Shaolin Toronto News http://www.stqitoronto.com Shaolin-related Martial Arts Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, and Chan/Zen Blogs en-us Copyright 2424 STQI Toronto Tue, 16 Jul 2024 16:08:00 +0000 https://validator.w3.org/feed/docs/rss2.html STQI Toronto RSS Custom Feed Generator 1765 info@stqitoronto.com (Dao Shi) info@stqitoronto.com (Dao Shi) 40 How Meditation Helps Jamal Murray To Become a Top Basketball Athlete https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-meditation-helps-jamal-murray-to-become-a-top-basketball-athlete How Meditation Helps Jamal Murray To Become a Top Basketball Athlete Photo Credit: Sean Rayford / The Associated Press Master Dao Shi was interviewed by Chris O’Leary Sports Reporter, of the Toronto Star in 2016. We just remembered about this article so we've reposted it here. The original article can be found on Toronto Star's website here: https://www.thestar.com/sports/basketball/kentucky-s-jamal-murray-finds-the-calm-before-the-storm/article_d674ba10-a0ce-5772-9060-e5ba42fecef2.html By Chris O’Leary Sports Reporter Going on two straight years now, Jamal Murray’s life has consisted of noise. The NCAA recruiters who trekked north to Orangeville Prep last year are this year’s NBA scouts, camped out in Lexington, Ky., where Murray has shone as a freshman with the Wildcats. Wins and losses, good plays and bad, and every in and out of his 20 points and five rebounds per game roll through the critique cycle on repeat. Mock drafts have been forecasting where the 19-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., will begin his pro career, jostling him throughout the NBA’s lottery every week since October. And that’s just the simple basketball stuff. There is still the attention and fanfare that playing well — really well — at one of the biggest basketball programs in the NCAA brings. There’s also the endless stream of you’re-the-next-Steph-Curry praise to you’re-straight-garbage trolling that social media heaps on athletes. And as loud as the last two years have been for Murray, March Madness starts on Thursday. From the moment the Wildcats’ opponent is revealed on Selection Sunday, everything — the praise and the criticism, the TV audiences and the packed arenas, the tweets and, most important, the pressure — will start to climb to deafening levels as Murray tries to steer a middle-of-the-pack Wildcats team deep into the tournament. The six-foot-five guard has a plan for the noise; it’s one that he’s had in place probably longer than he can remember. Meditation and kung fu help him navigate these eye-of-the-hurricane moments. “I think it’s made me the player that I am today,” Murray said recently. “If it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t be the same player — I probably wouldn’t be in this spot.” Basketball and meditation have crossed paths in the past. Phil Jackson earned the Zen Master moniker while coaching Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, and later brought his teachings to Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers. But Murray’s time with meditation started much earlier than Jackson’s prodigies. His father, Roger, says that, even as a baby, Jamal lit up when he had a basketball in his hands. Having benefitted from meditation and kung fu himself, he introduced them to his son when he was three or four years old. “We’d sit together and relax and I’d tell him, ‘You can’t say anything. You can’t laugh, you have to keep your emotions,’ stuff like that,” Roger said. Of course, there are limitations in trying to corral a toddler and getting them to sit still. “You make it fun,” Roger Murray said. “It was a progression.” It progressed to the point of Jamal doing pre- and post-game meditation through high school. He said he has had to scale it back to pre-game this year but the impact has still been tremendous. “The kung fu (built) mental toughness and then, the kung fu and meditation, we went over different scenarios and different situations,” Jamal said. “That led to me being more relaxed in the game and seeing things slower. “Now I have a resting heartbeat of 34 beats per minute, so it just kind of slowed my body down and made me think clearer.” The National Institutes of Health (via the American Heart Association) says the average resting heart rate for a well-trained athlete is 40 to 60 beats per minute. For an average person, it’s 60 to 100 beats per minute. Dao Shi is the chief Shaolin instructor who teaches meditation and kung fu at the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute in downtown Toronto. A 35th generation traditional Shaolin disciple, he was also a big fan of the Vince Carter-led Raptors. “The first purpose of meditation is to clear your mind,” he said. “If you want to do really well, you can’t worry about all the different problems or stresses you have in your life. What meditation does is it takes away all the many, many thoughts that you have. “The second purpose is it helps you control your emotions. You try to get into a state of neutrality.” The pursuit of that state of neutrality is what pulled Raptors centre Bismack Biyombo into meditation a little more than a year ago. “I’ve meditated before games, meditated . . . to take good action in stressful moments. I find that’s how meditation has helped me,” he said. “Before I was too stressed and there was too much going on. Overall it has helped me and I know I still have a long way to go, but it’s one step at a time. You can’t master it. You take away your anger, you help your anger management in game situations.” “When you close your eyes, you’ll see things, think of all sorts of things. To think of nothing at all is actually very, very difficult to do,” Shi said. “So meditation is a tool and a skill that you can acquire to improve your focus and then reduce your mental stress. It’s allowing your brain to sleep without sleeping. It needs rest, too.” Roger Murray practised kung fu and saw it as something that could apply to basketball when Jamal started playing it. “You think about kung fu or martial arts, you think about fighting but there’s also a mental part,” Roger said. It might be the mental part of kung fu that aligns it with basketball. The one-on-one battles have similar elements, where you’re studying and anticipating the moves of your opponent. As Shi explains it, he starts to sound like a basketball coach. “Shaolin kung fu is about self-defence first,” he said. “It’s from a self-defence that you think about offence. That’s the strongest way. “You go in there thinking only about offence and you’re going to get destroyed. Your opponent will be smarter than that, they’ll be able to take advantage of your weaknesses. “It becomes like a chess game.” A lifetime of basketball, meditation and kung fu have taken Jamal Murray to his biggest stage yet. The numbers — 10 straight games of more than 20 points to end Kentucky’s regular season, and 24.5 points per game in the SEC playoffs — have gotten better as the NCAA Tournament has gotten closer. But it shouldn’t be surprising. While an arena full of fans are creating chaos, Murray is calmly playing chess in his own world. Tue, 16 Jul 2024 16:08:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-meditation-helps-jamal-murray-to-become-a-top-basketball-athlete The Power of Calmness - Understanding Emotions https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-power-of-calmness---understanding-emotions ARTICLE SERIES The Principles of Chan-Dao Self Wisdom PERCEPTIONS EMOTIONS SUB-CONSCIOUS(coming in October 2024) EGO-SELF(coming in February 2025) The Power of Calmness - Understanding Emotions Our ability to understand and manage our emotions is one of the principal ideas of Chan-Dao for achieving self-wisdom. This blog focuses on understanding what emotions are and how our body and mind are affected. By taking the step to understand emotions, we begin the journey to develop ‘calmness’. Emotions An emotion is a physical sensation resulting from a chemical reaction in the body and can be stimulated by the mind or external factors. Let’s break this down into a few key requirements: There needs to be a physical sensation. For example, we describe these physical sensations as feelings of hunger, physical pain from injury, pain in the heart or chest, euphoria from happiness, etc. The physical sensation must result from a chemical reaction in the body. This means your body stores, creates, and releases chemicals for every emotion you feel. The chemicals responsible for your emotions are stimulated by your mind (from perceptions and in response to your environment). In other words, if any of these requirements are not met then it is not an emotion experienced in the 'normal sense'. It is instead classified as something else beyond the scope of this article, for example, it could be a deception or a mental disorder. To distinguish different types of emotions, let's also break down emotions into two components: Emotional State. This is the physical sensation of the emotion in your body and mind. Emoting. This is the physical act of communicating how one feels. Understanding emotions in this way is very useful. For example, cultures and societal groups may have different mannerisms in expressing emotions. When travelling or moving to a foreign country, you can adapt more quickly by copying how others emote. Some people hide how they feel (i.e. they hide the emotional state they are experiencing) by acting and communicating with another emotion (i.e. emoting). For example, a poker player might be feeling very nervous (or excited) by the situation during a card game, but emote calmness to fool the competition. Others might hide their disappointment or feelings of sadness, anger, or embarrassment in fear of how others would respond. Basic Emotions With our understanding of emotions, let’s explore some basic emotions by observing babies and infants. In the first year, a baby can experience joy, sadness, happiness, anger, comfort, discomfort, like, and dislike. The baby will innately know to cry in order to communicate any negative emotional states experienced. The baby will initially experiment with different facial features and learn facial features from those around. This helps the baby communicate how it feels to its caregivers. This is why sometimes the facial features of the baby may seem random, and not match how the baby feels (according to what most people would expect). Other basic emotions are not so obvious. These are: hungry, thirsty, full (from eating or drinking liquids), tired, alert, the need to urinate, nausea, and the need to poop. All of these basic emotions help babies to communicate and survive. Complex Emotions As we grow older, we develop more complicated emotions to help us survive in our social environment. Part of this emotional complexity comes from evolved emotional states, and part of it comes from evolved emoting. Evolved emotional states would include emotions such as feeling confused, rejected, excited, euphoric, concupiscent, fearful, horrified, disturbed, loss, peaceful, bored, physically hurt, emotionally hurt, fearful, enraged, lonely, depressed, anxious, stressed, illness, connected, satisfied, vexed, hot, and cold. There are many more complex emotional states not listed here. A baby may also have some of these emotional states but not likely to the complexity that is developed later on in life. Evolved emoting comes from learning how to use the physical body to convey an emotion in a social environment. This can include many different muscles in the face as well as using our body and arms/legs and also includes the voice. Different cultures and social groups may use completely different muscles for emoting. For example, when one is confused, one may shrug their shoulders, scratch their head, say ‘huh?’ or ‘what?’, raise one cheek, tense up one eye, etc. We learn this by being around others, watching shows, etc. Emotional States and Sense Perceptions We have contemplated emotions in a structured way, separating emotions into Emotional States and Emoting, and talked about how emotions evolve into complex feelings in a social environment. We can now confidently deduce that Emotional States are part of our basic Sense-Perceptions. That is, in addition to being able to touch, taste, smell, hear, and feel, we also experience many Emotional States that have been with us since our conception in the womb. This also means that our complex and abstract layers of perceptions must include these emotional states, further complicating our understanding of things. For now we will keep this idea as a placeholder. In the future, we explore it along with the ideas of the subconscious and the ego-self. Why Emotions are Difficult to Deal With We may act upon our emotions and regret things we do or say. Why do we struggle with our emotions? Firstly, it is important to remind ourselves that the Emotional States we feel are triggered by an Emotional Chemical. The stronger the emotional chemical, the greater the sensation of that feeling, and the increased likelihood of acting irrationally. Consider the loss of someone close to you. This loss causes you to feel sad along with a terrible pain in your chest. In time, it becomes depression and you may lose your appetite or motivation to survive. Does it make sense to starve yourself and ruin your health? Most likely not! However, the strong feeling of sadness makes it difficult to motivate yourself to be healthy. Some emotions will cause you to act out immediately. For example, you are in a rush for a work meeting and fear that you may lose your job for being late. At the same time, you urgently need to use the washroom. The feeling of defecating is so strong that you decide to take a detour and accept being late for the meeting. Other emotions such as anger, hate, and jealousy may cause you to act without considering the consequences. There are plenty of examples of people who resort to physical violence, racism, theft, and bullying in an attempt to satisfy these emotions. Some underlying emotions such as anxiety are often caused by past trauma. Many people are not aware of this anxiety or are unable to face it, resulting in smoking, alcohol, or self-abuse. The relief is temporary and when the anxiety returns, they repeat in self-abuse. Even positive emotions can lead to problems. Joy and excitement can be positive temporarily, but when those feelings dissipate, one may then feel boredom and even depression. This may lead one to make harmful or risky decisions for oneself to seek euphoria, such as gambling, drugs, and alcohol abuse. The main point here is that the feeling of Emotional States can be very strong and override your thinking processes, resulting in a lapse of judgement. Why Do We Have Emotions? Emotions exist mainly for 3 reasons: To communicate To survive To integrate Communicate Babies emote as a means to communicate with their caregiver to help with their needs. As we get older, our emotions help us to additionally fit into society as a means to learn and working together. Consider a child who appears lazy and unmotivated to do well in school. This may cause the parent to worry and become angry, resulting in punishment for the child. What is actually happening is that society is expecting that child the grow up one day and join the workforce and contribute in some way. In exchange, society will reward that child with financial security. Worry in this case, helps motivate the parent to look after the child’s future interests. Society and social interactions are complex. Culture and history play a large role in how societies have developed. Actions that cause a negative experience for others are often evolved into crime, law, and the idea of personal rights. Emotions have helped us to communicate with others when we feel our rights have been violated. A passerby may justify that taking a few crops from a farm is okay because ‘the farmer has so many and won’t mind losing a few’, but to the farmer, that person is stealing and taking advantage of the hard work put into farming. Another example could be your boss taking credit for your hard work. Is that okay? Probably not. Anger, sense of loss, and/or rights violation may ensue, leading to aggressive and violent action.Emotions also help us to communicate with ourselves. This is part of a larger discussion involving the subconscious which we will explore another time. Survive Emotions help to ensure our survival and in other words, it is part of our genetic make up. If you did not have the emotion of feeling hungry, you would starve to death because there is no particular desire to eat. The same would be true for drinking water or liquids. On the other hand, if you eat too much, you will feel nauseous. This is the body’s protection mechanism to ensure you do not overstuff your stomach and cause problems. Once you eat your body will digest the food. If it doesn’t like what you put in it (for example moldy bread or items that are not actually food), your stomach will complain and force you to eject the material by making you feel nausea and forcing you to vomit. When you process the food, the waste needs to come out, or else your body will become stuffed and waste will fester. So your body will now nag you and force you to defecate. With the nutrients in your bloodstream, your body will want to heal tired muscles and joints or grow muscle and bone. The best way to do this is to make you experience tiredness as a means to make you slow down, rest, and sleep. There are many more emotions related to survival for your body. Take the time to think this through and discover more. Integrate As a human species, we have to learn how to survive together and this requires us to integrate into a larger system that includes complex social behaviour. We’ve gotten to this point in the universe due to our emotional needs to belong, to work together, to share stories, knowledge, and wisdom, to develop technology, and to help each other through social groups and government. Our DNA does not want us to live life alone, and the emotion of loneliness and insecurity will build up, and motivate us to find a partner, have a family, and make friends. In other words, we are social creatures. Otherwise, in time, loneliness will build up and make us feel anxious, stressed, abandoned, rejected, sad and depressed. How to Calm Down Temporarily To deal with our emotions, we need to start in a calmer state. However, experiencing emotional states makes our lives very difficult because the situations we find ourselves in, or the rumination afterwards, will continue to release emotional chemicals. You can find many techniques on the Internet for calming down temporarily. Here are a few ideas: Focus on breathing. Breathing will naturally relax you, so take a few minutes to breathe more fully to relax. Remove yourself from the environment. If something in your environment is creating unwanted emotional states, try to find a new environment where you can take a moment to relax. Listen to music. Distract your mind by listening to music that helps you relax. You can try meditative, trance, and/or peaceful music. Meditate. Attempting meditation when you are not calm is not easy, and yet doing so can provide the quickest path to calmness. Practice often so that you can do it in a time of need. Try moving meditation. Moving meditation is anything that you can do on your own that allows you to distract your mind from whatever it is that is bothering you. This can be a simple chore such as washing dishes, going for a walk, practicing qigong, etc. The Skill of Calmness The Skill of Calmness is your ability to preemptively prevent Emotional States from arising. It is a long-term skill that when developed, will give you a trusty and powerful weapon to maintain calm wherever you are and whatever you experience. The Skill of Calmness implies: It has value, It can be attained, It can be improved The Skill of Calmness has value because it supports rational thinking. Who would want to lash out at others and hurt them when they get angry? Causing suffering to others will always come back to cause suffering for yourself. How often do we see violence in the news that could easily have been avoided? A few years ago, I read a news article involving a physical fight between two people involved in a traffic incident. One driver decided to turn left even though the traffic had not cleared, resulting in blocking the intersection. The other driver wanted to go through and could not, and became so angry that they both got out of their cars. They started to yell at each other, which escalated to threats and eventually became a physical fight where one of them died. If any one of them had the Skill of Calmness, no one would have died, and they would have been able to reason it out as a lesson learned. Instead, one dies with likely family who must now suffer, while the murderer must go to jail and contemplate the consequences. If we had the Skill of Calmness, we would be more accepting of others, be less reactionary, have clearer judgement, and integrate with others in a more positive and supportive way, thereby fostering peace in society. The Skill of Calmness can be attained and improved. When you first achieve some level of skill, you will find yourself less reactive, and the emotional feelings (i.e. the resulting chemicals released in your body) are reduced. The chemical release of emotions is your body’s way of overriding your consciousness to react immediately to your environment. We mentioned many reasons our body does this earlier, and we know it’s not always a good thing. How to Develop Calmness Here are a few ways to develop the Skill of Calmness: Practice acceptance scenarios Practice daily silent meditation Practice awareness of arising emotional states Practice Acceptance Scenarios Many emotions arise unexpectedly and cause an immediate and strong chemical release, which is difficult to be aware of and manage. For example, you may be applying for a job and you expect to get it because of your experience and credentials. However, if you are unexpectedly not hired, you may feel disappointed or sad. By preparing ahead of time, you can go through scenarios of getting that job or not getting that job, and not only accept the result but also plan out the next steps. In this way, if you do not get the job you will not be fixated on the result but rather on how to get the next one. The disadvantage of this technique is that it is too difficult to think of and remember every possible scenario in life! So when life brings unexpected events, you may find yourself unprepared and your emotions swinging from high to low and low to high. Practice Daily Silent Meditation Silent meditation is not an easy skill to master, however, even a novice practicing for a few minutes a day will benefit greatly in many ways. This form of meditation is classically presented in a lotus sitting position and may be practiced in various seated, standing, and other comfortable positions. The aim of this practice is to develop calmness by unburdening the mind from day-to-day stresses, anxiety, and worries. The reason why practicing meditation helps with the Skill of Calmness is that it will unburden your mind and help you to be more present and aware of the emotional states that you experience. Proper practice of Silent Meditation is also practicing the ability to physically relax your body.And when you are more present, you will become less reactive to the events arising around you. Learn more about Silent Meditation at stqitoronto.com > resources > zen, or click here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/resourceszen Practice Awareness of Arising Emotional States By the time you experience an emotional state, such as anger, sadness, and excitement, the chemicals are already released in your body and will not clear out very quickly. Ideally, you would want your body to stop releasing more and sooner so that you can calm down more quickly. The key is to become more aware of emotional states when they trigger. For example, you may find yourself feeling sad, but then realize it was triggered by one or more events that happened 15 minutes ago. If you trained your awareness of emotional states, you could have been aware of the trigger of sadness within 5 minutes, 3 minutes, or even a few seconds. As soon as you are aware of the trigger of an Emotional State, you can then follow one or more ideas in the ‘How to Calm Down Temporarily’ section above. So how do we become aware of Emotional States sooner? Here is a quick summary: Start in a relaxed state. Scan your body for tension and try your best to let it go, especially in the head/face, chest, and belly areas. Some people will feel they are never relaxed and unable to be fully calm. In that case, you know yourself best, so start in as a relaxed of a state that you can manage. Purposely trigger an Emotional State. While continuing to scan your body for Emotional States, trigger one by recalling a memory. You can also attempt triggering hunger but it may be difficult to have the focus to patiently wait for it. Study the Emotional State. If you pay attention, you will discover that the nature of the Emotional State in terms of how it physically feels, changes in time. For example, it will build up in the strength or intensity of the feeling, and then subside as you relax. You will also become more aware of where the release of the chemical is and where you will feel discomfort, tension, or other qualities. Repeating this exercise with the same Emotional State will gain insight and wisdom into how your body and mind work. The more you practice, and the more Emotional States you practice with, the more your skill of Calmness will improve. By practicing your awareness and understanding of Emotional States, you will be able to detect Emotional State chemical releases sooner. By practicing ‘Calming Down Temporarily’, you can learn to quickly stop additional and perpetuating Emotional States. Dealing with Stress and Anxiety in the Long Run Many emotions involving stress and anxiety arise out of complicated events that may originate from recent events, childhood, or even earlier. We have many articles on how to deal with different types of emotions on our website. Learn more about these at stqitoronto.com > resources > zen, or click here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/resourceszen Shàolín Chándào perspective: Emotions help us to understand who we are and how we fit in society. Learning to maintain calmness at all times will bring a clearer perspective of our existence. Tue, 02 Jul 2024 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-power-of-calmness---understanding-emotions Shaolin Martial Zen Hoodie Jacket On Sale https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-martial-zen-hoodie-jacket-on-sale Shaolin Martial Zen Hoodie Jacket On Sale Proudly display your Shaolin Spirit through a unique hoodie jacket with a luxurious feel! The Shaolin Hoodie Jacket is a unique clothing product with luxurious and useful features. The exterior is made of 50/50 bamboo cotton to give it comfort, breathability, and durability. On the front are the Chinese characters that mean 'Shaolin'. On the back are the Chinese characters that mean 'Shaolin Martial Zen'. It's what makes Shaolin martial arts unique when compared to other martial arts. The zipper is windproof and there are two pockets with zippers. The inside has a jacket quilting, which keeps you warm between 5 and 20 degrees Celcius, perfect for spring, fall, and summer evenings in Toronto. The hoodie is a looser fit and a bit longer to keep more of your body warmer. Now on sale for $95+HST until August 31, 2024 (while supplies last!). Thereafter, the price will be raised to $125+HST. Find this product in the Shopping area after logging in, or click this link below (be sure you are logged in first): https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/viewproduct/5AzmhYi6pncZ Fri, 28 Jun 2024 22:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-martial-zen-hoodie-jacket-on-sale Break Week Reminder https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/break-week-reminder Break Week Begins We have a scheduled break for the 2024 T2 Summer Term from Monday, July 1st to Sunday, July 7th. Strive to practice on your own! Classes will resume on Monday, July 8th. There are 5 weeks left in the 2024 T2 Summer Term which runs up to and including Sunday, August 11th, 2024. Wed, 26 Jun 2024 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/break-week-reminder Perform at the Chinatown Festival on August 17 2024 Saturday https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/perform-at-the-chinatown-festival-on-august-17-2024-saturday Perform at the Chinatown Festival on August 17 2024 Saturday About Our Performance Once again we are performing at the Chinatown Festival on the Main Stage, on Saturday, August 17, at 8pm. Our performance will be approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. We are one of the event's highlights! Many people come downtown to watch our performance. Why We Encourage All of Our Students to Participate Performing helps showcase our school's Shaolin spirit, attracting more people and encouraging them to prioritize their mental and physical health. Students also benefit by: 1. Gaining experience and skills in a performance environment, including overcoming performance anxiety and nervousness 2. Having clear goals to improve and expand their Shaolin skills, techniques, and forms 3. Getting more socially involved and having fun 4. Extra free training at the practices! We will do our best to find a role for any student who wants to support our school in this way. Register Here https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/forms/view/YfRYc06RyQ Wed, 19 Jun 2024 10:34:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/perform-at-the-chinatown-festival-on-august-17-2024-saturday Join Our Shaolin Band https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-our-shaolin-band Join Our Shaolin Band For students who enjoy playing instruments, consider joining our first-ever Shaolin Band!We are interested in students able to play any kind of instrument including guitar, piano, violin, erhu, flute, drums, gong, etc. Eventually, we hope to be able to provide live music as part of our performances. To qualify: You have at least an intermediate level of capability with an instrument You can bring that instrument to the practice session You must be a current and active student We will also consider singers and music producers to join our band. We plan to meet on Monday evenings at 6pm for 1 to 2 hours. There is no fee and is fully funded by our school. To confirm your interest, please fill out the registration form here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/forms/view/HE8pRRs4oy Once we have enough people interested, we will notify everyone and begin the sessions. Fri, 07 Jun 2024 20:54:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-our-shaolin-band Watch our Huron Square Performance on June 8 Saturday https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/watch-our-huron-square-performance-on-june-8-saturday Watch our Huron Square Performance on June 8 Saturday Our students have been training hard to perform for you Our school is performing this Saturday at 4:15pm at the Huron Square Variety Day event. Everyone is welcome to come out to watch the performance and support our students. It is held at the corner of Dundas Street West and Huron Street, about 2 minutes walk west of our downtown Toronto school. It will feature our students performing Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong. For more information about the Huron Variety Day, please click here: https://chinatownbia.com/eventsnews/huron2024/ How to Participate in Future Performances We will have performances throughout the year, and we invite all our students to join in the fun and experience. Performing will help you to improve and set goals for yourself, as well as demonstrate your support for our school. Our upcoming performances, such as Chinatown Festival in on August 17th, 2024 will feature Performance Team Routines as well as Student Group Routines. The Performance Team Routines are performed by students who attend the Monday evening Performance Class and have worked their way up to a higher level of ability, while Student Group Routines are performed by any student of our school. Thu, 06 Jun 2024 09:14:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/watch-our-huron-square-performance-on-june-8-saturday Get the Most Out of Your Shaolin Training with the Traditional Mindset https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/get-the-most-out-of-your-shaolin-training-with-the-traditional-mindset Get the Most Out of Your Shaolin Training with the Traditional Mindset Embrace Shaolin Martial Zen 1,500 years of Shaolin wisdom says we need to keep moving to stay physically and mentally healthy. Shaolin Martial Zen is a concept that combines both ideas of Zen (Chan) philosophy and Martial Arts training. This is what makes Shaolin truly unique. Master Dao teaches us 'Chan-Dao' (which includes, Zen, the Dao, and the Shaolin Virtues), and to apply it in classes as well as in life. Shaolin Martial Zen is a concept that combines both ideas of Zen philosophy and Martial Arts training. This is what makes Shaolin truly unique. By embracing these ideas, you will get more out of your training, whether it's kung fu, tai chi, qigong, and/or meditation. Read on to learn about various ideas of Shaolin Martial Zen and the Shaolin cultural teachings, that together will help you develop the Traditional Mindset. Persevere In Training The lessons of Shaolin wisdom cannot be learned from reading a book. You must persevere in your training to understand what it means to take the next step. It is like climbing the CN Tower. You may start quickly, but suddenly find yourself slowing down. You also cannot see what is beyond the next flight of steps. But as you persevere and climb higher and higher, the view from the window in the stairwell reveals more and more of the world around you. Alas, you feel like you are starting to understand. Persevering in training is like this. There is no shortcut, and you must develop the willpower to continue even if it's difficult or takes a long time. Focus On Yourself Life can be very complicated with many events and experiences causing stress, anxiety, and trauma. When you are training online or in person, you need to remember to clear your mind and focus on the lessons of the class. In other words, don't get distracted by your phone, by your day-to-day worries, and by what other students are doing. Some students may appear to be learning faster, but truthfully, no one learns easily. The Shaolin Arts provide some of the toughest and most rewarding challenges in life. So keep your focus on yourself, and you will surely absorb the lessons, and improve at the pace you are meant to handle. What matters is not how fast you are learning or improving, but that you are improving. Strive for Continual Improvement In the Shaolin Arts, there is no end in sight when it comes to your potential. Persevering in your training means you will continue to get stronger. The concept of striving is a bit different (although related). It means you have the willpower to want to improve. This means that attaining goals is not important. What is important is that you want to continue to improve. By embracing this mindset, you will not feel embarrassed as a new student (or even an advanced student) when someone else can do a particular technique better than you, or that they may advance more quickly. That's because you will have developed humility. And like everyone else, competition is for fun, and you will be excited that someone is stronger than you in some way because they help you to see what you can also achieve one day. Thus by striving, you relish in the fact that you are getting stronger and stronger and develop the drive to keep training. Respect Tradition Continuing tradition is what has helped Shaolin carry on its teachings for over 1,500 years. There are 4 key traditions that our students will want to understand and follow: Tradition of Foundation Tradition of Lineage Tradition of Martial Zen Tradition of Self-Cultivation We invite you to learn more about it here: Explore Tradition Sat, 25 May 2024 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/get-the-most-out-of-your-shaolin-training-with-the-traditional-mindset School bus transportation available for Shaolin Retreat Camping https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school-bus-transportation-available-for-shaolin-retreat-camping School bus transportation available for Shaolin Retreat Camping A fun and affordable way to get to Shaolin Retreat Camping is now available! We have booked a school bus to take people to the Shaolin Retreat Camping event and back (from the downtown Toronto school at 393 Dundas Street West). The fee is $80 + HST per person with the return trip. The latest we can leave is 6pm on Friday, July 5th, 2024. We would prefer to leave at 4pm as it does take 2 hours to get to the campsite. If you are late, the bus will leave without you as we cannot have any delay in the departure time. However, space is limited as we need to ensure there is enough room for everyone's camping equipment. If you would like to reserve a spot, please indicate it in the event registration form. If everyone can leave before 6pm then we will set a strict time for departure. Your prompt payment is necessary to confirm your spot. Wed, 08 May 2024 10:58:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school-bus-transportation-available-for-shaolin-retreat-camping Free Shaolin Sweatband for Active Students https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/free-shaolin-sweatband-for-active-students Free Shaolin Sweatband for Active Students Dear Students, We are giving away a free Shaolin Sweatband (Value of $10) to all Active Students of the 2024 T2 Summer Term! To qualify: You must be registered for the 2024 T2 Summer Term You must have purchased at least 7 tokens You must be able to pick it up from our downtown Toronto school You must place the order through our website by July 31, 2024 To redeem your free Shaolin Sweatband: Login to stqitoronto.com Click on 'Shopping' from the top menu Scroll down to 'Accessories' and click on the 'Shaolin Sweatband' product Select yourself or a family member that qualifies Click 'Add to Cart' Repeat this for any other qualifying family member Click on the Cart Icon from the top menu Enter TRAINHARD in the Promo Code field and click on 'Apply' The system will validate your code and recalculate the order total. Click on 'Confirm Order' to place it. Pick it up from Reception Desk the next time you are at the school. Cart Example Tue, 30 Apr 2024 11:29:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/free-shaolin-sweatband-for-active-students 2024 T2 Summer Term Begins https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2024-t2-summer-term-begins 2024 T2 Summer Term Begins It's time to continue training and getting stronger! The 2024 Summer Term begins April 29th, Monday and this will be the first of the new Shaolin Performance Class. Hope you had a good break! Sun, 28 Apr 2024 17:45:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2024-t2-summer-term-begins Join Our Ping Pong Club - Now included with Unlimited Tokens https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-our-ping-pong-club-now-included-with-unlimited-tokens Join Our Ping Pong Club - Now included with Unlimited Tokens Ping pong, or table tennis, is one of those rare sports that you can enjoy as a senior or as a child. It is easy to get into, enjoyable socially, obtain health benefits such as cardio and calorie burn, and can be as challenging as you like. Our Shaolin Ping Pong club welcomes beginners, advanced players, students, and the public. As we have more players, we will open up more times and days. At the moment, we play on Thursdays at 8pm.To encourage more students to play ping pong, we're making some adjustments: 1. Students who purchase unlimited Shaolin Class tokens can now play for free! 2. Students who do not have unlimited Shaolin Class tokens can play using Ping Pong tokens, or use regular Shaolin Class tokens.We now have a webpage dedicated to our STQI Downtown Toronto Ping Pong Club! You can learn more about ping pong and watch the new introductory video here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/pingpongclub Mon, 22 Apr 2024 09:50:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-our-ping-pong-club-now-included-with-unlimited-tokens STQI Social Activities Planning https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/stqi-social-activities-planning STQI Social Activities Planning Your continued input is needed to help us better organize social activities for our community. Our social activities can include playing sports, board games, live-action role-playing games (LARPG), or just hanging out together over a meal.Deadline is April 7th, Sunday at 11pm. Please take the time to fill out the online form (click the link below). https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/forms/view/Y8iso3DYvr Fri, 29 Mar 2024 21:41:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/stqi-social-activities-planning You Can Get Rid of Your Allergies https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/you-can-get-rid-of-your-allergies You Can Get Rid of Your Allergies Many people think they have to suffer from allergies for the rest of their lives and cope with it through medication or avoidance. Some of the more common allergies include nuts, milk or lactose intolerance, shellfish, headaches, animal dander, dust, and eggs. Allergies can cause itchiness, rashes, stuffy nose, teary eyes, digestion issues, and other uncomfortable symptoms. As we get older, we tend to develop more and more allergies. What many people do not realize is that allergies are caused by a subconscious process and that people with allergies are not sick, even though symptoms may appear similar to someone with a sickness. So yes! Allergies can be eliminated! On Monday, April 22, 2024, Monday, Master Dao will be conducting a two-hour public workshop (i.e. open to anyone) to help you to better understand allergies, and why they happen, and show you how to get rid of your allergies through a series of light exercises that include Shaolin qigong and meditation. Students may attend in person or online from anywhere in the world by Zoom. For more information and to register: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/eventview/cyKuoG8wPv Wed, 27 Mar 2024 09:51:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/you-can-get-rid-of-your-allergies Next Term Registration Reminder https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/next-term-registration-reminder Next Term Registration Reminder We are within 6 weeks of the next term! And customarily we provide a reminder for our students. Three Reasons Why You Want to Register NOW 1. Registering early means you'll guarantee your spot in case we reach the 200 student target. Thereafter you will be put on a waiting list with class restrictions. 2. Returning Student Discount  - This is your priviledge that you earn by registering early which greatly helps to reduce administrative effort during the first two weeks of classes. You must register before the start of the next term in order to receive the returning student discount. 3. Guaranteed no price change. We plan to keep prices the same for as long as we can, despite inflationary pressures of the past 4 years. However we cannot guarantee this forever and may have to decide a modest price increase at any time. Also, registering for a year in advance means you can lock in prices. Sun, 17 Mar 2024 14:40:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/next-term-registration-reminder What is New for the 2024 T2 Summer Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2024-t2-summer-term What is New for the 2024 T2 Summer Term Summer Term Begins Monday, April 29th, 2024. Register online at www.stqitoronto.com. Join us for an exciting summer with many popular events! New Classes for the 2024 T2 Summer Term We are excited to announce that we will have a new class for the upcoming 2024 T2 Summer Term called Shaolin Performance Class (see below for more information). It will be held on Mondays at 6pm for 1 to 1.5 hours. Shaolin Performance Class *MONDAYS AT 6PM WITH LUKA AND MASTER DAO* This new exciting class will allow our school and students to push new boundaries with fun and exciting performance routines. Some possibilities we will explore are:  Flag routines for adults Self-defence choreography involving kung fu, tai chi, and qigong Mini-stories Acrobatics Advanced transitions between taolu forms performances Improving existing Taolu Forms for performances (i.e. more group synchronicity and with specific music) Live drumming and other instruments  This class is open to all Shaolin Kung Fu and Shaolin Tai Chi students.  Students taking this class regularly will be considered part of our official Performance Team (we will find a role for everyone!). The class length will average around 1.5 hours with a minimum of 1 hour. Please note that Mondays that happen to fall on a holiday may be cancelled and we will announce this in class as well as on the Calendar on our website. We plan to implement some of these for the Chinatown BIA Festival this summer in August (the date will be determined sometime in April). Note that these new routines will be in addition to the taolu forms that we regularly perform. You do not need to take this class to perform, although we do encourage you to consider joining to improve and practice your performance capabilities.   Shaolin Ping Pong Club *THURSDAYS AT *PM WITH CALVIN AND MASTER DAO* Ping pong, or table tennis, is one of those rare sports that you can enjoy as a senior or as a child. It is easy to get into, enjoyable socially, obtain health benefits such as cardio and calorie burn, and can be as challenging as you like. Our Shaolin Ping Pong club welcomes beginners, advanced players, students, and the public. As we have more players, we will open up more times and days. At the moment, we play on Thursdays at 8pm.To encourage more students to play ping pong, we're making some adjustments: 1. Students who purchase unlimited Shaolin Class tokens can now play for free! 2. Students who do not have unlimited Shaolin Class tokens can play using Ping Pong tokens, or use regular Shaolin Class tokens.We now have a webpage dedicated to our STQI Downtown Toronto Ping Pong Club! You can learn more about ping pong and watch the new introductory video here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/pingpongclub   Key Events for the Summer Term Shaolin Retreat Camping, July 5 to 7, 2024 Our popular Shaolin camping and training weekend will take place from July 5 to 7 (Friday to Sunday). The venue this year is at the Warsaw Caves (just northeast of Peterborough). This event is open to the public and no experience is needed. Invite your family and friends for a weekend of fun, kung fu, tai chi, and sunrise qigong! In case the event is full, we will confirm your registration based on a first come first serve basis. Register early to ensure you get in! (No payment will be needed until we confirm the date). [Shaolin Retreat Camping Information and Registration Link] Summer Camp for Kids from 5 to 16 years of age Event Dates: August 12-16, August 19-23, and August 26-30 Parents love to put their kids in training camps because they see immediate results! Kids become more focused and disciplined. Their fitness levels, confidence, and attitudes greatly improve. Kids love our camps because they have fun and find it rewarding to persevere, strive, and focus. They enjoy participating in our daily meditation and philosophy which teaches them how to deal with real situations at school and home. Our games are innovative, creative, and challenging. They require cooperation, teamwork, and leadership. And besides, we serve the best camp food ever! Register early to ensure your child gets in! This popular event is limited to 20 children each week and fills up every year. You can find more information and register here: [School Events Link]   Worldwide Meditation Workshop Learn how Shaolin Meditation and philosophy can help bring you peace. The next worldwide meditation workshop will be held on Monday, July 1st, 2024, at 7pm EST. The topic will be 'The Power of Emotions'. This is a major topic that introduces one of the fundamentals of Self-Wisdom. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'Developing Awareness of Our Perceptual Layers' and taught students that understanding yourself begins with understanding how your perceptions work. This is the most important step in the path of self-wisdom. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: Developing Awareness of Our Perceptual Layers. [Meditation Workshop Registration Link]   Social Events and Sports Events Our social committee will continue to organize free events to help foster our community, such as movie and game nights, as well as social sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball. This summer we plan to have a beach day sometime end of August, for volleyball and general fun. We will announce more details in June.  We will announce all social activities via email (and through the Student Portal) to active students of the summer term.   Sanda Fight Night Entertaining exhibition Shaolin Sanda matches will be held during the last week of classes. These exciting matches showcase our students' ability to demonstrate control, accuracy, speed, technique, and strength. All students are welcome to come watch the matches for free and cheer for all of our participants.   Shaolin Classes This Term Shaolin Kung Fu The summer is a great time to push physical training! The warmer weather lends itself to more energy and faster recovery. Therefore, in our Shaolin Kung Fu class, will emphasize 'Yang Training'. In the Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation class, we will explore the Shaolin Virtues for children and adults along with themed and progressive content.   In the Shaolin Kung Fu Forms class, we will emphasize 'play sparring' exercises. These will be safe exercises involving control drills and techniques to develop decision-making in simulated encounter situations. In the Shaolin Sanda Fitness class, we will challenge our cardio and footwork abilities. In the Shaolin Sanda Sparring class, we will work on our offensive and defensive toolkits, while developing strategies through visualization techniques. In the Womens Self Defence class, we will emphasize scenario-based self-defence training to deal with real-life situations. Note: We've added Shaolin Performance Class on Mondays from 6pm to 7pm.   Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. Breathing better means having more energy in the body and gentle movements improve deeper circulation for the vital organs.  For the Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms I class, we will emphasize The Core in our classes and, explore how we can use the predominantly 'Yin' energy to support the power of 'Yang' movements.   For the Shaolin Tai Chi Taolu Forms II class, we will emphasize advanced Taolu Forms such as Yun Quan, Rou Quan, and Gentle Staff; along with exploring these forms' built-in self-defence techniques. Students are required to attend the Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms I class at least once a week to participate in this class. It is recommended as well that students have finished the Baburouquan form to ensure they have the necessary fundamentals to understand this class.   Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is foremast about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to cultivate it, and move it around the body. Qigong will improve your understanding and awareness of your energy (Qi), as it relates to your mind and body, and the environment around you. You will be able to make better lifestyle choices based on what you want in life. In the Shaolin Stretch Therapy class, we will continue to explore how to optimize all the joints in our body.In the Qigong Foundation class, we will emphasize the Breath Qi along with specific qigong exercises. In the Qigong Forms class, we will investigate the Heart Vital Organ and Meridian, and learn to manage and diagnose common problems and other disorders through palpation, tongue reading, pulse reading, tuina, and qi flow exercises. We will also work on advanced qi-flow techniques and practice advanced martial qigong forms for overall health and wellness.   