August Tournament and Seminar in Austin

•August 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The leader of our system, Grandmaster Sin Kwang The’, visits Austin, TX twice a year to preside over tournaments and teach seminars, usually teaching out a very advanced form.

The February tournament is hosted by my teacher, Master Joe Schaefer of Austin, and the August tournament is hosted by Master Schaefer’s senior student, Master Don Duncan of Round Rock.

This year Master Duncan will be hosting his 10th annual Lone Star Challenge tournament on Saturday, August 28 at CD Fulkes Middle School.  It is open to Shaolin-Do students of all levels and will include empty hand & weapons forms, tai chi, and sparring.

On Sunday 8/29 at Master Duncan’s Shaolin-Do school, Grandmaster Sin Kwang The’ will teach two seminars on very high-level empty hand forms:

10AM-1PM  Meteor Fist, Cannon Rock Leg
This is the second Yang side form for Meteor Fist. It is all manner of kicks and some kicks you have never seen before.
2PM-5PM  Meteor Fist Yin Side form #2
Dragon Twirls the single plum stem to a thousand snakes
Awesome form. Since you have not yet learned a snake form in our art, I can’t imagine you missing this one.

REGISTER HERE

If you only take one, the only option is just the morning form. The snake is only available if you took the morning form.
$90 for cannon leg
$140 for both forms
Includes DVD if you register before August 23rd (otherwise $10 more)

Directions to the Round Rock Shaolin-Do School:
Take exit 251 going North on IH-35
Look next to Hastings in the little mall on the west side of IH-35 (behind Taco Cabana)
512 218-8081

The Five Pillars of Human Movement

•August 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

I recently had the privilege of taking a private training session with one of the world’s foremost strength and conditioning coaches, Steve Maxwell.

Coach Maxwell is a former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion (only two other Americans have ever held that title), and at 58 years old he is so well-conditioned he can run most athletes into the ground, whatever their age.

One of the most interesting concepts Coach exposed me to in our session is the Five Pillars of Human Movement.  Every exercise plan should address these five basic movements to insure a healthy, responsive, well-balanced body.  They are:

1. The Press

a. horizontal press, like a push-up or bench press

b. vertical press, like a handstand or military press

2. The Pull

a. horizontal pull, like a row

b. vertical pull, like a pull-up or chin-up

3. Lower Body Level Changes

a. hip-dominated (deadlift, swing)

b. thigh-dominated (squat)

4. Rotation

a. fixed foot rotation, like a Russian twist

b. pivoting foot rotation like a hooking punch

5. Locomotion, like lunges or floor exercises

A workout program that does not address all 5 pillars will not develop functional, applicable fitness, but will leave gaps in performance and ability, and potentially lead to injury.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in setting up a personal training regimen that employs the 5 Pillars of Human Movement.

February News

•February 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Carnival Closings: No classes Saturday 2/13 thru Mardi Gras Day 2/16.
Classes resume Ash Wednesday
Happy Mardi Gras!

Austin Events:
February is here, and that means it’s almost time for my teacher, Master Joe Schaefer, to hold his annual Spring Festival in Austin, TX. The head of our system, Grandmaster Sin Kwang The will be in attendance, as always, to conduct testing, teach a seminar (Liu Hsing Hurling Rock Leg), and preside over the tournament. A few of us from New Orleans make the pilgrimage every year, carpooling for the 9 hour drive to participate in the big event. The tournament will be on Sat, Feb 27 and the seminar on Sun, Feb 28. Let me know if you’re interested or want more information. In addition to sparring, forms, and weapons competitions, the tournament always features several short seminars with senior black belts on various special topics. I’ll send out a more detailed description of the events in the coming weeks.

As always, please contact me with any questions about the above, or questions about your training, goals, etc. Let’s keep the good momentum going!

Saturday 27th Tournament

Sunday 28th 2nd Road of Meteor Fist, Cannon Rock Leg with Grandmaster Sin (morning)

Sunday 28th Black Belt Banquet (evening)

January Events

•January 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Happy New Year!

One of my goals for 2010 is to test for 4th degree black belt at Master Joe’s tournament (coming up February 27).  To that end, I’m going to be reprising some of the seminars I’ve taught over the last couple of years featuring a few of the 3rd-4th degree forms I’ll need to test on.  I’m squeezing these in over the next 3 weekends to get them all in before Carnival season kicks into gear.  Here is the schedule:

This Saturday, Jan 9:  Dragon King Dance (7 Section Chain Whip)
Sat 1/16: Tang Lang Chu’an (Praying Mantis Fist)
Sat 1/23: Pang Lung Pang (Entwining Dragon Staff)

All the seminars will take place after class, from approx 1:45 to 3pm.  This will be a FREE review if you’ve taken these forms with me before, or $20 if you’re taking them for the first time.  They are all fun and challenging and all-in-all a productive way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon.

