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What we're about

This is a group for people who want to practice and exchange their martial arts skills in a fun, safe, and supportive environment. It is not a class, but an open forum for experienced martial artists and martial arts aspirants to play and learn via practicing push hands and other semi-live drills all the way up to light sparring, so long as it can be done with respect and control. The idea is to test and share what you know while learning from others. This may range from concepts about rooting, breathing, and alignment, to specific techniques, ranges, or situations - really anything is on the table (though as we will be outside, grappling on the ground is not the best option). Just bring what you feel like working on, while being willing to both share your knowledge and listen to what others have to say. I may set a tone or topic for each meet up, and circle back to it with some discussion, but it is up to each person or group what they feel like working on, as we will pair off into rotating groups of 2 or 3.

I am really just designing this group as a way to have people to practice with in my neighborhood, as well as to encourage free and open exchange. My background and focus is internal arts, placing more emphasis on mechanics and presence than on technique, though those from all backgrounds and styles are welcome. The only requisites are having enough skill and self-restraint to exhibit control, respect, and compassion, while possessing a genuine, open-mindedness and desire to learn and explore. Hurting others will not be tolerated. This will not be a place to come and challenge others, as ego must checked at the door, and furthermore we will not be doing all-out fighting, for that is not a way to learn, and safety must be a paramount concern. Rather what we will do is practice, rather than fight, with enough realism to test and refine our concepts and techniques. The objective must always remain to learn and to grow, never to have anything to prove. Those supporting this ethos will be welcome to stay.

I have no indoor location and so, weather permitting, we will meet on the Upper West Side of Central Park in the Arthur Ross Pinetum Playground, next to the Great Lawn, which is a very nice spot to practice. Sparring gear is optional, though in my opinion not necessary so long as appropriate control is used, especially since it may detract from the realism. If one wants to bring something protective, a mouthguard is the most important, in my opinion.

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