The fascinating world of Internal Martial Arts, a world full of hyperbole and deliberate deception
Keith Roost Swimming Dragon
My first exposure to Chinese Internal Martial Arts was a library book entitled "The Chinese Art of Kung Fu" authored by Chee Soo, an amiable looking chap, who was considerably smaller than his assailants in the accompanying photographs.
I studied this book assiduously, borrowing it frequently. A while later I was a member of the local club, studying the Lee (Li) family system, the same system I had been reading about.
I found some surprising similarities to the Hatha and Raja yoga I had practised during my childhood confinement in Addenbrookes hospital, whilst being treated for an exceptionally rare and lethal form of cancer, along with the similarities I discovered a new, richer way of living.
Chee Soo opened a door for me that was to shape the rest of my life; it led to the fascinating world of Internal Martial Arts, a world full of hyperbole and deliberate deception performed with skill equal to the finest orators and prestidigitators, a world full of huge egos, incredible abilities, mysterious powers and intense rivalry.
In coming to understand this world, I was driven to study martial arts systems including hard and soft styles, massage, yoga, nutrition, meditation and internal alchemy, hypnosis, teaching, business and history, art, myth and magic and the many things between heaven and earth.
As a result I have led a richly rewarding life, full of interest and motivation, recovered from an "incurable" cancer after 15 years of unsuccessful conventional treatment, and neared death both by accident and other peoples design. These are a few of the reasons that I am an evangelical practitioner of the Internal Martial Arts.
Of particular value in my 35 odd years of research into the internal martial arts has been the knowledge of my self, my frailties and strengths, an ability to observe other people and stand for a moment in their shoes, a willingness to stand and fight for what I believe in and to know when not to.
Perhaps most importantly of all, that the world is not always as we see it, or as others would lead us to believe, and that the power of the mind, when combined with an appropriately trained body can accomplish remarkable things.
In this website I hope to share some of my experiences that may be of use to you, and gain from you inspiration as I have from students, teachers, friends and foes alike.
Read more about Keith's experiences on his blog page.