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Welcome to the Chinese Year of the Ox
Welcome to the Year of the Ox as we bid farewell to the Year of the Rat – and what a year that was! This year’s artwork is once again based on an original drawing by Yevheniia Mikheenko, with storyboarding by Instructor Sharon Ngo.
The oxen shown are native species in several parts of the world – but what unites them is their steadfastness in the face of attack. It takes some courage to stop running and turn to face down a predator but that is what these animals do – if flight does not work it is time to engage fight. And forming an outward circle of those fearsome horns to protect the herd is to be respected from a prey species.
So let us come together as a predator and prey species to face down the global threats we have to confront.
Instructor Crofton Black recounts the trials and tribulations experienced by an early translator of the Art of War
Classics are shaped by successive ages in their own image: they endure despite, or because of this. The Art of War, attributed to Sun Tzu, is one such. It has been called the most “profound, comprehensive and transcendent” of all strategic works. It is concise, dense, structured around deceptively simple principles and overflowing with striking metaphors and analogies. This opens it up to a multiplicity of interpretations. In the last century, translated into English, it has been read as a way of understanding and defeating the Japanese military in World War II; as a post-911 manual for counter-insurgency; and as an instruction book for successful business management – to name only a few of the guises in which it has appeared. The Chinese, too, read it in different ways – and in different languages. Here we look at one lesser-known version of it, and ask what it meant to translate the Art of War in the eighteenth century, Europe’s famous Age of Enlightenment, just before the rise of Napoleon. Read More
There’s no shame in not being able to do a correct press-up (Really? – Yes). You’d be surprised how many otherwise strong people struggle to do press-ups, for the simple reason that they haven’t trained them properly before. Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem: start where you are now, and get better by practising regularly. In other words – Train!
Earlier in 2018 Instructor Anna Wallen cast an engineer’s eye over the problems people have with press-ups. Her findings and suggested techniques were set out in two posts on what became Project Press-Up.
Not satisfied with just telling you all what to do, Instructor Anna now invites you to a press-up training challenge. The purpose of the challenge is for members who are interested to see how much they can improve their press-ups over a period of time by working all the elements of the press-up, and improving their technique and strength.
“Crete was brilliant. I’m not usually one for superlatives – I’m much more of a “well it was good, but…” type of person. However in this case it’s appropriate for me to break character. My first Brilliant Crete camp, and that’s definitely the right description.
Why did I go in the first place though? It wasn’t complicated, I wanted a chance to improve my Kung Fu. And I already knew that spending a day in Dennis’ field makes a difference, so I wanted to see what I could achieve in a week. It also earns me some “cool points” in life and that’s always good. “Where were you last week?” “I was at a week long Kung Fu training camp in Crete, where were you?” Read More
We gathered in South London – Competition 2018 it is. We met as friends at the door, as competitors on the mats, and left as friends at the end of the day. That’s the way we like to do it. So now it’s time to find out whether our competition diarist, Louis Beazley, achieved the results he was going for. Did his training and preparation pay off?
“So here we are. Another competition over and I hope you all enjoyed it. I also hope that all bruises are fading and any headaches are long since departed.
I’m sure you’ll all be glad to hear this will be my last article for a while, but I couldn’t just leave without letting everyone know how the competition went, and as a result whether my previous pearls of wisdom were valuable information nuggets or just a waste of your time. Read More
Louis Beazley from FWC London South, has a Gold Medal in his sights. Whether he wins that Gold Medal or not – that is what he has trained for, and that is what he is aiming for. Who can criticise that?
19.04.18 – Louis is still in training
“Two days till the competition! The clock is ticking, final adjustments are being made. Students polish their shin guards, remould their mouth guards and practise their scariest faces in the bathroom mirror. I hope you have all been religiously following my advice from last week; I have tried to [follow my own advice] as much as possible.
This week I have been doing more of the same. I bet you were all hoping I had decided to take it easy and rest up before the competition. Yeah – no luck there I’m afraid. My skipping rope is just a little more worn, my gloves are a little stinkier and I’m getting through t-shirts like they are going out of fashion. Read More