Martial Arts Practice

Baguazhang and Change

One of the greatest challenges when learning Baguazhang is remembering that it is primarily concerned with change. Constant change is the only key principle of Baguazhang that sets it aside from other arts. The internal engine of the system is remarkably similar to...
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Yang Family Fajin

Here is an article on Yang family Fajin by my good friend, Taiji teacher, Adam Mizner. In the article he has included translated descriptions of the Fajin qualities of the various members of the Yang tradition. Adam teaches through the Heaven Man Earth school of...
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The threefold path of Daoism

In modern societies, many people study the Chinese martial arts without necessarily having any knowledge of the Daoist philosophy that underpins them. Thus, taijiquan students might go to a weekly class to learn this particular art; they might do so for many years...
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Taijiquan Leg Development

A brief video showing various stages of development for the legs in Taijiquan. This is specific to the Yang family style of Taijiquan and should take most practitioners around 7-8 years of practice before they are able to move through these stages to distinguish full...
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Taijiquan and Evolution

Taijiquan be it the grand ultimate fist or the boxing style that uses the motive force of creation is my life’s study. Ok, as a martial artist all martial arts and much more are my study, but for me there are no limits to the principles contained within the forms of...
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The *gong* of *fengshui*

I’ve been practising baguazhang outdoors a lot lately, which reminded me that a key aspect of training in the internal arts is the ability to establish an energetic connection with our surroundings. The study of the relationship between humans and their environment—or...
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The 20 Guiding Precepts of Karate-Do

The 20 guiding precepts of Shotokan Karate-Do were penned by Gichin Funakoshi; an Okinawan who is commonly known as the father of modern Karate. Though not strictly speaking an aspect of the Daoist arts these precepts are interesting as Gichin Funakoshi was clearly...
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The Six Harmonies

A shirt video on the Liu He or ‘six harmonies’ within the internal martial arts. This video was filmed in Sweden on our two month long martial arts retreat. And yes…I am wearing luminous pink...
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Stretching for Power in the Internal Arts

Inserted here is a video clip taken from one of my recent courses. The course was actually a prolonged retreat looking at the development of internal mechanics within the styles of Taijiquan and Baguazhang. In the video we are looking at the manner in which the body...
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The Fa Jin controversy

Within the world of the internal arts, and specifically Taijiquan, nothing brings with it as much controversy as the skill of Fa Jin. For those who do not know, Fa Jin can be translated as meaning to ‘issue Jin’. The exact meaning of Jin is up for debate but within...
Read More

Baguazhang and Change

One of the greatest challenges when learning Baguazhang is remembering that it is primarily concerned with change. Constant change is the only key principle of Baguazhang that sets it aside from other arts. The internal engine of the system is remarkably similar to...

Yang Family Fajin

Here is an article on Yang family Fajin by my good friend, Taiji teacher, Adam Mizner. In the article he has included translated descriptions of the Fajin qualities of the various members of the Yang tradition. Adam teaches through the Heaven Man Earth school of...

The threefold path of Daoism

In modern societies, many people study the Chinese martial arts without necessarily having any knowledge of the Daoist philosophy that underpins them. Thus, taijiquan students might go to a weekly class to learn this particular art; they might do so for many years...

Taijiquan Leg Development

A brief video showing various stages of development for the legs in Taijiquan. This is specific to the Yang family style of Taijiquan and should take most practitioners around 7-8 years of practice before they are able to move through these stages to distinguish full...

Taijiquan and Evolution

Taijiquan be it the grand ultimate fist or the boxing style that uses the motive force of creation is my life’s study. Ok, as a martial artist all martial arts and much more are my study, but for me there are no limits to the principles contained within the forms of...

The *gong* of *fengshui*

I’ve been practising baguazhang outdoors a lot lately, which reminded me that a key aspect of training in the internal arts is the ability to establish an energetic connection with our surroundings. The study of the relationship between humans and their environment—or...

The 20 Guiding Precepts of Karate-Do

The 20 guiding precepts of Shotokan Karate-Do were penned by Gichin Funakoshi; an Okinawan who is commonly known as the father of modern Karate. Though not strictly speaking an aspect of the Daoist arts these precepts are interesting as Gichin Funakoshi was clearly...

The Six Harmonies

A shirt video on the Liu He or ‘six harmonies’ within the internal martial arts. This video was filmed in Sweden on our two month long martial arts retreat. And yes…I am wearing luminous pink...

Stretching for Power in the Internal Arts

Inserted here is a video clip taken from one of my recent courses. The course was actually a prolonged retreat looking at the development of internal mechanics within the styles of Taijiquan and Baguazhang. In the video we are looking at the manner in which the body...