Last year I realized a life-long dream of directing and acting in a feature film.  I credit my Shaolin-Do training and teachers with giving me the discipline, courage, and vision that made it possible for me to accomplish that.  Of course I never could have done it without Helen, who wrote and produced the film (the hardest job of all), and the many other great actors and crew members who devoted themselves heart & soul to the collective endeavor.  Which brings me to another goal for 2010: to foster community relationships and to improve my skills in communication, empathy, patience and compassion.

My kung fu training made me stronger, more flexible, more disciplined and more confident, which led to me becoming more centered, capable and independent.  Now I realize that one person alone can’t hope to achieve what a well-integrated, respectful and mature community can accomplish together.

If you’ve never done my goal-setting exercise, I encourage you to give it a try.  If you have, it might be a good time to go through it again.  Your understanding of the scope, purpose, and potential of martial arts may have changed in the interim (particularly if you took Master Smith’s seminar).

The goal-setting exercise is here.

I’d also suggest that you try a similar exercise with other areas of your life: work, relationships, attitude, social service, etc.  I spent some time over the holidays with a best friend of mine from college.  He has started writing little fictional sketches about a character that he would like to become in 5 years.  In doing so, he gives his unconscious, creative mind a chance to dialog with his logical conscious mind and moves his life path in a direction that leads to deeper happiness and satisfaction.

I look forward to seeing you!  As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.

Grandmaster Sin The’ March Seminar: 10,000 Lotus Blooming

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Open to all Shaolin-Do Black Belts and SDA Members of any rank!

Saturday, March 20th, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (lunch break from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM)

Lexington Catholic High School
2250 Clays Mills Road
Lexington, KY 40503

Grandmaster Sin Kwang Thé has agreed to teach Ban Liang Hua Kung, the 10,000 Lotus Blooming form, at his annual spring seminar on Saturday, March 20th, 2010 in Lexington, KY.  There are no prerequisites for learning this material so everyone should be there. Show our support and thanks to Grandmaster Sin Thé for agreeing to teach this high level form! DVD’s must be preordered and will be handed out at the seminar – no exceptions! The SDA  reserves the right to refuse admittance to anyone for any reason. Please wear a gi, like Grandmaster Sin Thé’s, to the seminar!

The following text is from Grandmaster Sin Thé, describing Ban Liang Hua Kung: It is the most internal of all the internal systems. It goes inside your body so you feel every movement of your muscles and them with your chi. It was created by the Shaolin monks specifically to complement Liu Hsing, the Meteor Fist. However, unlike Liu Hsing’s furious blasting movements, Ban Liang Hua Kun’s movements are more subtle and use your chi to make every muscle in your body turn alive. Arguably it the most difficult and challenging material that has been taught so far, yet it’s implications are not limited to martial arts fighting skills. The greatest benefit is its life-changing aspect.

Through Ban Liang Hua Kun training, you will have a new outlook on life. Science has long discovered that if we humans knew how to use every inch
of our muscles, then we would become stronger than a tiger!

To register, print up the registration form and send it in by March 12

http://www.shaolin-do.com/events/seminars/2010/20100320.pdf

“Either for Annoyance or Defense”

•December 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Jason Couch has an amusing blog post at Martial History Magazine that gives 19th century accounts by Englishmen of their (generally patronizing) impressions of Chinese martial arts.

Here’s one passage from 1843:

“I was once threatened with a practical proof of this art near what is called the barrier, at Macou, because a companion of mine had given some offence to the keepers of the wall, by taking advantage of a dismantled part to get a peep at the other side. One of them, as champion of the rest, came up and made a vigorous display of the various body positions into which he could throw his body, either for annoyance or defence. At every important shift, he uttered a thundering vociferation, to give greater effect to what he was doing, and ever and anon his companions shouted as they stood gazing from the wall, while the writer remained quietly waiting to see at what part of these evolutions it might be necessary to interpose as a matter of self-defence; but as this interposition did not appear to be called for, I retired, after giving this soldier and athlete ample time to try his hand at something more than show if he chose.”

See the complete post at:

http://martialhistory.com/2009/11/chinese-martial-arts-in-19th-century-china/

Another great edition of Mike Mahler’s Aggressive Strength Magazine

•November 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The latest issue of Mike Mahler’s “Aggressive Strength Magazine” has a lot of great information on fat loss, the importance of good nutrition,  exercise, and adrenal health.  Check it out!

http://www.mikemahler.com/magazine/173.html