Master Peter Ralston: Founder of Cheng Hsin
“True innovators are, by definition, ahead of their time. How many of us wished we had met Bruce Lee, sat in a session with Carl Jung, or walked around Walden Park with Henry David Thoreau? Too late for that, but not too late to take notice of Peter Ralston. A superlative martial artist and caring teacher, his insights speak to us all.”
Peter Ralston began studying martial arts at the age of 9. Through his intensive studies of martial arts he gained black belts and was proficient in numerous martial arts including: Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Sumo, Fencing, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Western Boxing, Aikido and the internal martial arts of T'ai Chi, Hsing I and Pa Kua.
Along with martial training, Peter was spending periods of intense contemplation which resulted in having many enlightenment experiences regarding the nature of self and reality. These experiences greatly influenced his study and ability in martial arts. Already an accomplished martial artist with a reputation, there followed a period of two years when Peter’s martial ability doubled every month. It was a phenomenal period of growth and discovery as a direct result of insights brought through contemplation, study and the years of intensive training.
Unable to find an art that had the breadth and depth of his insights, Master Ralston started to teach what was later to be named Cheng Hsin. Along with the martial training, he created numerous ontological workshops to facilitate others towards Mastery.
In 1978, Peter Ralston became the first non-Asian ever to win the World Championship full-contact martial arts tournament held in the Republic of China. When asked in a later interview why he had entered the world tournament, he replied:
"One of the fundamental reasons I fought in a world tournament is that I ask people to do "unconventional" things, to actually question and understand themselves. I want people to listen to me, to open up to what I am saying. Winning this world tournament was done so I could say "I did it. What I am teaching you is functional. It works." Now people listen to me who wouldn't before, yet I am saying the same things."
Peter is the author of six books:
- The Principles of Effortless Power
- The Art of Effortless Power
- Ancient Wisdom, New Spirit
- Reflections of Being
- Zen Body-Being
- The Book of Not Knowing
Master Ralston currently teaches at the Cheng Hsin center near San Antonio, Texas. The center is open for residential martial camps, consciousness retreats and apprenticeships.