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    Archive for March 2015

    Defining A Martial Artist : TKF 42

    Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 6:10 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith

    define,martial arts,kung fu Attention

    Navy Corpsman being Awarded Silver Star

    Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin D. Baskin, a special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman with 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, will be awarded the Silver Star Medal for his heroic actions while deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.

    What Defines a Martial Artist?

    I was researching a podcast and found where a :

    Young man that had described himself with a few belts in different styles, and several years of practice asked a question.

    What is the general opinion of what defines a martial artist? Belt ranking? Length of practice? Tournaments participated in? Competitions won? certification?

    First defining what a ‘martial art’ is actually argued? Combat is, MMA Not? MMA is Karate Forms Not? Hitting is, training your mind is not?

    Some of the responses were humorous, others thoughtful..

    Download "Defining a Martial Artist"

    Highlights of Responses

    'Anyone from a white belt to black belt who is putting in the effort.'

    'Everyone knows true martial arts comes from waxing cars, painting fences, toting milk on poles, and carrying huge tortoise shells on their back.'

    'You must have some animal form or technique.'

    'Anyone who pursues a life dedicated to something and uses martial arts as the framework of that pursuit.'

    What Definitions Exist of a Martial Artist?

    Dictionary.com says :

    "any of the traditional forms of Oriental self-defense or combat that utilize physical skill and coordination without weapons, as karate, aikido, judo, or kung fu, often practiced as sport."

    Wow.. that is very narrow.. oriental only? Many european and greek arts go way further back. No Weapons? Martial arts is only hand to hand combat? I liked the other responses better than the scholarly definition..

    Wiki says :

    Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, entertainment, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development.

    Every Martial Artist will have 3 things that you can observe

    Do you have to practice for violence to be a martial artist?

    Gandi said:

    "I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence…

    The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence.”

    How do I define a martial artist?

    Episode 26 at Kungfu Podcasts.com is about the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program... in detail..

    Certainly it must have a structure.. seems that it must include :

    An objective : hunting, combat, solo combat, group combat, attack, defend, competition, survival, etc.

    Ways to think : strategies, awareness and context

    Ways to Move : exercises and training that provides progression techniques that execute the strategies,

    Every martial art that I know of has an aim, objective in a context of which it answers ‘why’ you are practicing or training.

    Artwork: Popeye Martial Arts by ExNinja

    Edited on: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:37 PM

    Posted in Athletic Performance , Chinese Martial Arts , Podcasts , Self Defense

    Recognizing A Bully : TKF 41

    Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 7:16 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith

    Announcements :martial art, strategies,bully,bullying

    Monday Chikung Meditation : 24 minutes

    Students ask about how to get grounded

    Share a standing Chikung

    For Content members additional minutes are at the White Bamboo Store for you to download.

    Reeling Silk TaiJi Ebook

    82 Pages, Over 11,000 words and I am done tweaking it for while

    Two Versions : PDF for simplicity. Ebook for marking and works with Ibooks or any ebook reader.

    Content Members it is a free download at White Bamboo Store

    I am working on the course video, audio and certification now

    During the "Don't Bully" Podcast:

    How Bullying is affecting our KungFu Family

    Kids and Adults

    Types of bullying

    Types of bullies

    Recording of a Live Private Lesson where we discuss and play out strategies of facing said bully.

    Difference between Civilian Survival Combat and Military Combat

    How you can be labeled a bully

    What to do if you bullied.

    What to do if you witness bullying.

    What to do if you recognize that you are the bully.

    Mentioned in this Podcast

    Kids Help Phone

    Bullying Statistics

    NC Bullying Prevention PDF

    What to do if you are the bully. : Online Workbook

    Life Habits Podcast : Episode #75

    Updates :

    You may also find Podcast 51 : Progressive Use of Martial Arts Skill and Force informative.

    June 3, 2015, Forbes Magazine : "Effects of Bullying" I cover it in Episode 53

    Download : Recognizing a Bully

    Another Resource :

    Confessions of a Bully

    Trevor Project :

    Youth Line :

    Kids Help Phone :

    I also reference this podcast for more information :

    When is Deescalation Over : TKF 015 : A popular podcast where I share with you how to know when a esculated problem is done.

