Martial arts expert teaches free classes as part of national Mental Health Awareness Week

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 (12 – 16 May), Chris Barron, School Administration Manager in EDA, taught lunchtime sessions of ‘Tanren’, a system of body conditioning or ‘forging’ that develops the qualities of strength and flexibility required for traditional Japanese martial arts. Tanren is a traditional sequence of moves to promote positive physical and mental health, with a focus on breaking and manipulation of pressure inside the abdomen to awaken the body’s true potential. See this YouTube video for a flavour of Tanren.

Tanren is a supplementary exercise to the Japanese sword art of batto-do, which Chris recently travelled to Oslo to teach. He was accompanied by Carl Swaffer from Information Services, who has trained with Chris in this art for over 12 years.

Chris explains: ‘The art of cutting with the Japanese sword represents cutting through our own weaknesses and insecurities. This concept of “Katsujinken” is central to batto-do – the sword gives life rather than taking it.’

Chris has taught batto-do throughout the UK and Europe and is the head of the batto-do division of the Jindokai, a martial arts association with members all over the world. He has taught batto-do at the University’s Sports Centre since 2002, and plans to start regular tanren classes in September 2015.

For more information about batto-do or tanren classes please email Chris: