Athlete of the Month record

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2009-10: Vicken Demirjian         


"He is the greatest of warriors who overcomes and subdues himself."

You have earned this year's Athlete of the Year title for: seven years of uninterrupted Presence inc lasses and beyond; dealing with your limitations maturely and raising your level enough to participate in National, Arab World, European and World TaiJiQuan tournaments; embodying the Spiti of PathLessNess for others to draw upon. Bless you, and keep up the good fight!

Jan-Feb. '10: Crystal Safadi         


Crystal is our youngest active member who works hard on embracing the pathlessness approach in every aspect of her life. With many local championships participation, she is now taking her practice to a whole other level by performing optional routines with difficulty movements. That requires lots of stamina and elegance int he movements, which you already seem to have developed over the years of your dedicated practice. May you live with alertness to bear witness to the fruits of your good fight.

Congratulations Crystal!

Nov-Dec '09: Barbara Drieskens

Let me express my congratulations with the very words of Hafez you've shared:

Where does poetry live?
In the eye that says, "Wow wee,"
In the overpowering felt splendor
Every sane mind knows
When it realizes – our life dance
Is only for a few magic
From the heart saying,
"I am so damn

Gefeliciteerd Barbara!

Sept-Oct. '09: Edith Samen         


Though Edith is a recent member of the PathLessNess, her enthusiasm for the art and her dedication to the practice of it is contagious. It is rare to come upon an individual who appreciates art truly for what it is: a gateway to inner transformation. You are blessed with such a vision dear Edith. Congratulations!

July-Aug '09: Pascal Hachem

How to hold the bow, extract from The Way of the Bow by Paolo Coelho.

"Keep calm and breathe deeply. Every movement will be noticed by your allies, who will help you if necessary. But do not forget that your opponent is watching you too, and he knows the difference between a steady hand and an unsteady one: therefore, if you are tense, breathe deeply, because that will help you to concentrate at every stage.

At the moment when you take up your bow and place it – elegantly – in front of your body, try to go over in your mind every stage that led up to the preparation of that shot.

But do this without tension, becaus eit is impossible to hold all the rules in your head; and with a tranquil mind, as you review each stage, you will see again all the most difficult moments and how you overcame them.

This will give you confidence and your hand will stop shaking."

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2008-9: Rana Haddad


"How easy life would have been if we were given the gift of premonition: that is to know things before they come to pass.

A question arises though: what is the worth of such a giftfor a pathless pilgrim? What would such an individual need it for?

For the pathless one has realized the principle of all inclusiveness in life, where every action emits ripples in the universal stream of consciousness, which not only affect the individual's future choices, but also the W[hole] of Existence...

You are the rightful Athlete of the Year for understanding this principle that is the quintessence of all choice-making in life.

You are the one because you believed, acted on it, and have become.

May you be blessed, Rana!

March-Apr '09: Liza Barikian         


Taming one's natural talent and channeling it through a disciplined practice not only gives uncountable benefits to the individual who is undertaking that kind of work, but it also inspires others to follow the "role" model and exert themselves for such outstanding results.

Excellent re-launch at the beginner WuShu course.

For the second time, Bravo Liza.

Jan-Feb '09: Margot Chami

Armed with lightheartedness and perseverance, Margot has paved her way through the obstacles that the 6th and 5th Ji represent. With many grandchildren to be proud of, she is an inspiration for ever-youthfullness through life!

Felicitations, Margot!

Sept-Oct '08: Hiam Jarrouj         


Since 2002, Hiam has rarely recorded an absence from the classes of Internal and external martial arts. Always diligent, willing to learn and share, practice and integrate, she kept sharpening her skills quietly, persistently. This is to let you know that authentic motivation armed with hard work never goes unnoticed. Congratulations, Hiam!

July '08: Zareh Parmaksezian       


Zareh, first joined Body Potential and later Wushu classes to rekindle the love for athletic performances of high and long jumps. Soon, he proved to be more than an athlete in cross-training or in recuperation phase. Zareh, now is one of the athletes who is able to complete successfully many difficulty movements ina very short period of time. And what is more important than that, he always does itin humbleness and thoughtftulness, virtues of a spiritial being. Congratulations Zareh!

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2007-8: Tatiana Bocharova


“If one is innocent of recklessness, there is the possibility of great control”. These are the words of The Changes riding the waves of Time. Yi Jing goes on saying: ”The noble one frequently studies the words and prophecies of the past, and thereby nourishes virtue.” In this case, our noble one is also a Warrior. Refined by discipline, rejuvenated by daily renewal of character; this warrior has paved her own way by advancing when retreating was easier, starting anew while dropping could have been justified, by smiling when another would only complain; this is a warrior who has done all this while enjoying the Journey. Congratulations Tatiana!

April '08: José Chidiac         


In less than two years' interval, José is awarded the Athlete of the Month title for the 3rd time. This aware coincides with the dawn of his 3rd Ji examination, the degree that he has already obtained 21 months ago (in one of the "visions" I had then; seeing him with this degree under his heart). He is the proof of progress made possible through perseverance, discipline and Self-Respect. One does not need to see the destination ahead indeed. It is enough to have faith in the path you chose to walk heartfully...