Sat, 16 Mar 2024 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2024-t2-summer-term Attend Classes this Friday to win Kung Fu Panda 4 Tickets https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/attend-classes-this-friday-to-win-kung-fu-panda-4-tickets Attend Classes this Friday to win Kung Fu Panda 4 Tickets !! GIVEAWAY !! This March, witness a furry kung fu master’s return to the big screen! #KungFuPanda4 will be in theatres March 8th and thanks to @UniversalPicturesCanada, we are giving away passes to an EXCLUSIVE advanced screening of the film in Toronto on March 6th! To enter, reserve a spot for our kung fu classes on Friday, March 1st at 6pm. Only students (adults and children) who attend will be considered. Good Luck!! Tue, 27 Feb 2024 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/attend-classes-this-friday-to-win-kung-fu-panda-4-tickets The Power of Clarity: Developing Awareness of Our Perceptual Layers https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-power-of-clarity-developing-awareness-of-our-perceptual-layers ARTICLE SERIES The Principles of Chan-Dao Self Wisdom PERCEPTIONS EMOTIONS SUB-CONSCIOUS(coming in October 2024) EGO-SELF(coming in February 2025) The Power of Clarity: Developing Awareness of Our Perceptual Layers Our ability to understand and manage our perceptions is one of the principal ideas of Chan-Dao for achieving self-wisdom. The focus of this blog is to understand what perceptions are and how our brain organizes them. By taking this step to understand our perceptions, we begin the journey to develop ‘clarity’. Perceptions A 'perception' is one aspect of interpreting the world and your reality. You can also think of it as an idea. For example, you may perceive that an object that is shaped like a sphere with a red surface, a short stem, and a yellowish interior is an apple. Furthermore, it may have a crunchy feeling when you bite into it and may also taste sweet. There can be many ‘levels’ of perceptions. A ‘higher level’ perception would be more complex because it is based on other perceptions. For example, you will have a perception of what the colour of red is. The apple in the above example uses this perception of red. So you could say that an apple is a more complex perception than the colour of red. Basic Perceptions Basic Perceptions are low-level perceptions with fewer perceptual associations. Take ‘the colour of red’ for example. You were likely able to see the colour red when you were a baby in your mother’s womb. Medical science has determined that babies open their eyes at the end of the second trimester, around 27 weeks into pregnancy. Once the eyes open in the womb, a baby is already able to see objects and details (especially when there is a strong light source on the belly, such as the sun or a flashlight), and therefore develops basic perceptions. Babies can develop the sense of touch by week 7, taste by week 10, smell by week 10, and sound by week 18. Although these estimates may be off by 1 or 2 weeks depending on certain factors, we can almost certainly say that a baby will have fully developed all five senses while inside the womb. Sense-Perceptions A baby is already developing perceptions in the womb through our basic sense organs, such as touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound. These are called Sense-Perceptions and define much of our Basic Perceptions. As we grow and experience life, we may add more details about our Sense-Perceptions. Each of these Sense-Perceptions will have basic perceptions such as bright light, darkness, movement, stillness, loud sounds, quiet sounds, sweet taste, sour taste, salty taste, sweet smell, foul smell, rough, smooth, etc. Sense-Perceptions are useful for describing tangible objects. Perceptual Layers A perceptual layer is a perception that includes other perceptions. This means that effectively all all of your perceptions can be thought of as perceptual layers. By organizing our perceptions as layers, we now have a convenient way to classify our perceptions in increasingly complex ways. We can also visualize this abstract idea of a layer, and use it to help how we organize information. Consider the apple example again. It is a very complex perceptual layer and is based on your experience of many different types of apples. An apple would therefore be a perceptual layer that includes many types of apples, each of which will have a perceptual layer that is based on Sense-Perceptions. For example, there are Red Delicious apples, Macintosh apples, Golden Delicious apples, etc. Each type of apple will have a unique combination of Sense-Perceptions and therefore have its own Perceptual Layer. Complex Perceptual Layers As you develop perceptual layers that include many other levels of perceptual layers, the ideas that we form in our brain become more complicated. Continuing with the apple example, we can see how we evolve the complexity of our thoughts in the chart below (this is a specific example and the way you have developed your perceptual layers may differ). Layer # Perception Layer Description 1 Sense-Perceptions Basic perceptions based on our 5 senses 2 Red Delicious Apple A specific type of apple, described in many ways with Sense-Perceptions 3 Apples A group of perceptions that include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, etc., each of which has different sense-perceptions 4 Fruits A group of perceptions that include apples, oranges, etc. 5 Delicious Fruits A specific group of perceptions that include Fruits that you perceive are tasty 6 Food A group of perceptions that include things you can eat such as fruits, vegetables, meat, dessert, etc. The second layer includes relatively simple perceptual layers because they consist mostly of Sense-Perceptions. These are largely tangible objects that we can sense such as grass, soil, rock, cloud, sun, wind, water, etc. By the third layer and beyond, we have much more complicated perceptual layers. These ideas are based on other tangible objects. We used the example of Apples above, but this extends to ideas such as a wall, building, home, computer, phone, etc. Evaluative Perceptual Layers Evaluative Perceptual Layers are experience-based judgements that compare two or more perceptual layers. The most basic Evaluative Perceptual Layers would be judgements about good and bad, better and worse, tastier and less tasty, brighter and darker, louder and quieter, sweeter and more bitter, smoother and rougher, etc. What makes Evaluative Perceptual Layers special is that it cannot exist without experience. Consider for example that you eat a Red Delicious apple for the first time (As you read this, you may be thinking I’ve never eaten a Red Delicious apple! In that case substitute the Red Delicious apple for another kind of apple that you know well). If the apple happens to not be ripe, you may think that a Red Delicious apple is bitter and not tasty. As you continue eating more of these apples over time, you gain the experience that the Red Delicious apple is probably meant to be eaten when it is ripe, and therefore sweet and tasty. Here we are comparing the perceptual layer of Red Delicious apple with the perceptual layer of tasty. Tasty is an Evaluative Perceptual Layer. For this idea to exist, you need experience in tasting other foods that are not tasty. Otherwise, there is no need to create this perceptual layer! The foods you do not like the taste of will be deemed unappetizing. The foods you do like the taste of are deemed tasty. With experience, you learn what is considered tasty and what is not. Now you have tasty and unappetizing. Naturally, you will develop other similar Evaluative Perceptual Layers for not tasty, such as flat, flavourless, stale, etc. Here are some other examples of Evaluative Perceptual Layers (and you may disagree with them if your experiences are very different): Red Delicious apples are tastier than Macintosh apples Eating apples is healthy Eating apples is healthier than eating junk food Eight hours of sleep per day is necessary for health I need to be wealthyBeing wealthy makes me happy Being healthy makes me happy Computer games are bad for you Computer games are good for you Abstract Perceptual Layers Abstract Perceptual Layers are high-level complex perceptual layers. They are based on so many other levels of perceptual layers that they become far removed from the basic Sense-Perceptions. Here are some examples of Abstract Perceptual Layers: An honest person A courageous person A creative person I am a vegetarian / Vegan / ‘meat-a-tarian’ (someone who eats lots of meat) I believe in this [substitute for any religion] religion or I am an atheist A journey to the planet Mars Humankind is good People are generally honest Everyone is suffering There are aliens all over the universe The idea of an honest person seems simple at first. When you take the time to digest this teaching on perceptions and perceptual layers, you will come to realize that it is not necessarily so. If you consider yourself an honest person, ask yourself the following questions: Have you ever lied in your life? Or put another way, have you ever told someone or yourself, something that is not true? How many times have you lied in your life? How long ago was your last lie? Is it lying if there was seemingly no consequence? Are you now an honest person if you decide that you will no longer tell a lie? Who hasn’t learned from telling a lie when they were a child? If you told a lie 5 years ago but haven’t since, are you still an honest person? If you tell more truths than lies, are you considered an honest person? As you can see, the definition or idea of an honest person will differ from person to person. The Power of Clarity We have learned that Complex, Evaluative, and Abstract Perceptual Layers are complicated and very much based on experience. Over time, we collect more and more perceptual layers, and develop a ‘cabbage brain’. It becomes more difficult to see the lower layers of perceptions inside the cabbage because we rely on the outer or top layers of the cabbage to make quicker judgements and decisions. When we can observe these perceptual layers as we use them, we develop more awareness about how we interact with our environment, the decisions we make, the things we say, and the motivations behind our actions. When we learn new things, we can more easily assess the validity of the information and organize it better. We also begin to see how it is possible to challenge and update the perceptual layers that we have (a topic to be discussed another time and a link will be provided here when ready). Having the Power of Clarity means you will be less confused, not easily manipulated, and even feel less tired. All this introspection and awareness is what leads to the idea of ‘clarity’ over time. It does not happen immediately, however. Continued perseverance, strive, and focus are necessary and that means you need to embrace the spirit of the Shaolin Warrior. Shàolín Chándào perspective: The study of perceptions is not complete without an investigation into emotions, a topic worthy of future exploration. For now, take note that the dictionary is a book of perceptual layers! There is much wisdom built into words and why they exist, so start with a dictionary when you are looking for answers. Mon, 22 Jan 2024 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-power-of-clarity-developing-awareness-of-our-perceptual-layers What is New for the 2024 T1 Winter Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2024-t1-winter-term What is New for the 2024 T1 Winter Term Winter Term Begins Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024. Register online at www.stqitoronto.com. The Winter is a popular time for new students to register and we expect to continue to meet our base student target of 200. New Instructors This Term! We are very thankful for the following students joining our Instructor Team this term: Candice BrodeurChris NiElizabeth RidingHossein Saeidi (tentative)Katherine ApplebaumSaul O'Gorman Please welcome and encourage them as they start their journey as teachers and helping to foster the Shaolin arts! New Classes for the 2024 T1 Winter Term We excited to announce that have several new classes for the upcoming 2024 T1 Winter Term (see below for more information): Shaolin Tai Chi Taolu Forms II - Saturdays at 4pm Shaolin Kids Kung Fu (Foundation and Forms) - Saturdays from 3pm to 5pmShaolin Stretch Therapy - Sundays at 12pm These classes have now been established and you can expect them to continue each term: Women's Self Defence - Sundays at 4pm Shaolin Kids Kung Fu (Foundation and Forms) - Wednesdays at 1pm to 3pm Sanda Fitness - Sundays at 12pm Shaolin Stretch Therapy - Saturdays at 12pm Shaolin Stretch Therapy *SUNDAYS AT 12PM WITH MASTER DAO* This class empowers students to apply Shaolin wisdom to Stretch Therapy for healing the body, relieving muscle strain and joint pain, improving posture, and increasing flexibility and range of motion. It includes Shaolin stretching as the foundation for healing along with qigong, massage, and acupressure techniques. It can be taken to supplement any Shaolin class, such as kung fu, tai chi, and qigong. This class is especially great for those who spend a lot of time sitting and need some easy movements to improve the hip, back, shoulder, and knees. No experience is needed and may also be accessed via Zoom.Students may drop-in as needed or attend classes each week. Your teacher will guide students through a core set of exercises each week and include different theme and techniques based on audience participation and needs. Shaolin Tai Chi Taolu Forms II *SATURDAYS AT 4PM WITH MASTER DAO* The Shaolin Tai Chi Taolu Forms II class is an extension of the Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms I class (i.e. you need to attend the Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms I class each week to attend this class). We will work on advanced sparring exercises and taolu forms, with special emphasis on application of Shaolin Tai Chi for self-defense.A typical class includes advanced training drills, cloud hands sparring, sticky hands sparring, and qinna (art of joint manipulation). The second half of class include is oriented around advanced taolu hand and weapons forms. Students not attending the prior class at 3pm are expected to arrive earlier and be ready to warm up and stretch at 4pm on their own for 10 minutes. Shaolin Kids Kung Fu *SATURDAYS FROM 3PM to 5PM WITH DISCIPLE LUKA* Shaolin Kids Kung Fu Foundation class - this class is about training traditional Shaolin fundamentals that builds strength, flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular endurance, and power. A typical class includes warm up drills, stretching, stance training, foundation kicks, self-defence kicks and punches, conditioning exercises. This class is designed to be challenging regardless of level. Expect to be pushed a beyond your limits each time! Shaolin Kids Kung Fu Taolu Forms class - This class is about application. This includes safe sparring exercises, advanced training techniques unique to Shaolin, and taolu forms. For those unfamiliar with Taolu Forms, these are a set of self-defence techniques and movements put together for convenience of practice and improvement. You will start off with a foundation form, which will take around 3 months to achieve an intermediate level. You will then progress to more advanced levels of the form, and learn the secrets of how to use the techniques and movements for self defence. As you develop your self-defence capability, you will learn even more difficult hand forms as well as weaponry. Key Events for the Winter Term March Break Kung Fu Camp for Kids from 5 to 16 years of age Event Date: March 11 to 15, 2024Your child will experience all-day kung fu training with special emphasis on having fun! Master Dao will once again be conducting a LARPG (Live Action RPG) where the children must demonstrate their understanding of the Shaolin Virtues and use their kung fu to defeat the Vexspawn monsters in an engaging and exciting story.  Register early to ensure your child gets in! This popular event is limited to 20 children and fills up every year. You can find more information and register here: [Camp Information and Registration Link]   Worldwide Meditation Workshop Learn how Shaolin Meditation and philosophy can help bring you peace. The next worldwide meditation workshop will be held on Monday, January 22nd, 2024, at 7pm EST. The topic will be 'Developing Awareness of Our Perceptual Layers'. This is a major topic that introduces one of the fundamentals of Self-Wisdom. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'Wisdom' and taught students that teachings you read and watch on wisdom is not wisdom, but guidance. Wisdom must be earned through practice of 'Self-Wisdom'. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: Wisdom. [Meditation Workshop Registration Link]   Social Events and Sports Events Our social committee will continue to organize free events to help foster our community, such as movie and game nights, as well as social sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball. We are reorganizing Social Sports this term in hopes to have more participation. We will be sending a sign-up sheet in January, and those interested can vote for the dates and activity.   Sanda Fight Night Entertaining exhibition Shaolin Sanda matches will be held during the last week of classes. These exciting matches showcase our students' ability to demonstrate control, accuracy, speed, technique, and strength. All students are welcome to come watch the matches for free and cheer for all of our participants.   Grading Exams on Saturday, April 27, 2024 All students are encouraged to participate at least once a year. This is an especially useful tool for parents to see how their kids are progressing. The Grading Exams are usually held twice a year. Students are tested in their knowledge and skills. The judge(s) provide an objective rating with feedback.  There are 5 grading levels for qigong, tai chi, and kung fu (adults and kids). The exams will take place at the end of April (after the Winter Term is over), on April 27th, 2024.  [Grading Exams Event Information and Registration Link]   Shaolin Classes This Term Shaolin Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu emphasizes core training and developing powerful muscles. Strengthening the core improves the circulation of your vital organs, and increases available energy in the body. Developing your physical prowess also means more white blood cells, muscle mass, bone density, and greatly increases your body's pathogenic defense systems. In the Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation class, we will emphasize the Shaolin Virtues and ramp up the term each week with themed and progressive content.   In the Shaolin Kung Fu Forms class, we will emphasize 'play sparring' exercises. These will be safe exercises involving control drills and techniques to develop decision making in simulated encounter situations. In the Shaolin Sanda Fitness class, we will continue to challenge our cardio and footwork ability. In the Shaolin Sanda Sparring class, we will continue to work our offensive and defensive toolkits, while developing strategies through visualization techniques. In the Womens Self Defence class, we will continue emphasizing scenario-based self-defence training. Note: We've added Shaolin Kung Fu for Kids on Saturdays from 3pm to 5pm (Foundation followed by Forms class).   Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. Breathing better means having more energy in the body and gentle movements improve deeper circulation for the vital organs.  For the Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms I class, we'll be emphasizing Silk Reeling in our classes and, explore how it can double and even triple the power of self defence techniques.  For the new Shaolin Tai Chi Taolu Forms II class, we will be exploring self-defence techniques with special emphasis on qinna (the art of seizing and grappling). Students are required to attend the Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms I class at least once a week to participate in this class. It is recommended as well that students have finished the Baburouquan form to ensure they have the necessary fundamentals to understand this class. Note: We've added Shaolin Tai Chi Taolu Forms II class 2 on Saturdays at 4pm this term!   Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is foremast about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to cultivate it, and move it around the body. Qigong will improve your understanding and awareness of your energy (Qi), as it relates to your mind and body, and the environment around you. You will be able to make better lifestyle choices based on what you want in life. In the Shaolin Stretch Therapy class, we will continue to explore how to optimize all the joints in our body.In the Qigong Foundation class, we will emphasize the Breath Qi along with specific qigong exercises. In the Qigong Forms class, we will investigate the Lung Vital Organ and Meridian, and learn to manage and diagnose  infection and other disorders through palpation, tongue reading, pulse reading, tuina, and qi flow exercises. We will also work on advanced qi-flow techniques and practice advanced qigong forms for health and wellness.Note: We've added Shaolin Stretch Therapy on Sundays at 12pm this term!   Sat, 23 Dec 2023 10:15:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2024-t1-winter-term The Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-shaolin-virtue-of-perseverance The Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance What is the Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance? The Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance is one of six aspects (virtues) of Shaolin Chan-Dao guidance on life. People who embody all these aspects are true leaders who also understand how to work together to minimize pain and suffering in this world. The Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance can be thought of as the willpower to not give up so easily. For example, if you have poor grades in school, you will feel discouraged because you may find it difficult to change your environment and lifestyle to suit higher grades. With more perseverance, you will step up to the challenge to tackle and overcome the issues causing you to have poor grades. Another example is you have a problem at work, at school, or with a partner or friend. If you cannot find a solution you may feel hopeless and decide to give up on looking for one. With more perseverance, you will spend more time and effort to look for a solution. The Shaolin Warrior The true warrior embodies the aspect of perseverance. He/she does not gives up easily in anything he/she does. No task is ever too difficult and anything can be accomplished even if has to be done bit-by-bit, takes a long time, or requires a lot of effort. The Shaolin Warrior understands there are no short cuts in life and one can only be accomplished through hard work. A Key Aspect of Self Unity Self Unity is about aligning oneself to his/her purpose through the continual cycle of developing the Shaolin Virtues of Focus, Strive, and Perseverance. Developing more perseverance means you'll be able to develop other aspects such as focus and strive. The idea of Self Unity will be described in future articles and linked from here when ready. By not striving for more perseverance, you'll be straying further from the path of self understanding. Having said that, only you can decide what level of perseverance is appropriate for you now and in the future. Fri, 01 Dec 2023 16:12:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-shaolin-virtue-of-perseverance Give the Gift of Health https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/give-the-gift-of-health Give the Gift of Health This holiday season, consider giving the gift of health! Available in $25, $50, $100, $250, and $500 amounts. Suitable for all classes including Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin Tai Chi, and Shaolin Qigong. It may be used for classes in-person at our downtown Toronto school, including live Zoom classes (for Tai Chi and Qigong), as well as online subscription classes at LearnShaolin.com. To make a purchase, login by clicking on 'Student' at the top and then click on 'Shopping'. Scroll to the bottom to find the gift certificate product. You can also click the link below if you're already logged in. https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/viewproduct/2bFwihQRHyyP Wed, 29 Nov 2023 18:30:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/give-the-gift-of-health Your Continued Feedback is Needed for School Planning https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/your-continued-feedback-is-needed-for-school-planning Your Continued Feedback is Needed for School Planning Dear Students, We are always looking to improve our school. As we grow and look forward to the 2024 season, it is important to ensure we grow in the direction that meets your needs and expectations. This includes adding new classes to our schedule and providing useful events and workshops.  Please take the time to fill out the questionnaire. Click the link below to open the questionnaire and carefully take the time to read and answer each question. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you! Click here for the school Planning with Students Form Thank you! Wed, 22 Nov 2023 14:18:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/your-continued-feedback-is-needed-for-school-planning Experience 2 Days of Shaolin Warrior Training at the Winter Retreat on December 23-24 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/experience-2-days-of-shaolin-warrior-training-at-the-winter-retreat-on-december-23-24-2023 Experience 2 Days of Shaolin Warrior Training at the Winter Retreat on December 23-24 2023 Experience the life of a Shaolin Warrior! The Shaolin Winter Retreat is a two-day program for adults to experience Shaolin Martial Zen, which is an immersion in the traditional Shaolin arts. It is held on Saturday, December 23 and Sunday, December 24, 2023, from 9am to 5pm, at the downtown Toronto STQI school at 393 Dundas Street West, second floor. Participants will learn how to develop Self-Wisdom, and practice Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin Tai Chi, Shaolin Qigong, and Shaolin Meditation. Lunch is included. The event will be limited to 20 students and is open to everyone. You must be 18 years of age or older in order to participate. We will make some exceptions for teenagers who have previously participated in the meditation portion of the Summer Shaolin Retreat. Pricing for STQI Students of the 2023 T3 Winter Term (with at least 14 tokens) is discounted at $245 + tax. The fee for all others, including the public is $295 + tax. For more information and to register, please click here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/eventview/BnyTbsVdvm Sat, 18 Nov 2023 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/experience-2-days-of-shaolin-warrior-training-at-the-winter-retreat-on-december-23-24-2023 Learn About Wisdom with Clarity https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-about-wisdom-with-clarity Learn About Wisdom with Clarity Participate with Master Dao in this Recorded Shaolin Chan Dao Meditation Workshop The written blog about Wisdom for this workshop can be found here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/wisdom Wed, 15 Nov 2023 10:09:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-about-wisdom-with-clarity Wisdom https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/wisdom Wisdom What is wisdom, and why is it important? Learn what the ancient Shaolin teachings have to say about it, and how we can renew our passion to actively pursue wisdom. You can watch a recorded workshop session with Master Dao on this subject here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/b/learn-about-wisdom-with-clarity What is Wisdom? In the English dictionary, wisdom is generally defined as having good judgement about a particular idea or action. For example, one may question the wisdom of purposely breaking the law by driving 25% over the speed limit. Now you might conclude immediately that this is indeed unwise. Speeding is a bad idea because you risk getting into an accident or causing harm to others. As you think that, an ambulance speeds by at 50% over the speed limit with its lights blinking and sirens blaring. Now you might conclude that it’s okay because it’s an emergency, so therefore it’s not unwise. Does that mean that the supposed life of the person in the ambulance is more important than the safety of others? What if someone you love is calling you on the phone and telling you they are in an emergency and then suddenly hangs up? You call back but their phone doesn’t pick up. If you do not rush there with your car, perhaps the person’s life is endangered. If you rush there, you put yourself and others at risk. The problem with the modern-day definition of wisdom and its usage is that it tends to be attached to external ideas. For example, wisdom implies judgement of your actions and thoughts by others, that there is a right and wrong, and that another action could have been better (and therefore wiser). There is something quite lacking here. If wisdom is associated with other people’s judgement, then we become externally focused - appeasing others and society to determine what wisdom is. Let’s have a look at some quotes and sayings that are considered wise: Confucius: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Helen Keller: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Albert Einstein: “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Elbert Hubbard: “The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you'll make one.” Mahatma Gandhi: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Oprah Winfrey: “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” Dalai Lama: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Benjamin Franklin: “In simple manners, all the secret lies. Be kind and virtuous, you’ll be blest and wise.” Indeed, these are wise sayings, and no doubt they have helped many people. But what if you go against these sayings? Are you now unwise? How did these people come up with these wise sayings? You may want to consider that these wise sayings are guidance, not wisdom. Wisdom Must Include Self-Wisdom What if wisdom is better defined as the understanding of yourself? i.e. how you perceive your perceptual reality, how you understand your many emotions, and how you interact with your environment? I call this ‘Self-Wisdom’. With this inclusion, wisdom is no longer about right and wrong. It’s about understanding your place in the universe, your connection to nature, and the impacts of what you do and say to others. If we apply ‘self-wisdom’ to the speeding example, and given your experience and knowledge in life, if you are able to calmly decide that speeding was the correct choice for you given the risks, then your decision is not necessarily unwise. The consequences of speeding, whatever that may be, will give you more experience so that the next time, you may make a different choice. On the other hand, if you panicked when you got the call and made a decision out of emotion, without thinking through your options, and then suffered from the consequences, then the choice would be considered unwise, even if the result was the same! You may also suffer from regret. Continuing this speeding example, what if you crashed your car but didn’t get hurt, and then found out later that your loved one wasn’t really in any danger, but that the phone had run out of battery? Those with an understanding of self-wisdom, will be able to clearly know that there was not an emergency, but that there might be an emergency. By having a relatively calm demeanor, one could have considered other options such as calling 911 (in Canada, dialling 911 on the phone is the hot-line for emergencies), calling a neighbor to check in, etc. By respecting the law (and others), and understanding that there are consequences to our actions, one may decide not to speed, and instead accept that you are doing the best you can. Wisdom therefore most include both the ideas of 'good judgement' and 'self-wisdom'. What is Self-Wisdom? Superficially, Self-Wisdom has 4 main components: 1) understanding the ego self, 2) working on perceptions, 3) managing emotions, and 4) working with the subconscious. When you practice the awareness and management of these components, then in time you develop more and more Self-Wisdom, and therefore you can say your level of wisdom increases.To learn more about self-wisdom, please refer to this article: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/s/b/the-principles-of-chan-dao-self-wisdom In time, more articles will be written to help people better understand how to improve their Self-Wisdom in various ways. Wisdom and Intelligence Intelligence is not the same as wisdom but is associated. Generally, intelligence is understood as the totality of one’s mental abilities. For example, one might be considered intelligent if one can score high grades in school because this requires memory and problem-solving abilities. Others might be considered equally intelligent if they can do well in athletics because this requires quick decision-making and instant command of many physical body parts. Yet another may be considered equally intelligent if they can sing well, play an instrument well, etc. Intelligence involves many dimensions of mental faculties and there is no fair test to determine one’s relative intelligence. There are components of intelligence that can support wisdom. For example, wisdom can be more easily developed if one has the ability to interpret the meaning of another person’s words of wisdom, whether it’s from a book, an internet blog, or someone conducting a speech; or if one has the ability to apply said wisdom. Intelligence can also get in the way of wisdom. For example, someone with an exceptional memory may find themselves acquiring knowledge, and then mistaking that knowledge as wisdom. If there are multiple sources of knowledge in a particular subject, one might then get confused about which advice to follow. Practicing self-wisdom will aid you in determining what the wise are really trying to say, so that you develop more wisdom and understanding without getting confused by the many layers of information and ideas around the world. Relationship Between Wisdom and Suffering Those who are wiser will have more positive energy and be less judgemental (i.e. be more accepting of others). They will feel less anxiety and stress, and know how to manage these better. Surely the wise are still humans and will still need to continue to learn from life. But what sets them apart is self-wisdom. Introspection and understanding the self are necessary to understand our external environment better, which includes interaction with others.Here are some more quotes about wisdom: Buddha: “By three things the wise person may be known. What three? He sees a shortcoming as it is. When he sees it, he tries to correct it. And when another acknowledges a shortcoming, the wise one forgives it as he should.” Camille Alice: “The wise lack for nothing. The foolish, meanwhile, cannot make good use of anything.” Sandra Bullock: “Don’t aspire to be in these shoes. Walk-in your own. Everyone’s unique, and that’s what makes people exciting to watch… savour what you are and not what everyone else wants you to be.” Buddha: “A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.” Learning Self-Wisdom gives you more awareness of suffering, and this sets the stage for you to manage it. Put another way, Self-Wisdom promotes one to find peace and happiness. Learn Wisdom from Others Knowing that wisdom can help one to find peace and happiness, how could you not pursue it? Although this article is promoting Self-Wisdom, it is not complete without the wisdom to interact with our environment. Wisdom can be gained from observing yourself and others. Even a child’s interaction with their environment can teach you many things. There are many resources to obtain guidance for wisdom - self-help books, online videos, blogs, etc. But I remind you that anything you read or watch can only be considered knowledge and is not wisdom itself. To actually develop wisdom, you need to put effort into observation and introspection.By making Self-Wisdom your learning priority, other sources of wisdom will make more sense, be more useful, and help you in your journey in life. Shàolín Chándào perspective: Self-wisdom teaches you who you are at the core, and with continued practice, you will no longer see a need for wise sayings. Mon, 13 Nov 2023 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/wisdom Results from the 2023 Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/results-from-the-2023-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival Results from the 2023 Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Your Shaolin Team Canada 2023 Champions! Congratulations to Yan Jing for winning the Shaolin Taolu Champion of the competition, and to Michelle Zhao for winning the Shaolin Timed Event Champion of the competition! Yan Jing won the title for placing 1st in Shaolin Hand Taolu Form, 1st in Shaolin Weapon Form, and 1st in Shaolin Tai Chi form. Michelle Zhao won the title for placing 1st AND breaking the world records for Front Kick, Outside Kick, Crouch Walk, and Monkey crawl. Shaolin Taolu Champion Yan Jing Shaolin Timed Event Champion Michelle Zhao Taolu Forms Results CATEGORY EVENT GOLD SILVER BRONZE B1 - Mixed Wubuquan, Xiaolianhuan 10:30 AM Daniel Barr (Wubuquan) √ Atryna Allen (Xiaolianhuan) √ Aydin Allen (Xiaolianhuan) √ Jalen Janmohamed (Xiaolianhuan) √ B2 - Mixed Wubuquan, Xiaolianhuan 10:35 AM John Fu (Wubuquan) √ Angelina Allen (Xiaolianhuan) √ Willem Lasby (Xiaolianhuan) √ B2 - Mixed Babulianhuan 10:35 AM Elizabeth Hatcher √ Ethy Thompson √ Milan Janmohamed √ Saul O' Gorman √ C - Mixed Tongbiquan 10:45 AM Callum Woo *DNS Max Hughes √ Rory Huang √ D - Female Wubuquan, Babulianhuan 10:55 AM Ayda Zokai (Wubuquan) √ Candice Brodeur (Babulianhuan) √ Shima Bagherian (Babulianhuan) √ Viktoriia Garanina (Babulianhuan) √ E - Female Wubuquan, Xiaolianhuan 11:05 AM Ling Li (Wubuquan) √ Kelly Cruise (Xiaolianhuan) √ F, G - Mixed Xiaolianhuan, Tongbiquan, Xiaohongquan 11:10 AM Eric Lasby (F - Xiaolianhuan) √ Val Burroff (G - Tongbiquan) √ Ciela Kauffman (F - Xiaohongquan) √ B1 - Mixed Babulianhuan, Tongbiquan 11:15 AM Max Mikulinsky (Babulianhuan) √ River Eyres (Babulianhuan) √ Youssef Garanina (Babulianhuan) √ Logan Cruise (Tongbiquan) √ B2 - Male Tongbiquan 11:20 AM Illay Haim Myles Hibbert √ Winston Morgan √ D - Mixed Tongbiquan 11:25 AM Hossein Saeidi √ Sharly Chan *DNS Vivian Wong √ B2 - Mixed Xiaohongquan, Dahongquan 11:45 AM Charlie Ho (Xiaohongquan) √ Elijah Burroff-Ferguson (Xiaohongquan) √ Victoria Thompson (Xiaohongquan) √ Ayelen Eng (Dahongquan) √ C - Male Xiaohongquan, Dahongquan 11:55 AM Keegan Thomas-Guerra (Xiaohongquan) √ Jonas Kauffman (Dahongquan) √ Koan Wong (Dahongquan) √ Stephen Zhao (Dahongquan) √ D - Female Xiaohongquan, Dahongquan 12:05 PM Colleen Hale-Hodgson (Xiaohongquan) √ Michelle Zhao (Xiaohongquan) √ Yan Jing (Dahongquan) √ D - Male Xiaohongquan, Dahongquan 12:15 PM Andrew Cheng (Xiaohongquan) √ Luka Pilasanovic (Dahongquan) √ Stephen Young (Xiaohongquan) √ E - Female Tongbiquan, Xiaohongquan 12:20 PM Ping Xiao (Tongbiquan) √ Susan Cheng (Xiaohongquan) √ B2 - Female Yinshougun, Meihuadao 12:40 PM Victoria Thompson (Yinshougun) √ Ayelen Eng (Meihuadao) √ B2 - Male Yinshougun, Meihuadao 12:45 PM Winston Morgan (Yinshougun) √ Elijah Burroff-Ferguson (Yinshougun) √ Charlie Ho (Meihuadao) √ C - Mixed Yinshougun 12:55 PM Callum Woo *DNS Keegan Thomas-Guerra √ Ozzy Llave Rory Huang √ C, D - Male Meihuadao 1:05 PM Jonas Kauffman (C) √ Koan Wong (C) √ Luka Pilasanovic (D) √ D - Female Yinshougun, Meihuadao 1:15 PM Michelle Zhao (Yinshougun) √ Yan Jing (Meihuadao) √ F, G - Female Yinshougun 1:20 PM Ciela Kauffman (F) √ Val Burroff (G) √ All - Female Baburouquan 1:45 PM Sharly Chan *DNS Joan Patch √ All - Female Yunquan 1:50 PM Candice Brodeur √ Kelly Cruise √ All - Mixed Rouquan 1:55 PM Andree Weisman √ Stephen Young √ Susan Shen √ Yan Jing √ Timed Event - Shaolin Challenges Category Event Final Gold Silver Bronze A, B1 - Male Front Kick 10:30 AM Liam Barr (A) 9.630 √ Daniel Barr (B1) 10.640 √ Logan Cruise (B1) 9.500 √ Youssef Garanina (B1) 10.240 √ B2 - Male Front Kick 10:35 AM Branson Chung DQ John Fu 9.090 √ C - Mixed Front Kick 10:40 AM Callum Woo DNS Rory Huang 10.150 √ D - Female Front Kick 10:45 AM Ayda Zokai 9.180 √ Michelle Zhao *New World Record 6.660 √ Shima Bagherian DQ Yan Jing DQ E - Female Front Kick 10:50 AM Kelly Cruise 9.750 √ Ling Li 11.360 √ Susan Cheng *New World Record 8.360 √ F, G - Mixed Front Kick 10:55 AM Eric Lasby (F) 9.360 √ Val Burroff (G) 9.630 √ Windmill 11:00 AM Max Mikulinsky *New World Record 6.690 √ Youssef Garanina DQ B2 - Male Windmill 11:05 AM Illay Ben Haim DNS Winston Morgan DQ C - Mixed Windmill 11:10 AM Ethan Chung DQ Rory Huang DQ D - Mixed Windmill 11:15 AM Michelle Zhao DQ Hossein Saeidi 6.24 √ C - Mixed Outside Kick 11:30 AM Callum Woo DNS Koan Wong *New World Record 6.270 √ Rory Huang 13.000 √ D - Mixed Outside Kick 11:35 AM Michelle Zhao *New World Record 7.330 √ Shima Bagherian 11.180 √ Andrew Cheng 9.960 √ B2 - Mixed Cartwheel 11:45 AM Angelina Allen DQ Milan Janmohamed 9.930 √ Elijah Burroff-Ferguson DQ C, D - Mixed Cartwheel 11:50 AM Keegan Thomas-Guerra (C) DQ Hossein Saeidi (D) 6.270 √ Viktoriia Garanina (D) 7.210 √ B1 - Male Slap Kick 12:15 PM Logan Cruise 12.060 √ Youssef Garanina 13.570 √ B2 - Mixed Slap Kick 12:20 PM Angelina Allen 14.630 √ Elijah Burroff-Ferguson 12.210 √ Victoria Thompson 10.120 √ C - Mixed Slap Kick 12:25 PM Callum Woo DNS Rory Huang 9.870 √ D - Female Slap Kick 12:30 PM Shima Bagherian 12.750 √ Viktoriia Garanina 11.150 √ Vivian Wong 9.510 √ Yan Jing *New World Record 9.000 √ E - Female Slap Kick 12:35 PM Kelly Cruise 11.300 √ Susan Cheng 10.960 √ F, G - Mixed Slap Kick 12:40 PM Eric Lasby (F) 10.900 √ Val Burroff (G) 11.780 √ B1 - Male Crouch Walk 1:00 PM Logan Cruise 9.540 √ Youssef Garanina 6.210 √ B2 - Mixed Crouch Walk 1:05 PM Elizabeth Hatcher 5.750 √ Milan Janmohamed 4.930 √ D - Female Crouch Walk 1:10 PM Michelle Zhao *New World Record (13-18 yrs) 3.450 √ Viktoriia Garanina *New World Record (19-39 yrs) 4.030 √ B1 - Mixed Front Roll 1:15 PM Jalen Janmohamed 9.300 √ Max Mikulinsky 5.660 √ B2 - Male Front Roll 1:20 PM Winston Morgan 6.810 √ Elijah Burroff-Ferguson 7.520 √ D - Mixed, 1 C Front Roll 1:25 PM Keegan Thomas-Guerra (C) *New World Record (13-18 yrs) 3.600 √ Hossein Saeidi (D) *New World Record (19-39 yrs) 2.840 √ Sharly Chan (D) DNS Shima Bagherian (D) 8.810 √ Viktoriia Garanina (D) DQ E, F - Mixed Front Roll 1:30 PM Kelly Cruise (E) DNS Eric Lasby (F) *New World Record 5.420 √ B1 - Male Monkey Crawl 1:50 PM Aydin Allen 4.660 √ Jalen Janmohamed 6.420 √ Logan Cruise 4.390 √ C - Mixed Monkey Crawl 1:55 PM Koan Wong *New World Record 2.360 √ Rory Huang 2.780 √ D - Mixed Monkey Crawl 2:00 PM Michelle Zhao *New World Record 2.730 √ Hossein Saeidi 2.370 √ Shima Bagherian 4.450 √ D - Mixed, 1 C Back Turning Kick (D) 2:05 PM Keegan Thomas-Guerra (C) 7.960 √ Hossein Saeidi (D) 3.120 √ Yan Jing (D) 3.890 √ Overall Results by School STQI School Gold Silver Bronze Downtown Toronto 50 37 20 Scarborough 1 4 4 Markham 3 1 0 Tue, 07 Nov 2023 11:11:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/results-from-the-2023-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival Join us for Social Sports on November 4 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-us-for-social-sports-on-november-4 Join us for Social Sports on November 4 at 6:30pm Dear Students, We look forward to our next Social Sports on Saturday, November 4th at 6:30pm (for 2 hours). No experience is necessary - come learn to play sports with us in a friendly and cooperative environment! Social Sports is free for our students, thanks to our Shaolin Luohan Temple charitable affiliation! To qualify, students must have at least 7 tokens for the 2023 T3 Fall Term. Check out the details below and be sure to save the dates! About Our Monthly Social Sports Activities We have regular sports activities held at Scadding Court Community Centre (Bathurst and Dundas, about 10 minutes walk from our school). It is open to all students from 5+ years, including adults. Children under 13 must be accompanied by a guardian (the guardian is welcome to participate for free as well).We arrange training and games for basketball, volleyball, and/or soccer, and no experience is needed. We're just having fun! Some activities will be better suited for younger children, so we will organize them based on attendance. We plan to also group teams based primarily on age as well as experience. No sign up is necessary! Just show up and have fun! Be sure to bring your own equipment (i.e. balls, knee pads, etc.) Please note that in order to participate, you will need to be an active student taking Shaolin qigong, tai chi, and/or kung fu, and have at least 7 tokens for the 2023 T3 Fall Term. Family members are welcome to join us even if they are not students! Thu, 02 Nov 2023 18:25:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-us-for-social-sports-on-november-4 Come Watch the 2023 Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival and Tournament https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/come-watch-the-2023-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-and-tournament Come Watch the 2023 Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival and Tournament Come support your athletes! You’re invited to come watch our martial arts competition on Sunday, October 29th from 10am to 4pm. There will be exciting taolu forms and timed event competitions all day long. Event Details Scadding Court Community Centre 707 Dundas St W, Toronto ON M5T 2W6 (Bathurst and Dundas, Toronto) Doors open to the public at 9:30am. Opening ceremonies begin at 10am sharp. Guest Fee is $5 cash at the door. Tue, 10 Oct 2023 12:31:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/come-watch-the-2023-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-and-tournament Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Registration update https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-registration-update Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Registration update Your deadline to participate in the Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival is September 30, 2023. We are now less than 6 weeks away from our exciting festival! Below are some important updates with regard to registration, taolu scoring, and guests. When and Where Will the Festival be Held? The festival will be held on Sunday, October 29, 2023. The festival will begin at 10am and finish with a short closing ceremony and awards at 5pm. We have chosen the Scadding Court Community Centre at Bathurst and Dundas Street West: Scadding Court Community Centre707 Dundas St WestToronto ON M5T 2W6 Athlete Registration Fees All participants must register by the September 30, 2023 deadline, and sign-in at 9am on October 29, 2023.  Registration fee is $30 (no tax) and includes one entry (can be a Taolu Form or Shaolin Challenge event) and 1 guest ticket. Each subsequent item is $15. Please ensure you have read all the rules and regulations BEFORE you register. Click to View Official Rules Online Please click the link below for the Official Registration Form Online. Click to View Official Registration Form Online Can Guests Attend the Event? Anyone who is not participating as an athlete, or a staff member will be deemed a guest. Each Athlete's registration will include 1 guest ticket. The fee for each guest is $5 cash at the door (no tax).Guests may enter the venue at 9:30am. What is this festival about? The Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival is a celebration of Shaolin Spirit involving the students of Master Shi Guo Song’s STQI brand of traditional Shaolin schools in Canada. You can visit the website at shaolinteam.ca for more information including videos for various events, rules and regulations, and sign up form. For more information and to register, please visit the Shaolin Team Canada website with the link below: Go to Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Website  Tue, 19 Sep 2023 14:30:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-registration-update Keep Moving - STQI Performance Summary Chinatown BIA Festival 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/keep-moving-stqi-performance-summary-chinatown-bia-festival-2023 Keep Moving - STQI Performance Summary Chinatown BIA Festival 2023 A 2.5-minute summary of our 45-minute performance at the Chinatown BIA Festival on August 19, 2023. Featuring Master Dao and his wisdom on the importance of moving, and showcasing the students in performing kung fu, tai chi, and qigong. Mon, 28 Aug 2023 19:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/keep-moving-stqi-performance-summary-chinatown-bia-festival-2023 What is New for the 2023 T3 Fall Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2023-t3-fall-term What is New for the 2023 T3 Fall Term Fall Term Begins Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Register online at www.stqitoronto.com. The Fall is a popular time for new students to register and we expect to surpass our 175 base student target. To accommodate, we're adding new classes! Top Student Attendance for the 2023 T2 Summer Term Firstly, we would like congratulate the following students who reached the top 3 in attendance last term. We started a tradition last term where the top dedicated students in training are rewarded a semi-private lesson with Master Dao! Andrew ChengVivian WongAyelen Eng FYI, you can now easily see the top attendance rankings through the Student Portal (more on that later in this newsletter) New Classes for the 2023 T3 Fall Term We excited to announce that have several new classes for the upcoming 2023 Fall Term (which starts September 5): Women's Self Defence - Sundays at 4pm Shaolin Kids Kung Fu (Foundation and Forms) - Wednesdays at 1pm to 3pm Sanda Fitness - Sundays at 12pm Shaolin Stretch Therapy - Saturdays at 12pm Below are detailed descriptions of these new classes and times. Shaolin Stretch Therapy *NEW FALL TERM CLASS - SATURDAYS AT 12PM WITH MASTER DAO* This class empowers students to apply Shaolin wisdom to Stretch Therapy for healing the body, relieving muscle strain and joint pain, improving posture, and increasing flexibility and range of motion. It includes Shaolin stretching as the foundation for healing along with qigong, massage, and acupressure techniques. It can be taken to supplement any Shaolin class, such as kung fu, tai chi, and qigong. This class is especially great for those who spend a lot of time sitting and need some easy movements to improve the hip and knees. No experience is needed. Students may drop-in as needed or attend all the classes each week. Your teacher will guide students through a core set of exercises each week and include different theme and techniques based on audience participation and needs. Shaolin Tai Chi *NEW FALL TERM TIME - SATURDAYS AT 3PM WITH INSTRUCTOR ANDREE* Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation is about training fundamentals of relaxing, awareness, and qi flow, along with gentle and soft self defence techniques. It will also help you improve your flexibility, coordination, fitness, energy, and overall health. A typical class includes warm up drills, stretching, gentle stance training, cloud hands exercises, gentle foundation kicks, and relaxed self-defence application exercises. The second half of class include drills for relaxed self-defence application and taolu forms. This class is designed to make you feel your body flow with movement and lightly work on your cardiovascular endurance. The less muscles you use, the more you breathe, and the more relaxed your are, the higher your level. Shaolin Sanda Fitness *NEW FALL TERM CLASS - SUNDAYS AT 12PM WITH DISCIPLE LUKA* This is a fun class that stresses on cardiovascular endurance and power, utilizing the traditional Shaolin methods. There is no sparring or gear needed for this class. Each class includes footwork drills, aerobic style kung fu exercises for power muscles. Includes Sanda exercises unique to Shaolin! Recommended to adults for fitness or to supplement the Sanda Sparring class. Expect high calorie burn! Womens Self Defence *NEW FALL TERM CLASS - SUNDAYS AT 4PM WITH DISCIPLE ROSE* Note: Disciple Rose is currently away so Master Dao will be subbing in until the second week of the Fall TermThis is a fun class that stresses on cardiovascular endurance and power, utilizing the traditional Shaolin methods. This is intended for women who want the comfort of taking a self defence class with other females, and will emphasize strategic, mental and physical training using traditional Shaolin philosophy and methods. Simple techniques with repetitive training are necessary for immediate and long-term effectiveness! Each class will include philosophy and mental exercises, warm up and stretching, footwork, striking techniques, escaping techniques (from various grabs and holds), safe sparring drills, wrestling, iron body training, and core strengthening exercises. Students will also practice a Shaolin form especially designed for this class by Master Dao. Key Events this Fall Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival on October 29th, Sunday The Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival (STC Wushu Festival) is a celebration of Shaolin Spirit involving the students of Master Shi Guo Song's STQI brand of traditional Shaolin schools in Canada. This is the largest Shaolin festival in Canada, and it will be held at Scadding Court. It will feature Shaolin Challenges and Taolu Forms Competition! Be sure to talk to your Team Captain, Luka and register! For more information and registration, please click the link below: [2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Link]   Worldwide Meditation Workshop Learn how Shaolin Meditation and philosophy can help bring you peace. The next worldwide meditation workshop will be held on Monday, November 13th, 2023, at 7pm EST. The topic will be 'Wisdom'. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'How to Overcome Regret' and taught students how to think about regret in a different way - i.e. it's designed for learning, not suffering. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: How to Overcome Regret. [Meditation Workshop Registration Link]   Shaolin Winter Retreat - Shaolin Martial Zen Many people have requested a Shaolin Boot Camp for adults, and finally it has arrived! Experience two full days of Shaolin training with Master Dao. This 2-Day Shaolin Winter Retreat will take place from Saturday, December 23rd (9am to 5pm) to Sunday, December 24th (9am to 5pm), at our downtown Toronto school. The event will be limited to 20 students. You must be 18 years of age or older in order to participate. We will make some exceptions for teenagers who have previously participated in the meditation session of the Summer Shaolin Retreat. The Shaolin Winter Retreat is about Shaolin Martial Zen. Its aim is for you connect with your spiritual self, developing awareness of yourself, and develop your physical health. You will learn about the Shaolin Virtues and apply them through 16 hours of training with Master Dao. You will experience two days in the life of a Shaolin Warrior, including meditation, lectures on Zen philosophy, qigiong, taichi, and kung fu. No experience in any of the Shaolin arts is needed and we welcome beginners. For those physically unable to do kung fu, you will be able to train in Tai Chi instead. A hearty vegetarian lunch is included each day! Pricing for STQI Students of the 2023 T3 Winter Term (with at least 14 tokens) will be discounted at $345 + tax. Non-students will be $495 + tax. More details will be provided later - if you want to register early, you can use the link below. Note: At this time, registration is limited to students registered for the 2023 T3 Winter Term. If there is room, we will open this event up to everyone, on November 30. [Shaolin Winter Retreat Early Registration Link]   Social Events and Sports Events Our social committee will continue to organize free events to help foster our community, such as movie and game nights, as well as social sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball. The next Social Sports will be held after the Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival, sometime in November and December. We will send out a sign up for this as we get closer to the date. Vexspawns are Coming - Adults Prepare! Our brave children have had a lot of fun defending humans for years during our kids camps. Now, it's the adults turn!  