volume 11 September 2019
Editor Nasser Butt
perception realization activation action
The Internal Arts Magazine Volume 11 September 2019
Published by L’orso Solitario Books, Leicester, United Kingdom Lift Hands The Internal Arts Magazine Editor Nasser Butt Copyright © by Nasser Butt, 2019 & Fa-jing Ch’uan Internal Chinese Boxing Schools Nasser Butt asserts the moral right to be identified as the editor & owner of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the editor. Waiver of Liability: The publisher assumes no liability for the use or misuse of information contained within this book. By purchasing or electronically downloading this publication, the reader hereby, waives any and all claims he or she may have now or in the future against Nasser Butt and Fa-Jing Ch’uan Internal Chinese Boxing Schools or its affiliates.
The points of view represented here are solely those of the authors’ concerned. You do not have to subscribe to them if you do not wish. Nor is their inclusion here necessarily an endorsement by Fa-jing Ch’uan Internal Chinese Boxing School or its affiliates. Cover Photo (main): Katherine Loukopoulos Cover Design © Nasser Butt, 2019 Cover Photography: Paul E. Truesdell Jr. Back Design: Copyright © Nasser Butt 2019; Photography: Marios Eleftheriou
The House of Mouse The Art of Amy Faulkner
Erle Montaigue’s Mother Applications To The Small San-sau Peter Jones
Okinawan Kobudo and Sai Presentation Nikos Theodorou
Martial Equilibrium Tony Bailey
The Pearl Dr. Gregory T. Lawton
Unlocking The Small San-sau Part 4 Nasser Butt
Katherine Loukopoulos - 50 Glorious Years Nasser Butt
Summer Camp 2019 Ramon Soranzo
Mapping: An Introduction Nasser Butt
20 Questions with Guru Eddie Quinn
Kaizen 2019 - Report Tony Bailey
Hadjios Valley Camp 2020 Details
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elcome to Volume 11 of Lift Hands Magazine.
The past few months have been very demanding in time and although this issue has arrived a little later than usual, rest assured it will have been worth the wait.
By the time the issue comes to publication the British Martial Arts Awards will already have been and gone but, do not worry - there will be news on how we faired in Volume 12, which will appear at the end of December. However, let us focus on the present issue. It is an honour to have Katherine Loukopoulos Sensei grace our cover again. The year 2019 has seen Kathy Sensei celebrate her 50 anniversary in training - a major milestone in any martial artist’s life. On behalf of all the readership and supporters of Lift Hands Magazine we extend our warmest congratulations to Kathy Sensei on this achievement and wish her many more happy years to come! Embedded in this Volume’s pages are a historical delight of images spanning 5 decades, so generously contributed by Kathy Sensei from her archives. We hope that the readers will enjoy this visual feast. Also, included in this issue - 20 Questions with Guru Eddie Quinn - and it is an honour to have another great practitioner of the martial arts community join us. I’m hoping that in future issues I’ll be able to entice Eddie to impart his thoughts on the gem of Silat Fitrah! And, a great welcome back to Tony ‘The General’ Bailey. He’s ben laying low for a few months and is now back - full steam ahead! The end of the year is approaching rapidly and now in its third year - Lift Hands has continued to grow from strength to strength. Future issues will focus on the martial aspect of Taijiquan and we will also be bringing Baguazhang - Taiji’s ‘sister’ art to these pages as well as continuing to collaborate with and seek authentic instructors from all styles! I’d like to thank each and every one of those who have contributed with this issue - either through articles or advice. You all are the backbone of this magazine! Volume 10 - The Orphans of Yang Shao-hou has made history and truly gone down as a memorable issue bringing together the various strands of Shao-hou’s line into a single volume. Again, future issues will bring more collaborations from esteemed sources like Dr. Gregory Lawton, Alan Ludmer et.al. Further, I’d like to thank Ramon Soranzo, for tirelessly translating many of the articles into Italian for our Italian readership. These articles are available on the Fa-jing Ch’uan website at www.fajing-chuan.co.uk. So, happy training and reading! See you in December with Volume 12.
Erle Montaigue’s Mother Applications To The Small San-sau A Brief Introduction Peter Jones
I have only covered Erle's mother applications in a very basic way, there is a lot more to learn about them.
One of the things that you will learn about are the points you are striking and you will understand about dim-mak, not just about striking, but everything about the points, and that goes for the healing side too. So, you will get the whole aspects of learning about the points, not just how to hurt but to heal as well. Remember these applications are Erle's add-ons to the small san-sau. One thing I will say, always keep good structure when you are learning or practicing your small san-sau, and that goes for basic to advanced. If you lose your structure it will not look like the small san-sau. Structure is important, getting the small san-sau right in the beginning, you'll be on the right road when you look at Erle's mother applications.
Third Mother Application Some of the points used: Stomach [St1], [St9] and [St12]. We start this move with your partner throwing a low right roundhouse punch, We slam down using the right back palm to the inside crease of your partner’s right elbow [Photo 1], as we are turning into the strike, the next move is where you turn your palm over to go around your partner’s arm, using your right palm you pull it towards you in a jerking motion your left palm stays there, [Photo 2]. You take a small step forward with your left foot at the same time you snake your right palm around your partner’s right arm, as you are going to strike your partner on the side of the neck, your right foot is now behind your partner’s right leg [Photo 3]. As soon as you have struck the neck you then slam down onto your partner’s clavicle (collarbone) now you straighten your right leg which will throw your partner to the ground [Photo 4], (still keeping hold of your partners right wrist), now as your partner goes to ground your right fingers go into your partner’s eye sockets and your right knee strikes into the groin [Photo 5].
Fourth Mother Application Some of the points used: Gallbladder [Gb24], Conceptor Vessel [Cv14], Liver [Liv14]. We start this one just after Chee[Photo 1]. So you strike straight in using your right elbow into your partnerâ€™s left rib area, [Photo 2], then using a one knuckle punch into your partnerâ€™s solar plexus with your left [Photo 3]. Now using your right elbow again, strike across the left side of his chest in a 45 degree angle [Photo 4]. If your interested in learning these applications both, Nasser Butt and I, hold regular classes in the UK and workshops around the world as Senior Instructors accredited by Master Erle Montaigue, himself.
Design by Nasser Butt. Image by Alfred Kenneally; Source: Unsplash
kinawa is an isolated island situated south of Japan. From early years, the history of Okinawa is associated with that of China and whose local people had developed very powerful cultural ties. Why did Karate and Kobudo develop at that extreme part of the world? What were the political and cultural conditions favourable to the contribution of this development?
Photo credit: https://www.worldatlas.com/
We have all heard about the familiar story/legend that Kobudo flourished when Japanese invaders occupied the island of Okinawa and prohibited the use of metal bladed weapons. Thus, in order to be able to protect their families, their possessions and themselves, the farmers used agricultural hand tools against the Samurai invaders. Is this account of events true? Is this founded on historical sources and documentation? Why is it, for example, that Kobudo did not evolve on the island of Crete, when the Turks invaded the island? Crete was an isolated island, there was a conqueror that had indeed forbidden weapons and, as we all well know, Cretans were warrior people. In this similar situation, there could have been a form of unarmed combat with the use of farming tools. Shortly before the end of World War II, one of the worst bloodiest battles took place on the island of Okinawa. For approximately two months, the Americans waged bitter fights which ended in the total ruination of the island from the bombings. Many historical records of the Martial Arts were lost from the destruction of books, loss of personal family diaries, dojos, as well as, the death of many Masters of the Martial Arts. We will try to restore some of these elements by making use of historical records, and wherever there are historical discrepancies, we will borrow historical accounts from other civilizations, acknowledging that there exists historical and cultural parallels that could be drawn and would enable us to establish the missing or insufficient facts. WEAPONS VS FARMING TOOLS It is a well known fact that throughout history, Okinawa has had constant liaisons with China on commercial, economic and cultural dimensions. Okinawa, had a feudal administrative structure ruled by a king and made up from a large system of nobility as well as a underclass, the least privileged social class.
For safety reasons, a new class of noble warriors emerged and whose role was to safeguard and protect the palace. At the time, in 16th century China, had created commercial routes on many islands of the Pacific and naturally one of them was Okinawa. There had even been 36 Chinese families who had indeed taken residence there creating a village (Kume) as a commercial foothold. Therefore, there was an opportunity for members of the Okinawan nobility to travel to China for diplomatic purposes and commercial trade and, needless to say, had the occasion to learn and engage in Chinese Martial Arts. It was especially true for the kingâ€™s guards whom had to possess a highly exceptional technique in order to be efficient in their duties. Consequently, through their contact with China, a breed of new warriors expanded on Okinawa who had acquired highly skilled knowledge and training. Later, in the 17th century, a Japanese invasion - consisting of a huge army of Samurai warriors of the Satsuma clan - made it difficult for the smaller Okinawan army to go up against. The invaders outlawed the use and possession of all forms of weapons. What were these weapons? They were sharp metal sword blades (i.e., swords and spears). The once former warriors who were now in servitude, did not have the licence to possess arms. Yet, for an experienced warrior, a weapon could be anything imaginable that he could get his hands on. It was therefore, easy for one to turn everyday objects into defensive weapons without raising the slightest suspicion from their conquerors. And that is actually how this came to be the beginning of the use, adoption, practice and training with simple everyday tools; thus, Kobudo flourished. Therefore, those who developed Kobudo were not simple peasants who wanted to go up against the Samurai invaders, but on the contrary, they were skilled warriors in whose possession, any form of tool could become a lethal weapon. These farming and fishing tools evolved into weapons such as the Tunfa, Nunchaku, the Bo, the Kama, the Eiku. as depicted bellow.
