Hello, I've been a member of Aikiweb for just over a year but never felt the urge to post until now. Maybe because I've been too busy for one!
I'll start with my background upto present day. my granddad was the sparring partner for a man named Billy Thompson, he was the European Boxing Champ in the 1940's. I was about 8yrs when i first put on the gloves, I learned boxing on weekend visits to my grandparents.. on the quiet as my mum would have never approved, and later didn't!! She knew and still knows nothing about boxing with my granddad but when i started sneaky off to the boxing club in the next village when i was 13yrs she soon found out, I blamed my new class mate for talking me into it. So i ended up at Judo and stayed there for about 2yrs, I soon got board of being on the floor... it wasn't for me! I had a period off until I moved when I was 17yrs and found a Karate club near by, It was the sport/competition version and although I did it for 3yrs I always wanted something less competition based. I moved on to Wada Ryu and Shotokan which I found more challenging and a lot tougher, unfortunately the Shotokan closed due to the instructors work.
So again I spent a year or so looking for something else and saw an advert for Classical Ving Tsun (Wing Chun), It was taught by a Sifu of Victor Kan Wah Chit whom was one of Yip Man's top 5 students from Hong Kong. The first lesson was a real eye opener! I stood for 2 hours in a dodgy horse stance and just punched, I thought what have I let myself in for. That was the same for the following 3 lesson but as painful as it was and so bloody difficult to punch without telegraphing anything I stuck it out, and 17yrs later I still am! Due to the energy aspects of Wing Chun I got really interested in Taosim and was a member of the British Taoist Association, my Wing Chun brother was a bit of a Buddhist (not seriously) and we would spend many a night trying to out do each other with philosophy, I never thought I would ever even consider becoming Buddhist myself but after searching for different Taoist meditation techniques I found something called Kuji-In. It has it's roots in Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. I found a Buddhist Acharya (bishop) of the system in Canada (Maha Vajra) and emailed him with some questions and he put me in touch with one of his students, a fantastic teacher in Texas. She also teachers Reiki and so now I'm a one foot in the door Buddhist and a Second Level Reiki healer, it's not what i joined up for but hay ho...
One of my mates daughter was getting bullied at school, nothing serious but he wanted her to learn how to defend herself and I thought Wing Chun was not for a 13yr old girl.. not my Grandmasters version anyway. I remembered I'd seen an Aikido club advertised a year or so before and wondered if it was still going, I did some research and it was so I went down to see about my mates daughter joining. I talked with the Sensei and from time to time between teaching he came off the mat and talked to me, I explained the situation and my experience and to my surprise we spent most of the lesson exchanging the odd punch and what angles we worked from. I was impressed by the Sensei's openness, working knowledge and not just the theory of Aikido. I was also impressed with the locks and throws that Aikido had, as the Sensei said "Your style hides the locks and throws and shows the strikes, Aikido hides the strikes and shows you the locks and throws". I had never been shown any locks or throws of this standard and the whole thing intrigued me so much a week later I started Aikido, that was 2yrs ago! Well the
is Tao/Dao. I spoke to my Wing Chun brother who now lives in Japan and he told me that the Aikido will fit nicely with the Kuji-In meditation, and he was right it does. So now I am on yet another path of discovery with an Internal system, I still practice my Wing Chun and have 2 private students but the more Aikido I see and the more Wing Chun my Sensei see's we both agree how not so far apart these two Internal systems are.
(my Buddhist soul name)