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Thread: 'The All Nations' Gathering - Manchester - January 2007

  1. #1
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    'The All Nations' Gathering - Manchester - January 2007

    .


    I am very pleased to announce that 'The All Nations' (previously known as 'The 3 Nations') will be taking place in Manchester on the 27th & 28th of January 2007. Please place this information in your calendars now.

    More information including the timetable of events, costs, registration and other helpful information will be posted here shortly.


    This event is about :
    • Strengthening relationships throughout the Shaolin Wahnam Institute.
    • Reap the benefits of training in a larger group.
    • Make new friends and improve old ones.
    • Travel and see new parts of the country.
    • Enjoy the pubs, restaurants and socialising in Manchester.
    • Following a well balanced training program.
    • Deepen the skills of genuine Shaolin Arts.


    The change in name from 'The 3 Nations' to 'The All Nations' represents that this event is open to all members of Shaolin Wahnam, welcoming as many nations as possible. At the start of this year, hosted in sunny Brighton, The 3 Nations was a fantastic event that welcomed England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. With 'The All Nations' in January 2007 we are hoping that this event will be even better, welcoming and bringing together even more members of our international family.


    To keep this discussion thread 'clear' for key information, please posts your questions, comments, plans, contacts, messages etc in this 'Open Discussion' thread.
    Last edited by Michael Durkin; 12th January 2007 at 03:51 PM.
    Michael Durkin
    Shaolin Wahnam England - Manchester
    www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk

  2. #2
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    Timetable


    Saturday 27th

    10.00 - 11.00 : Mark Appleford - Comat training methodology.
    11.00 - 12.00 : Simon Brookes - Chin Na.
    12.00 - 13.00 : Jordan Francis - Improving ones training / taking a step back.

    13.00 - 14.00 : Lunch

    14.00 - 15.00 : Marcus Santer - Aims & Objectives.
    15.00 - 16.00 : Michael Durkin - Art of Flexibility.
    16.00 - 17.00 : Tim Franklin & Mark Tranter - Pressing attacks and defence.
    17.00 - 18.00 : Session to be announced.

    Evening Time - Group Meal


    Sunday 28th

    10.00 - 11.00 : Jamie Robson - Footwork, The Fundementals.
    11.00 - 12.00 : Alex Stedman - Kung Fu in the realms of Form, Chi and Shen.

    12.00 - 13.00 : LUNCH

    13.00 - 14.00 : Open Review
    14.00 - 15.00 : Open Review

    Evening Time - Group Meal (change of plans: meal moved to Saturday Night)



    Session Details


    Saturday


    Mark Appleford - Combat Training Methodology
    The aim of this session will be to deepen the understanding of participants knowledge of combat training methodology. We will look at theory and have some practical applications of the Wahnam training methodology. We hope that participants will gain an appreciation of the concept of the warrior/scholar ideal.

    Simon Brooks - Chin Na
    In this session we'll have a brief look at a few of the chin na applications from the later combat sequences and classical sets. We'll start with practising isolated patterns before linking them into a short set. The aim is to introduce students to a few of the basic principles involved with the art of chin na.

    Jordan Francis - Taking A Step Back
    Be inspired to practise perfection. Learn when taking a step back can be the quickest way forward. During this short rewarding lesson, I will help you work on your weaknesses in a quick and effective manner that easily fits in your daily training routine.

    Marcus Santer - Aims & Objectives
    If you fail to plan you are planning to fail – during this session you will discover the key difference between Masters and students (it's not what you think!). You will develop insights into your Vision for your life and learn how to set goals that truly inspire and motivate you. If you want to accelerate the results you get from your practice you won't want to miss this short seminar.

    Michael Durkin - Art of Flexibility
    The aim of this session is to deepen our ability to relax, which will improve our flexibility more safely and comfortably. This session covers the 6 patterns of 'The Art of Flexible Legs' from the Shaolin Wahnam program, along with additional patterns as an extra bonus for enjoyment and variety.

    Tim Franklin & Mark Tranter - Pressing Attacks
    Being pressed can take you off balance and off centre. Learn how to use simple footwork and continuous strikes to take the advantage and overwhelm our opponent in this short lesson of pressing attacks and counters.

    If you want success, then learn how to press.


