Don Miller Workshops- November 9 – 12, 2006 @ Sacred Energy Arts Center 220 Pier Avenue, Santa Monica, California (1 block East of Main at Second Street). Contact Susan* 310.403.3124 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
Thursday, November 9th- 7–9:30pm (evening class) PUNCH NO PUNCH : Principles and Practices of Internal Martial Arts Internal martial arts include all the methods of external combat systems--punching, kicking, throwing, grappling, weapons, etc--but with a markedly different emphasis and set of principles and practices. Defensive responses, for example, are based on accurate perception and timing (which are in turn based on calmness and emptiness of mind) rather than on strength and fear-reactivity. Swift, powerful attacks are achieved more by their "invisibility" and internal explosiveness than by throwing as much bodyweight and force as possible. In this workshop we will explore internal training of both offensiveand defensive skills, contrasting with external moves of similar intent. Even a small shift toward the internal method will improve your combat ability, and begin the amazing journey into the internal arts. Methods from Tai Chi, Yi Chuan, Kuntao de Thouars, and Systema will be included. Open to players of all levels, with at least some martial experience. Please bring protective cup, practice blade, and open mind!
Friday, November 10th- 10am-1pm (morning class) THE HAND IS THE BODY : An exploration of the relationship between hands and body in Tai Chi and other martial and movement arts. "At first, the hands follow the body. Later, the body follows the hands. Finally, the hands and body are one." This ancient tai Chi adage contains the secrets to an array of skills and qualities that are usually reserved for only the highest level masters of Tai Chi and martial arts. Think of how you lift a heavy rock from the ground: the hands grasp, but the power to lift it from the earth comes from the legs, hips, and back. Conversely, think of playing a Chopin piano sonata: the speed, intelligence and complexity of the fingers' movement is essential to creating the music, while the torso and legs merely provide the support structure. These two examples are the models for the relationship between hands and body we are seeking: the body gives power and earth energy to the hands; the hands give sensitivity, speed, complexity, intelligence to the body. Ultimately, we want the hands to have the body's power, the body to have the hand's agility and intelligence, and both to be unified in one system. In a structured series of exercises, we will go through the process of empowering the hands and upgrading the body, leading to a new state of integration, grace, and power.
Open to all practitioners of movement and martial arts, with at least 1-2 years experience.
Saturday, November 11th- 10am-1pm (morning class) SACRED POSTURES: Standing Work for Energy Cultivation, Internal Power and Personal Growth. Chinese Taoist and Buddhist internal arts--Tai Chi, Shing Yi, Yi Chuan, and various systems of Chi Kung--have used standing practices for thousands of years to develop the individual in three areas: health (both physical and mental!), martial ability, and spiritual growth. In this workshop we will utilize methods from Yi Chuan (in which standing forms the core practice), Tai Chi (especially the Chen Man Ching standingmethod, emphasizing release of tension) , and the Miller Labs (emphasizing the alternation of movement and stillness) to explore the profound possibilities inherent in standing practice. Open to yoga, tai chi, martial art, and meditation practitioners of all levels; an upgrade of your personal practice and understanding is guaranteed!
Sunday, November 12th- 10am-1pm (morning class) IRON AND SILK, FEATHER AND STONE: working with objects and materials in Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Martial Arts Most of the movements in Tai Chi--and virtually all of the jings (expression-patterns of energy) while practiced "empty-handed" in the Form, cannot be fully understood or developed without the use of objects. Staves, swords, poles, weights provide resistance and demand integration, centering, and energy-projection. Lighter objects such as feathers, shells, and silk provide sensitivity and flow. Elemental qualities of wood, metal, air, etc can be absorbed from playing/training with the respective materials. Kuntao "old school" gungfu training is also rooted in using objects to develop whole body strength, accurate and powerful movement, and martial jings . In this workshop Don will share a variety of training methods that will definitely expand and upgrade your Tai Chi/Chi Kung and martial ability and understanding.
Please bring at least 3 objects (others will be provided): one metal (eg iron dumbbells), 1 wood (eg staff or strong stick), and 1 light (eg feather or silk). Open to all levels with at least some tai chi, chi kung, and/or martial experience.
Rates: 1 workshop $60. Any two: $100. Any 3: $135. All 4: $165. ( Thursday night only: $55)
Bio- Don Ethan Miller has studied Asian martial and Energy arts for over 30 years. Starting in Judo & Tae Kwon Do, he progressed to Tai Chi, Shing Yi, and Yi Chuan: and has also studied Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Ki-Aikido, ErMei Chi Kung and Kuntao Silat de Thouars. He was four time National Champion in Tai Chi tui shou sparring. Also a prizewinning poet, journalist, and screenwriter, he is known for his ability to make advanced "esoteric" concepts and skills accessible to everyone. He has also produced four instructional video/DVD's and is the creator of the Tai Chi Inspirations Calendar, now in it's fourth year. His workshops are filled with love, laughter and learning. Upgrades Guaranteed!