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Most of us, if we were honest with ourselves, would admit we have little understanding of how to look after our physical body well. Breathing, bending, stretching, sitting, standing, walking and running seem to just happen naturally. Too often, however, we forget how to perform these functions properly and drift away from nature's guidance, which, in turn, damages our health. All our physical actions involve the subtle interaction of posture and body mechanics, and at the very heart of it all there lays the breath. Good breathing practice offers many benefits to our mind, body and spirit. Using simple Tai Chi exercises this book shows how to assimilate the powerful healing postures, smooth flow of movement and effective breathing methods of the ancient Chinese, to enable our body to operate again in perfect harmony with nature. Whether you are interested in improving your general wellbeing or are struggling with a long-term health condition, you will find guidance and easy exercises in this book. Additionally, because the author dissects the ancient Tai Chi and Qigong instruction manuals on posture and the mechanics of body-motion, he offers a new dimension for physiotherapists and other practitioners who have an interest in physical therapy. From the moment you pick up this book your journey to a healthier and more contented life begins.
A Sunday Times Book of the Year 'For anyone interested in Lee's legacy, this is a roundhouse kick of a biography' - Sunday Times 'At last, Bruce Lee has the powerful biography he deserves... It will thrill Lee's fans and fascinate the unfamiliar' - Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig 'Meticulously researched' - Jimmy McDonough, author of Shakey: Neil Young's Biography and Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green 'You won't find a better match for a biographer with his subject than Matthew Polly and Bruce Lee... A definitive biography, told with passion and punch' - Brian Jay Jones, author George Lucas: A Life and Jim Henson: The Biography. More than forty years after Bruce Lee's sudden death at age 32, journalist and author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee's life. It's also one of the only accounts; incredibly, there has never been an authoritative biography of Lee. Following a decade of research that included conducting more than one hundred interviews with Lee's family, friends, business associates and even the mistress in whose bed Lee died, Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon. There are his early years as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father's struggles with opium addiction and how that turned Bruce into a troublemaking teenager who was kicked out of high school and eventually sent to America to shape up; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming personal instructor to movie stars like Steve McQueen; his struggles as an Asian-American actor in Hollywood and frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shocking end that to this day is still shrouded in mystery. Polly breaks down the myth of Bruce Lee and argues that, contrary to popular belief, he was an ambitious actor who was obsessed with martial arts-not a great kung-fu master who just so happened to make a couple of movies. The book offers an honest look at an impressive yet flawed man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played on-screen. Praise for Matthew Polly 'Hypnotic...Tapped Out manages to humanize a sport once demonized as "human cockfighting" by deconstructing the stereotype of the martial-arts tough guy.' - New York Times 'Tapped Out is a knockout for MMA fans, who will laugh at the intimate portraits Polly sketches of some of the sport's most famous personalities. But it also works for those not familiar with the sport...You won't be disappointed.' - OpposingViews.com 'A delight to read.' - TheFightNerd.com 'Polly's self-deprecation in the painful learning process stands out as much as the witty prose. His delivery is Plimpton-esque.' - ESPN.com 'Smoothly written . . . Polly has a good eye for characters.' - Publishers Weekly
MARTIAL ARTS / HEALTHLong before the advent of firearms, Iron Shirt Chi Kung, a form of Kung Fu, built powerful bodies able to withstand hand-to-hand combat. Even then, however, martial use was only one aspect of Iron Shirt Chi Kung, and today its other aspects remain vitally significant for anyone seeking better health, a sound mind, and spiritual growth. In Iron Shirt Chi Kung Master Mantak Chia introduces this ancient practice that strengthens the internal organs, establishes roots to the earth's energy, and unifies physical, mental, and spiritual health. Through a unique system of breathing exercises, he demonstrates how to permanently pack concentrated air into the connective tissues (the fasciae) surrounding vital organs, making them nearly impervious to injuries--a great benefit to athletes and other performers. He shows readers how once they root themselves in the earth they can direct its gravitational and healing power throughout their bone structure. Additionally, Master Chia presents postural forms, muscle-tendon meridians, and guidelines for developing a daily practice routine. After becoming rooted and responsive, practitioners of Iron Shirt Chi Kung can then focus on higher spiritual work. A student of several Taoist masters, MANTAK CHIA founded the Healing Tao System in 1979. He has taught tens of thousands of students from all over the world and tours the United States annually, giving workshops and lectures. He is the director of the Tao Garden Integrative Medicine Health Spa and Resort training center in northern Thailand and is the author of 25 books, including the bestselling The Multi-Orgasmic Man.
