Graham Butcher – Stav Teacher
What is Stav?
'Looks like a martial art to me.' Was a recent comment on the USA Training Facebook Page. The remark was a response to the pictures I have used on the page. It was a fair comment and it raises the question of how do I explain and represent Stav?
Stav is essentially a traditional education for life.
Well, that was easy. And how does this education work?
Stav means knowledge of the rune staves and runes teach you to think and focus on fundamentals. By creating a bind rune you need to simplify a subject to six related essentials. A practical example is my bind rune for explaining what Stav is. Have a look at it here.
Starting from the top Thor represents Mott or the physical body. Connected below is Ur which is Megin, the energetic body. So, Stav is about becoming aware of the physical body, developing health, strength, deep and natural breathing and good posture. Alongside this process we become aware of the subtle energies which also govern our lives and state of well being. The starting point for developing Mott and regulating Megin is the practice of the runic stances.
Top left we have Hagl which represents the Web of Orlog. Orlog suggests the ordered structure of the universe in time and space. Corresponding to Hagl is As which represents change and the unpredictable. The universe is structured and has order but change is inevitable too. In fact we live in an Ergodic reality, random enough to be interesting, ordered enough to be possible. Understanding the web means being able to recognise and create structure and order. Seeing the web also means recognising the points of change where the lines intersect and how to use them to our advantage.
A starting point for training with the web lines is simple striking and cutting drils using a stick or similar piece of equipment.
Top right we have Tyr representing the five principles of Stav. The traditional structure of society ranges from slave to freeman to warrior to priest to king. All these are roles that need to be fulfilled if a community is to function. Look closely at any organisation and you will see that one way or another a hierarchy of responsibility is just as essential today as in the past and probably always will be.
Balanced with the order represented by is Kreft which embodies frenzy. Human beings are emotional creatures driven by a variety of motivations. The most powerful desire of all being to maintain and develop status within our society. Again there is an inherent contradiction between orderly structure and impulses which will challenge and eventually change that organisation. We should recognise the ideal of a well ordered society. At the same time we cannot afford to be unaware of the impulse to challenge the existing order.
A starting point for training with the five principles are partner drills which bring to light the key aspects of each principle. What role are your fulfilling? What status do you have in a situation? What behaviour will resolve the situation with the minimum of conflict?
I suppose I could simplify even further and say simply that Stav is coming to the realisation that the universe is an endless process of order and chaos. Embrace both and you have a life which can be fun and exciting. Cling to order or despair at chaos and life will be difficult. Your choice.
Graham Butcher April 2017
There are several opportunities coming up in the next few months to attend courses which will teach the essentials of Stav please visit my Calendar page.
Classes and Seminars
If anyone wants to see how I teach these ideas please check out my teaching calendar or opt into my email list below.
Of course there is no substitute for face to face and hands on training. So, for those willing to get stuck in, you can find links to the seminars in Crewkerne this summer here. For my full programme see the calendar page.
However the first thing to do is get a free PDF copy of Peacock Kung Fu by opting in below. The four principles described in Peacock Kung Fu are all most people ever need to know about self defence. Even if you are a martial arts expert this booklet will get you to focus on what is actually important in the study of self protection. So get your copy right away.