Photo credit: http://www.okinawakobudo.org/le-armi-del-kobudo-di-okinawa/
ZEN We have seen that Kobudo emerged through an Okinawan warrior class and who were either directly or indirectly trained in the Chinese Martial Arts. In order for a warrior to reach the highest level and qualification, it was not enough to simply be physically active. The practice of spiritualism was also of great importance. Before mentioning the Japanese, let’s not forget to mention the ancient Greeks who were not only well-known warriors but also great philosophers. On his study on Thucydides, British Lieutenant General Sir William Batler wrote: “A nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards”. Respectively, then, the Okinawan warriors were initiated in the value of meditation and intuition ZEN, which we encountered in the whole of the Japanese culture, Martial Arts, floral arts (ikebana), the serving of tea (chanoyu), not to mention “Ken Zen itchi nyo” the fist and ZEN are as one. It was precisely what Thucydides mentioned.
Photo credit: https://www.martialartsuperstore.com/products/martial-arts-scrolls-a4-10-x-designs https:// www.deviantart.com/kisaragichiyo/art/Ken-Zen-Ichi-Nyo-369918635
And since we have started mentioning ideograms, let us see how Kobudo is written and what it means.
Means Stop/Defend Oneself
Means One Who Follows A Path Photo credit: https://nashvilledojo.com/dojo/kobudo/
Therefore, the literal translation of the term is “ancient way to cease a war [to peace]”.
THE WEAPONS These are usually divided, depending on the make of the weaponry in question, which is either of metal or wood. In our case, for the purpose of our presentation, we will divide them into short or long weapons. The short weapons have some common characteristics which are obvious (small size, lightweight) in order for them to be carried around easily and concealed. They do have though, some even more common characteristics which are perceptible after careful observation. All of these weapons are eccentric, that is, their center of gravity is not centrally located but is offset by where one holds them. Why is it so? Is it a coincidence or is it a deliberate choice to do so? All these weapons (the Sai, the Tonfa, the Kama) are used in a circular motion-rotating around its handle. Let us describe this in terms of Physics-Engineering in order to understand the concept as a whole. In order for the circular motion to be studied, we need to introduce the meaning of moment of inertia or rotational mass, which we will symbolize with the letter (I). The rotational mass could be described as simply being the mass of axis rotation which is similar, to the mass in a linear movement. When we want to strike someone with a weapon, the point is to carry forward-transfer to the adversary the maximum amount of energy which we will symbolize with the letter (E). The greater the energy of the blow, the greater will be the physical harm- damage that will be induced on the adversary. From a physics engineering standpoint: E=1/2 x I x Ω2
What is Ω though?
Ω is what we call angular velocity. Therefore, the Energy of the blow depends on 1) The moment of inertia / rotational mass 2) The angular velocity / frequency
How then can we improve a blow towards the adversary? Either by increasing the rotational mass of the weapon (i.e. with a heavier weapon) or by increasing the velocity in the axis of rotation. Let us have a closer look at such an example. Let us say we want to achieve a blow which is four times more energy-efficient in terms of energy intensity. This could be done by using a weapon which is four times the mass weight. Nevertheless, such a weapon is far too difficult to manipulate, and thus, requires more strength because one can rotate it with great difficulty. If we increase the speed at which we rotate the weapon (because in the energy equation, it’s Ω2) then by doubling the speed, we achieve four times the energy of the blow. And how do we increase the speed? There are two ways: 1. Exercise, in order for our body to acquire physical stamina and endurance. It does not guarantee that will improve to the desire speed. 2. Make use of one’s body frame-geometry and put in good use all joints (ankle, knee, hip, elbow, wrist), every muscle, all lever so that with the right training, we can maximize the input of each and every muscle, bone and joint, and therefore, it will contribute to the maximum increase of one’s momentum and speed. THE SAI The Sai is different as opposed to other Kobudo weaponry. First and foremost, it may essentially be the only weapon which is not purely Okinawan nor is it, in all probability an agricultural tool. It is said that its shape originates from the Buddhist religion and more specifically, the trident (Trishula) of the great God Shiva [right]. Why would a religious symbol be used in the form of a weapon?
It is common for warriors to wish that their weapons to invoke a symbol of divinity, because in this way they would ensure protection. The picture on the left, has symbols deriving from two different religions Islam and Christianity which, during the middleages, engaged in wars between each other.
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Trishula
Take a look at the picture below in which we note the weaponry of the conflicting parties and, where apparent, that there is a correlation between both the weapon and the religious symbol!
Photo credit: https:// www.fotosearch.com/CSP246/ k37468833/ http://www.martoswords.com/
Therefore, we can say that Buddhism first reached China and subsequently Okinawa. It has been established that the Sai has apparently been used since the 18th century. There are Sais dating from this period that are sold in auctions today.
Photo credit: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7f/5a/cd/7f5acd9db624e77fd5ef60c7fdcbbb94.jpg https://www.mandarinmansion.com/item/antique-chinese-bronze-mace
The photo below dates from 19th century China, where the arresting guards, seen alongside the criminal, are holding Sai.
Photo credit: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/74/fb/25/74fb25effa07d1f06d939f16f710aa94.jpg
THE SHAPE AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE SAI Parts of the Sai are visible in their Japanese denomination.
Photo credit: http://www.oneontakaratedojo.com/weapons.html
Let us now look at the pictures below where two old and a modern, contemporary Sai are visible. We can notice that the cross section of the ancient Sai are polygonal in shape and not circular.
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_(weapon)
The reason, is clearly a matter of structural framework. Nowadays, metallurgists have the ability to solder metals by welding; argon is also used, as well as other processes. In the past, treatment and forging of metals was achieved by hammering. Consequently, in order to join the two parts of the Sai together, there had to be a polygonal segment, when it was manipulated it did not rotate.
This is clearly visible in the following schema.
Photo credit: https://gr.pinterest.com/pinterest/
Both curved sides of the Sai, end up with the two wing tips extending outwards (tsumi). Besides aiding in oneâ€™s own safety, it is used in grips and locks in order to subdue the opponent. This is the reason why in the past, it was used by the police force in Japan and China. To conclude, we could say that the Sai constitutes a tool of war with multiple uses and it is designed in such an ingenious and innovative way, that if there were an evaluation procedure of all Kobudo weapons, the Sai would surely win the award for ergonomics, convenience and design.
About the author: Nikos Theodorou has studied Ryu Kyu Kobudo with Katherine Loukopoulos, as well as, Seidokan from Stephen Chan Sensei of Jindokai.