A LARPG (Live Action RPG) is planned for an Adult Social Night (18+ years) in November, likely a Saturday from 5pm to 9pm (4 hours).  With Master Dao as your official DM, you will be tested in an engaging story where you will be able to use your kung fu and tai chi forms in battle. You will need to bring your own meal and snacks.  Note: You must be a student of the 2023 T3 Fall Term, in Shaolin Kung Fu or Shaolin Tai Chi classes, in order to join in this fun (otherwise, you can only be a meat shield)! We will send out a registration form for this once we have a date available.   Sanda Fight Night Entertaining exhibition Shaolin Sanda matches will be held during the last week of classes. These exciting matches showcase our students' ability to demonstrate control, accuracy, speed, technique, and strength. All students are welcome to come watch the matches for free and cheer for all of our participants.   Shaolin Classes This Term Shaolin Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu emphasizes core training and developing powerful muscles. Strengthening the core improves the circulation of your vital organs, and increases available energy in the body. Developing your physical prowess also means more white blood cells, muscle mass, bone density, and greatly increases your body's pathogenic defense systems. In the Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation class, we will return to exercises involving various animal hand postures for self defence applications, such as the leopard, mantis, snake, and crane. In the Shaolin Kung Fu Forms class, we will emphasize 'play sparring' exercises. These will be safe exercises involving control drills and techniques to develop decision making in simulated encounter situations. Note: We've added Shaolin Kung Fu for Kids on Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm, Shaolin Sanda Fitness on Sundays at 12pm, and Womens Self Defence on Sundays at 4pm, this term!  Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. Breathing better means having more energy in the body and gentle movements improve deeper circulation for the vital organs.  We'll be emphasizing the Breath Qi in our classes and, explore how it can relax and energize our body and mind with our movements. It can be generally applied to all of our techniques, sparring exercises, and forms. Those participating in Qigong classes can apply additional theory to the Tai Chi classes.Note: We've added Shaolin Tai Chi on Saturdays at 3pm this term! Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is foremast about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to cultivate it, and move it around the body. Qigong will improve your understanding and awareness of your energy (Qi), as it relates to your mind and body, and the environment around you. You will be able to make better lifestyle choices based on what you want in life. In the Qigong Foundation class, we will emphasize the Breath Qi along with specific qigong exercises. In the Qigong Forms class, we will investigate advanced qi-flow techniques and focusing on advanced qi-flow patterns for qigong forms.Note: We've added Shaolin Stretch Therapy on Saturdays at 12pm this term!   Sun, 27 Aug 2023 07:49:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2023-t3-fall-term How to Overcome Regret https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-overcome-regret How to Overcome Regret Have you ever strongly felt that you made some poor choices, said something, or did something, that you wish you did not? Every time you are faced with a similar situation, you feel regret and suffer internally. In this session, we will explore the idea of regret, to better understand and accept the choices we have made so that we can move forward peacefully. What is Regret? Regret is a negative feeling that results from something you did (i.e. another way would have produced a better result) or did not do (missed opportunity), resulting in an outcome that you perceive is not as good had you done something differently. It can be in the form of an action or speech. In a sense, people feel they have lost something. Regret can even manifest if the result would still be good! For example, you may decide to invest in a stock that gave you a 110% return, but at the time you gave up on another stock that would have earned you 2000% return. Both are fortuitous and yet some people will suffer from regret for not having chosen the second option. General examples of regret: After working at your new job, you feel you made the wrong career choice After several years of marriage, you feel you made the wrong choice in your partner You feel your job opportunities are limited because you did not make the right choice of education (i.e. degree, school, etc.) You feel you could have had a better relationship with your child, had you been a better parent You feel you could have prevented a major accident by doing something better You feel something you said caused an irreparable relationship with a friend or family member You feel you wasted money by buying something that wasn’t useful You feel you lost a great opportunity to make money from an investment How Regret Causes Suffering When you feel you could have had a better outcome due to your action or inaction, there is no one to blame except yourself. This means that if there is an external factor causing a negative reaction then it cannot be regret. Regret is then often followed by feelings such as anger, pity, sadness, stress, anxiety, and fear. The negative feeling is generally associated with the nature of the regret itself. The more negative you perceive the outcome, the stronger the feelings of regret. The more you ruminate about it, the more you will reinforce those negative feelings. Those negative feelings accumulate and may cause even more regret. And so the cycle perpetuates itself and the negative feelings pile up until they physically harm you, thus causing suffering. Any event that reminds you of it, can restart this vicious cycle. Regret can be the source of suffering, but does not actually cause suffering. What is the Purpose of Feeling Regret? It is important to emphasize that regret is an emotion. There is a chemical reaction or release in your body as a result of regret. This chemical reaction results in a feeling of regret that can last a while. Why do we have this emotion? By asking this very question, we open the door for ourselves to overcome suffering caused by regret. Before continuing with this article, take the time to think about why. If you do not try to answer this question yourself, then you'll be learning to overcome regret through knowledge rather than experience. You can likely come up with the same answer, so even if you cannot characterize it clearly, the remainder of this article will make much more sense and you will get more out of it. -- When you take the time to answer this question of why we experience regret, you eventually realize that it is a learning mechanism. For example, when you encounter a similar situation that causes regret, you will question yourself and hesitate. You may feel a strong emotion of stress and anxiety. This means you have not yet figured out what the lesson is. And for regret to be a learning mechanism, it is important to take the time to address it. How to Learn from Regret Now that we understand what regret is and why we have it, we need to learn from it to free ourselves from suffering. In this way, we can grow wiser and make better decisions in the future. The following is a cyclical guide that will help you through regret. It is cyclical because one should expect to repeat steps (and even go backwards to repeat) until they can complete them. There are four cycles - 1) preparation, 2) questioning, 3) answering, and 4) release. The first step, the Cycle of Preparation, is to prepare yourself for introspection. This means finding an environment in which you can feel calm. Take the time to breathe fully and relax. Meditation is a great way to achieve a relaxed mind. For those who have not yet gained the basic skills of meditation, you can review my instructions on meditation here. The second step, the Cycle of Questioning, is to ask yourself the question, “Why do I feel regret?”. Try your best to maintain calm as you think about the answer. If you find yourself emotional and unable to think clearly, go back to the first step. In this step, we do not want to conclude with any answer. It is important to explore the possibilities from different angles. There is no set amount of time except that rushing through this step means you are likely to come to a conclusion that won’t stick. This will result in suffering from regret at a later time. This step may not be easy to get through because you may lack the wisdom to find answers. By taking lots of time to analyze thoroughly, you will be able to come to a conclusion that is believable and memorable. But if you find yourself stuck at this step, you will want to pursue additional training in Chan-Dao philosophy which teaches you about perceptions, emotions, and the subconscious, all of which will help you to develop what I call self-wisdom. The third step, the Cycle of Answering, is to hypothesize the answer. At this step, you will think you have the answer and you may even feel strongly about it. If not, you need to go back to the second step and spend more time analyzing. The important question you need to ask yourself now is, “Do I accept the decisions I made that caused this regret?” If you are unable to accept it, then you need to go back to the second step and analyze it again, even if you keep coming up with the same conclusion. Eventually, you will be able to accept and move on to the next step. The fourth step, the Cycle of Release, is to release yourself from suffering. That means any feelings of anxiety, stress, anger, fear, etc. are no longer related to the feelings of regret. By accepting that you have learned from your actions, it means you can move on, and cut off any emotional associations. To achieve this, you need to think logically about all these steps and how you’ve come to accept it. In other words, you own your mistakes and use them to acquire wisdom for yourself. When you’ve completed the fourth step, you may still feel regret and will realize that regret is not a bad thing at all. It is instead a useful tool to help you learn and grow. And in this way, life becomes more interesting, exciting, positive, and fruitful! Shàolín Chándào perspective: Regret, like all emotions, is part of a personal tool-set to help you get through life. Take advantage of these tools to help you understand yourself better, and to interact with the universe to find peace. Fri, 25 Aug 2023 09:39:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-overcome-regret FREE Pre-Fall Term Classes on September 2nd and 3rd https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/free-pre-fall-term-classes-on-september-2nd-and-3rd FREE Pre-Fall Term Classes on September 2nd and 3rd! *Registration Required* Dear Students, We excited to announce that have several new classes for the upcoming 2023 Fall Term (which starts September 5). Will be offering a preview of these classes, for free, on Saturday, September 2nd, and Sunday, September 3rd. To qualify, you must be a student or a family member of a student, who participated in the 2023 T2 Summer Term, or has registered for the 2023 T3 Fall Term. Registration is required, please see link below for the online form. In the event a class becomes full, you will be notified and put on a waiting list. Here is a schedule of the free classes along with the new class times, instructor assignments, and class information: Saturday, September 2nd 12pm - Shaolin Stretch Therapy with Master Dao *NEW FALL TERM CLASS - SATURDAYS AT 12PM WITH MASTER DAO* This class empowers students to apply Shaolin wisdom to Stretch Therapy for healing the body, relieving muscle strain and joint pain, improving posture, and increasing flexibility and range of motion. It includes Shaolin stretching as the foundation for healing along with qigong, massage, and acupressure techniques. It can be taken to supplement any Shaolin class, such as kung fu, tai chi, and qigong. This class is especially great for those who spend a lot of time sitting and need some easy movements to improve the hip and knees. No experience is needed. Students may drop-in as needed or attend all the classes each week. Your teacher will guide students through a core set of exercises each week and include different theme and techniques based on audience participation and needs. 1pm - Shaolin Tai Chi with Instructor Andree *NEW FALL TERM TIME - SATURDAYS AT 3PM WITH INSTRUCTOR ANDREE* Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation is about training fundamentals of relaxing, awareness, and qi flow, along with gentle and soft self defence techniques. It will also help you improve your flexibility, coordination, fitness, energy, and overall health. A typical class includes warm up drills, stretching, gentle stance training, cloud hands exercises, gentle foundation kicks, and relaxed self-defence application exercises. The second half of class include drills for relaxed self-defence application and taolu forms. This class is designed to make you feel your body flow with movement and lightly work on your cardiovascular endurance. The less muscles you use, the more you breathe, and the more relaxed your are, the higher your level. Sunday, September 3rd 12pm - Shaolin Sanda Fitness with Disciple Luka *NEW FALL TERM CLASS - SUNDAYS AT 12PM WITH DISCIPLE LUKA* This is a fun class that stresses on cardiovascular endurance and power, utilizing the traditional Shaolin methods. There is no sparring or gear needed for this class. Each class includes footwork drills, aerobic style kung fu exercises for power muscles. Includes Sanda exercises unique to Shaolin! Recommended to adults for fitness or to supplement the Sanda Sparring class. Expect high calorie burn! 1pm - Womens Self Defence with Master Dao *NEW FALL TERM CLASS - SUNDAYS AT 4PM WITH DISCIPLE ROSE* Note: Disciple Rose is currently away so Master Dao will be subbing in until the second week of the Fall TermThis is a fun class that stresses on cardiovascular endurance and power, utilizing the traditional Shaolin methods. This is intended for women who want the comfort of taking a self defence class with other females, and will emphasize strategic, mental and physical training using traditional Shaolin philosophy and methods. Simple techniques with repetitive training are necessary for immediate and long-term effectiveness! Each class will include philosophy and mental exercises, warm up and stretching, footwork, striking techniques, escaping techniques (from various grabs and holds), safe sparring drills, wrestling, iron body training, and core strengthening exercises. Students will also practice a Shaolin form especially designed for this class by Master Dao. Registration Information To qualify, you must be a student or a family member of a student, who participated in the 2023 T2 Summer Term, or has registered for the 2023 T3 Fall Term. To register, please click the link below: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/forms/view/g5ua8Lki96 Fri, 25 Aug 2023 08:53:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/free-pre-fall-term-classes-on-september-2nd-and-3rd Last Day for Returning Student Discount https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/last-day-for-returning-student-discount Last Day for Returning Student Discount This is a reminder that students of the 2023 T2 Summer Term can receive a returning student discount for the 2023 T3 Fall Term, provided that you register by August 31, 2023 at 11:59pm. To register, click on 'Sign Up' at the top menu and select your membership and token options. Don't forget to select Ping Pong if you'd like to join us for extra aerobic exercise and fun! The returning students are automatically calculated: 1-3 Terms = 5%, 3-6 Terms = 10%, 7-9 Terms = 15%, 10+ Terms = 20% Note that a term is valid for this calculation if at least 14 tokens were purchased. Fri, 18 Aug 2023 19:16:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/last-day-for-returning-student-discount 2023 T2 Summer Term Ends on August 13 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2023-t2-summer-term-ends-on-august-13 2023 T2 Summer Term Ends on August 13 This is a reminder that the 2023 T2 Summer Term ends on August 13. The new term, 2023 T3 Fall, will begin on September 5, Tuesday. Note that we've improved the process for registration. Membership requirements, family discounts, and returning student discounts are all conveniently calculated and shown in one webpage. Thu, 10 Aug 2023 15:33:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2023-t2-summer-term-ends-on-august-13 Priority Registration Begins for Active Students https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/priority-registration-begins-for-active-students Priority Registration Begins for Active Students Dear Active Students, Priority registration has begun for you. Take advantage of early registration to ensure your spot for the 2023 T3 Fall Term and to qualify for the Returning Student Discount.  We're excited to tell you that we're adding more classes for the fall!  *NEW* Shaolin Stretch Therapy Class on Saturdays at 12pm *NEW* Shaolin Sanda Fitness Class on Sundays at 12pm *NEW* Women's Self Defence returns on Sundays at 4pm There may be additional classes added to Wednesday mid-late afternoon (TBD) We anticipate significant growth of our student base, and thus we are increasing the student base limit to 200 students. We are looking forward to many events for the fall including the Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival, Social Sports Night, Social Movie and Games, Meditation Workshops, and more! Three Reasons Why You Want to Register NOW Registering early means you'll guarantee your spot in case classes become full. Be sure to check out the schedule for the fall term first to see that there are spots available for the days and times you wish to attend. We encourage everyone to immediately set up their auto-reserves after registering to ensure your spot each week. Secondly, registering early means you can take advantage of the 'Returning Student Discount'. This is your priviledge that you earn by registering early which greatly helps to reduce administrative effort during the first two weeks of classes. Thirdly, registering early means you'll be able to take advantage of the current prices. We plan to keep prices the same for the fall term despite the inflationary pressures of the past 4 years but may have a modest increase next year. Registering for a year in advance means you can lock in prices. After you register: Please set up your auto-reservations as many classes will likely be full (especially Wednesdays and Saturdays). This ensures you can attend on the day and times you want each week.  Please note that after you set up your auto-reservation(s), you can then go to the class schedule and cancel / modify your classes on specific days in the term. 2023 T3 Fall Term Registration Information In order to ensure a fair system: 1. All active students of the 2023 Summer Term are able to register first, as of July 7. You qualify as an active student if you have purchased at least 7 tokens this term. If you purchased a whole year, your registration is automatic and you will not need to do anything else. Be sure to check the expiry of your annual registration! 2. Returning students who did not register for the 2023 Summer Term have second priority for registering which begins on July 21st.  3. New students will be able to register starting August 4th, provided there is room. To register: 1. Login to your account at www.stqitoronto.com 2. Click on Class Registration at the top menu (or hover your mouse cursor over it), and select the class you want to register for.  3) Follow the instructions on that page to add tokens to your cart. Be sure to select 2023 T3 Fall Term. 4) Check out and confirm your order when ready. You can wait until April 30th to make a payment, or contact us if you require an extension. Families with 2 or more participating students may split their payment in 2 halves a month apart. 5) If you are making a payment now, you'll be able to set up your auto-reserves immediately for next term to guarantee your spot for the desired class days and times.  Fri, 07 Jul 2023 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/priority-registration-begins-for-active-students You are invited to perform with us at Chinatown Festival on August 19th https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/you-are-invited-to-perform-with-us-at-chinatown-festival-on-august-19th You are invited to perform with us at Chinatown Festival on August 19th The Chinatown Festival is held every summer and our most important event. We have confirmed our performance time on August 19th at 7:30pm. We need more students involved to showcase our amazing community! We are looking for students in qigong, tai chi, and kung fu to participate. A certain level of capability is required. New students should consult their instructors for assessment and suitability.We will be having practices every Saturday at 3pm from July 29th to August 19th (day of the performance): Saturday, July 29 from 3pm to 5pm (kung fu and tai chi performers) Saturday, August 5 from 3pm to 5pm (kung fu and tai chi performers) Saturday, August 12 from 3pm to 5pm (all performers) Saturday, August 19 from 5pm to 7pm *DRESS REHEARSAL* (all performers) Please note that the dress rehearsal on Saturday, August 19 from 5pm to 7pm is required. Please plan to attend every practice.There may be additional practices for those selected to participate in the choreographed sparring and flags routines.If you would like to join us and help promote the school, please register with the online form link below.  To register, please visit the online form link below: Chinatown Festival Performance Team Registration  Tue, 04 Jul 2023 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/you-are-invited-to-perform-with-us-at-chinatown-festival-on-august-19th 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Registration Begins https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2nd-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-registration-begins 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Registration Begins Support and participation from students from the downtown Toronto school is especially needed. The 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival has officially opened for registration! All students of STQI across Canada are encouraged to celebrate with us on October 29th, 2023. The Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival is a celebration of Shaolin Spirit involving the students of Master Shi Guo Song’s STQI brand of traditional Shaolin schools in Canada. You can visit the website at shaolinteam.ca for more information including videos for various events, rules and regulations, and sign up form. For more information and to register, please visit the Shaolin Team Canada website with the link below: Go to Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Website  Fri, 30 Jun 2023 13:06:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2nd-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-registration-begins About the Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Final https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/about-the-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-final About the Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Final The Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival is a celebration of what we call, the Shaolin Spirit. The inaugural festival was held in November of 2019 where we saw 43 athletes compete in 142 events. Roughly one third were taolu forms, and the rest were timed events that require martial skills. What makes our festival in Canada unique is the idea that everyone wins a medal. One quarter of the participants receive gold, another quarter receives silver, and the rest receives a bronze medal. Competition certainly helps to raise the bar for Canadian talent, but celebrating the Shaolin Spirit, together, is what this festival is really all about. And what is the Shaolin Spirit? It is the portrayal of the Shaolin Virtues that each athlete embodies - focus, perseverance, strive, respect, compassion, and leadership. And these Canadian athletes become the greatest role models, for all of us to look up to. Fri, 23 Jun 2023 13:43:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/about-the-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-final The 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival is Coming in October 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-2nd-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-is-coming-in-october-2023 The 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival is Coming in October 2023 This Fall, experience a celebration like no other! Our Canadian athletes will be participating in Olympic style races and competing in martial forms. All in traditional Shaolin style. The tournament is open to all students of Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute including students who are learning online at LearnShaolin.com. Join us on Sunday, October 29th, 2023, as a participant or audience! We hope to provide live streaming for this event and more information will be available as we get closer to the event date. For more information, please go to: https://www.shaolinteam.ca Fri, 16 Jun 2023 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-2nd-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-is-coming-in-october-2023 You Are Invited to Our Board Game Night on June 24 2023 at 5pm https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/you-are-invited-to-our-board-game-night-on-june-24-2023-at-5pm You Are Invited to Our Board Game Night on June 24 2023 at 5pm Hi, fellow STQI students! On behalf of the STQI social committee, I would like to invite you to join us for our upcoming board game night! This will be a light, interactive event where we can socialize while playing our favourite board games. You are encouraged to bring your games from home so we can have as wide a variety as possible. Snacks will be provided. Date and time: SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 5 PM (ending around/before 8 pm) Location: STQI DOWNTOWN TORONTO SCHOOL This event is open to all STQI students, and it's free!!! -- thanks to our Shaolin Luohan Temple charitable affiliation! Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Please reply to this email to RSVP for this event. Please indicate what game(s) you intend to bring. Thank you, and I hope to see you all there! Shi Yan Qing (Andrew Cheng) 36th Generation Traditional Shaolin Disciple STQI Social Club Committee, Downtown Toronto School Sun, 11 Jun 2023 10:13:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/you-are-invited-to-our-board-game-night-on-june-24-2023-at-5pm Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-retreat-camping-2023 Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 Here's a summary our annual Shaolin Retreat Camping event! Showcasing what happens during the week including meditation and philosophy, and training in Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong. Join us for the next Shaolin Retreat Camping during the week of July 12-16, 2023! Fri, 09 Jun 2023 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-retreat-camping-2023 Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 Information Guide https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-retreat-camping-2023-information-guide Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 Information Guide Click the link below to view the complete guide for the event. 2023T1-Shaolin-Retreat-Camping-Guide.pdf Thu, 08 Jun 2023 12:37:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-retreat-camping-2023-information-guide Learn Shaolin Kung Fu at Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-shaolin-kung-fu-at-shaolin-retreat-camping-2023 Learn Shaolin Kung Fu at Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 Join us for Shaolin Kung Fu at the Shaolin Retreat Camping event! This year, we are going to Rock Point Provincial Park. For more information and to register: Shaolin Retreat 2023 Wed, 07 Jun 2023 19:23:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-shaolin-kung-fu-at-shaolin-retreat-camping-2023 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Returns on October 29 of 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2nd-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-returns-on-october-29-of-2023 2nd Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival Returns on October 29 of 2023 We're pleased to announce that the second Shaolin Team Canada Wushu Festival returns on October 29, 2023! This festival is a celebration of Shaolin Spirit and includes a tournament style where EVERYONE wins a medal. Open to all students of the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute schools in Canada! More details coming soon so stay tuned. Wed, 31 May 2023 12:31:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2nd-shaolin-team-canada-wushu-festival-returns-on-october-29-of-2023 Sunrise Qigong at Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/sunrise-qigong-at-shaolin-retreat-camping-2023 Sunrise Qigong at Shaolin Retreat Camping 2023 Join us for SUNRISE QIGONG at the Shaolin Retreat Camping event! This year, we are going to Rock Point Provincial Park. For more information and to register: Shaolin Retreat 2023 Wed, 24 May 2023 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/sunrise-qigong-at-shaolin-retreat-camping-2023 Join Master Dao for the Next Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, May 29, 2023 at 7pm EST https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-master-dao-for-the-next-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-monday-may-29-2023-at-7pm-est Join Master Dao for the Next Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, May 29, 2023 at 7pm EST Master Dao will be conducting a free worldwide meditation workshop on February 6, Monday, from 7pm to 9pm EST (4pm to 6pm PST). Join us in person at our downtown Toronto school location, or join us virtually through Zoom from anywhere in the world! The topic for this session is 'How to Overcome Regret'. Click here for registration and more information Have you ever strongly felt that you made some poor choices, said something, or did something, that you wish you did not? Every time you are faced with a similar situation, you feel regret and suffer internally. In this session, we will explore the idea of regret, to better understand and accept the choices we have made, so that we can move forward peacefully. Always free! Available in-person or virtually on Zoom. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'Boosting Your Self Esteem' and understanding how to apply this idea for peacefulness. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: How to Boost Your Self-Esteem. You can also view past meditation workshop topics and learn about Shaolin Chán in general here: Shaolin Chan-Dao Knowledge Base. We keep a tally of all the votes and they will accumulate for the next meditation workshop. So be sure to cast your vote when you register! This Free Workshop is Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Practitioners This is an opportunity for you to learn about and experience meditation and Chan/Zen/Dao philosophy. Master Dao will make it easy for you to learn and practice ancient Shaolin meditation techniques, and to apply his wisdom of Shaolin Chan-Dao to deal with modern day issues and challenges. Indeed one can find plenty of information about meditation online. So much so that there is often conflict in meaning, leading to confusion about the practice, its origins, and the long-term goals of practice. Some people meditate because they are seeking peace. Some are seeking spiritual or religious connection. Why might you be interested? Come learn and open yourself to a modern interpretation of what meditation means in 2022 and how it can really benefit you and the people around you. You can get a head start on the sitting meditation techniques through our guide here: The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method Workshop Outline Introductions and Terminology Basic Meditation Techniques Meditation Sessions and Guidance Short Chan/Zen Philosophy Question and Answer About Master Dao Master Dao is 35th generation Shaolin Disciple who is actively spreading the traditional Shaolin teachings of kung fu martial arts, qigong, meditation, and Chan/Zen philosophy around the world. Since 2007 he has been training under the guidance of Shifu Guo Song, one of few authentic Shaolin monks left in the world. Master Dao is leading through example of these arts and has gained much experience through his school and students in Toronto, Canada and online students around the world. This is a Live Stream Event You will need a Zoom account (free) if you are joining us virtually. A webcam will be required to ensure you are a real person. We will email you the Zoom Link and Passcode 24 hours before the event. We will also send you instructions on how to prepare your environment for this workshop. Click here for registration and more information Sat, 20 May 2023 08:42:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-master-dao-for-the-next-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-monday-may-29-2023-at-7pm-est Join us for Social Sports on Saturday June 10 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-us-for-social-sports-on-june-10 Join us for Social Sports on November 4 at 6:30pm Dear Students, We look forward to our next Social Sports on Saturday, November 4th at 6:30pm (for 2 hours). No experience is necessary - come learn to play sports with us in a friendly and cooperative environment! Social Sports is free for our students, thanks to our Shaolin Luohan Temple charitable affiliation! To qualify, students must have at least 7 tokens for the 2023 T3 Fall Term. Check out the details below and be sure to save the dates! About Our Monthly Social Sports Activities We have regular sports activities held at Scadding Court Community Centre (Bathurst and Dundas, about 10 minutes walk from our school). It is open to all students from 5+ years, including adults. Children under 13 must be accompanied by a guardian (the guardian is welcome to participate for free as well).We arrange training and games for basketball, volleyball, and/or soccer, and no experience is needed. We're just having fun! Some activities will be better suited for younger children, so we will organize them based on attendance. We plan to also group teams based primarily on age as well as experience. No sign up is necessary! Just show up and have fun! Be sure to bring your own equipment (i.e. balls, knee pads, etc.) Please note that in order to participate, you will need to be an active student taking Shaolin qigong, tai chi, and/or kung fu, and have at least 7 tokens for the 2023 T3 Fall Term. Family members are welcome to join us even if they are not students! Fri, 19 May 2023 15:50:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-us-for-social-sports-on-june-10 Your Input Is Needed for Our School Planning https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/your-input-is-needed-for-our-school-planning Your Input Is Needed for Our School Planning We are always looking to improve our school. As we grow, it is important to ensure we grow in the direction that meets your needs and expectations. Please click the link below to open the questionnaire and carefully take the time to answer. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you! Click here for the School Planning with Students Form Fri, 19 May 2023 13:29:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/your-input-is-needed-for-our-school-planning New STQI Student App Available https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/new-stqi-student-app-available New STQI Student App Available We've just launched a new web application exclusively for our students! You can view classes for the day, set goals for yourself, view goals that instructors have set for you, write notes for classes, as well as view attendance rankings. This is just the start! We'll be adding many more features in the near future. To access the STQI Student App, open your phone or table web browser, and navigate to 'https://s.stqitoronto.com'. Use the same login credentials as you would at stqitoronto.com. We recommend that you add bookmark/shortcut to your home screen (consult the help for your web browser on how to do that). Wed, 17 May 2023 17:16:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/new-stqi-student-app-available Shaolin Spirit and the Inner Spiral of Creation https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-spirit-and-the-inner-spiral-of-creation Shaolin Spirit and the Inner Spiral of Creation The Shaolin Spirit is about the non-ego attachment of ideas put upon us by others. We can be ourselves in a respectful way in society. And it is expressed at our school through the Shaolin Arts of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, and Meditation. Society is turbulent by nature. To balance that, people will generally seek peacefulness. But without guidance we can see that the world today continues to collapse upon itself, demonstrating that overall, we humans, are unable to learn from history. The Shaolin Spirit can balance the world. It is a powerful force that we must embody ourselves, and through that we can lead by example and effect massive change. The most important step for one to develop this Shaolin Spirit, is to learn to follow the Inner Spiral of Creation. In essence, this is the natural and continual evolution of ourselves through the Shaolin Virtues of Focus, Perseverance, and Strive. Let’s first review these Shaolin Virtues of the Inner Spiral of Creation. The Shaolin Virtue of Focus is about the will power to concentrate one’s mental energy. It is easy to get distracted. One must stay focused to have a clearer perspective, develop awareness, and understanding of oneself. When you are not focused, you may forget what’s important, carry out a task poorly, and get confused easily. The Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance is about the willpower to continue when things become difficult. When faced with a challenge, it is too easy to give up. One must learn to push on and develop new perspective. When you persevere, you develop more stamina and strength so that things become easier. When you do not persevere, you become weak and stagnant like a pool of stale water. The Shaolin Virtue of Strive is about the willpower to improve. It’s not so easy to make the decision to learn new things and improve oneself. One has to overcome low spirits, low energy, or face oneself humbly. When you strive, you open new doors and broaden your understanding. When you do not strive, you close your doors and lose the opportunity for growth. The Inner Spiral of Creation helps one to follow a path and develop oneself according to these Shaolin Virtues. One can start with any of these virtues, but the order matters. For instance, one may decide to set goals for oneself first (i.e. Shaolin Virtue of Strive). The next logical step is to learn to focus on those goals, and then to remind oneself to persevere by trying harder and not giving on the goals so easily. Alternatively, one may find them self too unfocused to meditate. Thus learning to persevere through tough exercises such as Mabu Horse Stance training, or some form of physical exercise may be a good start to help settle the mind, which then makes it possible to set simple and attainable goals for oneself. This might include a short 10 second meditation to help improve focus. Regardless approach, these virtues are cycled in this order as one improves. It is an upward cycle of development, and hence the image of a spiral. The reason why ‘Creation’ is attached to this idea, is that at each step of improvement, we are creating a new self. What is this ‘New Self’? Some people are scared of the idea of change, but the Shaolin Virtues tells us to embrace it. As the world is constantly changing (physically and societal values), and as the events in life affect us, we too must change or else we are left behind. We must accept the events in life as they come, and we must accept and learn from the decisions that we make. There are no mistakes, just life lessons to help us grow. By embracing the Inner Spiral of Creation, we acknowledge the need to constantly work on ourselves through introspection, to improve ourselves by developing the Shaolin Virtues, and to express it through our daily lives and in our Shaolin Arts. In this way, we can truly say that we are embodying the Shaolin Spirit, and others will surely take notice and follow. Sat, 06 May 2023 15:30:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-spirit-and-the-inner-spiral-of-creation Getting Stronger Together https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/getting-stronger-together Getting Stronger Together The photo above signifies an important aspect about our school - the philosophy of the Shaolin Virtues. By learning to put aside the ego, we do not worry about being the best, or being better than someone else. Instead, we focus on ourselves to continually strive and improve. In this way, we have developed the most unique and family oriented martial arts school, where we can all learn and grow together regardless of age or background. What an incredible community we have built together! Tue, 02 May 2023 13:36:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/getting-stronger-together What is New For the 2023 T2 Summer Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2023-t2-summer-term What is New For the 2023 T2 Summer Term Summer Term Begins Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Register online at www.stqitoronto.com. The summer is a very active time of the year. With the warmer weather, there is more 'Net Qi' (i.e. energy) available and it is easier to be motivated. Therefore, it's a great time to push yourself and train harder - 加油 jiāyóu (go for it)! Once again, we expect to reach our target base of 175 students for the summer term. Please consider registering early to ensure your spot!   Key Events this Term Summer Kung Fu Camp for Kids from 5 to 16 years of age - 4 Weeks Available from August 7 to September 1st Register early to ensure your child gets in! This popular event is limited to 20 children, and there are already less than 10 spots left for most weeks. Our kids camps focus on having fun while training hard and learning about life philosophy. It's a rewarding experience where children must learn to work together to overcome various challenges. You can find more information and register here: [Summer Camp & Events Link]   Meditation Workshop Learn how Shaolin Meditation and philosophy can help bring you peace. The next worldwide meditation workshop will be held on Monday, May 29th, 2023, at 7pm EST. The topic will be 'How to overcome regret'. Have you ever strongly felt that you made some poor choices, said something, or did something, that you wish you did not? Every time you are faced with a similar situation, you feel regret and suffer internally. In this session, we will explore the idea of regret, to better understand and accept the choices we have made, so that we can move forward peacefully. Always free! Available in-person or virtually on Zoom. For more information and to register: [Meditation Workshop Registration Link]   Shaolin Retreat Camping Our popular annual event has returned and this year we plan to make it an even bigger success - new exciting location, new possibilities, and more fun for everyone and families! This year the retreat will be held from July 12th to 16th. There are 2 parts for the retreat:Part 1: Meditation and Philosophy (July 12th to 14th, Wednesday to Friday)Part 2: Kung Fu Fitness and Fun (July 14th to 16th, Friday to Sunday)Join us for one part or both!  Shaolin Retreats are organized by Master Dao with the help of his fellow Shaolin Brothers, and are intended to provide a space and time for people to develop spiritual connection and foster our Shaolin community. For more information and to register: [Shaolin Retreat Registration Link]   Social Events and Sports Events Our social committee will continue to organize free events to help foster our community, such as movie and game nights, as well as social sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball. The next Social Sports will be on Saturday May 13th at 4:30pm and Saturday, June 10th at 4:30pm. We will send out a sign up for this as we get closer to the date.Sometime in the summer, we will have fun matches with the Markham school (as we usually do each year). Stay tuned throughout the summer term as we announce even more events!   Chinatown BIA Festival Performance Watch our performance, or perform with us at the Chinatown BIA Festival! It's our biggest performance of the year, and this year we will  surely not disappoint. Usually held in mid to late August, actual date to be announced.   Sanda Fight Night Entertaining exhibition Shaolin Sanda matches will be held during the last week of classes. These exciting matches showcase our students' ability to demonstrate control, accuracy, speed, technique, and strength. All students are welcome to come watch the matches for free and cheer for all of our participants.   Shaolin Classes This Term Shaolin Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu emphasizes core training and developing powerful muscles. Strengthening the core improves the circulation of your vital organs, and increases available energy in the body. Developing your physical prowess also means more white blood cells, muscle mass, bone density, and greatly increases your body's pathogenic defense systems. This term we will continue to have some fun and explore various animal hand postures for self defence applications, such as the leopard, mantis, snake, and crane. We will also continue running the Shaolin Challenges during the last week of classes in August. Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. Breathing better means having more energy in the body and gentle movements improve deeper circulation for the vital organs.  We'll be emphasizing balance theory in our classes, which can be generally applied to all of our techniques, sparring exercises, and forms. Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is largely about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to move the Breath Qi around the body. Qigong will improve your understanding and awareness of your energy (Qi) and make better lifestyle choices based on what you want in life. In the Qigong Foundation class, we will emphasize the Breath Qi along with specific qigong exercises. In the Qigong Forms class, we will investigate advanced qiflow techniques and practice advanced qigong forms. Tue, 04 Apr 2023 09:55:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2023-t2-summer-term Shaolin Retreat Camping is Back and Confirmed for 2023 July https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-retreat-camping-is-back-and-confirmed-for-2023-july Shaolin Retreat Camping is Back and Confirmed for 2023 July Our popular annual event has returned and this year we plan to make it an even bigger success - new exciting location, new possibilities, and more fun for everyone and families! This year the retreat will be held from July 12th to 16th at Rock Point Provincial Park. There are 2 parts for the retreat and you can join us for one or both! Shaolin Retreats are organized by Master Dao with the help of his fellow Shaolin Brothers, and are intended to provide a space and time for people to develop spiritual connection as well as build our Shaolin community. Part 1 - Shaolin Meditation and Philosophy (3 Days)- July 12th to 14th - Wednesday to Friday: Explore the ancient wisdom of Shaolin Zen with Master Dao and learn to apply it for clarity and peace. Approximately 6 hours of meditation, qigong, and philosophy each day which includes discussion and 'quiet contemplation' exercises. No experience needed. Participants must be 13 years of age and older. Families can bring their children but must respect and ensure a quiet experience for everyone. Click here for more information about Part 1 of our Shaolin Retreat. Part 2 - Shaolin Kung Fu Fitness and Fun (3 Days) - July 14th to 16th - Friday to Sunday: Treat yourself or your family to three days of camping fun with kung fu, tai chi, and qigong. Suitable for first time campers as well! Camp grounds have powered washrooms, and nearby showers. Suitable for adults and children of all ages. You may also bring your pet! Keep in mind the park have strict rules and require pets to be on a leash at all times. Click here for more information about Part 2 of our Shaolin Retreat. Want More Information? Please click the link below for more information about our Shaolin Retreat Camping event including registration and fees. Shaolin Retreat Camping event page and registration Tue, 14 Feb 2023 11:41:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-retreat-camping-is-back-and-confirmed-for-2023-july 2023 Kids Martial Arts Summer Camp Open for Registration - Runs from August 7th to September 1st, 2023 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2023-kids-martial-arts-summer-camp-open-for-registration---runs-from-august-7th-to-september-1st-2023 2023 Kids Martial Arts Summer Camp Open for Registration - Runs from August 7th to September 1st, 2023 Our summer camps are suitable for children from 5 to to 16 years of age. No experience needed. We're pleased to announce that we will be hosting 4 weeks of kids day camp from August 7th to September 1st. The week long camps are from Monday to Friday from 9am to 3:30pm. Master Dao and his team of competent and dedicated instructors will ensure an engaging, fun, and challenging time for everyone. This year we are focusing on team leadership games, Shaolin Wushu Festival, Shaolin Live Action Role Playing Game, and MUCH MUCH MORE! Rest assured that we will be following all the government regulations and protocols concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and day camps. That means regular cleaning, proper handing of food, assigning permanent seats, social distancing, etc. We will stay on top of the latest requirements and news to ensure a safe experience for everyone. For more information and to register, go to our EVENTS page and click on one of the camp weeks. Thu, 09 Feb 2023 10:06:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2023-kids-martial-arts-summer-camp-open-for-registration---runs-from-august-7th-to-september-1st-2023 How to Boost Your Self-Esteem https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-boost-your-self-esteem How to Boost Your Self-Esteem Poor self-esteem can be debilitating due to a lack of confidence. It causes stress and anxiety. It can prevent you from making decisions in a timely manner or going after what you want because you fear a negative outcome. Today, we will explore the idea of self-esteem, learn to assess it more clearly for ourselves, and then take fruitful action so that we can be at greater peace with ourselves, and live life more positively and confidently. What is Self-Esteem? Confidence and Doubt A common way to think about Self-Esteem is, ‘confidence in yourself’. This can be very confusing so let’s explore this idea first so that we may explore a potentially better definition. When you are not confident, you will be greatly affected by the opinions and criticisms of those around you. You may perceive that others are better off than you are in some way. You may also feel uncertain about how to achieve personal goals. Confidence degrades when you receive poor or unsatisfactory results. For example, you may have a bad result on a school test, your boss scolds you for poor work ethics, or you have a financial investment loss. The lack of confidence generates the feelings of doubt. You will second guess yourself, feel anxiety, and inhibit your ability to make decisions or take action in a timely manner. On the other hand, when you feel confident, you make decisions swiftly and feel good about the results. Confidence, however, is not the same as self-esteem. Confidence is a feeling that can help one through an exam, asking someone out on a date, completing a project on time, etc. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is not an emotion. We’ll explore the relationship between self-esteem and confidence later. Let’s first try to formally define ‘Self-esteem' so that we can understand it in a way that we can objectively work on it, improve it, and apply it. What is Self-Esteem then? It’s not easy, actually, to define self-esteem, so let’s give it a shot and examine this idea from several interrelated angles. Self-esteem is an overall measure of one’s belief in oneself. It is a measure of how clearly you understand who you are in relation to others and the universe and gives you the fortitude to live and take action. Self-esteem is developed through the cumulative experiences that one has and is especially affected by the perceived positive and negative results that come with those experiences. When your self-esteem is strong, you accept the events in life as learning lessons and are not easily impacted by any resulting emotions. You believe that your actions, thoughts, and lifestyle are all helping you to experience a satisfying life. You can also think of self-esteem as the foundation of the ego. The ego itself is a worthy topic on its own, so for now, think of the ego as the total perceptual layers of your reality, which drives the motivation for your conscious and subconscious actions. The more you understand yourself, and the more aware you are of your actions, thoughts, needs, and wants, the more you’ll be able to understand who you are and your place in this universe. This will all contribute to a strong self-esteem, giving you certainty and drive behind your intentions. A third way to think of self-esteem is your ability and motivation to live fruitfully. If you are just getting by in life and feel confused about what life is about, then your self-esteem is likely suffering. On the other hand, if you are living life to the fullest, and you feel your decisions and actions today are contributing to a positive life now and in the distant future, then you must have a strong self-esteem. Thus you could say that self-esteem is also ‘confidence about who you are and your purpose in the universe’. How Self-Esteem Can Easily Shatter One way of understanding how to boost the self-esteem is to do the opposite, and learn how many of us can easily loose our self-esteem. Let’s examine three common ways we can lose our self-esteem. Firstly, unrealistic expectations creates a ticking time bomb for self-esteem. When we fantasize about our desires we unknowingly create unrealistic expectations for ourselves. When we are unable to achieve our expectations, we may think less highly of ourselves, or develop anxiety and stress. For example, movie and pop culture seems to suggest that we all need to be wealthy to be happy. This sets off the unrealistic expectation that we must become millionaires or we won’t be happy. Some people spend most of their lives chasing after this idea, overworking themselves, and burning out from stress and exhaustion. If and when they finally achieve it, they are surprised to learn that being a millionaire has nothing to do with happiness or peace (of course, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be happy or be at peace). I once travelled around the southeastern area of India. It took about 4 weeks. During that period, I spent a lot of time with the poorest people who had make-shift huts on the beach, and also with the richest people who owned mansions and huge properties. What I discovered was that the poorest people had fewer distractions in their lives and focused on love and family. The richest people were constantly distracted by entertainment and lofty goals. These are generalizations and don't apply to everyone. The main point is that both the poor and the rich appeared equally happy, and wealth had nothing to do with happiness. We can apply this idea to many aspects of our lives, to see that we often create unrealistic expectations for ourselves related to relationships, wealth, property, family, physique, and even mental health. Secondly, many people live in regret for things they have done or said. There are many examples of this in relation to others. Perhaps you may be able to recall times when you have said something or done something to a family member that you wish you had not. You may perceive that a relationship ‘cannot go back to the way it was before’. Regret casts doubt and shakes the very foundation self-esteem. Often times, regret results from unrealistic expectations of ourselves, making what feel are poor choices, or not being able to learn from our mistakes. There are also times when you may feel regret for decisions you’ve made for yourself. For example, let’s say you are working for a company that is paying well and you are mostly happy with what you are doing and with how the company is operated. A headhunter approaches you and gives you an opportunity to make 25% more money. Without hesitation you take it, only to find out the new company has a stressful environment and you are not enjoying working there. You left a great job because you were tempted by money and now you cannot go back. You will likely feel regret and may start to question yourself every time you make bigger decisions in your life. When our emotions heighten such as with anger, fear, and even excitement, we may say or do things that we later feel regret and wish we had not done. Regret is a topic of discussion worthy of its own investigation. We shall explore regret and how to deal with it in the future. Thirdly, when are not well prepared to tackle the surprises in life, unexpected outcomes can easily shatter our self-esteem. How would you feel if suddenly you were laid off from work, even though you felt you were doing a good job? How would you feel if you did poorly on a school exam when you studied well and felt good about it? How would you feel if your partner suddenly left you and told you that you are not good enough? How would you feel if suddenly you could no longer enjoy physical exercise due to injury or aging? Many similar events are happening throughout your life and may even happen daily. Often times there’s no clear answer or explanation. How do you go forward and make decisions about your life when events seemingly question your choices? If you do not have the wisdom to deal with unexpected events, your self-esteem will be shaken. Our self-esteem is fragile. We must learn to nurture it. Understanding How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Self-esteem is at the very heart of Shaolin Chan-Dao wisdom. Improving your self-esteem means understanding the ego-self, working on the perceptions of yourself and the world, developing your ability to manage your emotions, and improving your relationships with your subconscious. Before continuing, I recommend you learn more about these ideas now through the article, “The Principles of Chan-Dao Self-Wisdom”. When you return to this article, you will have a greater appreciation for how we go about improving the self esteem. Steps for Improving Your Self-Esteem With a general understanding of the primary wisdom of Chan-Dao philosophy, it’s time for introspection, which means taking the time to understand yourself better. This will require honesty, humility, and reflection. The first and most important step is to do silent meditation or moving meditation. This will help quiet the mind and prepare you for mental work. Silent meditation isn’t the best place to start for everyone, so if the idea gives you anxiety, try some form of moving meditation instead. For example, you can go for a jog or a walk and keep to yourself (i.e. minimize distractions). Secondly, once you have a sense of calmness, find a comfortable and tranquil place where you can relax and introspect. You will want a place without distractions so you can focus on yourself. Getting through the first two steps is important and may take a few minutes or several hours. Everyone is different and the current circumstances will also dictate the amount of time needed. Finally, you are ready to work on your self-esteem. You can explore your perceptual thoughts, emotions, ego, and subconscious in any order. One of the techniques that can help with this is to ask yourself questions, such as: “What do I want in life?” “How does what I’m doing help me?” “Why does this particular event make me feel this way?” “Why am I spending my time in this particular way?” “Why do I conclude this about someone?” “Why does it matter what a particular person says about me?” etc. You can also ask more directly about the primary components of Chan-Dao philosophy: “What are my main perceptual layers? Do they still make sense?” “What are the emotions that I experienced today? How did I react to them and why?” “How did my subconscious try to communicate with me today? Did I react accordingly?” “Is my subconscious stressed out and why?” etc. There is no limit to the kinds of questions you can ask yourself. Spend 15 minutes or more for each question you ask yourself. You can ask yourself just one question for every session, or ask multiple questions. Do not rush through them and take the time to explore. There is also no right answer! Only you’ll know what is the right answer, and that answer may also change with time and experience. Final Thoughts… Introspection will help you to better understand all of your desires, why you have them, how they impact your actions, how they cause suffering, and whether you even still need them. By understanding yourself more clearly, you can be more confident in living your life and accepting the resulting and potential consequences of your decisions. You will also be able to strive and positively learn from events that you deem to be a mistake. On the other hand, if you do not take the time to introspect, it means life is going too fast for you, and you are too busy to pay attention to your thoughts and how you work. This will develop arrogance and ignorance which will likely cause you suffering in the future. As you become more comfortable with who you are, you will improve the way you make decisions for yourself, the way you interact with your environment and others, and feel better about yourself. This will all lead to a stronger self-esteem. Shàolín Chándào perspective: The idea of self-esteem is born from the idea of the ‘ego-self’, which comes from our perceptual layers of understanding and individual needs and desires. Daily meditation and quiet contemplation with self-reflection are necessary techniques if we want to understand ourselves more clearly and achieve peace. In time, you can throw out any ideas of self-esteem, and instead, just be. Mon, 06 Feb 2023 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-boost-your-self-esteem The Principles of Chan-Dao Self Wisdom https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-principles-of-chan-dao-self-wisdom ARTICLE SERIES The Principles of Chan-Dao Self Wisdom PERCEPTIONS EMOTIONS SUB-CONSCIOUS(coming in October 2024) EGO-SELF(coming in February 2025) The Principles of Chan-Dao Self Wisdom Self-Wisdom is about you understanding yourself, the reality and environment you are in, and your interactions. Improving self-wisdom is a shortcut to finding peace and stillness for yourself. What is wisdom? Is it that important that we need to make it a priority in our lives? Master Dao clarifies the idea of wisdom in this article: Wisdom Below is a brief description of 4 key principles of Chan-Dao to achieve self-wisdom. In the future, Master Dao will provide more in-depth articles to explore each one. 1. Understanding the Ego-Self Understanding the ego-self is about understanding the motivations and thought processes behind the things you do and say. It is related to your perceptions, emotions, and subconscious. We will explore these ideas below and in other articles. How often do you do things throughout the day without thinking about why you are doing it? Most likely throughout the whole day! Here are some examples that you may be able to relate to. Example #1: You wake up at 7:30 a.m. because you need to get to work at 9 a.m. You make a quick breakfast and leave by 8:30 am which normally gives you plenty of time to get to work. But the commute is particularly bad this day with traffic congestion or public transit issues. In this scenario, not once did you question why 7:30 a.m. is the best time to wake up, why you need to go to work, whether the breakfast choice was good, etc. In other words, you’re on autopilot and you’re not very aware of the decisions you are making. Example #2: It’s 12 p.m. and you go have lunch at a nearby fast-food restaurant. In this simple scenario, many decisions were made unaware. Did you actually need to eat at 12 p.m.? Was your breakfast appropriately timed in a way that your digestive system is ready for lunch? Did your lunch provide you with the nutrients that your body and mind need for the rest of the day until dinner? Example #3: It’s 4:30 p.m. and school is over. It’s time to go home! Did you think why you went to school? Or did you go to school because you had to? Did you think about how the things that you learning will help you in life? Did you realize you were sitting the whole day and how your body is atrophying? Decisions you’ve made willingly, unwillingly, or not even realizing it, are happening all the time in your life. Thus, by taking the time to become more aware of your actions throughout the day will help you understand yourself better with insight into the consequences (good or bad). 2. Working on Your Perceptions Working on your perceptions means being aware of how your mind works in interpreting the world. The analogy I like to use the most is the ‘cabbage brain’. The many layers of leaves of a cabbage represent thoughts and judgments. As we grow, we tend to add more and more layers of these leaves that build upon other layers and ideas. This helps us to make faster decisions and observations to understand our world better. However, if we are not aware of them, we cannot manage them, and we become blind to our conclusions. We even get easily confused or become easily manipulated. For example, we see gym advertisements everywhere - billboards, web ads, print ads, tv ads, etc. It makes us think that having a gym membership is normal and even necessary. The impression given by these gym ads is that you can get a ‘nice body’ that will help you look attractive, or that it is considered healthy to lift weights and have big muscles. This is exacerbated everywhere, especially in movies and pop culture. But is this actually true? If you take the time to think about it, you’ll start to realize that perhaps it’s not true. You don’t actually need a gym membership or big muscles to be attractive. Most people are actually not looking for that in a partner, nor will big muscles help you have a happy relationship. In fact, big muscles and most gym workouts will create an imbalance in the body, which is harmful to your health as you get older. It often causes problems in your hips, knees, or back which limits what you can do as you get older. Many people also don’t really understand what ‘healthy’ really means. I suggest that healthy does not mean you physically look, but rather, whether your body and mind can support the things you want to do now. and when you are in your elderly years. Once you have a better perception of ‘healthy’, then you will be in a better position to understand how to work out at a gym in a way that will support you. By challenging your perceptions and learning how to manage them, you can simplify your thinking, reduce your judgmental processes, and see things more clearly. Working on your perceptions is a primary topic of Chan-Dao philosophy. You can watch or read Master Dao's article 'The Power of Clarity: Developing Awareness of Our Perceptions' by clicking this link. We shall continue to explore perceptions in other ways in the future. 3. Developing Your Ability to Manage Your Emotions Developing your ability to manage your emotions means becoming more aware of the emotions you experience, understanding why you feel a certain way, and dealing with them in a satisfying way. This is a huge topic because it touches upon many problems that people experience such as stress, anxiety, fear, etc. These are complex emotions and need to be explored individually. You can explore the articles we already have that deal with many of these emotions in our Chan-Dao Knowledge Base, and I will continue to add more. To learn more about how emotions work in the mind and body, you can watch or read Master Dao's workshop 'The Power of Calmness - Understanding Emotions' by clicking this link. 4. Working with Your Subconscious Your subconscious is the general grouping of intelligence behind managing and maintaining your body, including interfacing with your consciousness. Think of your subconscious as your true life partner. It supports your ability to store and access memory, evaluate your thoughts, and even physically move. It will warn you of danger, decide how best to use the energy in your body, make your heart beat, and also let you know when you need to eat, sleep, and defecate. This is only a handful of ideas about the subconscious and its functions are far more vast. Everything you do and think about is also known by your subconscious. If you do things that your subconscious does not like, it will let you know. If you do not take the time to listen, life will get much more difficult for you. Learning to live with your subconscious and to work with it as your partner will resolve confusion and give you greater clarity about yourself and thus greatly improve your self-esteem. Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:08:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-principles-of-chan-dao-self-wisdom Our University Settlement 2023 Chinese New Year Performance https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-university-settlement-2023-chinese-new-year-performance Our University Settlement 2023 Chinese New Year Performance This is a video of our entire performance at University Settlement on January 28, 2023, where we celebrated Chinese New Year together. There were over 500 people in the audience. Our performance showcased a variety of Shaolin arts, including traditional kung fu, tai chi, qigong, and an iron bar demonstration by Master Dao. Thank you to our wonderful students who came out to perform and support our school! Mon, 30 Jan 2023 11:54:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-university-settlement-2023-chinese-new-year-performance Join Master Dao for the Next Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, February 6, 2023 at 7pm EST https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-master-dao-for-the-next-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-monday-february-6-2023-at-7pm-est Join Master Dao for the Next Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, February 6, 2023 at 7pm EST Master Dao will be conducting a free worldwide meditation workshop on February 6, Monday, from 7pm to 9pm EST (4pm to 6pm PST). Join us in person at our downtown Toronto school location, or join us virtually through Zoom from anywhere in the world! The topic for this session is 'Boosting Your Self Esteem'. A poor self-esteem can be very debilitating due to lack of confidence. It causes stress and anxiety. It can prevent you from making decisions in a timely manner or going after what you want because you fear a negative outcome. In this session, we will explore the idea of Self Esteem, learn to assess more clearly for ourselves, and then take fruitful action so that we can be at more peace with ourselves and live life more positively and confidently. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'Going with the Flow' and understanding how to apply this idea for peacefulness. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: The Power of Going with the Flow. You can also view past meditation workshop topics and learn about Shaolin Chán in general here: Shaolin Chan-Dao Knowledge Base. We keep a tally of all the votes and they will accumulate for the next meditation workshop. So be sure to cast your vote when you register! This Free Workshop is Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Practitioners This is an opportunity for you to learn about and experience meditation and Chan/Zen/Dao philosophy. Master Dao will make it easy for you to learn and practice ancient Shaolin meditation techniques, and to apply his wisdom of Shaolin Chan-Dao to deal with modern day issues and challenges. Indeed one can find plenty of information about meditation online. So much so that there is often conflict in meaning, leading to confusion about the practice, its origins, and the long-term goals of practice. Some people meditate because they are seeking peace. Some are seeking spiritual or religious connection. Why might you be interested? Come learn and open yourself to a modern interpretation of what meditation means in 2022 and how it can really benefit you and the people around you. You can get a head start on the sitting meditation techniques through our guide here: The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method Workshop Outline Introductions and Terminology Basic Meditation Techniques Meditation Sessions and Guidance Short Chan/Zen Philosophy Question and Answer About Master Dao Master Dao is 35th generation Shaolin Disciple who is actively spreading the traditional Shaolin teachings of kung fu martial arts, qigong, meditation, and Chan/Zen philosophy around the world. Since 2007 he has been training under the guidance of Shifu Guo Song, one of few authentic Shaolin monks left in the world. Master Dao is leading through example of these arts and has gained much experience through his school and students in Toronto, Canada and online students around the world. This is a Live Stream Event You will need a Zoom account (free) if you are joining us virtually. A webcam will be required to ensure you are a real person. We will email you the Zoom Link and Passcode 24 hours before the event. We will also send you instructions on how to prepare your environment for this workshop. Click here for registration and more information Wed, 11 Jan 2023 11:46:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-master-dao-for-the-next-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-monday-february-6-2023-at-7pm-est Learn to Cure Your Allergies Notes https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-to-cure-your-allergies-notes Learn to Cure Your Allergies Notes The Allergy Curing Session Sitting meditation - 10 minutes Test for sensitivity and degree of allergy reaction with allergen in glass bottle, held in hand (while lying down) - examples, pain in the laogong, pulsating in the laogong, other discomfort or tension Mental training (while lying down) - acceptance of the allergen and relaxing muscles everywhere Qi flow in the hand and arm (while lying down) Add: Qi flow in the other hand and arm Add: Qi flow in the vertical core Add: Qi flow in the legs Around 45 to 60 minutes total Avoid allergen for 24 hours Repeat (sensitivity will be reduced until no more) When no more sensitivity, test with a small amount of allergen first then increase allergen contact each day as confidence grows Qi Flow and Tuina Techniques Breath Qi Flow (easy) Qi Therapy with Palm (intermediate) Qi Therapy with Sword Finger (advanced) Tuina: Acupressure Meridian Massage (easy) Thu, 29 Dec 2022 21:16:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-to-cure-your-allergies-notes What is New for the 2023 Winter Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2023-winter-term What is New for the 2023 Winter Term Winter Term Begins Monday, January 2, 2023. This winter, we’ll continue to train and strengthen our body and mind. Training in kung fu, tai chi, or qigong will help support your vital organs and promote a healthy life. This term we especially emphasize the small intestine. See below for more about the Shaolin Medicine perspective on this organ and why it's important!   Key Events this Term March Break Kung Fu Camp for Kids from 5 to 16 years of age Register early to ensure your child gets in! This popular event is limited to 20 children. You can find more information and register here: [Camp Information and Registration Link]   Meditation Workshop Learn how Shaolin Meditation and philosophy can help bring you peace. The next worldwide meditation workshop will be held on February 6, 2023, at 7pm EST. Always free and available in-person or virtually on Zoom. For more information and to register: [Meditation Workshop Registration Link]   Grading Exams The Grading Exams are back! Usually held twice a year, students can get objective rating and feedback from qualified judges. There are 5 grading levels for qigong, tai chi, and kung fu (adults and kids). The exams will take place at the end of April (after the Winter Term is over). An announcement will be made in February with more information and how to register.   Sanda Fight Night Entertaining exhibition Shaolin Sanda matches will be held during the last week of classes. These exciting matches showcase our students ability to demonstrate control, accuracy, speed, technique, and strength. All students are welcome to come watch the matches for free and cheer for all of our participants.   Shaolin Classes this Term Shaolin Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu emphasizes core training and developing powerful muscles. Strengthening the core improves the circulation of the small intestines and increases available energy for digestion and fighting pathogens. This term we will have some fun and explore various animal hand postures for self defence applications, such as the leopard, mantis, snake, and crane. We will also continue running the Shaolin Challenges during the last week of classes in April. Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. Breathing better with light movements in the core will encourage and support the functions of the small intestine. We'll be emphasizing silk reeling theory and techniques in our classes, which can be generally applied to all of our techniques, sparring exercises, and forms. Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is largely about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to move the Breath Qi around the body. Qigong  will improve your understanding and awareness of the small intestine, including how it communicates with you, how well it functions, and how it impacts your vital spirit and physically, according to your lifestyle choices. In the Qigong Foundation class, we will emphasize the Breath Qi along with specific qigong exercises to support the digestive process.. In the Qigong Forms class, we will investigate the Small Intestine Meridian. We will learn to diagnose our tongue, pulse, and every acupressure point for advanced warning of problems, and to apply qi flow, massage, and other therapeutic techniques to support the small intestine.    Shaolin Medicine Perspective on the Small Intestine The small intestine is one of the vital organs of our body. If your small intestine is not functioning well, you can experience many symptoms such as lack of energy, getting sick easily, bloating, cramps, pain in the shoulders and arms, poor immune system, and undigested food in the stool.  On the other hand, understanding how your small intestine works, how it communicates to you through symptoms and other internal signals, and learning how to take care of it, will help boost your vitality, help you overcome pathogens more easily, and help you to make better lifestyle choices. The Small Intestine belongs to the Fire Element and is about the invigoration of the spirit. It is responsible for the principal digestion of food and liquids into quality essence, which then enters the blood stream to be processed by the Spleen and Liver, providing fuel and energy throughout the body.  We must learn to understand the small intestine and make better lifestyle choices to support a fruitful and energetic life. Sat, 24 Dec 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2023-winter-term Learn to Cure Your Allergies https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-to-cure-your-allergies Learn to Cure Your Allergies Is It Possible to Get Rid of Allergies? People think they have to live with allergies for the rest of their lives, and cope with it through medication or avoidance. Some of the more common allergies include nuts, milk or lactose intolerance, shellfish, headaches, animal dander, dust, and eggs. Allergies can cause itchiness, rashes, stuffy nose, teary eyes, digestion issues, and other uncomfortable symptoms. As we get older, we tend to develop more and more allergies.What many people do not realize is that allergies are caused by a subconscious process, and that people with allergies are not actually sick, even though symptoms may appear similar to someone with a sickness. So yes! Allergies can be eliminated! On December 29th at 6pm, Master Dao is hosting a workshop to teach others to eliminate their allergies using qigong and energy exercises. Master Dao will help you to better understand allergies, why they happen, and show you how to get rid of your allergies through a series of light exercises that include Shaolin qigong and meditation. If you miss this workshop, we plan to host one each year so be sure to check out website or wait for an announcement in our eNewsletter. Have Allergies Been Successfully Eliminated Before? Yes! Many of Dao's advanced qigong students have eliminated their allergies, such as lactose intolerance, shrimp, lobster, grass, and even the smell of leather. Master Dao himself has eliminated his own allergies to milk, cheese, and hot peppers. How do I Register? For more information and to register, click the link below to our event page: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/eventview/Imz7ARQFGs Wed, 14 Dec 2022 12:10:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-to-cure-your-allergies The Power of Learning to Go with the Flow https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-power-of-learning-to-go-with-the-flow The Power of Learning to Go with the Flow Sometimes making a choice in life can be difficult and instead of moving forward, we find ourselves stuck in one place. So, what does 'Going with the Flow' mean and how does one apply this concept in life so that one can move forward? Can it be bad to go with the flow? Master Dao will answer these questions and more. Let's begin with a story. The Flowing River Story It is a beautiful day, and you are surrounded by mountains and water. You're in a canoe with a friend in the middle of a small lake, and you're both slowly paddling towards the mouth of a river. You've never been here before and you don't know what's down that river. You both decide to explore, and besides you have no time constraints anyway. You enter the river and as you're enjoying the scenery, you realize that the water is moving a bit more rapidly, so it's getting easier to paddle and you're moving a bit faster. About a hundred metres ahead, the river splits into two. It's such a relaxing journey that you and your friend decide to take the left route because your boat just happened to be more on the left side.  As you enter the left stream, you notice shallow waters ahead and many rocks, but it's too late to turn back. There are rocky cliffs on either side and the speed of the river has already doubled. There doesn't seem to be a way to forcibly stop the boat. Many more thoughts enter your mind. This is dangerous. Will your boat capsize? Perhaps you can navigate around the rocks? Should you bail and try to swim to the cliffs? Will you drown or hit your head on a rock? The Impact of Decisions on Life Life is very much like this story. Every day you will encounter events where you must make a choice (whether you realize it or not and not making a choice still counts as making a choice!).  When you are making a choice, you carry it out through thought, action, or speech. Each choice will shape your current [and future] environment differently and will lead to yet another choice.  In other words, the choices we make will have consequences on ourselves or on those around us.  It's no wonder why you would normally feel anxiety and stress when making a decision. The bigger or the more perceived impact of a decision, the worse the anxiety and stress. This story may help highlight the differences in the approach by different people. For instance, here are some different approaches below. You may: Look up Google Maps to examine the river system first.Ask the locals whether the rivers are safe to navigate.Try to navigate around the rocks but be prepared to bail.Scream for help, hoping there will be someone in the area who can come rescue you if you have to bail.Look for something to grab onto and then bail right away.Bail immediately and look for something to grab onto.Brace yourself and hope the boat can make it through.Just go straight through and not worry. There are many approaches in life and not one is necessarily correct. How will each one affect your friend in the boat? You’ll never really know because when you make the choice, everything that follows will change, leading to an infinite set of possibilities and choices. Making the Decision Puts You in Control When you make a decision on how to proceed, at the very least, it puts you in control of your fate. This doesn’t mean you are unable to wait - deciding to delay a decision still puts you in control, even if there is an unexpected outcome. When you cannot make a decision in a reasonable amount of time, you’ve become complacent, and your fate is now at the mercy of others. In this case, you are no longer going with the flow. The difference is further explained below. Non-Decision vs Not Deciding The decision to not decide on an action is not the same as not making a decision. Why is there a difference? In our story, consider that you can either: Become complacent and unable to decide what to do, or Decide to wait In both cases, it is plausible that the boat capsizes and the fate of you and your friend remains the same (whatever that fate may be!). The key difference is the mental state. In the first case, you’ve given in to hopelessness and despair, or you have frozen due to being in a panic state. In the second case, you are mentally aware of your decision to wait. This may put you into a heightened state where you can consider the possibility of more solutions as time passes. Thus by deciding to wait, even if it meant the same result, still puts you in control of your fate. It is a subtle but very important difference. The Key to Making Decisions When faced with what feels like a critical decision, many of us will feel stress or anxiety to the point of complacency. Why is that? The reason we find it difficult to make decisions is because we have difficulty with accepting the potential outcome. In the story, you may have an issue with any or all of these: You cannot accept that you are in danger.You feel responsible for your friend.You cannot accept that your decision may lead you to your doom.You cannot accept that your decision may cause disaster for your friend. Acceptance is the key. Acceptance is an interesting topic, worthy of exploration on its own, so we shall tackle ‘Acceptance’ another time. For now, consider you need to accept that you are making the best choice given the information that you have along with your life experience. In other words, you may feel that a different decision could have led to a better result, and you add that to your experience so that next time you may try something different in a similar situation and determine if a better result was achieved. On the other hand, if you do not accept the result, then you will never learn and grow, and instead suffer from regret and anger. Going with the Flow, A ‘Chan-Dao’ Perspective ‘Going with the Flow’ means you are making the best decisions you can as events arise, regardless of the result. You will feel that life is naturally taking its course. When you do not ‘Go with the Flow’, you go against nature and you make life difficult for yourself, resulting in suffering. This is absolute. Observe it for yourself and surely you will discover your way to peace. An Example of Going with the Flow You wake up in the morning but for whatever reason you did not wake up on time. Perhaps you forgot to set your alarm clock or you turned off your alarm as it went off. You are now late for work! You rush out the door and into your car. As you head into the big city, there is a major traffic jam. You forgot to check the traffic report first and now you're stuck in what feels like the slowest route. What's worse is that other drivers are budding in or illegally driving to get an advantage. You feel frustrated and angry. When you go with the flow, you will not suffer from frustration and/or anger despite being stuck in traffic! This is because you accept: that you will be late, that it was due to you being unable to wake up at the intended time (for whatever reason) that you made the mistake of not checking the traffic reports because you rushed out the door the consequences of being late Because you are going with the flow, you understand the consequences and you will naturally learn from this experience, so that next time you are less likely to repeat your mistakes. Tue, 29 Nov 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-power-of-learning-to-go-with-the-flow Our 11th Anniversary Celebration https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-11th-anniversary-celebration Our 11th Anniversary Celebration On Saturday, October 29th, we celebrated 11 years of growth and achievements for our downtown Toronto school. We'd first like to thank Grandmaster Shi Guosong for attending and supporting our 11th anniversary celebration. Without his support there is no STQI downtown Toronto school. In our first photo, we celebrate our volunteers and especially note Edan and Kristan for coordinating the event. All the volunteers were invaluable in making this event our best ever yet. Thanks to Master Dao's Shaolin brother, Shi Chang Chuan, who was also in attendance and joined in on the festivities. Next we celebrate our instructors. For with their collective Shaolin Spirit, we are able to grow and flourish. We also want to thank those who went above and beyond and donated to our school. Thank you for your generosity!!!This is our Super Group of students boldly showing that people of any age can learn and benefit from Shaolin Kung Fu. What great spirits they are!Below are more photos showcasing Shaolin Kung Fu, qigong, and Shaolin Tai Chi. Thank you to all the students for all your hard work in performance and training. We shall continue to make our school even better!Jiayou! Thank you Madison for taking these great photos!! Wed, 02 Nov 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-11th-anniversary-celebration Going with the Flow at the Worldwide Meditation Workshop on November 28, 2022 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/going-with-the-flow-at-the-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-november-28-2022 Going with the Flow at the Worldwide Meditation Workshop on November 28, 2022 Master Dao will be conducting a free worldwide meditation workshop on November 28, 2022, Monday, from 7pm to 9pm EST (4pm to 6pm PST). Join us in in person at our downtown Toronto school location, or join us virtually through Zoom from anywhere in the world! The topic for this session is 'Going with the Flow'. Sometimes making a choice in life can be difficult and instead of moving forward we find ourselves stuck in one place. So what does 'Going with the Flow' mean and how does one apply this concept in life so that one can move forward? Can it be bad to go with the flow? Master Dao will answer these questions and more. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'How to Achieve Peace and Happiness'. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: How to Achieve Peace and Happiness. You can also view past meditation workshop topics and learn about Shaolin Chán in general here: Shaolin Chan-Dao Knowledge Base. We keep a tally of all the votes and they will accumulate for the next meditation workshop. So be sure to cast your vote when you register! This Free Workshop is Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Practitioners This is an opportunity for you to learn about and experience meditation and Chan/Zen/Dao philosophy. Master Dao will make it easy for you to learn and practice ancient Shaolin meditation techniques, and to apply his wisdom of Shaolin Chan-Dao to deal with modern day issues and challenges. Indeed one can find plenty of information about meditation online. So much so that there is often conflict in meaning, leading to confusion about the practice, its origins, and the long-term goals of practice. Some people meditate because they are seeking peace. Some are seeking spiritual or religious connection. Why might you be interested? Come learn and open yourself to a modern interpretation of what meditation means in 2022 and how it can really benefit you and the people around you. You can get a head start on the sitting meditation techniques through our guide here: The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method Workshop Outline Introductions and Terminology Basic Meditation Techniques Meditation Sessions and Guidance Short Chan/Zen Philosophy Question and Answer About Master Dao Master Dao is 35th generation Shaolin Disciple who is actively spreading the traditional Shaolin teachings of kung fu martial arts, qigong, meditation, and Chan/Zen philosophy around the world. Since 2007 he has been training under the guidance of Shifu Guo Song, one of few authentic Shaolin monks left in the world. Master Dao is leading through example of these arts and has gained much experience through his school and students in Toronto, Canada and online students around the world. This is a Live Stream Event You will need a Zoom account (free) if you are joining us virtually. A webcam will be required to ensure you are a real person. We will email you the Zoom Link and Passcode 24 hours before the event. We will also send you instructions on how to prepare your environment for this workshop. Click here for registration and more information Tue, 01 Nov 2022 11:07:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/going-with-the-flow-at-the-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-november-28-2022 Improve your vascular endurance through Shaolin Tai Chi at the upcoming ZoomerShow https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/improve-your-vascular-endurance-through-shaolin-tai-chi-at-the-upcoming-zoomershow Improve your vascular endurance through Shaolin Tai Chi at the upcoming ZoomerShow Vascular endurance is very important especially as you age beyond 50 years. It gets more difficult to stay active and when your vascular endurance decreases, your overall energy and physical body will naturally decline. But did you know that you can improve your vascular endurance without being too physically active? Come join Master Dao at the Zoomershow on October 29, Saturday at 11:30am, and October 30, Sunday at 11:45am! Learn how anyone, even seniors over 80 years old, can learn to improve their vascular endurance without having to go for a jog! Master Dao and his team have already been teaching these exercises to those living in retirement homes, with some participants over 90 years old. The exercises will be easy to do with some optional gentle Tai Chi movements in a seated position or standing. Come and learn how to improve your vitality today! You can buy tickets to the ZoomerShow here: https://www.zoomershow.com/tickets/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 12:30:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/improve-your-vascular-endurance-through-shaolin-tai-chi-at-the-upcoming-zoomershow Our 11th Anniversary - Celebrate with Us https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-11th-anniversary---celebrate-with-us Our 11th Anniversary - Celebrate with Us We're celebrating our 11th anniversary and we hope you will join us for this unforgettable evening! It has already been 11 years since we started the downtown Toronto school. So many incredible things have happened during this time and we've had to overcome many challenges to become a premiere martial arts school today. Join us as we celebrate our achievements together with Master Dao and his master, Shifu Guo Song. We will go back in time and revisit the many memories that we've created and shared since the day we began our school. Many of our students will be performing that night. We will have many entertaining and unique games with audience participation! Location and Time This event will be held at Dim Sum King restaurant, at 421 Dundas Street West, on the third floor. The doors will open at 5:30pm and we will begin performances shortly thereafter. Dinner Included! After the performances we'll enjoy a tasty 10 course meal.A vegetarian option is provided - please indicate in the registration form). Dress code is 'Be Yourself'. Students are welcome to remain in their performance clothing or change. Limited Tickets Available We have sold almost half of the tickets to our students and have opened up sales to the public. Tickets are $38 + HST (which covers our cost). You can register at our website or with this link: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/eventview/hajqEjo8wS Fri, 23 Sep 2022 08:42:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-11th-anniversary---celebrate-with-us The Theory of the Four Tips https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-theory-of-the-four-tips The Theory of the Four Tips The Theory of the Four Tips is called 四梢 (sì shāo) in Mandarin Chinese. This is about understanding the tips of the body and how to utilize it to produce the greatest striking power (punches and kicks). The four tips are: Finger Nails 指甲 (zhǐjiǎ) - the tip of the joints Tongue 舌 (shé) - the tip of the muscles Teeth 牙 (yá) - the tip of the bone Hair 頭髮 (tóufà) - the tip of the blood Finger Nails The finger nails represent the tip of the joints. It is an overall indicator of the health of your joints. If your finger nails are not smooth, cracks easily or cracks as they grow, is painful, or there is discoloration (i.e. does not look like a health reddish and pink colour), then it is a sign that your body is lacking nutrients to support your ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, or you may be suffering from a disease. For instance, white nails may indicate a problem with the liver or pancreas, or indication of diabetes. Pale nails may indicate anemia. Yellow nails may indicate a lung problem or a nail infection. If your liver is suffering, the energy in your eyes will also be down. Tongue The tongue represents the tip of the muscles. It is an overall indicator of the health of your muscles. If your tongue is flabby, discoloured, has cankers, is painful, or furry, then it is a sign that your body is consuming energy to fight pathogens, and therefore weakens your muscles and muscle recovery. The tongue is related to many organs in the body according to traditional Chinese medicine. In the middle and surface of the tongue, and occupying around 60% of your tongue, is an indicator of the health of your spleen and stomach, which in turn is an indicator of your overall health. For instance, if you are not eating enough, then you will lose muscle mass, or unable to supply nutrients for muscle building. This might be the case if you are experiencing undue stress, fighting disease, or drinking too much water. If your spleen is suffering or weakened, it will not be able to provide fresh blood cells for transportation of nutrients that are necessary for muscle strength. Teeth The teeth represents the tip of the bone. It is an overall indicator of the health of your bones. If your teeth is brittle (i.e. breaks easily), painful, discoloured, or you have bad breath, it may be an indication of lack of nutrients or disease. Your bones are governed by the health of your kidneys and adrenal glands. The kidneys filter out materials in the blood stream that don't belong in the body and outputs it to the bladder. They kidneys also have many other functions including balancing water, salt, and acidity. The adrenal glands hold the majority of hormones in your body, and is responsible for growth and development. If your kidneys or adrenals suffer, the quality of your bones will also suffer. Strong bones will support your weight and enable stronger strikes. It's important to have a healthy diet containing calcium and Vitamin C. Hair The hair represents the tip of the blood. It is an overall indicator of the health of your blood. If you are losing hair, or hair growth is low, or hair is dry and brittle, then it may be an indication of lack of nutrients, poor functioning of the liver, spleen, or kidney, or you may be suffering from some disease that is in your blood stream or digestive system. When your body and organs are working well together, your hair will be full and vibrant. This is supported by movement and exercise which increases blood circulation and nutrient distribution. The Four Tips for Power The foundation for power is a healthy body. This means the organs must work well so that it can support stronger muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. When you understand the Theory of Four Tips, you will have a vested interest in taking care of your body and organs. This means eating well, sleeping well, stretching, and moving regularly. When you take care of your body, you will have more energy and circulation, all supporting your training and continued growth. When you apply the Theory of Four Tips, you can generate the greatest power in your strikes. Clench the fist, clench the teeth, put the tongue on the roof of the mouth, and you will feel your energy (qi) rise to your hair and top of your head. You can apply this to your exercises in class including forms, taolu, and sanda. It will also help to generate the energy in the eyes which will help with awareness and alertness. Sat, 17 Sep 2022 17:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-theory-of-the-four-tips The Winner of the Shaolin Zen Mural Contest https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-winner-of-the-shaolin-zen-mural-contest The Winner of the Shaolin Zen Mural Contest Congratulations to Jamie Lynn Steele for winning FIRST place in the Shaolin Zen Mural Competition! Students were not privy to the explanations provided by each artist. Master Dao wanted his students to take the time to study the idea behind each design and vote based on the Shaolin Spirit and understanding of each artist. Here are the highlights from Jamie's proposed design: Many structures from the Shaolin Temple are depicted to honour its tradtitions upheld at the STQI. Students and monks are seen practicing kung fu (empty hands and weapons), tai chi, qigong, and meditation. Animals that have inspired forms are hidden within the mural, as well as the five elements, and the yin-yang symbol. Here is Master Dao's commentary: "I'm always amazed by how artists can come up with a rough sketch that already looks so great! All three designs are more than acceptable, and all three artists had comparable portfolios and experience. Furthermore, all three artists are very accommodating and willing to work with us to make adjustments and improvements. Jamie definitely did her research, above and beyond the other artists, and that's why she ultimately won. Our traditional Shaolin roots go back over 1,500 years, a legacy of specialization in martial arts, meditation, and philosophy. Jamie managed to capture the Martial Zen spirit by illustrating the training grounds of the Shaolin Temple. The courtyards are filled with students from all genders, ages, and nationalities; all passionately practicing the many disciplines that we have. Chinese murals, especially the ones at Shaolin Temple, tend to be complex pieces involving many elements, including hidden ideas and philosophies. Her idea is reminiscent of the some of the murals at Shaolin Temple, especially the courtyard mural on the north wall of the White Robe Hall (also known as Guanyin Hall). This mural was created sometime in the early 1800s. You can sense that she put a lot of thought and effort into this. When people visit our school, they'll be able to study the mural and perhaps discover new things and ideas each time. Students coming to class will be inspired by this mural, and be reminded to focus, strive, and persevere. These are all great virtues that apply to so many things in life. What a wonderful addition to our school this will be!" The prize for winning first place is: $2000 (when completed)Design Fee: $200 28 Class Tokens (for Shaolin Kung Fu, Qigong, and Tai Chi) including a uniform set (shoes, pants, and shirt) – value of $500 If you would like to commission Jamie Lynn Steele for your own project: Email: jamysteele@gmail.com Congratulations Jamie! We look forward to developing this idea further and starting this project as soon as possible! About Jamie Lynn Steele Jamie Steele is an artist and filmmaker based in Toronto, with a focus in painting, photography, and narrative storytelling. After studying drawing and painting at Concordia University, Jamie went on to work in the film industry in camera, moving into The Art Department. After gaining experience in scenic painting, Props, and Art Directing, Jamie built credits in Production Design on music videos, Commercials and TV shows for CRAVE. At the end of 2021, Jamie underwent her fourth surgery that lead her to rethink her relationship with her health. She also came to find her Philosophies shifting which lead her on a path to STQI. After about 10 minutes of her first class, she knew that studying at STQI was where she was supposed to be, and so Jamie quit her job and is figuring everything else out to ensure she can pursue Martial Arts :) Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-winner-of-the-shaolin-zen-mural-contest Shaolin Zen Mural Second Place Winner https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-zen-mural-second-place-winner Shaolin Zen Mural Second Place Winner Congratulations to Ray Vidal for winning second place in the Shaolin Zen Mural Competition! Here is Master Dao's commentary: "Ray tied for first place in the voting, leaving me with a really tough choice of deciding the winner. He pulled in many elements of Shaolin - the front gate of the Shaolin Temple, meditation, students sparring as illustrated similarly to an ancient mural in the White Robe Hall. He cleverly incorporated the slanting stairs into the art itself with scenic hills, slopes, and trees. His art style and experience is clearly top notch. His use of colours brings vivid life to the whole mural. All of my students, and myself, would have been very happy to see his art painted on our entrance walls." Students were not privy to the explanations provided by each artist. Master Dao wanted his students to take the time to study the idea behind each design and vote based on the Shaolin Spirit and understanding of each artist. Ray explains his design and approach: "I strongly believe in space activation and public art as a way to bring community members together, especially when they are in community shared spaces. I want to create a public art piece that older and younger generation can engage and connect with as a community. That will allow for different groups and demographics to build connections and create ties in the public realm that will give a sense of belonging, deeper appreciation for Shaolin practices and philosophy, generate excitement and serve as a learning opportunity for new members that join the STQI community. For this mural, I am looking to combine accessibility and familiarity together. I want the mural to reflect the Shaolin temple and STQI community. Incorporating elements of kung fu, tai chi, qi gong, meditation, and philosophy taught at the school. I want to also use imagery that is found in the school such as logos, colour pallet and objects with significant meaning found in the space to echo shaolin beliefs to help promote the school and pull new comers into the space. When I think of Shaolin Temple I think self-control, self-respect, mental and physical health, well being, energy and how to direct energy. Practicing these ancient artforms can give you a sense of purpose, peace of mind, clarity, interconnectivity, connection and harmony in life. Through understanding and practicing meditation and learning the art form from a certified shaolin monk. Meditation can transport you to different times and places in your life and make you reflect on the things your seeing. Providing a vital life force, medicine, healing and discipline you can use in your daily life. I want to the art to reflect the school and its teachings. Being able to create artwork in the space will be an honour." The prize for winning second place is: Design Fee: $100 14 Class Tokens (for Shaolin Kung Fu, Qigong, and Tai Chi) including a uniform set (shoes, pants, and shirt) – value of $350 If you would like to contact Ray Vidal or have a look at his other art projects: Email: rayvidalart@gmail.