Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Feedback from Readers - May 2006

"Hi Michael, I bow to your work! It is truly amazing. It amazes me all the more for a special reason: in the 90s I published a novel titled "Rabenwelt (Raven World)" in German, and a key character there is a Hawaiian-Korean "Zen Gardener" called Mr. "I am just a simple gardener" Makani. When I started browsing your website, I really felt moved and thought: hell - Master Makani has his own website now. Really beautiful and great work! Keep going! Kind regards from Germany."
- Stefan Thiesen, 5/1/06
Mind Quest

"I stumbled on the site in search of arbors. What a delight! So friendly. Thanks for sharing. I'm a native daughter transplanted to Pahrump, NV. Desert landscaping and gardening is by trial and error. Loving the sun however, after living a number of years in Washington state."
- Kay Turner, 5/12/06

"I was a student of Cheng Man-ch'ing's son Patrick in New York City in 1971 and 1972. I would like to contact Patrick. I would also like to thank you for your website. I live in Portland, Oregon and often travel to the Bay area. I will stop next time and take a class if it is possible to drop in. I play the bass fiddle and would like to link your site to my teaching materials. Thank you for your fine work. Best wishes!"
- Glen Moore, 5/22/06

"Walking Meditation Resources is an exhaustive resource for walking and standing meditation."
- Graham English, Intergral Conversations, 5/26/06

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Principles of Integrative Medicine

"The Principles of Integrative Medicine, are, according to Dr. Andrew Weil:

* A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process.

* Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.

* Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community as well as body. A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.

* Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms.

* Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible.

* Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease.

* Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development.

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging

Monday, May 29, 2006

Walk in Silence

"Start out walking a little faster than normal, and gradually slow down to a normal walking speed, and then continue to slow down until you start to feel artificial or off balance. Speed up just enough to feel comfortable, physically and psychologically. At first you may need to walk fairly fast to feel smooth in your gait, but with practice, as your balance improves, you should be able to walk more slowly. Be mindful of your breathing, without trying to control it. Allow the breath to become diaphragmatic if possible, but always make sure your breathing feels natural, not artificial. Allow the breath to become circular, and fluid.

Walk with 'soft vision' allowing the eyes to relax and focus upon nothing, while aware of everything. Smile softly with your eyes. Gradually allow the smile to spread from your eyes to your face and throughout your body. This is called an "organic smile" or a "thalamus smile". Imagine every cell of your body smiling softly. Let all worry and sadness fall away from you as you walk.

Walk in silence, both internal and external. Be mindful of your walking, make each step a gesture, so that you move in a state of grace, and each footprint is an impression of the peace and love you feel for the universe. Walk with slow, small, deliberate, balanced, graceful foot steps."
- Charles MacInerney, Walking Meditation

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Walking on the Earth

"Walking meditation means to enjoy walking without any intention to arrive. We don't need to arrive anywhere. We just walk. We enjoy walking. That means walking is already stopping, and that needs some training. Usually in our daily life we walk because we want to go somewhere. Walking is only a means to an end, and that is why we do not enjoy every step we take. Walking meditation is different. Walking is only for walking. You enjoy every step you take. So this is a kind of revolution in walking. You allow yourself to enjoy every step you take.

The Zen master Ling Chi said that "the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth." You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet. That is already performing a miracle. The greatest of all miracles is to be alive. We have to awaken ourselves to the truth that we are here, alive. We are here making steps on this beautiful planet. This is already performing a miracle. But we have to be here in order for the miracle to be possible. We have to bring ourselves back to the here and the now."
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Resting in the River

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Meditation and Walking

"In summary, the walking process involves four stages: lifting, raising, shifting, and dropping. Your inhalation is coordinated with the lifting movement of the heel of your foot and your exhalation with keeping your foot lifted, while your toes are still touching the ground. Your inhalation is coordinated with the raising and shifting movements and your exhalation with the dropping of your foot. While you are coordinating your breath with your physical movements, remember to pay bare attention to what is taking place; avoid making judgments, decisions, or comments.