    Youtube Version:

    Itunes Version

    Original Artwork : "Don't Bully by Becca"

    Edited on: Saturday, June 06, 2015 6:25 AM

    Posted in Podcasts

    Bacon was Cooking in Sparring Class : TKF 40

    Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 6:30 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith

    In Episode 40 :

    Saw 2 minute video of kungfu puppet. Wow!! details, fun story, very professional and generating lots of interest.


    Bob came in from Myrtle Beach, will be on the Kung Fu Beach Trip Workshop at the end of the month : www.tibetankungfu.net/beachtrip

    He also told me that the Buddha in Blue Jeans Meditations has helped him get rest at night.

    This past week I posted an audiobook, One hour and 40 minutes of research and history on the Shaolin Monastery.

    Those are free downloads for Content Members and I will never be selling them.

    Main Topics

    Army soldier's lift a car off a teenagers. Chief Warrant Officer Langoria say's :

    “I didn’t realize how much of that stuck and how quickly just instincts took over. I was doing a lot of stuff just out of muscle memory.”

    Audio from the martial arts full contact sparring this past weekend. You can see a quick highlight at our Tibetan Kung Fu YouTube Channel


    Travis had sent me a question from Seattle.

    What is the comparison between "Devotion and Commitment."

    Download "The Bacon was Cooking"

    You may also like : Martial Arts Commitment : TKF 35 

    All Hail Bacon Artwork by Songfeather

    Edited on: Friday, June 26, 2015 5:41 PM

    Posted in Podcasts , Style: Hop Gar

    Life Events Will Bump Our Routines : TKF 39

    Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 at 3:34 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith

    life events alter routines, tai chi helps set tone We work together as a KungFu Family. During this podcast I share about life here at the kwoon, what some students are doing here and abroad. Also :

    I have a goal to turn on mic and record with minimal editing.

    Derailing a routine

    Ice and Snow has disrupted practice routines.  Even the ducks near my house are walking across the pond they usually swim in.

    Being tied into house can derail a good routine.

    Monday ChiKung - Nei Gong half hour being added scheduled


    Why did we get this domain?


    Mr. Davis from Rocky Mount wrote me: 

    Jon Young sent me a wonderful text

    Ryan came in and we worked on his taiji, pushhands. Posting and more. We missed his last day, because of a nasty ice storm that turned most of raleigh into a big skating ring.

    Scott Bell came in twice this past week.  So good to see him. Another one of the young men that started years ago. It has been a pleasure to get to know him and see him and his family grow.

    Travis, take care of yourself, we will connect this coming week.

    Rachel told me she and her family was coming back to raleigh.

    Shiatsu / Tui Na 5 Element Acupressure Class Audio

    During this podcast there is a audio excerpt from our workshop. I am breaking the two-hour audio down into audiobook chapters so content members can download it.

    We will get to do more 5 Element Acupressure this summer.

    Reminder the Beach Trip Workshop is at the end of this month.  We are expecting to have a great time. www.tibetankungfu.net/beachtrip

    Cleaned up the Lotus Room where Jean does her Massage

    Travel around the world with her..

    Thai Massage and Tui Na which is the foundation of shiatsu if you are more familiar from the Japanese culture.

    Every Tuesday, during the week, and weekends now too..

    If you want a massage with Jean, just contact us.

    Basic Bagua Teacup exercises with private students

    Update on KungFu Puppet

    Kungfu Puppet Progress :

    Kevin, the director and coordinator is awesome. Sent me a text he has some new video to show us. So the Tibetan Kung Fu team that worked on the film, Mr. Knox, Ms. Shelley and Mr. Borel have all been invited to see this new video :)  www.tibetankungfu.net/kungfupuppet

    Download : Life Events Can DeRail Us

    Evidence Map of Tai Chi :

    A Published Study:


    Many Veterans desire complementary and alternative medicine or integrative medicine modalities, both for treatment and for the promotion of wellness. Tai Chi was developed as an ancient Chinese martial art and, today, is widely practiced for its health benefits. Results from a national survey conducted on a representative sample of adults in the U.S. estimate that approximately 2.3 million adults had practiced Tai Chi in the past 12 months. Many forms of Tai Chi exist, but in Western culture, it is most commonly taught as a series of slow, gentle, low-impact movements that integrate the breath, mind, and physical activity to achieve greater awareness and a sense of inner peace and well-being. 

