Shaolin Toronto News http://www.stqitoronto.com Shaolin-related Martial Arts Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, and Chan/Zen Blogs en-us Copyright 2121 STQI Toronto Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:00:00 +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 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 that 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. And 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 shows 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 time-wise. 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 tasklist 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 it 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 get 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 feelings 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 lead you to this point so that you can move on, feel happy about where you are at 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 judgements 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 desires 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 for 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? 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 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 the 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 breath with each set of breath in and out and from one to ten. 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 this 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 systems. 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 benefit. It is only with continued and regular practice over many years can one 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 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 to 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 the rules you have made for yourself 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 Shaolin Meditation? How can it help and is it important? There are two main goals of Shaolin Meditation. The first one is to help people to understand themselves better. I call this Self-Wisdom. The second goal is to provide a path of meditation techniques so that the student can grow. There are three key components to Self-Wisdom philosophy and they are: 1) Perceptions, 2) Emotions, and 3) the Subconscious. I teach these components mostly in person and through live streaming. The reason is that I need to know where students’ perceptions are so that I can most directly and clearly transmit a teaching to the student and with the least amount of misunderstanding. To some extent I can describe them in brief through more blogs and articles on here. In time I will indeed write more about these components. There are many Shaolin techniques that can be used to help students grow. 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 benefit 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. 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 meditation. Different disciplines of meditation will have different goals, theory, 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 more 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