Observe the impermanent nature of your walking experience: the intention that precedes each movement, the movement itself, and every breath which rises and falls from moment-to-moment. When your mind shifts to another object of awareness, focus on seeing that it is also impermanent. Then, gently but firmly, place your attention back on your walking movements, coordinating them with your breath."
- Matthew Flickstein, Journey to the Center: A Meditation Workbook.
Boston, Wisdom Publications, 1998. pp.127-132.

I've added a number of new links to the webpage on Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation Resources

Cloud Hands Website

Friday, May 26, 2006

George Xu's Summer Taijiquan Training Camp

George Xu and Master Yun Yin Sen at Summer Training Camp at La Honda, Santa Cruz Mountains, near San Francisco, California.

June 13-18, 2006, Tuesday through Sunday.

Liu He Ba Fa, 10 Animal Xing-Yi, Chen Style Taiji, Push Hands

Master Yun Yin Sen started internal arts in Yang Style Taiji. Since 1980 he studied with Zhang Chang Xin in 6 Harmony-8 Method, Liu He Pa Fa and Yi Quan Zhang Zuang (post standing). Zhang Chang Xin was one of the top students of Wu Yi Hui, founder of the form. Also since 1882 he studied with Han Qiao (Han Jiao), Lu Gui Yao, Liang Qi Zhong, all masters of 6 Harmony-8 Method (more). In 1992 he became Anhwei Province 6 Harmony-8 Method Association Secretary and is now President. In 1997 he received the government sports association second degree master's certificate. From 1979-2005 he has been been invited to performances and lectures internationally, very active in the world. 1999 to Russia, 2002 to London and 2003 to England.

I look forward to attending this training camp. I'm training extra to be in excellent physical condition for this 6 day training camp.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Walking the Circle - Bagua

Ba Gua Chang by Paul Cavel

"Energy exercises can de divided into two categories- 'Post-Birth' and 'Pre-Birth'. Post birth practices deal with developing the chi that you gain after leaving the womb that generated by breathing, eating, sleeping, and normal exercise, whereas pre-birth practices focus on generating the chi that you receive from the cosmic forces whilst in the womb. This pre-birth chi is incredibly strong and s responsible for giving a body abundant health and flexibility. When these pre-birth exercises are used correctly they can be used to heal disease, make a weak person strong, to restore elasticity to old, hard or scar tissue and to return the body to the state of a new-born baby, with the control and understanding of an adult.

Walking the circle and repeatedly changing direction is the basic Ba Gua pre-birth chi practice and it is here that you tune into, open, heal, upgrade and strengthen all of your body's soft tissue, joints, fluids, organs, bones, systems, and sub systems.

This takes time, energy, and practise and how far one takes this work depends upon the individual's intelligence, commitment and the effort that he or she can give to this ancient and profound Art. It is considered an Art because you can never make a perfect movement-it can always be improved. Also, because to watch the continuous circling, spiralling movements is a pleasure to the eyes."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Symbolism of the Staff

"The staff (Danda) is symbolic for the spine supporting the body. Since man's emergence for the animal kingdom he has walked erect. The levels of consciousness are in the spine where the life force is dominant. The base of the spine [Muladhara Cakra] is the place where the Kundalini Energy (Divine Coiled Serpent0 is located.
Khatvanga (Staff with Skull on Top) is symbolic of a pure or empty mind, one which is free from preconceived ideas which block the way for new perceptions, particularly Divine insight, that is, insight by intuition during meditation, reflection or quietness. In contrast to the perconceived ideas stands true knowledge, which is knowing from personal experience. Information is often mistaken for knowledge. The skull is mounted on a staff (the spine). The Kundalini Energy can then rise in the Sahasrara. The flow of the Divine energy through the staff or spine, into the empty skull, the mind free of preconceived ideas, is an experience that shakes one's whole foundation."
- Kundalini: Yoga for the West. By Swami Sivananda Radha. Timeless Books, 1978. p.41

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Staff Weapons

The Wikipedia Encyclopedia has a nice index to articles
on pole weapons.

