"!!! Erle Montaigue ********** Paul has now opened his own "college" of martial arts and posted the following information on his site regarding HIS syllabus (Please note that the typographical errors occur in the original text and remain unchanged): 29th August 2009 Paul Brecher is the Founder and Chief Instructor of The College of Chinese Martial Arts. All his martial arts experience (he has been training since 1977) is contained in the Training Manual of The College of Chinese Martial Arts.
Paul Brecher did NOT know ANYTHING like what I was teaching prior to meeting me back in 1982 I think it was. His only source of the REAL thing has been from a few classes from me plus my videos. There have been others who have actually become instructors by learning from my videos. However, they have been for corrections and have never changed the original forms and have learnt from the videos very well.
This 400 page book contains detailed information about the three Chinese Martial Arts Systems of: Wu Tang Shan Nei Jia Chuan ( Wudang Shan Nejia Quan ) Tai Chi Chuan ( Taiji Quan ) Pa Kua Chang ( Bagua Zhang )
So, now we have Paul Brecher saying that he knew it all before seeing me and that I only gave him a different way of doing it all! He did NOT know the Old YANG SYSTEM! He did NOT know the Original Baguazhang form. He did NOT know any of my weapon forms, he
All students and instructors of The College of Chinese Martial Arts refer to this book for guidence and direction in their training. It contains the sylabus of the college and explains the history and philosophy of these Chinese Martial Arts and their forms, training methods, theories and principles. Ancient texts and modern explanations are used to explain the way of moving for healing and the fa jin explosive striking method for fighting. The location of the anatomical weak points that are targeted in both the empty hand and weapons sets are all revealed.
Chang San Feng's 12 Wu Tang Shan Chi Disruption Forms Chang San Feng's 12 Wu Tang Shan Hand Weapons Sets Wu Tang Staff Form Wu Tang Staff Two Person Fighting Form Wu Tang Broadsword Form Wu Tang Spear Form The Chi Kung and the Fa Jin and the Dim Mak of all of the above Chinese Internal Martial Arts are taught in the classes.
This book is now also available to the general public who have an interest in Chinese Martial Arts and would like access to this information.
Basically, Paul is teaching Erle's system from his videos. He has merely changed the names of the subjects from Erle's video titles. For example:
And here is a copy of his syllabus:
He calls the 12 Qi Disruption Katas of Erle's series as "Chang San Feng's 12 Wu Tang Shan Chi Disruption Forms" and so forth...
Tai Chi Chuan Sylabus The Old Yang Style Tai Chi Long Form The Old Yang Style Tai Chi Large San Sau Two Person Fighting Form The Old Yang Style Tai Chi Pauchui Cannon Fist Form The Old Yang Style Tai Chi Broadsword Form The Old Yang Style Tai Chi Staff Form
Having purchased a copy of Paul’s syllabus (which, incidentally, only contains 375 pages as opposed to the 400 pages advertised!), and having read it, it dismays me to say that NOWHERE in the entire tome does he mention Erle Montaigue or the WTBA as the source of his material! In fact, his so-called syllabus is a rehash of The Erle Montaigue System, with no credit to Erle Montaigue whatsoever!
The Small San Sau Two Person Fighting Form and its Mother Applications Single & Double Pushing Hands and Da Lu Tai Chi Dragon Prawn Boxing Old Yang Tai Chi Style Staff Form Old Yang Style Tai Chi Staff Two Person Fighting Form Old Yang Style Tai Chi Broadsword Form Old Yang Style Tai Chi Spear Form
This is a sad case of affairs coming from an ‘instructor’ who owes his entire credibility and success to Erle Montaigue and his system. You would have thought he would have supported the WTBA no matter who was in charge for the day to day running, as ultimately, Erle is still the overseer of the organization!
The Pa Kua Chang Syllabus What is Bagua ? The Eight Bagua Qi Gong Palms Heaven Palm Earth Palm Fire Palm Thunder Palm Wind Palm Water Palm Mountain Palm Cloud Palm
Obviously, one can only conclude that Paul considers himself to be above Eli in experience & skill and didn't have the gall to say this to Erle! This is quite shocking from a guy who had only showed up to 2 training sessions with Erle over the past 4 years (and maybe 4 during the entirety of the 6 years that Erle has been in the UK!) and on one of those occasions he merely walked around the room in circles! So, in 20 years he has probably had about 20 hours of real time training with Erle and learned predominately from his DVDs. Now, admittedly, Erle's dvds are excellent teaching aids.. however, no matter how good you are or you think you maybe, you still need to train with the man regularly, in real time, to have corrections - AND WE ALL NEED CORRECTING - NO EXCEPTIONS!
The Eight Bagua Animal Forms Bear Monkey Phoenix Snake Unicorn Hawk Lion Dragon
Obviously, Paul thinks differently... maybe he felt that his ‘skills’ had outgrown the WTBA and he didn't need correcting or overseeing by a younger Montaigue, who recently announced a crackdown on all local instructors who hadn't bothered to show up to be corrected at any of Erle's sessions for a number of years - and who incidentally, has perhaps had more real time training with Erle then any of his other students!
