David Reis (a martial arts practitioner for 30 years) and his wife Mirella (a martial arts practitioner for 19 years) – sportspersons couple happily married, both as well renowned German champions & experts of martial arts and who as well do meditation, mainly Buddhist meditation Vipassana & Chinese meditative system of Qigong (or Chi Kung or Chi Gung), visited India this month from their hometown Stuttgart city of Germany. David Reis and Mirella visited Kerala and New Delhi for a month.
David is a German national martial art champion and also coaches Mirella, while she prepares for coming German national championships. They regularly practice the Kickboxing, and Chinese martial arts primarily Wing Chun (or Wing Tsun or Ving Tsun).
They both have a curious but strong interest into Kalaripayattu (Kerala’s ancient martial art), Ayurveda & Siddha (traditional medicine systems of ancient India which are gaining popularity into the West), Marma Chikitsa (or Marma therapy, the energy healing system developed in ancient India, that utilizes 107 points or “doorways” into the body and consciousness) and also into Sowa-Rigpa (traditional Tibetan medicine).
Although it was last year when David got introduced for first time with us while himself and we were trekking Outer Himalayas (the Dhauladhar mountain ranges in Himachal state of India) – his respect for Nature was most interesting observation. He pointed out reckless indiscipline whenever other co-mountaineers weren’t complying the respect to the Nature or when others did undue disrespect towards the Nature.
David also loves to do the Cross-Country Cycling.
Both David and Mirella have practiced for past many decades their martial arts, mainly – the Kickboxing, and Chinese martial arts primarily Wing Chun (or Wing Tsun or Ving Tsun), and the Qigong (or Chi Kung or Chi Gung).
David teaches (coaches) these forms to many male and female students of all ages into David Reis’s Martial Arts School “Lotus” into Stuttgart (Germany) – which also houses a Fight Club and Martial-arts Academy, for over past 20 years, specialized for martial arts, self-defense and violence prevention. A martial arts school is called Kampfkunstschule in German language.
David’s fight school’s philosophy is that “The physical training is linked in the martial arts with a mental attitude. The goal is personal development and self-realization. It is not a matter of winning, but of continuous practice. It is about the recognition of the way as a goal & nothing can be implemented immediately. Repetition is the secret of success and requires a certain discipline.”
David and Mirella believe that globally most nation-states’ national & federal laws legally protect each individual’s “right to self-defense”. Explaining that most European nation’s federal laws state that “Self-defense is not illegal. Self Defense is the lawfully approved defense required to repel a current unlawful attack done from the another.”
KICKBOXING is a synthesis developed from the techniques of traditional martial arts and fist techniques of boxing. David says that “as a true sport, Kickboxing assumes high technical skill, tactical intelligence, exceptionally good physical condition, high moral qualification, and strong wills.” and Mirella said that “Kickboxing’s strict rules, using of feet (kicks) and fists (boxing) to fight makes it as the best fighting system, as well the deadliest self-defense techniques and one of most-interesting martial arts sport.” Historically, since its beginning into late 1950s, the Kickboxing can be considered a hybrid martial art form, formed from the combination of elements of various traditional fighting and combating styles. Kickboxing is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, mainly developed from Karate and Thai Boxing (Muay Thai), which also gave birth to an early form of Japanese Kickboxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport. Since the 1990s, Kickboxing has contributed to the emergence of mixed martial arts via further hybridization with ground fighting techniques from Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Folk Wrestling forms. Full-contact Kickboxing is also known as American Kickboxing. The Semi-contact Kickboxing is also called as Points Fighting Kickboxing. The International Freestyle Kickboxing is most popular. Chinese military practices a form of Kickboxing called Sanshou (or Sanda) which is a mix of styles of traditional Kungfu and modern combat fighting techniques. Nowadays a unique style of Kickboxing called Shoot Boxing is becoming extremely popular.
