Photo on 2013-07-02 at 12.30 #2


Hi – I’m Emlyn. Thanks for dropping by. At the time of writing, I live in St. Petersburg, Russia, where I work as an English teacher. I came to Russia for many reasons, but one of the most important was that I wanted to learn about Russian martial arts. Many of these have strong links to Cossack culture, which is another area of interest for me.

I eventually discovered that my work schedule rarely allowed me to get to any martial arts classes, which was a disappointment. I’d already found, though, that learning about Cossack culture and its revival dovetailed very closely with another interest: how to develop resilient communities, able to weather the imminent consequences of Peak Oil, and the other environmental and financial catastrophes that now seem unavoidable. This is now my primary focus.

Everything I write here is, of course, purely in a personal capacity, and is in no way reflective of the views of any employer – past, present, future, or entirely hypothetical.

Update: as of April 2015, I’m living in Beijing. China isn’t exactly a hotbed of Cossack culture, but I’m doing what I can 🙂

About the blog’s banner picture

The banner at the top of each page is “White Cossacks, presumably Kuban, dancing outside a train“, which I obtained from the Photos of Kuban Cossacks page at Pygmy Wars. It’s my understanding, based on that site’s copyright policy, that this photo is freely usable.


  1. Hi Emlyn, Thanks for your reply. I imagine you speak Russian. Your writing is superb. Today’s blog is really fascinating. Recently read The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis. Well researched, really well written. A grim read.


  2. Thanks for listing us as a reference on your site!!!!!
    It is the theory that makes the difference and Mr. Kadochnikov is the source for much of it!!!!!


  3. Hi Emlyn. I am actually back studying Mandarin, part-time and teaching Tai Chi at the Confucius Institute in U.C.D. I hadn’t realised you had such an interest in Chinese martial art too. It’d be good to talk. If there is anything I can help you with, regarding your training, let me know.


    1. Thanks, Garreth, nice to hear from you! Yiquan shares a lot of characteristics with taijiquan, so it would be good to compare notes sometime.


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