Showing posts from 2011

Fix It With Massage

Babies need to be held and touched, when we become adults, we still hold and touch each other, whether that's hugging goodbye to a friend or shaking hands with a business partner.
When our body is tired, we want to be massaged. When we go to the spa, we step into the Jacuzzi to help our muscles relax. The need for touch and massage is instinctive. Massage is one of the oldest healing practices.
The Shaolin Temple has a long tradition of self-massage, using the bamboo Instant Health Massage Brush and progressing to the heavier metal brush. Shaolin disciples train as much as Olympic athletes but we don't have an army of massage therapists or physiotherapists, self-massage along with Qigong is the only thing we use to reduce the risk of injury and keep us fighting fit. 
The Qigong massage doesn't fit any types of massage that are given person to person, for example: sports, acupressure or deep tissue. It combines all of the above and even more, the end aim is to use the vibratio…

Activate Your Environment To Support Your Goals

It's a good idea to have some small things in your home to remind you that you need to train. Whenever I travel, I always wear a Jade Buddha amulet. This isn't just for good luck, this also reminds me to be peaceful. If something difficult happens, I tell myself to calm myself down. I also carry a small Buddha with me. Before any important decision, I meditate for twenty minutes to clear my mind.
I also take my Instant Health Massage Brush with me, and a skipping rope in case I can't find a place to run then I can find a small park to skip for half an hour. This means, I never have an excuse not to train. 
In my office I have a Jade Energy Stone and a  Wooden Star Palm Massager in front of my computer. When I work at the computer a lot, I stop and use this to massage my hands for a while.

These are all powerful things to remind myself to have a positive mental outlook and to keep training. These positive things I surround myself with, make me feel that I'm not even traini…

Body Conditioning & Qigong Self-Massage - Metal Massage Brush

For many years, my on-line students have asked me to provide them with the metal brush they have seen me using in my book and DVDs. I have been reluctant to do this without seeing the student first because this metal brush is not like the bamboo brush, if used incorrectly, it can cause damage to the body.

The person who uses this brush needs to be trained correctly and train with responsibility. But now that many of my students have followed all of the training from my first DVD through to my fifteenth, I feel, if their body is telling them they are ready to use this brush, then they are.

This is a professional brush, only to be used by highly trained martial artists, fighters, Qigong masters. It is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18, pregnant women, old people or health seekers. The Instant Health bamboo massage brush is perfect for most people and they should continue to use this rather than change to this metal brush.  The bamboo brush is safe to use for all people.

I had th…

Building The Stamina Of Your Mind

I recently had a student who was a chess player. He came to study Shaolin with me for two weeks. He asked me if he needed stamina when he played chess, I said, yes, it would help him,  because when you play chess, you need to be steps ahead, working out your moves and your opponent's moves. This is the same as fighting but every teacher or coach knows that if their student don't have stamina then it doesn't matter how good they are, they can't use their skills.  This means, you have build your stamina. Through building your stamina you build the strength of your mind.
When you're tired, you can't show your weakness, you have to pretend that you still have stamina. If your opponent finds out then this is your weakness and he can beat you. Sometimes you have to learn how to hide your feelings, it's the same when you have an injury, you have to hide your injury. This is the same as a chess player who makes a bad move, he can't show it or give up, he has to …

How To Balance Your Yin And Yang For Mind And Body Health

When you watch my Qigong DVDs, I always start with a warm up, stretching or some physical training then I do the Qigong form. The reason I start this way is not only because this is the professional way but also because I've found many Western people believe Qigong is light training or very focused training, they believe it's about using the mind in a thinking way to control the body.
All exercise has internal and external, it's just we can't see it. For example, if you are running ten miles but at the beginning your pace is too fast then you won't be able to do ten miles. You need to understand how to pace yourself. This is the internal part of your training.
The Yin and Yang needs to be balanced and this is a combination of Qigong and physical exercise. When a person does personal training with me and I start with a warm up and stretching then the five basic stances, they find it hard.  A recent student who had been working with my DVDs, realised he was only usin…

The Shaolin Way To Train Mixed Martial Arts - Part Three

Every morning, I get up and train. My students see me do the same thing, year by year by year. It’s only when they go in the ring and fight that they understand why I do the same thing every year, every day. The simple things are the most useful but they take time and effort to master.
For example, I train my left leg to be fast and sharp. It’s not very powerful but it's fast. My right leg is very heavy and I use my left leg to attack, to break my opponents plan, any time I have the opportunity. I use my right leg to do the round house kick. If I get them with this kick then I know I will knock them out. I practice many years just for this one kick. I know I can do this kick from any angle, close or long distance. I have confidence because I've done this kick so many times.
I'm not very tall but I'm quite heavy. My opponent is always taller than me so they have a longer reach than me. This is why I need good body conditioning. I don’t have as much opportunity as them to…

The Shaolin Way To Train Mixed Martial Arts - Part Two

If you want to become a good MMA fighter then you need to train with focus. You can't be the best at ground, punch, and kick. You need to choose one or two skills that you will become special at and focus on these then have the other skills as the extra things you can do.

