Archive for life

My Life’s Work

Posted in Martial Arts and Training with tags , , , , on November 12, 2013 by ctkwingchun


You know what this Wing Chun shit is all about?

Standing there, in the pocket – taking some damage, all the while you completely destroy your opponent.

You wanna know why?

Because that’s what life’s about.


Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , on December 13, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Guilt – the most useless emotion ever.

I’m procrastinating right now and loving it.

Kung-Fu: Mastery of Life

Posted in Martial Arts and Training with tags , , , , on October 12, 2012 by ctkwingchun

My journey in Kung-Fu, little did I realize, started me on a path of humble life-long learning.  Looking back at those first few years where push-ups in the corner were punishment for talking in class, I learned that I get out exactly what I put in.  I also learned that the rewards were never immediate but I could trust that they were on their way.

Speaking with the acupuncture students yesterday brought something to mind – an idea that is often forgotten: mastery.  When I began on my Chinese medicine journey, at first all I cared about was finding the right acupoints.  As I moved forward in my practice, finding acupoints started to become second nature.  While I hadn’t mastered this, I felt that more work needed to be done in other areas.

I started to look at other facets of my practice.  I started to think about bedside manner and how it greatly affected the patient-practitioner relationship.  I put these thoughts to paper and published a book on Amazon on the subject.  I also asked if there was a better way to put certain needles in – the pinchy ones.  I looked at how I held my body in relationship to the patient – my groin far away from their hand or playing acupuncture like playing a sport: with bent knees to save my low back.

These mastery patterns have slowly filtered into my life because the next stage for me, and this perhaps might have been at the forefront for some although bedside manner and results still seems KING to me (in that order), is proper management of money.  Money and healing (especially the quirky-funny-esoteric-can’t-double-blind-study-this-type-healing) have a hard time getting along -sort of.

Lately, it’s been less about money management and more about lifestyle mastery.  We, as a family, have discussed and made our life choices and it stands to reason that all about all we can do is change the way we life our life.  Baker, author of, has a tag-line that I most enjoy: sell your crap, pay off your debt, live your life.  And while it may seem quite extreme considering he did just that and travelled, it is a sign post that most of us ‘middle-class’ folks are taking a good, hard look at.

So, through the vehicle of martial arts, through Chinese medicine study and practice, comes Mastery of Life.  Just watch the most amazing documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  Not only has this elderly gentleman mastered the art of making sushi, you can watch his mastery of the whole damn thing!  He prepares for the patrons that are left handed instead of right handed.  He watches the speed of how they eat and adjusts accordingly.  He’s not only mastered making sushi, he’s clearly mastered all the pieces of the ‘business’ that are associated with that.  He’s got good Kung-Fu.

Kung-Fu: mastery of a skill through hard work.

Vacuum Like You’re Playing a Sport

Posted in Martial Arts and Training with tags , , , , on October 5, 2012 by ctkwingchun

My job includes twisting, turning, putting my torso almost upside-down and bending over my patients.

These types of movements, from an occupational health & safety standpoint, would probably make those desk-monkeys quiver with fear.

But I play my life like I’m playing a sport.  Everything is Kung-Fu.

I enjoy bending my knees instead of my back.  Getting a good stretch out of a twisted, upside-down position while needling.  Using my whole body while performing Tui Na massage.  Even while vacuuming, it might look like I’m training my lunges.

So loosen up out there!  Enjoy all those mundane activities!  And wash the dishes like you’re playing a sport.

Bait and Switch – The Offer

Posted in Health and Wellness, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , on October 2, 2012 by ctkwingchun

“Hey there!  How are you doing?  Listen – the students love you.  I mean, you’re a superstar – everyone loves you.  You’re a great teacher.  Our college really needs people like you.”

“Thank you very much.”

“What we’d like to do is hire you on full-time.  You can work from 8:30-5:30 Monday through Friday and we’ll pay you salary.  What do you think?”

“Well…um…that won’t work…because, as you know, I run two clinics.  So I’d still need to see my patients.  I could shut down one of my clinics but then I’d still need to run two days a week at one clinic.  Could we do 20 hours a week – just an idea?”

“But clinic is so up and down.  Plus, with our college pumping out more graduates, there will be more competition and it will be harder for you to make money.  A good salary job is the way to go.”


“We want someone young, energetic and you’ve got great marketing ideas.  We want someone to commit to our school and teach 50% of the time and do administration 50% of the time.  I don’t think it would work with just 20 hours a week.”

“But what about the executive director?  Isn’t this all his job?”

“Yes, but, you see, his contract is ending and in it we agreed that he get new programs up and running and that he get 25 new students every year.  He’s failed to do that so we just can’t afford to pay someone that amount of money so we’re going to have to get rid of him.”

