Relaxation. Fluidity. Continuity.

50 Sifu & Thurston

Relaxation. Fluidity. Continuity.

3 simple terms, tips, aims. Any one of these in Wing Chun are a massive bonus, however put them together and they work like magic.

Take this out of martial arts, and insert into your life. How many times have you heard that stress is a killer? Stress kills 120,000 people / year in America alone as a direct result of work-related stress. Stress causes disease (or dis-ease), can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease.

What’s the opposite of stress? Relaxation.

Rigidity doesn’t move, break, or change. When an external force is applied, it retains it’s shape. In other words, it stays the same. Ever heard of the book by Spencer Johnson called “Who Moved My Cheese?” Change is the only constant, and we must adapt – what happened to United Video? They were offered to join up with Netflix however didn’t think anyone would want to watch tv on their computers. Fluidity is the ability to move & flow. A car engine without fluidity becomes rigid (ie doesn’t go!).

Continuity is just that – continuous. Never ending. What’s the opposite of this? Stopped, broken, unsteady, intermittent, interrupted, wobbly, discontinuous – ending.

Lessons from martial arts ALWAYS apply to life – it just takes time to see HOW. &
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Stylish Family Character Home


Stylish Family Character Home – on 965m2 – 73 Golf Road, Paraparaumu Beach

Combine 1960s character with clean modern lines, a sparkling new kitchen and bathrooms, new floor coverings and fresh neutral paint throughout and you have the best of both worlds.

Set in a top, established Kapiti location, this generously-sized elevated home is bathed in all day sun and sits across from the world-class Paraparaumu Golf Course. It’s two blocks from the beach, walking distance to the village eateries and excellent primary and secondary schools, and a couple of minutes’ drive to Kapiti Expressway. You can even walk to the airport.

Living is easy in this family-friendly home, which features fabulous indoor-outdoor flow and clever separation between living and sleeping. Upstairs, the open plan kitchen, dining and living area features a sloped ceiling, giving the area a feel of light and spaciousness. From the kitchen island, you can watch the kids do homework, chat to visitors, or just gaze at the beautiful Flowering Cherry Tree out the window as it changes with the seasons.

In the cooler months, a free-standing fireplace makes the home toasty and warm. The living area flows out to a sundrenched deck, perfect for barbeques or just soaking up the rays Kapiti is famous for. Camellias in the established garden bring colour to the backyard in winter, and just around the corner is a lemon tree, perfect for those summer-time drinks.

In addition to a full-sized upstairs bathroom, there is a good-sized bathroom downstairs, servicing the four sunny bedrooms – three doubles with wardrobes and a single/study. The master bedroom opens out through sliding doors onto yet another deck, where you can bask in the mid/late afternoon sun.

Attached to the house, is a spacious garage, which could potentially be expanded to create a workshop/storage area. There is also plenty of extra room for additional off-street parking.

With a relaxed vibe and moderate climate, Kapiti has 40 kms of beautiful beaches, great schools and shopping and is a 45-minute drive or train ride to Wellington. With this brilliant property ticking so many boxes, don’t delay, contact us today.

Visit our website for more info. &
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Someone Having a Rough Time?


We might not be able to be there in person as much as normal with these strange times, however we can be there in other ways. Be nice for no reason, appreciate you never know what’s happening in someone’s life, and take care you yourself and family. &
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Practical vs Theory

Practical vs Theory (Martial Arts & Business)

In my opinion, there’s a sweet spot between too much theory and too much practical, which is what I refer to as “applied“.

Too much theory will get run over in a confrontation, and too much practical might not learn or improve much.

In business, the applied area means: Make a plan, then take action.

Again, these are just my thoughts and opinion, and as always – interested in your thoughts. &
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Do You Have a Joy Gap?

Fun Gap

After making a massive amount of mistakes in previous relationships, meeting Bridget motivated me to look at myself (and relationships in general) and try to figure out what’s gone wrong in the past, what has worked, and try to unravel why couples act the way the do – even when they don’t want to.