Image: Rocks Cairn Blue Sky by K. Baucherel - Pixabay
n the Martial Arts world, we see countless references to balance throughout our training life; Yin & Yang, In
& Yo, it is the way of the warrior philosopher we are told. It’s not unique to any one particular genre as we see it within Japanese, Chinese and even the Indian practices of our distant martial past, but, just how many people, instructors and students alike, understand and practice martial equilibrium? A good martial education could be pictorially represented by that Yin & Yang symbol, which teaches us that a whole is made of 2 halves, a symbiosis of mutual beneficence providing an equal and balanced outcome. It is this balance which mirrors the dualistic nature of even the very universe itself. As Sir Isaac Newton postulated in his 3rd Law of Motion: for every action, there is an equal and opposite, reaction. But, how many of us that study these fighting arts, also study the antithesis that is the spiritual side associated with them? Or even the mental or emotional aspects of training? How many of us take on board and understand these aspects? Putting to good use the discipline, beneficence, mindfulness and harmony intrinsically entwined within many of the stories so often referred to in martial teachings. How many of us try to utilize and incorporate these important principles into our everyday routine both in and outside of the dojo, so as to make a daily advancement in our studies? Are we moving forward each day with our studies, or are we physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually unbalanced from practicing only a small part of the art we profess to admire and adhere to? Surely, the more we practice and learn about them, these other aspects, the better we are able to understand and correctly apply the physical part of our techniques and more importantly, through a well balanced outlook, foster a well balanced intent to use them for the right reasons? During the last 25 years of teaching, I have constantly referred to training within martial arts as; ‘a spiritual journey of self discovery, through physical means’. Martial arts, of course, has a necessary physicality to it, but I argue that, if taught and studied in a specific way, the physical is a kind of esoteric teaching which leads the way to an awakening of the student. An epiphany, if you will, as part of the transformation the student undergoes on their journey of self discovery. This, of course is not new news, but the thing I find sad, is that many who study, have no knowledge or interest in these matters. As a consequence, they are only benefitting from a reduced pool of knowledge and experience which could help them to help themselves as well as others. I am deeply rooted in the Japanese arts, 43 years study to date with Ju Jutsu being my primary interest, but even in my own art, there are vast differences between different schools of thought on this subject. You only have to throw Ju Jutsu into a Google search to find several different spellings for a start – Jujutsu, jujitsu, jiu jitsu, even jitz as I believe some in BJJ are colloquially calling it now, so if we can’t even agree on the spelling of our art, how can we have commonality within that which is taught? Well, that’s kind of the point. There is variance in ‘styles’ within a common form. Just as within the Chinese arts, different teachers have highlighted specific aspects according to their own preference and different names often signify different styles, albeit related by a common form. When I speak to students on this topic, I liken Ju Jutsu to Milkshake. Milkshake (Ju Jutsu) is the root and the medium by which different ‘flavours’ (styles) are delivered or experienced. Let’s say you like bananas. Now, banana milkshake from Marks & Spencer, tastes quite different to banana milkshake from McDonalds. It’s still banana milkshake even though each brand tastes different, and that’s without even getting into the fact that banana is only one of a multitude of different flavours of milkshake available. Milkshake is the form, the flavours are the styles and whilst each style is related to the form and contains most of the same ingredients, each flavour has something of its own which sets it apart from the others, whether it be something added or left out of the original recipe. Once you’ve found the form and flavour you enjoy, don’t forget that even when you’ve found your favourite flavour, there are several different ways that recipe can be mixed. Each chef or instructor, can use slightly different ingredients, so if you find one which doesn’t taste right, don’t let it put you off your favourite flavour straight away, search out a different recipe. To me, the art or form which professes balance within its philosophy, has to have just that. Balance in its teachings, so the form of this type of true training, has to have the ingredients of health, healing, philosophy, morality and ethics as well as the physical fight and exercise training. To this end, I teach aspects of Japanese Reiki to many of my students as one of the ways in which I strive to maintain that balance. In Mizu Ryu Ju Jutsu, after bowing on,
all begin their lessons with Mokuso (meditation) not just to concentrate on the lesson to be, but to close off and discard what has been, so as to begin training with a clean slate, devoid of the stresses of life outside the dojo and in doing so, attempt to bring a mindful attitude to their training. It’s also a mental training for discipline as teaching a 6 year old ‘hyperactive’ child to sit still for 10 seconds has its own challenges, never mind 10 minutes! But, with the right approach, they not only do it, but enjoy doing it. I find that children especially, take to the healing aspects of reiki without preconception and tend to utilise correct intent. One example I can give is of 2 young girls practicing and one falls a little faster than expected, prompting her to cry from the shock. Obviously checking for injury and finding none, I instruct her partner to sit her down, to sit behind her and to put her own hands gently on top of her head at the crown chakra, to then concentrate on helping her training partner to ‘heal’ and feel better. After 30 seconds, I observe not only has the crying stopped and the breathing has regulated, but both of them, whilst eyes are shut, are breathing in sync and calm. They are both receiving something from the healing practice. Afterwards I ask the ‘practitioner’ what she was thinking whilst holding her hands on her partners head and she replies ‘I was thinking, be happy, be happy, be happy’. All Japanese Reiki, is based from the Tanden, the ‘centre’ where we collect, cultivate and dispense the Ki energy by way of meditative breathing exercises and using intent to direct it either for ourselves or for the good of other people. Intent is the driving force which enables you to do something with this energy. Once we have achieved this centralization within ourselves through this introspective practice, we begin work on integration with others. As, once we are at peace with ourselves, a peaceful integration with others is more achievable. This is just one aspect of creating martial equilibrium and its effects reach far further than just within the dojo walls. We should try to practice this outside of our classes, not just at the dojo, but in everyday life. Mindfulness and meditation are so important and scientifically proven to reduce stress, one of the biggest negative factors in our lives. Be mindful when training – just train, don’t think about what you want for dinner afterwards and don’t constantly compare yourself to others. Be mindful when walking – just walk and enjoy nature around you, be mindful when washing up….in fact, according to Alan Watts: “…the art of washing dishes… There is only Now. You only have to wash one dish! It's the only dish you ever have to wash! This one!" ...so any task can be training for mindfulness and can be used in a moving meditation. In 2001, Soen Ozeki the Chief Abbott of the Daitokuji Zen Temple in Kyoto gave me this teaching which has stuck in my head ever since: Every day in life is training, training for myself. Though failure is possible, Living each moment, equal to everything, ready for anything. I am alive. I am this moment. My future is here and now. For, if I cannot endure today, Where and when will I? We constantly train amid a never ending search for perfect technique and it is our journey of discovery, trial and error which helps to change and shape us as Martial Artists. The journey changes us. Every day we change in our ability to perform these physical tasks. But, just because we cannot always, or never do, perform perfect technique, it doesn't mean that we do not understand it, or recognise it, or should stop trying to achieve it. This helps to foster our perseverance in our mental training and together with the correct intent we can continue to strive for perfection and make a daily advancement in our studies for the benefit of our Martial Arts, ourselves and the people around us. Perseverance through repeated practice will breed fluency and confidence in the physical skill, but without the balance of a good intent, the technique, good as it may be, is no more than a loaded gun in the hands of a chimpanzee. ‘Good technique is useless without the understanding and knowledge of when to and when not to use it.’ A subject for further discussion……. Tony Bailey (The General) Founder of Mizu Ryu Ju Jutsu
The Pearl Dr Gregory T. Lawton
Beloved, there are no memories in a shell, the shell is just a castaway, the treasure is the pearl. Polish the pearl and lose its luster that is the mystery of a pearl, its light is from within. “Ye are My treasury, for in you I have treasured the pearls of My mysteries...” Dive into the depths of me, and you will discover that I would sacrifice my shell that you might have my pearl.
Kindly reprinted with permission from: Beloved, A Song of Longing Poems in the mystic tradition Copyright 2018 Dr. Gregory T. Lawton Muyblue Productions 2040 Raybrook Street, SE Suite 104 Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546 616-285-9999 About the authorDr. Gregory T. Lawton is an author of many books, most of them in the area of health science, but also in the genre of Asian martial arts, philosophy, poetry, and prose. Dr. Lawton is a passionate award winning artist and photographer who finds his artistic and creative inspiration in nature, and who frequently attributes the source of his images and writing to the 19th century Persian Prophet, Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, and the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi Mystic Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī. Dr. Lawton has been a member of the Baha’i Faith since 1970 and embraces the Faith’s principles related to the promotion of world unity and peace.
The Small San-sau Xiao SÃ n Shou The Five Levels: From Principles To Combat Part Four
Solo Method Part A
NASSER BUTT With Elliot Morris
Author’s Note: Readers are reminded that this is an abridged version of the original as yet unpublished work! Further, the postures as they appear in the images here have been exaggerated to make them more clearly visible, as well as the execution of movement been shown in the tall frame! This has purely been done for expediency. Forms cannot be learned from books using still images, as the most critical component is the transition. For those wishing to learn this exceptional training method, please seek a competent and certified instructor, as this training method has been incorrectly taught by most since Erle’s passing! The full authentic Small San-Shou is taught by Peter Jones and Nasser Butt/Elliot Morris at their respective schools - Taiji Pakua in Ammanford, Wales, and Fa-jing Ch’uan Internal Chinese Boxing Schools in Leicester.
t is critical that students understand as to why we practice the small San Shou. It is a training method, not a
‘fighting form’ as it has erroneously been claimed. Its purpose is to simply develop our body mechanics based upon Taiji's Thirteen Dynamics. It must be studied and developed as both the solo and two-person method, and unlike the large San Shou, or Pauchui, there is no corresponding ‘B-Side*’ to this method! I have already given a thorough explanation of the theory and origins in Lift Hands Volume 8 published in December 2018. I will not be repeating the detail here. However, I will from time to time refer or repeat some of the important information in brief. I urge the reader to refer back to the previous volumes. The swivel is a key component of the small San Shou. It must be practiced correctly until root, sung and connectivity has been achieved completely! Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing north [N], [Fig 1]. Using your centre, swivel 45º on your heels to your left whilst instantly sinking into your right leg [Fig 2], with your toes pointing to the north-west [NW]. Now, swivel to your right in an arc, passing through the centre, with your toes finishing pointing to the northeast[NE], finishing by sinking in your left leg. The feet move like the windscreen wipers of a car. There should be no ‘bobbing’ of the head and the feet do not move independently but, rather, through the centrifugal force generated by the body!
* I have for several years now been debunking a lot of the erroneous teachings pertaining to this training method! I will in a future issue write on this specific subject in detail explaining why there is no such thing as a 'B-Side,' and that it is nothing more than a gross misrepresentation [deliberate in my opinion] of the method due to a lack of knowledge and understanding on behalf of those claiming to teach it!
Fig. 2 Fig. 1
Arn Left Fig. 3
Arn Right Fig. 5
Arn - left, right and left. [ST9 & PC6 (Neigwan)], [Figs. 1-7] Stand with your feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. Raise the crown of the head and relax your sacrum, allowing it to tuck under naturally [Fig. 1], your eyes gazing directly ahead.
