Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Workshop Spotlight

Peridance Martial Arts Instructor, Joseph Zeisky will be teaching a Bagua/Qigong Workshop this Summer!

The workshop, "Three Saturdays" (July 23rd, August 20th & August 27th) focuses on a unique principle of Bagua. Unfamiliar with the practice myself I asked Joseph if he would give me an introduction to Martial Arts and explain what drew him to make it a life practice.

1. How did you first get involved in studying Martial Arts?
When I was 8yrs old my Father took me to see the classic martial arts movie, "Enter the Dragon", starring the iconic movie star Bruce Lee. Like most kids who saw that movie in the early 1970's, I too was greatly inspired to start learning martial arts. Soon afterwards I begged my Father to sign me up at a local Karate school near our Sunnyside Queens, New York home. Most of my martial arts exposure and influence, from early childhood up to my teenage years, came from New York City's martial arts movie theaters, especially Chinatown’s Music Palace Theater, which was located off of Canal St. and Bowery. Almost every Saturday after work, my Father and his good Chinese friend “Uncle Ho” would go for Chinese food and Kung Fu movies and they’d always take me along...It was great fun!

2. What drew you to select the particular forms you have chosen to focus on in your career?
Most of those martial arts films I was exposed to as a kid usually demonstrated the more dramatic styles like Karate, Shaolin Kung-Fu, Snake, Tiger, Monkey, Crane, Praying Mantis, boxing, jujitsu and other external styles. So as a teenager, when I first encountered the much more slowly performed and less dramatic forms of the Internal Martial Art of Tai Chi Chuan, I was simultaneous mystified and intrigued. At the time, it was quite the radical departure from what I was used to in terms of what I thought a martial art should look like and feel like, but I was pretty much hooked the first time I saw Taichi performed at an art gallery/Taichi school in Soho, NY in 1984. Even though I couldn’t explain exactly why I liked it so much, I intuitively knew there was something there well worth exploring further. It’s now been twenty-seven years since my first Taichi class and I’m really happy I followed my intuition. The core principles and practices of Taichi further led me on another exciting journey of studying and practicing other dynamic and equally powerful Internal Martial Arts styles such as: Bagua, Xingyi and Aikido. Presently, Bagua and Taichi are the primary arts that I teach and practice.