This has made for an interesting journey – one I bet I’ll never finish – however it has unlocked some insights that I’ll post here over the next little while. I post them in the hopes that someone – maybe even you – might read an article, quote or post and have a light bulb switch on – one that explains what’s been happening in your relationship/s or your own behaviour (the good and the bad).

This leads me to the joy gap.

A joy gap is the length of time between moments of shared joy between partners in a relationship. 

If falling in love is about joy (quite literally as falling in love floods the body with dopamine and oxytocin), then couples who stay in love throughout their relationship / marriage are couples who are able to keep their joy levels high. This would also make the opposite true: Falling out of love is the absence of joy in a relationship. The wider the joy gap becomes, the worse off the relationship becomes – until the relationship can feel hopeless – this normally sneaks up over time.

How do you close the Joy Gap?

Marcus Warner & Chris Coursey, authors of The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages, suggest making a “PLAN”:

Play Together
Listen for Emotion
Appreciate Daily
Nurture Rhythm

Play together is literally finding ways to have fun together. Laugh. Something that you both enjoy. To me, this can sometimes be the hardest part, because often you and your partner have different interests, hobbies etc, and the main thing you spend time doing is watching Netflix together. No matter what, don’t give up on this. Take cooking lessons together (or cook a new meal together), start martial arts, cycling, go to comedy clubs…. this is something I’d really like to hear your feedback on. What do you do? Or, what would you suggest others to do?

Listening for emotion – don’t problem solve. You’ll know me well enough that I’ve extensively studied emotions and behaviour – I can detect a slight twitch that reveals any number of emotional responses when I’m paying attention – however what do we do with this information?  Most men fall into the category of “solve the problem” rather than listen and empathise. Stop. I’ve been guilty of this for most of my life, and still is my natural go-to response to a problem. However stop. Guys talking to guys will problem solve with each other and it’s normal, whereas woman speaking to each other first and format usually empathise. As soon as a guy goes into problem solving with a woman, she often feels like she’s not being listened to. Here’s one of the best videos I’ve ever come across to help illustrate this point: It’s Not About The Nail.

Appreciating your partner daily is a self explanatory. Say thank you (and mean it) for those little things your partner does. If you haven’t done this for a while, you’ll probably have forgotten so many of the little things that you take them for granted – so just appreciate.

As a side note, I want to mention Love Languages (if you don’t know yours or your partners, make sure you find out!). If your partner’s love language is Words of Affirmation, they will naturally want and respond well to appreciation, recognition, kind words etc – and will be deeply wounded (more than “normal”) by criticism and being taken for granted. Also if you’re not naturally a Words of Affirmation person, it makes it more difficult and maybe even fake feeling to sprout out kind words – however they will go a long way.

Nurture rhythm just means to make time for each other. Make sure your schedules work, you have the same time off, same rest times, same free evening (for that date night or hobby to do together). This is sometime I’ve learned and wanted to make sure I got right second time (marriage) around, so wherever practical we walk the dog together, go to the gym at the same time (we don’t work out together, to me it just means we’ve blocked out the same time for the same activity which leaves the option for more time together if we’re organised!), and make sure we watch something we both like (I’m not a fan of watching TV in different rooms) – plus give shoulder massages a few nights a week in front of the TV.

No, it’s not perfect. Next step is to get more time together of better quality (ie no distractions, focused on each other and not doing separate things in the same room).

Shrink That Gap

I’m really interested as to what you might do to help minimalise the Joy Gap. Thanks so much for reading – if you found it interesting, please post some feedback or your thoughts! &


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Laughter a Cure for Depression?

Laughter quote

“Laughter is, and will always be, the best form of therapy.” – Dau Voire

Depression: Getting Through

Depression is a real problem, with an estimate of 15% of the population from high income countries (compared to 11% of low / middle income countries) experiencing some form of depression throughout their lifetime – and women being twice as likely to become depressed as men. (Source: *Science

In my opinion, depression is a longer-lasting emotional state that one either consciously or unconsciously sinks into, and I believe that in most cases emotional states can be changed quickly through three steps:

1) Changing your mental state. Be aware and take control of your own thoughts. When you’re in a depressed state, unhappy memories are easier to access, so deliberately think of happy thoughts to break the vicious cycle.