Arn Left Fig. 7
Turn your waist slightly to your right until your wrist is aligned with your centre [Fig. 2] and swivel upon your heels 45Âş to your left. The centrifugal force generated throws your left arm out in a sweeping arc to the left and just as your weight settles fully in the right leg, the left wrist kicks out clockwise in a small circle - approximately head high. Simultaneously, the right hand moves forwards in a trajectory - like an airplane taking off - and the wrist kicks out slightly counter-clockwise in a pumping action - at throat level, [Fig. 3]. The left hand leads the right by a split second, barely noticeable to the untrained eye! Now drop your hands and repeat the swivel to the right creating a mirror image [Figs. 4-5], then drop your hands and swivel back to the left as before, [Figs. 6-7]. At the end of this, do not drop your hands! Block Right [PC 6 (Neigwan), CO10]; Pâ€™eng [ST. 5, Mind Point, HT7, LU8] From the previous posture, you swivel back to the right as your right wrist goes slightly yin. The left arm hinges across to the centre line in a sweeping motion - turning yin, as the right hand drops and hammers straight down onto the left forearm just below the elbow, [Fig. 8].
Block Right Fig. 8
You continue to look straight ahead to the north from the corner of your eyes, whilst your nose and coccyx point towards the north-east. The right hand and the left forearm are joined on your centre-line.
Now, with your body loaded from the previous posture and without any weight transference to the right leg, you ‘throw' your centre forward with a violent fajin shake of the waist left, right, left - causing your weighted left leg to ‘bounce’ forwards with the left arm sweeping out in an arc and the left palm closing into a fist upon the right turn of the waist, as your right hand snaps violently downwards from the same fajin shake, [Fig. 9]. This is a complete body movement, as are all the movements within the small San-shao.
P’eng Fig. 9
Block Left [PC 6 (Neigwan), CO10]; Double P’eng [SP19, CV24]
Block Left Fig. 10
From P’eng, step back, whilst swiveling upon the right heel. This time you right arm moves in a smaller sweeping arc across the body as the left palm violently down upon the forearm just below the elbow, [Fig. 10]. Again, you are looking towards the north from the corner of your eyes as your toes, nose and coccyx point towards the north-west. You again ‘bounce’ forwards but this time with your right foot as your waist shakes right, left, right, your left palm slides forwards as your right wrist snaps downwards producing a vertical back fist, [Fig. 11]. Lu Right, Lu Left [CO12 and LU8, HT5] As you swivel on your left heel from the previous posture to bring your right foot back, your left palm rises slightly due to the action of your waist sitting back and is cast violently forwards and outwards - like casting a fishing line - with the palm rolling face up and ‘jerking’ backwards halfway up the right forearm, which does nothing other
Lu Right Fig. 12
Lu Right Fig. 13
Lu Right Fig. 14
Double P’eng Fig. 11
Lu Right Fig. 15
than follow the movement of the body, [Figs. 12-14]! Continue to slide your right palm up as your forearms open like scissors and you swivel upon both heels towards your left. Just as you cross the midway point, reverse thrust on your left leg causing you to violently sit into the right foot, both palms shoot outwards as the scissors close shut. The palms in Lu Left retain their original shapes from Lu Right with the left palm turned up and the right palm turned down, [Figs. 15-16]. Chee [GB24]
Lu Left Fig. 16
This a very powerful strike as you ‘bounce forwards onto your right foot, your entire system squeezes, especially the chest and the elbows, as you land facing north, [Fig. 17].
Arn - 3 Techniques: Arn 1: [Figs 18 - 25], [PC 6 (Neigwan), HT3, CV23] Swivel on your left heel to your right bringing the right foot back, as your right palm hooks your left palm sweeps across and slightly backwards, rolling and turning up in the process, [Fig. 18]. In the final position, the tips of the fingers of the right palm are sitting directly behind the heel of the left palm. From the last position, you instantly ‘bounce’ forwards on the left foot as the left palms makes a circular motion clock-wise, snapping into a fist, [Fig. 19]. Chee Fig. 17
Arn 1 Fig. 18
Arn 1 Fig. 19
Arn 1 Fig. 20
Arn 1 Fig. 21
Arn 1 Fig. 22
The previous two movements work in conjunction with each other and are only a split second apart! These are now repeated a further two times - to the left and then back to the right, [Figs. 20 - 25]. Arn 2 [PC 6 (Neigwan), CV22, HT5 & Ribs] - Physical Shot/Step Arn 1 Fig. 23
Arn 1 Fig. 24
Arn 1 Fig. 25
From the final position [Fig. 25], swivel back to the left, the left palm again hooks as the right palm spirals into a straight single knuckle strike, [Figs 26 - 27]. Now swivel on both heels to your right as your left palm sweeps in a downward arc across your body and violently slams into your right palm on your centre - you should hear a clapping sound, [Fig. 28].
Arn 2 Fig. 26
Arn 2 Fig. 27
Arn 2 Fig. 28
Your right hand now continues in an upward arc to your right and your weight shifts slightly towards your right leg as your left foot steps forwards, and using the natural load
of the waist, you turn violently to your left striking with the back of the left palm, [Figs. 28 - 31]. Now sit back onto your right leg as your right palm circles clockwise into a hook [Fig. 32] and as you swivel your left foot back, the right palm continues in a downward sweeping arc, slamming into the left palm, [Fig. 33]. Your left hand now continues in an upward arc to your left and your weight shifts slightly towards your left leg as your right foot steps forwards, and using the natural load of the waist, you turn violently to your right striking with the back of the right palm, [Figs. 33 - 35].
Arn 2 Fig. 29
Arn 2 Fig. 30
Arn 2 Fig. 31
Arn 2 Fig. 32
Arn 2 Fig. 33
Arn 3 [Attack inside of arms, pulling points, head butt GB3 followed by ST15 and 16] 1st Change Step Bring your right foot back [Note: this is not swivel step - it is a change step] to your left, the heels joined forming a ‘V’ at an angle of 90º. At the same time the left palm circles slightly downwards and both palms open outwards, as your waist finishes loaded to the right, [Fig. 36].
Arn 2 Fig. 34
Arn 2 Fig. 35
Your body now moves violently to the left as you deliver a powerful headbutt using the left side of your forehead, [Fig. 37]. Immediately, your right foot steps forward as your arms open up slightly and your palms slam forwards with the right palm rotating clockwise, and the left palm rotating counterclockwise - as if you are sealing something shut - [Fig. 38]. The right hand strikes a split second before the left! We shall continue with the Solo Form in Volume 12 of Lift Hands Magazine.
Arn 3 Fig. 36
Arn 3 Fig. 37
Arn 3 Fig. 38
All images appear courtesy of Katherine Loukopoulos
t’s not everyday that you get to celebrate 50 years in training. That’s half a century - to put it in another way! August 2019 saw Katherine Loukopoulos Sensei celebrate this milestone with her students, friends, contemporaries and teachers from around the world in her native Greece! Such longevity is a rare occurrence in the modern era and Katherine Loukopoulos Sensei, to be frank, is forged in the old school of martial arts.
On the following pages Lift Hands Magazine celebrates Katherine Sensei’s remarkable achievement in pictures from across the decades. We hope that our readers from around the world will join us in offering Katherine Sensei a hearty congratulations, wishing her all the best with many more years to come. ******************** 2019 Aug 20 As per Grandmaster Hawi’s request: Katherine Loukopoulos started practicing karate 50 years ago in New York City with Zenko Heshiki Sensei. She was a champion and member of USA National Karate Team for seven years; her achievements include 10 ‘Times All American,' three times ‘All around All American,' numerous Pan American Championships and World Games titles. Katherine moved to Okinawa for 15 years in order to study in depth the martial arts; she studied Goju Ryu with Miyazato Eiichi Sensei & Uehara Ko sensei, Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu with Shoshin Nagamine sensei & Nakamura Seigi sensei, Ryu Kyu Kobudo with Eisuke Akamine sensei & Uehara Ko sensei, and Tai Ho Jitsu with Ogimi Choukaku Sensei. Some Milestones: 1992 - Developed & wrote Standing Operating Procedures for the US Marine Corps Martial Arts Programs in the Pacific. 1997 - Karate & Kobudo World Tournament, Bo Kata Category Gold Medal, Japan 1985 & 2019 – USA Hall of Fame inductee Authored books & articles for civilian and military personnel. Introduced Ryu Kyu Kobudo & Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu to 36 countries. Holds the rank of Hachi Dan (8th Dan).
Katherine Sensei with her parents
Above: White Belt 1978, Below: Nationals 1979
Training in personal dojo
With Nakamura Seigi Sensei, 1982
Above: Kumite Demo 1980, Spain; Below: Passai Las Vegas 1984
Nagamine Humbo Dojo, 1982
Kitsuke, Nagamine Humbo Dojo, 1982
Above: New Year 1986 Kadekaru Morinobu RIP Below: USMC Camp Foster my first office Training Instructor 1986
Above Dantai Wankan, 1986; Below: Uehara Dojo, Sanchin 1989
Uehara Dojo, Sanchin 1989
Bombay, India 1992
Above : A still with Erle Montaigue in Australia during filming of Bo Kata - Shushi no Kun Sho 1993 Below: Coach USMC Dragon Race in 1995
Above: Zimbabwe, 2014 Below: With students 2019
An amazing timeline of events! Thank you Katherine Loukopoulos Sensei for sharing these moments with Lift Hands Magazine. Osss!