Also, I have prepared an extensive index to books, magazine articles, and websites on the topic of staff weapons. It is the most popular webpage on the Cloud Hands website.

Related terms include:
Staff, Stave, Jo, Bo, Gun, Cudgel, Cane, Pole, Stick, Walking Stick, Shillelagh, Baton, Rod, Club, Short Staff, Bat, Mace, Spear, Scepter, Crook, Crosier, Wizard's Staff, Shepherd's Staff, Ahlspiess, Arbir, Barchi (lance), Bardiche, Bec de Corbin, Bill, Bisento, Bo. Brandistock, Bâton français, Chacing staff, Dagger-axe, Danish axe, Falx, Fauchard, Flax, Footman's lance, Glaive, Guan dao, Guisarme, Gun (staff), Halberd, Hanbo, Hasta (spear), Horseman's pick, Ji (halberd), Kontos, Lance, Lochaber axe, Lucerne hammer, Man catcher, Mattock, Maul, Military fork, Nagamaki, Naginata, Otsuchi, Ox tongue, Partisan, Pike, Plançon a picot, Pollaxe, Qiang (spear), Quarterstaff, Ranseur, Rhomphaia, Roundhead, Sarissa, Soliferrum, Spear, Spetum, Spontoon, Tabar Zin, Taiaha, Tanjo, Tepoztopilli, Tetsubo, Trident, Voulge, War hammer, War scythe.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Energy Is ...

"Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy."
- Denis Waitley

"Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets."
- William Hazlitt

"Life begets life. Energy begets energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich."
- Sarah Bernhardt

Energy - Quotations

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Walking Meditation

Read the excellent article titled "The Benefits of Walking Meditation,"
written by Sayadaw U. Silananda:

"Let us now talk specifically about the practice of walking meditation. If you are a complete beginner, the teacher may instruct you to be mindful of only one thing during walking meditation: to be mindful of the act of stepping while you make a note silently in the mind, "stepping, stepping, stepping," or "left, right, left, right." You may walk at a slower speed than normal during this practice.

After a few hours, or after a day or two of meditation, you may be instructed to be mindful of two occurrences: (i) stepping, and (ii) putting down the foot, while making the mental note "stepping, putting down." You will try to be mindful of two stages in the step: "stepping, putting down; stepping, putting down." Later, you may be instructed to be mindful of three stages: (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving or pushing the foot forward; and (iii) putting the foot down. Still later, you would be instructed to be mindful of four stages in each step: (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving it forward; (iii) putting it down; and (iv) touching or pressing the foot on the ground. You would be instructed to be completely mindful and to make a mental note of these four stages of the foot's movement: "lifting, moving forward, putting down, pressing the ground.

At first yogis may find it difficult to slow down, but as they are instructed to pay close attention to all of the movements involved, and as they actually pay closer and closer attention, they will automatically slow down. They do not have to slow down deliberately, but as they pay closer attention, slowing down comes to them automatically.

Although yogis pay close attention and slow down, they may not see all of the movements and stages clearly. The stages may not yet be well-defined in the mind, and they may seem to constitute only one continuous movement. As concentration grows stronger, yogis will observe more and more clearly these different stages in one step; the four stages at least will be easier to distinguish. Yogis will know distinctly that the lifting movement is not mixed with the moving forward movement, and they will know that the moving forward movement is not mixed with either the lifting movement or the putting down movement. They will understand all movements clearly and distinctly. Whatever they are mindful and aware of will be very clear in their minds.

As yogis carry on the practice, they will observe much more. When they lift their foot, they will experience the lightness of the foot. When they push the foot forward, they will notice the movement from one place to another. When they put the foot down, they will feel the heaviness of the foot, because the foot becomes heavier and heavier as it descends. When they put the foot on the ground, they will feel the touch of the heel of the foot on the ground. Therefore, along with observing lifting, moving forward, putting down, and pressing the ground, yogis will also perceive the lightness of the rising foot, the motion of the foot, the heaviness of the descending foot, and then the touching of the foot, which is the hardness or softness of the foot on the ground. When yogis perceive these processes, they are perceiving the four essential elements (in Pali, dhatu). The four essential elements are: the element of earth, the element of water, the element of fire, and the element of air. By paying close attention to these four stages of walking meditation, the four elements in their true essence are perceived, not merely as concepts, but as actual processes, as ultimate realities.