The Fa Jin controversy

Within the world of the internal arts, and specifically Taijiquan, nothing brings with it as much controversy as the skill of Fa Jin. For those who do not know, Fa Jin can be translated as meaning to ‘issue Jin’. The exact meaning of Jin is up for debate but within...

Martial Arts – Realm of the Deeply Insecure

Let us always be brutally honest with ourselves as to why we started training in the martial arts in the first place. I have spent my life around various forms of martial arts classes and practitioners. When I was younger it was within the Japanese external systems...

Qing and Lin or Investing in Loss

So, back in China again, my home away from home for many years now. It’s dirty, polluted, over-crowded and noisy. Nothing ever works properly, the food is usually terrible and the country is run by a super-paranoid communist government! Despite all of this, the...

Knee Pain and the Internal Arts

Knee pain is quite common among practitioners of the internal arts and is something I have struggled with myself when doing extended periods of zhan zhuang or qigong exercises that involve a lot of standing. Knee pain is usually experienced because of some incorrect...

Paul Mitchell’s Training History

My name is Paul Mitchell. Along with his mother Chris I was the first teacher of Damo Mitchell. I began my training life when I twenty five years old; which is probably quite late for someone that was going to make it their life’s work. I was a troubled youth. Without...

Ting, Dong, Hua, Na and Fa

In order to understand the deeper meaning of any of the internal arts it is important that we begin to try and understand the key terminology which underpins the art. In the case of Taijiquan and, in particular, Tui Shou (Pushing Hands) we need to understand the terms...

Chairman of the Bored

Anyone who has ever spent 5 minutes talking to me quickly realises that I’m not a very interesting person. In fact in the 10 or so weeks since I arrived in Sweden, I find myself rarely taking the time to even bathe or groom myself anymore. I find it quite funny when...

Adhering in Pushing Hands

Tui-Shou  Tui-Shou is usually known as ‘Pushing Hands’ in the West and is the main partner drill and sensitivity exercise used within Taiji Quan to teach a student about the eight energies. It is a necessary part of the training if you ever wish to understand how...

Xingyiquan

Xingyiquan is an internal martial arts style based upon the Daoist theory of the five inter-relating elements. It is an ancient system which like Taijiquan uses internal force but has a faster, more direct feel to it. The core practices of Xinyiquan consist of a...

The Kua (Video)

A short lecture video put together from classes at the retreat centre. These classes in 2013 covered use of the Kua in Nei Gong and the internal martial arts… The Kua is the area along the inside the groin sometimes known as the inguinal crease. It sits along...

Damo’s Martial Origins

My first exposure to the martial arts was at the age of four when I was taken along to a Karate class. My mother and father had been training for several years by this time and were already seniors within the class. This was 1984; at this time there was little in the...

Classical Training

Over the years I have been studied many different forms of classical martial arts. Some of these systems I have studied to a fairly high level of proficiency whilst others I have only really touched upon. Running throughout everything I do are the key principles...

The Sister Arts

The three ‘sister’ internal arts styles are generally known as Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and Baguazhang. Sun Lu Tang, a past master, was the first to publicly acknowledge their similarities and from this point in time it has become common for practitioners of the Nei Jia...

Taijiquan and Pu

The human mind is far too complex. Throughout the course of our lives we accumulate useless information, biases, assumptions, trivia and misconceptions. Our media bombards us with an infinite number of images meant to strengthen our dependency on pointless products....

Internal and External Arts

Conflict is an intrinsic part of life. Throughout history wars have been fought for power, money and greed. Even those who live in peaceful Western towns may be possibly subject to an act of violence whether it be a mugging, assault or simply an argument which gets...

Taiji for the Old

For the last few days I have been in Hong Kong. This is only the second time I have been here, the first time was several years ago and then it was only for a short time. Though Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese government in 1997 it is still seen as something...

The Nature of Taijiquan

Taoist concepts like taiji, wuji, and yin yang are important components of Taoist creation theory and are often misunderstood. This essay, written by Steve Galloway in 2011, explores the vocabulary of Taoist creation theory: wuji, taiji, and yin/yang. You can skip to...

Realistic Training Times

It has been commented upon by many that my books are quite uncompromising with regards to timescales. The feedback I get is that I am overly brutal with regards to how long you have to practice before you manage to attain a certain stage in your development. I am not...

Beginning the Jian

Training with the Taiji straight sword was one of the biggest wake-up calls for me in my personal training. When I first started to practice with a Jian I had only been learning Yang style Taiji for a short time. At this point I was very young and inexperienced; I had...