The Transformative Learning Centre of OISE-UT presents


an Introduction to

Transformative Martial Arts

June 25 to July 23, 2008

Peace Lounge, 7th Floor, OISE-UT, 252 Bloor St. W., Toronto

Hasu Dojo/Classical Martial Arts (79 St Clair Ave E.)  and

Aikido Sandokai (near Lansdowne Station)


This unique series of seminars features 5 different practitioners of martial arts involved with social and personal change—one 2-hour session each week (4 on Wednesday, 1 on Monday), June 25 to July 23.  Each presentation will provide a different balance of intellectual and practical exploration, and participants also have the opportunity to experience two of Toronto’s most progressive dojos—the Hasu Dojo of Classical Martial Arts (first session) and Aikido Sandokai (July 14 session).  Participants are encouraged to participate in whatever way they feel drawn.  Loose clothing is recommended. 

suggested $10 donation per session, or whatever


June 25      2-4pm

  at Hasu Dojo/Classical Martial Arts,

      79 St Clair Ave East, Suite 203 (above Sobey's, take the entrance beside the dry cleaners)

Martial Arts as a Tool for Individual and Planetary Healing

 Ann Phillips

Ann Phillips, aka Kohai Phillips, is no ordinary martial artist.  She is a peaceful warrior healer. Dr Phillips started training 20 years ago and in her 12+ years of concentrated training, Ann has focused on healing herself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually by learning,  practicing, and applying the healing elements of the martial arts which she studies.  Her training in the diverse arts of Goju Ryu Karate, Kobudo, Escrima, Iaido, Jodo, Tai chi, Chi Kung, Bagua, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira and Aikido, has allowed her to develop a deep experiential understanding of chi, the energy that animates all things and is necessary for maintaining health and life; of breath, which connects the internal and external chi in the human body; of present moment awareness and of power, the ability to gather and mobilize chi.  Also a student, researcher and practitioner of natural, traditional and shamanic medicines, Ann has integrated her expertise and understanding of the healing elements of the martial arts with a practical knowledge of traditional and shamanic healing and demonstrates exercises to facilitate individual and planetary well being. 

         The session will focus on developing an experiential understanding of chi, breath, present moment awareness, and power through karate, tai chi and chi gung exercises that facilitate individual and planetary wellness.

Program/Agenda for Session 1


Links:    StayWell and Travel with Spirit     CMAC Hasu Dojo     Ann at the CMAC Wellness Clinic


July 2     2-4pm  at the Peace Lounge, OISE, 7th Floor, 252 Bloor St. W.  

Paths Beyond Domination:

The Walk of Life:

Centre, Circles, Power & Blending in Bagua and Tai Chi

Brian Milani

What are Internal Martial Arts, and what can they offer individual and social change today?   A unique mix of theory and practice, this workshop provides a historical perspective on the evolving nature of martial arts, along with a tangible experience of the ways the internal systems can cultivate consciousness, power and relationship.  These practices are distilled from the Neijia schools of Chinese boxing—Baguazhang (Eight Trigrams palm), Taijiquan (or Tai Chi Chuan, Great Ultimate fist), and Xingyiquan (Form of Mind fist), which will be described in the workshop. Special attention will be paid to radical internal perspectives within these systems that focus on the leading role of the mind—trained through standing meditation, circle-walking and visualization.  Participants can personally sample what “whole body power” is, and how it relates to both higher states of individual consciousness and blending in movement.  Experience how simple images can create surprising balance, strength and sensitivity; and contemplate the potential of such mind-body experiences for individual & social change, and for navigating everyday life.  The workshop combines Powerpoint presentation, video clips of  internal masters, basic visualizations, posture testing, and free-form partner work. 

                                  Powerpoint Presentation for Session 2


Brian Milani has been a student of internal martial arts for over 20 years, with an emphasis on Bagua for the last 8.  He practices with the Toronto Jiulong Bagua group affiliated with Dr. John Painter of Dallas, and teaches green business and economics at York U’s Faculty of Environmental Studies and the OISE-UT Transformative Learning Centre. 



§         The Circle Walk Practice of Ba Gua Zhang (Pa Kua Chang Journal)

§         Yiquan: Power of the Mind, Karel Koskuba in Tai Chi magazine


Links:  Sifu T.T. Tchoung       9 Dragon Baguazhang (Dr. John Painter)      Cheng Hsin (Peter Ralston)

Living Tao Foundation (Chung-Liang Al Huang)     Warriors of Stillness (Jan Diepersloot) 

Master Yau-Sun Tong      Tai Chi magazine    Pa Kua Chang Journal


Clips:         Bagua Masters        Applications, Circular Stepping     Robert Smith on Cheng Manching

    Bagua Training in classic 80’s chop-socky movie: Pride’s Deadly Fury    Gao style Bagua


July 9    2-4pm  at the Peace Lounge, OISE, 7th Floor, 252 Bloor St. W. 

A Taste of Qi Gong as a Healing & Transformative Art

Roxana Ng

Qi gong is a form of meditation and physical exercise, as well as a martial art, originated in ancient China 5,000 years ago. It has received renewed attention recently due to its health and anti-aging benefits. It is used widely as a healing modality in China, either on its own or as an adjunct to other treatments (such as surgery and medication). Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity; its integration of body, mind and spirit in healing; and its focus on the vital energy (Qi) circulating in the human body and in all living things. This workshop will address the healing aspect of qi gong. It will begin with a brief explanation and discussion of its basic principles, to be followed with qi gong exercises so as to enable participants to experience this exercise form. There will be time for questions and discussion.