(“Really?  So you’re going to sh*t-can my friend – the guy who got me this job – who you probably pay $100’000/year, hire me as his replacement, pay me less than his salary for more hours in a week than I work now and I’ll work on contract with you so you can shit-can me anytime you want as well?  Well then…”)

“I don’t think this is going to work…”

“Think about it.”

(“I will.  And next week, I’ll kindly decline your offer after I’ve made you sweat a bit.  I’m off to work at my unstable clinic which gives me more freedom than your boot on top of my face.”)


Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training, Music and Clips with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Less waiting.  Put the plan in motion.

Go buy that house so that your house will sell.  Go write that book so that those customers will have something.  Go run those sprints so that you’re ready at all times.

They asked me how I do it all.  Time management.  No TV, only books.  Four days of push.  Teaching, clinic, writing between patients, personal training before the house wakes up, eating 16oz gloves for lunch and when I’m not at work – I’m not working (read: family time/downtime).

“We cannot control the winds, but we can direct the sails.”

Wake Work Sleep

Posted in Music and Clips with tags , , , on September 26, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Seven Years

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 9, 2012 by ctkwingchun

She, along with the kids, is the reason I do a lot of things.  And I am completely aware of all the things she does for me.  If I am looked upon as successful, it is only because of my wife – the backbone, the one helping me push farther, the one who keeps my ego in check.  Seven years today and nine years total and I’m still head over heels for that girl.  Rory Miller’s recent blogpost said it best:

“One theme that kept coming up was relationships.  The media slams us with images that people with intense lives must be broken, must have horrible or no relationships.  If you want your mind blown, go to a gathering of go-to people and meet their spouses and children.  You will meet strong, decisive brilliant wives and husbands and children.

They are the best of us and we know it and appreciate it, and some would love to tell that story.  The guy that can teach you how to make a functional shank from a styrofoam cup and the guy who runs a state police unit and the guy who has hit bottom hardest and come back strongest…all want to write about their wives.”

Let me tell you about mine,

Share What You Love

Posted in Health and Wellness with tags , , , , on July 13, 2012 by ctkwingchun

I’ll Miss You

Posted in Music and Clips with tags , , on May 26, 2012 by ctkwingchun

I know the time will come when it’s all about goodbye.  I came here a boy and will be leaving a man.

I came here with a dare and a dream.  Sink or swim.  And let’s not forget the essential question, “Does God/Essence/Jah/Source exist?”

The ocean waves that calm my soul, I will have to visit once again – I know it.

You gave me boxing, a garden, chickens and love.  Surrounded me with good, genuine people that I could sink my soul into.

For this, I will be eternally grateful.  A have-province you will forever be in my heart.

Nova Scotia, I love you.

Until we part, I will enjoy you with every inch of my being.  Camping, swimming and sprinting together.  Let’s go!


Decibel; Life Is Easy

Posted in Music and Clips with tags , , on May 25, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Every time I…

turn on the shower and the hot water comes pouring out

flick on a light switch to expunge the dark

talk to a family member across the country on my computer screen

get into my vehicle and drive for 45 minutes to get to downtown

download music, load it into my iPod and dance my pants off

go to the store and purchase organic kiwis from a far away country

look at the smiles on my children’s faces

I think, “Life is easy.”

Harbouring Hatred In Your Breast

Posted in Quotes and Articles with tags , , , on April 17, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Dear Banana-Head Who Would Destroy All the People in the World by Dropping an Atomic Bomb to Kill Just a Few:

Recently it has come to my attention that you are harboring hatred in your breast because you think someone has slighted your teacher.  This is a small matter, not your concern.  Do  not hate anyone.  Hate will kill you.

Many people will come to hate you simply because you are my lovable boy, and others for the mistakes you will make.  Life is short.  In the twinkle of an eye you will be an old man and all this will be dirt!  Red dust of your mind.  Those who set teacher against teacher, student against student are all ignorant of this beautiful world and do not know how to enjoy life, and so can never find the way to immortality.  Pay them no mind.

No one can be perfect, not you, not me.  Prof. Cheng and I were intimate rivals.  It is like a husband and wife who complain about each other every day or maybe get divorced, but still in their hearts they love each other very much.  Others outside may think it is a full-fledged war, but really it was just an unresolved conflict.

Let me tell you a true and genuine story about a man, a general, who was beheaded because he defended the emperor’s decision to attack a neighboring province.  The attack was ill-fated and many soldiers were killed.  The people could not blame the emperor directly so they focused all their hatred toward the man who encouraged the emperor to make the attack.  The emperor, to quell his subjects’ hatred, had his friend and supporter beheaded.  This is the fate of all overly zealous supporters.