In the Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, the Buddha taught walking meditation two times. In the section called "Postures," he said that a monk knows "I am walking" when he is walking, knows "I am standing" when he is standing, knows "I am sitting" when he is sitting, and knows "I am lying down" when he is lying down. In another section called "Clear Comprehension," the Buddha said, "A monk applies clear comprehension in going forward and in going back." Clear comprehension means the correct understanding of what one observes. To correctly understand what is observed, a yogi must gain concentration, and in order to gain concentration, he must apply mindfulness. Therefore, when the Buddha said, "Monks, apply clear comprehension," we must understood that not only clear comprehension must be applied, but also mindfulness and concentration. Thus the Buddha was instructing meditators to apply mindfulness, concentration, and clear comprehension while walking, while "going forward and back." Walking meditation is thus an important part of this process."

The Benefits of Walking Meditation.
By Sayadaw U. Silananda

Cloud Hands - Walking

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Taijiquan Summer Training Camp

George Xu and Master Yun Yin Sen at Summer Training Camp at La Honda, Santa Cruz Mountains, near San Francisco, California.

June 13-18, 2006, Tuesday through Sunday.

Liu He Ba Fa, 10 Animal Xing-Yi, Chen Style Taiji, Push Hands

Master Yun Yin Sen started internal arts in Yang Style Taiji. Since 1980 he studied with Zhang Chang Xin in 6 Harmony-8 Method, Liu He Pa Fa and Yi Quan Zhang Zuang (post standing). Zhang Chang Xin was one of the top students of Wu Yi Hui, founder of the form. Also since 1882 he studied with Han Qiao (Han Jiao), Lu Gui Yao, Liang Qi Zhong, all masters of 6 Harmony-8 Method (more). In 1992 he became Anhwei Province 6 Harmony-8 Method Association Secretary and is now President. In 1997 he received the government sports association second degree master's certificate. From 1979-2005 he has been been invited to performances and lectures internationally, very active in the world. 1999 to Russia, 2002 to London and 2003 to England.

I look forward to attending this training camp. I'm training extra to be in excellent physical condition for this 6 day training camp.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Study to Improve

I have really enjoyed and benefitted from reading and studying the
following two books:

Combat Techniques of Taiji, Xing Yi, and Bagua: Principles and Practices of Internal Martial Arts. By Lu Shengli. Translated and Edited by Zhang Yun and Susan Darley. Berkeley, California, Blue Snake Books, 2006. 369 pages. ISBN:9583941452. MGC. General history and principles of 3 internal arts, basic movements, basic gongfu training techniques, and a detailed description with photographs of the Sxteen-Posture form (pp. 231-356).

Complete Kickboxing: The Fighter's Ultimate Guide to Techniques, Concepts, Strategy for Sparring and Competition. By Martina Sprague and Keith Livingston. Wethersfield, Connecticut, 2004. Index, 479 pages. ISBN: 1880336847. Excellent training techniques and fighting tactics.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Valley Spirit Center

Valley Spirit Center
Michael Garofalo and Karen Garofalo
23005 Kilkenny Lane
Red Bluff, California


Private Instruction and Services in:

T'ai Chi Ch'uan





The Concept of the Valley Spirit (Gu Shen)

Directions to the Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California;

The Valley Spirit Center is located 7 miles south of downtown Red Bluff. From Main Street (Highway 99 West) and Antelope Blvd. (Highway 99 East), in downtown Red Bluff, drive south on South Main Street (Highway 99 West) for seven miles until you reach Kilkenny Lane, turn right, and drive .3 miles to 23005 Kilkenny Lane. Kilkenny Lane is 1.7 miles south of the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, and .3 miles north of the Proberta Post Office at the corner of Highway 99 West and Flores Avenue. The Valley Spirit Center is 5.4 miles south of the Tehama Family Fitness Center. There is an Interstate 5 Freeway off ramp at both Flores Avenue and at South Main Street (Highway 99 West).

