Many people ask us about what it is like for a Qigong instructor.
Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our White Tiger Qigong Senior Instructors, Sylwester Organka, from Toronto, Canada. Sylwester is a lifelong martial artist who began training at the tender age of just six years old. He has travelled the world as an athlete competing in Muay Thai fighting and has won numerous championships and trophies for his incredible athleticism.
Sylwester’s interest in Qigong was ignited by his need to repair and replenish his body after years of championship fighting.
His practical and powerful approach to teaching our 8 Trigram Organ Qigong, 5 Element, and 5 Animal Qigong courses has imparted life-changing confidence in students’ hearts worldwide.
Sylwester has trained with White Tiger Qigong for over 6 years and has completed WTQ’s entire Qigong Trinity System. He currently teaches in many countries around the world.
See at the end of this article for his free Qigong videos.
Here is an intro to Sylwester in his own words:
My first exposure to Qigong was through literature at the young age of nine. I was always curious about the world around me and at that time, there was no better place to learn about it than through books. One day, my mother introduced me to a brand-new bookstore during its grand opening. I began wandering the aisles aimlessly pulling out book after book, eventually finding my way into the martial arts section. Normally, I would grab a couple books off the shelf, take a seat in the middle of the aisle, and start reading. But this time, things went differently. I was immediately drawn to one particular book on Internal Martial Arts as if it was the only one on the shelf. I grabbed it and knew right then and there, despite not opening it, I had to have this book. This was where I first read and learned about Ba Gua Zhang, Taiji and of course, Qigong. Subsequently, this moment was one of the many factors that encouraged me to journey into the martial arts.
Growing up in a violent household, and later in subsidized housing with my mother, I had to learn about life and how to cope with its endless challenges. At an early age I ventured into running, movement, and sports, but with little household income, buying equipment and paying fees for team sports and camps was out of reach. Despite the challenges, I had an eagerness to move my body and train; I wanted to be strong and have the ability to physically defend myself and others. I wanted to be in a position whereby I would never have to witness or be a part of the violence I experienced in my childhood. After extensive research, and speaking with friends and neighbors, my mother finally enrolled me in martial arts, and my training began.
During this time, K-1 kickboxing from Japan and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the US slowly started to emerge on the combat sports scene, and I took notice. Up to this point, I had extensive training in Kung Fu and some kickboxing but the competition was on my mind; I knew I had to expand my skill set to include grappling if competing was something I was going to do. Upon doing so, I found myself training intensively in a local Sambo school which I competed in my first grappling tournament, earning a 3rd place finish. Not long after, I learned that my Sambo instructor was moving back to Russia, leaving me without a school or teacher. Once again, I was left searching for a place to train, and more importantly, grow.
In the early 2000s, I finally found what I now consider my second home — Kombat Arts Training Academy. I fell in love with the art and sport of Muay Thai and 6 months into my training, I had my first bout and earned a split decision victory. The sport of Muay Thai lead me to multiple championship belts and victories from around the world, all the while being supported by an incredible team. However, the rigorous demands of training and fighting began to take its toll both mentally and physically. I needed to regain control of my health and well-being if I wanted to continue fighting.
By chance, a friend invited me to a seminar where I was introduced to a Taoist and Qigong Master — this was a very memorable and pivotal moment for me. I began to learn and understand the power of breath and movement to clear physical and mental stress, detoxify the body and mind, and achieve the health and well-being I was looking for. As I began to put the methods I learned into practice, my body started to heal. As a result, my mind became more clear and sharp. Prior to a fight, I was able to implement components of meditation and breathwork into my warmup to prepare.
Whether I fought Muay Thai, MMA, or Kyokushin, I used the teachings and practice of Qigong everywhere I went. It was part of the successful formula I had found not only as an athlete but also as a martial artist.
After retiring from active competition in combat sports, I continued to maintain my Qigong practice because the health benefits were unquestionable. Qigong has left such an impact on my life that I made the decision to deepen my knowledge and practice. The hunger and eagerness that I once felt about martial arts as a child had returned through Qigong. After spending many years traveling the world for competitions, I decided to take one more flight. This time, however, it wasn’t to compete but rather to become an instructor of Qigong. It would allow me to teach and show fellow athletes and martial artists the potential that lies inside of them to allow healing, and growth and unlocks maximum human potential.
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