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rayvidalart/ Congratulations Ray! Thu, 15 Sep 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-zen-mural-second-place-winner Shaolin Zen Mural Third Place Winner https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-zen-mural-third-place-winner Shaolin Zen Mural Third Place Winner Congratulations to Marie-Judith Jean-Louis for winning third place in the Shaolin Zen Mural Competition! Here is Master Dao's commentary: "It is no surprise that my students were attracted to Marie-Judith's design, as meditation is at the root of Shaolin philosophy. She understood the importance of meditation and came up with a design that could express that meditation-state and feeling of tranquility. I would have been very happy had her design won the most votes." Students were not privy to the explanations provided by each artist. Master Dao wanted his students to take the time to study the idea behind each design and vote based on the Shaolin Spirit and understanding of each artist. Marie-Judith explains her design and approach: "Creating art makes me feel more connected to people because I feel I understand them (and myself) better. I wish to convey a sense of human connection, curiosity, wonder, awe, and peace with my art. Uplifting people’s spirit through my art energizes me. Knowing that there’s a chance that my art can help others appreciate life more gives me a great sense of purpose. Although I’m not an expert in the Shaolin Spirit, I am familiar with some of its teaching and resonate with it as I’ve always been interested and curious about zen philosophy, martial arts, meditation and getting to know ourselves from within. The design that I’m proposing is based on what I’ve learned thus far, as I love to create pieces that will not only add to the well-being of the viewers but also broaden their perspective. I kept it simple considering the fact that there will be volunteers helping during the installation. I kept the colour of the floor in mind when creating this concept. I thought it would be great to have a soft gradient of greens on the walls as the main colour and an accent of bold red-orange near the main entrance as the focal point next to the door. (Limiting the colour will also help with the budget) My goal is to make the visitors feel calm and serene as they enter the space. An energy shift that will ground them by visually connecting them with nature. Green, especially sage green as shown, is a very peaceful colour and will also contrast very well with the new red doors. On the wall there would be a series of mountains and clearings, as if they are walking on the top of the mountains. Shadow figures of Shaolin monks practicing their moves could be depicted throughout in a subtle way. The focal point of the artwork would be the levitating / meditating monk next to the door. Their face would be abstract so that it could be interpreted either as a male or a female, as requested." The prize for winning third place is: Design Fee: $100 14 Class Tokens (for Shaolin Kung Fu, Qigong, and Tai Chi) including a uniform set (shoes, pants, and shirt) – value of $350 If you would like to contact Marie-Judith or have a look at her other art projects: Email: mj@m2jlstudio.com Website: mariejudith.com Congratulations Marie-Judith! Mon, 12 Sep 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-zen-mural-third-place-winner Voting Begins For the Shaolin Martial Zen Mural https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/voting-begins-for-the-shaolin-martial-zen-mural Voting Begins For the Shaolin Martial Zen Mural Voting has begun for your favourite art design! Below are the top 3 murals selected by Master Dao (listed by order of submission). It was not easy choosing them as all of the proposals submitted were excellent. So congratulations to all the artists! We will announce the winner by Thursday, September 15, 2022 and we will start production immediately. Students can vote online here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/eventview/S3dADbE1QO Design A Design B Design C Sat, 03 Sep 2022 15:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/voting-begins-for-the-shaolin-martial-zen-mural The First Disciples of Master Dao https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-first-disciples-of-master-dao The First Disciples of Master Dao Congratulations to Rosemary Stehlik, Andrew Cheng, and Luka Pilasanovic on becoming the first disciples of Master Dao! A formal and traditional ceremony was held on August 20, 2022. The ceremony formally recognizes these students as Shifu Dao's disciples. They are also now recognized by Shifu Dao's peers and their Shifu, Shi Guo Song. As disciples, they have taken on the responsibility to help carry on the 1,500 year old legacy of the traditional Shaolin teachings and philosophy. Also in attendance were Shi Chang Chuan, Master Dao's Shaolin brother, and the family and guests of the disciples. The disciples took turns paying respects to Master Dao, and in return were given Shaolin Dharma names (listed by order of age): Rosemary Stehlik - Shì Yǎn Ān (釋演安) Andrew Cheng - Shì Yǎn Qīng (釋演清) Luka Pilasanovic - Shì Yǎn Níng (釋演寧) This establishes the first disciples of the Yǎn generation under the lineage of Shifu Dao and Grand Shifu Song. Students may now greet these newly appointed disciples as 師兄 Shīxiōng (Senior Brother) or 師姐Shījiě (Senior Sister). Master Dao has high hopes that these three will focus their energies on self-cultivation through Shaolin Chán 禪, to lead by example, and thereby develop the foundation for self-wisdom and benevolence. Emituofo! Fri, 02 Sep 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-first-disciples-of-master-dao Martial Arts 2022 Chinatown Festival Entire Performance YouTube Video https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/martial-arts-2022-chinatown-festival-entire-performance-youtube-video Martial Arts 2022 Chinatown Festival Entire Performance YouTube Video This is a full video of our performance at the Chinatown BIA Festival on Saturday, August 20, 2022. Featuring meditation, qigong, tai chi, and kung fu performances by the students of the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute (STQI) of downtown Toronto. You can find the photo blog and complete story here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/photos-of-our-dazzling-martial-arts-performance-at-chinatown-bia-festival Thu, 01 Sep 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/martial-arts-2022-chinatown-festival-entire-performance-youtube-video Photos of Our Dazzling Martial Arts Performance at Chinatown BIA Festival https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/photos-of-our-dazzling-martial-arts-performance-at-chinatown-bia-festival Photos of Our Dazzling Martial Arts Performance at Chinatown BIA Festival Our traditional Shaolin martial arts performance was featured on the main stage on Saturday, August 20, 2022. The setup of the stage on Spadina was very professional with lighting, sound, and a digital backdrop that complemented our performance. Kudos to the organizers of Chinatown BIA! Also we'd like to thank Shima, our student, for tirelessly volunteering as our photographer, and taking all these wonderful photos! Our performance kicked off with an exciting demonstration with martial war flags. We then transitioned into children meditating. The crowd was mesmerized by the unique and peaceful nature of traditional Shaolin. This set the stage for a Baduanjin Qigong performance by Master Dao and his students. The focus and determination of our children performing to a packed and entertained crowd is inspiring! This was followed by energetic kung fu demonstrations by children and adults.   At half time, we had an interactive session with the audience members competing in some of our Shaolin Challenges, including the Jumping Centipede and Monkey Hop! The show continued with another exciting flag battle! We also showcased various Shaolin Tai Chi forms. Smooth and gentle martial movements combined with breath and energy for self defence.   This was then followed up by several advanced hand and weapons forms.             After our performance, a few lucky audience members got to participate in a free lesson with Master Dao to learn an ancient foundation form called Wubuquan. Thank you to all our students and helpers! You've made this performance a great success!   View All the Photos from this Performance! Click here to view more photos on our Facebook page Wed, 31 Aug 2022 09:46:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/photos-of-our-dazzling-martial-arts-performance-at-chinatown-bia-festival Come Watch our Shaolin Performance at Chinatown BIA Festival this Saturday at 7pm https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/come-watch-our-shaolin-performance-at-chinatown-bia-festival-this-saturday-at-7pm Come Watch our Shaolin Performance at Chinatown BIA Festival this Saturday at 7pm Our students have been working hard to put together our best performance yet at the Chinatown BIA Festival this Saturday, August 20th, at 7pm! Don't miss it - we're on the main stage on Spadina just north of Dundas. Wed, 17 Aug 2022 11:17:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/come-watch-our-shaolin-performance-at-chinatown-bia-festival-this-saturday-at-7pm Our 1st Annual Inter STQI Soccer and Volleyball Was a Success https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-1st-annual-inter-stqi-soccer-and-volleyball-was-a-success Our 1st Annual Inter STQI Soccer and Volleyball Was a Success The first ever sports gathering between STQI schools took place at Shifu Guosong's backyard on Sunday, August 7th. Here we all are with are happy smiles and feeling excited to get the social soccer game started despite the 32 degrees Celsius temperature(over 40 with the humidex!) and being outnumbered by the Markham team 3:1!. We started with the adult soccer game 7 v 7. We had a unique twist on the game - the 4' wide net counts as 2 points and the space outside of the net to the pilon about another 4 feet on either side counts as 1 point. Here is Mei dribbling the ball and shortly after scoring a goal for our team. She was one of the many superstars of the day for our adult team including Parsons, Luka, Callum, Hossein, Blake, and Shima. We held a lead until the last 5 minutes of the game and eventually lost 5-4. The Markham team was certainly very strong and we'll look forward to a rematch next year! Here is Zavier dribbling the ball shortly before scoring one of many goals for our kids team. He was one of many superstars of the kids team including Liu, Victoria, Ethy, Elijah, and Gustav. We also held a lead until the last 5 minutes of the game and eventually ended up in a 4-4 tie. Seems the Markham team as strong will power and able to catch up even when behind. Kudos to them! We didn't really have enough players to field a team for volleyball although it was still a lot of fun. Thank you to Susan for joining us when we needed her! Finally, thank you to all the parents that joined us on this special day! We plan to do this every year and we will be arranging our own social games next year in the spring and summer. Wed, 10 Aug 2022 10:36:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-1st-annual-inter-stqi-soccer-and-volleyball-was-a-success Art Project Request for Proposal https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/art-project-request-for-proposal Call for Artists! Entrance Art Project Request for Proposal PROJECT TITLE: Shaolin Martial Zen MuralDeadline: August 31, 2022 Main Entrance View from Stairwell (with our new sign) Art needed on this wall, wall on left with stairs going up, and wall on right with stairs going down Poster on wall will be removed - drywall touchups and priming is needed PROJECT SUMMARY Submission Deadline: August 31, 2022 Project Timeline: Start anytime, completed by October 15 Project Location: 393 Dundas Street West, 2nd Floor Artist(s) Fees: $2000 Artist(s) duties: Design and implement a compelling mural that embodies the Shaolin Spirit of a peacefulness, spiritual health, and physical prowess. The artist is a leader, and must be willing to work with a community of volunteers to reduce effort and costs (we have a few students with art experience willing to volunteer). Eligibility: All artists legally able to work in Canada are eligible to apply. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Shaolin is a 1,500 year old culture based on the ideas of Chan philosophy (Zen) for mental health and martial arts for self defence and physical health. Master Dao is a 35th generation Shaolin Warrior with a direct lineage of this Shaolin tradition. He offers Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin Tai Chi, Shaolin Qigong, and Shaolin Meditation classes and workshops at the downtown Toronto location. His team also provides free workshops to people in need, such as seniors, the poor, and the weak. It is his mission to keep the Shaolin arts and traditions alive today by modernizing its teachings and helping to motivate people to practice for health. WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR is a painted mural that can showcase the essence of Shaolin Spirit through the arts of Shaolin Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin Tai Chi, Shaolin Qigong, and Shaolin Meditation (and philosophy of Chan or Zen). Shaolin Spirit is the combined demonstration of Zen philosophy and martial arts for self-defence and health. May contain Chinese characters and/or English words. May also include physical elements such as facade materials or as proposed within our financial means. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT AND TO APPLY: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/call-for-artists-entrance-art-project-rfp Tue, 09 Aug 2022 12:26:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/art-project-request-for-proposal Fall Term Registration Begins - What is New https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/fall-term-registration-begins---what-is-new Fall Term Registration Begins - What is New Registration is Now Open to the Public for the 2022 T3 Fall Term The current 2022 T2 Summer term ends after August 21. We've seen our student base grow to over 160 students!  With new instructors joining the team, we're opening more classes and increasing our student capacity to 175 students. Please see below for more details about our upcoming fall events and classes. Registration is now open to the public. Register today at www.stqitoronto.com! Fall Term Begins Monday, September 5, 2022 The fall term is about change - from the hot summer months to the cold winter days. Thus the theme for the fall term is BALANCE - the balance and the transition of yin and yang energies.We will learn about yin and yang, and how it applies to our Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong classes.  We will use this idea to continue to train and strengthen our body and mind. We will also learn how to apply ancient Shaolin Medicine wisdom in our Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong classes to diagnose and improve the health of our STOMACH. The stomach is one of the vital organs of our body. Its main function is prepare the foods you eat for processing. If your stomach does not function well, you can experience many symptoms such as pain, nausea, belching, and hiccups. On the other hand, by understanding how your stomach works, how to diagnose it, and how to take care of it, you will be able to ensure your other organs can properly process and absorb nutrients that are vital for a healthy life. The stomach is a yang organ and belongs to the Earth Element. It is the source of your overall health. It is no surprise that the stomach meridian runs vertically through your whole body! We must learn to listen to the stomach and make better lifestyle choices to support a fruitful life. INSTRUCTOR UPDATE: We welcome Ozzy, Launa, Val, and Elijah to our instructor team this fall! We also formally welcome Sharly, Chloe, and Liu to our instructor team - they joined during the summer term and have been very helpful in our adult and children kung fu classes.   Shaolin Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu emphasizes core training and developing powerful muscles and strong joints.  This is a YANG activity and it is balanced through breathing and stretching exercises. *NEW* Shaolin Kids Kung Fu on Thursday evenings at 6pm for Foundation and 7pm for Forms. Open to kids of all levels. *NEW* Shaolin Preschool Kung Fu on Sunday mornings at 10am. Open to preschoolers from 3 to 5 years of age. *NEW* Shaolin Kids Kung Fu Level 2 on Sunday mornings at 10am for Foundation II and 11am for Forms II.  Open to children who have progressed to the Shaolin staff form and meet the minimum technical requirements. Parents can enquire at reception for more information. Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. This is the ultimate balance of YIN and YANG, incorporating both elements of physical and gentle martial exercises. This term we'll be emphasizing striking and parrying techniques using traditional Shaolin methods. More specifically, we'll be investigating how hard and soft qigong work together with external and internal elements of the body for effective self defence.We are planning to open more Shaolin Tai Chi classes, so be sure to fill our our questionnaire form when we send it out later this month. Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is largely about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to move the Breath Qi around the body. This is a YIN activity because the exercises involve gentle movements and breathing. In the Qigong Foundation class, we will learn about the basics of the stomach organ and how to stimulate it with various qigong exercises and the Baduanjin form. In the Qigong Intermediate Forms class, we will investigate the Stomach Meridian.  We will learn to diagnose our tongue, pulse, and key  acupressure points for advanced warning of problems, and to apply qi flow, massage, and other therapeutic techniques to support the stomach. We will also continue to practice advanced qigong forms such as yijinjing, xiaohongqigong, and jingangong.We are planning to open more Shaolin Qigong classes, so be sure to fill our our questionnaire form when we send it out later this month. Ping Pong We've opened our Ping Pong club to the public! We're in need of many more members for our Ping Pong club. No experience needed and free coaching on some days when the coach is present. As we expand, we'll be able organize tournaments and add more time slots for ping pong. Why Play Ping Pong? Ping Pong is great for aerobic exercise, general fitness and strength, and hand-eye coordination. And it's fun for all ages! In addition, for Shaolin Kung Fu students, playing ping pong will reinforce your training and overall self defence capability. Schedule Ping pong is currently available at these days and times: Thursdays from 8pm to 9pm - Open Play Saturdays from 12pm to 1pm - Open Play Sundays from 12pm to 1pm - Open Play There is a maximum of 12 players and we have 3 tables. You can conveniently reserve your spot using our weekly schedule.  Upcoming Shaolin Events Summer Camps for Children 5 to 16 years - Limited Capacity  Click the image above to watch a short 2 minute summary highlighting our kids camps! This year we've extended our summer camps to include children up to 16 years of age. The camps are open to students and to the public. We're also pleased to announce that we will be hosting 3 weeks of kids day camp from August 15 to September 2. The week long camps are from Monday to Friday from 9am to 3:30pm. Master Dao and his team of competent and dedicated instructors will ensure an engaging, fun, and challenging time for everyone. This year we are focusing on team leadership games, Shaolin Wushu Festival, Shaolin Live Action Role Playing Game, and MUCH MUCH MORE! Rest assured that we will be following all the government regulations and protocols concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and day camps. That means regular cleaning, proper handing of food, assigning permanent seats, social distancing, etc. We will stay on top of the latest requirements and news to ensure a safe experience for everyone. For more information and to register, go to our EVENTS page and click on one of the camp weeks. STQI Downtown Toronto School's 11th Anniversary Celebration! We're celebrating our 11th anniversary and we hope you will join us for this unforgettable evening! We'll be bringing out our Shaolin Spirit and perform Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation together. This event will be held at Dim Sum King restaurant, at 421 Dundas Street West. All students are encouraged to participate. The doors will open at 5:30pm and we will begin performances shortly thereafter. After the performances we'll enjoy a tasty 10 course meal (vegetarian option provided - please indicate in the registration form). The evening will include a special presentation showcasing the incredible achievements of our school and students over the past 11 years, along with fun games and prizes. Dress code is 'Be Yourself'. Students are welcome to remain in their performance clothing or change. We've booked the entire Dim Sum King restaurant but space is limited so be sure to fill out the form to purchase your tickets early! View the Event Online Here and Register: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/eventview/hajqEjo8wS Next Worldwide Meditation Workshop The next Worldwide Meditation Workshop will be held sometime in November. Watch for the announcement in September for date, time, and details. Fri, 05 Aug 2022 10:37:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/fall-term-registration-begins---what-is-new Inaugural SLTO Qigong Workshop at Russell Hill Retirement Residence https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/inaugural-slto-qigong-workshop-at-russell-hill-retirement-residence Inaugural SLTO Qigong Workshop at Russell Hill Retirement Residence Master Dao and a few of his students conducted a Shaolin Qigong workshop at the Russell Hill Retirement Residence this past week. This benevolent and charitable program is part of the Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach (SLTO) program, an initiative to provide free Shaolin-related workshops to the elderly, poor, and weak. These senior participants (and now students) are all over 90 years of age. Most were able to participate standing and some elected to do the exercises while sitting on a chair. We were happy to accommodate. When asked if they had ever heard of Shaolin or Qigong, it was no surprise they unanimously said no. So in other words, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into! After a short introduction, we did some light stretching exercises while being careful to give instructions so the participants would not injure themselves or fall. With their joints opened up, we proceeded with deep breathing qi gong exercises to help increase something called "Net Qi". You can think of this as exercising breathing muscles to release a higher level of energy in the body. Finally we practiced Shaolin Baduanjin, an ancient Shaolin qigong form that combines breath and movement for greater circulation in the body. At the end of the session, we asked the seniors how they felt afterwards, They all said they felt much more energetic and wanted us to come back regularly. We are happy to oblige. This is indeed a great and successful start to our Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach program! Thank you Michael, Steve, and Val for joining the workshop and helping to make the experience so great :) We want to thank Lynn for giving us the opportunity to hold the workshop and trusting us to provide an invaluable and beneficial experience for the residents. And thank you to all our students who support our initiative! If you know any retirement homes that could benefit from our free and charitable service, please direct them to our SLTO website section here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-luohan-temple-outreach Thu, 23 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/inaugural-slto-qigong-workshop-at-russell-hill-retirement-residence Thank You to Our Shaolin Martial Zen T-Shirt Sponsor https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/thank-you-to-our-shaolin-martial-zen-t-shirt-sponsor Thank You to Our Shaolin Martial Zen T-Shirt Sponsor Our high quality Shaolin Martial Zen T-Shirts are produced by Eagle View Impex. Their support has made it possible for our team to raise funds to further our agenda of providing Shaolin workshops to those in need. So thank you Fayyaz and team!! A few words from our sponsor: “Helping the needy and poor people is the responsibility of everyone who has the power to meet their basic needs. It is important to promote the organization and the team that plays the main part in contributing funds or value for such needy peoples. We supported people in need this time and will continue to support STQI and especially Master Dao Shi. We are confident that STQI will reach those who really deserves the support.” - Fayyaz, Eagle View International Thu, 23 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/thank-you-to-our-shaolin-martial-zen-t-shirt-sponsor Animal Spirit Group Form https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/animal-spirit-group-form Animal Spirit Group Form Our version of this form has been slightly modified to accomodate our school and with additional clarity on specific hand postures. This is a reference for the overall style and power needed for an engaging performance. Movement List with Shouts Please click the link below to view the latest movement details such as shouts and pause locations: Open Spreadsheet Wed, 15 Jun 2022 10:23:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/animal-spirit-group-form Shaolin Martial Zen T-Shirts Now Available https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-martial-zen-t-shirts-now-available Shaolin Martial Zen T-Shirts Now Available We have new t-shirts for sale! It is part of our S.L.T.O. (Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach) fundraising initiative to provide Shaolin qigong, tai chi, and kung fu instruction to the elderly, weak, and poor. As we visit our beneficiary institutions, we'll be giving away these t-shirts to some of the participants as a reward for their participation. This bamboo/cotton t-shirt has a luxurious and comfortable feel. In the front is our SLTO logo which says "Shaolin Martial Zen" and it's what makes our ancient Shaolin martial tradition so unique. On the backside are graphics depicting some poses from our Shaolin disciplines of meditation, qigong, tai chi, and kung fu. Our t-shirt design was the collaborative effort of our outreach team. Val is our main graphics designer and she produced the awesome graphics on the back. At this time we are selling these t-shirts to the public and our students at our downtown Toronto location for $25 (no tax - cash only). 100% of the proceeds go towards our outreach initiative. We also want to thank Eagle View International for generously supporting us in producing these high-quality t-shirts! Thu, 09 Jun 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-martial-zen-t-shirts-now-available Wailiuhe The Outer Six Cooperation https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/wailiuhe-the-outer-six-cooperation Wailiuhe The Outer Six Cooperation 手 足 肩 胯 膝 肘 shǒu zú jiān kuà xī zhǒu hand foot shoulder hip container knee elbow Wailiuhe is about the relationship of the hand, foot, shoulder, hip, knee, and elbow. In Shaolin theory, these have to be aligned and synchronized together properly when practicing forms in order to develop proper power and efficiency. Examples of alignment cooperation: - When the foot is placed down, the fist should make contact at the same time. - When throwing a punch or elbow in gongbu, the elbow should be at the same distance from the body as the knee. - When striking with the shoulder, the front hip leads the way and is under the shoulder. Examples of synchronized cooperation: - the hips turning as the fist makes contact - the foot pushing as the fist makes contact - the hips turning as the shoulder makes contact - etc. Assuming good alignment, the more you can synchronize the more power you have. Consider how the Outer Six Cooperation theory can also be applied to wrestling! Fri, 20 May 2022 10:51:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/wailiuhe-the-outer-six-cooperation How to Join the Instructor Team https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-join-the-instructor-team How to Join the Instructor Team Why We Need Instructors The instructors (including assistant instructors) of STQI are a key component of the school's continued success as they represent the spirit of our traditional Shaolin culture. Without instructors, we cannot grow and positively impact more people's lives. We need more instructors and assistants for all our programs including Shaolin Kung Fu for Adults and Kids, Shaolin Tai Chi, and Shaolin Qigong. Why You Will Want to Become an Instructor Becoming an instructor will deepen your practice of Shaolin culture and provide you the opportunity to share with others the joy and benefits that you have experienced. You will learn to become a teacher and develop new skills. You will be challenged through teaching Shaolin theory, philosophy, and techniques appropriate to the disciplines of your choice. As an instructor you will also be enforcing your understanding of the Shaolin Virtues, and be part of a team that continues to lead by example. As a bonus, instructors who become a Main Instructor and have their own classes also get paid! Becoming an instructor also gives you the opportunity to teach at our March Break and Summer Camps, as well as for the Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach classes. How Do I Progress as Instructor? You'll begin as an assistant and you'll be assigned a particular class day and time. Your progress will be gradual and you will be given responsibilities and assignments by the Main Instructor of your class. As you gain experience, you'll naturally be given more responsibilities. As we open new classes, we may offer you the opportunity to become a Main Instructor. We also regularly host free workshops for our instructors where we learn to become even better instructors! We also learn and practice advanced Shaolin theory. What Are the Requirements to Become an Instructor? Generally, we require at least 1 year (3 full terms) of training before considering any application for instruction. The student must be technically competent and be able to pass at least a Level 2 Grading Exam for their discipline of choice (we will add a link to more information about our Grading Exams later in 2022 as we expect to hosting Grading Exams again by early 2023). If you are not sure, you can still apply and we'll let you know if you qualify. There are no specific age requirements for instructors, although children should only consider applying if they are interested and feel excited about the idea of teaching. How Do I Apply to Become an Instructor? Click the link below to fill out our application to become an instructor. We'll carefully review your request and typically get back to you within 48 hours. https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/forms/view/ciXSTwFWWF Thu, 19 May 2022 10:43:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-join-the-instructor-team Instructor Skills https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/instructor-skills Instructor Skills Are you striving to improve as an instructor? Consider the following skills: 1. Grade Assessment Ability to assess a student’s level in terms of the grading system. 2. Communication Ability to communicate instructions to a student or students in a clear manner and with strong vocal projection. 3. Shaolin Virtues Philosophy Capability to explain the Shaolin Virtues. 4. Technical Awareness Ability to spot technical errors. 5. Technical Philosophy Ability to explain philosophy related to the discipline. 6. Course Management Ability to manage an entire course including understanding the course vision and objectives. 7. Lesson Management Time management, executing lesson plan, managing assistants. 8. Language Ability to speak the Shaolin martial arts language including names of techniques in both English and Mandarin where applicable. 9. Inspire The ability to inspire students to improve and come to class. 10. Student Tracking The ability to track the progress of each student. Thu, 19 May 2022 09:35:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/instructor-skills Instructor Stages and Roles https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/instructor-stages-and-roles Instructor Stages and Roles This content is intended to help assistants and instructors understand their roles, and how to work with each other to improve the teaching system. 1. Learning - Junior Assistant The instructor is learning to teach and is observing how more experienced instructors communicate to students; The instructor is emulating other instructors and able to provide some instruction to one or two students to support a more experienced instructor. Typically the instructor is a Junior Assistant. 2. Comprehensive - Senior Assistant The instructor can now understand how different types of students learn. For example, students at different ages, gender, experience, personalities, and learning styles will have different ways of learning. This Senior Assistant is now able to lead a part of the classes as directed by the Main Instructor. 3. Individual-Effective - Junior Instructor The instructor is now a Junior Instructor and can reliably lead part of the class or entirely, as directed by a Main Instructor. The Junior Instructor is able to keep track of a few students from week to week and can help them to improve. He or she can also be relied upon to help substitute when the Main Instructor is not available. 4. Group-Effective - Main Instructor or Assistant Instructor The instructor is now a Main Instructor (or Assistant Instructor when helping another Main Instructor) who is capable of teaching and managing a group of students. The Main Instructor is also responsible for training assistants and Junior Instructors. 5. Leadership - Senior Instructor The Senior Instructor is refining his/her teaching skills and providing feedback to the Chief Instructor on improving classes and programs. He/she becomes a general help resource for all other instructors and assistants. Wed, 18 May 2022 12:13:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/instructor-stages-and-roles Kung Fu Taolu Performance Group Stops https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/kung-fu-taolu-performance-group-stops Kung Fu Taolu Performance Group Stops These are our standard group stops when doing performances. Wǔbùquán (Five Stance Fist) 1 (standing), 3 (gongbu), 5 (xiebu), 7 (pubu), 9 (standing) Xiǎoliánhuán (Small Chaining Fist) 0 (hezhang), 2 (standing), 4 (mabu), 6 (mabu), 9 (gongbu), 12 (gongbu), 15 (mabu), 18 (xubu) Bābùliánhuán (Eight Stance Chaining Fist) 0 (hezhang), 2 (standing), 5 (gongbu), 9 (gongbu), 12 (mabu), 15 (gongbu), 19 (mabu), 23 (gongbu), 26 (xubu) Tōngbìquán (Through the Arms Fist) 1 (standing), 3 (xubu), 7 (xubu), 11 (mabu two punches), 17 (mabu elbow), 21 (gongbu), 24 (xubu), 27 (mabu) Xiǎohóngquán (Small Flooding Fist) 1 (standing), 3 (standing), 6 (gongbu), 11 (gongbu xiexing), 14 (gongbu xiexing), 16 (gongbu), 19 (mabu danbian), 22 (standing uppercut), 24 (gongbu), 27 (gongbu), 30 (gongbu panzhou), 33 (gongbu panzhou), 35 (gongbu), 38 (mabu danbian), 42 (gongbu), 45 (gongbu), 49 (gongbu scooping fist), 53 (gongbu), 55 (mabu) Yīnshǒugùn (Yin Hands Cudgel) 1 (standing), 3 (gongbu), 6 (gongbu), 7 (front twirl), 9 (gongbu), 12 (gongbu), 14 (back twirl), 18 (gongbu), 19 (mabu striking down), 22 (gongbu), 25 (dingbu), 28 (mabu), 31 (mabu) Wed, 18 May 2022 11:38:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/kung-fu-taolu-performance-group-stops Our Ping Pong Club Is Now Open to the Public https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-ping-pong-club-is-now-open-to-the-public Our Ping Pong Club Is Now Open to the Public We've now opened our Ping Pong club to the public! We're in need of many more members for our Ping Pong club. No experience needed and free coaching on some days when the coach is present. As we expand, we'll be able organize tournaments and add more time slots for ping pong. Why Play Ping Pong? Ping Pong is great for aerobic exercise, general fitness and strength, and hand-eye coordination. And it's fun for all ages! In addition, for Shaolin Kung Fu students, playing ping pong will reinforce your training and overall self defence capability. Schedule Our Ping Pong Club is located at our downtown Toronto school location at 393 Dundas Street West, 2nd Floor, Toronto.  Ping pong is currently available at these days and times: Thursdays from 8pm to 9pm - Open Play Saturdays from 12pm to 1pm - Open Play Sundays from 12pm to 1pm - Open Play There is a maximum of 12 players and we have 3 tables. You can conveniently reserve your spot using our weekly schedule.  Registration To register, first login to our website at www.stqitoronto.com. Then click on 'Class Registration' from the menu at the top followed by 'Ping Pong'. The fee for the public is $140 for 14 tokens. The fee for students with at least 7 Shaolin tokens is $70 for 14 tokens. Wed, 18 May 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/our-ping-pong-club-is-now-open-to-the-public Shaolin Champion Book of Records - New World Records Set During the Winter Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-champion-book-of-records---new-world-records-set-during-the-winter-term Shaolin Champion Book of Records - New World Records Set During the Winter Term Congratulations to all the students that participated in the Shaolin Challenges in our last week of the winter term. In our Shaolin Spirit way of being, we recognized that winning and setting new records wasn't the most important thing. Being able to bring out your best to challenge yourself when you need to was really what it's all about. Below are the OVERALL records as well as the WINTER records. Names that are bolded in blue for the Winter Term have set new world records and are reflected in the OVERALL records. We look forward to the end of the summer term when students will have an opportunity again to challenge themselves and the book of records.  Push your training - Jiayou! WINTER Shaolin Champion Records OVERALLShaolin Champion Records Tue, 17 May 2022 10:20:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-champion-book-of-records---new-world-records-set-during-the-winter-term Qigong Inspired Art https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/qigong-inspired-art Qigong Inspired Art Kaeti MacNeil has been taking qigong at STQI since last year and it's inspired her art. ---- Kaeti's art project is named 'Carasoul' and is now on display at 49 McCaul Street until Sunday. Visiting hours are: Friday, May 13, 2022 from 12pm to 8pm Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 12pm to 5pm Sunday, May 15, 2022 from 12pm to 5pm ----An excerpt from her art project description: Carasoul: a Portrait in Nth Dimensions is an animated surrealist 4K film. The film depicts temporal, immaterial sensations and perceptions as spatially material extensions of the body. This vision of invisible dimensions within a human experience is grounded in biological and biographical forms.   This work is for feeling thoughts around you like waves and forms, invisible yet tangible. One named experience is the Carasoul, the head-soul moving like a merry-go-round. It’s the imagination, the mind’s eye, the visuospatial sketchpad of the psyche surrounding the body. The Carasoul questions how one experiences time, the location and duration of consciousness, the life force, and the imaginal mind. These unseen yet vitally tangible experiences envelop our bodies in extra dimensions. Nth dimensions expresses the uncertainty about the nature of the unseen layers of reality we live within.  ---- You can view her 4k digital film art here: https://vimeo.com/693757323/880bebb317 And visit her personal website here: https://kaetimacneil.com/ Fri, 13 May 2022 09:56:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/qigong-inspired-art What is New for the 2022 Summer Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2022-summer-term What is New for the 2022 Summer Term Summer Term Begins Monday, May 9, 2022. This summer, we’ll continue to train and strengthen our body and mind. We will also learn how to apply ancient Shaolin Medicine wisdom in our Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong classes to diagnose and improve the health of our large intestine. The large intestine is one of the vital organs of our body. If your large intestine is not doing well, you can experience many symptoms such as bloating, severe pain in the belly area, nasal congestion, dehydration, and pain in the shoulders, hands, and teeth. On the other hand, understanding how your large intestine works, what the symptoms are, and how to take care of it, will help boost your vitality and make better lifestyle choices. The Large Intestine belongs to the Metal Element and is about the quality of life, and requires stimulating your circulatory systems to efficiently expel waste.  We must learn to listen to the large intestine and make better lifestyle choices to support a fruitful life.   Shaolin Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu emphasizes core training and developing powerful muscles.  We'll be increasing the intensity of our exercises to strengthen the muscles in the belly area which will support the functions of the large intestine. Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi emphasizes breath with gentle movements to invigorate the body for health and vitality. We'll be emphasizing movements and light sparring drills that enhances the circulatory systems involving the belly and the large intestine, and to support the digestive system. Shaolin Qigong Shaolin Qigong is largely about awareness of one's energy, and learning how to move the Breath Qi around the body. In the Qigong Foundation class, will learn about the large intestine organ and how to stimulate it with various qigong exercises and the Baduanjin form. In the Qigong Intermediate Forms class, we will investigate the Large Intestine Meridian.  We will learn to diagnose our tongue, pulse, and every acupressure point for advanced warning of problems, and to apply qi flow, massage, and other therapeutic techniques to support the large intestine.  Tue, 26 Apr 2022 12:38:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-new-for-the-2022-summer-term The Meaning Behind Our Logo https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-meaning-behind-our-logo The Meaning Behind Our Logo It is very difficult to encapsulate a 1,500 year old culture in just 4 Chinese characters, but the Chinese language has a way of doing just that! Embedded in the 4 Chinese characters of our logo are the characteristics that make our Shaolin culture so unique: On the left column are the two characters: 少林 (Shàolín). In English we accept the word "Shaolin" to be the same. 少 means young. 林 means forest. So together, "Young Forest" is the name given to the temple around 500 AD to describe the environment at that time. Associated with the name of Shaolin and its rich history is a spiritual culture of meditation, martial arts, and peace. This is supported by the other two characters of the logo as described below. In the top right column is the character: 禪 (Chán). In English, we accept the words "Chan", "Ch'an", and "Zen" to mean the same word. This character is not so easy to define but it can be simplified to mean 'Meditation' or the practice of meditation. For a more detailed explanation, you can read Master Dao's explanation of Chan here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-shaolin-meditation-discipline In the bottom right column is the character: 武 (Wǔ). The closest English translation of this word is "Martial", or "Martial Arts" as in 武術 (wǔshù). Because the English word Wushu has been used a lot in the 20th century by performance style martial art sports, it is more accurate to interpret 武 (for Shaolin) as "Traditional Martial Arts". The Meaning of Shaolin Martial Zen With the explanation of the individual characters, we can finally explain what the 4 characters mean in our logo! The combination of the four characters helps us to understand what makes the Shaolin Arts and the Shaolin practices so unique. Shaolin began as a peaceful culture. The people who lived there are known as Shaolin Monks, and they were there to practice self cultivation through daily and disciplined meditation. They would listen to Buddhist scriptures, examine their own thoughts and emotions, and contemplate the meaning of existence as well as their connection with everything in the world. But without much exercise, the monks would find their bodies getting weak. So the they began to do martial training to strengthen themselves. They not only become physically stronger, they also developed the ability to defend themselves from bandits. A Warrior Monk program was developed where a few Shaolin Monks devoted themselves to developing Shaolin Kung Fu techniques with the teachings of Chan as the foundation. Thus we can interpret Shaolin Martial Zen as the peaceful practice for self wisdom with a strong healthy body to support it. Emituofo! Mon, 18 Apr 2022 08:41:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-meaning-behind-our-logo Kids Martial Arts Summer Camp Open for Registration August 15 to September 2, 2022 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/kids-martial-arts-summer-camp-open-for-registration-august-15-to-september-2-2022 Kids Martial Arts Summer Camp Open for Registration August 15 to September 2, 2022 This year we've extended our summer camps to include children up to 16 years of age. We're pleased to announce that we will be hosting 3 weeks of kids day camp from August 15 to September 2. The week long camps are from Monday to Friday from 9am to 3:30pm. Master Dao and his team of competent and dedicated instructors will ensure an engaging, fun, and challenging time for everyone. This year we are focusing on team leadership games, Shaolin Wushu Festival, Shaolin Live Action Role Playing Game, and MUCH MUCH MORE! We're also continuing to partner with May's Deli (one of the student's mom runs it) who provides the best food ever for any camp!! Rest assured that we will be following all the government regulations and protocols concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and day camps. That means regular cleaning, proper handing of food, assigning permanent seats, social distancing, etc. We will stay on top of the latest requirements and news to ensure a safe experience for everyone. For more information and to register, go to our EVENTS page and click on one of the camp weeks. Thu, 14 Apr 2022 13:29:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/kids-martial-arts-summer-camp-open-for-registration-august-15-to-september-2-2022 How to Achieve Peace and Happiness https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-achieve-peace-and-happiness How to Achieve Peace and Happiness The ideas of peace and happiness are important for a fruitful life. They are both closely related to mental health and often discussed together, yet these are two different ideas. One of the key goals of Shaolin Chan is to help people achieve peace and happiness. So let’s look at finding peace first - what does it mean and how can ancient wisdom and its lessons help us achieve it? What are Peace and Tranquility? When people think about ‘peace’, they usually think about the idea of not being disturbed for a prolonged time. For example, in times of war people would not feel at peace. When invaders and tyrants are resolved, people can eventually return to a life of peacefulness. But it may take years because people need to feel secure and to also resolve traumatic memories. Tranquility is the immediate or short-term state of non-disturbance that results in a positive euphoric feeling or emotion. Tranquility is not the same as peacefulness which is a long-term mental state that is not associated with an emotion. Thus, you can seek tranquility but not find peace, and you can lose tranquility and still be at peace! The period of time to reach a state of peacefulness can be a few hours or it can be many years. It differs from person to person because the events in one’s life are different, the physiological and emotional attributes are different, and each person’s perceptions of the world are different, even if people agree on most viewpoints. Why is Achieving Peace Important? When you reach a state of peacefulness, you no longer worry about any major threats that would disturb you, and you become less reactive to negative experiences. It is likened to developing a shield or buffer against negative energy. Therefore, if and when you can achieve a peaceful state, you need to vigilantly protect it. When your sense of peacefulness is strong, even disturbances to your tranquility will not affect your peaceful state. It is a time where you can reflect upon yourself to learn more about yourself, and your goals and desires. The more you work on yourself, the stronger your shield will become. Let’s explore disturbances to better understand how they can prevent us from achieving peace and tranquility. Sources of Disturbances Disturbances can come from external factors or from yourself (internal factors). By understanding the many potential sources of disturbances, we are more likely to be able to become aware of them as they arise and deal with them quickly. Cutting off disturbances will promote tranquility and peacefulness. Here are some examples of external disturbances that can be forced upon you: You are given a work or school assignment with an unfair deadline, resulting in feelings of anxiety. Someone has stolen something from you, resulting in feelings of anger. Someone criticized you for being lesser in some way, resulting in feelings of inadequacy. You contracted a flu or cold, resulting in feelings of weakness and sickness. Someone close to you has gotten sick, resulting in feelings of worry. Someone unexpectedly responds or communicates to you in a negative way without explanation, resulting in feelings of confusion and stress. Here are some examples of internal disturbances that can originate from yourself: You want to eat something but there is insufficient food, resulting in feelings of hunger. You want a romantic partner but are unable to find someone, resulting in feelings of loneliness. You want to take back something you said or did, resulting in feelings of regret. You see or hear something that reminds you of a past grievous mistake, resulting in feelings of regret. Someone close to you passes away, resulting in feelings of loss. Your job doesn’t pay enough for you to afford more expensive things, resulting in feelings of inadequacy. You want what others have that you cannot, resulting in feelings of jealousy. You want to do something exciting but currently have no means, resulting in boredom. You suffer a hip, back, or knee injury and unable to do the physical things you want to do, resulting in frustration. Why Disturbances Affect Your State of Peacefulness When a disturbance arises and is not resolved, your level of stress and anxiety will build. The longer and more severe the disturbance, the greater impact on your peaceful state. Life is indeed complicated and there may be much uncertainty from one day to the next. As more and more unresolved disturbances appear in your life, your level of stress and anxiety will eventually grow to the level that breaks your state of peacefulness. How Do I Deal with Disturbances to My Peace? When you can identify the source of disturbance and clearly characterize it, you’ve already taken the most important steps in dealing with it, so congratulations! But that important step is often not obvious. Chances are you have many sources of disturbances, so it becomes a confusing mess, or you are currently experiencing disturbances that make it difficult for you to spend energy to deal with them. When disturbances arise and are not quickly resolved, your tranquility is broken. When disturbances sustain themselves or the emotional trauma of a disturbance is high, your shield is broken, and peace is threatened. Therefore, the first step to dealing with disturbances, according to the ancient wisdom of Chan, is to meditate. Meditation is a type of skill to help clear your mind of thoughts and settle your emotions. The more you practice, the better you get at it, and the more effective it becomes. To learn more about meditation, click the link below to Master Dao’s blog about it. You can then follow links to learn about how to learn the Shaolin Meditation technique. https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-meditation In time, you will be able to improve your meditation skills and nullify any negative emotions arising from disturbances. This is called ‘calming the heart through meditation’. It is a way to quickly bring yourself to a state of tranquility, but it takes daily practice to become good at it. The second step to dealing with disturbances is to identify and become aware of them.When your heart is calm, it is the best time to identify, characterize, and resolve disturbances in your life. Your sources of disturbances are often hidden, lurking around in the back of your mind to break down your peaceful state. So be vigilant in finding them. Sort through your feelings and think about what memories affect you negatively.  You'll know you still have disturbances to deal with when you lose your temper easily, feel undue stress or anxiety, or are unable to sleep well. The third step to dealing with disturbances is to characterize them. The unique and complex nature of each disturbance will require you to make the effort to think things through to try to understand each disturbance. The important thing is to not rush through all of your disturbances. Perhaps tackle one disturbance a day or even a week.  Take the time to contemplate why you do not accept that disturbance in your life today. Ask yourself questions such as, is the disturbance still valid? Do you want that disturbance to bother you? How can you accept it and move on? If not, why not? The final step to dealing with disturbances is to take action. When you feel confident that you are able to characterize and understand a disturbance, it is time to take appropriate action.  