Tag: Taoist

What are “Mixed Martial Arts”?

Bagua Zhang Throwing technique
Bagua Zhang Throwing technique

What are “Mixed Martial Arts?”

From Mace Martial Arts — The Other MMA!

What we call “Mixed Martial Arts” today is mostly a sport-based amalgamation of Western Boxing, Muay Thai, and Brazialian “jiu-jitsu”, usually practiced in sporting events where fighters compete in a matted “cage” or ring. There are often other systems that influence the athletes in the sport, but these systems are the most common and popular. “Mixed Martial Arts” is the newest fad in martial arts training, and became popular in 1993 with the heavily promoted ‘Ultimate Fighting Championship.’

Actually, all traditional Martial Arts are “Mixed Martial Arts.”

Modern Muay Thai is a sport that comes from a root of older “Muay Boran” (traditional combat styles from Thailand), and Brazilian “Jiu-Jitsu” comes from a simplified combination of Japanese Jujutsu systems and Judo.

Judo itself is a blend of several different Jujutsu systems compiled by Dr Jigoro Kano, simplified to be presented to the public at large in Japan, with a focus on self development at its core.


Taijiquan (Tai Chi) comes from 5 different martial arts systems, combined by a battle hardened Chinese General 500 years ago. Though it’s the most widely practiced martial art in the world, most people only learn the outer shell of it for exercise and meditation, without any understanding of the practical self-defense roots at the core of Taijiquan.


Choy Lay Fut is a well-known Chinese Street-fighting martial art combination of 3 different systems (that were also combinations of other family systems). Wing Chun is widely popular Chinese Martial Art, with roots in various martial arts from the Shaolin Temple, made famous by it’s most legendary proponent, Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is often credited as the “Father of Mixed Martial Arts”, as his philosophy “Jeet Kune Do” (“Way of the Intercepting Fist”) was to learn the basics of a system, then adapt, “use no way as way”, and express one’s self without the limitation of style. Though Bruce Lee was an inspiring visionary, the practice of mixing and adapting in martial arts has been with us since their inception several millennia ago.

The legendary Shaolin Temple and Wudang Temple are both important melting pots of hundreds of different systems in China. The Shaolin (“Young Forest”) temple is often credited as the birthplace of Chinese Martial Arts, but this is not so — the Chan (Zen) Buddhist Shaolin Temple was built in the 7th Century AD, and Chinese martial arts were already deeply systematized over 4,000 years before that (refer back to Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”).


Karate is commonly translated today as “Empty Hand”, however, it originally meant “China-Hand” in Okinawa, because it was comprised of multiple different systems imported from China. Later, in the early 20
th Century, when Karate began to be taught in Japan, the Imperialists in Japan changed the characters’ meaning Kara (Chinese) to Kara (Empty), because of racist politics of the fascist regime at the time.

Tae Kwon Do & Tang Soo Do are both Korean derivatives of Shotokan (“Shoto’s House”) Karate, Shoto meaning the nickname for the Okinawan Instructor Gichin Funakoshi, who brought Okinawan Karate to Japan.


Silat are a collective of hundreds of very different martial arts styles from Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, and the Phillipines, many of which are heavily influenced by Chinese styles of martial arts.

Dong Haichuan
Dong Haichuan (1797-1813)

The system taught here at Mace Martial Arts is Bagua Zhang (“8 Trigrams Palm”),

the origins of which is credited to Dong Haichuan (1797 – 1882), who was already an accomplished expert of several different Shaolin martial arts styles, before he purportedly traveled to live at a Taoist Monastery for a decade. It is there, where Dong Haichuan learned the the ancient Taoist circle walking practices (at least 4,000 years old) and secretive martial arts that formed the foundation of what he synthesized with his previous martial training and later started teaching in Beijing as “Zhuan Zhang” (“Turning Palms”), which was eventually termed “Bagua Zhang” (“8 Trigrams Palm”). Dong Haichuan is therefore acknowledged as the primary transmitter of the system, not the actual founder, as the original arts arts Bagua Zhang was based on were taught secretly for thousands of years before he was introduced to them.* 

Dong Haichuan selectively accepted many disciples, though purportedly only ones that were already experts of other martial arts. Dong Haichuan then took each students’ individual background training, and enhanced it with the dynamic circular principles of Bagua Zhang, resulting in myriads of different branches of the system. The differences between branches of Bagua Zhang is further widened, as each disciple was encouraged to find their own natural expression of the art, after they had built a solid foundation with the basics of Bagua Zhang.