WING CHUN (or Wing Tsun or Ving Tsun) is a martial art that has its roots in southern China and the term Wing Chun means ‘Beautiful Spring’ into Cantonese. It is a traditional Chinese martial art specializing in close range combat. It is known for being economical, direct and efficient. David told “Wing Tsun is a relatively young style which is mostly known as “soft” style. The Wing Tsun strategy consists of combat and force principles that provide the right response to any attack by an opponent, physically as well as mentally. Wing Tsun is a realistic, uncompromising self-defense.“ Weng Chun is closely associated with southern Chinese martial arts like Weng Chun Kung Fu and Yong Chun. The Wing Chun has about 11 branches as its practiced styles or forms. Balance, structure, and stance are keys in Wing Chun. A correct Wing Chun stance is like a piece of bamboo, firm but flexible, rooted but yielding. This structure is used to either deflect external forces or redirect them. Wing Chun practitioners believe that the person with better body structure will win. Balance is related to structure because a well-balanced body recovers more quickly from stalled attacks and structure is maintained. Wing Chun favors a high, narrow stance with the elbows kept close to the body. Within the stance, arms are generally positioned across the vitals of the ‘centerline’ with hands in a vertical wu sau. Softness (via Relaxation) and performing techniques in a relaxed manner, is fundamental to Wing Chun. Tension reduces punching speed and power. Muscles act in pairs in opposition to each other (e.g. biceps and triceps). If the arm is tensed, maximum punching speed cannot be achieved as the biceps will be opposing the extension of the arm. In Wing Chun, the arm should be relaxed before beginning the punching motion. Unnecessary muscle tension wastes energy and causes fatigue. Tense, stiff arms are less fluid and sensitive during trapping and Chi Sau. A tense, stiff limb provides an easy handle for an opponent to push or pull with, whereas a relaxed limb provides an opponent less to work with. A relaxed, but focused, limb affords the ability to feel “holes” or weaknesses in the opponent’s structure. With the correct forwarding these “holes” grant a path into attacking the opponent. Muscular struggle reduces a fight to who is stronger. Minimum brute strength in all movement becomes an equalizer in uneven strength confrontations. The existence of a “central axis” concept is unified in Wing Chun. Wing Chun, together with Hung Gar and Choi Lei Fut, is named as one of “The Three Great Martial Art Schools of the South [China]”, which originated and became popular in Southern China. Wing Chun is practiced globally and is the world’s most popular form of Southern Kung Fu.
QIGONG (or Chi Kung or Chi Gung) literally meaning “Life Energy Cultivation”. It is a holistic system that is more than 4000 years old composing of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots into Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, Qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance Qi (or Chi), translated as “life energy”. According to Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophy, Qigong allows access to higher realms of awareness, awakens one’s “true nature”, and helps develop human potential. Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. Qigong is now practiced worldwide for recreation, exercise and relaxation, preventive medicine and self-healing, alternative medicine, meditation and self-cultivation, and training for martial arts. Qigong’s ancient 75 forms can be found in ancient literature and also its common or contemporary presently over 70 new forms have been described in Qigong compendium. T’ai Chi Ch’uan, and Xing Yi, and Baguazhang are the types of Chinese martial arts that rely on the concept of Qi as the foundation. Extraordinary feats of martial arts prowess, such as the ability to withstand heavy strikes (Iron Shirt) and the ability to break hard objects (Iron Palm) are abilities attributed to Qigong training.
This month before their departure from India, we asked Mirella if she saw the India’s Bollywood movie Dangal released in December 2016 (which is a biographical film on India’s two wrestlers/daughters who fought at national and international levels & who were both coached by their father being a national champion himself, despite utter poverty that their whole family lived into and without none access to even basic sports training facilities). She quipped immediately that as Dangal is a movie on female wrestlers she shall love to watch it, and because she herself is a female martial arts practitioner.
On being asked as to how David took to martial arts as a sports of his interest. He told that as a young lad in his early teens his doctors told him about a condition he suffered where it was hard to even walk or stand without extreme pain in his knee for him. It was then that another German doctor told him who believed in holistic medicine that we have cure of all problems only within us – our psyche or ‘consciousness’ which controls our entire life’s outcomes. It was this advice that triggered into David a quest for conquering the ‘within’ oneself. He cured his own painful disease forever (during his teenage days) due to his physical self-training that the modern medicine believed cannot be cured an entire lifetime. It was this attitude that led him to win national championships in Germany he says, combined with a strict training schedule everyday for months and years.
David says that the power is within us & not outside of ourselves. He explained that a failure is not based on nil external environmental factors. The success in whatever we may do is definitely emerging from our own-innermost-core and depends on as to how powerful we remain within our-own-self.
We thank both David Reis and Mirella on behalf of delhiNCRnews.in and whole India and from all our readers worldwide. We fully appreciate the pleasant evening that David Reis and Mirella spent with us and in a joyous and most-heartful manner, while they both explained extremely well their views delightfully and honestly. The readers of delhiNCRnews.in shall surely be pleased to read this writeup.
(Pix Courtesy: Silvia Photos, WTstuttgart & Kampfkunstschule Lotus)