I have many MMA students that want to study with me, they say they know Juijutsu, Thai Boxing, Boxing etc but when I see them train, I ask them, “Which  is your weapon? Your kick or your punch?”  Most people don't have a lethal weapon. They are not 100% in control of their punch or their kick. They have no weapon that can enable them to win.  This means they have nothing special.

I tell them, this means that every time you go to fight, you are hoping for luck. You don't know which skill will help you to win the fight:  kick or punch or ground fighting. When you become a fighter, you can’t live for luck, you need to have full confidence, believe in your punch or your kick or your knee or elbow. Know that whe…

The Shaolin Way To Train Mixed Martial Arts - Part One

This is the first blog post in a series of three about how to train in Mixed Martial Arts. Each week I'll give you one training method to do and by the end of the three weeks, you'll have three new skills which will help you in your training. Remember to send me a message and let me know how you're getting on.  

How To Replicate Your Fight In Your Training 

Recently I've been asked to train MMA fighters. I know some martial artists are purest but I love not only martial arts but also the fighting arts.  I like to watch MMA fights because there aren't many rules and the fighter need to be able to use many skills. But I think that MMA fighters stay on the ground too long. Everyone knows that in any fight competition, if you can knock someone out as quickly as possible then not only will you win but you will become a famous fighter.

If it was a street fight and you had someone on the ground for a few minutes then you would probably be killed by someone else who is stand…

Your Personal Diet And Training Plan

Most people who want to lose weight, usually start by going to the gym or getting a personal trainer. These things can help but without controlling their diet, they will find it hard to lose weight.
The first thing that you need to do if you want to lose weight, get fit, improve your martial arts or look younger is check your life. Which of your habits are good and which are bad? Where are your weaknesses? Also, what about the weaknesses of your environment? You need to be aware of them so you can deal with them and not become a victim of them.  For example, if a person smokes or drinks and at the same time they want to lose weight and train, the first thing they need to do is stop smoking and drinking then they need to start training lightly to detoxify their body. 
Someone who eats a lot of junk food or cakes or drinks a lot of sugar drinks like Coca Cola needs to stop. A  person who has a very stressful job with a lot of responsibility, has to tell themselves worry can not change any…

Instant Buddha: Progressions On The Path Of The Warrior

It is vitally important that we train intelligently and with awareness, always keeping our beginner's mind. 
When you walk to your training hall or go home to practice your martial arts, do walking meditation. Walk at your normal pace and be aware of  your steps and your breathing. When thoughts come up, simply let them go. This walking meditation helps to ground and prepare you for your training.
When you start to do the Qigong and Kung Fu forms, you repeat them over and over again for years and years until they become a habit.  In the beginning, you have to think: where should I breathe? What is the next movement? Is my posture correct? This is a process we all go through. Then, as you progress, you forget about your practice and move into non-thinking. 
As martial artists, we use our body to abandon our body. We let go, forget the ego and follow nothing but the wisdom of the universe. Then the thinking comes from the body and no longer comes from the mind. When you experience this…

Flowering Green Tea - Instructions On How To Use

Part of traditional Chinese medicine is the drinking of green tea, modern science has discovered that green tea is rich in antioxidants, aiding our path to longevity. Green tea also balances the metabolism, boost the immune system, and has anti-ageing benefits for the skin. 
If we drink our green tea mindfully then this has even more of a beneficial effect. Click here to learn  how to have a Zen Tea Ceremony in your own home. 

How To Use Flowering Green Tea 1) Put the tea ball in a glass cup or tea pot.
2) Pour boiling water into the cup. 3) Watch the flower blossom and release its fragrance. It usually takes about five minutes.
4) Drink and enjoy.

Do not throw away. As with all high quality green teas,  the tea can be used at least four times. Simply pour water over the blossomed flower and continue to enjoy. Click here to purchase this premium Flowering Green Tea

A Zen Tea Ceremony

At the Shaolin Temple, novice monks are taught to be present in everything they do. In our fast paced modern life this is impossible.  If  we are always fully present then our mind will overload so we need to perform some actions automatically. But if we are always mindless and our mind is always on the run we will become increasingly burnt out, stressed and unhappy. We rest and look after our body, so why do we not take as much care with our mind as we do our body?  Bringing our heart and mind into the present moment is the Zen Masters secret to real happiness. There are many ways we can do this. And one way is to have a simple Zen Tea Ceremony.

Zen Tea Ceremonies, alongside calligraphy and martial arts are tools that Shaolin Temple disciples use to hone, focus, and sharpen their mind.

The Art of Tea was born in the Zen Temples of China. But you don't need to be a Buddhist or go to a temple to experience this profound art, you can have a Zen Tea Ceremony in your home.
It's good t…

The Truth About Fitness and Needs to be Done and is Prohibited