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A Life Of Martial Arts With Steve Rowe (#122)

Lessons from 50 years in martial arts and how meditation saved Steve’s life.

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A Life Of Martial Arts With Steve Rowe (#122) | My Home Vitality

Introduction to guest:

Steve Rowe has practised martial arts for 50 years, and established Shi Kon Martial Arts in 1988.

He has trained and holds teaching grades in Karate, Iaido, Kung Fu, Jodo, Tai Chi and Ju Jitsu.

Steve also studies and writes extensively on meditation, mindfulness, philosophy, Buddhism, Zen and Taoism.

He has worked and taught in the security and law enforcement industries for many years and now runs seminars and Tai Chi Coaching programmes.

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More from Steve:


Key quotes and takeaways from the show:

Never practice struggle!

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” – Aristotle.

Balance!… Martial arts (and life) are holistic.

Develop your mind, body and emotions. A good coach teaches on all of these levels.

A good coach sees the kind of person their student is (type of learner, physical, mental and emotional state, etc.) and gives them what they need in that very moment. The same goes for a class.

A good coach forgets about themselves and provides students what they need most at the time.

Use meditation to learn how to focus, then you can focus more when you learn. This opens up a world of opportunities.

With persistent practice you can reach a mindful state. Be patient with it.

Meditation is not a practice that you must “try” at. It’s not something you must do to “achieve” something, you must “eliminate” to free your mind.

Take the best from all of your teachers. “I never had one teacher that I felt gave me everything that I needed.”

Find the best instructor for you at this time.

Find your own path. Discover who you are.

Nowadays, everybody wants to move so fast.

“Move at a speed you can do it well.” Speed comes as a result of skill.

Training to physical exhaustion is good for your spirit/grit but is not good for skill development.

“Don’t train for an hour per day, train for 15 minutes several times per day.”

Skill acquisition comes from training your mind.

You need the mental and physical sensitivity of a fresh mind and body to absorb the movements of a skill.

For self defence, train your mind, emotions, awareness and strategy first… What are you willing to do and how far are you willing to go to survive? You need to be able to switch aggression on and off.

What are you spending your time practising?

“Have a soft front and a strong back.”

When you get to a mindful state you know you are much more than your mind and body. Observe your mind, body and emotions from your deeper self; for example, when you feel lonely.

“Loneliness is when you’re separated from your deeper self.”

The Buddha said, “In suffering there are two arrows… (Arrow 1) the suffering you can’t avoid and (Arrow 2) the suffering about suffering.” – In life things hurt but you don’t have to make them worse.

Once you build your house, you must keep your roof in good repair. In other words, what you don’t maintain, you lose.

“The two enemies of the mind are apathy and distraction.” It’s so easy to get lazy and distracted.

Links to podcast sites:

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The full podcast:

Related episodes:

For more podcasts on martial arts, mindfulness and self defence, check out these related videos…

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Show notes:

  • 00:00:00 – Total Immersion Swimming.
  • 00:01:07 – 50 years in martial arts.
  • 00:02:11 – MMA’s impact on martial arts.
  • 00:04:05 – Practising “softer” martial arts.
  • 00:13:05 – How to meditate.
  • 00:17:23 – “Good” breathing.
  • 00:18:14 – Finding a good teacher.
  • 00:21:33 – Advice for students.
  • 00:22:53 – What makes a good teacher.
  • 00:26:23 – Shi Kon Martial Arts.
  • 00:32:54 – Slowing down.
  • 00:34:59 – Skill vs. Conditioning training.
  • 00:42:25 – Principles of self defence.
  • 00:55:23 – Meditation saved Steve’s life.
  • 01:02:31 – Loneliness.
  • 01:08:45 – Fear during meditation.
  • 01:10:17 – Mind tricks.
  • 01:12:29 – Personal advice.
  • 01:13:05 – 3 main qualities of a human.
  • 01:14:20 – Where to find Steve.
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