On Tuesday, December 23 we are pleased to welcome Luke Shumko, Shibashi Instructor to the Beach Lake Wellness Center. Luke describes Shibashi as a mixture of Tai Chi & Qigong. He explains that most people do not know what Shibashi is, and so the easiest way to explain it is to say it is a combination of Tai Chi & Qigong.
Shi, means 18 movements or steps. Shibashi is the only practice that has 18 movements. Luke is certified in the 18 steps and is currently working on certification on a 24 step Tai Chi Yang style practice, and 5 animal frolic Qigong. He is also studying Tai Chi sword work. His teacher is Ping Zhao of Bethel Authentic Eastern Health. He says it can take many years of training to become certified and a student must be dedicated to his teacher.
"The idea" he says, "is to slow the process down, which trains the body to have a reflex as natural as breathing. After the muscles have been ingrained the movements may be sped up to use in self defense."
In my minds eye, I'm picturing the Karate Kid doing "wax on, wax off" which later he discovers can be used to block attacks.
Tai Chi, Luke tells me, is a subtle form of Chinese Kung Fu, while Karate is a Japanese practice. Japanese martial arts are more aggressive forms of self defense. While Chinese methods are still considered martial arts, there is a graceful flow to the movements.
It is the flow of these movements that helps the student to improve balance, stamina, posture, vitality and mental focus, while reducing weight, blood pressure, stress, depression, stiffness & fatigue. Shibashi will also help you get a better nights sleep.
While the movements are graceful and flowing, do not be deceived, you will still get a good work out. Following Lukes guided movements and descriptive wording for each motion, left me feeling stretched out, flexible and happy to start my day.
Does he train people to use Shibashi as self defense? No. Luke uses Shibashi to teach others how to breath & move as a spiritual practice. "It is very meditative. I teach my students the movements first, then later I develop the breath work. As we pull our arms in, we breath in and as we do a movement that pushes out, we breath out. It comes to a point when we ask, is the breath work leading the movement or is the movement leading the breathing? That is where we want to be."
How has Shibashi helped him in his life?
"If something isn't going right or exactly as I want it to, I stop and focus on my breath. Even pouring a cup of tea has a ritual and movement to it."
|Luke Shumko, Shibashi Instructor & Singer/Songwriter|
When he is not teaching the 18 steps of Shibashi, Luke is a singer/song writer for the band Puffy Tongues. He uses his lyrics in songs to help people use as a coping mechanism. He has been touched by others close to him dealing with tragedy and written uplifting songs to help them heal.
"I wrote a song for a friend who had lost her husband and one of the lines was about how he'd be there for her in the wind through the trees. It helped her heal."
"I started writing songs in 1999 and have used that, singing and Shibashi as my form of healing I can offer to others. If I can help one or two people in a class, that's all that matters. I've done my bit for the day.
Join us for Lukes Shibashi class, Tuesday, December 23, 3-4pm at the Beach Lake Wellness Center. The class is $10.00. Please pre-register as class size is limited. Call 570.351.4304 to join.
Article by Cari Branning