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The Phoenix Rises

  • We are proud of our traditional Gong Fu

  • We share our Gong Fu openly

  • We invite challenges and tests to our Gong Fu skills

  • We cultivate both yin and yang components of our training equally in harmony

  • We are honest about what we can do

  • We rise above bickering, petty mindedness and Gong Fu politics

  • We invest in our students and encourage them to grow and learn in their own way

  • We respect each other, our bodies and our minds

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Our Values: About Me


Here at Rising Phoenix we see the world of Chinese Gong Fu at a crossroads. In China after years of decline and neglect, alongside the neutering and systematisation of traditional styles for performance/display in wushu, we see a dearth of young people interested in and passionate about their traditional arts (including and not limited to gong fu).

In the fast moving fad based culture of the West we also observe a decline. Bruce Lee was all the rage in the 1970-80s and there was an explosion of interest in Gong Fu. But, with the rise of mixed martial arts and the dominance of western combat sports many people have forgotten the calling of traditional martial arts.

Here at Rising Phoenix we are looking to promote a renaissance of practice and study in traditional Chinese martial arts.

We believe that real gong fu flourishes when Yin and Yang combine. Yang training should be arduous, with long hours of stance work, training on the wall and sandbag until your knuckles bleed, practising basic exercises to failure many times, free fighting with real combat intensity with many opponents of many styles, training with live weapons as though your life depended on it. Yin training should be subtle, soft and thorough, with meditation practices (standing, sitting and walking), breath work and qi gong, the cultivation of spirit, morals and values through contemplation of the classical texts, the development of gong fu theory and the pursuit of deeper understanding.

Through the combination of yang external training and yin internal training we elevate our martial discipline to an art. We are neither thugs and cage fighters nor monks, hippies and priests. We are men and women connected and grounded, rooted in the real and yet guided by the heavens, we are martial artists.

We believe that the ancient Chinese practice of Ti Guan (kicking in the door, meaning going out to challenge masters and students of different schools to test your skills) was a vital component of Chinese Gong Fu that has been lost. Whilst, the sometimes bloody and violent challenges of the past (with no holds barred fights that were often armed) have no place in the modern world. We believe that inter club sparring and competitive events can fulfil a similar function. We respect and invite western martial artists and mixed martial arts practitioners to train with us, spar with us and test us.

We believe in the promotion, documentation and teaching of authentic forms, styles and training that is rapidly becoming lost. We think that the methods of traditional masters are gifts for all of humanity and should not be lost, tucked away or hoarded jealously by the few. These arts should be trained traditionally, thoroughly and then recorded, written, videoed and talked about so that our learning grows and more people, not less, have access to these arts.

We have confidence in our art and in ourselves. We do not need to adapt in jiu jistu or wrestling or boxing into our traditional gong fu styles to make new hybrids. We can train and test ourselves with other styles, we can free fight and compete against other styles, we can practice these other styles with their own coaches and masters. Chinese gong fu is the mother of Japanese styles, contains all the methods of fighting from striking, wrestling, joint locks, throws etc. Different arts have different focusses for the reasons of their origin and purpose and most gong fu is based on striking primarily. We know our gong fu works so we have no need to hide it, to turn away challengers, to bully our students, to pretend we have strange qi powers. We proudly show and share our skills and invite others to learn.

We do not claim to do things we cannot do. If you practice only a modern short tai chi form and push hands once a week with a few elderly and obese people, you are not learning Taiji Chuan (supreme ultimate fist fighting method) you are practising tai chi for health, if you do not free fight/spar/compete and test your skills with young competitive athletes (college wrestlers, amateur boxers, pro san da fighters etc.) you are not a fighter. If you have not trained with the police, military or close protection staff or been in real life high pressure situations where you have had to use your skills you are not an expert in self defence or tactical combat. We do not believe in fairy stories, wuxia novels (though we often enjoy them!), magic qi powers, striking at a distance or one touch knock outs. We believe in the things that we can see, we can feel internally and we can train and test. We have confidence in who we are and what we do.

We believe that the inner cultivation work in qi gong, meditation and self development is a precious gift from Chinese masters to the rest of the world. Is a deep and true tradition similar to Tibetan Buddhism or Hindu Yoga. We see the amazing healing and positive benefits of such practices in action and we aim to cultivate, share and teach these methods openly and clearly. We are happy for western medical and scientific approaches to investigate, examine or even challenge our approaches and methods.

We know that ancient Chinese medical theory, qi gong and meditative beliefs of Buddhism and Taoism were created in a pre scientific world and as such these approaches are just models for how these natural processes feel but not an accurate description of those underlying processes. We nevertheless rely on the teachings and signposts of previous masters as the internal feeling of these practices is very real and the correct guidepost for development even if we accept and acknowledge the models and ideas presented by these masters may differ from actual physical processes occurring in the body. Ie you can feel all sorts of things like energy in the body but when we try to measure this mysterious energy it isn't there, those feelings are real and our nervous, lymphatic, venous and musculoskeletal systems way of relating real internal processes to our consciousness. Thus even if qi is not real, the feelings generated are. This is not difficult to understand or explain.

Our Values: Text
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Our Values: Image
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