THREE DAYS AT ‘THE STUDIO’ - AN ITALIAN TRAVELLER’S JOURNAL Ramon Soranzo
INTRODUCTION I am 52 years old and I’ve been studying and practicing the Old Yang Style Taijiquan for four years. I met Nasser in winter 2018 at a seminar in Corbetta, near Milan. I felt that I could understand and relate to what and how he taught and, although our physical structures are very different, I felt his movements natural to my body too! I sensed his commitment - to provide us with the keys to advance towards a higher level of awareness in our Taiji practice. So, I wanted to understand more, and started to translate several of his Taiji articles published Lift Hands Magazine, into Italian. Excited about what I had read, I contacted him to ask him if I could publish his translated articles on my personal FaceBook page? He replied that I could post them in a dedicated section on his website ‘fajing-chuan.co.uk’. And so, I did! In February of this year, Nasser announced his upcoming Summer Camp in Leicester on the Thirteen Dynamics in Taijiquan. I was keen to attend, but I had doubts that my level of practice was not adequate enough to participate. Nasser reassured me with these words, "We simply teach and share knowledge ... but it is taught and given in appropriate terms! It’s about your development. " It would be about my development ... So, I accepted and I am now going to tell you about my experience - from a beginner’s perspective: Day 1 Camp 2019 began on Friday in the early afternoon of August 16. Most of the attendees were Nasser’s students from his various classes in Leicester and Coventry, as well as from across the UK, Australia and Italy. Nasser began with a simple Yin segment consisting of qigong and training methods before moving onto a solo and two-person Yang training set. The Yin section opened with the relaxation of the entire body and standing with small shifts of weight forward, backward, small circles. Following this, we moved onto the Horse Qigong, practiced standing with feet double shoulder-width apart. Your body squats down, knees slightly bent. Your gaze is toward your hands. Breathing through your nose. Both arms are bent. Both hands are held forward, palms facing each other as if holding a ball. The practice divides into ascending and descending. When ascending, your body slightly rises up and your hands slightly spread apart. Inhale, the energy sticking to your back.
When descending, your body slightly sits down and your hands slightly come toward each other. Exhale, the energy sinking to your Tan-tien. This opening and closing of your hands is mostly imitating the movement of your lungs. The aim of the qigong is to solidify the skill of your lower body and enriching the internal power of your whole body, whilst holding the correct alignment of the back in a state of sung. The day continued with a fun stepping method using four plastic marker plates set out in the shape of a diamond. The practitioner stands in the centre and sinks into his right leg as the left leg extends to the marker in front and - using the core muscles - drags the marker towards them and then returns it back to its original position.
Colin Power demonstrating stepping training method
This is repeated with the marker to the left, the back and the right in an anti-clockwise manner and then in a clockwise manner. You then switch your standing leg and repeat the exercise on the reverse side. This simple exercises develops rooting and the correct muscles for stepping in Yang Lu-ch’an’s form. Again, being in a sung state is the key to proper execution. The Yang component of the training consisted of several training methods beginning with the Stamping/Stomping Method. To practice, if stamping an opponent with your right foot, your right hand goes to the rear, drawing in and seizing, and your left palm extends forward with a strike to his face, the arm staying bent to keep it from being too straight, while your right sole stamps forward and downward. When stamping, your body slightly leans in and squats down, both hands spread apart forward and back in unison, and your left knee slightly bends, the weight on your left leg. The exercises is repeated on the opposite leg. The whole movement must be executed with fajing. Our Qi was really Ramon Soranzo demonstrating Stomping raised by the end after continuously marching up and down in The training method Studio! This physical exercise also taught us the coordination between the high attack represented by the arms and the low attack, the kicks, the movements of opening-closing and rooting. We continued further with two-person training methods from Long Har Ch’uan and from within the Taiji form itself. It is crucial, during the practice of form, that we have a complete understanding of the primary and secondary dynamics involved. It is not simply enough to know P’eng, Lu, Ji, Arn etc - it is vital that we actually understand the genesis and purpose behind each dynamic and how and where they are repeated continuously throughout the form! Nasser, for instance, explained how the ideogram of Arn, translated as press (not push, as it’s commonly referred!), also contains the meaning of ‘sweeping away’. This application uses the power of the waist to violently sweep away (with a semi-circular movement) the arms of an on-guard opponent. Movement from our centre and head as if suspended from above are the key points to execute this training correctly. Interestingly, as it was explained, one encounters this exact meaning of Arn in the opening move of the Small San Sau. Day 2
Saturday morning began with work on understanding and developing the complete 3 Circles Qigong. Most practitioners only reach competence in the very rudimentary positions of the hands and rarely learn or develop the complete qigong. This is simply because most teachers themselves do not know or understand the significance behind this! There are four methods for doing the 3 Circles Qigong, with each method itself further dividing into four, giving us a total of 16 postures! The four primary methods are: Mother, Father, Daughter, Son.
Understanding and developing the fundamentals of 3 Circles Qigong
Each method sub-divides into: Upper, Middle, Lower and Crossed.
Each has different aspects energy wise and physically - working on different areas of the body!
Nasser methodically explained how each posture helps us understand the concepts of Large Yin, Large Yang and Small Yin, Small Yang. These, in turn, will help us develop our form, push hands and combative skills, along with a myriad of other concepts and ideas over many years leading us to small frame Taiji. The day continued with the next main module involving the 3 Circles Qigong - How to access the energy systems of the body and how to combine the internal with the external! Every articulation is a capacitor and, in releasing fajing energy, all the joints release energy like capacitors so that the power can pass from a joint to the other amplifying the final power. Remember the Taiji Classics: “Power begins in the feet, it is used by the waist and expressed through the fingers”. Explaining here how to perform this Qigong is complex matter that would require a separate article. However, I can broadly describe the external movements that are performed: Starting in the 3 circles Qigong posture slightly move the weight back and forth, to make Kidney 1 acupuncture point breathe. Then the sequence starts with small rotations (clockwise on the right while inhaling and anti-clockwise on the left while exhaling for men, viceversa for women) around the ankles, knees, pelvis, shoulder blades and elbows. Before moving to the upper part of the body, expose the sacrum outside and inhale, start a wave along the spine up to the points GB20, then return to the normal position exhaling. During the sequence, only move the part of the body involved in the section. Nasser recommended we practice it regularly each day to recharge the battery of the human machine and to transform our practice of Taiji in a unique way: the way we are, and only that! We finished the day with a two-person training method - throwing and catching a ball whilst stepping forward - called ‘Falcon capturing a Rabbit’. I will not describe the details of this exercise of as it is already well explained in Lift Hands Vol.1. I can only add that we combined fun and learning in experiencing peripheral vision and the intention to move forward.
In a martial sense, facing an attack by advancing rather than leaning backwards or taking a step backwards! Intermezzo Nasser was a wonderful host. Between one segment and another, Nasser moved like a cat in the Studio taking pictures both, during our practice and in funny poses, to always keep the energy of the group high. This encouraged learning and practice in a collaborative and constructive environment. In the business world where I come from - working in a marketing consulting firm - this means making a team capable of producing outstanding results! In the evening, after the practice, Nasser procured pizza, chicken, kebabs and a delicious cake with cream and chocolate for everyone to eat in The Studio. We enjoyed everything and finally relaxed after a busy day for the mind and body. Day 3 We arrived at the final day of the Campus on Sunday 18 August ... Putting all together. Nasser explained how in every posture of the form one can recognize any configuration of the palms described above. For example, in P’eng the upper hand is in the mother palm, whereas in Double P’eng one hand is in the mother palm, the hand behind is a father palm, etc. There are eight energies present in Taiji: the primary energies of P’eng, Lu, Ji, Arn and the secondary energies of Lieh, Tsai, Chou, K’ao. Combined with the five step directions form the Thirteen Dynamics of Taijiquan. These dynamics are found combined in every posture of the Form and only after a lot of training and sensitivity can you learn to use them in a real fight. P’eng is the energy used in all postures and Double Peng is a reinforcement of P'eng. But there is also Rollback with the energy of the spiral and so on. As an example, Nasser showed how a typical low-to-rib street attack on our left side could be stopped with a double P’eng smashing down on the attacking arm. Immediately hooking the opponent with the right palm under his arm at armpit height while controlling with our right leg and do a rollback spiraling down to the right throwing the attacker to the ground. n other words, we used the two energies of P’eng and Rollback within the sequence.
It is hard to describe everything we learned because you had to be there to appreciate it all. Nasser, however, managed to convey the essence of a subject so difficult which can only be mastered after many years of training. Nasser is a true Master in this. You must see him live in action! Conclusions I took lots of notes to take back to Italy with me, but I also felt that that foundational training methods described above, working together in a group, following Nasser's movements, his supervision and corrections produced changes in my movements and in my awareness. Something apparently evident when attending a seminar, but also a magic that requires the right mix of ingredients including an atmosphere full of energy. Nasser directed us towards a road - a highway actually - that each of us can follow in order to progress their own practice. We have the choice whether to get on the way or stand still in own comfort zone! I would like to conclude with an inspirational quote of Benjamin Disraeli that I heard coincidentally on the radio the morning after Nasser asked me, with a little surprise, to write a report on the Summer Camp. Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
There are no coincidences but only synchronicities, and this sentence is what best describes the essence of these three days spent at The Studio in Leicester. Finally, a special thank to the instructors, Nasserâ€™s senior students and all the training partners from whom I learned much whilst having fun, looking forward to seeing them again next year at the Summer Camp 2020!
