Ilya's emblem
   Why do I bother? I guess in order to support what's left of traditional chinese martial arts or Zhong Guo Shu.
   Orient is a tricky Master. Don't believe in every "miracle" story. One of them is that practicing martial arts makes you immune to just about everything. Yeh, good luck with that one.
   You can't jump from a zero to a superhero in an instant. The only way to develop some skills is a steady incremental progress in a humble and determined way. Of course, the rigorous training (if you can handle one) will take a tall on your immune system in no time, especially if you make a living by physical labor. So, here comes proper diet and herbal supplements to boost your drained immune system and compensate for some lack of nutrition and sometimes a necessary rest. Just because Shaolin monks are vegetarians, doesn't mean they miss out on any necessary nutrition. Chinese vegetarian diet is by far much reacher and healthier then any western one, or so I've been told. The point is to use your brain and experience; and if there is a lack thereof ... well, then better get some.
Master Chen's school emblem
   Personally, I practice BaJi, Chen TaiJi, and some elements of Kadochnikov System. Why KS into the mix, well maybe because according to I-Ching, KS is no more no less than Simple Grace (22-6).
   You may ask: "How the hell do I know?" And my answer would be : "That's for me to know, and for you to wonder!" So, the following material on this page will be my take on BaJi, Chen TaiJi, and of course KS.
Master Chen school

 Master Chen East West Wellness Center 

   And just what Traditional Martial Arts mean exactly? Well, I couldn't possibly put it any better than Phillip Starr in one of his books "The Making of a Butterfly" (and well worth reading it too).
   Here's what he has to say (his teacher's last name was coincidentally the same as my teacher's but there's no connection there):
   "Master Chen's approach to the martial arts was very traditional and demanding. Training was extremely rugged and often bordered on the brutal. We were made to understand that a life of martial arts is a life of extreme discipline, which is liberally sprinkled with dedication, perseverance, compassion, and love. However, training was not necessarily restricted to the practice of various techniques and the acquisition of fighting prowess; a thorough understanding of the mental and spiritual processes involved was also required for those who were determined to follow the path of the martial arts. Anyone wishing to travel this difficult road requires the guidance of a seasoned veteran; someone who has previously negotiated the same course and who can point out the many hazards and pitfalls along the way."
   You would probably wonder what one can get from such an endeavor, certainly none of the Hollywood kung fu! Here is another exert from Phillip Starr's book "Martial Maneuvers":
   "And you have to resolve yourself to several things:

  The acquisition of real fighting skill isn't something that occurs overnight. It's going to take some time. If you try to hurry the process you'll probably just end up hurting yourself or your training partner. So relax and enjoy the ride. The scenery along the way is really very beautiful.
  There's going to be some pain involved. You're going to get bumps, bruises, strains, and strawberries, but it's well worth it in the end. Don't let minor injuries dissuade you from reaching your goal. They're simply signposts. Learn to read them.
  You're going to sweat. A lot."

And of course you have to try it to believe it.

BaJi fist

  Mystery quote:
"The softest things in the world override the hardest. That which has no substance enters where there is no crevice. Hence I know the advantage of non-action."
  Mystery quote: ACTION and NON-ACTION
"The non-action of the wise man is not inaction.
It is not studied. It is not shaken by anything.
The sage is quiet because he is not moved,
Not because he wills to be quiet.
Still water is like glass.
So from the sage's emptiness, stillness arises:
From stillness, action. From action, attainment.
From their stillness comes their non-action, which is also action
And is, therefore, their attainment.
Silence and non-action
Are the root of all things."

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