    Sunday


    Jamie Robson - Footwork, The Fundamentals.
    The secret of our art is in the name - Shaolin Kung Fu.
    Kung or Gong is the training of various 'Skills'.
    During this session we will explore one of these fundamental skills - Footwork.
    The aim is to deepen our appreciation for good footwork.

    Alex Stedman - Kung Fu in the realms of Form, Chi and Shen
    When we first start learning and practising kung fu, we learn that our forms provide us with an advantage in fighting. This is only the first of 3 exciting stages of development in becoming proficient in defending ourselves. We must learn to use our chi and shen to 'read' our opponent without having ourselves equally 'read'. Becoming proficient in this will enable to you to be a more efficient fighter, as well as truly making you realise why shaolin kung fu really is the best martial art the world has ever seen.

    Open Review - 2 hours
    This year a 2 hour slot has been reserved for a special time to cover topics and training as voted for and put forward by your good selves the students. If you have been wondering how to improve your imaginary partner work so you can 'both' move to higher level, or perhaps you have been stuck with some of the sparring methodology within some of the sequences, breath control or the Three Arrivals, then of all of the UK instructors are on hand to help.

    Please post your suggestions in the open discussion thread by clicking here. Closer to the event a vote will be cast.



    Weekend Details


    Where :
    Trinity Sports centre
    Cambridge St,
    Manchester, M15 6HP

    Click here for a google map


    Cost :
    £60 for both days (includes evening buffet). £10 for Buffet only. Places are limited and offered on a first come first served basis. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

    How it works :
    For your £60 you can attend as many or as few of the classes as you wish. The purpose of this event is for the nations of Shaolin Wahnam to come together in the name of family and friendship and to develop and deepend traditional Shaolin skills.

    All of the classes are suitable for Shaolin Kung Fu students currently studying with an instructor, those who have attended a regional Kung Fu course with Sifu or those who have been to Malaysia and completed an Intensive Kung Fu course with Sifu.

    To Register :
    Please register by contacting myself through my email address michael.durkin@shaolinwahnam.co.uk, including a contact telephone number for yourself and who you have/are training with in the Shaolin Wahnam Institute.



    Any further questions, please use my email address above, or post them in the open discussion thread.

    Warm regards,
    Last edited by Michael Durkin; 24th January 2007 at 04:36 PM.
    Michael Durkin
    Shaolin Wahnam England - Manchester
    www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk

  3. #3
    Anthony S's Avatar
    Anthony S is offline Sifu Anthony Spinicchia - Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam USA
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    I want to congratulate the organizers of this project. What a gift to offer this outstanding course. I wish I could be there but due to other commitments I can't. I will watch for the next one you offer and if I can be there I will.

    I hope others are wise enough to take advantage of your course.
    Anthony S

    Western USA

    http://elitechikung.com/

    Visit Anthony Spinicchia’s web site with information on qigong healing.

    His book, The Wonders of Chi Kung:Unlocking Glowing Health and Vitality, 3rd Edition, can be found by clicking here

    The e-book edition can be found at www.amazon.com kindle store

  4. #4
    Emiko H's Avatar
    Emiko H is offline Sifu Emiko Hsuen - Chief Instructor, SHaolin Wahnam Japan
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    I would like to extend best wishes and congratulations to all of the instructors and assistant instructors in the UK for making this event a reality.

    Your actions are an inspiration to me.

    Respectfully,

    Emiko

  5. #5
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    Hello everyone,

    Only a few more days to go! I hope you're all as excited and looking forward to this event as I am. I am particularly looking forward to Sifu Jamie Robson's session on footwork, an area of my own practice that will certainly benefit from his input.

    I look forward to meeting as many new faces as possible and catching up with the familiar ones

    If you haven't booked your place yet, time is running out! You really don't want to miss this years All Nations Gathering. I hope to see you there.

    Kind regards
    Marcus
    Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha

  6. #6
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    If you weren't there, this is what you missed!

    Hello everyone,

    I asked the instructors and assistant instructors that presented at the All Nations Gathering if they would give a brief over view of the material they taught. So that those of you who were there, could have a re-cap, and those of you that weren't could see what you missed

    Here goes (in no particular order):

    Sifu Tim Franklin

    Lesson: Pressing Attacks. This short lesson set out to lay down some of the key principles in how to press with a continuous attack and how to avoid being pressed with simple footwork.