The Jiang Rong Qiao Combined Animals Circular Form Two Person Pa Kua Circle Walking Free Fighting Pa Kua Flying Dragon Double Sword Form Pa Kua Two Person Staff Fighting Pa Kua Wooden Man Form
We hope that the matter will be laid to rest here and that no more further comments will emerge. However, the main point of putting this information clearly into the public domain is to ensure that, both, future and current friends, and students of the WTBA are fully aware of the facts of the matter and can judge accordingly.
The Wu Tang Shan Chuan Syllabus What is the Wu Tang Shan System ?
“Friends for life…”
Thereafter, Wayne, Charlie Cornelius, Dave and myself would regularly hook up every Tuesday afternoon to train on the dance floor of ‘After Dark’ nightclub, where we had many memorable training sessions. I still remember the strange looks we’d get from the delivery guys and cleaners, while practicing the small san-sau and lung har ch’uan drills, amidst Dave’s constant whining at how heavy-handed the two ‘brothers’ were with him!
Wayne Anthony Springer
Wayne practically became hooked and would come and train at all the sessions he could attend. He purchased Erle’s dvds and transferred them to his iPod, watching them incessantly and practicing his form, as he walked his beloved dogs early in the mornings.
(1965 - 2009) On 9th October 2009, WTBA Leicester, sadly lost a dear and beautiful friend, Wayne Springer. His sudden death at the young age of 44 years, a few weeks after having routine surgery, has shocked both family and friends alike.
We became firm friends over the years and Wayne was liked and respected by everyone in the classes. He’d often get to class late due to his other commitments, I’d hear the door open behind me half an hour into a session and know without looking that it was Wayne, walking in with a big smile on his face. In 2008 we both travelled to Rostock, Germany for the WTBA summer camp. True to form, Wayne missed his flight and caught another one a day later! Although quite ill at the time, he said he wouldn’t have missed it for the world and
Softly spoken, Wayne was a gentle giant of a man with a laugh as big as himself, who lived for his family, friends, and his Tai Chi. He was heavily involved in the club and bar scene in Leicester, where he was considered a pioneer and was highly respected by all his peers. A former American football player, Wayne turned to what he would later term affectionately as “the blue rinse brigade” Tai Chi, after undergoing surgery a few years ago.
won many new friends with his warm personality. “Friends for life…” were his parting words to everyone in Germany. Our prayers and thoughts are with Wayne’s family at this tragic time, especially, his children and his partner Gina. And Wayne… you will be dearly missed by us all. You enriched the lives of all those you touched. One day, in another life, I will hear the door open behind me and we will train again.
I met Wayne in early 2006, after being introduced by our mutual friend Dave Garcia, who had told him about learning real Taiji. Wayne took to the Old Yang Style instantly and fell in love with it.
WTBA NEWS From January 2010 Erle’s Invitation Only classes for Instructors and Senior Students will be returning to Llangadog, Wales. For those wishing to attend and forward plan, the dates are as follows:
Jan 16 & 17, Mar 5, 6 & 7, April 17 & 18, May 29 & 30, June 25, 26 & 27. Class times:
Friday: ( Sometimes we do a 2 hour session for instructors only for fighting skills). 7pm till 9pm. Saturday: 12 Noon till 4pm. Sunday: 10am till 2pm. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Jerry Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Udall is now Chief Instructor for London. Brian has done a lot of one to one training with Eli, and has attended many workshop with Erle himself. Teaches: Internal Martial Arts 8 Taylors Gravel Lane Chigwell Essex IG76DQ Tel 020 8500 9025 mob 07507 561 983 Class times Tuesdays & Wednesdays Beginners class from 6.30 PM www.internalartsuk.com
Erle Montaigue's old out of print books such as the Bagua book and the Internal Gung-fu Volume 1 "Qi" books are now selling on Amazon for between £50.00 and £90.00!! However, they are all still available from www.lulu.com for much much less! Just do a search on Lulu for Erle Montaigue.
USEFUL CONTACTS Erle Montaigue
Jeremy (Jerry) Shaw
www.taichiworld.com Moontagu Books & Video Ltd PO Box 35 Gwynfe, Llangadog SA19 9SY Wales UK. +44 (0) 1550 740136: Ph: 07868361519 MOB
(WTBA Secretary Worldwide) email@example.com Tel: 01761 472143 www.bathtaijiandyoga.co.uk
Senior Instructor WTBA Representative for the United Kingdom Email C/O Georgina Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eli Montaigue Chief Instructor WTBA email@example.com
Nasser Butt Senior Instructor & North England Representative Editor Combat & Healing http://www.fajing-chuan.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 07792242150
COMBAT&HEALING 16 FRISBY ROAD, LEICESTER, LE5 ODL, ENGLAND, UK.