Archive for May, 2012

Sifu Lee on East vs West

Posted in Day's Lesson, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

In the West, people love striving towards goals. The West is very extroverted. An entrepreneur can become rich simply by setting up goals for others to achieve. In the West people love to feel that inner pride for what they do. The organizer for the Chicago Marathon may not even be able to run the marathon himself, but he set up the event with the goal, he provides the medals & the money rewards. Now thousands want to join to try to reach the goal he has established. The organizer of a certain ring fight may not know how to fight himself, but he has arranged an event & established goals to achieve. Now thousands want to achieve this goal & even more are paying to watch. People will pay another person money so that, that other person will create a goal for him to achieve. That is what tournaments are all about.

Now in the East, we set our own goals to achieve, we do not look towards another to set a goal for us. When you come from the East to the West, you can then become the leader that sets the goals for those in the West to achieve. There is a lot of yang energy in the west, all they really need is to be guided in the proper direction. People simply have a strong wish to be recognized for doing things that they are good at. The West is not the way of the Tao, but the emphasis on Tao reminds the man with the Western mind to not forget, when you do not forget, it is much easier to come closer to a balance. It is interesting when you come from the east & you start to understand the Western mind. It is a mind with constant activity, constant movement. It does not want to sit still. Rather than forcing it to stay still, many times it is best to simply guide it towards a healthier direction & set it free.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

Sifu Lee on Online Martial Arts

Posted in Martial Arts, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Training with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

In order to learn Martial Arts online, you must have great self-motivation. Online Martial Arts training is similar to home schooling.  Many people will learn more effectively in public school because of the learning environment that is created. Public schooling is extroverted, home schooling is introverted. If you have self-discipline, training online can be very effective & possibly more effective than learning directly. Learning directly may not be an option for many because when you learn directly, you must pay for the time from your Sifu.  Also, the Martial Arts require thousands of hours of training.  Paying for each hour can easily become too expensive. A Sifu who teaches online can provide lessons at a very low cost to make it affordable for many. Training directly with a Sifu is like attending a University; it will cost thousands of dollars in order to graduate. Training online is like going to your public library & learning from all the books available that is relevant to your development in the Martial Arts.

Now in order to learn effectively at the library, you must be self-directed, you must have discipline, otherwise it will be ineffective. Most people in society need to attend a University to obtain a higher education, few people in society have the self-discipline to obtain a higher education without motivating factors that the University provides. The University provides you with the learning environment & it provides you with certifications & certain goals to obtain in order to motivate you to excel. They have standards set that you are expected to achieve in order to graduate. When you step into the library, there is none of this; you have to set your own goals & standards.

There are benefits of online training; there are benefits of training directly. If you have the opportunity & the money available to train directly, then of course that is the route to take. If you have no direct Sifu to train with & you do not have the money, online training can be effective. Online training can be very effective for the self-motivated individual, the introvert. Direct training will be very effective for those who are genuinely open to learn. Extroverts tend to favor direct training because of the training atmosphere, environment, & the benefits of learning within a group.

Online training at FMK can be just as effective for the self-motivated individual as direct training can be. The body & spiritual development is publicly taught through the FMK YouTube channel. Over 1400 videos are posted that are relevant to your advancement of the Body & Spirit. The only missing component to complete you as a Zen Martial Artist would be the combat training of FMK. That would be conducted via private lessons. Most of the lessons are designed for your advancement through self-training with or without equipment. Once money is saved, valuable equipment’s such as the Bob training bag, wooden dummy, weights, pull up bars, mirrors, etc. can be purchased to enhance your development. Your form, technique, physical abilities, & spiritual understanding can all be evaluated by Shi zu. Sharing private or public progress videos with Shi zu will provide Shi zu the opportunity to provide you with valuable feedback. Visiting the FMK kwoon based out of Chicago, IL before you become promoted to the rank of Sifu will provide you with all the sparring experiences you will need to become fully certified as a Sifu.

Those who train online can realistically advance quicker than those who train directly. Those who train online are more likely to be more spiritually advanced in FMK for the simple fact that they may have a greater appreciation for the spiritual teachings offered online at the FMK YouTube channel. Most of the spiritual teachings of FMK are not shared to Todai’s during direct training as it would take a vast amount of training time away. Direct Todai’s of FMK are responsible for keeping updated with all YouTube & Facebook postings so that they continually train their spirits throughout the entire day & continually develop a deeper understanding of the philosophies of FMK & Eastern Philosophy. Todai’s who train directly may tend to not keep updated with FMK teachings online; this ends up becoming their downfall. Online Todai’s are more likely to keep updated with all online postings & thus have an advantage in their Body & Spirit development. Direct Todai’s obviously have an advantage in combative development as they receive immediate feedback on their performance.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

Tim Larkin Banned in the UK? Is this for real?

Posted in Miscellaneous, News, Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2012 by Combative Corner

Yes, it is.  Just recently, while trying to board his Las Vegas-to-England flight, self-defense expert Tim Larkin was denied entry to the country passed on him being deemed a “security risk.”

“I have a 12-year history of doing such seminars in the UK without incident,” he said.

Nevertheless, he was now prohibited from entering the country because of what the seminar attendees might do—specifically, use their newly acquired skills in riots.* (Black Belt Magazine)

Here on the Alex Jones Show, Tim discusses the details.

A big question, how are the self-defense instructors in the UK dealing with this and how might their business be affected? 

There are many great teachers there such as: Geoff Thompson, Lee Morrison and Richie Grannon to name a few.

We welcome your thoughts on this matter.  The lines are open!

