Shikukai Martial Arts & Fitness Association
Makko-Ho (Japanese Yoga)
Stephen teaches an exercise system based on Makko-Ho (sometimes referred to as Japanese Yoga) as developed by Mr. Nagai. It works on correct posture and breathing to preserve health and maintain vitality.
At the age of 42 Mr. Nagai suffered a stroke that paralyzed half his body. Doctors said that he would never recover his full body movement. He was determined to fight and find a way back to full health. It took him three years to gain his full health. In that time he developed Makko-Ho.
Stephen has added to the Makko-Ho system other exercises from his years training in Hatha Yoga. As Makko-Ho consists of only 4, sometimes 5 exercises, and Steve is always happy to spend a whole session on these exercises, he felt that by adding more exercises it gave students a choice of exercises that they could practice each day without becoming bored.
A normal class will start with all the students laying down and working on getting their breathing to be long, slow and deep. While doing this the mind and body should work on becoming relaxed.
This is followed by three simple exercises to get the body ready for what's to come. The students are then taken through a number of different exercises. The students are taught that the exercises that they practice are there only to facilitate their breathing practice. The benefits that they feel after these exercises are a by product.
The most important thing is to learn to breath properly. To allow their body to benefit from the positive energy that they take in with each breath and let their body benefit from the negative energy when they breath out
The class finishes with a few minutes of meditation, using mental visualisation exercises to again work on their breathing.
One is never to old to begin a course of mental or physical training. In the Orient, old age is considered a time of maturity and hope for the future. It is a time for beginnings, not endings. This same hopeful attitude can be a part of the lives of people everywhere if they take consistent, regular care of their bodies. Makko-Ho and the other exercises that Stephen teaches is one way to do this.