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Inner Dharma

Inner Dharma began life as a blog, but has evolved over the last ten years to include a description of my current training and teaching activities. Below you will find a list of essays, events, and brief updates on classical and traditional martial arts, with a focus on classical Japanese martial arts and Chinese internal martial arts.

  • Event : Taijiquan Classics Seminar

    Master Zhang Yun taught for two days in Silver Spring, MD on the Taiji Classics.
  • Event : Jorcho Six Preliminary Practices Retreat

    July 1-3 2017, Troy Gehrett is hosting a dharma retreat in Beavercreek, Oregon, co-sponsored with the Joyous Path Buddhist Meditation Center, where Abong Rinpoche will provide in-depth instruction in preparation for effective tantric meditation.
  • Essay : Logic and the art of the sword

    Logic is all too lacking in the martial arts. There are many challenges that benefit from critical thinking: deciding on an art to practice, finding a good teacher, deciding if a group is no longer the right one, discerning the right training path based one's personal capabilities and interests. These are but some of the decision points a martial artist faces in their career.
  • Update : Moon Mountain

    Announcing a training activity in Seattle focused on internal martial arts.
  • Essay : Too Close

    I used to train in Katori Shinto-ryu, under a splinter group of the main line of the art. I learned a large portion of the curriculum they taught, and received their first rank (mokuroku). However, the more I practiced Jiki Shinkage-ryu, the more I questioned how Katori Shinto-ryu was taught.
  • Essay : Semiotics and Martial Theory

    One of the challenges I face when I hear the word internal used in reference to Japanese jujutsu or taijutsu is that the spread of internal schools of Chinese martial arts seem to post-date the major influx of martial theory from China to Japan.
  • Essay : Is It Still Aiki?

    The question of what internal power is and how it relates to other arts and their practitioners that want to add it to their practice, especially if it may have been common in the practice amongst their founders, but not successfully transmitted to later generations at scale, is a complicated one that touches on several different models of identity. Semiotics meets the sword.
  • Update : Winter Light

    I'm happy to be hitting the tail end of winter. Reflections on recent discussion on internal training, Shinkage-ryu and Shinto-ryu, and the merits of walking a long, slow, path to excellence in physical culture.
  • Update : Mountains, Rain, and Sound

    Relocating to Seattle; continuing to train in Yin Cheng Gong Fa by visiting Pittsburgh and Bellingham.
  • Event : Enbu for Karunakaran Chindan

    An enbu was held dedicated to the memory of Karunakaran, who recently passed away. Karunakaran was Donn Dreager's most senior jodo deshi and David Hall's Shindo Muso-ryu jo mentor. Koryu demonstrated included Shindo Muso-ryu jo, Isshin-ryu kusarigama, Yagyu Shinkage-ryu heiho, Kashima-shinden Jiki Shinkage-ryu kenjutsu, and Masaki-ryu manriki.
  • Event : Longpoint 2016

    I enjoyed watching the finals for rapier & dagger and longsword at Longpoint 2016 this weekend.
  • Event : Wu Taiji Quan Seminar with Zhao Zeren and Zhang Yun

    Zhao Zeren and Zhang Yun taught a series of three seminars on the Wu Style Taiji Quan of Wang Peisheng during May 2016 in Princeton, Pittsburgh, and Silver Spring.
  • Update : Taiji Classics

    An important book on Taiji Quan is published; April brings rain and focus on developing skill with the spear.
  • Event : Kagami Biraki 2016

    I have been rededicating myself to my Hatha Yoga asana practice, incorporating the use of kettlebells for conditioning. Recent corrections on my Wu Style Taiji Quan have been very useful, profoundly changing how I approach solo form practice in the art. I also had the pleasure of attending the 12th annual Kagami Biraki hosted by the Masakikai and Hoboykai in Sterling, Virginia.
  • Event : Bai Shr Ceremony

    At the end of summer, I traveled to Princeton for a seminar in Bagua and Taiji and was accepted as a disciple by Zhang Yun. I also traveled to the Pacific Northwest, where I attended a conference focused on Functional Programming, visited with family and friends, and enjoyed taking many pictures.
  • Event : Kagami Biraki 2015

    Sunday I traveled to Sterling, Virginia, to participate in the annual Kagami Biraki (Opening the Mirror) enbu held by the Masakikai and Hobyokai. A number of different martial arts were demonstrated as part of the gathering, including: Yagyu Shinkage-ryu heiho, Kashima-shinden Jiki Shinkage-ryu heiho, Shinto Muso-ryu jo, Ikkaku-ryu jutte & tessen, Isshin-ryu kusari-gama, Masaki-ryu manriki, Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Hakko Denshin-ryu jujutsu, and Tomiki Aikido.
  • Essay : Are You Connected?

    I was talking with a colleague about what it means to be connected and I felt like sharing some of my thoughts on the topic here.
  • Event : Tian Gang Dao

    This weekend I traveled to Pittsburgh for additional training in neijiaquan. I attended Zhang Yun's taijiquan class and met up with several of his senior students I had not seen in a while. It was great to train with everyone and get pointers on my body organization. I also had a chance to get further correction of my Yin Bagua Zhang and also learn the remaining sections of the Hebei Xingyi Quan Za Shi Chui (mixed skills) form.
  • Event : Kagami biraki 2014

    I attended the Hobyokan and Masakikai annual Kagami biraki (opening the mirror) new year's gathering. A number of different martial arts were demonstrated as part of the gathering, including: Yagyu Shinkage-ryu heiho, Kashima Shinden Jiki Shinkage-ryu heiho, Shinto Muso-ryu jo, Masaki-ryu manriki, Hontai Yoshin-ryu (jujutsu, iai, bo, hanbo), Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Hakko Denshin-ryu jujutsu, Kokoro-ryu batto, Goju-ryu Karate, and Shito-ryu Karate.
  • Event : NAMT 2013 Araki ryu and Toda ha Buko ryu

    I enjoyed watching Ellis Amdur's recent koryu demonstrations at NAMT in Paris.
  • Essay : Aiki and Internal Training

    The first martial art I practiced for an extended length of time was a self-defense oriented amalgam of Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, and Kempo/Karate. I have since transitioned to spending a good amount of time learning internal martial arts ideas via the route of baguazhang, taijiquan, and xingyiquan. This has illuminated my striking and grappling practice, offering a glimpse of the higher levels of martial arts training that was suggested but ever elusive in my original jujutsu school.

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