We practice Shoto Ryu Karate, a ‘traditional’ style, in that it is a martial art, not a sport. Our lessons are based around solo forms & partner work to learn the technique before trying more combative (although not competitive) sparring.
We practise T’ai Chi Ch’uan not just to enhance our health, but also as a martial art - learning the application of each move. We practise two forms, Yang and Chen, as well as the two person practice of Push Hands and the Two Person T’ai Chi form.
We use a variety of weapons to enhance our practice; primarily to improve co-ordination, hip movement and enhance our projection of ki/chi. We practise forms and partner work with: Bo, Bokken, Shinai, knife and t’ai chi sabre.
The Five Tenets of Our Practice
Most of our practices are performed with the muscles in a natural state of relaxation/readiness. Those that require rigid tension only serve as a method of finding relaxation. Relaxation brings quickness of movement and aids flow of ki. Tension slows movement and inhibits ki/chi.
The centre point or tan dien is located a little below the navel. Many martial arts concentrate on this point during practice, we are no exception. It is believed by many that our ‘centre’ stores ki/chi. Centralisation consolidates balance and body positioning.
Practised correctly, martial arts increase strength of mind and focus. Self discipline is essential to increase concentration. Concentration is essential to produce ki/chi.
Knowing oneself is essential in order to defeat an opponent, but harmonising with that opponent is also essential. Without relaxation, centralisation and concentration, harmonising with your opponent is impossible.
To aid concentration the breath must coincide with our movements. To centralise, we must concentrate on our breath. Breathing, relaxation and concentration, are essential to produce ki/chi.