    Step 1 - The arrow step is more than just a routine footwork drill we learn in level 1, it is an integral part of being able to move in swiftly to an opponent to bring you into a safe striking distance. Done correctly it will equip you with balance, speed, sound judgement, a great guard and excellent footwork. It is a strike in itself. Arrow step - shoot like an arrow.
    Step 2 - After using arrow step mode 4 swiftlystep into a fierce tiger, ensuring you have maintained balance and correct breath.
    Step 3 - Using shuffle step we then pressed in with fierce tiger, precious duck, hang golden star. Repeating this 3 times is enough to press the opponent back. (sequence 5)
    Step 4 - We then added sequence 10 to this, so instead of pressing with sequence 5 3x's we pressed twice then added sequence 10. Fierce tiger, white horse presents hoof and white snake shoots venom.

    The defence takes good footwork although in essence it is simple. All we needed was to retreat in false leg and single tiger. The kick was dealt with by single whip saves emperor.

    So what are the underlying principles of pressing attacks and defence?

    Good footwork. Without good footwork your attack and defence will not be as effective as it should be. So practice the footwork slowly. Then add in the hand techniques, followed by your retreat. When you have got this make sure you practice with a partner. Solo practice is ok for footwork practice but you really need to pair up to become effective at pressing and retreating.

    Start slowly and safely with emphasis on correct foot work, then spacing, then timing. Once you have good spacing and timing and correct footwork and techniques then you can work on using more force.

    Once you can remain relaxed in both pressing and retreating with good form and force you can progress with form, force and fluidity.
    Make sure you are relaxed at all times, in mind, body and breath. We touched on counter attacks, explored this angle and had fun. Once you can press and retreat successfully with this you can mix it up a bit, add some other attacks in, or change the sequence, or add some mid point change, surprise counters. Then you can move of the line. Sequences 5 and 10 are enough to beat most opponents if you practice them 1000's of times.

    What I learnt from this lesson was that it always came back to the footwork and stances, the foundation of Shaolin. If your foundation is good then your attack and defense will be effective.



    Presentation: Aims and Objectives. Instructor: Sifu Marcus Santer

    Objective: To convince everyone of the benefits to be had by setting clear aims and SMART objectives for your practice.

    We started by learning the difference between Masters and Students. And learnt how by having a clear Vision (knowing what you want and why you really, Really, REALLY want it), a time tested Strategy and taking correct Action we could walk the path of Mastery and get more and more from our practice by doing less and less, instead of ending up in Turkey!

    Powerful tools to make this process practical we're introduced (Aims and Objectives) and you learnt why "testing" the results of your actions is vital for your success. A work sheet was supplied to help you focus in on what is important to you. We studied a number of complimentary subjects: The 3 Requirements for Attainment, Passion and what to do with Plateau's in our practice.

    The session was wrapped up by this quote from Sifu's March 2004 Part 3 Q & A series which summed up the material I presented:

    "Irrespective of whether you learn from a Master, a book or any other sources, the inevitable path to proficiency in any art is practice, practice, practice. But mere diligent practice is inadequate. You have to define the aims and objectives of your practice, ascertain that the methods of your practice are appropriate, the way you practice is correct and your practice bring desirable results."
    Alex Stedman - Kung Fu in the realms of Form, Chi and Shen

    We started by examining how our forms give us advantages in fighting situations. More importantly, we saw how our application of the form and maintenance of the 3 external harmonies gives the best advantages over the opponent. By looking at the 3 external harmonies, we saw how relaxation allows the 3 internal harmonies to flow and re-inforce each other.

    From here, we are given a choice when we spar; to be in 'competition' or 'conversation' mode. The former is a path leading to the inflated ego, whereas the latter allows for the virtuous development of Shen. By being in a Chi Kung state of mind when sparring, we can achieve a heightened state of sensitivity to anothers chi, reading it and re-directing our own into a controlled explosion. Whereas formless fighters are easily readable, a good martial artist is like a blank slate, constantly writing and re-writing their intentions.

    We finished off the session by sparring with a combat sequence where reading and re-directing was possible.

    The objective of this session was for students to gain a philosophical understanding of reading our opponents, and to experience this with a partner. From this, a foundation could be laid to achieve a higher level of combat efficiency.