That is the principle of constancy in change; movement in stillness.

March '08: Maher Doumany     


The first private wushu session with Maher was on September 2004. The only thing that comes to my mind is that he was like a “candle in the wind” as Elton John sings. Forty two months later we see a young man growing in determination and Will, one of the highest virtues of a warrior to be. He carries inside the seed of appraisable potentials once the raw energy of self-affirmation comes to a rest. I would like to be then friends with such an admirable individual!
Be grateful to all those who are helping you pave your way. Keep fighting the good fight Maher.

February '08: Nathalie Cherfane


Bypassing social conventions, not caring about labels that imprison; yet caring enough to radiate humanity and kindness, a joyful loudness, vitality and Life Force. Some react to you with contagious participation, some may even be angry with you for the joy and freedom they are themselves unable to express. Thus you never go unnoticed. Such is your effect on people! Such is the Way of The Fool, the Way of Life, the mysterious ways of the
HeARt (not a grammatical error).

Congratulations “Um” Gaia!

January '08: Michel Faddoul      


Best known for his high jumps and practicing “understanding” through results instead of ornamented words. For the last few years Michel has been working off spotlights sharpening his skills in silence, always exploring new possibilities, new arenas through the spectrum of practices he is tasting with his friends. As an architect, he has a refined way of expressing things symbolically (for those who have eyes to see!). It happened that you were seen Michel. Congratulations!

December '07: Avedis Seropian F. H.         

The silence, to be in one's deepest self is a communion with the invisible. one attains the invisible through the visible, one attains the infinite through the finite.

The persistent work on your inner self is manifested in you, The Warrior in every step of the way, in every new achievement, new challenges to come, and recently praised in the world WuShu Championship that took place in china November 2007.

“The soul dwells within all that exists; it is the truth of all that exists. You, my son , are the soul”. The Upanishads

You are a living proof for all of us. we are previledged to have you as a Fellow Human. God bless you.

November '07: Hagop Kayabalian        


Since: 2006 (with PLN)

Titles: Former Lebanese Champion in Staff (GunShu); assistant instructor in WuShu

Our unique “fakir” with a given talent to re-invent himself, has indeed gone through major transformation since I knew him a decade ago as a fellow martial arts student! With a Heart always willing to serve on his journey home. May you never stop seeking heights unconquered.
A warrior gives without being asked!

Sept-October '07: Annabelle Shadarevian


Since: 2002

Carrying the blessing of two saints, this young lady has made a fine debut in kinetics years ago in TaijiQuan. Since then, she has fearlessly explored the realms of NeiGong, QiGong, TaijiQuan weaponry and now the Long-acrobatic fist, showing a remarkable progress in all the arts as she takes long exhalations with the basic trust to find air again for the next inhalation...

Gifted with a keen mind like all Gemini's, she flows indeed with every new input however "crazy" at first glance it may seem, therefore embodying one of the Peaceful Warrior's virtues; that of "openness" and "acceptance". May you always radiate starlight like your name signs!

July '07: Vahan


Since: 2003

“A warrior puts his sword continually to tests to avoid rustiness”. A marathon practitioner, gifted with tons of determination and persistence, armed with long breathe with call patience. also the first person to achieve the difficulty movements at the age of 40 fighting
all prejudice about age and deterioration of skills, opening new horizons for us future athletes. Congratulations, Vahan Djan, a True Shield like your name!

June '07: Léa Talhouk        


Since: 2006

Preferred practice: TaoLu’s (WuShu)

"After a short training period in WuShu's fundamental routine known as ChuJi ChangQuan, Lea got herself fearlessly into the Lebanese National Championships, where not only she could enjoy the performance, but also reaped the Gold medal in her category. This reflects the talent she has for performing arts. Now comes the Moment for consciously embracing this path of the Peaceful warrior with lots of practice and perseverance to crystallize that talent. Bravo Lea!

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2006-7: Joumana Medlej       


There are three stages in developing Gong Fu:
• Sticking to the nucleus
• Liberation from the nucleus
• Return to original freedom.
The first stage is conquered through continuous effort and respect of the rules, the second stage is marked by the creative input the individual brings forth from the interaction with the art balancing the mechanism of assimilation/adaptation to finally arrive to effortlessness. Though this progression can only be seen in time, yet every moment of our training can also mark mini-passage from these three stages.

Such has been the progress that was witnessed by me as an instructor throughout the year 2006-2007, the heavy ride that the Jade Lady undertook in the process of refining one’s Ego on every Level, to a respectable degree of transparency. Let me be the first to congratulate you Joumana!

April '07: Liza Barikian         


Since: Sept. 2005

Preferred practice: Acrobatics

Even the subtlest art of alchemy must prove practical. We share the long kept secret components here: “Eagle eye observation skills mixed with a talented spirit to explore the depths, a sense of purpose enriched with appreciation of details and esthetics to grasp it, a high maintenance vehicle to express with burning enthusiasm.” That is the secret recipe of an alchemist.