It was long ago said: “Fighting is a matter of measuring.” Understanding the measurements, you can achieve the reducing of measurements. But if you want to understand the measuring, you will not be able to without the deeper teachings. Yang Banhou The placement of the feet and hands is an exact science with each student’s body parts being the ruler for placement of such. Erle Montaigue Men don’t know me, I alone know men… Wang T’sung-Yeuh
eighing and measuring are a critical skill in the martial arts armory, yet few understand its significance in the modern era. What makes this even worse is that most teachers and their students do not even know how and where to find this information in order to develop this most fundamental of skills! The idea is not new - in fact, it is ancient and has been passed on to us in many guises. In the Book of Daniel we read: Tekel, thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Daniel 5:27
Of course, it goes without say that the Book of Daniel is not about martial arts or combative skills, it is simply used here to denote a means by which to determine the extent, dimensions, true worth or character of anything. Taiji’s lexicon is littered with such words as; weigh, measure, over reach, fall short and the infamous ‘four ounces move a thousand pounds’ - as are the lexicons of other martial arts with their own equivalents. What follows is a brief introduction to the subject, which will be expanded in a series of articles in future publications. So, what is Mapping and what is its significance? To begin with, let’s make one thing absolutely clear, the term ‘Mapping,’ itself, does not appear in any of the writings of Taijiquan - it is a term coined by myself to describe concepts and ideas [already mentioned above] outlined below! In the Taiji writings of the old masters, we read: Work first at training gross movements, then finer details. When the gross movements are obtained, then the finer movements can be talked of. When the finer movements are obtained, then measures of a foot and below can be talked of. When your skill has progressed to the level of a foot, then you can progress to the level of an inch, then to a tenth of an inch, then to the width of a hair. This is what is meant by the principle of reducing measurements.
No Taiji texts or teachings can be considered replete without the above words. They appear in all the manuals attributed directly to the Yangs themselves as well as their later principal disciples! The primary function of any form or kata is to help the student develop and understand the ‘gross movements’ of the system.
By ‘gross movements’ we mean the full spectrum or range of the movement within the form or kata! It is important that we understand the above statement right from the start for it forms the very basis of understanding the concept of Mapping. In the current climate with MMA [Mixed Martial Arts] occupying both the imagination and pinnacle of the current crop of practitioners, very few people are practicing traditional martial arts, whether they are internal/ external or deemed hard/soft! Not only that, even those who are purportedly practicing traditional martial arts are doing so with one eye on the MMA scene - as if this is the yardstick with which they must measure their own art or skills, thereby abandoning tried and tested training methods heading back millennia into antiquity! One of the primary skills to suffer neglect in the current climate is the practice, study and understanding of form or kata! Whilst in some traditional arts form and kata are still being taught, they are losing their true significance. Today, most forms or katas are either being performed like a ‘dance’ or, they have been simplified in order to reach the masses. As I’ve already stated above, at a very base level, the function of form is to teach a student the ‘gross movements’. Of course, it should go without saying that the form also contains the theory of the art, where each and every dynamic is presented to the student for diligent study - it is the student’s reference book or Bible! However, let me make one thing absolutely clear - we do not fight with forms! Sure, elements of some forms can be used in combative terms as they are presented in the form itself, but the function of form is not to teach us to fight but rather to develop the pre-requisites for combat with reference to the self! When we hear sniggers from ‘reality based’ practitioners watching a form - “Oh, we wouldn’t do that, that stance is far too long!” - what we are hearing in reality is their ignorance or failure to understand the purpose of the form and the elongated stance! Listening to this one would think that somehow, the traditional practitioners hadn’t already worked this out for themselves or the masters of old were some desk jockeys, who had never been in a fight! The traditional arts are grounded in the bloody history of warfare where practitioners fought for the ultimate prize - life! In Taiji, the form is taught in abstract, as opposed to the more external arts where the kata is more defined and discernible. In this way the mind doesn’t hold onto or see a mere technique - it understands the underlying principle, allowing it to generate a multitude of techniques. However, in both cases, the skill being taught and the objective are the same! Further, it is during the daily practice of form/kata where the relevant joints, tendons, muscles and fascia get their daily training and moulding for the job required of them. This is another function of form which has been grossly misunderstood. To understand the gross movements and the dynamics inherent within them we need a reference point - a point of origin - from where we can begin to measure the length, breadth, depth and weight of the movement and that reference point is the body of the practitioner itself! As we practice our form in Taiji, each movement maps the self - both, in time and space. It is not the opponent you need to understand - it is the self! The Classics of Taiji are absolutely clear on this. The lessons into the 'self' are given right at the start, for example, during 'Preparation', we are specifically told that the hands do not raise past the shoulders. This is a simple 'mapping' of the torso - working out and understanding the length of one's own torso and the time, and distance, as well as the correct pathway required to raise the hands from the hips to a combatively responsive position. Not only that, but also, the correct extension of the arms away from the torso is measured, so that our hands come up already dealing with the attack! By practicing the above on a daily basis we are not merely training in the gross movements and developing the appropriate muscles and joints but, we are also developing our ability to respond subconsciously to an attack on a reflexive level without compromising our structure and/or awareness!
Far more importantly, both, the mind and body develop to move in a state of 'sung' without discourse to tension, thereby, allowing fluidity of motion and release of power. We are told that the Internal Arts are based on the concepts of the I Ching, or the Book of Change. However, ‘change’ here means the practitioner - it is the practitioner who must learn to change through ‘clever transformations,’ developed by their understanding of the principles of active and passive within the form. It is over the self that we yield control and not our opponent. When an opponent attacks, we instantly change ourselves and by changing the self we automatically bring about a change in our opponent! However, the said changes are not easy. They are to be studied for a life time. This is the form. Each move, each posture, each transition within a given dynamic - starting with the gross movements - gives the practitioner a highly detailed map of the self. The awareness of the position of the body and the limbs in space and time connected through the ‘arteries’ - so that they are ‘neither over-reaching nor falling-short.’ If the form develops the tools to understand Mapping, then the associated Training Methods are where we learn to sharpen them - solo first, then two-person and finally dealing with multi-pronged attacks and the finer details only then are we ready to enter the room of real self-defence! This is merely meant to serve as a very brief introduction to the subject… it is far too vast to be contained in a singular article. In future issues of Lift Hands, I will be further expanding on concepts and ideas are they are found in the Taiji Form and its associated training methods. The ‘rules’ of Mapping apply to all martial arts with Form/Kata - it is not limited to Taiji or the internal arts alone. I am hoping that this will give readers of other arts ‘food for thought’ - about their own art and a means of further investigation and study. Though the metamorphoses be ten thousand, One principle pervades them. From familiarity with the moves, One gradually awakens to understanding power. From understanding power, one by stages reaches Spiritual enlightenment. Without long application of effort One cannot thoroughly penetrate it. Great Pole Boxing: The Theory
ddie Quinn is one of the truest
souls folk would ever have the pleasure of meeting. A true human! A true martial artist! And a true teacher! Eddie found himself at the wrong end of a knife whilst out one night as a teenager just outside of Birmingham, having tried to help some girls who were being abused by some lads at a bus stop! One of the lads pulled out a flick knife and stabbed Eddie six times including his heart, his liver and his bowl! Eddie was very fortunate and lucky to survive and the incident became a turning point in his life where he avowed never to be a victim again.
With Eddie at Kaizen 2017
Having needed to see a heart specialist, it was his consultant who asked him: “Have you ever thought of taking up a combat sport?” When Eddie responded in the
affirmative - that he had thought about it - he replied, “Well, son, I suggest you do it!” Thus began Eddie’s journey into the martial arts, which essentially became his rehab from his ordeal. Having begun with Japanese Jujitsu, Eddie continued to research and wanting to improve his striking ability moved onto full-time Muay Thai - which developed his striking skills. However, at this time Eddie had still not recovered from the trauma of the knife attack… he was still “petrified” of knives! Again Eddie turned to research - this time arts specializing with blades - to tackle his fear head on so to speak. He turned to the arts of the Philippines and South East Asia. Having trained in the Filipino arts, Eddie cam across the art of Silat and wishing to explore it further headed to Indonesia in search of a teacher. Failing to find a teacher out there he returned back home and whilst attending a seminar by Rick Young in Nottingham, he chanced upon Chris Parker - a Silat teacher! That chance encounter changed Eddie’s life and he began training with Chris - who became his role model and “surrogate father” and now, over two decades later he is still with his teacher! From his Silat training, the award winning, Approach was born - based upon the circular motions of the large machete and bladed weapons he bought upon advice from his teacher Chris Parker. A compact and effective system utilising the natural gross motor skills and movements of the body - like throwing a ball or skimming a frisbee - helped deliver this self-defence method to the masses including various enforcement and personal protection agencies around the world.
Eddie Quinn is passionate. A passionate teacher and that passion is always present in his teachings. Having won multiple awards from ‘Reality System of the Year’ to ‘Martial Arts Man of the Year’ and countless others - he remains humble and never forgets his Irish working class background. Whenever we meet, Eddie always greets me with an infectious smile and a kiss and it is an honour to be called “brother” and friend. I hope that in future issues we will get Eddie to impart from his knowledge of Silat and his martial experiences. There are very few instructors truly versed in the arts they teach and Eddie Quinn sits right up there - at the top. So, sit back and enjoy as Lift Hands presents Guru Eddie Quinn.
