Luke Kessler, 3rd from left, passed the test for his 1st Dan Blackbelt in Combat Hapkido.
His sister, Isabel Kessler passed her test for Youth Blackbelt.
Luke has now been promoted to Assistant Instructor. Isabel is now a Junior Instructor, meaning she will be officially assisting in teaching the Youth Hapkido curriculum.
We are so proud of these two!
L-R: Instructor Ed Ricciuti, Instructor David Townson, Asst. Instructor Luke Kessler, Instructor John Himmelman, Junior Instructor Isabel Kessler
As part of the 1st Dan Blackbelt test in Combat Hapkido, candidates must come up with 10 techniques on their own. Watch Luke in action in this video!
Led by the world-renowned Martial Artist, Stephen Watson
All Martial Arts require Kung Fu. Kung Fu means dedicated, sincere, earnest, honest hard work over time in the direction of growth. Kung Fu is the How of what it is you do, even another martial art.
All Kung Fu can be practiced by in the Play of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a way of practicing Kung Fu which is a way of practicing how one applies oneself. All Tai Chi is a whole-body/mind study of the Why of Taoism.
Taoism is a proto-scientific effort to describe the Why of the world as it is felt by the unveiled mind. Taoism is a specific version of Shamanism. Shamanism is a relationship with the substantial and insubstantial aspects of existence, the sacred and the profane. It is the acceptance of the Why Not within the whirl of Why.
This workshop, originated for the Old Oak School of the Dao in California invites us to walk into the woods. Not a hike, not a race. To find our (unmarked) Path along the (marked) path we will explore the natural possibilities to practice Kung Fu. We may lift rocks. We may clamber and kick, we may expand our worldview by squinting at a chrysalis. There are many games and exerceise in the woods. A shaman is open to them. The games teach of the Tao, the yin and yang of everything. The Tao opens us to Tai Chi, the why of our how. Our Tai Chi reminds us to open to our Kung Fu, our struggle to reach no-struggle.
Push Hands, while the most fun thing one can do on two feet, is a practice of martial skill that continually presses us to engage with what we are connected to. On our walk it may be a bit of lichen, a patch of mud, or a straight jab. Remain engaged and the How will come to you through Play. Remain engaged and the Why will spar with the Why Not.
We'll have a hike like no other...
Stephen Watson has immersed himself in Eastern philosophy for over 30 years. He travels the world offering workshops on various Chinese martial arts and is an International, 14-time US, and now World champion in Taiji push hands. Stephen has been featured in Inside Kung-Fu magazine for both his jovial personality and world class skill, and operates a small martial arts school in Connecticut where he hosts masters from far and yon: http://somedayfarm.net/.