The understanding of natural, complete breathing is fundamental to any practice of the martial arts.  The breath is the unifying element that calms the mind, relaxes the body, and fills the spirit. The  ancient Chinese believed that the complete breath is the foundation of the body's natural energy, or 'chi'.  This is the main component for balance and correct focus, maintaining not only calmness, but awareness. By modern Western modes of perception, this can be seen as a 'bioelectric energy', encompassing our whole physical being and connecting all of it as a fusion. As well as calming the conscious mind, 
this directed, mindful way of breathing aids in nourishing and re-vitalizing the body. A calm mind allows us much greater focus, and a deeper connection to the processes of our subconscious. The mind becomes sharper, and the subconscious is allowed to operate without external constraints. With this deep conditioning, we can operate much more fluidly and balanced in any dynamic- whether it is personal healing, self understanding, or even threats to our survival and well-being.  'Seeing with open eyes' as we often say.  PERCEPTION is the underlying truth to all martial arts practice and understanding.

Internal conditioning allows us to move in a balanced integration of mind and body. We mindfully direct this balanced fusion to condition ourselves to function very efficiently and with enhanced focus and intention.  By conditioning this mind/body dynamic, we develop enhanced mental preparedness (very necessary in every aspect of our lives, especially in these turbulent and uncertain times).  This balanced training deepens our understanding of our own internal strengths, and increases our ability to recognize and utilize natural energies. In a martial context, this allows us to 'flow like water, strike like iron'. We are actively nourishing and energizing ourselves on a cellular level, as we are conditioning to operate effectively. 
                 The self- awareness achieved by this training provides us the tools to not only defend ourselves (or others) from
aggression, but to take full responsibility for our own lives.

The empty hand can save your life,
the empty mind can cause you to fail in all that you attempt.
The empty heart will cause you to self-destruct.
Seek the Balance.
                                You must seek that which lies within, perfecting the inner strength-
                            developing a right spirit, always knowing who you are, being always faithful to yourself.
Aid to others adds healing to oneself.
                              Happiness is not a place one visits, or a thing one may purchase, but is found within."
- Grandmaster Yuen Khan

      On a Personal Note       

      Although I have walked a long, and oftentimes very difficult, path as a life-long student of martial arts, I really do consider myself always just a student.  There is ALWAYS room to improve, and ALWAYS new dynamics to learn and apply. Yes, I have achieved certain ranks, and even a very hard earned name. But, this does not place me above anyone else. Not only do I consider my students to be equals, all deserving of great respect, but I consider myself a man of service. I am here to SERVE my students, not hold dominion over them or elevate myself  because I have achieved certain hard earned accolades and ranks. Humility in this sense only aids in everyone's growth and understanding- most of all MINE.  
             I learn and strive just like the students I am dedicated to serving.  By walking this path, I have achieved great Self-Confidence and the understanding of how to apply the wisdom I have gained (and continue to gain, as it is a never-ending process). Even with this,  I am not a perfect man, and am subject to foibles, errors, and occasional missteps just like everyone else. Like many others, I too have struggled with serious health issues, and continue to slowly but steadily recover and grow stronger. It is how we perceive Now as it unfolds around us, and live with ourselves day by day, that strengthens our Mind and Spirit. It is the journey we take, and how we take it, that is important.  The humility to LEARN and GROW as a being is what gives us self-confidence, and the necessary introspection to apply our life-gained wisdom.
                Perseverance, and the courage to face Self, are absolutely two of the most crucial dynamics we can achieve from the study of the martial arts. This is what I have learned in the decades I have been walking the path of the Martial Way-  it is not the mugger in the dark alley we are training to face, it is not the unknown kickboxer one may face if they are in competition. It is our ownSelf that we face, with our deep-seated fears and our weaknesses. This is absolutely the most vicious, unrelenting, and brutal opponent we will ever face. SELF.  Seek the balance, be kind and understanding to yourself (a lesson I often struggled with in the past), and the courage to turn those fears and weaknesses into strengths will be possible..............
                  Thank you!
                                                                                               with a deep bow, and deep respect,                       

Master Yue Fei             

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