Due to the uniqueness of each disturbance and each individual's situation, it is impossible to give a direct answer on what action to take. In other words, you'll need to decide what is the most appropriate action given your specific situation. Since already done the groundwork, you will have a solid foundation for taking action. In time, Master Dao will continue to talk and write about specific disturbances such as how to deal with stress, anxiety, and discipline (you can already find guidance articles on dealing with these common disturbances in our Shaolin Chan-Dao Knowledge Base). Through repeated daily meditation and practice of identifying and resolving your disturbances, you will be well on your way to finding peace. Shàolín Chándào perspective: Peacefulness conquers suffering. It is a mental state that cannot be owned in a material sense. The technique to achieve peacefulness is simple but it must be earned and maintained through hard work. Daily meditation is a must to achieve and maintain a peaceful state, and to prevent reactive thoughts, actions, and emotions from becoming major source of disturbances. Mon, 11 Apr 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-achieve-peace-and-happiness How Students of STQI are Helping Seniors, the Poor, and the Weak https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-students-of-stqi-are-helping-seniors-poor-and-weak How Students of STQI are Helping Seniors, the Poor, and the Weak The Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach program would not be possible without the financial support of the students of STQI. Students training at our downtown Toronto school for qigong, tai chi, and kung fu, are required to pay an annual membership fee. This fee is actually and entirely, a charitable donation to Shaolin Luohan Temple. Part of this donation is assigned to this Outreach program, and the rest is used for other projects of Shaolin Luohan Temple. Therefore, students train to become mentally and physically stronger while supporting benevolent activities to help enrich the lives of the elderly, poor, and weak!And the more students we have, the more beneficiaries that can be supported by our Outreach program. Thank you to all STQI students for dedication to Shaolin practice! Wed, 30 Mar 2022 12:39:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-students-of-stqi-are-helping-seniors-poor-and-weak Beneficiary Applications Now Accepted https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/beneficiary-applications-now-accepted Beneficiary Applications Now Accepted We're now accepting applications to become a beneficiary of our Shaolin Luohan Outreach program. The initiative, called Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach, aims to improve the mental and physical health of the elderly, poor, and weak. We're doing this by providing free Shaolin Qigong, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu classes and workshops at institutions that support such members. This could be senior homes and community centres for example. Interested institutions should apply here. Wed, 30 Mar 2022 12:32:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/beneficiary-applications-now-accepted Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach Initiated! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-luohan-temple-outreach-initiated Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach Initiated! We're pleased to announce that we have officially formed a project team from members of the downtown Toronto school. This initiative, called Shaolin Luohan Temple Outreach, aims to improve the mental and physical health of the elderly, poor, and weak. We're doing this by providing free classes and workshops at institutions that support such members. This could be senior homes and community centres for example. We're in the process of getting organized and will be providing these free classes at these institutions by the summer. The Champion of our project is Master Shi Guo Song, a 34th Generation Shaolin Master who is one of the Ten Famous Arhats (Top Temple Guards) in the Shaolin Temple. He now resides in Markham, Ontario and oversees all of the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute (STQI) schools in Canada. Master Dao Shi, is a 35th Generation Shaolin Disciple of Master Shi Guo Song. He opened the downtown Toronto STQI school in 2011, and the school grew to 300 students by 2020. Master Dao is spearheading this initiative as the Project Manager. Steven Shapiro is our Project Coordinator, responsible for coordinating between the beneficiaries, our Project Liaison, and our school. He has been with STQI since 2014 and is a seasoned student, instructor, and contributor. Michael Mead is our Project Liaison, responsible for taking care of the needs of our beneficiaries. He has been training at STQI since 2016 and is a passionate student. He joined the school reception team in early 2022. Val Burroff is our Project Designer, responsible for creating graphics and art for our program and promotional materials. She has been training with STQI since 2017 and has been part of our reception team since 2021. Luka Pilasanovic is our Project Administrator, responsible for providing assistance, input, and insight for the team. He has been with STQI since 2015 and is a seasoned student and senior instructor for Shaolin martial arts kung fu. Fri, 18 Mar 2022 12:11:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-luohan-temple-outreach-initiated Learn How to Achieve Peace and Happiness at the FREE Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, April 11, 2022 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-achieve-peace-and-happiness-at-the-free-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-monday-april-11-2022 Learn How to Achieve Peace and Happiness at the FREE Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, April 11, 2022 Master Dao will be conducting a free worldwide meditation workshop on April 11, Monday, from 7pm to 9pm EST (4pm to 6pm PST). Join us in in person at our downtown Toronto school location, or join us virtually through Zoom from anywhere in the world! Past participants have voted for the topic "How to Achieve Peace and Happiness". Peace and happiness are important for a fruitful life. They are both closely related to mental health and often discussed together, yet these are two different ideas. One of the key goals of Shaolin Chan is to help people achieve peace and happiness. So let’s take a look at finding peace first - what does it mean and how can ancient wisdom and its lessons help us to achieve it? In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'Learning How to Deal with Anxiety'. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: How to Deal with Anxiety. You can also view past meditation workshop topics and learn about Shaolin Chán in general here: Shaolin Chan-Dao Knowledge Base. We keep a tally of all the votes and they will accumulate for the next meditation workshop. So be sure to cast your vote when you register! This Free Workshop is Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Practitioners This is an opportunity for you to learn about and experience meditation and Chan/Zen/Dao philosophy. Master Dao will make it easy for you to learn and practice ancient Shaolin meditation techniques, and to apply his wisdom of Shaolin Chan-Dao to deal with modern day issues and challenges. Indeed one can find plenty of information about meditation online. So much so that there is often conflict in meaning, leading to confusion about the practice, its origins, and the long-term goals of practice. Some people meditate because they are seeking peace. Some are seeking spiritual or religious connection. Why might you be interested? Come learn and open yourself to a modern interpretation of what meditation means in 2022 and how it can really benefit you and the people around you. You can get a head start on the sitting meditation techniques through our guide here: The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method Workshop Outline Introductions and Terminology Basic Meditation Techniques Meditation Sessions and Guidance Short Chan/Zen Philosophy Question and Answer About Master Dao Master Dao is 35th generation Shaolin Disciple who is actively spreading the traditional Shaolin teachings of kung fu martial arts, qigong, meditation, and Chan/Zen philosophy around the world. Since 2007 he has been training under the guidance of Shifu Guo Song, one of few authentic Shaolin monks left in the world. Master Dao is leading through example of these arts and has gained much experience through his school and students in Toronto, Canada and online students around the world. This is a Live Stream Event You will need a Zoom account (free) if you are joining us virtually. A webcam will be required to ensure you are a real person. We will email you the Zoom Link and Passcode 24 hours before the event. We will also send you instructions on how to prepare your environment for this workshop. Click here for registration and more information Mon, 21 Feb 2022 11:32:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-achieve-peace-and-happiness-at-the-free-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-monday-april-11-2022 Try a Mini Shaolin Tai Chi Class with Master Dao at the Chinatown BIA Year of the Tiger 2022 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/try-a-mini-shaolin-tai-chi-class-with-master-dao-at-the-chinatown-bia-year-of-the-tiger-2022 Try a Mini Shaolin Tai Chi Class with Master Dao at the Chinatown BIA Year of the Tiger 2022 Thank you Toronto Chinatown BIA for hosting such a wonderful celebration for Chinese New Year! Watch this video to learn more about Chinese culture and celebration of the Lunar New Year. Hear from many business owners in the Chinatown area. Master Dao appears at the 37 minute mark along with a couple of his students, Steven and Diana. You can join them and try a mini Shaolin Tai Chi class! Sun, 06 Feb 2022 09:45:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/try-a-mini-shaolin-tai-chi-class-with-master-dao-at-the-chinatown-bia-year-of-the-tiger-2022 Year of the Tiger Wisdom on Health and Prosperity https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/year-of-the-tiger-wisdom-on-health-and-prosperity Year of the Tiger Wisdom on Health and Prosperity Happy Chinese New Year 新年快乐! Wishing You Health and Vitality 身体健康! The Lunar New Year is one of the most important times of the year for the Chinese people and culture. It is a time to visit family and friends, wishing each other health and prosperity. 2022 is the year of the TIGER with the element of water. If you are born in 1926, 138, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, or 2010, you may be a tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac. Keep in mind that the Chinese calendar is based on a lunar calendar, so those born in January and February can consult a Chinese Calendar to confirm their animal sign. The tiger is the symbol of strength, courage, and toughness, and Tigers tend to be natural leaders who are adventurous and ambitious. They are considered the king of all beasts with a commitment to help others. With respect to the Shaolin Virtues, the tiger represents the Shaolin Virtue of PERSEVERANCE. Did you know Master Dao is Born in the Year of the Tiger? It is an especially auspicious year for Master Dao and for the STQI community as he celebrates many cycles of the Tiger. You may be able to guess Master Dao's age considering the Year of the Tiger comes every 12 years. Master Dao's Words of Wisdom for Year of the Tiger "Go after your health, for health will not come to you. Pounce on the opportunity now and aggressively maintain it your whole life." - Master Dao Master Dao explains: It is very difficult to prioritize your own mental and physical health when you have so many distractions in life. You get busy with work, family, school, or 'life' and suddenly you find there is a pain in your knees, hips, or back; or you have added extra weight that you don't want, or you find yourself getting sick often. Ultimately, you may find that you are not physically or mentally able to do the things you want to. What people don't realize is that physical health naturally degenerates as we age. We become less flexible, our muscle and bone density drop or our bone marrow dries up. If our physical health suffers, so too will our mental health. We have to actually make an effort each day if we want to physically and mentally upkeep ourselves and slow the process of aging. We must carefully spend time exercising, eating, and drinking according to our health goals, resting, and self-cultivating. I will often remind my students, "If you don't use it, you lose it.". This comes from ancient Shaolin wisdom. It is very expensive to maintain the body and you only have so much qi (energy). When you are not breathing well or you are stressed, your overall qi (energy) will drop. Your body then has to give something up. I've learned to master my body and mind through Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin Qigong, and Shaolin Meditation. It is the constant and daily practice of the Shaolin arts that will enable me to remain vibrant and robust even into my elderly years. The good news is that it's never too late. What works for myself and my students won't necessarily be right for you (or at this time!). So do not hesitate and go find exercises that you enjoy, and then think about how to transition your daily health practices into your life as you age. Tue, 01 Feb 2022 12:34:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/year-of-the-tiger-wisdom-on-health-and-prosperity Take Live Streaming Virtual Qigong and Tai Chi Classes with Master Dao from Anywhere in the World! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/take-live-streaming-virtual-qigong-and-tai-chi-classes-with-master-dao-from-anywhere-in-the-world Take Live Streaming Virtual Qigong and Tai Chi Classes with Master Dao from Anywhere in the World! You can learn authentic Shaolin Qigong and Shaolin Tai Chi from the comfort of your own home and from anywhere in the world! About Our Virtual Shaolin Qigong Classes What is Qigong? Shaolin Qigong is a type of health exercise to enhance energy awareness, cultivate energy, and circulate energy with particular attention to breathing techniques, movement, and stretching. By taking our Shaolin Qigong class each week, you'll learn and practice many qigong techniques and forms that will promote mental and physical health. We are offering both the Foundation and Intermediate Forms classes virtually. You can learn more about Qigong on our website here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-shaolin-qigong About Our Virtual Shaolin Tai Chi Classes What is Shaolin Tai Chi ? Shaolin Tai Chi is a type of health exercise that combines breath and soft martial movements for training vitality without overly exerting yourself. This is a healing art that involves interesting self-defence techniques. Learn how to open up, maintain, and heal specific joints and body parts, such as your hips, knees, and back. Learn and apply advanced Shaolin theory such as flowing the breath and improve your breathing techniques. You can learn more about Shaolin Tai Chi on our website here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-shaolin-tai-chi For more information about Shaolin Tai Chi classes, please click this link: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/classdetails/27 How Do Virtual Classes Work? Our intention is for you to be able to learn from a teacher as if you were at the school in-person. Taking a Virtual Class does not require much space as all the exercises are done in one spot. You will need a webcam along with a computer/phone/tablet that can run Zoom. You will be able to interact with your teacher and ask questions. Click here for our Virtual Guide for classes. This contains comprehensive resources for setting up your computer and environment. Where is the Schedule for the Virtual Classes? The schedule is listed in our Weekly Calendar. It will default to the current term, and you can choose to view the schedule for an upcoming or future term. This calendar will show both in-person classes at our school as well as virtual classes (you will see a Zoom icon for the classes available for virtual streaming). All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Can I Take Virtual Classes If I Already Attend In-Person at the School? Students who attend classes in-person may optionally attend a Virtual Class whenever he/she prefers (and vice versa). The same tokens are used whether it is in-person or virtual. How Do I Sign Up? Like all our programs, Shaolin Qigong and Shaolin Tai Chi are progressive, and you will need to take classes weekly for 14 weeks. During this time, your teacher will provide guidance and new weekly materials. You will need to purchase 14 tokens for each term and class. For instance if you wish to attend Qigong Foundation and Qigong Intermediate Forms once a week, then you will need a total of 28 tokens. The more tokens you purchase, the more discount you will receive. The annual STQI Membership (select 'Apply for Virtual Class Only Exemption') and uniform is optional for all students choosing to only take virtual classes. Click here for the main registration page. Select 'Buy In-Person Class Tokens' and then follow the instructions to choose the term and number of tokens. Mon, 17 Jan 2022 13:49:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/take-live-streaming-virtual-qigong-and-tai-chi-classes-with-master-dao-from-anywhere-in-the-world Interim Live Stream Zoom Classes Begin https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/interim-live-stream-zoom-classes-begin Interim Live Stream Zoom Classes Begin It's important to stay healthy and strong, and physical exercise is a great way to keep up our mental health. So let's start training together this Saturday! We are reverting to online live streaming classes on Zoom (Virtual Classes) while we wait for the 2022 T1 Winter Term to begin. It could be 2-3 weeks or longer.    How Virtual Classes Work Starting this Saturday, January 8, we are offering optional Live Streaming Online Classes with Master Dao. This includes Shaolin Kung Fu for adults and children, Shaolin Tai Chi, and Shaolin Qigong.   There is a reduced fee of $15/class + HST.  We've opened up the live streaming classes to any previous and current students (adults and children).  So this includes new students that have signed up and paid for tokens for the 2022 T1 Winter Term.  Once we go back to in-person classes, we will settle the bill and send you an invoice. Virtual Class Zoom Schedule Login at our website and click on 'Class Schedule' then 'Weekly Calendar' to see the classes available.  We are starting with the following classes and may add more if there is demand: Wednesdays Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation (Kids and Adults) at 6pmShaolin Kung Fu Forms (Kids and Adults) at 7pm Saturdays Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation (Kids and Adults) at 10amShaolin Kung Fu Forms (Kids and Adults) at 11am Sundays Shaolin Tai Chi at 1pmShaolin Qigong Foundation at 2pm How to Reserve a Spot and Get the Zoom Link Login at our website and click on 'Class Schedule' then 'Weekly Calendar' to see the classes available.  Click on the class you want and then click on the 'Reserve' button. The Zoom Link information will then be displayed. If for some reason the 'Reserve' button does not show up, and you are a previous or current student, please reply back to this email and let us know. What Happens to the 2022 T1 Winter Term We plan to resume in-person classes when schools are reopened. At this time, schools are set to reopen on January 17, so this may mean a 2-3 week delayed start for the 2022 T1 Winter Term.  We still plan to run a full 14 weeks of classes for the 2022 T1 Winter Term (plus a 1 week break for the March Break Camp) which means the 2022 T1 Winter Term will end sometime end of April or early May. This will help to greatly simplify our administration and accounting efforts. If the delay is more than 3 weeks, we will reduce the number of weeks for the 2022 T2 Summer Term and adjust the token prices accordingly. Thank You For Your Understanding and Support! We have been able to navigate through this pandemic and all signs are pointing to a final wave.  We appreciate all your support throughout this time and we must continue to persevere through it together. 加油! Jiāyóu! (Keep it up!) Tue, 04 Jan 2022 11:26:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/interim-live-stream-zoom-classes-begin 2022 T1 Winter Term Delayed for 2-3 Weeks https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2022-t1-winter-term-delayed-for-2-3-weeks 2022 T1 Winter Term Delayed for 2-3 Weeks As just announced this morning, the Ford government has decided to revert back to a modified stage 2 and we are forced to lockdown once again. While we don't agree with this decision for our school, the hospitalization ICU rates are escalating. We have no choice but to obey the orders.  What Happens to the 2022 T1 Winter Term We plan to resume in-person classes when schools are reopened. At this time, schools are set to reopen on January 17, so this may mean a 2-3 week delayed start for the 2022 T1 Winter Term.  We still plan to run a full 14 weeks of classes for the 2022 T1 Winter Term (plus a 1 week break for the March Break Camp) which means the 2022 T1 Winter Term will end sometime end of April or early May. This will help to greatly simplify our administration and accounting efforts. If the delay is more than 3 weeks, we will reduce the number of weeks for the 2022 T2 Summer Term and adjust the token prices accordingly. Live Streaming Online Classes Starting NEXT WEEK (January 10 onwards), we will be offering optional Live Streaming Online Classes with Master Dao on select days and times (schedule to be determined and announced in the next couple of days). There will be a reduced fee of $15/class + HST.  Any students (adults and children) that have purchased tokens for the 2022 T1 Winter Term will be able to reserve a spot and participate through Zoom.  Once we go back to in-person classes, we will settle the bill and send you an invoice. Thank You For Your Understanding and Support! We have been able to navigate through this pandemic and all signs are pointing to a final wave.  We appreciate all your support throughout this time and we must continue to persevere through it together.   加油! Jiāyóu! (Keep it up!) Mon, 03 Jan 2022 13:06:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2022-t1-winter-term-delayed-for-2-3-weeks 2022 T1 Winter Term Begins https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2022-t1-winter-term-begins Happy New Year! We are excited to begin the 2022 T1 Winter Term! Mental and physical health are both essential as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. We are determined to stay open and to continue offering classes.  Masks and vaccines work. We have shown our ability to maintain a safe environment where everyone wears a mask inside the school. If you have any cold or flu symptoms, please stay home and rest. The current self-isolation period has been reduced to 5 days after symptoms show (for those who are vaccinated). We now have over 100 students registered. That brings us to just under 50 spots left for the 2022 T1 Winter Term. If you have not yet registered please consider doing so soon. For those who have already registered, please set up your auto-reservations to ensure you are able to attend classes on your preferred day and time. Sun, 02 Jan 2022 14:44:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2022-t1-winter-term-begins Registration Begins for the 2022 T1 Winter Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/registration-begins-for-the-2022-t1-winter-term Registration Begins for the 2022 T1 Winter Term The 2022 T1 Winter Term begins on January 3 and runs until April 17 (14 weeks of classes). We have increased our student capacity and you now have the opportunity to join our classes! We also welcome back all of our students who have been taking a break during the pandemic. Herein you will find an update regarding the classes offered at our downtown school including Shaolin martial arts, qigong, and tai chi. Shaolin KIDS Kung Fu New Preschool Kids Class We have opened registration for Preschool Kung Fu classes for 3-5 years old! This class will be held on Saturdays from 10am to 11am, for the 2022 T1 Winter Term, from January 3 to April 17.  Masks will be required for all preschool students as recommended by Toronto Public Health.  There are 6 spots available, on a first come first serve basis. New Advanced Class with Sanda Chinese Boxing On Saturdays from 10am to 12pm, we will have a separate class for advanced children and youths under 16 years of age. Children will be have safe and controlled sparring drills along with appropriate gear, as well as flag exercises. These are students who have been training for at least a year and have started the Tongbiquan or the Yinshougun Staff form. Children are required to also attend the Foundation and Forms classes at other days and times during the week. Shaolin ADULT Kung Fu New Sanda Chinese Boxing Class A dedicated class for Adult Sanda Chinese Boxing (ages 13+)! It will be held on Wednesdays from 8pm to 9pm.  You must have at least started the Yinshougun Staff form and have attended at least two terms of classes. This is an enhancement class, which means Students are required to continue attending the Foundation and Forms classes each week.  This Sanda Chinese Boxing class will greatly enhance your practical experience, conditioning, and self-defence capability with safe and controlled sparring drills. This class requires you to take the Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation and Forms classes at least once a week. You will also need to have a full set of gear (head piece, chest protector, groin protector, shin guards, and gloves) which you can purchase from our website (while supplies last). Shaolin Tai Chi and Qigong Nourishing the Spleen The theme for this term is 'Nourishing the Spleen'. In Qigong Foundation class, students will practice awareness of qi and greatly enhance circulation with special emphasis on nourishing the spleen. Students taking the Qigong Intermediate II Forms class will additional work on exercises to improve awareness of the spleen, identify the energy nodes and acupoints along the Spleen Meridian, and learn to channel the Breath Qi for therapeutic applications. The Shaolin Tai Chi class will have extra emphasis on exercises that move the mid and lower core to further enhance circulation around the spleen organ. Tue, 07 Dec 2021 17:31:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/registration-begins-for-the-2022-t1-winter-term 2021 Fall Term is Now Full But You May Still Be Able to Get In https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2021-fall-term-is-now-full-but-you-may-still-be-able-to-get-in 2021 Fall Term is Now Full But You May Still Be Able to Get In Incredibly, we reached our target student base of 125 students by end of September, 4 weeks into the Fall Term. We still have room for some days and time slots but we're now requiring you to fill out an online form to request joining or returning to our school. This will ensure that our classes do not become overloaded and allows for a better quality of experience for everyone. Since reaching the target base, we've allowed another 15 students in, so now we're at 140 students. Students this term will be able to register first for the 2022 Winter Term (January to April), starting on November 6. We've raised our target student base to 150 students as we are anticipating adding more instructors to separate the advanced kids from the beginner and intermediates. We'll also be adding preschool kung fu classes in January. More information about the additions to our schedule for the 2022 Winter Term will be announced later this month (the classes and times will of the fall term will continue into the winter term). Wed, 03 Nov 2021 14:42:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2021-fall-term-is-now-full-but-you-may-still-be-able-to-get-in Spelunking at Warsaw Caves https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/spelunking-at-warsaw-caves Spelunking at Warsaw Caves On Saturday afternoon we plan a spelunking session at the Warsaw Caves. There are 7 naturally formed caves and some of them have an intricate network that connects them together. One of the caves go very deep into the ground and one of the caves is so cold that you can find snow and ice even during the hottest days of the summer. Overall, it is a very fun and safe experience. Here we are at one of the cave entrances. Children seem to have an advantage for some of the smaller tunnels deep in the ground! A headlamp is really necessary as you'll need to use all your hands and feet to climb. And there are some easier walk-through caves with a view from above. Wed, 03 Nov 2021 14:09:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/spelunking-at-warsaw-caves Hiking at Warsaw Caves https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/hiking-at-warsaw-caves Hiking at Warsaw Caves After lunch on Saturday, we organize a group hike at the Warsaw Caves. It is about 1.5 to 2hrs hike depending how much time we spend at various scenic locations. Here we are gathered at the entrance of the hiking route. The trails lead us to many rocky areas with small lookouts. There are also nice ponds and rivers along the way. There are some very impressive and unusual kettle formations formed over hundreds of years. It is believed that these kettles were created by harder granite stone swirled around by rivers and grinded on softer limestone rock. This is the prime scenic spot of the hiking trip. We're rewarded with a nice view for the effort of hiking together. Wed, 03 Nov 2021 13:41:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/hiking-at-warsaw-caves The 3 Days of Shaolin Fun and Fitness https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-3-days-of-shaolin-fun-and-fitness The 3 Days of Shaolin Fun and Fitness The Shaolin Fun and Fitness portion of the Shaolin Retreat runs on the weekend from Friday to Sunday and is intended for individuals and families. This is a time for students, parents, and guests to come together to have some fun and train outdoors in the wilderness. The three Shaolin Disciples of Master Shi Guo Song (Dao, Chuan, and Xin) form the main instruction team for the weekend. The day typically starts with Sunrise Qigong. Breathing, stretching, and qigong forms are practiced to help open up the body and support enhanced circulation. Combined with the gentle rays of the early morning sun, this popular activity is a great way to get the day started. Everyone pitches in to help around the camp site and to make breakfast. The food and ingredients for breakfast are all provided. Instructors help to run a class for the kids and we always begin with a short meditation to help focus on the training ahead. Stretching is an important part of our training and here we have the adult kung fu at the front, Shaolin Tai Chi at the back and to the right, and the kids kung fu at the back and to the left. We make good use of the common field! Stances help to develop willpower and foundational strength. It's one of the key training exercises we look forward to! Training outdoors with fresh air and qualified instructors makes the experience even better! Kids have fun training and learn to get stronger through our traditional training methods. Be sure to check out our other blogs on other activities that we do during the week! Wed, 03 Nov 2021 12:08:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-3-days-of-shaolin-fun-and-fitness The 3 Days of Meditation and Chan https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-3-days-of-meditation-and-chan The 3 Days of Meditation and Chan The meditation and philosophy portion of the Shaolin Retreat runs from Wednesday to Friday. The purpose of these 3 days is for people to find time for themselves and to learn how to apply the Shaolin Chan-Dao (zen) philosophy to find peace in their lives.Through guided meditation and philosophy with Master Dao, students work on the awareness of the ego-self, clarify and manage the perceptual layers of our minds, to develop the understanding of one's emotions and thoughts, and to connect to the subconscious. These are the Principles of Chan-Dao and we work on them to understand ourselves better, which in turn will help us to find peace. The day typically begins with Sunrise Qigong to get the blood and energy circulating, preparing the body and the mind for meditation and introspection exercises. No experience is necessary and Master Dao will teach students how to practice and develop the fundamentals of Shaolin Qigong which include breathing techniques, relaxing, awareness, and qi energy circulation. This is followed by a short meditation session, light philosophy, and a nutritious breakfast. Meditation exercises are practiced in a group tent to provide a more comfortable experience. After a short rest, we have several 20 minute sessions of guided meditation (still and moving exercises), stretching, philosophy, and contemplation exercises with introspection challenges. We also have group sharing discussions to help each other learn and grow. By noon, we have lunch together and then students are free to spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the wilderness and park facilities. Wed, 03 Nov 2021 12:06:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-3-days-of-meditation-and-chan Join Our New Ping Pong Club https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-our-new-ping-pong-club Join Our New Ping Pong Club We've started a ping pong club at our school! It's been a great addition to the available activities we have at our downtown Toronto school location. Also known as Table Tennis, Ping Pong is a great aerobic activity that improves cardio, focus, hand-eye coordination, and reaction. Shaolin Kung Fu compliments Ping Pong by improving stability, footwork, and power. The tables were donated by our students - thank you! On Thursdays, we have a free coaching night where students learn how to play and develop their techniques. On the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, we have open play for the students. For more information and how to join: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/store/viewproduct/9Xw0WibKlQWG Sun, 10 Oct 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/join-our-new-ping-pong-club Master Dao Talks About How to Boost Vitality on theZoomer https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-talks-about-how-to-boost-vitality-on-thezoomer Master Dao Talks About How to Boost Vitality on theZoomer Description from visiontv.ca website: Exercise is not just for the young, healthy or already fit; it is one of the best defences against the toughest aspects of aging. On this edition of theZoomer, Marissa Lennox hosts ONETV Fitness Stars and an expert in diet & nutrition to discuss how to get back on track and demonstrate fitness tips. Our guests: Anjelica Scannura, host of Anjelica’s 22 Minute Workout, Anjelica’s Dance Workout and the upcoming Anjelica’s Kettlebell Workout on ONETV Deborah Devine, host of Healing Yoga with Deborah Devine and the upcoming Healing Pilates on ONETV Master Shi Chang Dao, host of Shaolin Tai Chi on ONETV Diet and Nutrition Expert, Ciara Foy Hosted by Libby Znaimer and Marissa Lennox, theZoomer is a sharp, relevant and intelligent take on the world from a uniquely “Zoomer” aka “Boomer with Zip” point of view, airing Mondays at 10pm ET and Mondays to Fridays at 11pm ET on VisionTV. Source: https://www.visiontv.ca/videos/thezoomer-health-fitness/ Sat, 07 Aug 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-talks-about-how-to-boost-vitality-on-thezoomer We are Back To Training at our School https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/classes-moved-back-indoors We are Back To Training at our School We had a fun time training outdoors at Grange Park for a couple of weeks! With Step 3 of the Ontario Reopening, we've decided to move all our classes from Wednesdays to Saturdays back indoors at our downtown Toronto school. Classes on Tuesdays and Sundays will continue online through Zoom until the end of the Summer Term on August 15. Please remember that you will need to wear a mask while on the premises at all times. Food is not permitted and students can bring a light snack and water/fluids. Tue, 27 Jul 2021 08:11:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/classes-moved-back-indoors Summer Term Resumes Outdoors on July 5th! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/summer-term-resumes-outdoors-on-july-5th Summer Term Resumes Outdoors on July 5th! If you've been waiting for in-person classes to return, the wait is over and it's time to join us again! Our summer term continues on July 5th, Monday, with 6 weeks of classes remaining. Be sure to purchase tokens accordingly (we have provided 6 and 12 token options for this term). Most Classes Will Be Held Outdoors until August 15, Sunday All Shaolin Kung Fu and Shaolin Tai Chi classes from Wednesdays to Saturdays inclusive will be held outdoors at Grange Park. Please meet at the park rather than going to the school (unless you need a new uniform). Master Dao will be teaching all the outdoor Shaolin classes and adults and children will train at the same time (as we have been doing through Virtual Online Classes) while separated into two groups. Classes on Tuesdays and Sundays will continue through live virtual Zoom sessions. The times of ALL classes remain unchanged. Wudang classes on Mondays will continue outdoors. Please contact your teacher David Ballantyne for more information. Wing Chun will restart in September at the school. COVID-19 Regulations and Requirements Masks will not be required as we will be maintaining social distance of 3 metres. Our maximum group size is 25. In the Event of Rain... In the event of more than 5 minutes of rain during class, the class will be cancelled and tokens will be automatically returned. There will be no Zoom make up classes so you will need to reserve on another day to make use of the tokens (since tokens cannot be carried forward to a new term). If there is moderate to heavy rain within 2 hours of class, we will likely cancel the class. Please do not email us to enquire whether class is proceeding. Instead, please check the weekly schedule for the latest information. If the class is cancelled you will see a notice labelled "CLASS CANCELLED" under the scheduled class and highlighted in orange. How to Reserve a Spot for Class Be sure to reserve a spot ahead of time to guarantee your participation. We have a limit of 12 for each class. To reserve a spot for class, go to the weekly schedule and find the class as usual. If you have previously set up an auto-reserve for the Virtual Online Classes, you will now need to set up new auto-reserves for Wednesday to Saturday classes to ensure your spot is confirmed. When Will We Return to Indoor Classes? We will reopen the school for in-person classes for the Fall Term which will start on Monday, September 6. We are not anticipating requiring proof of vaccination as most people will have already had their 2nd dose. However, if for some reason you have not gotten your vaccine shot, we highly recommend that you do. Sat, 03 Jul 2021 10:08:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/summer-term-resumes-outdoors-on-july-5th Preview of On-Demand Online Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu Training https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/preview-of-on-demand-online-authentic-shaolin-kung-fu-training Preview of On-Demand Online Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu Training Only at LearnShaolin.com! Become a student of Master Dao and learn authentic Shaolin kung fu the way it is meant to be. A structured approach with motivating experience point system to unlock more content when you are ready. Thu, 01 Jul 2021 09:18:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/preview-of-on-demand-online-authentic-shaolin-kung-fu-training How to Deal with Anxiety https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-deal-with-anxiety How to Deal with Anxiety What is Anxiety? Anxiety is a feeling of 'worriness' resulting from uncertainty. Some major sources of anxiety are social (expectations and judgements from society, family, and friends), financial well-being, mental and physical well-being, and death. It doesn’t take much for anxiety to manifest and some suffer much worse than others. It can keep you up at night, make you feel stressed or nervous. It can lead to unwanted behaviours such as inability to take action or speak up, loss of appetite, biting your fingernails, taking drugs, and smoking. Anxiety is often related to fear but not always. Sometimes anxiety results from not knowing what to do in a situation and it may have nothing to do with fear. For example, you may not know how to solve a particular problem which creates frustration leading to anxiety. You may feel prolonged stress, sadness/depression, trauma, and many other emotions that persist and are not easily resolvable. When these feelings arise out of uncertainty, they will lead to anxiety. Note that anxiety is not the same as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Those who suffer from PTSD will relive a traumatic incident over and over again. PTSD will be addressed in a separate article. If you suffer from undue anxiety and feel you are misunderstood by others, then having them read this article may help them to understand you better. Examples of Situations that Lead to Anxiety You are currently unemployed and feel uncertain about your financial future You want to enter into a relationship with someone but you don’t know how he/she feels about you You don’t feel like you fit in with society and you don’t know why You feel you are misunderstood and have difficulty communicating with others You want to do well in school but you don’t know how to get higher grades You read or hear about crime and feel unsafe in your environment You have been bullied by other students or co-workers in the past and you don’t know how to deal with the bullies You want to appease others but their expectations are unrealistic You are interested in a meditation workshop but you don’t know what to expect Humility is the First Step The first step to combatting anxiety is to accept that you will continue to encounter situations that cause anxiety, and that this is normal for everyone. In other words, if someone tells you they don't experience anxiety then they are either not telling the truth or they are not aware they regularly experience some level of anxiety. All it takes is someone (or yourself) to question your actions or thoughts, or experience an event such as an epidemic to uproot your life. Consider that people will develop major anxiety at common stages of life: Baby / Toddler - New environments and learning to adapt Preschool - Away from parents and home for the first time; uncertain social behaviours and interaction Grade School - New environment and rules at school; uncertain parental expectations and social expectations High School - New environment; uncertainty about career choices and future expectations University/College - New environment; uncertainty about jobs, future well-being, and finding a partner Work - New environment; uncertainty about jobs, promotion, expectations, self-sufficiency Maturity - Uncertainty about family, health, retirement, and death It is important to understand that anxiety can be lessened to manageable levels but can never be eliminated. And if you are unable to manage your sources of anxiety then your anxiety levels will continue to rise over time. Some people manage anxiety better than others. Many people are not even aware they have it. Most people haven’t yet learned how to truly deal with it. Many are good at hiding their anxiety or good at avoiding to deal with it. You’re in luck because below you will find a clear approach to deal with your anxiety! Awareness is the Second Step Settle Down Find a quiet place for yourself and use whatever methods to help you stay calm. For example, you can listen to relaxing ambient music, use calming incense, etc. Stay away from consuming things that worsen anxiety such as caffeine, drugs, and alcohol. Developing awareness of every source of anxiety will take time. One of the best techniques for developing awareness is through meditation. With daily meditation, you can learn to settle your thoughts and emotions. When you can reach that state of peace and stillness then it will be much easier to discover your many sources of anxiety. Master Dao provides a clear definition of meditation with free meditation resources at his stqitoronto.com (Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute Toronto) website. He also provides on-demand online lessons at LearnShaolin.com for just $1 for 3 months. List Your Sources of Anxiety When you’ve settled down it’s time to get to work! Take the time to think about all your sources of anxiety (both strong and weak sources) and write them down. Specifically, what is the uncertainty? This way it becomes clearer to you what is causing a build up of anxiety. When you have your list set out, dig deeper into your earlier childhood memories and try to find more. Remember to breathe and relax - sometimes deeply buried memories may bring up strong emotions. These are often the most difficult ones to become aware of. They are there so take the time to look! You might not get all of them in the first pass and that’s okay! Spend as much time as you like here before moving on to the next step. When you have a good list of sources, go through them and try to rank them from strongest to weakest. We want to tackle the strongest ones first. The Difference Between Anxiety and Stress It is easy to get confused between stress and anxiety because they often appear together. Whereas stress comes from pressure to meet an expectation with an impending time limit, anxiety is a feeling resulting from uncertainty. When stress and anxiety appear together, it becomes a complicated and compounded issue that seems difficult to solve. By attaching an expectation with a time limit to above examples, we can see how stress can be an added layer of emotion: You are currently unemployed, feel uncertain your financial future, and collecting debt so you need the job now You want to enter into a relationship with someone, you don’t know how he/she feels about you, and you may lose the opportunity if someone else takes the initiative first You don’t feel like you fit in with society, you don’t know why, and you want to get out of feelings of loneliness right away You feel you are misunderstood, have difficulty communicating with others, and you want to feel (now) like you belong You want to do well in school, you don’t know how to get higher grades, and you feel like you need to get 100% on tomorrow’s exam You read or hear about crime, feel unsafe in your environment, and you need to go out tonight to meet up with your friends You have been bullied by other students or co-workers in the past, you don’t know how to deal with the bullies, and you have to go school or work today You want to appease others but their expectations are unrealistic, and you want to feel accepted (now) You are interested in a meditation workshop but you don’t know what to expect, and you are attending that workshop tonight By separating anxiety from stress, we can break up compounded emotions and see them as separate issues that you can then tackle individually. You have to determine what the best order is to do it and usually it’s better to remove the stress element first and tackle the anxiety after. For information about how to deal with stress, please read Master Dao’s article on How to Manage and Deal with Stress. Strive and Perseverance Is The Last Step Determine the Nature of Each Source By now you’ll have a good idea of where your anxiety is coming from. You now need to strive to understand it further by spending some time thinking about the nature of each source. Take the time to work on them one at a time and don’t rush through this process. Start with your strongest source of anxiety. Ask yourself the following questions: What do you desire or want that has led to feelings of anxiety? Does it come from yourself or is it pressure from someone else? The nature of a source is an attempt to classify and generalize the source of anxiety so that it becomes easier to manage. Here are some common examples of the nature of sources of anxiety for yourself or for others: Desiring material gain, wealth, or financial stability Desiring to meet an expectation Desiring a safer environment Desiring social acceptance or interaction Desiring mental well-being Desiring physical well-being Desiring entertainment or excitement Determine the Approach You now have a good understanding of what your desire is that is leading to anxiety. It is time to determine the approach to resolve it. Every source of anxiety has its unique approach. Everyone has experienced life differently and everyone is in a different circumstance (environmentally, financially, socially, physically, and mentally). That’s why there is no cookie-cutter answer. Determining the best approach requires you to contemplate the questions “Why?” and “How?”. That is, why do you have that particular desire? And what is your plan to achieve it or deal with it? We want to question whether the desires we have are still valid, relevant, and realistic. If they are, understanding how you are going to implement a plan to achieve it will then help reduce anxiety. You may not have all the answers immediately and that’s okay. It can take days or weeks to sort through your thoughts. As you gain experience thinking about each source of anxiety in this way, it will become easier to tackle them. By persevering and striving for resolution, you will be able to fully understand the underlying desire leading to each source of anxiety and how you are going to deal with it. More Help Is On the Way In the future, we will explore common sources of anxiety through this approach and continue to add to the Shàolín Chándào knowledge base. They will be listed here. Shàolín Chándào perspective: Anxiety is a communication mechanism that allows your subconscious to inform you (i.e. your consciousness) that there are layers of perception that need to be addressed. Embrace your anxiety by thinking things through, peel the layers of perceptions that don’t make sense anymore, and feel your spirit surge! Mon, 28 Jun 2021 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-deal-with-anxiety Learn How Master Dao Conquered His Anxiety https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-master-dao-conquered-his-anxiety Learn How Master Dao Conquered His Anxiety Did you know Master Dao suffered from anxiety most of his life? Biting fingernails, panic attacks, knotted chest, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, difficulty breathing, speech impairment - these are just some of the symptoms that he experienced since his childhood. Yet today you may never know he suffered from any anxiety given his calm and confident demeanor! How did Master Dao overcome his anxiety? And more importantly, how can you benefit from this? Find out ONLY AT the upcoming meditation workshop next week! To register for the meditation workshop and for more information: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-deal-with-anxiety-at-the-free-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-june-28-2021 Sat, 19 Jun 2021 08:45:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-master-dao-conquered-his-anxiety Kids Martial Arts Summer Camp Open for Registration August 16 to September 3, 2021 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/kids-martial-arts-summer-camp-open-for-registration-august-16-to-september-3-2021 Kids Martial Arts Summer Camp Open for Registration August 16 to September 3, 2021 We're pleased to announce that we will be hosting 3 weeks of kids day camp from August 16 to September 3. The week long camps are from Monday to Friday from 9am to 3:30pm. Master Dao and his team of competent and dedicated instructors will ensure an engaging, fun, and challenging time for everyone. This year we are focusing more on team leadership games and will be bringing back the Shaolin Wushu Festival, Shaolin Role Playing Game, and MUCH MUCH MORE! It's a secret and we plan to surprise the kids with the most incredible experience yet. We're also continuing to partner with May's Deli (one of the student's mom runs it) who provides the best food ever for any camp!! Rest assured that we will be following all the government regulations and protocols concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and day camps. That means regular cleaning, proper handing of food, assigning permanent seats, social distancing, etc. We will stay on top of the latest requirements and news to ensure a safe experience for everyone. For more information and to register, go to our EVENTS page and click on one of the camp weeks. Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/kids-martial-arts-summer-camp-open-for-registration-august-16-to-september-3-2021 Learn How to Deal with Anxiety at the FREE Worldwide Meditation Workshop on June 28, 2021 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-deal-with-anxiety-at-the-free-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-june-28-2021 Learn How to Deal with Anxiety at the FREE Worldwide Meditation Workshop on Monday, June 28, 2021 Master Dao will be conducting a free worldwide meditation workshop on June 28, Monday, from 7pm to 9pm EST (4pm to 6pm PST). Past participants have voted for the topic "Learning to Deal with Anxiety". Indeed, anxiety is something we have all experienced before and many of us continue to struggle from anxiety. What exactly is anxiety? Why does it exist? And how does Zen wisdom teach us to deal with it? Join us as Master Dao provides a clear approach to overcoming anxiety. In the last session, Master Dao spoke about 'Discipline' and how to get yourself organized. A blog has been written about it and you can view it here: How to Become More Disciplined. We keep a tally of all the votes and they will accumulate for the next meditation workshop. So be sure to cast your vote when you register! This Free Workshop is Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Practitioners This is an opportunity for you to learn about and experience meditation and Chan/Zen/Dao philosophy. Master Dao will make it easy for you to learn and practice ancient Shaolin meditation techniques, and to apply his wisdom of Shaolin Chan-Dao to deal with modern day issues and challenges. Indeed one can find plenty of information about meditation online. So much so that there is often conflict in meaning, leading to confusion about the practice, its origins, and the long-term goals of practice. Some people meditate because they are seeking peace. Some are seeking spiritual or religious connection. Why might you be interested? Come learn and open yourself to a modern interpretation of what meditation means in 2021 and how it can really benefit you and the people around you. You can get a head start on the sitting meditation techniques through our guide here: The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method Workshop Outline Introductions and Terminology Basic Meditation Techniques Meditation Sessions and Guidance Short Chan/Zen Philosophy Question and Answer About Master Dao Master Dao is 35th generation Shaolin Disciple who is actively spreading the traditional Shaolin teachings of kung fu martial arts, qigong, meditation, and Chan/Zen philosophy around the world. Since 2007 he has been training under the guidance of Shifu Guo Song, one of few authentic Shaolin monks left in the world. Master Dao is leading through example of these arts and has gained much experience through his school and students in Toronto, Canada and online students around the world including United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, India, Italy, Australia, Bahamas, and Costa Rica. This is a Live Stream Event You will need a Zoom account (free). A webcam may be required to ensure you are a real person (in case the event becomes full). We will email you the Zoom Link and Passcode 24 hours before the event. We will also send you instructions on how to prepare your environment for this workshop. Click here for registration and more information Mon, 31 May 2021 09:01:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-deal-with-anxiety-at-the-free-worldwide-meditation-workshop-on-june-28-2021 Master Dao Talks About How Shaolin Tai Chi Benefits the Mind and Body on CHIN Radio AM1540 | 91.9FM https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-talks-about-how-shaolin-tai-chi-benefits-the-mind-and-body-on-chin-radio-am1540-91.9fm Master Dao Talks About How Shaolin Tai Chi Benefits the Mind and Body on CHIN Radio AM1540 | 91.9FM Listen to the interview: Your browser does not support the audio element. Listen to Master Dao explain just why Shaolin Tai Chi is so great for the mind and body. He talks about how Shaolin Tai Chi compares with other forms of Tai Chi, how Shaolin Tai Chi is easier to learn, and how it is thematic and applies to different aspects of health. Master Dao further explains how is mother's passion to help people influenced his direction in life through Shaolin. Mon, 24 May 2021 11:45:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-talks-about-how-shaolin-tai-chi-benefits-the-mind-and-body-on-chin-radio-am1540-91.9fm Zoomer-Radio-Interview-With-Master-Dao-Shaolin-Tai-Chi https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/zoomer-radio-interview-with-master-dao-shaolin-tai-chi Master Dao Talks About Importance of Shaolin Tai Chi for Health on Zoomer Radio AM740 | 96.7FM Listen to the interview: Your browser does not support the audio element. Listen to Master Dao talk about why the new Shaolin Tai Show on OneTV (Get Fit) is important for mental and physical health, how it is easy to get into and learn, and how he got into the Shaolin arts many years ago. Mon, 24 May 2021 11:02:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/zoomer-radio-interview-with-master-dao-shaolin-tai-chi Free Shaolin Baduanjin Daily Practice for Stress Relief 22mins Easy to Follow! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/free-shaolin-baduanjin-daily-practice-for-stress-relief-22mins-easy-to-follow Shaolin Baduanjin Daily Practice for Stress Relief 22mins Easy to Follow! Start your day with Master Dao to practice soothing and relaxing qigong, and learn the qigong secrets of the ancient Shaolin tradition! In this complete class, you'll learn the basics of the Shaolin Baduanjin qigong form. There are no low stances or straining of your joints. Instead, focus on your breath, relaxing, and developing awareness of your mind, body, and spirit. This class will get you started in learning a progressive system of traditional Shaolin Qigong with a verifiable lineage that goes back over 1,500 years. If you would like to learn more through our online platform (on demand learning at your convenience!): www.learnshaolin.com Fri, 21 May 2021 11:51:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/free-shaolin-baduanjin-daily-practice-for-stress-relief-22mins-easy-to-follow Master Dao Teaches Shaolin Tai Chi on OneTV's New Television Program https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-teaches-shaolin-tai-chi-on-onetv-new-television-program Master Dao Teaches Shaolin Tai Chi on OneTV's New Television Program We're excited to announce that a new television program for learning Shaolin Tai Chi will be premiering this Monday on OneTV (One Get Fit TV). The show features Master Dao and his students who guide you through relaxed and flowy movements that anyone can do. Learn how to breathe better, engage your core, and heal faster. The station can be added or found in many packages on all major Canadian TV cable companies. For the month of May the channel is free! Fri, 14 May 2021 16:35:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-teaches-shaolin-tai-chi-on-onetv-new-television-program What is New for the 2021 Summer Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/whats-new-for-the-2021-summer-term What's New for the 2021 Summer Term! (Summer Term Begins May 3, 2021) This summer, we’ll learn how to apply ancient Shaolin Medicine wisdom in our Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong classes to improve the health of our kidneys. The kidneys are one of the vital organs of our body. If your kidneys are not doing well, you can experience many symptoms related to aging, joint pains, and physical deterioration. On the other hand, developing healthy kidneys will support enhanced stamina and vigor. The Kidney belongs to the Water Element and is about the essence of life. Eating and breathing well promotes the development of essence, and movement helps distribute essence in the body through the water circulatory system. We must learn to nourish the kidneys and make better lifestyle choices to support them if we want to live a fruitful life.   Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation Class Shaolin Kung Fu utilizes stomping techniques to build strength in the legs and to develop greater self defence capability. There is another reason - by stomping the feet, we sooth and stimulate the kidneys. We’ll be regularly practicing a Shaolin Spirit Form that physically promotes healthier kidneys. Forms Class We will continue to emphasize the stomping in all our forms and add iron body training to physically strengthen the kidneys. Many students have started the new Animal Spirit Group Form and we will endeavor to complete it in time for an end-of-summer performance (indoor or outdoor to be determined!). Shaolin Tai Chi Foundation and Forms Class We will learn about the lower core which houses the kidneys, and learn how to support them with gentle Shaolin Tai Chi exercises. We will enhance our breathing, relax the body, and learn to flow the breath qi through movements especially designed for the core and kidneys. Shaolin Qigong Foundation Class We will learn about the kidney organ and learn its importance in the body and with respect to qigong. We will promote rejuvenation by emphasizing qigong exercises that promote blood and breath qi to the kidneys. Intermediate Forms Class We will investigate the Kidney Meridian and learn how to support the kidneys through advanced qi flow and qi channeling techniques. We’ll learn how to identify the energy nodes along the Kidney Meridian and learn how to diagnose it using awareness skills, pulse readings, and tongue observations. We’ll apply qi flow and channeling techniques to the Xiaohongqigong, Yijinjing, and Shaolin Jinganggong forms. Sun, 02 May 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/whats-new-for-the-2021-summer-term Striving with a Virtual Martial Arts Kung Fu Performance https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/striving-with-a-virtual-martial-arts-kung-fu-performance Striving with a Virtual Martial Arts Kung Fu Performance STQI Students Sending an Inspiring Message to Strive It hasn't been easy transitioning to a virtual environment for training. Both students and teachers have had to adapt and learn. Our students have continued training during the winter and have been working hard to bring this virtual performance together for you. It's an effort to show that we can strive and maintain the connection of our community. In this performance, the children and adult students of the downtown Toronto school perform Shaolin kung fu together. It's a short summary showcasing various traditional Shaolin forms and how we've been able to strive to adapt and train throughout the pandemic. We hope you will continue to strive too! Fri, 30 Apr 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/striving-with-a-virtual-martial-arts-kung-fu-performance How to Become More Disciplined https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-become-more-disciplined How to Become More Disciplined Do you feel you need more discipline in your life? Not feeling like you are disciplined likely means you are feeling stress and anxiety. It is a common concern and perhaps this article will help you through it. What Does Being More Disciplined Mean? We need to first establish what being more disciplined means. To do that, let’s have a look at some common examples of how we use this word in the context of our day-to-day lives. I need to be more disciplined because I am not able to get things done on time. I need to be more disciplined because I do not feel like I'm getting enough done. I need to be more disciplined because I keep forgetting to do some things. I need to be more disciplined because I get distracted by things that are not as important. I need to be more disciplined because I get discouraged when thinking about doing it. What is in common in the examples above is an unexpected or uncontrollable negative result. In other words, you need to be more organized so that these things don't happen. There is a discipline of study and practice that deals with the issues of these examples - it’s called Project Management. This discipline arose from times of war and perhaps when you think of examples of highly disciplined people you may think of soldiers. They are trained not to get distracted, to follow orders, and to get things done as directed. At the top of the army chain are highly trained project managers who manage the successful outcomes of their project objectives. Many people have never studied project management and you’d be surprised to learn that it can be applied to your day-to-day life and teach you how to be organized and get things done. It is so important that perhaps it needs to be part of every education system! Thus, being more disciplined means being more organized and being able to complete your tasks. Let’s briefly explore Project Management to see how it can be of benefit to us. The Fundamentals of Project Management The subject of Project Management is quite broad in scope but at the heart of it is a universal ‘Truth Formula’: Scope = function of (Cost, Time, and Quality) From a project context, it means that how much you can do is dependent on how much money you spend, how much time is available, and what the quality objectives are. Cost Example: If you have more money then you can put more resources into the project and do more things, do them faster, and do them better. Time Example: If you have more time then you can handle bigger projects, reduce costs, and complete projects with higher-quality objectives. Quality Example: If you increase the quality objectives then you’ll need to reduce the effort, add more time, or reduce the cost. The best project managers will make their day-to-day project decisions and tradeoffs by using this formula.Applying Project Management to Our Day-to-Day Lives The Project Management Truth formula above isn’t very useful for our day-to-day lives, so let’s rephrase this formula for our own purposes and call it a Self-Discipline Truth Formula: Self-Discipline = function of (Qi, Time, and Willpower) Here the word ‘Self-Discipline’ is your capability to get things done. What we can accomplish is dependent on how much energy (Qi) we have, how much time is available, and our ability to focus, persevere, and strive. People who know me personally such as my family, friends, and students will often wonder “How does Master Dao get so much done all the time?” Well, here it is - Self-Discipline Truth Formula - the secret behind it all! The Components of Self-Discipline The components of the Self-Discipline Truth Formula show you how to improve your level of discipline in several ways: Qi - Specifically, this is about maintaining your Net Qi. Net Qi is beyond the scope of this article, and we will post a link to describe it more fully another time. For now, think about Net Qi as the amount of energy released in your body minus the energy consumed. Thus, if you can maintain a positive Net Qi throughout the day then you’ll have the energy you need to accomplish your tasks. Time - Think about ‘time’ in terms of your ability to track your tasks and whether the things you want to do are realistically achievable timewise. In other words, the better you can track what you want and need to do, the more you can do! That’s because you won’t lose sight of what needs to be done - if it’s in your face all the time and you learn to check it regularly throughout the day, then it will become very easy for you to decide how you want to spend your time and whether your current tasks are still achievable. Also, think about whether each task is still relevant. As your needs and desires change, some tasks that used to seem very important may no longer need to be done. I use a task list program that is synced to my computer and phone. I manage my priorities with the software and mark them done or add notes to help me manage them better. As new tasks arise, I can quickly check my task list to determine the priority of the new task and whether the other tasks can still be done in time. I am always reminded of what I need to do whether I’m at home, at school, or out on an errand. Willpower - This is your ability to overcome your emotions and carry through with a particular task as intended. The Shaolin Virtues of Perseverance, Strive, and Focus will help you to develop willpower. In the future, I will write about these virtues in-depth and then link them back here. For now, think about these virtues as follows: Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance - the willpower to continue even though it may be challenging Shaolin Virtue of Strive - the willpower to improve even though it may be discouraging Shaolin Virtue of Focus - the willpower to stay focused even though there are distractions Learn to Be Realistic and Humble Take the time and reflect upon your levels of energy, willpower, and habits. If you are not eating, sleeping, or managing your energy levels well, how can you get through all the things you want to? If you feel that sometimes you are lazy, complacent, or distracted with entertainment, how will you have time to get things done? You'll need to determine if your lifestyle suits what you want to do. If not, it's time to admit it and think about how to make those changes and lower your expectations of what you can do for now. Build it up slowly and realistically and communicate it to the people important around you. Still Feeling Undisciplined? If you feel you are able to get things done but still have the feeling that you need to be more disciplined, then it's time to look a little deeper for some answers. Take the time to meditate and find a quiet place to contemplate. Then ask yourself "Where does the idea that you are undisciplined or need more discipline come from? It's not easy to find all the answers and it will take time. When you uncover the source(s), it's time to accept the events in your life that led you to this point so that you can move on, feel happy about where you are now, and strive for more in the future. Summary Ultimately you get to decide what level of self-discipline is appropriate for you, and this will likely change as you journey through the events of your life. In the meantime, you can decide to strive and improve your level of self-discipline today. Consider to: > Develop a healthier lifestyle. Watch your physique, manage what you eat and drink, and ensure you are well-rested. > Meditate daily to develop your willpower to focus. Reflect on how to develop the other facets of willpower. > Write down everything you need to do on a piece of paper or with computer/phone software. > Look at your tasks every day or even several times a day. > Review the tasks and update their priorities and expectations according to your progress, relevance, energy, and health. > Consider adjusting your task list as new events unfold throughout the day that require your attention. After several weeks this will all become a habit and you’ll find it very rewarding. The question is, do you have the willpower to see it through? Shàolín Chándào perspective: 'Disciplined' and 'undisciplined' are man-made ideas resulting from judgments from others or yourself. Let go of these ideas because they are not real. What is real are your feelings of happiness and peace, so strive for these instead. Mon, 26 Apr 2021 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-become-more-disciplined Learn How to Become More Disciplined Through Our Free Meditation Workshop https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-become-more-disciplined-through-our-free-meditation-workshop Learn How to Become More Disciplined Through Our Free Meditation Workshop On April 26, 2021 at 7pm EST, Master Dao will be conducting a worldwide virtual meditation workshop. The topic as voted by the participants is "How to Become More Disciplined." Indeed many will feel that they need more discipline in their life. With so many things going it's easy to lose track of what you need to do. Master Dao will offer insights into the Shaolin Chan-Dao approach of tackling this subject and offer a clear and immediately useful approach for you to develop more discipline. For more information and to register, please click the link below: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/eventview/mu2gh9x49b Mon, 12 Apr 2021 19:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-become-more-disciplined-through-our-free-meditation-workshop Summer Term Registration Begins! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/summer-term-registration-begins Summer Term Registration & COVID Update Summer Term Begins May 3rd - Register Today with Confidence! Consider striving for greater health this summer! We hope you will join us for the summer term which runs from May 3 to August 15. There is a 1 week break from June 28 to July 4 and a total of 14 weeks of classes as usual. We added a lot of new content last term to many of our Shaolin classes, and the summer term will be a great way to learn new things and improve our techniques. We anticipate starting with Virtual Classes, then transitioning to outdoor classes at Grange Park (likely by late May), and finally back to indoor classes at our downtown location (likely by July). Please take note of schedule details and changes below before deciding how many tokens to purchase. For the Fall Term starting September, we expect all classes to resume indoors at our downtown school. We may be running fewer classes with a cap on number of students as we rebuild the school. Please note that Summer Term students will get priority registration in case classes do become full. Why You Will Want to Get the COVID Vaccine As Soon As Possible Vaccines have already shown to be highly effective in preventing COVID infection. We expect that the vaccines will become widely available to everyone in Ontario by July or sooner. A COVID vaccination certificate will likely be required by the government or many private institutions for any one who wants to participate in indoor activities. Therefore, please consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible! This also means we will likely be able to reopen our school for indoor classes sometime during the summer term (likely end of July or early August). Our Summer Term Plan We will be hosting classes (with some exceptions) at Grange Park when we are allowed to have more than 10 students. This will apply to all our classes including Shaolin, Wudang, and Wing Chun classes. With the Stay-at-Home Order enacted today, the earliest we will likely be able to train outdoors for Shaolin classes is end of May or early June (by early May, the order may be extended or they will start with smaller outdoor groups under 10 people). Wing Chun and Wudang will start earlier if allowed as long as the number of students is within the limits allowed. Because we have some students who require Virtual Classes (they train remotely or do not feel comfortable with in-person outdoor training until vaccines are widely available), there will be 2 guaranteed Virtual Class days - Tuesdays and Sundays. This means all the classes on these days will continue to be held virtually throughout the summer term. The best thing is that we are ensuring uninterrupted training throughout the summer term! You can count on Virtual Classes as a fall back. Summer Term Schedule We will continue the Summer Term with a similar schedule as the Winter Term. Please note a couple of changes: Shaolin Qigong Intermediate Forms II is moved to Tuesdays at 7pm to ensure that all Qigong classes will continue through Virtual Zoom sessions. Shaolin Kung Fu Foundation I & II has been removed on Tuesdays at 7pm. The 8pm Shaolin Kung Fu Forms I & II will remain. Wing Chun has returned and will be tentatively held on Thursdays at 7pm. The theme for Shaolin Qigong Intermediate Forms II class this summer will be 'Kidneys'. We will be exploring the functions of the kidney and why it's so important to nurture them, understand the energy nodes along those points, diagnose problems, read and interpret pulse, and learn to channel our qi into our kidney meridian to soothe or boost the organ. Kids Summer Camp We are expecting to run Kids Summer Camp at the downtown Toronto school in-person from August 16-20 and August 23 to 27 (Monday to Fridays from 9am to 3:30pm as usual). We may extend it to a 3rd week from August 30 to September 3) if there is demand for it. You can now register confidently for kids summer camp to ensure your spot. We will not be accepting payment until early July, unless the camp becomes full. If for any reason we are unable to run the camp then we will issue a full refund. Please click this link to go to our EVENTS PAGE and look for the summer camp events: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/school/events Fall Term Outlook By September, everyone will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. We expect to be able to run classes normally by then (and without having to wear masks indoors!). Please note that we may start with a limited number of classes and cap the students. As we rebuild the school in the coming months we will reopen more classes.  Fri, 09 Apr 2021 14:15:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/summer-term-registration-begins Great Start to the 2021 Winter Term https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/great-start-to-the-2021-winter-term Great Start to the 2021 Winter Term It's been an incredible start to the 2021 Winter Term. With over 50 students in our Virtual Classes, we can say that our school has managed to adapt to a virtual learning environment for martial arts kung fu, tai chi, and qigong. It's a lot of work and effort for everyone including teachers and students. We all have to learn new skills and setup our own training environment. BUT it's worth it! And in some ways, Virtual Classes are even better than in person! We are finding that students are learning faster than before and are more focused. It's also almost the same thing since the teacher-student connection is maintained. But you won't know or understand it until you try. Many students have been pleasantly surprised! With the constant changing of lockdowns to reopening, we've decided for now to continue running Virtual Classes until the end of the 2021 Winter Term (April 18, 2021). This means that there is also an opportunity for people around the world to join us for the remaining 7 weeks of the term. In early April, we will decide how to approach the Summer Term which runs from May to August. Master Dao advises: The pandemic is forcing great cultural changes. Learn to accept our new 'normal' and move on so you can strive for more in life. Or put another way, adapt and strive, or go against the tides and suffer. It's your choice. We hope you find your way to peace and acceptance. Mon, 22 Feb 2021 11:03:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/great-start-to-the-2021-winter-term The Pandemic Has Changed Our World and It Is Time To Find Peace With It https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-pandemic-has-changed-our-world-and-it-is-time-to-find-peace-with-it Still hoping things will go back to the way they were before the pandemic started? You may want to consider that our situation is now our new 'normal'. For many reasons COVID-19 does not appear to be a virus that we can eliminate, just like the common cold. The only thing we can really do is stay physically and mentally in shape - it's our best and only true defence to COVID-19 and also many other diseases including cancer. The government will shut down businesses on a whim as people are generally very scared of death from COVID-19. Take some quiet time to do some introspection about this and find acceptance in all this chaos. Perhaps you can then move on, adapt, and find peace. Embrace it and move forward! Sat, 20 Feb 2021 11:08:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-pandemic-has-changed-our-world-and-it-is-time-to-find-peace-with-it How to Manage and Deal with Stress https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-manage-and-deal-with-stress How to Manage and Deal with Stress What is Stress? Stress is an uncomfortable emotion that can accumulate and significantly drain your energy. Stress comes from pressure to meet an expectation and has an impending time limit. Too much stress can make you feel worn out, develop anxiety, and lose sleep. In this article, we attempt to apply the teachings of Chan-Dao to the idea of stress, in the hopes to help us clearly understand it and manage it better. Where Does Stress Come From? Your first step to solving stress is to become aware of the sources of expectations that cause stress. Below are some common examples: Your income needs to pay for all your bills but at the moment you are not able to break even. Your income needs to be high enough so you can save money for retirement. You need good grades to get a high-paying job to live comfortably. Your child needs a high-paying job so you don’t have to worry about his/her future well-being. You are starving and you need food and nutrition but lack the income and funds. You want a nicer car or house but lack the income and funds. Notice that in all these examples, the theme is money. Money is part of a system that enables an economy and the development of larger societies. It motivates people to earn money and contribute to society in exchange for survival and comfort. For example, we use money to purchase food and shelter. We also use money to pay taxes for a safer and healthier environment. Money [and the difference between what one desire and what one has], is therefore a common source of stress for people. Of course, there are many sources of stress that are not founded on money. If you need to prepare your home for a party with family or friends, you will feel more stressed as the gathering time approaches and there are things still to be done. Preparing for the meditation workshop and gathering my thoughts about stress is also a source of stress. I set the expectation of being able to publicly deliver this topic in a way that can help people through the teachings of Chan and the Dao, and there is a hard deadline for it. The meditation workshops I have been doing for almost two decades have been free. Am I doing this for money or am I trying to genuinely help people? You can decide. Is Stress a Bad Thing? Although we generally view stress as a bad thing, let’s now consider what would happen if we didn’t have stress. We’ll use the previous examples of stress and look at it differently: You are unable to pay all your bills but that’s okay because you’ll find a way eventually. You have no savings for retirement but that’s alright since there’s still lots of time to find a way. Your grades aren’t good enough right now but you can always retake a grade until you have better marks. Your child doesn’t have a high-paying job but it’s fine since you’ll be able to help your child out later. You are starving but somehow you’ll find a way to feed yourself another day. That nice car is out of reach at the moment and one day you can own it. In these examples, complacency has taken over. There is no motivation to do something about it now. Laziness breeds complacency, but stress overcomes complacency. Stress is meant to put you into action to strive and do something, thus stress also overcomes laziness. I Think I Understand Stress Now So How Do I Deal with It? The frequency and quality of meditation practice are the foundation for dealing with stress. As your ability to meditate improves, you’ll find it gets easier to quiet the mind and settle the heart (your emotions). This is now the best time for introspection, or what I call quiet contemplation. Recognizing what the expectations are and where they are coming from is the first step to relieving stress. Some sources of stress are not so obvious. It requires time and introspection to uncover. So think about all your sources of stress and write them out on your computer or on paper. What are all the expectations from your family, your friends, your society, your beliefs, and yourself? Which ones are important and why? Almost certainly, you will want or have the expectation of not ever feeling uncomfortably stressed. This is your key to making meditation and quiet contemplation your most important activities of each day. Perhaps some expectations can be discarded. For example, do you really need that nice car or an expensive house? Perhaps a fully functional car and a small cozy home with a lot less financial pressure would suffice? Are you trying to transfer your own expectations onto your family members? What if your family doesn’t want those expectations? Once you’re satisfied with the expectations you want to keep, it’s time to review what you are currently doing about each one to see if they are still realistic. Highlight all the ones that are not currently realistic and put them on top of your list. These are the ones causing you the most stress. You may not have all the answers now, but in this way, you’ll be able to spend your time in a more meaningful way to resolve them. This is perhaps the most direct approach to managing stress. It takes a lot of effort the first time to go through this process, but you’ll find it gets easier and faster to do. In order to be effective, you need to repeat this process daily. That’s because your expectations can change from day to day and moment to moment. You may also want to consider developing your skills so you become more efficient. Since we cannot change the amount of time available, and since sleep is important, you need to do things faster without sacrificing the quality of output. Take the time to think about the work, family, and personal tasks of your day and figure out how you can accomplish them faster while ensuring you have enough rest. Be careful not to multitask. Trying to do two things at the same will only mean doing them each more poorly. The Shaolin Virtue of Strive directs us to have the will to improve ourselves in every way possible. So strive to manage your stress and remember this always - the source of all stress is ultimately from yourself. You decide the appropriate level of stress for yourself, and with that, you decide which expectations are worth keeping. Shàolín Chándào perspective: Stress is not good or bad. It’s a mental mechanism that enables you to keep track of things that need to be done and enables communication between your subconscious and your consciousness. Use it to your advantage! Mon, 15 Feb 2021 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-manage-and-deal-with-stress Learn How to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Good Health https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-celebrate-chinese-new-year-with-good-health Learn How to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Good Health and a Special Shaolin Tai Chi Gentle Fist Demonstration by Master Dao Chinese New Year is an important time for Chinese people. We get together and celebrate with family and friends, and wish each other health and happiness. But what are people actually doing about their health? In this video, Master Dao offers some insights into what health means in the hopes that people will become more aware of their health goals now and in the long run. He then does a demonstration of a rare ancient Shaolin form called Shaolin Gentle Fist. It's the basis for the Shaolin Tai Chi classes we offer at our schools in-person or online. Sat, 13 Feb 2021 19:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/learn-how-to-celebrate-chinese-new-year-with-good-health Happy Chinese New Year From STQI Year of the Ox https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/happy-chinese-new-year-from-stqi-year-of-the-ox Happy Chinese New Year from STQI! Chinese New Year is as important to Chinese people (if not more!) as the New Year is for Canadians and many parts of the world. It is a time for family to gather, eats lots of food, and wish each other good health, fortune, and prosperity. We will say things like: Wish you happiness and prosperity! Gōng xǐ fā cái! (恭喜发财) Wishing you lots of energy and alertness! Lóngmǎ jīngshén! (龙马精神) Hoping everything goes well! Wànshì rúyì! (万事如意) May all your wishes come true! Xīn xiǎng shì chéng! (心想事成) May you have peace all year round! Suì suì píng’ān! (岁岁平安) Wishing you wide and plentiful financial sources! Cái yuán guǎng jìn! (财源广进) Kids love this time of year especially because they are given money in a red envelope by their parents and adults who are married. These would be family and close friends so be sure not to go around asking strangers! If you want to try following this tradition (because it's fun!), prepare a red envelope in advance with some money (any amount is a good amount!). Then direct your child to say: Wishing you happiness and prosperity! Please give me a red envelope! Gōngxǐ fācái, hóngbāo ná lái (恭喜发财,红包拿来)! Wishing you good health and prosperity for the Year of the Ox! Fri, 12 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/happy-chinese-new-year-from-stqi-year-of-the-ox How My Shaolin Kung Fu Training Helped Me Conquer Self-Doubt https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-my-shaolin-kung-fu-training-helped-me-conquer-self-doubt How My Shaolin Kung Fu Training Helped Me Conquer Self-Doubt Photo by Lukasz Duszak on Unsplash When I was 32 years old, I was filled with crippling self-doubt. I had no reason for feeling this way. Sure, I had been bullied in high school, but that was well over a decade ago. Still, I would go home every day ruminating about how I was unworthy of my blessings in life. Every night, I would lie in bed mouthing prophecies about how my girlfriend would leave me. When my relationship did end, I quickly decided I had to change something in my life. I told myself — somewhat naively — I needed to train in martial arts. I had to toughen up, and I wanted someone to beat the self-doubt out of me. I believed what the titular Kung Fu Panda had said in the first movie, “[The training] could never hurt more than it did every day of my life just being me.” — Po, Kung Fu Panda So in February of 2015, I signed up to the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute Downtown Toronto School and started training under Master Dao Shi, a 35th generation Shaolin disciple. I’m happy to report the kung fu training worked. While I have yet to start a new romantic relationship, virtually every other aspect of my life has improved. Within a few months of joining STQI, I found the confidence to negotiate for what I wanted at work and eventually changed employers when I felt it was right. I grew increasingly comfortable in leadership positions inside and outside of the office. I even became a natural public speaker. Here’s a picture of me emceeing a kung fu performance during the 2018 Toronto Chinatown Festival. I overcame my self-doubt not because I endured any military-style corporal punishment — Master Dao is actually quite easygoing — but because Shaolin training has changed my relationship with myself and the world at large. To learn more Andrew's experiences and the 'mindset changes' that worked for him, please go to the original post at Medium: https://medium.com/the-ascent/how-my-shaolin-kung-fu-training-helped-me-conquer-self-doubt-7f2b07e2ec9b Sun, 24 Jan 2021 08:52:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-my-shaolin-kung-fu-training-helped-me-conquer-self-doubt Master Shi Guosong Demonstrates Plum Blossom Fist Meihuaquan https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guosong-demonstrates-plum-blossom-fist-meihuaquan Master Shi Guosong Demonstrates Plum Blossom Fist Meihuaquan Here's an old video of Master Shi Guosong demonstrating the Plum Blossom Fist 梅花拳 (Méihuāquán). It was filmed at the Shaolin Temple in the early 1990s. Plum Blossom Fist is a particularly special form as it is a primary taolu training exercise for the guards at the Shaolin Temple. It requires years of proper traditional training to master, and features strong stances combined with athletic movements to deliver practical and powerful self-defence strikes. This form became famous due to it being announced as one of the Top 10 Shaolin Taolu Forms in 1997. As part of that announcement, Master Shi Guosong was selected as the Top Shaolin Kung Fu Master to represent it. Tue, 12 Jan 2021 17:09:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guosong-demonstrates-plum-blossom-fist-meihuaquan Master Dao Shi Performs Plum Blossom Broadsword Meihuadao https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-shi-performs-plum-blossom-broadsword-meihuadao-in-2017-at-the-chinatown-festival Master Dao Shi Performs Plum Blossom Broadsword Meihuadao The Plum Blossom Broadsword, or 梅花刀 Méihuādāo, is an exciting taolu form that demonstrates a certain mastery of Shaolin kung fu as it requires many elements of strict foundation jibengong training. It's a fast moving form with fast defense-based strikes. It requires great wrist strength and flexibility as well as athleticism. The broadsword weapon itself is the second key weapon of Shaolin (the staff or cudgel being the primary weapon). Master Dao performs the broadsword at the Chinatown Festival in 2017. Although this form is best performed with a wider area, he is still able to make the adjustments and demonstrate the essence of the broadsword. Tue, 12 Jan 2021 15:58:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-shi-performs-plum-blossom-broadsword-meihuadao-in-2017-at-the-chinatown-festival Master Shi Guogong and Master Dao Talk About Canadian Shaolin History on Fairchild TV https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guogong-and-master-dao-talk-about-canadian-shaolin-history-on-fairchild-tv Master Shi Guogong and Master Dao Talk About Canadian Shaolin History on Fairchild TV Watch this special Fairchild Television documentary on traditional Shaolin in Canada! It was filmed in 2015. Since it's in Mandarin Chinese, here's a quick summary of the content: Master Guosong talks about how he first established Shaolin in Canada. In the beginning he only had 3 students. It was important to teach student's properly through the traditional methods and first build their foundation. Students benefit not only from developing physical prowess, but also learn cultural virtues such as respect for the elders and self-discipline. Meanwhile, Master Guosong's amazing history of his life in Shaolin and coming to Canada is shown. Master Dao is also introduced as Master Guosong's key disciple and discusses his goals of helping his master in carrying on the traditions. Master Dao talks about the early challenges of training in Shaolin Kung Fu and then how he established the first school in downtown Toronto. Through his training and experience, he learned that the most valuable lessons are about mental development and qigong. Tue, 12 Jan 2021 10:45:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guogong-and-master-dao-talk-about-canadian-shaolin-history-on-fairchild-tv Master Shi Guosong Demontrates Small Flooding Fist Xiaohongquan https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guosong-demontrates-small-flooding-fist-xiaohongquan Master Shi Guosong Demontrates Small Flooding Fist Xiaohongquan Small Flooding Fist, or Xiǎohóngquán 小洪拳, is one of the top 10 Shaolin forms of all time. These form focuses on speed and short strikes to effectively defend oneself from all kinds of attacks. Master Shi Guosong demonstrates a gentle fist version of the form. Slow and relaxed movements generated from soft energetic qi coupled with powerful bursts of energy - it's mesmerizing to watch! Tue, 12 Jan 2021 10:19:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guosong-demontrates-small-flooding-fist-xiaohongquan Master Dao demonstrates Big Flooding Fist Dahongquan https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-demonstrates-big-flooding-fist-dahongquan Master Dao demonstrates Big Flooding Fist Dahongquan Big Flooding Fist, or Dàhóngquán 大洪拳, is one of the top 10 Shaolin forms of all time. It is meant to be a powerful form with damaging short strikes, quick movements, and athletic movements. Master Dao demonstrates the traditional form of Big Flooding Fist at the Chinatown Festival in 2017. Tue, 12 Jan 2021 09:24:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-dao-demonstrates-big-flooding-fist-dahongquan Impressive Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/impressive-shaolin-kung-fu-at-the-temple Impressive Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple In 2018 we had a school trip to the Shaolin Temple in China. We were trying to have an audience with the Abbott but their main Administrative Manager told us he was busy that day with a delegation from another country. But as a result we got treated to an impromptu performance and demonstration by the Shaolin Warriors there. Amongst the dazzling display of Shaolin Kung Fu, one of the Shaolin Warriors displayed an incredible technique and purposely fell backwards flat on his back from standing! There was a big thud and incredibly he did not appear phased at all. Mon, 11 Jan 2021 16:53:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/impressive-shaolin-kung-fu-at-the-temple Master Guosong Iron Qigong Demonstration at 14th World Congress https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-guosong-iron-qigong-demonstration-at-14th-world-congress Master Guosong Iron Qigong Demonstration at 14th World Congress Master Shi Guosong is the first to ever demonstrate hard qigong techniques in Canada. Watch as an early Master Dao cracks thick wooden dowels on Shifu Guosong's head, arms, belly, and legs. The early apprentice Dao had hair back then and was given that honour to swing the wooden dowels. Master Dao recalls, "These dowels were thick and made of fresh wood. I remember trying to hit my own arm with one. Not only did it not break, it began to swell badly. I'll never forget the feeling of stick as it broke on my master's belly. The impact was soft and the stick inexplicably exploded!". Indeed many people who demonstrate this use thinner and dried up wood so that it breaks easy. Not Master Guosong! After that demonstration, Master Guosong proceed to have random people punch his belly. A random gentleman who clearly knew martial arts came up and proceeded to do some strong side kicks into Master Guosong's side ribs without any effect. It's supposed to be a weak spot and the ribs should normally break easily! Instead, it was as if the kicking energy was absorbed. Finally, Master Guosong demonstrated the iron bar technique. After some mental qi preparation, he grabbed two iron bars and stacked them together. The audience was quiet in anticipation. He then proceeded to break them rather effortlessly on his head! The first in Canada no doubt to perform this high risk maneuver. Master Dao recalls, "I remember back stage when my master came off stage after the iron bar demonstration. I checked his head and it wasn't even pink! I was astonished. He then told me that with the advanced internal qigong training that I was undergoing, I would be able to do the same, and that it would take no less than 10 years of daily training. Time to persevere!" Master Dao adds, "After those 10 years of tough training, indeed I finally succeeded in learning how to use internal qigong to break iron bars. But the really amazing thing is that my master can actually break four stacked iron bars, a feat that I doubt anyone else in the world can do." Sat, 09 Jan 2021 09:20:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-guosong-iron-qigong-demonstration-at-14th-world-congress The Top 10 Shaolin Taolu Forms https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-top-10-shaolin-taolu-forms The Top 10 Shaolin Taolu Forms The rebuilding of the Shaolin Temple in the early 1980s was a slow process. New Shaolin Monks such as Master Dao's Shifu, Shifu Shi Guosong, had to undergo strict and tough training for many years to rebuild the martial art talent. By 1997, the Shaolin Temple was ready to announce its Shaolin Top 10 Taolu Forms. This was a special project declared by the Abbott to develop instructional videos for each of these Shaolin Top 10 Taolu Forms. The Shaolin Top 10 Taolu Forms are: 1. Small Flooding Fist (Xiǎohóngquán) 2. Big Flooding Fist (Dàhóngquán) 3. Through the Arms Fist (Tōngbìquán) 4. Lohan Fist (Luóhànquán) 5. Long Fist (Zhǎngquán) 6. Protect Heart Fist (Xīnyìménquán) 7. Seven Star Fist (Qīxīngquán) 8. Plum Blossom Fist (Méihuāquán) 9. Cannon Fist (Pàoquán) 10. Six Unifications Fist (Liùhéquán) The Abbott invited the top Shaolin Masters to participate and represent each of these Taolu Forms. Not surprisingly, our Shifu Shi Guosong, and the Chief Warrior Coach for the Shaolin Temple at the time, was selected. In the above photo, our Headmaster Shi Guo Song is representing the Plum Blossom Fist (释果松). It's also a really old photo and clearly Shifu Shi Guo Song always had that charm about him :) We hope this will inspire our students to continue to train hard and be part of our amazing heritage! Wed, 06 Jan 2021 10:30:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-top-10-shaolin-taolu-forms STQI Canada's 10th Anniversary Celebration with Kung Fu Performances https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/stqi-10th-anniversary-celebration-with-kung-fu-performances STQI Canada's 10th Anniversary Celebration with Kung Fu Performances STQI celebrated its 10th Anniversary on September 22, 2017. It marked a decade since Master Shi Guosong arrived in Canada in the hopes to spread traditional Shaolin culture and kung fu martial arts. Under the leadership of our very loved Master Shi Guosong, STQI expanded to several schools across Canada with over 700 students. His notable disciples, Shi Changdao, Shi Changchuan, Shi ChangZhi, and Shi Changxin, were all in attendance. Watch the incredible performances by many of the Markham school students and a few from the downtown Toronto school! Tue, 05 Jan 2021 16:10:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/stqi-10th-anniversary-celebration-with-kung-fu-performances The Seated Position of Seven Points Method Sitting Meditation https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-seated-position-of-seven-points-method-sitting-meditation The Seated Position of Seven Points Method Sitting Meditation These seated positions are some of the more common positions of the Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation. There are many different ways to be seated. Try these first to see if they will work for you. You can even lie down on your sides with one hand propping the head up and the other resting on the thigh. What is important is that you find what suits you best now. You can always work your way towards other seated positions. Cushion and Flooring Find something to sit comfortably on. There are many types of meditation pillows. The one shown here is called a Zafu pillow and it is filled with buckwheat hulls. It’s soft and malleable. You can move the buckwheat around to create the most comfortable seating arrangement. If you want additional seating height then you can fill it with more buckwheat or stack multiple pillows. If you are sitting on a chair, you can still sit on a cushion as it will help keep your back straight. Full Lotus The Full Lotus seated position is the best method for keeping the back naturally straight without requiring a cushion to elevate the torso. The disadvantage of this position is that it requires the most flexibility in the hip and knees. To get into this position, pull one foot and place it onto the other thigh. Then pull the other foot on the other thigh. Never force your legs into this position as it can lead to serious injury. Instead, work to it slowly by practicing the Half Lotus seated position. Half Lotus The Half Lotus seated position is a great method for keeping the back naturally straight although you will need to slightly elevate your torso by sitting on the edge of a cushion. This position requires some flexibility in the hip and knees. To get into this position, pull one foot and place it on the other thigh. It is good practice with both foot position as it will balance the flexibility in your legs. It this position is uncomfortable, you can try spreading your legs further apart and then slowly work them closer together over weeks and months. Cross-Legged The Cross-Legged seated position is another common method and is a good way to change things up when you are practicing multiple sessions. In order to keep your back straighter and avoiding back strain, you will need to elevate your torso by at least two to three inches or more, with a cushion. This position requires little flexibility in the hip and knees. It this position is still uncomfortable, you can use the Kneeling seated position. Kneeling The Kneeling seated position is good for those that lack hip flexibility, and is also good way to change things up when you are practicing multiple sessions. It’s easy to keep the back straight in this posiiton but will be a problem if you lack flexibility in the knees or ankles. You can make this position more comfortable by placing a pillow your shin and ankles. Tue, 05 Jan 2021 15:37:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-seated-position-of-seven-points-method-sitting-meditation The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-shaolin-seven-points-sitting-meditation-method The Shaolin Seven Points Sitting Meditation Method The traditional form of the Shaolin Sitting Meditation is a Still Meditation exercise. The goal of the exercise is to continually lessen mental activity. The 7 Points or Steps of Sitting Meditation are: 1. Seated Position 2. Straight Back 3. Shoulders Back and Chest Forward 4. Hand Position 5. Neck Straight and Head Levelled 6. Tongue on Roof of Mouth 7. Eyes Click the links above to view more details about each point. Not all details are available at this time, and we'll add more soon! When you have found a comfortable seated position, begin by counting the breaths with every breath in and breath out. When you reach ten, start over again at zero. Repeat until the mind becomes focused and calm. Tue, 05 Jan 2021 13:21:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-shaolin-seven-points-sitting-meditation-method The Secrets of Shaolin Eight Brocades Baduanjin Qigong https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-secrets-of-shaolin-eight-brocades-baduanjin-qigong The Secrets of Shaolin Eight Brocades Baduanjin Qigong The traditional form of the Eight Brocades Qigong is a Soft Moving Meditation exercise and sets the foundation for many other Shaolin qigong forms. It is with this form that the practitioner develops the awareness, experience, and understanding of the breath and qi energy moving in the body. Each movement shown here has a specific purpose in moving qi throughout the body. All of these are intended to develop a Net Qi Gain. This is an idea that one can release more energy in the body than used and distribute that energy evenly or as needed to boost one’s circulatory system. The better your blood circulation, the better each individual cell can function. One can also learn to relax the mind and the muscles. Instead of using the qi to assist in movement, one can essentially flow like water. When one learns to apply advanced qi flow techniques to this form, one will derive even greater benefits. It is only with continued and regular practice over many years can truly appreciate the beneficial power of this form. Download the free poster on Shaolin Baduanjin Qigong in PDF format here! Click here to try a 22-minute class with our YouTube video! Sun, 03 Jan 2021 10:04:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/the-secrets-of-shaolin-eight-brocades-baduanjin-qigong 2021 T1 Winter Term Classes Start January 4! