Personal History

In the summer of 1995 I migrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and soon thereafter discovered the Ancient Art of Taijiquan.

I had gone to a Chinese Wushu (martial arts) tournament and was captivated by the high flying, acrobatic, circular movements of the various art forms. But what really caught my attention and stirred me most, was when I saw the performance of a Taijiquan form. With it’s soft circular movements coupled with balance and evenness, it was such a stark contrast to the linear dynamic movements of Traditional Shotokan Karate, the art I had trained in for the last 20 years. I was immediately captivated and drawn to it’s inherent beauty.

Since 1995, I have been training in Wushu’s Internal Arts. Focused mainly on Taijiquan which I have found to be a perfect complement to my Martial Arts background.

The focus of Taijiquan as it is taught today, characterized by the “Chen” the “Yang”, the “Wu(s)” and “Sun” styles, is primarily one of Health and Wellness, emphasizing relaxation, balance, opening of the joints, rootedness, body alignment and an unending attention to the flow of the energy within, referred to by some as ‘Chi’ or ‘Ki’. As a matter of fact, all styles of the Internal Arts encompass these qualities. The irony of it all though, is that I have found that Taijiquan has not only improved my health and well being, but has added new dimensions to my martial arts skills. This has been accomplished by the introduction of other aspects of the Martial Arts, not mentioned or focused on, by other Art forms.

An integral part of Taijiquan is ‘Push Hands’, sensitivity drills practiced and played between two people. Push Hands develops understanding of energy and balance. The key is in learning to ‘relax and receive’, learning to listen…learning to feel. ‘Listening’ is the cardinal principle of push hands, for in order to listen one must be soft and relaxed. Listening also leads to skill in ‘Sticking’ the key that opens the gate to push hands, as well as the wonder of Taijiquan as a martial art. What a journey to embark upon!

Training and Credentails

For several years I trained with Grandmaster Shouyu Liang a renowned Wushu Master originally from mainland China, who now lives in Vancouver, BC Canada. Master Liang is well known throughout North America and China and is loved and revered by his students all over.

I’ve completed seminars with Master Yang Jun, 6th Generation Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan. Participated and completed workshops with Sam Masich (Push Hands) and Dr. Paul Lam (Taiji for Arthritis), two distinguished and recognized Taiji instructors.

The Arts…flashes of brilliance that come from deep within. Life expressing itself through motion, through feeling, through technique. Discovering the rewards of perseverance, of determination and of discipline. ~ Anthony

 

The Beginning

Shotokan Karate - Nijushiho (24 steps)

Shotokan Karate – Nijushiho (24 steps)

It all started in 1972, when I returned home to Trinidad from College in Tampa Florida and was introduced to Traditional Shotokan Karate, as developed and taught by the Japan Karate Association (JKA). What an incredible period of my life it was. Everyone was vibrant and eager, filling the training hall (Dojo) with such an incredible energy, that even though the training was intense to the point of being military, the thought of missing a class never entered our minds. As a matter of fact, you looked forward to it.

As the years passed and the techniques became ingrained in the fibers of my being, I began to witness the fluidity, grace and power that surfaced as I trained and expressed myself in Kata, in Kumite and in basic and advanced techniques. It’s the simple glimpses of mastery that fuels the fire that keeps one striving for perfection. Perfection of technique, perfection of character and the fulfillment that comes with the integration of mind, body and spirit.

I cannot help but acknowledge and respect the art of Traditional Shotokan Karate-Do and those who propagate it with clarity and insight. Insight into the essence of the art. It has been and continues to be an incredible journey of self discovery and self cultivation.

JKA logoMy gratitude goes out to David and Brian Chin Leung, who in the early 70’s were the pioneers of Traditional Shotokan Karate in Trinidad. Brian was known for his style and flair, which so captivated my attention and David who knew and instilled the true meaning of fundamental techniques and traditional training.

I presently hold a Nidan ranking (2nd Degree Black), which was granted to me by the ITKF (International Traditional Karate Federation) the only organization recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee)(1987) as the governing body for Traditional Karate. I had the good fortune of being graded by Mr. Hidetaka Nishiyama the founder and chairman of the ITKF and co-founder of the Japan Karate Association.