Nancy Horenburg © 2014 - All rights reserved - Disclosures & Disclaimer
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I believe for one to truly be a martial artist, one must practise the art at all levels, meaning body, mind, emotion, and spirit. This is how I practise my martial arts, incorporating the physical side; strength, agility, endurance, etc, with character building, emotional balance, integrity, discipline, commitment, belief in self, etc... For me, there is no true martial art if the elements of body, mind, emotions, and spirit are not combined.
Everytime we enter the training space where we will be learning the art of Tai chi and Chi kung, and the arts of karate, Kung fu and Capoeira, we are aware of the respect needed and of the necessary focus towards the training of our body, mind, emotions and spirit. This place is not just an area, it is an area that is infused with the intention of practicing and learning the martial arts. Before beginning, focus yourself to enter with awareness, when leaving, take what you have learned with you for the rest of your day. Make your time learning the martial arts one of respect, a time of learning with an open mind and an open heart.
Guidelines and rules
Clothing: Wear appropriate clothing. If you don’t have martial arts specific clothing, please wear loose or stretchy trousers and a plain T-shirt or short sleeved top.
Avoid long flowing clothes as it makes it very difficult for me to see how you are moving your body. Alignment is very important and if I cannot see your knees or ankles....
Avoid wearing skin tight clothing because it interferes with the circulation. Better circulation = better movement as blood flows better through our muscles and our skin can breathe.
Go barefooted, or wear light, flexible shoes if you are not used to going barefoot.
Jewelry: Please remove any jewelry, watches, necklaces etc. This has a few reasons. 1- We remove the connections to the outside world, and we just have our training clothes and ourselves when training. 2- It is for our own and other peoples safety. We can get our fingers caught up in bracelets, or get ourselves scratched with rings. 3- Having anything tight around our fingers or wrists can interfer in the smooth flow of Qi/Chi and blood. (Qi is the Chinese term loosely translated as Energy.)
If you have difficulty taking of your jewelry, such as a ring, make sure that it does not interfer with your movements in the class.
Cellphones: Turn your cellphones OFF! Or turn off all connections. Once again, the outside world must remain outside, it should not interfere with your class. For one hour, be free of the addictiveness of cellphones, and be in the moment of moving your body. Secondly, leaving your phone on intrudes upon the focus of the class and disturbs the other people. Thirdly, having the radiation of the cellphone is not conducive to our health.
Other Items: Leave your bags, phones, shoes (put neatly), etc. outside the training space. No chewing gum.
Arrival: Arrive a few minutes before class starts, so you get a chance to change, and get ready for training. I know that traffic is an issue for many of you, but do your best to arrive on time. If you do arrive late, be aware of when you are entering the class so you do not disturb the other people or interfer with what is going on at the time. Be sure to acknowledge the teacher (that’s me!) with a bow before joining.
Entering and Exiting: When entering and leaving the training space, it is appropriate to bow. When we enter the training space, the act of bowing signifies our respect for the training space, for the teacher, the people who are training with us, and the knowledge coming from centuries of experience, skill and wisdom. It also signifies our willingness to train hard, to focus on the moment at hand, and to leave, for the moment we are in the training space, the outside world. The act of bowing when we leave signifies, once again, our respect for the training space, for the teacher, the people who are training with us, and the knowledge coming from centuries of experience, skill and wisdom, our appreciation for what we have trained in and learned, and our return to the outside world.
Talking: Refrain from gossip, talking too much about outside world events and other unnecessary topics, and using inappropriate language. When in the training space, your main focus is to train and learn. Do not dilute your concentration by talking about irrelevant things. This takes you away from the awareness of your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It also takes you away from the focus of what you are learning.
Payment: Pay your monthly fees in advance either for once a week or twice a week training. Paying in advance for the month gives you the incentive to come!! One of the main reasons why you need to make this commitment is that coming now and then when you have the whim is just not giving you the benefits you deserve.
Credit will not be given for missed classes. It is up to you to take responsibility for your health, your fitness and your financial costs.
However, if you let me know in advance when you will be on holiday or need to take a trip, then credit will be given for those missed days. As for rainy days, we will still have a class and there is shelter.
If you need to pass me a message, you can send an SMS to my cellphone. I do not leave it on constantly, so don’t try to call, I will usually not answer. The number is 74471515.
Training: When training, never follow the archaic saying, “No pain, no gain.” That is completely out-dated (should in effect never have been mentioned!) and dangerous. Following this will only lead you to hurt and a harmed body. Pushing beyond your limits never includes pushing beyond pain. The body gives us pain signals for a reason, to tell us to slow down, and to stop doing what we are doing or to change the way we are doing something. Listen to the real voice of your body, and through that you will gain proper health and fitness.
Regularity: Because this class is based on elements which lead to greater health and wellbeing, coming regularly is of course the best way of improving your knowledge of the martial arts. Commit yourself to coming to class. Everybody has stress related to work and family, etc. Living your life without healthy movement is just adding another stress factor to your life. Your body NEEDS to move, to circulate the blood so your organs have enough oxygen and nutrients. And that includes your brain.
Take this very good saying to heart:
“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness”
- Edward Stanley
Your Best: Do the best you can. Everybody is on a different path, and has started the martial arts at a different time. Your pace will be your own. Just be commited to learning with an open heart and mind, and be commited to practicing what you have learned on your own. There is no end to Tai chi training, it is a path that you enjoy walking upon, not a destination that you yearn to reach.
Be still, be quiet, be dedicated, be focused.
The martial arts will come to you when you open yourself up to them.
Here are a few guidelines in order to make your training here productive and respectful and for making the most of your lessons.
Let us all come together in the spirit of fitness and health, and train with focus, occasional playfulness, dedication and integrity, and with an unrelenting commitment to our wellbeing and health.