_"Dierk Hagedorn continues to solidify his reputation as one of today's most talented authorities on German Fechtbucher with another superlative volume Highly recommended for students of history, historical reenactors, and today's fighting practitioners."_ - Christian Henry Tobler Longsword instructor Dierk Hagedorn brings the work of one of the most prolific authors of 16th century fight books to a modern audience for the first time. Jorg Wilhalm's teachings feature fighting techniques with the long sword, in armour and on horseback and combines the teachings of the famous fighting master Johannes Liechtenauer with those of his successors. Vividly illustrated throughout, each technique is rendered in detail that even modern practitioners will be able to easily follow. This book will appeal to enthusiasts of historical European martial arts, re-enactors, jousters, as well as art historians - particularly those with an interest in the armour and clothing of the 16th century. Comprehensive in its scope, it is a striking and fascinating insight into the ancient art of swordplay.
In Black Belt Karate, Hirokazu Kanazawa, the most respected figure in the karate world, offers a systematic approach to basic karate, and provides an intensive training course. Karate is a martial art that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or gender, and can be undertaken at any time during a person's life. The training system employed in karate comprises three main areas: kihon (basics), kumite (sparring), and kata (forms). Using meticulously detailed explanations and illustrative photos, Kanazawa provides readers with an intensive self-study training course designed to be accessible to beginners, as well as to those already at an intermediate level. If practiced continuously and diligently over the course of a year, a practitioner will be able to attain black-belt-level proficiency. Praise for Black Belt Karate: By following each and every page of this book as if receiving instruction directly from Mr. Kanazawa, I believe that over time, with careful practice, gaining proficiency is all but guaranteed. For anyone setting out to master karate-do, you hold in your hands a fine book indeed. The late Masatoshi Nakayama, former chief instructor of the Japan Karate Association and author of Kodansha's Best Karate series
Expanded and collected for the first time in a single volume, the six ninja books by this legendary ninjutsu master offer a comprehensive guide to this misunderstood martial art. Beginners will be introduced to the building blocks of ninjutsu: the basic postures, the natural elements that correspond with fighting techniques, the sorts of weapons utilized, and the "scheme of totality." More advanced practitioners will benefit from descriptions of such principles as enlightened consciousness, the goton-po theory of escape and invisibility, and the union of body and weapon. Meditation exercises are included to strengthen the consciousness and decrease reaction time. Expanding upon his original writings, and interwoven with the wisdom and insight garnered from four decades of martial arts training, the author addresses misconceptions associated with ninjutsu and shares the story of his path to becoming an internationally recognized warrior and martial arts educator.
Can training in the martial arts help you in everyday life? In Pragmatic Karate Mark Jennings argues that it certainly can. Provided you have a thorough grounding in the principles of this ancient fighting art and take the right approach, both physically and mentally, the karate moves you learn in the dojo can prove invaluable in a confrontation, or threatened confrontation, in ways more subtle that most people realise. Your karate training can even change the way you look at the safety of your family and your home. This is a detailed, authoritative work from a karate practitioner with 35 years' experience who is also a long-serving police officer.
'Developing Jin' provides a complete and progressive training regimen for increasing and refining chansi-jin, also known as silk-reeling power or coiling power - the true power of the internal martial arts. With step-by-step instructions and photographs, experienced teacher Philip Starr walks readers through a variety of techniques designed to help practitioners feel and use jin in their martial arts training.
Shaolin Kungfu has been considered by many as the best martial art in the world. But kungfu is just one of the three treasures of Shaolin, the other two being chi kung and Zen. For the first time ever, this inspiring book, written by an internationally acclaimed Shaolin Grandmaster, brings to you the crystallization of Shaolin wisdom and practice spanning many centuries. Its scope and depth is amazing, touching on, among many other things, poetry and enlightenment. Yet it is written in a language easy to understand. Profound concepts and difficult techniques are explained systematically with many illustrations. The book includes: - The background and scope of kungfu. - Form and combat applications. - Principles and methods of force training. - Energy training and mind training. - Secrets of the masters. - Traditional Chinese weapons. - Maintaining one's health and vitality and the healing of so-called incurable diseases. - Interesting stories and legends of Shaolin. - Zen and spiritual development.