So, if you support me too zealously I will have you beheaded so my students do not remove my head on the guillotine.  I will put you on top of the flag post.  I will send you to the eighteenth layer of the hells.  I will put you on the guillotine to be guillotined.  I will send you to the deuce!  Then my life can be peaceful and quiet.  Got it!

From the man who has attained the Way and has a bloody Lotus Eater, Mangy Cur, a Paramour, a man who wears a green cap, a bottom of the black lacquer barrel, a rebel, and a parasite living in his teacher’s beautiful palace.  All must be fumigated so the pestilence can be eradicated.

-Steal My Art by Stuart Olson, Pg. 166-167

The Older I Get (The Less I Need)

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training, Music and Clips with tags , , on March 27, 2012 by ctkwingchun

The older I get, the less I need.

No new cars.  No new threads.  No new toys, electronics or other items.

Want to get me something?  Buy me time.  Time to spend with my wife.  Time to spend a weekend away with my family.  A couple of hours with a top martial arts coach of any kind.  An hour here and there with a healer of any kind.

I don’t want ‘things.’  I want experiences.


Rabbi Rami Shapiro Q&A

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Quotes and Articles with tags , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Q: I want to devote my life to spiritual pursuits, but so much of what passes for spirituality seems self-serving and narcissistic.  How do I know the real thing?

A: You know you’re on the right path if your capacity for holding paradox expands, your sense of humor broadens, your commitment to justice deepens, your compassion for and protection of life grows, and your love of people transcends race, color, creed, tribe, religion, politics, and sexual preference.

Commentary: Does your Kung-Fu do this?

Layer Cake

Posted in Health and Wellness, Martial Arts and Training, Music and Clips with tags , , , on March 8, 2012 by ctkwingchun

Blessed that I woke up.  Blessed that my children and wife told me, “Good morning.”  Blessed to be loved.  Blessed to have many animals living in my home.  Blessed to have food.  Blessed to have heat.  Blessed to have enough clothes.  Blessed to have some money in the bank.  Blessed that my car starts.  Blessed to have a job.  Blessed to have regular patients.  Blessed to have some time to myself.  Blessed to have some books to read.  Blessed to have some Kung-Fu knowledge.  Blessed to have a handful of friends.


Start Small; Change The World

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Music and Clips, Strategy and Psychology with tags , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by ctkwingchun

In High School and through to College or University, most young’ins feel it – that passion and drive to CHANGE THE WORLD.

Maybe people still feel it, however as we age I think the numbers start dropping.  Big Corp and Big TV capture the souls of many.

For the few survivors or those who are trying to reclaim their souls, I urge you not to give up on your dream of changing the world. When you were younger, it didn’t seem like an insurmountable feat.  As you got older, perhaps you saw how big the world really was.  For whatever reason, you started to lose hope.  The answer to regaining your stride is this: start small.

Find your niche.  Find what you like to do, what your hearts of hearts desires in life and don’t just do it – live it.  Live your Tao to its full potential.  Master your domain.  This is how you start small to conquer the world.

Then, and only then, will you have realized that you have changed the world.  Your world.

Make it yours,

Living In The Moment

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 13, 2011 by His Dark Side

We are only ever alive in one moment and that moment is NOW.  We do not reside in the past nor can we dwell in the future – these places do not exist for they are just thoughts in our heads which distract us from the present moment and rob us of life. 

Most of us are in LOVE with memories, ideas, and feelings of the way things used to be!  How many of us are in LOVE with what ‘IS’?  It’s hard sometimes to LOVE and live with what ‘IS’ because what ‘IS’ is sometimes normal, boring and routine which has us hankering after the good old days or looking forward to good times!

Thinking has become the most common dis-ease within our species!  We spend so much time away from the NOW that we forget to live, to love, to connect to what is right in front of us, however mundane or routine our existence may seem.  Our busy lives and schizophrenic mind activity have eradicated our ability to notice beauty and wonder, the father kissing his child goodbye at the school gates, the bird that just flew from the swaying tree, the sun peering behind the gentle white clouds, the innocence of the soul in the eyes of the person sitting across from you, the random kiss between young lovers, the hands of a child holding its mothers, the wind that touches your face as you turn the corner, the sounds of laughter, a hug, a smile.

I cycle each morning through a beautiful graveyard slowing down to glance at the headstones that lay before me.  I say aloud the names of my brothers and sisters that have past on and I say “Hello” to them.  I say we have not forgotten you because in remembering ‘you’ that have died I remember ‘me’ that must live. 

In this moment I am born again where the past and future can no longer rob me of life, I am alive experiencing what it really means to be alive rather than thinking about what life was like or what it could be.  This moment is all I ever have, to LIVE, to be FREE to say thank you for all that I have and all who I am because, like those whose headstones I see each morning, I may not get another chance. 


12th July 2011

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