    This evidence mapping project aims to help provide guidance to VA leadership about the distribution of evidence about Tai Chi to inform policy and clinical decision-making. Investigators with the Evidence-based Synthesis Program located in West Los Angeles reviewed the literature and identified 107 systematic reviews. Investigators created a bubble plot to graphically display the research field.

    Most promising areas
The most promising results across existing reviews were documented for three research areas with a large research base: hypertension, fall prevention outside of institutions, and cognitive performance. There were also some reservations in the conclusions due to the quality of some the included studies and settings.

    Statistically significant health effects also were reported for osteoarthritis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pain, balance confidence, depression, and muscle strength. However, review authors cautioned that the existing evidence is based on insufficient numbers of RCTs and/or poor quality RCTs, and is not strong enough to provide definitive answers on the effectiveness of Tai Chi for patient health outcomes.

    VA Priority Areas related to Tai Chi include pain, PTSD, and fall prevention. 


    Pain was the primary outcome focus of four systematic reviews. The individual studies tested Tai Chi practiced from 1 to 3 times per week, and the intervention duration ranged from 6 to 15 weeks. This largest review found a positive effect of Tai Chi on self-reported pain using different assessment scales across studies.


    The effects of Tai Chi on PTSD, the second VA priority area, have not been rigorously studied. No studies in combat-related PTSD were identified.

    Fall Prevention

    A review found a significantly reduced risk of falling associated with Tai Chi group exercises compared to low level stretching, fall prevention brochures, waiting list, wellness education, and other comparators.

    Written by: Hempel and Solloway, et al.

    Bruce is working to setup the type of program to fill in questions about how the Reeling Silk Tai Ji and Qi Gong Program can address refined questions, such as helping those with PTSD.

    Then Later Bruce sent me this email:

    Dear Sifu

    Taiji is growing with our veterans group and we are growing.  

    We have added new tai chi and qigong now as well to some staff offerings. I have been certified as Whole Health Coach here and we have included some really basic qigong/taiji desk exercises. We had an eight hour retreat yesterday for staff and I used several movement periods through the day teaching these exercises. The plan now is to offer two retreats per month all year with intention to bring all staff into this training that will include the exercises.

    I have chosen to offer staff free tai chi class participation if they have opportunity to participate with Veterans on Thursdays. If we get a strong response I will consider opening a second class for staff. I have 20 registered Veterans for tai chi now and marketing continues with a goal of at least 50 per class. My vision is to surpass 100 participants.


    I will teach a group of severely injured/mental illness Veteran in March in a psychosocial rehab unit. We will make a decision after that if this will become a routine offering. And I am including the tai chi practice in my new pain clinic now as well. new clinic treats physical and emotional pain together rather than looking at these challenges as separate problems.

    I am amazed at what we are creating here. I have been able to offer hypnosis, zuan zhaung meditation, taiji, along with my clinical therapies as the new pain clinic has been developed. 

     I want to have some time for us to talk about how we can add new instructors here as well as moving into other VA facilities. The work load is getting pretty large for one guy. I still plan to make the drive Saturday right now, but I want to see how driving might be Saturday morning before getting started. If not workable I will clear my weekend next week and visit a week late.

    Not much work going on here today with all clinics cancelled. Looks like I may have to visit the gym and make sure the floor is in good condition to practice taiji, bagua, choi li fut, zuan zhaung etc.  I bought a shepherds hook last week when I saw it in a store. Starting to practice with it to see if I can learn to use a hooked staff with my kung fu work. it’s fun even if I look foolish trying.

    Reid and Jean will get certified in reeling silk in march 2015.

    Artwork : Ducks Walking on a Frozen Pond by Me

    Edited on: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 4:47 AM

    Posted in Podcasts , Style: Tai Chi