    Session Title: Chin Na

    Instructor: Sifu Simon Brooks

    Review:

    The aim of the session was to give students a brief introduction to Shaolin Chin Na. After completing a series of hand and arm stretches a few of the fundamental principles of Chin Na were demonstrated. The concept of 'chains' of locks, distracting your opponent and the use of 'levers and fulcrums' were examined and then applied during the creation of a two person sequence.

    For the newer students there was a lot to take in but by the end of the session everyone was getting a good grip on the locks, the sequence and, of course, each other.


    Presentation: Combat Training Methodology and Aspects of the Scholar Warrior
    Instructor: Sifu Mark Appleford

    The aim of this presentation was to help the students gain an appreciation and a deeper understanding of the skills behind the combat training methodology and how they contribute to being a scholar warrior. Students were given an analogy that a scholar warrior could appreciate and reflect on things such as music, art and poetry etc and how these abilities could be applied to combat, their own training and personal growth. The concepts covered were the ability to reflect and analyse their training and to appreciate there own understanding of their level.

    Importance was also emphasised on utilising the role of an appointed instructor to facilitate this. This was then tied up at the end of the session by reflectin on how these skills could be used to great effect in everday life as a scholar warrior "lives life" and does not just exist.

    To facilate this a simple drill nicknamed the "zombie" drill was taught. Everyone was partnered up and the drill consisted of one person holding there hands out in front. They would walk slowly towards their partner aiming for a midline "attack" to the chest, when the partner avoided or "defended" themselves, the zombie would give a slight pause and then come in again. As there was students of different levels attending the course response to the attack was built up in layers.

    1) Footwork to avoid - such as stepping back, stepping off line. This was tied in with the concept of pre-choice
    2a) using hand forms such as single tiger - This was tied in with the concept of self choice. The students could use footwork or hand forms to deal with the midline "attack"
    2b) Adding another hand form such golden dragon widened the concept of self choice

    The students were then separated and given some time to think and reflect on what they had been doing. Then they were brought together to try what they had thought about. After another period of time they were then told to explain to theri partners what they were doing. This was to help them to clarify their thoughts and actions.

    At the end they were given some examples of how the drill could be changed to add different dimension. Such as changing the line of attack, getting the "zombie" to move faster and change speeds, to actually push with more intention etc.

    Finally all of this was linked into how combat sequence could used.


    Presentation: Art of Flexibility. Instructor: Sifu Michael Durkin

    Objective: Just breathe.

    From looking back at my practice and progress over the years with flexibility and relaxation (before and after practising Shaolin Wahnam's arts), my understanding slowly deepened by experiencing the limitless potential gained through the marvellous art of simply following the flow of our breath. By being gently aware of our breath, and doing nothing else, everything else naturally takes care of itself, if we know how and allow it.

    To start the session off we entered a chi kung state of mind, making sure that we were relaxed and smiling from the heart. These are fundamental aspects to begin our training. Then we simply stood and gently followed our breath. Following our breath means just following our breath as it flows in and out, nothing else. Just breath. Not making an effort to slow our breath down, think to ourselves that its too fast, to breath out any harder or to adjust in any way what so ever. Our breathing is continuous as we are alive, continuously adjusting to our needs without us being aware, flowing in and flowing out. By focussing our mind gently on our breath, we can replace a
    thousand thoughts, down to just one.

    With our mind focussed on gently following the flow of our breath and nothing else, our being physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually can relax even more without us having to consciously lead it to do so. Once we had reached this stage we were ready to begin the patterns from The Art of Flexibility.

    These exercises look like typical leg stretching exercises. But in our school these exercises are performed not as physical leg stretching exercises but as chi kung (which include the benefits for leg stretching). The crucial difference is that as physical leg stretching exercises, you only work on your joints and muscles, but as chi kung, besides working on your joints and muscles you also work on your energy flow and mind.

    By removing all thoughts and focussing entirely on our breath, any movements were then lead by the breath rather than the breath being lead by the movements. Breaths lead by movement can mean that our breath has to be paused, or tensed as our physical body strains to move or relax. By taking the emphasis off the physical movements, and gently placing it upon the breath, we will never be restrained again, as our breath is the one thing that is continuous, and deeply in tune with our being. Freeing our breath is freeing our life.