This is a beautifully illustrated guide to the history, philosophy, practice and etiquette of this Japanese martial art, and the physical and spiritual benefits it can bring. It is a complete aikido course from beginner to advanced level, containing suitable exercises for men, women and children of all fitness levels. You can learn how to harmonize with and neutralize an opponent's attack, using their own force against them. It features illustrated step-by-step sequences that demonstrate postures, movements, pins, falls and throws, showing both solo and paired exercises. It includes over 500 photographs that show every stage of each movement in easy-to-follow stages, demonstrated by qualified experts. Aikido is a martial art developed by Japanese master Morihei Ueshiba in the early part of the 20th century. It is based on natural movements and the unity of mind and body, which combine to harmonize with the actions of an opponent and to restrain or throw them by utilizing the power of their own energy.The practice of aikido is associated with many physical and spiritual benefits; as well as controlling an opponent, it is an excellent way to develop strength, suppleness, stamina and mental and emotional harmony. This clearly presented and accessible book is a fully illustrated guide to the development, philosophy and techniques of an extraordinary art. With over 500 photographs, together with comprehensive text from one of the most respected teachers working today, this is a perfect guide for anyone beginning aikido, or for experienced practitioners who want to go further.
This masterfully crafted guide to ninjitsu or budo explores in depth the history, culture and philosophy of this fascinating and enduring Japanese martial art. Budo is one of the least understood forms of art in the world. Even more than skills or techniques, the teachings of budo require faith to learn and courage to understand. One of the fundamental teachings of budo is ninjutstu, the art of perseverance that forms the basis of the Japanese martial arts. The lessons in this book come directly from experiencing the living vitality of the world's foremost master of the ninja arts, Masaaki Hatsumi. Through the use of stories, poetry, art, and earned wisdom, the authors move beyond the common image of the martial arts and reveal the nature of the unexpected changes in themselves as they struggled to come to terms with what being a martial artist in the ninja tradition meant. The Art of Life and Death is a reflection of the discipline, the aesthetics, and the philosophy that lies hidden within the martial way. It is a glimpse at the hidden potential of the martial arts, one where the practitioner can embrace transcendence and transformation in order to face all the fears that litter life and also life's most fearsome opponent: Death.
Focusing his expertise on the techniques and history of the bokken--the wooden training sword used by both ancient samurai and today's swordsmen--the author maintains that training with the bokken is important on two levels for the modern practitioner: to build the physical stamina, rhythms, and adroit body movements of traditional swordsmanship and to achieve something of the animating spirit of the traditional swordsman. This history of the bokken combines the author's concise, eloquent writing style with more than 100 photographs to provide the reader with the traditional and modern perspectives of this vital, historically rich practice tool.
First in a series of books by this 1974 Long Beach Grand National forms champion illustrating Chong Lee's proven method of developing the perfect kicking techniques basic to all kicking, plus 30 separate kicking variations. Lee is a popular taekwondo stylist and an expert in Thai kickboxing.
This is the fully revised 2nd Edition of the popular book teaching how to Defend Against Attack. Based on over 1000 workshops completed and 25 years of experience in coaching students at all levels! With the aid of over 300 photographs showing attack reconstructions, Frank teaches with ease the safest forms of grappling, punching, kicking and blocking against individual, multiple and knife attacks. The manual will help to empower women to curb their fears. The techniques are explained simply and teach body mechanics and movement. Helping you achieve more confidence, alertness and overall fitness, whilst reducing stress and the fear of attack by preparing for it.
Straightforward and efficient, Wing Chun Kung is one of the most popular forms of Kung Fu because it emphasizes technique over strength. By using the skills of Wing Chun Kung Fu, a smaller and weaker person can easily overcome a larger, stronger opponent. With its focus on technique rather than force, it is suitable for both men and women, young and old, and for those of all levels of physical fitness.
- Reveals the close relationship between the eight basic postures
of T'ai Chi and the hexagrams of the I Ching.
* Details the 8 core forms of Wu-Style Tai Chi with fully illustrated instructions * Ideal for older practitioners as well as those with health disabilities due to the "small frame" primary stance, slower and smaller movements and conservation of energy * Explains how Wu Style provides a natural introduction to martial arts boxing * Reveals how Wu Style eases stiffness, relieves back pain and reduces abdominal fat Wu-Style Tai Chi follows the flow of chi energy, rather than directing it as in traditional Tai Chi. Centred on a "small frame" stance-that is, feet closer together and arms closer to the body-and a slower progression of movements in solo practice, Wu Style offers a gentle Tai Chi form for beginners and, when practised with a partner, a grounding introduction to martial arts boxing and Fa Jin (the discharge of energy for self-defence). The more functional stance, smaller movements and conservation of internal energy make Wu-Style Tai Chi ideal for older practitioners as well as those with health disabilities. Condensing the 37 movements of Wu Style into 8 core forms, Master Mantak Chia and Andrew Jan illustrate how to build a personal short-form Wu-Style Tai Chi practice. They explain how Wu-Style Tai Chi removes energetic blockages and helps to elongate the tendons, reducing stiffness and allowing the limbs to return to their natural length and full range of motion. Regular practice of Wu Style relieves back pain as well as reducing abdominal fat, the biggest hindrance to longevity. Exploring the martial arts applications of Wu Style, the authors trace its history beginning with founder Wu Chuan-Yu (1834-1902) as well as explain how to apply Wu Style to "Push Hands" (Tui Shou) and Fa Jin. Through mastering the short-form Wu Style detailed in this book, Tai Chi practitioners harness a broad range of health benefits as well as build a solid foundation for learning the complete long-form Wu Style.