Eddie showing the reality of a knife attack to participants at Kaizen 2017
LH: If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen? EQ: My Mom and Dads Wedding LH: If you had to leave earth on a spaceship and take 4 people with you, who would they be? EQ: My wife and kids. LH: In what ways are you the same as your childhood self? EQ: Sometimes lacking in confidence! LH: What animal best represents you and why? EQ: A Staffordshire Bull Terrier, A hard looking exterior but soft on the inside! LH: What is your greatest strength or weakness? EQ: Strength; I donâ€™t give up. My weakness; Being too nice! LH: Do you trust anyone with your life? EQ: My wife! LH: How do you want to be remembered? EQ: I did my bit. LH: What have you always wanted and did you ever get it? EQ: To travel the world teaching martial arts. Yes, I did. LH: Do you know your heritage? EQ: Yes, Irish Dad, English Mom with a bit of Cherokee Indian thrown in on my moms side! LH: Are you still learning who you are? EQ: Yes, of course! LH: What, if anything, are you afraid of and why? EQ: Martial arts saved my life, so before I die I want to tell as many people as I can just how important learning a martial art is.
LH: What is the most memorable class you have ever taken? EQ: The memorial seminar for my late sister Sharon! I shared the mat with 2 of my biggest inspirations in martial arts, my teacher Guru Tua Chris Parker and Sifu Rick Young. LH: What book has influenced you the most? EQ: I read a book a week so that is difficult. However I recently read The Compound Effect which made me stop and think about a number of things. LH: What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing? EQ: Probably spending way too much money on a car! LH: Who or what has been the greatest influence in your life? EQ: My teacher, Guru Tua Chris Parker! LH: What is the craziest thing one of your teachers has done or made you do? EQ: The night before my Guru Muda grading ( young teacher ) He made me go into the woods at midnight and meditate! It's really difficult when all you can hear is things in the bushes and gunfire! LH: When did you screw everything up, but no one ever found out it was you? EQ: I’ve screwed up a number of times mate! LH: If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which one would you give up and why? EQ: Probably smell as my nose is pretty much wrecked and I can barely breathe through it! LH: If you could select one person from history and ask them one question - who would you select and what would the question be? EQ: I’m a good catholic boy so it would have to be Jesus Christ. I would ask him if there was actually any elements of his life recorded. LH: How would you describe your art in ten words or less? EQ: Silat Fitrah - A Life Art.
Information on Eddie Quinn’s classes can be found at: Eddie Quinn Martial Arts Teacher - https://the-approach.com/silat-fitrah/
A Tribute To Absent Brethren
unday July 7th saw the 3rd annual Kaizen Martial Arts Expo in Nottingham and it was just as well attended and insightful as expected, if not more so.
The brainchild of Lucci del-gaudio and ably assisted by Gary Henshaw, Kaizen Expo managed to be an event with just the right amount of everything, without too much of anything; a wonderful atmosphere, great demos, fantastic seminars, excellent information and products from vendors and some wonderful food from Alkis. The event was a success on many fronts, which was highlighted by messages of mutual support being shared between Kaizen and other Expos leading up to their event openings. This makes such a great and positive change to the bickering that has marred so many events in our world over the years. It’s about time we saw this kind of professionalism between all the events and I believe it was also largely helped by certain key individuals with a self obsessed Machiavellian intent, not having as much time to stoke the fire this year as with previous years. Long may that continue. That having been said, well done to all, it was great to see such positivity between all those involved in organising the various Expos. Rather than being negative, the fact that these different expos co-exist, has brought diversity and real value to the attendees as each one offers something unique. With rumours of another different event starting next year, competition, it seems, rather than being an opportunity for divisiveness, is finally providing more value added services to those attending and that’s good for all of us in the Martial Arts world. Kaizen ’19, was billed as being a memorial to our beloved Anthony Pillage who slipped into his eternal rest on Christmas Day 2018. He was a huge supporter of the event and had seen its potential from the start, which is why he was so adamant that Lucci should continue to work on building the event, and as he put it in his words, with the right people behind it, it will grow ‘organically’. It has, and as a tribute to Mr P, Lucci wanted the opening to be dedicated to him, to pay respect and as a tribute to all he meant to us and the support he gave to the Kaizen idea. Now, those of you who know Mr P, know that he wasn’t exactly the most conventional of people…… so, when Lucci asked me to perform a Kata for Mr P at the opening of Kaizen ’19, I had a sense of foreboding as if the phenom himself was laughing away in my head, because he knew he’d already chosen what would need to be done, despite the difficulty. In fact, laughing because of the difficulty of it! Mr P used the Dragon logo for his dojo, add this to his penchant for dangerous things and his love of wisdom, which cuts through ignorance like the Kurikara sword of Fudō Myo-o, it meant only one weapon in my collection could be used. The bloody heavy, Flamberger bladed Zweihänder Sword. It’s an exact replica of a museum held 15th century, German knights sword and its flame blade, heavy weight and awkwardness to wield meant it covered all the bases; the dragon reference, the danger of the weapon, the esoteric meaning of the blade and the sheer joy it would bring him, laughing at the physicality of it being used. Bastard! Sarah was in attendance, looking wonderful and tanned to within an inch of her life from her recent and much deserved trip abroad. Mr P looked on through that wonderful picture by Julie Sum taken at the BKKU Summer camp, I took off my Kohaku belt and changed into Mr P’s Utsuri or Black and Red Belt that he had presented to me 2 years earlier at that Summer Camp. Respects paid, meditation done, the right intention set, the crowd had gathered and everyone paid respects to him. The feeling of love raised by everyone at that moment was so strong, it left an indelible mark on all who attended, not just for the rest of the day, but permanently etched into their memories. Many tears flowed for our fallen brother. Tears of joy, happy memories and of loss for a person no longer with us in physical form, but happily and permanently etched into our very souls. It was an honour to put people in touch with him again without even having to say a single word and I know he would have been really proud to have witnessed the depth of love shown on that day.
This and previous page - Sarah Pillage watching Tony Baileyâ€™s tribute to her late husband Anthony Pillage
More demos took place throughout the day, including a wonderful demonstration led by Mike Knight representing Mr P’s Way of the Spiritual Warrior Dojo as well as so many others.
Mike Knight leading the demo team paying respects to Mr P’s portrait on the pillar. Photo provided by Tony Bailey.
The fantastic skills displayed throughout all the demos, came from teachers and students from all over the UK and the day continued in the same vein. With the event duly opened, all 5 seminar mat areas began at the same time, giving all in attendance a huge amount of talent and experiences to choose from, Demonstrations and seminars from some of the country’s leading exponents as well as other attractions around the mat areas for the whole day.
It was especially pleasing for me to see John Gaynor sharing Aikido with everyone, looking in fine form after 8 consecutive heart attacks and a stroke. We’re a stubborn bunch us Martial Artists, aren’t we? I was also super glad to see Rosi Sexton. Dr Rosi Sexton to be exact. Now, those of you not as old as me, might not know who she is, but let me tell you, Rosi is MMA royalty. With fights on Cage Warriors, Bellator and UFC, she was fighting full contact MMA in cages when most of you were still in diapers! An amazing fighter and now an osteopath, helping to prevent and heal injuries too. At Kaizen, she was teaching MMA techniques and as soon as I knew she was on, I sent my own students to learn from her. I hope Lucci can convince her to come back for the next one, she has so much to offer and it would be great for even more of you to be able to take advantage of her knowledge in the future.
Dr. Rosi Sexton demonstrating a takedown on Peter Jones
UFC and British Martial Arts Legend - Dr. Rosi Sexton
Nasser Butt demonstrating Combative Taijiquan with Stuart Rider Photo: Gemma Burman
Neil Kirkland - Adaptive Martial Arts UK & Ireland
With Paul Daley making an appearance last year and Rosi this year, Kaizen is really attracting some big named fighters as well as instructors and speaking to Lucci, although it’s under wraps at the moment, the names will continue getting bigger and more diverse for the next one, scheduled 5th April 2020. There were so many highlights at Kaizen throughout the day, I’d like to thank all the instructors who gave their time and knowledge to help foster that community spirit that Mr P recognised within its foundation. The extensive guest and instructor list included: Andy Gibney, Zara Phythian, Matt Chapman, Chris Jones, Chris Bird, David Hydra Kyriacou, Tony Bailey,
Rosi Sexton, Nasser Butt, John Gaynor, Carl Fisher, Terry Lee, Simon Fell, Gary Henshaw, Mike Knight, Matt Stait, Andy Abernethie, Stewart Rider, Amanda Wilding, Peter Holmes, Clare Potter, Simon Oliver, Tommy Joe Moore, Oli White, Karl Butcher, Gavin Richardson, Mike Jones, Ken Culshaw, Mark Trent, Robbie Woodard, Neil Kirkland, Andrew Rheeston, Rich Smith, Fast Foot Freddie, Cane masters, Fujiyama Batto-do, Adrian Valman, Steve Smith, Simon Palmer. A wide variety of arts covered and a huge, huge amount of experience on offer. As with the previous years, the instructors offered a mixture of technical expertise, humour, serious insight and an approachable attitude which personified the ethos behind Kaizen. As well as Rosi, it was great, as ever, to see Martial Artist and action film
Andy Gibney (Left) teaching JKD concepts and Chris Jones (Right) - the art of kicking!
star Zara Phythian there in her Pillage t-shirt too, warming up and signing autographs before teaching a packed mat and this year both Clare Potter (Karate) and Amanda Wilding (JKD) taking to the mats to teach their first seminars, so Kaizen truly is providing the platform for instructors to get exposure and experience on the seminar circuit and that’s without even looking at the fact that those 4 ladies were also providing a much needed positive example to all the other Martial Artists in attendance. It’s a rare thing to get so many experienced female instructors on a seminar or expo, and it was fantastic to see. We hear so much about ‘balance’ within
Lady Dragon - Zara Phythian
Martial Arts, but it often doesnâ€™t happen, so it was great to see this being worked on. Well done ladies and well done Kaizen.