* Regarding Bagua Zhang’s ancient history before Dong Haichaun, please read this fascinating article by Bruce Frantzis.

Thank you for being a part of this rich tradition here at Mace Martial Arts!

Introducing new Bagua Zhang Package Programs at Mace Martial Arts!

Now offering Package Programs — for students that want an immersive learning experience, with more support and resources to help guide you to your goals.
Bagua Zhang Package Programs Online

A Secret to Pain Relief and More Energy – Part 3

Qi Gong - Energy/Breath Cultivation
Qi Gong – Energy/Breath Cultivation

In my previous article, I introduced two crucial deep breathing methods to reduce pain and increase your energy. Now, I’ll be taking you to the next level, to help you eliminate pain, get grounded, more connected and discover your inner-power!

Inner-Power“, you ask?

Yep!

In Chinese, it’s called Qi (pronounced “chee“), and means “breath” and “energy”, interchangeably. Have you seen the Star Wars movies? “The Force” is the same ancient concept of connection and Vitality.

Using the Reverse Breathing method I shared in my previous article is a key to tap your inner-power, combining focus and imagination in this transformative healing aspect of Qi-Gong (“Breath/Energy Cultivation“), called “Microcosmic Orbit“.

Microcosmic Orbit

This practice connects the 2 main center-line Acupuncture Meridians*
in your body in a continuous loop.

These meridians flow naturally — as long as we’re alive. By practicing Microcosmic Orbit, you consciously open and “charge” this circuit for increased healing energy, circulation and awareness.

The key elements to practicing Microcosmic Orbit are:

  • As you startfocus on your body’s center of gravity, in the Lower Abdomen at your body’s core, for at least 4 full breaths. This grounds & centers you.
  • press the tip of your tongue up, as if through the roof of the mouth (like switch, or circuit breaker between the 2 Meridians),
  • imagine your body is standing like a tree. Extend feeling through your feet deep into the Earth, like the roots of a great tree. Extend your head upward (as described in the first article “A Simple Secret to Pain Relief“), like the branches and leaves of a tall, powerful oak.
  • As you inhale, grip the ground with your toes and heel, arch the bottom of your feet to create a pumping/suction feeling, and imagine drawing your breath & energy up through your feet, as if through a straw, up your legs, through your spine, to the crown of your head — like a tree drawing sap, rich in nutrients up from the roots through the whole tree.
  • As you exhale, press your feet flat into the ground and allow your breath and energy to sink with your weight, as if it were sunlight and fresh rain, washing through and nourishing the limbs, trunk and roots of your body, from head to feet.
  • when you concludefocus again on your body’s center of gravity, in the Lower Abdomen at your body’s core, for at least 4 full breaths. This grounds & centers you, allowing your energy to safely, naturally “digest” throughout your body.

Practice this cycle for several breaths for the full effect. You may feel warmth, tingling, magnetic pressure, a rush of awareness, as well as physical healing and emotional clearing. You can practice while sitting, standing, and eventually even while walking!

Practicing Microcosmic Orbit will help correct your posture, boost and ground your energy, while helping you feel more open and connected at the same time!

If you liked this article, and want more, I’m creating

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Best wishes, see you soon!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMP
Look within to reveal and heal your true self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
Tel (206) 440-9187

P.S.: For hands on training in Qi-Gong and much more, come check out my classes, my first 8 week session of Moving Mediation – Bagua: The Circular Art of Transformation starting in 2 weeks!

In these classes, you will learn how to

  • increase energy,
  • become more rooted/grounded,
  • increase intuition and connection,
  • and build self-confidence

through the spiral power of Bagua Zhang.

Classes are once a week, in progressive 8 week sessions, starting in Seattle on Tuesday August 20th or Saturday, August 24th, and in Bothell on Thursday, August 22nd.
Register for the 8 week session now!

* the 2 main center-line Acupuncture Meridians in your body are:

  • Governing Vessel rises through the spine  to the top of the head, then descends to the roof of the mouth,
  • Conception Vessel descends from the tongue through the throat, down the chest and abdomen to the perineum.

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

Published on: Aug 4, 2013

Pain Relief and More Energy – Part 2

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

 In my last post, I shared one of the most effective secrets to correct posture and reduce pain — deep breathing.