Enjoy your flight Flying Ass!

March '07: Tatiana Bocharova         


It is said that the mind is an obstacle on the path.
Well, one shouldn’t be mindless either.
Mindfulness is a quality, a refined manifestation of one’s presence that goes hand in hand with Patience and acceptance of Change.
May you keep swimming in the Mind of the Eternal, Tatiana!

The ultimate gift of conscious life is a sense of the mystery that encompasses it.
- Lewis Mumford

February '07: Vicken Demirjian


Since: 1998

Preferred practice: Tui Shou

Behold a person who has his treasure in his heart! Despite his daily fights where inspiration and motivation can evaporate in an instant, he keeps his inner strength unshakable like a rock, even when his own body tells him to let go, the heart conquers all.

Congratulations Veteran Viking!

January '07 : Jamil Azar       


Since: 2004

Preferred practice: Qi Gong

 “From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men
The Purpose which the masters know and serve.”
-- An extract from the Great Invocation

Three years of disciplined practice and dedication. An artist at Heart, fighting against everything mechanical and stagnant, with a display of incredible resilience to turmoil,

to cyclones, even ones that are within. That is courage. That is true commitment.

You are “Jamil” indeed.

December '06 : Sandrine and Lea Talhouk


Undivided they stand. Polarized they manifest. It is like seeing the birth of the TaiJi from the WuJi.

Lea -the Yang principle of manifest activity- rolling and jumping around with a display of  energy so contagious, inspiring the older members of the class.

Sandrine –the Yin principle- calm like water, emanating Peace and Serenity, an intuitive understanding of what is all about, a nurturing female principle.

While such a unity is easier to acquire among persons of the same age category, what we witness in their relationship is a prototype of an “awakened” sense of relating.

November '06 : Rana Haddad       


Since: September 2005

Preferred style: TaiJiQuan (Chen style)

“There will be a time when you  believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning”.

What is the significance of working IN Silence? As practitioners of TaiJiQuan, sooner or later we find ourselves reflecting about the importance of centeredness, be it on the physical level or the intentional level. The intuitive understanding of the center of the cyclone… The skills we develop are not here to puff our egos up, they are  tools, I would say a “noise” around a silent center, the Silence of Your Being. That kind of work takes place when one appreciates working WITH Silence. A new way of defining humility…

October '06 : Dina Zebouni          


Since:November 2004

Preferred style: TaiJiJian

Many of those who strive to overcome pride are hoping to puff themselves up with this triumph. - Hakim Jami (Sufi Wisdom)

 While walking out from the short interview with Dina, I was surprised to see the similarity of her state with that of the theoretical 5th JI practitioner’s. In her conversation, she pinpointed the “self-centeredness” of her practice and targeted the faith issue. But I ask you, is it possible not to be “self-centered”? Dina was selected the athlete of the month, because of her transparency to admit in doubt what others hide beyond a veil of certainty…

September '06 : José Johann Chidiac          


“At this moment stop inwardly- when you do stop inwardly, psychologically, your mind becomes very peaceful, very clear.Then you can really look at “this”. -- ,Bruce Lee

 What is motivation? How major a role does it play in whatever “conscious” activity? If you are among those who have not yet reflected about these questions there could be no better moment then RIGHT NOW. Then  “you can really look at “this” like Bruce says. The athlete of the month is embodied by a person who has done a sustainable effort applying himself/ herself continuously armed with discipline and Self-respect, with an unfolding vision of where all this is leading…

That is one of the most essential “virtues” in achieving GongFu.

Congragulations José, for the second time I Salute You !

August '06 : Kevork Djoulfayian          


“Speak only whatever is True, useful and kind”. BUDDHA

     One of the most important factors of path working is PERSEVERANCE.  That is the reason why Kevork Djoulfayian was selected the athlete of the month. An active member since the year 2000, currently holding the 4th JI in our system (3rd degree), he is rarely absent from any course. Silent and attentive; he tries to assimilate every given exercise, and usually leaves the classroom only when the lights turn off. That’s the kind of motivation that rewards any  practitioner with results.

Keep up the good work Kevork ! 

July '06 : José Johann Chidiac         

      “The tree is known from its fruits.”

    In a world where fruits emerge from genetic engineering and not out of trees anymore, it is rare to find people with a true longing, gifted with an open mind and compassionate heart, radiating joy and laughter even during Chinese torture...

José Chidiac is such a person.

Even though he joined our group in late 2002, he is one of the founding members of our system. His display of   perseverance, continuous efforts, created a strong momentum in which progress was made possible.With a background in Japanese martial arts (Judo), he has paved his path through Path Four, advancing in the arts of WuShu (5th JI) and TaiJiQuan (4th JI).

His commitment and dedication were recently awarded by raising him to “3rd JI” Bronze Sash.         

May he be an inspiring example along The Path.