October 08, 2013

Tai Chi and Shintaido: Martial Arts for Individual and Social Transformation

Stephen Billias of the Shintaido Farm has coauthored an article titled, "Tai Chi and Shintaido: Martial Arts for Individual and Social Transformation" which appeared on the Tikkun Daily blog on October 3. Here are the opening two paragraphs of the article:

Jewish folklore of the Lamed Vov calls for thirty-six just souls, three-dozen anonymous individuals in every generation who keep the world from slipping into chaos. In 2009 Stephen Billias and filmmaker Dennis Lanson made a documentary entitled Seeking the 36, in which they sought the thirty-six just men and women who would save our generation.

A turn of events led them to Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, and the film took on a deeper meaning. Billias mentioned to Rabbi Shachter-Shalomi that he practiced a less-known Japanese martial art called Shintaido that focuses on the spiritual, meditative, and transformational aspects of the martial arts rather than combat and self-defense. The rabbi was interested so Stephen showed him one of Shintaido’s core movements. Instead of watching, Rabbi Shachter-Shalomi followed along. When Billias finished, Rabbi Shachter-Shalomi said: "Look, I want you to send me a DVD of this, so that I can get it into my body."

Read the rest of the article at Tikkun Daily.

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