karate / taijiquan
I have had the priviledge of studying with a number of excellent
martial arts instructors since I first walked onto a mat in 1976:
Over the years, I have also had the pleasure of meeting and training briefly with numerous other instructors in a variety of martial arts. I firmly believe it is important for any teacher to continue to grow their knowledge and experience in their field - to stand still is to slide backwards.
While I am deeply indebted to all my instructors, I've been most profoundly influenced by Thomas Heriaud, head of Isshin Shorinji Ryu in the midwest, Rick Clark, founder of Ao Denkou Jitsu, and Nathan Menaged, head instructor of the Tai Chi Corner in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1985, shortly after moving to Illinois, I had the extremely good fortune to chance upon Master Heriaud's school at the Aurora YMCA, and trained with him until his retirement. Master Heriaud impressed me then and now as a true master of the martial arts - deep knowledge, extraordinary skill, even-tempered, wise, caring, cheerful, full of life. I hold the rank of shichidan (7th degree blackbelt) in Master Heriaud's style of Isshin Shorinji Ryu.
In 1994 I learned quite by chance that a Mr. Rick Clark would be doing a seminar on pressure points someplace north of Milwaukee - a nearly reasonable drive from the Chicago western suburbs. I arrived early - just in time to volunteer as uke (practice dummy) for the free women's self-defense seminar Master Clark was conducting. Ah, the joy and enlightenment of profound pain. Master Clark impressed me with his deep knowledge across a broad range of martial arts as well as his understanding of the practical value of kata. Through seminars and camps (often hosted at our school), I trained with Mr. Clark several times a year. I hold the rank of sandan (3rd degree blackbelt) in Master Clark's style of Ao Denkou Jitsu.
In 2007, I received an email invitation (quite by accident, I think) to attend a seminar on Waterboxing being taught by Sifu Nathan Menaged. I'd been doing Taijiquan for a number of years, but wasn't actively studying with anyone at the time and thought this might be an opportunity to improve my practice. (After all, wasn't Waterboxing just a little known variant of Taijiquan ? :-0 ). After several hours of twisting and folding over and folding under and leading and yielding and ..., I was exhausted and delighted. Sifu Menaged helped me to better understand what softness and yielding really mean, not only in the context of Taijiquan and Liuhe Bafa (Waterboxing), but in all martial arts.
Seisan Ryu was created in 1999 to reflect the influence all my martial arts instructors have had on my martial arts practice and teaching.
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