    When stretching to simply touch our toes for example, it is all too easy to focus only on touching our toes. Whilst tensing our breath, or other parts of our body like the shoulders. If we just have the physical goal of wanting to increase flexibility in our legs by touching our toes, we may well achieve flexibility in our legs, but at the expense of possibly creating tension else where in our being. With the internal goal of focussing on the breath, and letting our breath lead our external movements, our external (as well as internal) flexibility develops holistically. There is no longer a battle to touch your toes, there is only harmony flowing from following the breath.

    As these exercises are practised as chi kung, it may take some time for the necessary parts of your being to be nourished and cleansed of blockages before perhaps your physical tissues start to loosen up and allow you to (physically) stretch further. But what will always be there for you is your breath.

    Several people remarked that they had achieved levels of flexibility that they hadn't experienced despite months of training, or ever at all. They were quite surprised when during the exercise (with their mind following their breath and nothing else), the conscious part of their mind kicked back in for a moment and said "hey, I'm actually touching my toes!", before letting that thought go to gently return their focus back to the breath.

    All of this can be summed up with a quote from our Grandmaster -
    "
    Breath is the flow of life. "
    Presentation - 'Footwork' The Fundamentals
    Instructor - Sifu Jamie Robson
    Aim - To present a more efficient method of training

    For many of us, training daily is a challenge. We have trouble finding time to cover all the required material.
    However, the students who 'do' train daily often discover their progress is slow, even when training so much.
    The problem is they train aimlessly. In regards to footwork, they may just move around in stances for 30 minutes every evening.
    This will go on for 6 months, then upon reflection, they realise they have improved very little.

    Why?

    Simply because they have touched upon many different areas, only once or twice within one session.
    Many of us 'dance' around, picking stances or movements as and when we fancy.
    So we never really work on one or two areas repeatedly, yet repetition is the mother of skill - Practice, practice, practice!

    During the session in Manchester, the group highlighted 4 common problems or difficulties within beginners footwork.
    We then created a short Set or Sequence containing these particular weaknesses. So rather than dancing around for 30 mins, but only touching upon our fundamental problem areas once or twice, we can train our personalised routine for only 10 mins, working on these areas dozens of times!

    Here we are getting more benefit out of less time. Training smart is the key!


    I hope you enjoyed reading the reviews from those who presented and I look forward to meeting you at the All Nations Gathering 2008. I have a feeling that an announcement will be made shortly as to where it will be held!

    Kind regards
    Marcus
    Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha

  7. #7
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    Dear Siheng

    Thank you so much for posting this, it's very generous of you and the other Sifus (and Assistant!) to share this incredible material. Now I'm even more sorry I couldn't make it this year, but just reading these session reviews has opened a few little windows in my mind, and given me fresh insight into my training.

    I've also found it really valuable to read the student feedback on the other thread, so thanks to everyone who's posted there, too.

    With gratitude and respect to all,

    Fleur

  8. #8
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    Thank you Fleur,

    Your post reminded me that I forgot to post some pictures from the All Nations Gathering. Allow me to rectify that now:

  9. #9
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    The 'All Nations' Gathering - Edinburgh 2008

    I am very pleased to announce that the next 'All Nations' will be taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland in January 2008.

    More information including the timetable of events, costs, registration and other helpful information will be posted here shortly.


    This event is about :
    • Strengthening relationships throughout the Shaolin Wahnam Institute.
    • Reap the benefits of training in a larger group.
    • Make new friendships and improve old ones.
    • Travel and see new parts of the country.
    • Enjoy the pubs, restaurants and socialising in Edinburgh.
    • Following a well balanced training program.
    • Deepen the skills of genuine Shaolin Arts.


    To keep this discussion thread 'clear' for key information, please posts your questions, comments, plans, contacts, messages etc in this 'Open Discussion' thread.

    Edinburgh Castle -

  10. #10
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    'All Nations 2008 - Update'

    2008's All Nations will be a one day event - Saturday 26th January 2008
    The cost - £50


    There will be '8 hours' of teaching throughout the day, along with 'Review/Q & A Sessions'.
    The list of Shaolin Wahnam Instructors is very exciting, and will be announced shortly.

    Time-table of events, costs, registration and other helpful information will be posted next.

    Edinburgh At Night -

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