Calm and Storm Lab Sessions
Open Practice and Exploration
Modern and Traditional Martial Arts
Variety, Inspiration and Perspective
Calm and Storm Lab Sessions are our platform for the open practice and exploration of the martial arts. The intention is to create spaces, times and occasions in which we can share, explore and experiment with the variety of the martial arts irrespective of school, style, and affiliation. Formats for Lab Sessions include regular weekly classes, seminars, and workshops, as well as personal training upon request.
Our aim is to provide a ‘bigger picture’ approach to teaching and learning in the martial arts by drawing on our own, varied experience, as well as guest instructors and practitioners from all sorts of modern and traditional martial arts.Properly understood, this kind of broader approach gives us the chance to gain a broader perspective, share and enrich each others practice, and more. Drawing, building on and combining our three core arts of Aikido, Shiseikan Budo Kenjutsu and Aunkai Bujutsu, we frequently extend beyond these and so, thus far, we’ve had many visiting instructors from different arts share with us, including for example Karate, Boxing, Thai Boxing, Sumo, Toda Ha Buko Ryu Naginata Jutsu, Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Jiu Jutsu, and many more. Most notably over the last few years, two arts have stood out as inspirations for our research next to our core arts that we practice in regular classes.
7 – 8am Lab Session
Get a free trial pass here and come along!
The first are the Russian Martial Arts, not exclusive to, but in particular the RMA Systema of Vladimir Vasiliev (Toronto HQ). Filip Marić is one of so far less than a handful of instructors-in-training of Vasiliev’s RMA Systema based in New Zealand and integrates his knowledge and experience into the Lab Sessions. In Systema, there are no redefined techniques. All forms of movement are based on a deep exploration of the body’s natural movement, building on the basic functions of breathing, continuity of movement, relaxation, and posture. As students become aware of their own strengths they develop skills around and beyond these in such a way that the art and skills become personalised and develop into one’s own ‘System’ based in these principles, from ground to standing, with and without weapons.
The most recent inspiration comes from the Daoist Tradition of Ba Men Da Xuan Ziranmen and its current heir Serge Augier. The Daxuan tradition is one of very few traditional Daoist clan lineages surviving until today and can be traced back to 510 AD in Kunlun and encompasses the cultivation of the human qualities of body, breath and mind, traditional Daoist and Chinese Medicine, and more. The fighting arts of Daxuan include the Daoist martial arts of Xing Yi, Ba Gua, and Taiji Quan, ultimately leading to it’s clan style of formless, natural boxing – Ziranmen. As in all comprehensive Daoist traditions, the fighting arts are considered an accelerated path to a better life by teaching us to deal with challenges in a positive way, free of fear and violence, and thus ebtter ways of interacting with others.
Given that the martial arts have always been more than just fighting arts, but rather ways of life inseparable from their own philosophy and healing arts, practice and exploration naturally extends into these and many other fields. As a result, we have already had Zen masters, Shiatsu instructors, Business Management Coaches and many others amongst our guest instructors, and draw on include on a similarly broad background in the arts of Motion and Stillness in our training.
Ultimately, the true strength of the martial paths lies in helping us live and enjoy our lives more fully and freely, finding a sense of calm and stillness in the constant motion and occasional storms, from which we can better relate to, live with and help others find the same sense of joy and calm. If we are open enough, inspiration for this can come from anywhere, anyone, and anytime. So let’s not waste any and get practicing!