Roxana Ng teaches in the Adult Education and Community Development Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She has written extensively on issues pertaining to immigrant women; globalization and work restructuring; and marginality and equity in education. Dissatisfied with theories and practices that privilege the intellect (simplistically equated with the mind) over the body-spirit, in 1990 she began to explore eastern philosophical thoughts that do not create this bifurcation. Using Chinese medical theory and qi gong as a starting point, she has developed a form of  transformative education, which she calls “embodied learning”, that she is integrating into her teaching and writing. She has practised tai chi and qi gong for over 15 years, and continues to study these healing and martial art forms.

Handout / Overview of Session 3


§         Roxana Ng, "Embodied Pedagogy as Transformative Learning: A Critical Reflection," Proceedings, Canadian Association for the Studies of Adult Education (CASAE) 24th Annual Conference, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, May 28 to May 31, 2005

§         Diana L. Gustafion, Embodied Learning about Health and Healing: Involving the Body as Content and Pedagogy, Canadian Women’s Studies, vol. 17, no. 4


Links:   Emerge Internal Arts       Sam Masich & Little Productions


Clips:     Sam Masich on the Bridge     Wudang 5-Animal Qigong

Shi Ming using Qi: Bill Moyers Healing & the Mind


July 14  2-4pm  (Monday) at Aikido Sandokai  87 Wade Ave, Unit 108 (near Bloor and Lansdowne) 

Martial Arts as Embodied Politics

Jamie-Lynn Magnusson

Jamie-Lynn on this workshop: “A karate dyke once said to me ‘I embody my politics as a martial arts warrior’. By this she meant that martial arts offered a way to reterritorialize her body, and to embody a politics that actively interrupts subjectifying relations of gender, race, class, heteronormativity, agism, and ablism. In this workshop we will explore how martial arts can be taken up as a creative embodied practice with political possibilities.”

Jamie Magnusson has earned a third degree black belt in Goju Ryu, an Okinawan karate style. With her Goju Ryu teacher, Bill Hind Sensei, she studies both the hard and soft, internal and external, aspects of her art within a context of evolving energy awareness. Jamie also studies Aikido with Laura Holmes Sensei, and Robert Bergman, a senior student at Sandokai Aikido. She attends many martial arts seminars in both styles and has studied with many wonderful and diverse feminist martial artists through the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation. A professor at OISE, her research and writing explores the intersection of higher education and neoliberal capitalism from a neo-marxist perspective.


Links:  Links: Women in the Martial Arts    National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF)


                   Clips:       Great Aikido Masters        Morihei Ueshiba        Yoshimitsu Yamada

Pre-WWII Goju Ryu Training        World Goju Ryu Championship 2006

  NWMAF Special Training (ST) ’07: Gun Defenses      ST ’07: Karate Demo


July 23       2-4pm at the Peace Lounge, OISE, 7th Floor, 252 Bloor St. W. 

Capoeira and Embodied Knowing

Professora Estrelinha (Lang Liu)

Capoeira is the name given to a vibrant and joyful martial art from Brazil, an art form that blends dance, musical, ritual and martial elements, all within the structure of a circle where practitioners sing in call-answer fashion.  Although capoeira arose out of the dehumanizing conditions of colonial and post-colonial Brazil, and is thus deeply linked to slavery, it is both an expression of cultural resistance and an affirmation of life.  Its strong African roots mingle with Indigenous, European and other influences to create a beautiful and rich art form.  Lang will be focusing on a style of capoeira called Capoeira Regional that developed in the 1930’s thanks to a Bahian capoeira master named Manuel dos Reis Machado, or more popularily, Mestre Bimba.


Lang Maria Liu, capoeira admirer, student and teacher began training capoeira 13 years ago.  In addition to teaching this beautiful Brazilian art form at the University of Toronto (Hart House) and Dovercourt House in Toronto, Lang is a Ph.D. student at O.I.S.E. (the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto) in the Adult Education Department.  Her thesis work explores capoeira as a form of embodied knowing – she sees this type of knowledge as both holistic and transformational and believes that the body can be a doorway to a deeper understanding of our selves and of our world.  Lang works hard in Toronto to create a community with her group, “Filhos de Bimba” through a variety of events including her weekly capoeira classes, music classes, trips to Brazil and other events.  Lang’s second home is Salvador da Bahia, heartland of capoeira.


The Workshop. Beginners and practitioners of all levels are welcome to participate in the workshop that will be a blend of theoretical ideas and practice.  Please wear loose-fitting pants and t-shirt (no shoes required).  The emphasis in the physical practice will be on song, rhythm, groundedness and circularity.  The focus of the talk will be on the ways in which capoeira develops what can be called embodied knowing in contrast to the dominant intellectual approach to knowledge in Western societies.


Wikipedia: Capoeira    TLC Capoeira Course    Filhos de Bimba, Sao Paulo   Filhos de Bimba, Newcastle


Clips    Mestre Bimba 1        Mestre Bimba 2



For further Information on the series, contact

Brian:   bmilani (at)

Lang:  langmliu (at)


To TLC Web Site