We are a new, friendly and informal club practicing internal arts and shamanic spirit dance in Cambridge, UK. We specialise in Tai Chi, Xing Yi, Baji, Baguazhang, Shuiquan and Yan Yi, but include other disciplines as well. Our forte is using the I-Ching as a set of unifying principles to draw the internal martial arts together as a unified whole.
Internal arts give you a broader perspective, and are more like a way of life than fighting systems. With the most ancient of origins, they provide deep insights into the human condition, as well as being a holistic way to radically transform your quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
Sifu Damon Smith studied martial arts for 43 years, learning from native Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian teachers. He holds the Yongquan Martial Arts Association’s most advanced teaching certification, trained extensively in the Far East, and has a masters degree in East Asian Studies. A long time student of the ancient shamanic origins of the martial arts, he teaches seminars internationally, and co-presents the leading podcast on Shamanism, Woven Energy
What are internal arts?
The Internal Arts are a group of martial arts and related disciplines such as Qigong. They are distinguished by the fact that they make efficient use of the body’s energy (called Qi or Chi) and use relatively less muscle power than is typical for the martial arts in general. Internal Arts are sometimes described as “soft style” martial arts to contrast them with things like Karate or Shaolin arts.
By far the most famous internal art is Tai Chi, but there are many others including Xing Yi, Baguazhang, Baji and Shuiquan.
Why are they called internal arts?
Most of the internal arts come originally from China, where they are based upon native (internal) spiritual traditions such as the I-Ching, Daoism and folk traditions. This term serves to contrast them with the other Chinese martial arts which are mostly are based on imported (external) Buddhism.
What are the benefits of learning Internal Arts?
The Internal Arts provide a broad perspective on what it means to be a human being and of one’s relationship to other people and to Nature. They form part of an ancient tradition that seeks to understand Nature in a very direct way, employing mind, spirit and body as a united whole.
The Internal Arts are also useful for self defence, especially when combined together, and can be trained right into later life since they have a relatively low impact on the body. They also have widely attested health benefits, which have been confirmed through multiple scientific and medical studies.
Beyond all of these benefits, the Internal Arts form a unique and holistic life pathway that adds flavour and meaning to existence while making sense out of the human condition.
I’m a complete beginner, can I start any time?
Yes, no problem. Just show up about 10 minutes early at your first class.
I’ve done martial arts before.
Great, Internal Arts are an inherently flexible platform, we can incorporate what you already know.
What should I wear?
Something comfortable that allows you full/free range of movement. Tennis shoes or trainers should also be comfortable for moving around in. Remove jewellery, watches and anything else that might cause injury.