picture of peter ralston Peter Ralston, who was born in 1950, is the founder of Cheng Hsin. He grew up in California, Singapore, and Japan and developed a keen interest in Asian martial arts at a young age. After mastering various martial arts disciplines, such as Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Sumo, Kempo, Kung Fu, Fencing, Western Boxing, and Muay Thai, he began studying internal martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing I Chuan, Pa Kua, and Aikido while pursuing a degree in medicine at Berkeley, California. During this time, he was also introduced to the world of Zen and experienced his first taste of enlightenment, known as Kensho, at the age of 21. Intense periods of contemplation provided him with many insights and breakthroughs in his martial arts practice, resulting in significant advancements in his skills. Interestingly, he observed that people often say "relax" but follow it with a "but." Consequently, he decided to train in a state of total relaxation, without any "buts." It took him nearly a year of 15-hour training days to develop what he calls "the Art of Effortless Power." He continued his search for effective interaction in both the body and mind.



In 1977, Peter Ralston established the "Cheng Hsin School of Internal Martial Arts and Center for Ontological Research" in Berkeley, which still operates today. In 1978, he won the "World Championship Full-Contact Martial Arts Tournament" in Taiwan, proving the effectiveness of his philosophy of Effortless Power.

Currently residing in Pipe Creek, San Antonio, he offers retreats and apprenticeships at the Cheng Hsin Center, with students from all corners of the globe. Peter Ralston is known for his generosity in teaching and sharing his vast knowledge and experiences.

The question of whether one is ready to comprehend his teachings is not a concern, as it only requires time and maturity to fully grasp. Even when he is not present, his teachings remain ingrained in the minds of his students during their own training, echoing his voice and guidance.


picture of peter ralston doing a technique

Peter Ralston is a prolific author of books on effortless power and consciousness, including titles such as Principle of Effortless Power, Zen Body-Being, Book of Not-Knowing, Pursuing Consciousness, and Genius of Being, among others. He has also produced instructional DVDs on his art and ontology workshops. I consider myself fortunate to have a teacher who not only founded and created the art I am passionate about, but who is also accessible through workshops and correspondence. As an authority and innovator in the areas of awareness, self-exploration, movement theory, and martial arts, his expertise is widely recognized.


"True innovators are, by definition, ahead of their time. Therefore, they remain largely unrecognized, except by a few. How many of us wished we had met Bruce Lee, sat in a session with Carl Jung, or walked around Walden pond with Thoreau? Too late for that, but not too late to take notice of Peter Ralston. His creativity, commitment, and clarity shine through his teachings as he articulates higher principles based on direct experience and piercing insight. A superlative martial artist and caring teacher, he has been to the mountaintop and bathed in the underground spring of Being. His insights speak to us all.

Author : Dan Millman, Editeur : Editions Octave, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, ISBN : 2923717376