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About JessOBrien

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  1. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body podcast

    Hi Papayapple, Thanks! So glad you liked it. We are trying to give some informal history/experiences of our own along with an indepth review of the material in the book. It seems like most stuff out there is instructional, so we want to do something more personal and entertaining I hope. We have a new episode if you wanna check it out: The Neijiaquan Podcast Episode 5 February 19th, 2020 In episode 5 we discuss the principle of "raising the spine and dropping the chest" and it's application in energy gates qigong (chigung) and internal martial arts, like xingyi, bagua and tai chi. Also Jess tells a story about Bruce and Isaac reminisces about the old days at Anvil Ranch and Bruce's early retreats.
  2. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body podcast

    Episode #4: In Episode 4 Jess and Isaac discuss the alignments of the head, neck and spine during Energy Gates standing.…/…/the-neijiaquan-po…/id1495119728 Anybody do this set and want to discuss the finer points? It's a favorite of mine.
  3. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body podcast

    Hi all, Not to spam the group but we have our new episode up! Episode #3: Looking at the roots of Energy Gates we explore the teachings of the Japanese teacher Kenichi Sawai. We also go deeper into the alignments of standing practice and tips for unifying the body. Let me know what you think and if there are any topics about Standing Dissolving you may wish to discuss!
  4. Hi all, Haven't been out here in some time, glad to see the board is still thriving. I thought some of you folks might be interested in this podcast that me and my buddy are working on. We are going to go through Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by BK Frantzis page by page and discuss our experiences with this set, as well as some of the history and our training with the author back in the day. Hope you get a kick out of it! Let me know what you think and if you have any topics you want to discuss about this set. Take care, Jess O
  5. Wow very cool. Ancient Chinese astronomy is fascinating.
  6. breathing

    Hi Fugue, Nice avatar, do you train with Kumar Frantzis? I've learned some breathing in his chi gung system. In the first stage, Opening the Energy Gates, you learn to do all the exercises with normal breath, not matched with the movements. Just natural, even inhale and exhale. In the next phase Heaven & Earth, you learn reverse breathing and incorporate that into each of the movements, then pairing it with your actions. After that you do a variety of breathing skills, depending on for martial arts, chi gung or meditation, each having it's own use and purpose. -Jess O
  7. I've had teachers famous and not famous. All had their faults. When I teach I find it really hard not to overwhelm people. I want to cover it all and help them see the things that took me years to realize. But it's really amazing how little body awareness people show up with at first. Just lining up the feet straight to stand can take weeks. Or months. Or never. As time has gone by I've reduced the amount of info I introduce. Slower seems to be better. On the other hand I needed to hear it a few hundred times before it sank in. Ultimately if they don't train in between classes and make it their own, they'll never get anywhere. Period. And if you DO train on your own, things will become clear as time goes on and it will reveal itself, sooner or later. Those are the only two paths.
  8. Most of the Circle Walking that is the basic training of Kumar's system is outlined in his book: The Great Stillness. That's a good way to get a sense of how he teaches Ba Gua without investing a lot of cash in vids or travel. If you like that book, then maybe it's worth going deeper into his stuff. We spent many years on slow straight line walking with careful alignments, then circle walking then adding layers of dissolving, opening & closing the joints, vibrating the spine, moving intention in the body etc. The nei gung is what gives his system depth and man it really is hard work but rewarding. The palm changes themselves are the easy part.
  9. Dabbling in bagua zhang

    BKF's forms are not and have never been pretty. Nobody looks worse on video than him. But in person the experience is quite different. I'm here in Oakland, I studied with Kumar during his years in Fairfax, CA and we host him here in the Bay Area usually twice per year. He's pretty much retired from martial arts at this point. Recep- good call Jarek's website offers some very good info, well worth reading all his articles.
  10. Dabbling in bagua zhang

    Dainin, I believe he posted some of his teacher on the thread earlier if I recall correctly. Jess O
  11. Dabbling in bagua zhang

    Hi Ba Gua Kid, Yeah man I hear you, we all have our preferences. But trying to judge martial arts from a video is an amateur mistake. Better to judge martial arts by the speed, power and finality of the impact. Not by forms or videos. Kumar and other internal martial arts teachers can deliver that and lots of it. I've never been impressed with a video yet so I don't comment on them. Different boats/fiddles for different folks I suppose. JEss O
  12. Dabbling in bagua zhang

    MIssed this post, thought I'd chime in. I've trained with Kumar for a while now and he has taught me some very cool stuff about Chinese martial arts. As for a deep understanding, I don't see how someone could devote the time and energy he did training in China during the 1970's and 80's and not be good at the art. The guy put his life into his practice. And he tested it rigorously. I've visited a lot of teachers, and all of them had some good things to teach. Just because I prefer some rather than others I wouldn't presume to say which one is deeper than the other until I got to cross hands with them. Kumar no longer teaches martial arts very much, so I won't tell you to bother checking him out in person. If anyone has any questions about his martial arts, I'm happy to relay what I know. Jess O
  13. Best option is to find a teacher, take a lesson then work on it as long as you can. Then go get another lesson. I did Ba Gua with Kumar, but in person not from the vid. I'm sure the vids are good info if that's all you can get, so why not, might as well give it a try. Whatever you do, don't screw up your knees! Good Luck, Jess O
  14. External + Internal Martial Arts

    i am you are saying lots of nice stuff. but the deep meditative energy work side of it is a HUGE benefit if you want to spar. Making your mind more intuitive, reacting more smoothly and getting better timing and awareness all lead to way harder hits and better defenses. get out there and mix it up with some gloves on I'll bet you will get better results than you expect!!
  15. San Ti Shi

    Zhang Yun's article is great, as is his book that he published with Blue Snake. Terrific stuff with tons of detail. Kumar teaches 100% back weight in San Ti unless you are injured, then back off until you are healed. San Ti is good stuff, but hard work and take your time, don't get too frustrated. It's a lifelong pursuit and you must let your knees, and legs adjust so you don't hurt yourself. We hosted Kumar for a series of Hsing-I classes over the last few years that were good fun. We did many many sessions of San Ti with him over the years. One involved awakening the five elements of chinese medicine while standing in San Ti, using Nei Gung exercises within it to open up specific organs, energies and feelings within. Never did that before, it was quite an interesting approach and showed me how deep a simple stance can go.