RELATED LINKS:

10 Questions with Tim Larkin

The London Story : with Tim Larkin


Roundtable Discussion 016: Favorite Videos

Posted in Discussion Question, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by Combative Corner

For our 16th Roundtable Discussion I asked our Combative Crew,

“If you had to choose, what’s your favorite online video?”

Brandon Vaughn  |  Sanshinkai Karate

(Part 2) & (Part 3)

Johnny Kuo  | I Liq Chuan

Michael Joyce  |  GTS  / ChenCenter

Robert Lara  |  Four Winds Aikido

Freddie Lee  |  Freddie’s Modern Kungfu

T.J. Kennedy  |  Hybrid Fighting Method

-The Combative Crew

Sifu Lee on Giving & Pain

Posted in Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

I love giving, but the problem that I constantly encounter is that it teaches a person to become spoiled. For many years I have always had a problem with spoiling others. If you spoil others you do not teach them. They never learn how to wash a dish b/c you always wash it for them. They never learn to do their own laundry b/c you always do it for them. They never really learn to be self-sufficient b/c you have always babied them. People have a very hard time going backwards in life. You give them something they like, they will become very upset if you then take it away.

If you never gave it to them in the first place, they would not know how to be upset b/c they have not become attached. If you have never smoked before, it is easy to stay away. But if you have been smoking for many years, it will be hard to let go. We have all been so accustomed to the internet, if they take it away, it will cause pain for many. Understanding both sides is not easy. A child may have to go through many decades of life before he understands the actions of his parents in the past.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

O’Sensei and The Art of Peace

Posted in Aikido, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Combative Corner

Aikido is the realization of Love.
If you think that “martial art” means to have opponents and enemies and to be strong and defeat them, you are mistaken. The true spirit of the martial arts is to be one with the universe and have no enemies. The essence of the martial arts is the spirit of loving protection of all beings in the universe.
Never defeated means never fighting. This is not mere theory. You practice it. Then you will accept the great power of Oneness with Nature.
As the words for “harmony” and “love” can be pronounced ai, I decided to name my unique budo (martial art) Aikido, although the word aiki is an old one. The word which was used by the warriors in the past is fundamentally different from that of mine.


Aiki is not a technique to fight or defeat an enemy.

It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.
The secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.
Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning.
There is no conflict in love. A mind of conflict, thinking of the existence of an enemy, is not consistent with the spirit of the universe. Those who do not agree with this cannot be in harmony with the universe.
Don’t look in the opponent’s eyes, or your mind will be drawn into his eyes. Don’t look at his sword, or you will be slain with his sword. Don’t look at him, or your spirit will be distracted. True budo is the cultivation of attraction with which to draw the whole opponent to you.
A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong or who practices only to defeat an opponent.
When anybody asks if my Aiki budo principles are taken from religion, I say, “No.” My true budo principles enlighten religions and lead them to completion.
I am calm however and whenever I am attacked. I have no attachment to life or death. I leave everything as it is to the spirit of the universe. Be apart from attachment to life and death and have a mind which leaves everything to that spirit, not only when you are being attacked but also in your daily lives.
The source of Bu is divine love. It is the spirit of love and protection for all things. The training of Budo is the forging in our minds and bodies the power of divine love, which produces, protects, and nurtures all things in the Universe. The techniques of budo are signposts pointing the way which leads to this.


Aikido is love.

You make this great love of the universe your heart, and then you must make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish this mission must be the true budo.
Even though our Path is completely different from warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon the old ways totally. Absorb venerable traditions in Aikido by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms.
Our techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.
The body should be triangular, the mind circular. The triangular represents the generation of energy and is the most stable physical posture, The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques. The square stands for solidity, the basis for applied control.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind. The key to good technique is to keep your hands, feet, and hips straight and centered. If you are centered, you can move freely. The physical center is your belly; if your mind is set there as well, you are assured of victory in any endeavor.
Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent: he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword: he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all: he may absorb your energy. The essence of technique is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere. Then you can stand just where you like, in a safe and unassaiable position.
When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.

M. Ueshiba

Farewell, Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang [1928-2012]

Posted in Miscellaneous, News, Taijiquan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by Combative Corner

The legendary tai chi teacher and founder of the Hunyuan Taijiquan system, Feng Zhiqiang, died peacefully on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 in Beijing.

Chen Shi Xin Yi Hunyuan Taijiquan

He is the originator of Chen Shi Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan, a distinct training system that is mainly the combination of what he learned from Grandmasters Chen Fake and Hu Yaozhen.

In Hunyuan taijiquan, every movement contains Yin/Yang, movement & stillness.  Hunyuan taijiquan put virtue & morality at the foreground.  As GM Feng often said,

The essence of Hun Yuan is ‘Xiu Xin’ (correcting the heart) and ‘Wu De’ (martial virtue).  When there is no virtue a high level of gongfu can not be accomplished

Feng Zhiqiang is a grandmaster of the 18th generation of Chen Style Taijiquan and is considered the top student of 17th generation masters, Chen Fa-ke (Taijiquan) and Xinyi Grandmaster Hu Yuezhen.

Over the years, Hunyuan taijiquan would become one of the vehicles for students all over the world to reach what GM Feng called, “The Big Tao”… reaching beyond just taiji boxing… nurturing qi and expanding spirit.

Read GM Feng’s Poem, “Taiji is Like…”

RELATED ARTICLES

FENG & HUNYUAN HISTORY : CHEN ZHONGHUA

INTERVIEW (2000) WITH DISCIPLE YANG YANG

WAY OF HUNYUAN (QIGONG) : CHEN ZHONGHUA

HAS THE DRAGON REALLY LEFT? : VIOLET LI

You will truly be missed! But your teachings will live on!

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