I just moved to Boulder Colorado with my wife Sarah. Many people have asked me why? The answer has too many answers. But I want a big change that will inspire me to do things differently.
At the moment we are looking for housing, it is shockingly cheap compared to the San Francisco Bay Area. This gives me hope that there will be enough of a population interested in dedicating lots of time to learning the arts. I have no idea yet where I'm going to be teaching, but there is a lot of optimism floating around and plenty of spaces.
Anyone who wants to help with connections or ideas would be welcome. I'm searching for collaborators. I love helping other people with their business or art projects and I love learning new stuff, and I particularly love trying experiments. I also have experience teaching a wide range of stuff, all of which I'm happy to share:
Daoyin, two types: 1) Orthodox hermit floor practice, 2) circus animal yoga. It can be taught as a classic yoga class, or as systematic enlightenment training (elixir or emptiness), or as games and puzzles, or for ground fighting and conditioning.
Improvisationally loaded fighting class games, with a nod toward tantric forms of enlightenment (see previous post!).
My classic kids classes using drums gongs, and wood blocks to teach shaolin and daoyin as a creative performing art.
I want to try teaching an African martial arts strategies of conditioning class using drumming to teach fighing.
Lectures: History, Daoism, Religion, Theater and Martial Arts.
Tons of different Qigong systems.
Yiquan, for meditation, health or fighting.
Bagua, Tai Chi (three styles), Northern Shaolin, Lan Shou, Liuhexinyi, tumbling, dance.
Workshops: This is a totally open thing, the idea being that any aspect of the arts can be modularized.
Note that I used the term "fighting" above which can mean a lot of different things from self-defense to games to professional uses of force strategies-- and all of them come with profound identity challenging discussions of morality and amorality.
I was at a wonderful party a few weeks back and a mathematician asked me if I'd ever heard of Long Tack Sam? I was embarrassed to say that I had not. There is some very interesting stuff on line if you search around, there is also a film, and if anyone knows how I can get to see it, please let me know. He was a professional performer from that triangle around Shandong and southern Shanxi that was martial arts 24/7. After the Boxer rebellion and the start of the Republic Era (1912) all sorts of obstacles were put in his path. His group's specialty was tricks using the queue, which was banned under penalty of death! He managed to escape to the United States and toured internationally and was a huge success. Had he stayed in China I suspect his only real option for success would have been to teach martial arts or go into some completely unrelated field. Anyway a very interesting case, there is also a bunch of stuff in the movie (I think) about how ashamed his descendants were of his performer caste origins.
I also came across this short piece on a sword maker in Taiwan. His story makes a great metaphor for a bunch of the cultural re-texturing that is going on right now. He is making very high quality steel specifically designed for martial artists. In order to tap into the authenticity of the ancients he is using an industrial process built on knowledge of engineering and metallurgy. But there is also a strong handi-craft element, or what I like to call--be your own lumberjack-- his swords get an authenticity and a quality boost because they are partially hand made. He polishes them for 2 years but the explanation of why is built around chemistry. And on top of that he has some kind of dreaming practice and transmediumship or "channelling" relationship to the gods which he is reluctant to talk about but which is also framed as essential! I love it.