Morihei Ueshiba, who founded Aikido early in this century, intended
that his martial art would give form to profound spiritual truth,
and lead to a unification of the world's peoples. He saw Aikido not
as a fighting method or as a competitive sport but rather as a
means of becoming one with the laws of universal order--"ki," or
life energy. Unfortunately, the subtleties of Ueshiba's teachings,
veiled in the esoteric terminology of Shinto, can be puzzling for
even the most advanced practitioners. They are not passed down
today, and have never been introduced to the West. Gleason, a
fifth-degree (Godan) black belt in Aikido, recognizing the
importance of the spiritual aspects of the discipline, researched
its roots in Shinto, and in this book is able to offer a clear
explanation of Ueshiba's teachings.
"The Intuitive Body "draws on the principles of the non-aggressive Japanese martial art aikido and meditation to present a fresh approach to cultivating awareness, attention, and self-acceptance. Author Wendy Palmer shows readers through basic practice and partner exercises how to become more aware of the body and trust its innate wisdom. She introduces exercises from the Conscious Embodiment and Intuition Training program she pioneered, connection movement, meditation, and breathing. These exercises form a daily practice that can help the process of integration, of deepening and unifying the self, and learning to deal with fear and anger. Written in a direct yet nurturing style and based on the author's many years of practice and teaching, this revised edition of "The Intuitive Body "contains new material on Conscious Embodiment movement and meditation practices. Also here are new chapters on advocating without aggressing and the wisdom of not knowing -- embodying the qualities of dignity and integrity in everyday life. The book is ideal for readers who are already engaged in the process of becoming, as well as for those who are looking for ways to find the courage to begin.
The relationship between meditation and the martial arts is a multifaceted one: meditation is one of the practices in which martial artists engage in order to prepare for combat, while the physical exercises constituting much of the discipline of the martial arts might well be considered meditative practices. Michael Raposa, himself a martial arts practitioner, suggests there is a sense in which meditation may in turn be considered a form of combat, citing a variety of spiritual disciplines that are not strictly classified as "martial arts" yet that employ the heavy use of martial images and categories as part of their self-description.
Raposa, in this extraordinary alloy of meditation manual, historical synthesis, and spiritual guide, provides a fascinating approach to understanding the connection between martial arts and spirituality in such diverse disciplines as Japanese aikido, Chinese tai chi chuan, Hindu yoga, Christian asceticism, Zen Buddhism, and Islamic jihad.
What happens when spiritual discipline is appropriated for exercises meant for health or recreation? How might prayer, meditation, and ritual be understood as martial activities? What is the nature of conflict, and who is the enemy? These are some of the questions Raposa raises and responds to in Meditation and the Martial Arts, his rumination on the martial arts as meditative practice and meditation as a martial discipline.
Michael L. Raposa, Professor of Religion Studies at Lehigh University, is the author of Peirce's Philosophy of Religion and Boredom and the Religious Imagination (Virginia).
Studies in Religion and Culture
Bruce Lee's daughter illuminates her father's most powerful life philosophies, and how we can apply his teachings to our daily lives 'Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water' Bruce Lee is a cultural icon, world renowned for his martial arts and film legacy. But Lee was also a deeply philosophical thinker, believing that martial arts are more than just an exercise in physical discipline - they are a perfect metaphor for personal growth. In Be Water, My Friend, Shannon Lee shares previously untold stories from her father's life along with the concepts at the core of his teachings. Each chapter reveals a lesson from Bruce Lee, expanding on the foundation of his iconic 'be water' philosophy to reveal a path to an enlightened way of being. This is an inspirational call to action to consider our lives with new eyes and a testament to Lee's unique power to ignite our imaginations and transform our lives.
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