2) Change your posture. There are a lot of studies that support that body language is linked to our emotions and states. Slouch with your head down and shoulders hunched will most likely create an emotional state that is negative and tired. Sit up, shoulders back and chin high will create quite a different attitude. Amy Cuddy says in one of her talks on power postures; “Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviour and our behaviour changes our outcomes.” Also become aware of your facial expressions. Smile – even if you don’t mean it – as your brain may not catch on that you’re faking your smile and your state may lift.

3) Change your language. Similar to #1, become aware and change the words you say both to yourself and out loud.

4) Move! I think exercising is a great way to feel better, plus it releases endorphins which trigger positive feelings in the body.

* Science Daily – Global depression statistics. Retrieved from &
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Learn From Everyone You Meet

48 Everyone you will ever meet

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t” – Bill Nye

No matter who you meet – this quote is a great one to remember. Having started my own martial arts journey in 1991, and taught since 2005, I’ve had 15 years (so far) learning from my students – no matter who they are – everyone has something to offer. Based on this, my teaching skills have improved, my martial arts have improved, and my whole style and my way of looking at the art of Wing Chun has changed considerably over the years – all thanks to taking the stance that I don’t know everything and everyone has something to offer.

This is particularly so when cross-training with another martial art – understanding why different arts do what they do can truly enhance your own understanding. &
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Respect Isn’t That Hard


(I originally posted this on a Wing Chun Kung Fu Facebook forum – it wasn’t aimed at me)

I find it interesting that someone can post how they do their training and they get criticised – I’ve learnt Wing Chun from Sifu Dana Wong, who was more recently taught by Kwok Fu from Foshan. Foshan Wing Chun answers so many of the challenges I had with HK Wing Chun – Vietnam Wing Chun is different and have done rolling with someone from there before..

Different isn’t wrong; it’s different. Wing Chun has straight line roll punches, however also has a slight pivot smashing fist (to smash the fist / forearm) & they practice this on dummies in Foshan.

Show some respect and ask why someone does something different rather than stir the Wing Chun politics and act like Donald Trump (making judgements with a confirmation bias) 😉 &
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Risk Management vs Risk Avoidance

Risk Management vs Risk Avoidance – when it comes to martial arts, this is my take.

Risk management is the actual assessment of the situation (eg taking note of your surroundings, being aware of other potential problems as well as the attacker/s), and actually implementing one’s martial arts (eg physically defending yourself & taking out the threats).

Risk avoidance is being aware of potential dangers and avoiding them in the first place (eg NOT walking blindly down a dark alley where you can see people skulking in the shadows). In my opinion, avoiding a confrontation is the before form of self defence – and the best fighters are the ones that don’t need to fight. &
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To Know and Not to Do

47 To know and not to do

“To know and not to do is not yet to know.”

I think it was Lao Tzu who said the above quote, and I often reiterate this by asking; “After reading a book on riding a bike, can you actually ride a bike?” The answer is no, as you have only read about it. To learn how to actually ride a bike, you must practice riding on a real bike.

The same goes for anytime – in particular – martial arts. Being shown a technique or principle once doesn’t mean the student now knows the concept – it means that they’ve been shown it once. The student must practice, make mistakes, adapt and understand before they can claim to know – then the next step is having that concept become second nature. Too many people these days are all about instant gratification; there’s often an element of; “Ok, you’ve shown me this, what’s next?” rather than investing the hours, days, months and years and even decades that was previously expected my own teachers.

Same goes for going to the gym – you need someone to actually show you how to do the exercises correctly – then check your form over and over until you get to the stage where you know when you’re doing each exercise correctly or not. You can only go so far watching YouTube clips and reading articles.

Then there’s the Armchair / Keyboard Warriors who comb through social media, looking for the perfect place for them to assert their “book / video knowledge” rather than “practical knowledge”… to them I just have to suggest a smile and nod, and a thank you for sharing.

To know and not to do is not yet to know. &


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