Accomodations and Attractions in Red Bluff, California

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan Workshop

Sun Style In-Depth Tai Chi Workshop
Based on the Sun Style of Tai Chi as designed by
Grand Master Sun Lu Tang.
Presented by Master Trainer Troyce Thome.
Location: Bend, Oregon.
When: August 18th - August 21st, 2006.

For registration information please write to:
Jenny Sheldon,

Workshop Objectives

To Enhance tai chi practice through a deeper understanding of tai chi principles
To Encourage postural alignment through proper body mechanics and visualization techniques while in Wuji.
To Enhance postural alignment during movement by practicing exercises of moving correctly through the three planes of movement
To Gain a greater understanding of the form through practicing various applications of movements in the form with a partner
To Better Understand the direction of force and the lines of force by using partnered exercises
To Collaborate with other tai chi enthusiasts

Who Should Attend?
Anyone interested in deepening their practice of Sun Style Tai Chi through a clearer understanding of correct postural alignment, how to move correctly through the three planes of movement and finally how to chain those movements together into the form using applications of postures as the guide.

I've signed up to attend this workshop. I took a two day class from Ms. Thome back in April and really enjoyed myself and learned more about the Sun Style. The town of Bend, Oregon, is in very beautiful environment.

Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan, Bagua, and Xingyi Webpage

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bagua Zhang

I recommend the following instructional videotape/DVD:

"Traditional Bagua Zhang, Basic Form and Applications for Beginners and Seniors."
By Jiang Jian-ye. Shifu Jiang teaches an introductory form from the system of the Bagua Zhang founder Dong Hai-Chuan. He provides detailed instruction in each palm form with a verbal explanation and numerous reptitions, presented from different angles and at different speeds. He demonstrates applications for each posture of the form. Hand movements, stepping, turning, postures, and circle walking are all taught. Part 1 and Part 2 on VHS videotape or DVD format. New York, Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York, 1997.
Part 1, 97 Minutes, Color.
Part 2, 97 Minutes, Color.
Shifu Jiang's Tai Chi Videos.

I continue my work on updating the Cloud Hands webpage on Bagua Zhang.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pa Kua Chang

Ba Gua Zhang (Pa Kua Chang)
This webpage features many links, an extensive bibliography, quotations, notes, and some charts about Eight Trigrams (Bagua or Pa Kua) Boxing (Zhang or Chang)

I've added quite a few new links to this expanding webpage. It has become one the 10 most frequently served webpages on the Cloud Hands Website.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Research in Qi Energy

"Several papers discussing new experimental evidence and the possible role of local and global bioelectromagnetic effects in genetic control mechanisms are now available online in the April 2006 issue of JNLRMI at If anyone is interested in replicating some of these studies or in other forms of
future collaboration, please contact me."

Lian Sidorov

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ba Gua Zhang

Ba Gua Zhang (Pa Kua Chang)
This webpage features many links, an extensive bibliography, quotations, notes, and some charts about Eight Trigrams (Bagua or Pa Kua) Boxing (Zhang or Chang)

Mike Garofalo, Bagua Circle Training Area

Here is my Bagua Zhang Circle training area in my backyard in Red Bluff, California. I had hung the Everlast punching bags to the post before I started the baguazhang practice. Then, as I do my baguazhang circle training practice, I get a energy boost by smashing the upper bag with palm strikes and the lower bag with side heel kicks or sweeping take-down kicks as I circle around the post. This practice session took place at around 7 in the morning.

Mike Garofalo, Bagua Circle Training Area

Here I'm practicing the Yin style of Baguazhang, the Bear Posture/Forms. This practice session took place at around 7 in the evening.

Mike Garofalo, Bagua Circle Training Area

I am fortunate to have a large outdoor area for practicing Baguazhang, Taijiquan and Qigong. This baguazhang practice session took place at around 7 in the evening.

