Kung Fu

Nuns from the Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, better known as the "Kung Fu Nuns," have been named as finalists for the prestigious Václav Havel Human Rights Prize. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which established the award in 2013, cited not only the nuns work promoting gender equality, environmental sustainability and intercultural tolerance but their teaching self defense to women across the Himalayas region as reasons for their nomination.

The order, which primarily lives and trains at Druk Amitabha Mountain Nunnery in Nepal, began practicing kung fu a decade ago as a means of empowerment and have since been active in the fight against human trafficking and in bringing pandemic relief aid to remote villages over the past year. The other two finalists for this year's prize, Loujain al-Hathloul of Saudi Arabia and Julienne Lusenge of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are also noted for their work promoting women's rights.

The Beginning of a Journey

In 1966, New York City was in the midst of a subway strike that nearly shutdown down the entire city. The US was experiencing division and unrest with opposing views on the Vietnam war. Culturally, there was an awakening, a period of growth that touched all artists and art forms. It was at this point, within this harsh and unforgiving backdrop, that a young 16 year old from Harlem, NY named Ralph Mitchell, would begin a lifelong journey into the world of Martial Arts.

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The Straits Times

Wushu and sambo are seeking to join aikido, muay Thai and several other martial arts as members of the International World Games Association. The International Wushu Federation and the International Sambo Federation both applied for membership in the IWGA which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and conducts its own quadrennial multi-sport event, the World Games.

Though membership does not mean automatic participation in the World Games, sambo has already appeared twice before, in 1985 and 1993, while wushu appeared in 2009 and 2013. Wushu is scheduled to appear again as an invitational sport at the next World Games, slated for 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.


In the 1990s, when I started studying martial arts, classes started with traditional calisthenics and then stance training, which I deduced was an ancient form of torture devised especially for young men from the suburbs. There were lines of students holding low horse stances, breathing deep, relaxing their upper body, and focusing their minds to stay in the moment. It was great training. Years later, I was surprised to learn that stance training was a form of Qigong. Is it still Qigong if I don't know that it is? Yes.

There were lines of students holding low horse stances, breathing deep, relaxing their upper body, and focusing their minds to stay in the moment. It was great training. Years later, I was surprised to learn that stance training was a form of Qigong. Is it still Qigong if I don't know that it is? Yes.
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