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2021-t1-winter-term-classes-start-january-4 The 2021 T1 Winter Term Begins January 4, 2021 - Register for Shaolin Kung Fu, Qigong, and Tai Chi today! We're pleased to announce that the 2021 T1 Winter Term begins on Monday, January 4, 2021. The term will run the usual 14 weeks of classes until April 18, 2021. There are 15 weeks during this time and includes a 1 week break from February 22 to 28. Normally our classes are run in-person at our downtown Toronto school and our Mississauga locations. Since we are on a lockdown as of this article, we will be on our back Virtual Class schedule. What's New for 2021 T1 Winter Term! A lot of new and exciting improvements and content for this term! Below is a list of just some of these improvements and includes student resources and new learning content and for Shaolin Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Qigong. Shaolin Daoyingong Addition of Shaolin Daoyingong exercises to our Shaolin Tai Chi and Qigong classes. These are ancient yoga-like poses, stretches, and exercises that have evolved over 1,000 years. They were found in a painting in the 1970s and carbon-dated back to 168 BC! Since then they have evolved in Shaolin to specific exercises that can be done standing, sitting, and kneeling. New Yijinjing Movements and Variations Many new Yijinjing movement variations coming for our Shaolin Qigong Level 2 classes. The earliest documented book on Yijinjing is around 1,000 years old. Since Shaolin does not freely publish books, most of this knowledge must have been well before this time. It contains many photos and descriptions of poses that have no doubt also evolved from the famous Daoyintu painting from 168 BC. Emphasis on the Lung Meridian With great uncertainty regarding COVID-19, we need to continue to advance our practice to strengthen our lungs in all our classes of Shaolin Tai Chi, Qigong, and Kung Fu. We'll be looking into great detail on the Lung Meridian in our Shaolin Qigong Intermediate Forms class. Specifically we will learn to use qigong techniques to identify the Lung Meridian, diagnose it for problems, and move our energy through it to bolster and tame our qi.  Beginners to Qigong may take this class but everyone is required to attend at least one Shaolin Qigong Foundation class per week. New Shaolin Animal Spirit Taolu Form The spirit of animals is incorporated into many of our Shaolin exercises and taolu forms. For instance, in Wubuquan we use various animal hand postures including the snake and crane. In others we use the Tiger Palm. This term students will be learning a New Shaolin Animal Spirit taolu form in our Shaolin Kung Fu Forms classes for kids and adults. It will give students more experience and fun with Mantis, Tiger, Leopard, and Monkey hand postures. Please note that in order to learn this you will need to first master the Gongbu Zibengong form. Virtual Class Guide We've created a comprehensive Virtual Class Guide to help students with their Virtual Class setup. Covers topics such as webcam setup, computer setup, and training area setup. You can access the Virtual Class Guide by going to our website here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/virtual-online-class-guide Student Primer We've added a Student Primer guide to help students learn from their instructors. There are 3 videos that explain different sets of commands. You can use them to practice and make it easier and faster to learn! You can access this primer by going to our website here: https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/student-primer Discussion Forums Discussion Forums added for students which includes Instructor and Class Resources. You must a current student in order to gain access and you'll find it under the Student Resources menu item.  Students now have access to a printable Shaolin Stances Chart through the forums. We'll be adding a lot more content for Shaolin Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Qigong throughout the term! Fri, 01 Jan 2021 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/2021-t1-winter-term-classes-start-january-4 Approaching the New Year with Peace in Our Hearts https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/approaching-the-new-year-with-peace-in-our-hearts Approaching the New Year with Peace in Our Hearts Many people will reflect upon 2020 and decide it was a turbulent year. And as we look forward to 2021, there appears to be much uncertainty. For instance, we wonder if we will be able to conquer COVID-19. Will we be able to go back to our normal lives?  With such a drastic change to our livelihoods and having such great uncertainty, how can we make resolutions for the New Year? A Shaolin Chán-Dào Perspective When we hold onto something and lose it, we cannot help but suffer. The greater the hold, the greater the suffering. We can only speculate what will happen in 2021, but this is true for any year, any day, and any moment. By holding onto ideas such as, "I want to go back to how things were before COVID-19", or "I want COVID-19 to be eliminated this year", we create a "ball and chain" for our heart which prevents us from moving forward. And why does this happen? It's because without knowing it, we create a rule for ourselves. We create the rule that our happiness is tied to the resolution of COVID-19. If it doesn't happen, we feel pain and reminisce about the "good old days". As the days go by, there is more and more uncertainty, and we generate even greater fear of the unknown. How Can We Find Peace in Our Hearts This Year? To find greater peace for ourselves this year, we need to learn how to accept our reality. Take the time to discover the rules you have made for yourself. The best time to do this is after practicing meditation. As you discover each rule, contemplate why you are so attached to it. Ask questions such as: "Where does it come from?", "How will it affect me emotionally if it doesn't come true?", "Is it acceptable for me to feel that way?", and "If I didn't have this rule, would it change me positively?". By realizing your own rules and reflecting upon them, you will be able to figure out how to free your heart and enjoy what 2021 will bring.If you're looking for a New Year's resolution, perhaps consider making it a priority for yourself to meditate and reflect regularly. Thu, 31 Dec 2020 18:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/approaching-the-new-year-with-peace-in-our-hearts Implicit Movement Commands https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/implicit-movement-commands Implicit Movement Commands Some Movement Commands are implicit, meaning that if no body part is specified, it means move your entire body. Implicit Movement Commands usually include directions such as ‘move to your left’, or ‘step forward’. They are also in relation to the direction that you are supposed to be looking in. We can’t help but to keep looking at the display screen, so when you hear take a step forward and you’re in the middle of a kung fu form, then think about ‘forward’ in relation to where you are in that taolu form. Try an Implicit Movement Command exercise with this video: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 15:33:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/implicit-movement-commands Explicit Movement Commands https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/explicit-movement-commands Explicit Movement Commands Your teacher will often tell you to move a body part in a specific direction. This is called an Explicit Movement Command, or simply Movement Command. When your instructor gives you a Movement Command, ignore whether you are mirroring or following the instructor and instead focus on the body part and movement direction. For example, if I say raise your left hand, you’ll have to quickly raise the correct hand. Although that is an easier example, often there will be many commands and any confusion will make you fall behind quickly. Or, sometimes you might accidentally try to copy your teacher instead of following the Movement Command. I might also ask you to do a particular action to the left or right, forward or backward. This is in reference to the direction that you are looking. For example, if I might ask you to punch to your left, or turn to your right. This generally means 90 degrees in that direction. If I say turn around or look behind you, it means it is a 180 degree turn with the head or body. If I say do a right punch to the left, then you would turn your shoulder to the left and then punch with your right fist. Try an Explicit Movement Command exercise with this video: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 15:30:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/explicit-movement-commands To Mirror or to Follow https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/to-mirror-or-to-follow To Mirror or to Follow Understanding whether you are mirroring or following your instructor is very important to ensure you are doing things correctly. This is especially true if you are doing a taolu form in Shaolin Tai Chi or Shaolin Kung Fu. If at the beginning of an exercise your instructor is facing you, you’ll be more than likely expected to mirror the movements. For example, if the instructor wants you to raise your right hand, the instructor will raise his/her left hand. If your instructor starts an exercise facing to the left or right or away, you’ll be more than likely expected to follow the movements. In all likelihood, your teacher will clarify whether you should mirror or follow. Try a Mirror-or-Follow exercise with this video: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 15:11:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/to-mirror-or-to-follow How to Have a Great Training Space for Virtual Martial Arts and Qigong Classes https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-training-space-for-virtual-martial-arts-and-qigong-classes How to Have a Great Training Space for Virtual Martial Arts and Qigong Classes There is more to it than just simply choosing a room with space. Here are some tips we've gathered from experience of running Virtual Classes to help you select a room and space at home. Image credit: https://www.coachmag.co.uk/home-exercises/7572/the-best-home-exercises-for-all-levels Training Area Size Is the best training space the biggest available area in your home? You may be surprised that the answer is: probably not! If your space is too big and let’s say you are running around or doing front kicks back and forth, your instructor won’t be able to see you up close and therefore unable to give additional advice on your techniques. On the other hand, if your space is too small, your instructor won’t be able to see your whole body and therefore also unable to give you additional advice. Since many techniques have been adapted for Virtual Classes and designed to be in a small space, it’s better for you to do the same. The ideal size for Virtual Classes at STQI is 6x8’ of clear space although you can still do well with 6x6’ of cleared space. Master Dao only uses a space of 6x8’ to teach all his classes! You’ll also need some space for the webcam and computer/tablet setup. What if you have multiple family household members training at the same time? Ideally you each have separate web cameras and in a different space in the house (instead of using a larger room). Otherwise in a small space you can take turns doing each drill when more space is needed. Location You’ll want to consider a solid floor if you are doing Shaolin Kung Fu, so a basement or a garage location would work well. If you are doing Shaolin Tai Chi or Qigong then any location would do. Some other considerations include Internet connectivity if you are using wireless. The further you are away from the Wireless Router and the more walls and floors in between, the weaker your signal. You can pick up a Wireless Repeater to boost your signals or run an Ethernet cable to a computer for a strong connection. Privacy If you’re concerned about your privacy or perhaps you have a messy room that you are embarrassed for other people to see, first consider that no one really cares! Students will be focused on their training and who really has a perfect clean room all the time anyway? On the other hand, having a clean background will reduce distractions and make it easier for your instructor to see you as you train. All you need to do is set up a green screen. You can buy a green cloth as big as 10x30’ for around $50-$60 CAD. Hang it up with clips or buy a backdrop stand for around $60. Then set up your software to recognize the green screen and you can replace your background with anything you like! Flooring Hardwood / ceramic / cement flooring, rubber mat (similar to our puzzle mats at the school), and carpet are all good flooring options. Hardwood flooring provides a firm foundation but is a little harder on your knees and ankles when jumping and stomping. A rubber mat is a lot softer on your legs but causes more static in dry conditions and it might be hard to find a quality puzzle mat (our school mats were custom-made and imported from China!). Carpet is also soft but will wear down faster with heavier workouts. A softer flooring will be easier on your head when doing headstands and other acrobatic exercises. On the other hand, a hard floor will make you stronger! Whatever you choose, be sure to wear your Feiyue shoes as they will give you more gripping on the flooring surface you use and offer more protection. Lighting Make sure your room is brightly lit with ambient lighting. Don’t rely on windows because many classes are held in the evenings or when it’s dark outside. Some webcams won’t work well in low-light, creating a lot of ‘image noise’, and have to do more video processing to brighten your video. This slows down your computer and may cause video stuttering and glitches. Spot lighting from the ceiling will create dark shadows making it more difficult for your instructor to see details. To make your room brighter you can change out your ceiling light bulbs with brighter LED bulbs, or change your ceiling fixture to one that supports more bulbs. Alternatively, you can get lighting that points upward to create a stronger ambient light. If you want to be really fancy, you can get multiple continuous lights to shine on you and place them in a way to prevent harsh shadows. Distractions It’s best to find a room with less distractions or put the distractions away. For instance, if there are a lot of toys around then a child might keep looking at them and want to play with them! Another thing to consider is to set up the webcam and display from a direction where there is less distraction. Airflow and temperature Find a place where the temperature can be regulated. If you’re planning to train in a garage, you’ll need a good space heater to warm it up an hour in advance. Using a fan is a great way to ensure some airflow. Not only will it cool you, it will also circulate your training space to ensure you get fresher air. Wed, 30 Dec 2020 11:53:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-training-space-for-virtual-martial-arts-and-qigong-classes What is the Shaolin Meditation Discipline https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-shaolin-meditation-discipline What is Shaolin Meditation? Shaolin Meditation is a discipline that stems from a philosophy called Chán 禪 (pronounced 'Ch - ah - n' in Mandarin Chinese with a rising tone). It’s well over 1,500 years old and was initially conceived by an Indian prince named Bodhidharma who first established Chán at the Shaolin Temple in Central North China around 500 AD. Since then, the ideas of Zen have evolved a little differently all over the world. The word Chán 禪 is more commonly known as Zen and is derived from the word 'dhyāna' in Hinduism and Buddhism. A quick linguistics investigation reveals the word comes from the Sanskrit root word 'dhyai', which means 'to contemplate or meditate'. Thus you could say the word Chán 禪 is a philosophy that requires the practice of meditation. That is, it's not Chán or Zen without meditation practice. But when asked what Chán 禪 means, a Chán 禪 Master, would more than likely skirt around a precise definition. That's because its meaning to an individual evolves with time and practice. That’s also why some Zen Masters may tell you that Chán 禪 means wisdom. So what is the goal of the Shaolin Meditation Discipline? How can it help and is it important? The vision of the Shaolin Meditation Discipline is to teach Self-Wisdom, and this is what Chan-Dao is all about. Self-Wisdom is about you understanding yourself, the reality and environment you are in, and your interactions. There are three main parts of Self-Wisdom:  1) The Principles of Chan-Dao Self-Wisdom - helps people to understand themselves better by reflecting upon 4 different and interrelated ideas,2) Shaolin Virtues - provides philosophical guidance that is easy to understand and test,3) Meditation Techniques - helps students with techniques to practice stillness and introspection. There are four key components to the Principles of Chan-Dao Self-Wisdom: 1) Ego-Self, 2) Perceptions, 3) Emotions, and 4) Subconscious. You can find a summary here: The Principles of Chan-Dao Self-Wisdom. The Shaolin Virtues is a system of guidance to help people make better decisions for themselves. They include the Shaolin Virtues of Focus, Perseverance, Strive, Respect, Compassion, and Leadership. Wisdom is already built-in to these virtues, so people can follow them and use them to easily learn wisdom for themselves. A link will be provided here when we have more articles about the Shaolin Virtues.There are many Meditation Techniques that can be used to help students quiet their mind and find peace and stillness. The most obvious one is what I call Silent Sitting Meditation; however, it’s actually not the best place to start for most people. It’s at least worth trying to give you more perspective and experience. Do you consider yourself emotional? Do you get distracted a lot? Do you find that sitting alone in silence is scary? If so, Silent Sitting Meditation may not be the best technique at this time. What you need is more mental stimulation and thus a form of Moving Meditation is better. The spectrum of Shaolin Meditation techniques is quite broad. Here is one way that I like to classify them: Still Meditation Techniques: Silent Sitting Meditation, Silent Standing Meditation (Lotus Posture or other Still Postures)Light Moving Meditation Techniques: Walking Meditation, Quiet Contemplation, Sitting or Standing Meditation with Music Soft Moving Meditation Techniques: Shaolin Qigong such as the Eight Brocades Baduanjin Qigong form Heavy Moving Meditation Techniques: Shaolin Tai Chi, Shaolin Kung Fu These all have their own merits. Heavy Moving Meditation requires the most mental and physical effort, which makes it unlikely for you to get distracted by your daily life and problems. In Shaolin tradition, Heavy Moving Meditation techniques are used, and the philosophical ideals of Zen are built-in. For that reason it is one of the best places to start for many students. Soft Moving Meditation techniques is also a great place to start since it works on breath, qi, and movement. This results in more energy and control of your energy, and is a great way to complement lighter forms of meditation techniques. Light moving Meditation techniques are commonly found in other Meditation Disciplines. Calm music is used as a way to lightly stimulate the mind and level emotions, preparing one for deeper meditation practice. Still Meditation Techniques are the toughest and considered the ‘deepest’ forms of meditation techniques because the aim is to have 'no thoughts' entering your mind. It’s beyond the scope of this article to talk about what ‘deepest’ means and why. It’s worth mentioning though that the aim of ‘no thoughts’ is very difficult to achieve, and that it is important to have a teacher to help you understand what that means and how to get there. Tue, 29 Dec 2020 21:01:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-shaolin-meditation-discipline What is Meditation? https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-meditation What is Meditation? Perhaps the most confusing thing about meditation today is that the word is being used for many different ideas, and sometimes these ideas will conflict. Can someone be considered meditating if he/she is standing, moving slowly, or moving quickly? That is, does meditation have to be done sitting still? What if there is music or what if it is silent? Some people view meditation as a way to achieve some mental benefits such as reducing stress. Some look at it as a way to connect to a God. Some think of it as a way to achieve a spiritual connection with oneself. Whatever it is, it’s probably not wrong. However, in today’s modern world, the word meditation has become much broader in scope. It’s no longer a specific thing, but rather a discipline that involves many ideas and practices. Meditation is therefore better understood if we define it as a discipline. There are many disciplines of meditation such as Shaolin Meditation, Buddhist Meditation, Yogic Meditation, Tibetan Meditation, etc. You may also consider religious praying to be a form of meditation. Different disciplines of meditation will have different goals, theories, and techniques, and often they will conflict with other disciplines. It’s important to understand what those goals are to determine if it’s the right fit for you. You might even find one discipline of meditation speaks more to you now, and that it might change to another over time. What's important is that your choice of meditation discipline is helping you to learn and grow. On the other hand, if you find that your practice is becoming stagnant, and you've exhausted your resources for improvement, then perhaps it is time to look for a new teacher or switch to another discipline. Tue, 29 Dec 2020 21:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/what-is-meditation How to Have a Great Internet Connection for Virtual Classes https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-internet-connection-for-virtual-classes How to Have a Great Internet Connection for Virtual Martial Arts and Qigong Classes A great Internet connection is absolutely necessary for Virtual Classes to ensure video quality, video smoothness, and audio quality. However, technology is so complicated these days and it’s easy to encounter problems or get tricked. We hope this guide will help you to understand the Internet service you need and how to optimize the Internet to your computer, tablet, or phone. The Video You See of Yourself is Likely Different... The video that you see of yourself is coming directly from the webcam, so the video will always look smooth regardless of your Internet connection. Your video still has to transmit to your local network and router, and then through the Internet and reach the teacher or students. If there are any issues, your video will look choppy without you even knowing. This is why it’s important to ensure there are no hiccups on your end and ensure you have a good Internet setup. Fast Internet Service Provider Choosing a good Internet Service Provider isn’t that simple. Here we’ll explore the number of options you will need to consider. Connection Type This will depend on the network infrastructure available to your area. In order of preference, you will want: 1) Fibre, 2) DSL or Cable, 3) Cell Phone Internet. Fibre optics is the fastest type of Internet connection but it’s not available everywhere. On top of that, you’ll have major Internet providers claiming you are getting Fibre Internet service but then only give you a cable or telephone connection (which is still faster and more stable than Internet delivered through telephone poles). Ideally you’ll want a direct Fibre hookup from the street right to your home. You’ll know you are getting this if you have Modem/Router designed specifically for Fibre and will have a special Fibre Optics port. DSL is generally faster than Cable because it is generally not shared with other homes. Cable Internet is notorious for having a shared Internet bandwidth with hundreds of other users, which means if there are a lot of people downloading and watching videos at the same time then your Internet will suffer. Having said that, there are a lot of DSL providers that are also shared. It’s best to ask your chosen provider to clarify this. On the other hand, DSL bandwidths are often limited because it relies on the quality of the telephone lines. In many older areas, the telephone lines are degrading and you may only get a fraction of the promised bandwidth and still have to pay full price. Cable has higher bandwidth potential than DSL so if you are lucky to be in an area with fewer people using the Internet then you can potentially reach much higher speeds than DSL. One advantage of Cable over DSL is the stability of the connection. Most cellular networks provide Internet services and 4G is one of the latest and fastest available in Canada. There are even faster technologies coming so watch out for those! Using the Internet through 4G for streaming is really not ideal and highly discouraged. There are usually data limits and it gets very expensive for additional data usage. Even if you have an ‘unlimited data’ plan, the cellular network will limit your speed once you hit a certain amount of bandwidth usage. This is usually hidden in some small text or hard to read area of your contract. Having said that, it could be fun if you wanted to have a Virtual Class from a park. Internet Service Type and Speed Another major factor to consider for your Internet is the type of service. Many providers advertise high download speeds but it’s the upload speed that you need to shop for. Your Internet Bandwidth includes both download and upload speed and may be limited by factors such as a poor line quality and shared usage. Internet speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Generally anything higher than 5 Mbps is sufficient for watching live stream HD video but you’ll need a minimum of 5 Mbps if you want your own video to be streamed in HD quality to others. This is where the pricing in the packages really differ. Contact your chosen provider to clarify your existing package and get a better ‘upstream’ service. Keep in mind that if you want to watch 4K videos or stream in 4K, you’ll need 25 Mbps download and upload! Shared Internet Adjustment If your Internet is shared amongst other household members, you’ll want to err on the side of more Internet Bandwidth. Otherwise you’re going to have to negotiate Internet usage to avoid streaming video quality problems. Network Connection and the Router/Modem/Hub One of the hardest things to understand even for techies is how the whole Internet connection works between you, your device, your Internet service provider, and your host (or students). We’ll loosely call this entire link the Network Infrastructure. How Does the Network Infrastructure All Work? The main thing you need to know is that your device accesses the Internet from another computer called a Router or Internet Modem. That Internet Modem is responsible for exchanging data to and from your Internet Provider. Your Internet Provider then talks to another Internet Provider which then connects you to the host or students, all through an Information Highway that is usually built with Fibre Optic cables. This Information Highway is connected all over the world through Servers and yet even more Fibre Optic cables (and where no Fibre Optics are available yet, it extends through telephone wires and television cables). As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong and cause a disruption to your Virtual Class. At our downtown Toronto STQI school, we were using DSL service which promised 10Mps download and 6 Mps upload. In reality we were getting 6 Mps download and only 2 Mps upload. When we asked the Internet Provider to investigate, they discovered the telephone wires from their network hub to our building were degenerating, causing instability and crashing our Internet Modem. The usable bandwidth of the telephone wires were greatly reduced, and as the lines continued to degenerate, the speeds continued to drop. Finally we found another Internet Provider that had a solid Fibre Optic connection to the terminal outside our building. From there they ran a telephone wire to our Internet Modem. We didn’t get the full Fibre Optic speeds but it was stable and we were still able to get 25Mps download and upload speeds. Wi-fi vs Ethernet Wi-fi is a convenient way to connect to your Internet Modem but there are many inherent problems. For example, If you are using wi-fi, the placement of your Internet Modem or Router is important. Ideally it is placed within plain sight so you can get the best signal. If there are many walls in between or it is on another floor, then the signal strength will be much weaker and therefore limit your Internet speed. There may even be interference from other electrical devices and appliances. You can get a Wi-fi extender and strategically place them to extend your coverage and signal strength. However, these are not always easy to set up and sometimes there are incompatibility problems. Wi-fi is also limited in its bandwidth. It can’t nearly transmit as much data as that through an Ethernet cable. If you have your TV hooked up to Netflix and are watching 4K video, you’ll find that some areas of your video are not very sharp. That’s because your TV cannot get all the streamed data in time. Therefore we highly recommend you connect through an Ethernet cable. This is usually not possible on tablets and phones. There are some third-party tools you can find that may allow you to hook up to an Ethernet cable but for all the troubles you might as well just use a laptop or a desktop computer. Internet Modem or Router If you have a fast Internet service, make sure the Internet Modem you are using is compatible and configured properly. Your Internet Provider will be able to tell which modems are supported for the optimal configuration and speeds. Wed, 23 Dec 2020 17:07:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-internet-connection-for-virtual-classes How to Have a Great Webcam Setup for Virtual Classes https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-webcam-setup-for-virtual-classes How to Have a Great Webcam Setup for Virtual Martial Arts and Qigong Classes Any webcam can get you started on Virtual Classes, but have you thought about the ideal setup? Here are some things to consider if you are looking to buy or upgrade a webcam. Field of View Perhaps the most important feature is the Field of View or Viewing Angle. This is the viewable area that can be captured by the camera and for students, it's important to show your whole body so that your teacher can give you the best instructions. Meanwhile teachers need to be able to effectively show the whole body so the student can learn better.The ideal Viewing Angle will depend on how far away you are from the computer screen and your height. Ideally, it needs to cover your whole body from your feet to your hands (with your arms straight up). At 5’6” tall, an 80 Degree Viewing Angle is sufficient if you are training 10’ away (there would be a slight clippage of your hands or feet so training a little further away at 11’ to 12’ is better). If you are 9’ to 10’ away then you’ll need a 90 Degree Viewing Angle. You can be as close as 6’ to 8’ with a 100+ Degree Viewing Angle. Video Resolution An HD or 1080p (High-Definition) camera will have a 2 Megapixel sensor giving you a capture resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and 30 frames per second. This is pretty standard today although some models will say HD but then only give you 720p (1280x720 pixels). 720p is still sufficient for training but a lot less detail is captured. Most older laptops with a built-in webcam are probably 720p. The advantage of 720p is that it takes less Internet bandwidth to transmit, so if you have a slower Internet connection then 720p would be ideal. A 4K camera would probably be overkill for Virtual Classes and will require much greater bandwidth to transmit (and receive). Microphone Audio quality is important for the teacher who needs to speak frequently. The clearer and crisper the voice, the better to hear and interpret. A poor microphone delivers audio that requires extra interpretation by the brain which can actually make you feel more tired. Many webcams on the market today have a built-in microphone. Make sure you buy one with Noise Cancelling so that ambient (low-frequency) noise is automatically removed, giving you clearer speech. Some webcams come with stereo microphones (i.e. has 2 microphones - one for the left channel and one for the right channel). It’s not that useful for voice but your sound will be more natural. For teachers: you'll ideally want to have a separate microphone that can deliver good quality sound even from a distance. Except to shell out around $100 for a good microphone.Low Light Quality The quality of the video capture in low-light conditions is really where the difference is in the price of webcams. Most webcams under lower light conditions will generate a poor image/video quality with lots of ‘image noise’ when brightened. If you have a lot of ambient light in your room then this won’t be much of an issue. A webcam designed to handle low-light will have an upgraded sensor and/or higher aperture lens at F2.0 or lower. Teachers will want a webcam that can handle low-light. It gives a much better picture and looks more professional overall. Auto-Focus Auto-focus is necessary if you have a high aperture lens (e.g. at F2.0) because those lenses will create a blurry background when focusing on you up close. Auto-Focus isn’t all that necessary for students unless you need to constantly go up close to the camera to show some particular detail of your hands for example. You don’t want to have to keep fiddling with manual focus controls. Teachers will want the Auto-Focus feature as likely there is a frequent need to show up-close details. Built-in Ring Light Some webcams come with a ring light built-in. The light is not that bright but is useful if you are within 3’ of the webcam. For training purposes it’s not going to be much use. It’s better to invest into room lighting. Adaptability, Compatibility, and Portability Being able to move and connect the camera to different computers is a nice feature especially if you are travelling a lot and want to be able to borrow someone else’s computer or switch from a desktop computer o a laptop. This is pretty standard today and most modern webcams use a USB connection and are compatible with PC and Mac. The ability to position the camera however is pretty important. A good webcam can be placed on a table or clipped onto a display screen or laptop. One feature that is often missed out is the ability to connect the webcam to a tripod. This usually means it has a hole at the bottom with a ‘1/4-20 UNC thread’ (the standard for webcams and webcam stands). Adjustable/Flexible Camera Stand An Adjustable or Flexible Camera Stand is a must for teachers and highly recommended for students. It has a ‘gooseneck arm’ that enables you to easily position the camera anywhere. It comes with a desk mount clamp so you can secure it on most tables. Some Flexible Camera Stands also come with an LED ring light on a separate ‘gooseneck arm’ which can considerably improve your image quality. You can also consider a tripod but it may tip easily or require more space to setup. Wed, 23 Dec 2020 10:14:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-webcam-setup-for-virtual-classes How to Have a Great Computer Setup for Virtual Classes https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-computer-setup-for-virtual-classes How to Have a Great Computer Setup for Virtual Classes You are excited to start Virtual Classes and you’re in need of some tech tips on your computer setup. This guide is for you! The Computer - desktop / laptop / television / tablet / projector / cellphone The first thing you will want to consider is what screen and computer you want to use. Certainly it will need to be compatible with the Virtual Meeting Software you want to use. Look up your software provider details to find out what kind of computer or devices it supports. Most common software will support Windows, Mac, and Android so you can train on almost any device. Desktop Computer The desktop computer will likely give you the most computing power and will be the fastest. Some Virtual Meeting Software will require a more advanced computer to handle higher resolution display and software extras such as filters and special effects. The great thing about the desktop computer is that you can connect it to different screen displays such as a projector, a second monitor, or television. Desktop computers also usually have a built-in Ethernet port, allowing you to use a network cable to plug directly into your network and get the fastest Internet connection and speeds possible. The main disadvantages of using a Desktop computer is that it is not easy to move it around and usually does not include a web camera and microphone so you’ll have to buy those separately. Laptop Computer Laptops that run Windows or Mac O/S will give you the same advantages as that of a Desktop Computer. The main advantages of a laptop is that you can place it anywhere you want and usually includes a built-in webcam and microphone. The main disadvantages are that the screen is not that large, and most laptops don’t provide an Ethernet port so you’ll have to connect via Wi-fi (which will still be more than fast enough if you have a good signal and connection) or purchase an Ethernet adapter. Projector Computer Some projectors have a computer built-in with its own operating system (or supports Android) with its own applications. Some are even travel size and can fit in your own pocket. It has disadvantages similar to that of a Tablet but in addition, projectors are not very bright unless you are shelling out premium dollars. You’d also have to consider getting a projector screen, mounting it, and positioning it somewhere in a dark area away from windows and sunlight. Tablet Tablets are very convenient because they don’t take up much space and you can place it anywhere you like. The webcam and microphone are pretty standard on a tablet. Just make sure you get a good holder for it that can be adjusted so you can place it in a more viewable position. The main disadvantages of the tablet is that the screen display is small, supports lower resolution (i.e. you can see less detail) and the Virtual Meeting Software may not have all the features of what the Desktop or Laptop version has. Tablet operating systems also support applications that can ‘cast’ your video to a television, projector, or display monitor. Television Modern televisions have their own operating system and some even support Android applications. They are like the Project Computer except the screen will have a clear and solid display even in a bright room. Cellphone Cellular Phones are really a last resort. The display is so small you cannot see many details. It does have many of the benefits of a table and some phones are so big they are almost like that of a Tablet. It’s also really inconvenient if someone calls or other notifications popup while you are training. The Verdict If you are not on a tight budget, a PC or Mac computer would be ideal. You can upgrade the display, webcam and microphone anytime, and the raw computing power will give you more versatility and performance. If you don’t have room for a permanent setup, then a laptop or tablet would work well. If convenience is important then a television or a projector would suit you. If you’re on a tight budget, you can use your phone or cast it to a television for now. Either way, it’s time to start training so go with what you can now and transition to a better solution later! Tue, 22 Dec 2020 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/how-to-have-a-great-computer-setup-for-virtual-classes Master Shi Guo Song on Discovery Channel Showing Traditional Kung Fu https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guo-song-on-discovery-channel-showing-traditional-kung-fu Master Shi Guo Song on Discovery Channel Showing Traditional Kung Fu This is a throw back to times around the early 1990s when Master Shi Guo Song was living at the Shaolin Temple. Back then there were only a handful of actual Shaolin Monks that did kung fu martial arts. Master Shi Guo Song was the Chief Warrior Coach and responsible for all the traditional Shaolin Kung Fu training at the temple. Here he is being interviewed by Discovery Channel and showing what traditional Shaolin kung fu martial arts is about. You get a sense of what makes Shaolin so unique in the world. Later on, you get to see how effortlessly Master Shi Guo Song can roll his arms and fingers through 300lbs of force! What would normally break human bones is preventable through hard work, training, and knowledge about Shaolin qigong techniques that at one time were only taught to worthy disciples. Mon, 21 Dec 2020 20:45:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/master-shi-guo-song-on-discovery-channel-showing-traditional-kung-fu Iron Arm Qigong Demonstration at Songshan Shaolin Temple Luohan Institute https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/iron-arm-qigong-demonstration-at-songshan-shaolin-temple-luohan-institute Iron Arm Qigong Demonstration at Songshan Shaolin Temple Luohan Institute 300 pounds of crushing force on the fingers! Normally this would break your fingers but through hardwork and practice it pays off eventually. Master Shi Guo Song previously demonstrated this in a Discovery Channel program. Here, his student Tong Jiaolian is demonstrating that he too can do it! Mind you, he struggled with it initially and Master Shi Guo Song makes it look so effortless. We took this video when we had a school trip to Shaolin Temple for the 2018 Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival. We stopped by Master Shi Guo Song's school near the temple in Dengfeng, Henan, China and met with his students. Sat, 19 Dec 2020 17:01:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/iron-arm-qigong-demonstration-at-songshan-shaolin-temple-luohan-institute YTV The Zone Weekend with Shaolin Martial Arts Kung Fu https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/ytv-the-zone-learn-shaolin-kung-fu YTV The Zone Weekend with Shaolin Martial Arts Kung Fu Being on the Zone with Suki was seriously fun! In the first segment Raphael talks about his trip to the 12th Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival and the results of the competition. Raphael then teaches Suki how to build a proper foundation for his legs with the Mabu horse stance! In the second second, we ramp it up and we teach Suki how to twirl the staff (cudgel) before trying the Windmill technique! Wed, 16 Dec 2020 15:57:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/ytv-the-zone-learn-shaolin-kung-fu ZNews Highlighting Shaolin Tai Chi https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/zoomer-news-shaolin-tai-chi ZNews Highlighting Shaolin Tai Chi Shaolin Tai Chi is also known as Shaolin Gentle Fist. It's been around since the 1500s and that's over 500 years! It's not well known like Chen Style Tai Chi so it was great to have Zoomer News cover our class and educate the public. Here we are having some fun demonstrating some of the self-defence techniques learned. For many students, Shaolin Tai Chi is really about a healing art with slow graceful movements that emphasize flexibility and core strength. This makes it possible for elderly to also train and improve mobility. Wed, 16 Dec 2020 10:16:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/zoomer-news-shaolin-tai-chi How Master Dao Can Break Three Iron Bars at Once! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/asset-breaking-triple-iron-bar-qigong How Master Dao Can Break Three Iron Bars at Once! In this video, Master Dao demonstrates how he channels his inner qi (called subtle qi) to his head in order to lessen the blow of 3 stacked iron bars. You can see the level of mental focus required for this high risk demonstration. He makes it possible to break a three iron bars without any bruising or swelling. Hitting yourself with an iron bar is a lethal venture so don't ever try this yourself! It takes years of dedicated training and hours of preparation each time. With hard qigong training for two years, it is possible to break one iron bar with some bruising and swelling. The more dedicated practitioners might be able to break two. But three? It may be difficult to understand how it is possible consider the inability of science today to measure subtle qi. Here Master Dao does the demonstration at a fundraising banquet for Shaolin Team Canada in order to inspire others to train harder and to learn qigong [for health reasons, not for breaking iron bars!]. Tue, 15 Dec 2020 22:05:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/asset-breaking-triple-iron-bar-qigong CBC Masters of Our City Keepers of an Ancient Culture Featuring Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/cbc-masters-of-our-city CBC Masters of Our City Keepers of an Ancient Culture Featuring Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute Our STQI family of schools were featured on CBC's production titled 'CBC Masters of Our City Keepers of Ancient Culture'. Watch Master Shi Guo Song perform a traditional Shaolin Praying Mantis form and appreciate the speed, sharpness, and fluidity of his movements. He also talks about some philosophy and qigong and how he views traditional Shaolin going forward through his disciples. You also get to witness Master Shi Guo Song's disciple and students ramming a telephone into his belly. Watch closely as he actually moves into the pole which then pushes him back! Incredibly he is not hurt. The power of qigong! Finally, the downtown Toronto STQI school is also featured as an early version of Master Dao talks about how he became a disciple. This was first aired on CBC on September 26, 2013. Tue, 15 Dec 2020 21:07:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/cbc-masters-of-our-city Shaolin Warriors Training Kung Fu Martial Arts https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-warriors-training-in-China Shaolin Warriors Training Kung Fu Martial Arts One of the places we visited in 2014 was a school that still maintained some traditional forms of Shaolin. In fact, many of the teachers there were once students of Master Shi Guo Song and we got the opportunity to train with them. This school is close to the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng city and is quite large with thousands of students. This is a short summary of our trip there including an incredible demonstration by their students. Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:07:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-warriors-training-in-China CTV Your Morning Shaolin Team Canada https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/ctv-your-morning-shaolin-team-canada-2018 CTV Your Morning Shaolin Team Canada Master Dao and Raphael were on live at CTV Your Morning on August 30, 2018. They wanted to follow his story as he prepared for the Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival. Raphael came back from the tournament in China in November 2018, and did very well. He brought back 2 Gold Medals for Canada! Great job! Mon, 14 Dec 2020 18:32:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/ctv-your-morning-shaolin-team-canada-2018 Global News Toronto Featuring Shaolin Team Canada https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/global-news-shaolin-team-canada-2018 Global News with Shaolin Team Canada We were once again very fortunate to have such interest in Shaolin kung fu martial arts in the Toronto media! Our school and students were featured in this segment and interviewed for their goals for the Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival. This segment was aired on August 17, 2018. Mon, 14 Dec 2020 18:22:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/global-news-shaolin-team-canada-2018 CBC News Toronto with Shaolin Team Canada https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/asset-cbc-news-with-shaolin-team-canada-2018 CBC News Toronto with Shaolin Team Canada This segment aired on August 17, 2018 on CBC News. Many of our students were part of this feature as CBC interviewed our students on how they've been preparing for the Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival and what they are looking forward to. Mon, 14 Dec 2020 18:15:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/asset-cbc-news-with-shaolin-team-canada-2018 Relaunched STQI Toronto Website! https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/new-website-update-and-relaunch-20201208 Relaunched STQI Toronto Website! After many months we have finally relaunched our STQI Toronto website which includes the Downtown Toronto School, Mississauga East, and Toronto East schools. What Did We Do and Why? We've unified our school websites and the store for student registrations, in-person classes, and online classes. We've also gotten rid of the old WordPress Content Management System. We felt it was too slow and not well designed for our purposes. The new site allows for greater integration of our backend system and we're able to provide more student features and support. Sun, 13 Dec 2020 23:04:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/new-website-update-and-relaunch-20201208 Shaolin Ba Duan Qigong Demonstration at Chinatown Festival 2019 Sunday https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-ba-duan-qigong-demonstration-at-chinatown-festival-2019-sunday Shaolin Ba Duan Qigong Demonstration at Chinatown Festival 2019 Sunday This was the second performance of Baduanjin Eight Brocades that our students with Master Dao did at the Chinatown Festival but this time on the main stage. Here we are wearing different shirts showcasing the Shaolin Monk in a warrior pose and a meditation pose. We hope to inspire more people to practice our traditional version of Baduanjin. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:40:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-ba-duan-qigong-demonstration-at-chinatown-festival-2019-sunday Shaolin Tai Chi Rou Quan Performance by Students at the Chinatown Festival 2019 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-tai-chi-rou-quan-performance-by-students-at-the-chinatown-festival-2019 Shaolin Tai Chi Rou Quan Performance by Students at the Chinatown Festival 2019 Our students perform an ancient traditional Shaolin taolu form called Rou Quan, or Gentle Fist. It's part of our Shaolin Tai Chi program (Shaolin Gentle Fist style) and a much more advanced form. It takes easily a year to learn the whole form, and that's just to get it to a basic level! Normally you learn this form after learn a couple of easier and shorter forms. This way you build up your foundation and techniques in a way that makes it easier to learn more and more advanced ideas later. We performed this on the main stage on Spadina Avenue at the Chinatown Festival of 2019. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:35:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-tai-chi-rou-quan-performance-by-students-at-the-chinatown-festival-2019 Shaolin Tai Chi Yun Quan Performed by Master Dao https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-tai-chi-yun-quan-performed-by-master-dao Shaolin Tai Chi Yun Quan Performed by Master Dao Master Dao takes the opportunity to demonstrate a rare style of traditional Shaolin which we call Shaolin Tai Chi. It's more formally known as Shaolin Gentle Fist style. Here Master Dao performs Yun Quan, a Shaolin Tai Chi form that he created himself. It celebrates that soft and fluid nature of the cloud hands techniques and the ability of this style to accumulate qi and then use it to explode forcefully and powerfully. This was demonstration was done at the Chinatown Festival in 2019 on the main stage. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:29:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/shaolin-tai-chi-yun-quan-performed-by-master-dao Womens Self Defence Shaolin Martial Arts Performance at Chinatown Festival 2019 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/womens-self-defence-shaolin-martial-arts-performance-at-chinatown-festival-2019 Womens Self Defence Shaolin Martial Arts Performance at Chinatown Festival 2019 Don't underestimate the self-defence capability of these women! Here they demonstrate one of the forms they practice in class at the Chinatown Festival in 2019. They've learned that self-defence requires repetition, mental preparation and practice, and conditioning for a strong foundation. In time you can bet that these women will get even stronger! Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:26:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/womens-self-defence-shaolin-martial-arts-performance-at-chinatown-festival-2019 Qi Gong Performance at Chinatown Festival 2019 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/qi-gong-performance-at-chinatown-festival-2019 Qi Gong Performance at Chinatown Festival 2019 This was a performance that our students with Master Dao did on the 'Martial Arts Stage' during the Chinatown Festival. It was the first time we showcased the traditional Shaolin version of Baduanjin a.k.a. Eight Brocades. It's power lies in understand how each movement helps one in terms of health - by boosting circulatory systems, exercising the joints and organs, and by increasing the overall energy available in the body. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:21:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/qi-gong-performance-at-chinatown-festival-2019 Chinatown Festival 2019 Sunday Summary https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/chinatown-festival-2019-sunday-summary Chinatown Festival 2019 Sunday Summary This is a nice summary of our 1 hour performance at the Chinatown Festival, showcasing Master Dao along with his children and adult students. We were on the grand stage which was set up on Spadina Avenue, just north of Dundas Street West. There is a sample of many different traditional forms of Kung Fu, Shaolin Tai Chi (a.k.a. Shaolin Gentle Fist), and Shaolin Baduanjin Qigong. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:14:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/chinatown-festival-2019-sunday-summary Adult Shaolin Kung Fu Performances at the Chinatown Festival 2019 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/adult-shaolin-kung-fu-performances-at-the-chinatown-festival-2019 Adult Shaolin Kung Fu Performances at the Chinatown Festival 2019 Our adult students are putting 100% in their performance. All of them started their training late in their lives and many have no athletic background. It proves that one can enjoy Shaolin kung fu later in life and still become fit. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 17:09:00 +0000 https://www.stqitoronto.com/index.php/adult-shaolin-kung-fu-performances-at-the-chinatown-festival-2019