Interview. Nicolas Ragot, a martial arts enthusiast for 34 years in Vire Normandie

Nicolas Ragot teaches martial arts in Vire Normandie (Calvados). ©The Voice Le Bocage

Nicolas Ragot is martial arts teacher and all other disciplines that revolve around martial arts. He also leads relaxation and breathing exercises. He introduces us to the Daoyin Qigong at Vire Normandy (Calvados).

What is Daoyin Qigong?

It is part of Chinese martial arts, with some of it being taken over by the Japanese. In my opinion, the martial arts represent one and the same unit divided into several disciplines since the practitioners specialize in a particular field.

How long have you been practicing?

I started at 14, it’s quite early. I followed my sister who asked me to accompany her by chance and I immediately liked it. In the end, I always continued while my sister stopped. I started aikido at the beginning and became a professional. Then I decided to become a teacher at the age of 18.

What disciplines do you teach?

I teach most martial arts disciplines. I also give meditation and relaxation classes to improve movement, to relax members or to improve sleep.

How many members does the Vire club have?

The Covid pandemic has had a strong impact on us. Before the Covid, we had 20 licensees while since then we have fallen below 10 licensees. The license for an activity like Daoyin Qi Gong is 160 €/year and 120 €/year for reduced rates such as retirees and young people.

Can you tell us how a Daoyin Qi Gong training takes place?

There are no set rules. We start with a work of relaxation, especially at the level of breathing. The goal is to become aware of our tensions, etc. Then we stay still doing refined breathing movements. Afterwards, we make external movements to try to place the tension in specific places.

Do you consider Daoyin Qi Gong to be a sport?

Even if it is classified as a sport by the Ministry of Sports, I say no. It is not a sport, but a slow physical activity with particularly Buddhist concepts. When we talk about sport, there is this spirit of competition, the fact of hurting yourself and competing against yourself or against others in order to be able to triumph. This is not the spirit of this discipline.

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What would you say to those who don’t know the discipline and who want to get involved?

I think that to get a clear idea, the best idea is to come and test. I think teaching and this group idea has real benefits, so I encourage you to come and test it.

Resumption on Monday, September 5, 2022 at the Val de Vire gymnasium dojo. Registration possible all year round. For all information: 07 49 01 92 98.

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Interview. Nicolas Ragot, a martial arts enthusiast for 34 years in Vire Normandie

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