I am a teacher (and student!) of the Daoist tradition known as Ba Men Da Xuan. I also teach a self-created collection of physical practices that were born out of my tinkering with the various methods I have trained in, which I call ‘Hammer’s Anvil’ (Hammer is one of my nicknames. Mallett…Hammer…get it??! :)).
I hold classes in two locations: Civic Park in North Sydney; and in a wonderful facility known as The Movement Academy (formerly Umbilico), just south of Sydney CBD. I also teach workshops around Australia and internationally.
While I teach using physical exercises, I consider what I teach more like a craft than a workout or exercise. My background is as diverse as it is strange, with many elements coming together to inspire my teaching. Major influences include:
– Training in the traditional Chinese arts of Xin Yi Liu He Quan (Heart, Mind & Six Harmonies boxing), Cha Quan (Cha family boxing) and Yang Style Tai Chi under my first teacher Dapeng Wang [2003 – 2013]
– Becoming a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor 
– Exploring various systems of training including Modern Methods of Mobility (Emmet Louis), Stretch Therapy (Kit Laughlin & Olivia Allnutt), Ancestral Movement (Simon Thakur), Evolve Move Play (Rafe Kelley), Gymnastic Strength Training, Calesthenics, MovNat, Ido Portal Method, Urban Dance, Parkour, Gymnastics, Capoeira, Handstands and more. [2005 – 2016]
– Inner Circle training in the art of Physical Alchemy created by Dave Wardman. [2015 – 2018]
I don’t have a dedicated practice in any of these arts currently, however they have certainly each influenced me in their own ways. In particular, my time with Dapeng and Physical Alchemy were both very dear to me and continue to inform my explorations within Hammer’s Anvil (see below).
What I teach is very simple and direct. The practices are grounded in reality, and the reality of our current time is that most people have plenty of work, social and family commitments. There is no need to become a full time practitioner, move to the forest, or a monastery, or become a new-age weirdo or anything like this. On the contrary, I’m looking to work with the regular people of our society. My students are school teachers, public servants, corporate workers, tradespeople, retail workers, fitness enthusiasts and university students.
I very much enjoy sharing and discussing what I do with anyone interested! If you would like to ask me any questions, please do! You can use the button below to email me.
BA MEN DA XUAN
Da Xuan is the traditional side of my practice and teachings. A Daoist lineage under the leadership of Serge Augier, it has been established for over 1,500 years. While being Chinese in origin, it is specifically non-cultural and non-religious. We are concerned with the development of human qualities, and as such our practices are open to anyone of any culture or belief.
The tradition teaches using physical exercises, martial arts, breathing exercises, qigong, tai chi, dao yin (kind of like daoist yoga!), mental exercises and much more.
With permission from Serge, I formally opened the Da Xuan School Sydney in 2017. I currently teach classes in Physical Training & Martial Arts and the Da Xuan Family Qigong. I offer workshops on other topics too, including Primordial Breathing and Meditation techniques.
You can find more information on the Da Xuan School Sydney website.
My Anvil is the new side of the equation. It is the frontier where I explore, experiment and create something that has yet to exist. This is the melting pot of the many different arts I train and the laboratory where I experiment on myself and pass my findings to my students. It is, of course, heavily influenced by the things I have learned from Da Xuan, however it also breaks from the tradition in many ways.
My personal explorations were previously done under the handle ‘Aware Relaxed Connected’. In 2017 I decided to dissolve ARC and merged into Physical Alchemy, where I delved deeper into the ways of creation with input and advice from Dave. In 2018 the time came again to dissolve and reform, separating from Physical Alchemy and returning once more to my own domain.
I run a variety of classes based on the material and findings that have emerged from my years of exploration and experimentation. You can find the currently available classes on the timetable page and there are many video tutorials available to those not able visit in person.
If this all sounds very interesting to you and you’d like to get a more complete idea of what I do and my approach, you can head over to my blog and read my various articles. There are plenty of articles on various topics from my training history to the concepts and ideas explained in far more depth than I have on this page. The most important articles are these two, which I recommend starting with:
You can also find many pictures and videos of my classes and workshops on my Instagram feed below. As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words and often the most precise description in the world will not give nearly as clear an impression as a picture or video can.