Shifu Damir Tenodi's teaching method
the integrated therapeutic and martial arts
on the teachings of Master Ananda.
Tenodi teaches Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung and Kempo (traditional karate).
His Anan-Do teaching method is twofold, including both the external
and the internal.
The external covers not just the physical forms but also
their chi energetics and yin-yang philosophy.
The internal pertains to Master Ananda's teachings.
Once the external becomes infused with the internal, we
can realise the full potential of the arts and find their applications
beyond the skill.
What are the integrated Anan-Do forms?
The integrated Anan-Do forms combine the following:
A - the traditional forms - as learnt from the best masters,
keepers of the particular styles;
B - Shifu Tenodi's personal experience in martial arts and study
of the related disciplines; and
C - Master Ananda's teachings - all tailored to today's circumstances
and designed to be suitable to modern society.
his teachings, Master Ananda questions all human activity and
discusses a need for a shift in the way people approach and engage in
their selected areas of work - stressing the importance of intention
- in order to render their actions meaningful.
This shift is the aim of the Anan-Do teaching method.
Master Ananda says:
"Anan-Do is an introduction to Endeavour. It starts at the moment
of the decision - when one decides to no longer merely exist as a being
on earth, but to become a soul in the world."
Anan-Do encourages students to be their best on their chosen path. If
Christians, to experience the essence of Christ's teaching, if Muslim,
to delve deep into Islam and its mysteries, if Buddhists, to fully apply
the eightfold responsibilities into their daily life, if atheists, to
gain deeper understanding of what the humanistic approach implies, if
scholars, to equip themselves for a major breakthrough.
Anan-Do does not promote the exclusivity of any particular religion
or ideology but rather encompasses them all, favoring the comparative
study of the great religions as well as philosophy and science until
the student reaches the point when he can see their essential sameness
(yin) and disregard their differences (yang) evident in their varying
ceremonies, forms and rituals.
Anan-Do students learn to discriminate the essence of their chosen study
from its degenerated forms, to see the importance of interpretation
and constant re-examination.
The advanced student is the one who has abandoned his inertia and has
decided to apply himself, knowing that an insight - although it can
occur in a moment - can only happen if there is an adequate foundation.
Creating that foundation is a long and demanding process. Such a student
is no longer just a disciplined practitioner who attends classes regularly,
learning and perfecting the forms, but is someone who has overcome his
material, spiritual and mental passivity.
How are Anan-Do forms modified?
Any serious Tai Chi student, working with a number of teachers and experiencing
different variations of classical forms and styles, can easily notice
that in each of them there is a number of modifications, as a standard
form is inevitably changed and shaped by the personality, understanding
and physique of the individual teacher. Those changes and modifications
- no matter how great or small - mostly take place on an external level,
as defined earlier, so that in a wider context, they are incomplete
and therefore are of little consequence. But beyond this, a student
can learn to discern other, more subtle changes as well.
The subtle modifications which have resulted in the integrated Anan-Do
forms will become apparent to an intuitive and responsive student. Although
they faithfully emulate the classical forms, Anan-Do forms have been
modified at other levels, in consultation with Master Ananda.
Ananda says, "The more advanced one is, the less he stands out
in the world. Both aspirants and adepts are what they are because of
their inner approach, not because of any outward symbols. At the same
time, every external symbol is acceptable if it is worn as a sign of
dedication to the teaching rather than as a mark of separation".
Anan-Do is expressed through the symbol of San Shimon with three teardrops
and with the motto, "United in Service". The symbol indicates
the imperative of the threefold nature of this work and how it is directed
to Him, to oneself, and to others.
threefold aspect of Anan-Do is also illustrated with a triangle in which
the energy flow is counter-clockwise and in perpetual motion, from the
top down towards the left then to the right and back to the top again.
Not only is the service mentioned in the motto threefold in nature,
including duties to Him, to oneself and to the world, but also the "united"
aspect is threefold, signifying harmony with oneself, with the world
is another characteristic conveyed in the symbols of Anan-Do. This duality
is symbolised in the traditional Tai Chi Yin/Yang symbol as well as
the hourglass or a double pyramid symbol, often simplified as two triangles.
The upper, inverted triangle represents Anan or teaching and the lower
triangle stands for Do or skills and disciplines. Meditation is the
bond or point which connects them.
A human, as a multi-aspected being, can be described as a duality -
having both internal and external characteristics; as a triplicity -
with physical, emotional and mental aspects; and furthermore, as fivefold
- as represented in the classical kempo mandala referring to the elements
of earth, water, fire, air and ether; and as sevenfold - the seven bodies
as favoured in theosophy, the physical, the etheric or energy-body,
the emotional, the lower mental, the higher mental, the buddhic and
the atmic. The septenary nature of man is reflected in the seven chakras.
Through Anan-Do meditation, the lower three chakras are, through the
fourth, connected to the three higher aspects. The seven human aspects
return us to man's duality, when practitioners of meditation learn about
the dual nature of chakras and how to prevent imbalance caused by concentrating
on just one aspect alone.