REVGEAR’s resident writer, Tom Billinge recently released his second book “War Yoga” after many years of research including two trips to India to develop his understanding of this ancient tradition which he now shares his knowledge with the combat sports world.
I first met Tom many years ago in my home town of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the north east of England. Our shared love of combat sports and perhaps naturally aligned views made building a friendship with the amiable Cambridge born author easy. At that time Tom had spent most of his combat sports life doing Muay Thai in various camps around Thailand interspersed with extensive world travel.
His unique skill set led us to start working together on what then was a relaunch of the REVGEAR brand. Tom eventually left the UK to be with his American wife in the Northern state of Connecticut after spending quite some time arranging his green card. It in the USA he found a new love.
No, he didn’t leave his wife, I’m talking of course about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!
Perhaps influenced a little by his work on this very website and our launch into the world of BJJ, Tom joined RADIUS MARTIAL ARTS in Fairfield CT and started his Jiu Jitsu journey.
Tom’s interest in combat sports history, including an extensive knowledge of pre Queensbury rules boxing has led him into all manner of interesting endeavours including training in martial arts practices often almost lost to the world but BJJ has become a real passion for him.
Practising Yoga is quite often recommended by high level BJJ practitioners including recently by Joe Rogan on his Podcast with Andy Stumpf, it’s development of strength and flexibility is an obvious aid for any grappler, so Tom’s research into what many might consider a lost tradition in forms of Yoga developed for Wrestling.
In the East resides one of the last living Indo-European spiritual traditions. Unbroken by the Abrahamic conversion that swept through the West and largely unaltered over thousands of years, Hinduism, the remnant of Vedic religion, currently has almost a billion followers in India alone.
Like their Indo-European Greek and Persian cousins, the Indians have a rich wrestling tradition going far back into history. Its present-day form known as kushti was adapted from earlier styles, some of which arrived with the Aryan Invasion.
Kushti wrestling and its conditioning exercises, a practice dedicated to the god Hanuman, could be called a sort of violent yoga. Its akharas are still filled with faithful adherents who grapple in sacred pits, swing weighted clubs, and lift heavy stones as part of their training.
In addition to being an authority on Greek mythology, Undying Glory author Tom Billinge also has a background in Vedic religion. This has lead him to become the standard-bearer for a uniquely Western continuation of the Indo-European holy warrior tradition known as WarYoga.
WarYoga merges old-world Indian athletic training with ancient Tantric principles rooted in the Vedas. This deeply esoteric, yet accessible program recreates a prehistoric system of Indo-European physical alchemy.
Recently returned from his second pilgrimage to India as a WarYogin, Billinge has brought back a work expounding this living tradition rooted in physico-spiritual transmutation. With its final pages written in the hotels of India between forays into akharas across the country, the essence of WarYoga has been distilled in book form.