Taiji & Qigong: Yang Style (since 1993)
Hapkido: 4th Degree Blackbelt (A H A)
Hapkiyusul: 3rd Degree Black Belt (H Y S K)
Soo Bahk Do: 1st Degree Blackbelt (K S B D A)
Wu Shu: 1st Degree Blackbelt (W T M K F A)
Body Psychotherapy: Diploma of Integrated Somatic Psychotherapy (I B P)
Shirsha Marie is the Founder and Principal of Heart Mind Centre in Australia, (est. 1986) where she has taught a large number of dedicated students a range of Eastern traditions that develop and integrate mind, body and spirit. She is a full-time health and martial arts practitioner with a deep commitment to healing and personal development.
Shirsha offers comprehensive training programmes in the soft-style movement art of Taiji. the gentle exercise art of Qigong, and the traditional martial art of Hapkiyusul. Her teaching style is a significant outcome of over 30 years of dedication to Eastern health arts, martial arts and meditation.
Shirsha has extensive knowledge of the body-mind system, with a highly developed understanding of body mechanics and economy of movement. She gives much attention to the refinement of the Dantien Energy Centres, and the movement generated around these fundamental bio-energetic phenomena.
Shirsha provides comprehensive instruction in regulated breathing methods, focused awareness techniques and the cultivation of vital life energy known as 'Ki' or 'Qi' (Chi). This internal focus is a defining feature of the training provided at Byron Bay Health & Martial Arts.
In 1985, after many years of personal development work, Shirsha began her training in Hapkido with Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim, Founder of the Australian Hapkido Association. She received great inspiration from his powerful and generous warrior spirit and was directed by him to open her own school.
She then went on to live in Korea for two years, from 1991 to 1993, and immersed herself in Eastern culture and full-time training. During this time she trained Hapkido, Soo Bahk Do, Wu Shu and Taij. In Korea she furthered her understanding of how to initiate movement from the Tanjen Centre, employ fluid circular motion, harmonise with incoming forces and apply relaxed yet focused power.
Upon her return to Byron Bay in 1993, Shirsha began intensive training in both the Yang style of Taiji and the art of Qigong with the accomplished teacher, Roger Cotgreave. These arts are well known for their capacity to foster radiant health, internal strength, physical and mental unity, and the experience of stillness in action.
Roger was a student of Patrick Kelly, the closest Western student of Master Huang Sheng-Shuan (1910 - 1992) who, in turn, was one of the most outstanding students of Cheng Man–Ch'ing (1898 - 1975). It was Cheng who extensively promoted the Yang Style of Taiji in the West.
Shirsha became a student of Patrick Kelly in 1995. Under Patrick Kelly's guidance she teaches the traditions and training methods of the Yang Style of Taiji, including the Deep Mind System of alignment and relaxation, focused awareness and intention, and the internal sensing techniques that are the fundamental training methods of this profoundly authentic style.
Shirsha offers expert instruction in the art of Qigong. She is renowned for her attention to detail and her ability to deliver the subtleties of the art with depth and insight, which enhances all aspects of student practice - including meditation. Her advanced skills and clear instruction make Qigong accessible and enjoyable for everybody. Her teaching style is well regarded and enjoyed by many students in the region.
Shirsha's training today includes daily practice in the Art of Hapkiyusul, which is the root of modern Hapkido. In 2003 she met her Korean Hapkiyusul teacher, Dojunim Kim Yun Sang, who was at that time 71 years of age. Kim Dojunim trains on the mat twice a day and is living proof of the power of the traditional Martial Arts to strengthen, heal and transform the body-mind system. Shirsha aatained her 1st Dan Black Belt with Kim Dojunim on October 15th 2007, and her 2nd Dan Black Belt on October 11th 2011, both at the International Hapkiyusul Headquarters in Geumsan, South Korea.
From 2016 to 2019, Shirsha studied Body Psychotherapy with Andrea Alexander at The Institute of Body Psychotheraopy in Brisbane. This study of the relationship between emotional and behavioural difficulties with muscular armouring, stored tensions and imbalances of the nervous system, has immensely developed and enriched her work of transforming body, mind and energy. She offers her holistic approach in a variety of formats including: classes, workshops, sessions and retreats.
With her comprehensive training programme Shirsha continues to provide personal development through Body Psychotheray, Martial Arts, Self-Healing practices and meditation. She supports the cultivation of vital life energy with an open heart and a focused, peaceful mind.
Traditions That Have Healed and Inspired
for Thousands of Years