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Gentle Way of Self Defence


In the immortal words of Lao Tzu

Nothing under heaven is softer or more yielding than water; but when it attacks things that are hard and resistant, there is not one of them that can prevail. That the yielding conquers the resistant and the soft conquers the hard is a fact known by all men, yet utilized by none



GENTLE WAY FOR SELF DEFENCE CLASSES - ALL STUDENTS begin with a foundation program which forms part of graded streams for Tai Chi Chuan-do and Goju Ryu Karate-do and where the focus is on self-defence, self-confidence, humility and respect for others and NOT training for competition, tournaments or trophies.


FOUNDATION course for the GENTLE WAY starts with learning solo kata or forms with a practical focus which utilises the opponent’s energy and principles of leverage and biomechanics to develop an “efficient and effective” fighting style.  The Gentle Way encapsulates Jigaro Kano's famous words - Seiryoko zenyo - Maximum efficiency with minimal effort - which includes - Ju yoko go o seisu which means - Softness controls Hardness


From the beginning of practising solo kata or forms, the focus is on learning what the Chinese call “Soong”, the art of relaxation in a state of readiness and what the Japanese call “Zanshin”, meaning a relaxed state of alertness and awareness.  



Include an extensive range of practical martial knowledge & technique from Karate, Jujitsu, Judo & Tai Chi Chuan 

  • Learning control and how to relax

  • maximum efficiency with least effort

  • safety and respect for others

  • always working at your own level and own pace


The student at ALL times retains the option to participate or not to participate in any particular activity which may include bunkai "disassembly", that is practical application of self-defence techniques embedded in Tai Chi/Karate kata/form, push hands with other practitioners.    


KARATE-DO – “The Way of the Empty Hand” - GOJU RYU – Traditional Style of Karate - Karate‑Do evolved from the martial traditions of what was referred to as prior to 1935 as Chinese Hands (T’ang te), being heavily influenced by southern styles of Chinese boxing, including Tai Chi, Pa-Qua and Shaolin Temple boxing. 


The Goju system is a blend of hard and soft techniques with training to be able to move quickly between hard and soft techniques and to draw back, deflect and utilise the strength, energy and power of the opponent to maximum advantage.  Goju karate places great value on the art of relaxation and developing powerful diaphragmatic breathing thus enhancing the power of the technique. Goju Ryu techniques are practised in forms called Kata. Goju karate places great importance on Kata from beginners through to black belt.


The Goju system is a blend of hard and soft techniques.  The strong snap technique is combined with the free flowing techniques of the soft Chinese styles involving breathing and control of the ki or chi. The Goju karate‑ka is trained to be able to move quickly between hard and soft techniques and to draw back, deflect and utilise the strength, energy and power of the opponent to maximum advantage.  

​TAI CHI CHUAN-DO – “The Way of the Supreme Fist” – An energy efficient INTERNAL Chinese Martial Arts style utilising “push-pull” yielding principles and movements based on circular flowing movement and even tempo, making for harmony and balance. Much practice results in a high level of body-control which in turn results in greatly increased powers of mental concentration. Tai Chi Chuan teaches how to conserve and increase energy flow – the flow of chi.  For this reason it is suitable for people of all ages. Tai Chi Chuan develops the ability to know when the opponent is going to attack. Speed, sensitivity, and flexibility are built up, rather than brute force. If you learn to see danger before it reaches you, it can be neutralized.  

GENTLE WAY - Training the mind and the body should go hand‑in-hand and not remain divided entities. In Japan, two of the most well-known forms of the Gentle or Internal Martial Arts are Judo and Jujitsu.  In China, Tai Chi Chuan is the most popular form of the gentle or internal martial arts, where the yielding principle is expressed as “Four ounces can move  a thousand pounds.  ” articluated through the Tai Chi Chuan Classics


The yielding principle in Japan is called ‑ Seiryoko Zenyo which means ‑ minimum effort ‑ maximum efficiency.


The “push-pull” yielding principle in  Judo and Jujitsu also in Tai Chi Chuan Do and Goju Ryu karate thus expresses the flexible way of “borrowing” the opponent's force and and energy to maximum advantage utilising principles of leverage and biomechanics.


ALL STUDENTS begin with the Sun Tai Chi 12 form which is easy to learn in a relatively short period of time. This provides a solid foundation to move to the next level which will include other forms, katas and styles such as Goju Ryu Karate Katas, Yang 24 form, Sun style 73 form, Yang 42 form, Chen 36 form and the Yang 52 Fan form.


These classes may include some partner work in understanding self defence applications of the form or kata but do not include activities which involve physically throwing, grappling or sparring.


The Health focus in ALL classes is aimed at improving balance, co-ordination, reflex action, strength, stamina, flexibility and general fitness.  All classes include Qigong (Chi Kung) Breathing and Relaxation Training AND principles of safe and efficient movement  where posture, relaxed continuity of movement, co-ordination of legs, arms, upper and lower body, using “will” and not strength, all operate to achieve a relaxed harmony between body and mind and to express the basic tenets of control, efficiency, technique and artistry.

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