What results have you noticed from using the posture & deep breathing methods in my previous article?

To enhance the health benefits, here are 2 deep breathing methods that will help you feel more centered, grounded, and energized!

The key to both methods is to imagine drawing your breath deep into your belly, to your body’s center of gravity (below your navel 1-2 inches, at your body’s core).

Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing is the relaxed breathing we naturally use when sleeping. This form of breathing soothes tension and anxiety, clears the mind and calms emotions.
In abdominal breathing, your abdomen naturally expands when you inhale, and contracts as you exhale.

Reverse Breathing

Reverse breathing is the breathing we naturally use when exerting to lift, pull or press something heavy. Referred to as “prenatal breathing” by Taoist Masters, as it is the “breath” used by infants still in the womb. For thousands of years, Qi-Gong (“breath/energy-work”) Masters have regarded this breathing method as a secret to vitality and longevity.
In Reverse Breathing, your abdomen contracts as you inhale, then your abdomen compresses and your lower back (around your kidneys) expands as you exhale. This creates a subtle, yet powerful internal pump that stimulates the endocrine system and energy flow throughout your body.

So, if you are feeling anxious or stressed, practice Abdominal Breathing to calm your mind and soothe tension, and to help wind down at the end of your day.

If you are feeling exhausted or scattered, practice Reverse Breathing to revive and get focused, or to start your day when you wake up — who needs coffee, right? 😉

Dao Yin – Chinese Taoist Yoga & Qi-Gong
More details on Reverse Breathing coming in my next article!

 

 

Stay tuned for my next article ~

I will share more to clarify and enhance the efficacy of the Reverse Breathing method…

If you liked this article, and want more, I’m creating

  • free weekly articles (with video)
  • with practical tips and ancient techniques for vitality and getting grounded & centered
  • with occasional bloopers
  • and special offers & discounts!

So get connected and sign up here!

 

P.S.: If you’d like to learn more about these powerful healing methods hands on, come check out my classes ~  Announcing my first 8 week session of Moving Mediation – Bagua: The Circular Art of Transformation!
In these classes, you will learn how to

  • increase energy,
  • become more rooted/grounded,
  • increase intuition and connection,
  • and build self-confidence

through the spiral movements and coiling power of Bagua Zhang.

Classes are once a week, in 8 week sessions, starting in Seattle on Tuesday August 20th or Saturday, August 24th, and in Bothell on Thursday, August 22nd.
Register for the 8 week session now!

 

Published on: Jul 21, 2013

 

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A Simple Secret to Free Pain Relief

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

 Do you know a major cause of headaches, neck and back ache, and even numbness in the hands and feet?

I see it every day: poor posture.

The good news: one of the best solutions to correct posture is free!

If used correctly, this secret could save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars in medical care…

The secret is actually deep breathing.

Try to take as deep a breath as you can with your back hunched, shoulders rotated inward and your head hanging forward… Does your breathing feel restricted?

Similarly, remember a time when you were injured or stressed out? Just thinking about it probably makes your breath shallow. Deep breathing not only helps correct your posture, it also reduces stress and pain.

Click here to watch the video:

 

The keys to effective deep breathing are:

  • Lift your head as if it’s being hoisted up from the crown, and
  • push your head up, as if pushing your head through a tight turtle-neck shirt,
  • draw your chin in (not tilted back),
  • keep your hips slightly forward & tailbone tucked under, so the spine is “telescoping” straight (stretching from the top and bottom) without any hunching or swayback.

This will make your spine feel as if it is suspended, with all your bones stacked in alignment, and your entire body will feel lighter, almost weightless.

Dao Yin – Chinese Taoist Yoga & Qi-Gong
Extend spine upward and downward, and draw breath to your lower abdomen.

How long is a deep breath?

It’s relative. The idea is to gradually increase the depth and duration of your breath with practice. The best way, is to count your heartbeats — this allows you to listen to your body and get in touch instead of forcing it.

Start with 5 to 10 heartbeats per inhale, and just as long an exhale, at least 5 full breaths.
Practice everyday when you feel tense, in the morning when you wake up, and at night before you sleep. After a week, increase the depth of your breath by a few more heartbeats, to a point when you feel a stretch, but not so deep that you feel forced or more tense.


Gradual growth
is the key ~ you’ll be amazed with the results!

If you liked this article and want to receive more, I’m creating something new for you:

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Published on: Jul 4, 2013

 

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