Zara Phythian (Top) and Lucci Del-Gaudio - the man behind Kaizen (Below)
David Hydra Kyriacou was also on hand to remind people of the sticky edge of modern day self defence, quite literally. I won’t go into too much detail about exactly what he was teaching, but it centred around trying to get people to expand their awareness, by using his first hand knowledge of street confrontations, backed by his knowledge of Urban Krav Maga amongst other things, to really put people in touch with a reality which few have experienced, yet all should be aware of. A humble man of great character and respected by not only myself but our dearly departed warriors Scott and Mr P too, as well as anyone who shares mat space with him. I hope we see more of Mr K in years to come, he has a way with words and actions that is sorely needed in this play fight world of ours. I have no doubt that, after his seminar, many people will reevaluate their practice of knife ‘defence’ and will definitely never see a handkerchief in the same way again! Another person worth mentioning is my good friend, Robbie Woodard 9th Dan. Now Robbie is, as I lovingly describe him, like a dangerous child in the body of a giant. A man absolutely David ‘Hydra’ Kyriacou demonstrating with Ashley Kyriacou not defined or held back by his years and a key supporter of Adaptive Martial Arts UK & Ireland. I was so pleased to see so many take the chance to learn from him. I respect him a great deal. A huge amount of training, knowledge and real life experience has gone into making this man, a man who when he passed his 8th Dan grading, was given the black belt that Sensei Enoeda was wearing around his waist at the time, that’s how much he thought of him. Robbie is a genuinely lovely person, with a heart of gold, a dangerous skill set and more than one or two screws slightly loose……or missing completely! I love him to bits and I was so glad to see the faces of those who trained under him, recounting their experience with a mixture of shock, awe, excitement, concern and amusement. I’m sure many will get over the experience with time and therapy. So, without detailing every single instructor and what they taught, and to be fair, you’d have to have attended in order to get a full understanding of what was taught - no amount of words can do justice to those lessons and experiences, so what makes Kaizen an expo worthwhile visiting? Well, that’s actually a very easy question to answer. As you know, Kaizen stands for improvement or a ‘change for the better’ it’s the ethos which is the foundation for Lucci’s idea and having been to the previous two years’ events, I can say this has taken shape and is demonstrated through the people who attend as much as by organising the event and instructors. You see, setting the intention to provide a cohesive, close-knit and friendly environment has enabled the attendees to gain a different type of experience to that of other expos. At the end of the day, any multi-art seminar or expo in the Martial Arts world, will be very similar to others; several top instructors and a few less well-known teaching seminars, some trade stands offering information and products, demos to watch, meet and greet, food and refreshments, but, what makes Kaizen so different is the ‘feeling’ the ‘intent’ which everyone in attendance
Shihan Ken Culshaw demonstrating Traditional Jujutsu
Photo credit: Gemma Burman
experiences for themselves when they turn up. The only way I can describe it, is the Danish word hygge. There’s no direct English translation, but it’s the kind of cozy, comfortable feeling of contentment or well-being which just ‘is’ and it pervades the whole expo from beginning to end. People attending are like a huge family, warm greetings, smiles all day, enjoying the social meeting aspect as much as the opportunity to learn and grow as Martial Artists. This photo expresses that in such a great way. During my Ju Jutsu & Pressure Point seminar, I’m teaching Amanda Wilding a point which, when she gets the correct place, angle and direction, produces this wonderful acknowledgement from her student, much to her pleasure and the delight of other knowledgeable instructors in the background, including the whip himself, John Gaynor. Well-done Amanda! Everyone comes to learn, enjoy meeting and making friends, to spread love, laughter and pain in equal measure, without maliciousness or negative ego and both experiencing and witnessing that, leaves you feeling contented and revitalised.
Amanda Wilding with Mark Sims - The expressions say it all!
Hygge, is, in essence, what I think Kaizen has become about and it follows closely, the message Mr P was trying to get across. He’d have been really proud of what Kaizen has become and where it’s going, so well done Lucci, keep up the good work. It is a change for the better, an improvement on the large corporate expos of the past and its ethos is mirrored in the fact that it seeks not to replace, but to work with, other expos in the true spirit of co-operation. For those who weren’t there, you missed an amazing event, so mark your diaries now for the next one, which takes place April 5, 2020. Don’t miss out. Photos by Nasser Butt, unless stated otherwise.
Unifying the Belts - Tony Bailey and Gavin Richardson, 2 friends, 2 belts, 1 previous owner - Mr P
Fa-jing Ch'uan Internal Chinese Boxing Schools are pleased to announce our fifth annual T'ai Chi Ch'uan Camp on the sun-drenched island of Cyprus in November 2020 Based at the scenic Hadjios Valley Resort in Mazotos - a couple of kilometres from the pristine beaches off the Mediterranean coastline this will be a great opportunity to learn one of the most ancient Chinese martial arts, renowned for its health properties, on the island of Aphrodite over 3 days. The camp includes: Qigong Old Yang Style T'ai Chi Practical Training Methods For Health/ Martial Arts Self-Defence Whether you are a novice or already have some experience and would simply like to brush up on the foundations, or have ever wondered how the art is used as a system of selfdefence - then this will be the perfect way to get a great insight into T'ai chi Ch’uan (Taijiquan). You will receive a minimum of 5 hours/day of training under instruction over 3 days.
Date: Friday - Sunday 6-8 November 2020 Training will begin at 12pm Friday. Cost of training: 210 Euros for those registering by Wednesday 1 April 2020. (The cost will rise to 250 Euros for those registering after this date.) Cost of Accommodation: 150 Euros/Villa based upon a minimum of 3 nights (Fri/Sat/Sun) at Apollo Villas. Each additional night is 40 Euros for those wishing to extend their stay or arrive earlier. We have negotiated an exclusive special rate with Apollo Villas, allowing you to spend three days in luxury at an incredibly low price! Please note, although partners and family are welcome, accommodation will be prioritized for those training as this is a busy time of the season! Each villa is selfcontained and has two bedrooms and can sleep up to 4 people sharing. All villas are fully furnished, including a functional kitchen as well as a washing machine
and fridge. Full Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort at no extra cost. Meals: All guests will find a basic ‘Welcome Pack’ upon arrival at their villa for making their own breakfast , etc. For lunch and supper we have negotiated a special rate at the local Mazotos Tavern - based in the centre of the village, where Bambos and his family serve up the most delicious traditional meals with a wonderful friendly service! Alternatively, folk are free to make their own arrangements or even cook in the villa, buying produce from the local high street, if they so wish. Participants will be expected to arrive on site by Friday (6 November) morning latest or Thursday* evening 5 November 2020) earliest and depart Monday 9 November or after the final training session on Sunday, unless they have extended** their stay in advance and are departing later depending upon flights.
*/** These will incur additional charges. All accommodation costs must be paid in full at the time of registration. (PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE NONREFUNDABLE.) Nearest Airport: Larnaca (15 km from resort). Information for local carhire services is available upon request. Please contact Nasser Butt for further information and registration: Tel: +44(0)7792242150 Email: email@example.com Visit our website for further information on what we teach: www.fajing-chuan.co.uk Website for Hadjios Valley: www.apollovillas.com/ hadjios-valley/
The Oldest Established School of The Erle Montaigue System In The UK
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⾦鷄獨⽴ Jīnjīdúlì Golden Rooster Stands On One Leg This is a ‘Rising Step’ in Taijiquan,
representing an ‘Equilibrium Step’. This method uses the power of one leg to cause the body to rise up immediately. It’s purpose is to develop the upper thigh's P'eng jing and the thigh must move in a circular manner, i.e., when lifting the right leg, the left leg must move in a clockwise direction in order to gain the fa-jing necessary for this movement. This posture is also a key to help the practitioner understand ‘Standing’ - like a tree laden with fruit, without thought, in stillness.
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Lift Hands - Voted Magazine of the Year 2018 by The British Martial Arts Awards 2018. When one really thinks about Lift Hands, you’ll disc...
Published on Sep 30, 2019
Lift Hands - Voted Magazine of the Year 2018 by The British Martial Arts Awards 2018. When one really thinks about Lift Hands, you’ll disc...