Strengthness with a Twist: A blog about internal martial arts, theatricality and Daoist ritual emptiness
Watch the Video: A Cultural History of Tai Chi
Buy the Book: Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, By Scott Park Phillips. Amazon Kindle ($9.99), Paperback ($18.95)
Workshop Travel Schedule
Daodejing Online - Click for Info: Next meetings, Sundays, Mar 18th, Apr 15, May, 20, Jun 17, Jul 15, Aug 12. 8am to 10am (MT)
Portland Shaolin: April 27-29th
New Book, New Deadline: May!!!
Summer in Boulder Residency Project: Make a Jindan Pilgrimage to Boulder! Learn Pure Internal Martial Arts
I am teaching a new workshop this Friday 5-7 PM in Berkeley, California at Soja Martial Arts.
How I developed this new material
In that last few years I figured out how the Daoist meditation practice called the Golden Elixir (jindan) is connected to Internal Martial Arts. The golden elixir practice develops something called the Immortal Egg. This egg is a real thing. It is a re-ordering of perception-action. In simple terms, it is a different (some would say primal) way of initiating movement. The result of working with this idea/practice has profoundly changed my martial arts.Read More
I want invite readers of my blog to join my Daodejing class online. It has been going for eight months now. It is a great class, and getting better. Students joyfully commit to an hour of meditation a day and class meets for two hours once a month. Get more details here: Daodejing Online
I am teaching three workshops in Berkeley, California. They are both at Soja Martial Arts (click the workshops button)
The first on Friday night is all the Neigong stuff I've invented in the last two years.
The second is a kids workshop--followed by a workshop for adults about teaching kids. The idea is that you can come watch me teach and then we will workshop the workshop! (see below)Read More
I had been thinking about this issue in my spare time, and lo and behold someone else has written about it. Two Types of Mathematics.
I belong to the spatial-visual-magic school. Not the logic school. Martial arts, especially internal martial arts, is a branch of mathematics. It is a type of thinking. I may have to put this on my business card.
I am doing a lot of work on my next book. A lot of it is about polishing. One of the reasons I have a blog is so that I can put out ideas which are unpolished. Here are some rough ones. Enjoy.
When you perform improv theater in front of an audience that wants you to get better, the audience can see when you listen to your inner critic. The audience will give you instant "we love you," signals, or "we are going to eat you" predatory feed-back—or dead silence. Read Rory Miller's post on killing the inner sensei.Read More
A single lineage can have both Jedi Knights and Sith Lords. A quick way to spot a Sith is the breathing. If you can hear the breathing on the exhale, it is a Sith technique. The internal schools have to be able to separate the breath from the movement or they can not achieve speed. The big confusion happens because Sith are seduced by power.Read More
"Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals" is one of the Chinese Four-Character Sayings which in this case means: Ineffective, or Numerous Underlings. Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals make appearances in numerous Chinese plays, like Journey to the East, which is about the Eight Immortals. But these creatures came to my attention because I have been studying Nezha, who fights shrimps and crabs in Fengshenyanyi (the Canonization of the Gods), which was one of the most popular plays for performance. It was also probably the most important source of the general public's knowledge about Daoism.Read More
I should be telling you about the upcoming Earth Dog Year which starts on February 15th. But what is there to tell? Train your puppy carefully in the first few months, and it should be a smooth and uneventful year. Loyalty pays off big time in an Earth Dog Year. Make new friends and be bold in relying on old ones. Get plenty of exercise, and learn some new tricks. If you do not have a clear plan for the year already established, there is a danger of getting distracted. So discipline is a must--especially for artists and scientists. Balance more responsibility with more play.