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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Stress the point

I’ve known Gordon Faulkner since 1975. We both trained in martial arts while stationed in Malta – he in the RAF, me in the RN. Gordon was already an experienced Martial Arts practitioner. It was at this time when we first mooted the idea of writing a novel together, the first in a projected series.

For many years Gordon had been creating a world, Floreskand. He’d developed the history, characters, flora, fauna, religion, weights and measures etc. But he needed someone to put flesh on the bones. I was enthusiastic and we began our collaboration.
Why are thousands of red tellars, the magnificent birds of the Overlord, winging their way towards dark Arisa? It’s a race against time. Magical rites will start on the auspicious day. Then it will be too late for the wings of the Overlord.
What kind of link does the mysterious Ulran have with the red tellars?
The ascetic Cobrora Fhord conceals a secret, but what is it?
Their chance meeting at the dread inn with the mighty warrior Courdour Alomar forges an unlikely alliance on a dire quest to Arisa.
Plagued by assassins, forces of nature and magic, the ill-matched threesome must follow their fate across the plains of Floreskand, scaling the snow-clad Sonalume Mountains and penetrating the dark heart of Arisa. Only here will they uncover the truth about the rites. Here too they will find pain and death in their struggle against the evil Yip-nef Dom.

We left Malta and went our separate ways but continued to communicate, building up the first novel and planning subsequent books in the series. I started the long and heart-breaking process of finding a publisher. There were some close calls, but in the end nobody was willing to go that extra mile with Floreskand. I always believed in the project and never gave up on it. Maybe because the few individuals who actually read the manuscript raved about it; a sub lieutenant aboard my frigate actually took it onto the bridge during his Officer of the Watch duty in order to finish it! The manuscript was taken up twice by small publishers who didn’t survive long enough to get it printed, so we retained the rights.

Finally, after a remarkably long hiatus, we are in the throes of not only seeing the first book Wings of the Overlord published in hardback and paperback by Knox Robinson in June 2014, but we’re some way through the second book (To Be King) in the series, Chronicles of Floreskand.

Gordon is a quite remarkable and unique individual. So far his life has had three distinct parts. The first was being born and raised in Yorkshire where the seeds of the future were planted.

The second was 22 years as an engineer in the Royal Air Force where the martial arts seed blossomed and he trained with, was trained by, and ultimately trained members of all branches the British Armed Forces. He was a founder member and General Secretary of the Royal Air Force Martial Arts Federation until retirement from military service.

The current third part is as Director and Principal Instructor of the Chanquanshu School of Daoist Arts, a school that teaches yangsheng (nourishing the vital principle) practices that cover martial, medical and meditational arts.

Recognised for his outstanding abilities in these fields in both the West and inside China he was invited to study the Daoyin Yangsheng Gong system with Professor Zhang Guangde of the Beijing University of Physical Education. Later be became one of the first Westerners to be qualified as a Senior International Judge certified by the China Daoyin Yangsheng Gong Association and the China Wushu Society. Later still Professor Zhang accepted him as a closed door disciple (Ru Shi Di Zi) and made him a successor to the Daoyin Yangsheng Gong lineage.

Under the name of ‘You Lisu’ he is a 15th generation disciple of You Xuande, Grandmaster of the Daoist Wudang boxing.
He is also President for Scotland & Wales in the European Daoyin Yangsheng Gong Federation and is the Specialist Advisor to the UK Qigong Teachers Association and has taught throughout Europe and the USA.
On the therapeutic side Gordon is a practitioner and teacher of Chinese Therapeutic Massage.

For several years now he has been working with the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres where he has been using qigong from his award winning book Managing Stress with Qigong (Bronze Medal in the 2011 Living Now Book Awards), especially the stress prevention exercises, to great effect. His sessions there have become one of the most popular activities and have consistently shown their effectiveness.
Gordon concludes, ‘Woven throughout those three parts was my hobby of creating the mythical world of Floreskand which my martial arts friend Nik decided needed to be brought to book.’

Managing Stress with Qigong
The ancient Chinese health system of Qigong combines physical postures with breathing techniques to promote harmony between the body and the mind. It is quickly gaining popularity in the West as a natural yet powerful way of combating stress and its related effects.

This step-by-step guide to managing stress using Qigong begins by looking at our response to stress from both an Eastern and a Western perspective. It then presents a program of specially-designed stress relief exercises, followed by a series of gentler stress prevention exercises, many of which can be carried out either seated or standing.

The author provides easy-to-follow instructions for each of the steps, and the postures and movements are explained with the aid of photographs.

Designed specifically to fit in around a busy lifestyle, the Qigong program set out in this book will help to reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and restore energy.
This practical book will help anyone who is prone to stress, regardless of their level of ability or experience of Qigong. It will also be a useful resource for Taijiquan and Qigong instructors, alternative therapists, and other professionals working with clients who are affected by stress.

Small selection of reviews

A truly knowledgeable book that's both easy to read and easy to understand. Excellent. I'd be interested to know the name of any western teacher that has an equal or greater knowledge of the subject, I don't think there is one!!

A technically excellent and very well written book. The exercises are easy to follow and learn from the clear text and photographs

UK Kindle can be downloaded from here
Amazon com Kindle can be downloaded from here

Paperback can be purchased post-free worldwide from here

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