From Kingston to Kitchener Journey of a Taijiboxer
"The art of Fighting without Fighting"
My name is Dennis Pounall and I recently had the privilege to teach a workshop in both Kingston, Jamaica, and Kitchener Ontario Canada.
The workshops were on two subject matters one was on “The art of effective Kicking, and the other a weapons competition form called the “Tsunami whirlwind fan form” both were well received.
Kitchener kicks Martial arts center
The first workshop was in Kitchener Ontario at Sifu David Hackett school Kitchener Kicks Martial arts center. This was a classical beautiful Dojo with original wooden floor ,lots of natural light and high ceiling. I had been invited to do a performance at last years Christmas celebration.
"The eagle watches its prey"
I demonstrated the Tsunami Whirlwind Fan form. and they loved it .I was then later asked by sifu Dave if I could teach it to a few of them. I was honored and happy to do.
This is a very eclectic fan form and is different as it combines principles from three different discipline. Korean fan form, Shaolin fighting fan form and Japanese samurai "Tessan" applications.
This form can also be modified to display aspects of modern Whusu or for older practitioner a more subtle Taiji approach. all round great weapons form.
The workshop started off with the usual pleasantry, great and meet, quiet informal and then we began with some basic Qui kung "Standing Jong Posture" We then progressed with some stretching breathing and general history usage and function as both a weapon and tool for learning how to extended ones qi and awareness , which is essential for all weapons play.
"It is important to understand form, function and feeling when attempting to learn any martial discipline. So for each movement their is a technique, and a technique for each movement."
The form was taught slow connecting each movement until every one had a fundamental meaning for the movement. and then I would demonstrate a application and have them each create their own technique.
This I believe adds some substance to the art and depth to the practice of the Fan form.
"white snake sticks out its tongue "
Each Participant had a opportunity to share their understanding with the group , and lots of practice. we were fortunate that the whole group was a nice mix from different background giving the form more of a universal flavor. at the end everyone was granted a certificate and picture a a commemorative of the experience.
" Tsunami fan form seminars"
I hope everyone was able to appreciate the beauty of the Fan form and its unique ability for freedom of personal expression . this is to me what makes a true martial art.
"You move fast I move faster"
The next workshop was called the "Art of effective Kicking", This concepts was really about trying to share the idea of "Taisubaki", and "Range control". and not at all aimed at Fancy double or triple kicks. That most people including Hollywood movie makers want to see.
For those that are interested check out "Scorpion Kick on You Tube" The whole idea I believe when using your legs, is to prevent further injury, get out of the way, and best of all" run away". Kicking is just a side effect of maximizing range control. The legs are much more powerful than the arms and kicking is a natural movement to all human being, as soon as you are created before you are even brought into the world , babies are a kicking in their mothers tummy. it is one of the natural signs of a healthy baby.
Even in Taijiquan, or Taijiboxing as I refer to it as their are lots of kicks, some are more obvious than others. but Taijiquan unlike other disciplines, use the art of foot placement, and range control to make sure when and if you do kick it will be effective. Every martial art has some form of kicking but Taiji style tends to be more subtle but just as effective.
"Understanding Range control"
We practice only the basic kicks as usually that is what you would really use and these kicks were most effective for self defense, and personal protection. It is always a good idea to have a variety of kicks you can do but always understand their advantages and weaknesses.
"The bigger the are the harder they may Fall"
Then you always have a option, We focused on low kicks to the Joints Knee, hip, shin, and instep. we also made sure to work both sides and within each participants comfort and skill level.. we explored all angles and different parts of the lower leg and feet, as to how to strike ,where to strike, and when not to strike to reduce the chance of permanent self injury. all in all we had a good sweat and a lot of fun!!.
"Retreating back kick"
This was a great learning and sharing experience for both myself and I hope the Participants. i was able to see as much as Taijiquan is still portrayed as mostly a exercise Program for seniors. the wisdom of the ages still rings through in modern times. And the principles are transferable regardless of the martial discipline in which you participate in the true art is in the willingness to share grow and discover . .
"A warm greeting from the sunny island of Jamaica"
Seido Juku Karate is- in concept and in practice - based on a deep understanding of the spiritual aspect of karate, which is why Kaicho calls Seido Karate Ningen Karate or the Human Face of Karate. Master Tony Robinson states the origins of the school is based in traditional kykoshin karate do therefore it has a more aggressive hard style and although they new about KI , or Qi force they understood it only from a external point of view.
"Deep slow stretching of the illopsoas, muscles helps to prevent injury before kicking"
Consequently the school curriculum and principles were founded more of a sport Karate for basic self defense and fitness. So he was quiet intrigued by the principles of Taijiboxing and I was happy to see taught meditation and breathing was a important part of their training regardless of rank.
They began with a formal Introduction then the classes was turned over to me. I did some traditional warm ups but included some basic Qi gong, Embrace the one, and some Yoga style stretches. It was well received by all . we then began basic striking,and kicking..
"You attack low I will defend high"
They were not formidable with this concept or Range control, so I taught them using the principle practice slow to move fast. Which Master Robinson loved to hear this from another source. We were all hot sweating and tired. and I found by using the Taiji Breathing Technique I was able to persevere precious energy and fluid and finish the class.
we then broke up into two lines they did some light contact free sparing then we all drank coconut water and ate some fruit ,drank more water for re hydration and fluid balance.
The class was concluded with a formal closure, of bowing and respect to each of the instructors as was the Tradition, and five minutes of sitting Za Zen Meditation.
All in all, this was a great opportunity to share grow and learn and to see no matter where you are the principles of Taijibxing can be absorbed and assimilated by any system Martial arts..
Maybe this is what was secretly meant by the title of Supreme ultimate fist ! Possibly it may have had nothing to do with being the best system of martial art. But the most "versatile"
"The Art of effective kicking"
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this little adventure as much as I did and thank you for reading it.
Have a great day and remember at the end of the day every thing will be Cool running
yeah Mann. !! peace
sorry the pictures could not be uploaded with this format, be well and be in peace.
Sifu Dennis Pounall
For more information or a workshop contact
705 848 7888