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Martial Art

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Martial Art

Postby nooranismith » Fri 5 Mar 2004 05:23 GMT

I gather there are quite a few members who practice or have practiced a bit of the martial arts and I wondered who did what.

Mine is Aikido, although I'm some out of practice these days.
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Fri 5 Mar 2004 06:25 GMT

Hi Ron,
I spent most of my early years training, competing and displaying with the British Jiu-Jitsu display team.

Image

Got my black belt in Judo at 14 years of age, then went on to study Jiu-Jitsu, weaponry and Karate under Soke Lawrence, 10th dan of the Fudoshin style. I did very little Aikido, but have always wanted to pursue it further. It is a beautiful art and an absolute pleasure to watch.

Do you still train?

Postscript: This subject just prompted me to find out some terrible news. On an internet search, I just learnt that my instructor Professor Lawrence, who was not only a mentor, but a dear father figure to me throughout my teenage years, died last January.

I saw him just before I left England. I went to his house to train under him with one of his newer proteges (cracked one of my ribs, but that's another story).
I had not been in contact since I left. This is a very sad day for me. I can't believe it took a year for me to find out!

Alan.
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Postby Kay » Fri 5 Mar 2004 10:53 GMT

So sorry to hear your sad news, Alan.

I'm impressed by all of your achievements!

I've dabbled in martial arts but probably started too late (almost 30). As a freelance journo, I was given the opportunity to interview a (British) Thai Chi expert. Gordon suggested that the best thing would be for me to come along and watch a class and then I could ask him questions afterwards.

Well, the whole thing blew my mind. His class consisted of various levels of people doing various different disciplines in their own groups. (It was a very large hall.) And Gordon even put on a small demonstration for me, where he did things, using qi, I wouldn't have believed possible if I hadn't seen them for myself. My first question was, "Please may I join?"

I know the "knocking on the door" tradition, but Gordon was in the RAF so there wasn't time for that. Anyway, I learned from him for a year or so before I moved away. I went to the dojo in the new town where I was. It was run by a very congenial and talented guy but I just couldn't (didn't really want to) learn Thai Chi from anyone other than Gordon. So I started Kung Fu instead.

It was fun and the people were really friendly. I got my yellow sash. :oops: But then I moved to Pakistan and have never really had the chance to do much again.

Several years later, Dave and I went to a Thai Chi class for a few months in the American School in Dhaka, which was nice, but more like an outing to the gym rather than the almost spiritual experience which Gordon's classes were.

Kay
Last edited by Kay on Sun 7 Mar 2004 00:12 GMT, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nooranismith » Fri 5 Mar 2004 11:13 GMT

My MA experience is a chequerboard but the one I was best at was Aikido.

I started predictably enough to avoid getting bullied and because I was a fan of David Carradine started traipsing into Aberdeen to study Lau Gar Kung Fu. As you said, Kay, nice bunch (pretty much all MA people are, I find), but took it all very seriously - I couldn't come to terms with the Bruce Lee Fan Club badge holders (seriously) and made up Hong Kong Fooey badges for me and my pals to wear. They didn't really appreciate the joke and between that and the expense it petered out after a year or so.

I started to make a habit out of going to various clubs with friends and have done a few months of various Karate styles, Jiu Jitsu, etc. but never really hooked into any of them. Meantime I was doing quite a bit of marathon running - until I screwed up my knees. So I concentrated more on MA and got into Judo for a while. This was great and a wonderful way of working off energy even though I wasn't very good at it. Then someone mentioned an Aikido class in Brechin. I knew some of the rudiments due to a similarity of technique with Jiu Jitsu, and thought the other movements might help my Judo, so I went along - and was hooked. Little by little my Judo fell by the way and I concentrated more on my Aikido, even travelling the 30 odd miles to Aberdeen 3 times a week when the Brechin club closed. I got better to the point I was the Sensei's first student (means you get beaten up the most!). Then I went to Uni and couldn't find a club I liked and/or afford and it has suffered neglect over the last 10 years although I still swing my sword a bit!

We are in the process of buying a house here in Italy, and losh! but isn't there the Akikai Cerveteri club 1/2 an hours drive from it and close to where my wife works. On the assumption we get the house (never a safe bet in Italy) I promise to get my tired bones and sagging hara over there to throw it around a bit.

Ron
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Postby Kay » Fri 5 Mar 2004 11:39 GMT

I followed Alan's example and searched for my old teacher. I found better news:

GORDON FAULKNER
PRINCIPAL INSTRUCTOR
Gordon's interest in Chinese culture started in the early 1960's but he did not begin training in the martial arts until 1968 and in 1972 aligned himself with the Daoist based school known as Chanquanshu which incorporates theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine and philosophy, as well as the combat features.

Continuous research and study lead him deeper into the Daoist Arts. This research included his first trip to China in 1990, and studying with the creator of the International Healing Tao Association, Master Mantak Chia, in New York. The latter resulted in qualifying him as a teacher of the Healing Tao.

Along the way he also became accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding. And, during his career in the Royal Air Force, was one of the founders and General Secretary of the RAF Martial Arts Federation, a post he held until
his retirement from military service in 1993 when he became a full time Daoist Arts teacher.

In early 1994 he began to study the Daoyin Yangsheng Gong system of Medical Qigong with Professor Zhang Guangde from the Beijing University of Physical Education. This involved several more visits to China culminating with becoming one of the first Westerners to be qualified as a
Senior Judge certified by the China Daoyin Yangsheng Gong Association and the China Wushu Society. Later, in 1999, he became Ru Shi Di Zi (usually called a closed-door disciple).

On the medical side Gordon is a practitioner and teacher of Qigong Therapy and Chinese Therapeutic Massage. At present Gordon is Co-Director of the European Instructors Association for the Healing Tao,
President of Scotland & Wales Daoyin Yangsheng Gong Association and Principal Instructor of the Chanquanshu School of Daoist Arts.


More info here: http://www.taichiwales.com/NEW_INTRODUC ... UANSHU.pdf
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Postby Savannah_Alan » Sat 6 Mar 2004 08:16 GMT

Kay wrote:So sorry to hear your sad news, Alan.


Thanks Kay. It's a very strange feeling to find out while reading a web page that someone very dear to you has died! I now know exactly what they mean about your stomach turning over.
It's really hard to tell who had the most influence on my formative years: my sensei or my father. Now they're both gone :cry:

As far as I know, that now makes professor Lawrence a 12th Dan. (10th is the highest, there is no 11th and only 10th dans get 12th when they die).

Anyhoo, sorry to hijack this thread but I appreciate your thoughts.

I'll leave with a few of quotes that were quintessential Bob Lawrence:

"Pain...don't worry it can't hurt you."
"I suppose I must lose one day, but today is not the day."
"Walk gently, talk softly and carry a big stick."
"Today is a good day to die, but tomorrow would be better."

Alan.
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