The sandy surface is slower than hard clay, bricks or concrete. Just toss shovelfulls of sand around every so often, rake smooth and level, and then resume your practice on a like-new circle. This has been a much better solution than the mucky clay in the wet winters in Red Bluff.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Teahouse by the Pond

Teahouse by the Pond, Red Bluff, California

Our teahouse, in Red Bluff, California, is hidden by weeping willows and other trees and shrubs. The teahouse is next to a small pond and gives a clear view to the west across the North Sacramento Valley to the Yolly Bolly Mountain range.

Teahouse by the Pond, Red Bluff, California

"The first bowl sleekly moistened throat and lips,
The second banished all my loneliness
The third expelled the dullness from my mind,
Sharpening inspiration gained
from all the books I've read.
The fourth brought forth light perspiration,
Dispersing a lifetime's troubles through my pores."
- Lu Tung, Chinese Poet, On Drinking Tea

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Prescriptions for Positive Energy

Ten Positive Energy Prescriptions:

1. Awaken intuition and rejuvenate yourself.
2. Find a nurturing spiritual path.
3. Design an energy-aware approach to diet, fitness and health.
4. Generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity.
5. Develop a heart-centered sexuality.
6. Open yourself to the flow of inspiration and creativity.
7. Celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the
replenishment of retreat.
8. Attract positive people and situations.
9. Protect yourself from energy vampires.
10. Create Abundance.
- Judith Orloff, M.D..
Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming
Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength and Love.

New York, Harmony Books, 2004. Resources, index, 353 pages.
ISBN: 0609610104.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wong Kiew Kit

I really enjoy reading the following books by Wong Kiew Kit:

The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Practice. By Wong Kiew Kit. Shaftesbury, Dorset, Element, 1996. Index, bibliography, 316 pages. ISBN: 1852307927.

The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu: The Secrets of Kung Fu for Self-Defense, Health, and Enlightenment. By Wong, Kiew Kit. Boston, MA, Tuttle, 2001. Index, bibliography, 215 pages. ISBN; 0804834393.

Wong Kiew Kit: Shaolin Kungfu, Chi Kung, TaijiQuan and Zen Extensive website.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sing Without a Word

"A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself."

- Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton's Poetry: Emblems of a Sacred Season

"Mountain fruit drops in the rain
and grass insects sing under my oil lamp.
White hair, after all, can never change
as yellow gold cannot be created.
If you want to know how to get rid
of age, its sickness, study nonbeing."
- Wang Wei, 699-761
Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei, p. 129

Chan Buddhist (Zen) Poetry

The martial artists at the Shaolin Temple all studied Zen.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

True Mind

"Refining the self, and setting up the foundation are not a matter of forced control, forced effort, or austere practices. What the work requires is first to recognize the natural, innocent true mind, and then to use this true mind to refine the self. Then a point of celestial energy emerges within the darkness - this is called true consciousness."
- Chang Po-Tuan, Commentary by Liu I-Ming)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dancing Warriors

"Some martial arts in various cultures can be performed in dance-like settings, either for evoking fiercefulness/pumping adrenaline in preparation of battle, or rather showing off skill in a more stylised manner, or both.

Examples of such war dances include the gymnopaidiai from ancient Sparta, New-Zealand's Haka, the Sabre Dance depicted in Khachaturian's ballet Gayane, the Maasai "jumping" dance, Brunei's Aduk-Aduk, Qatar's Ayyalah, the Indian Kalarippayattu, Pakistani/Afghan Khattak Dance, Brazil's Capoeira, Scotland's Dannsa Biodag ... (not to forget the spoofing weasel war dance)."

Wikipedia - Martial Arts and Dance

Monday, May 01, 2006

Taiji Tun

"One of the best-known and most influential Neo-Confucian (Dao Xue, Study of the Dao) philosophers was Zhou Dun-Yi (1017-73 CE), creator of the famous tai chi diagram (Taiji tu, the yin-yang symbol) and its accompanying commentary, which was based on his study of the "appendices" of the Yi Jing."
- Andy James, The Spiritual Legacy of Shaolin Temple, p. 84

Taiji Tun