The (not so) perfect martial artist

Deng Ming-Dao This was written by Deng Ming Dao and I feel strongly that it applies to other kinds of interactions among people. THE PERFECT MARTIAL ARTIST As I was taught, the perfect martial artist thinks only of winning. There is no limit to the amount of aggression they will use. Every move is tactical. Deception is constant. There is no honesty except the thud of fists and kicks. In our society today, many people have the personalities of perfect martial artists. All that matters to them is winning. Everyone else is an adversary or, at best, cannon fodder. To lose is to be weak. To be weak is worse than death. The problem is that Read More …

What are single basics?

Single basics are standing in a posture and moving in a pattern, such as circles and figure eights repeatedly. A posture is established by foot position, primarily. The movement entails paying attention to specific methods of moving—where to move from, how to initiate a move, how fast, how slow. Key to it is attention to changing directions and where to sustain focus. If you know what do, then you have a better chance of accomplishing the task. So begin somewhere with a task in mind. Simpler tasks are easier. Focus on one movement. Through single basic practice you train for looseness, connectivity, endurance, precision, strength, balance and awareness. Start big if you want, but small and Read More …

Learning Beyond Wai Gong in Tai Chi Practice

I am amazed at how tai chi learning progresses. Once I had a time remembering basic moves and sequences. Now, even after not practicing for a while, I think I don’t remember the sequence correctly. Well, I actually do, and then I realize I’m at the cusp of being free to truly practice the internal components: precision, shape, force, control, eloquence. Something to look forward to if you practice long enough.

Tai Chi Rewards Effort

To tell the truth, it takes a long time to learn taijiquan. You must be dedicated to unraveling the mystery of internal awareness which is the trademark quest of tai chi. If you are one of those who pursues such knowledge, chances are you will be rewarded. Understanding is one of those returns for your effort. That which intrigues the imagination so much will be like the feeling of returning home after a long journey.

Tai chi is a practical activity

Tai chi is a practical activity. You pare it down to evermore simple moves. It’s like trying to find a path through a dense forest. You have to navigate the forest to find your way. The forest is your body, your whole being. In time you become familiar and finding your way is easier, more rewarding. Don’t be arrogant, be humble, accept what you discover, not as a blessing or curse. It could be that you are the one being discovered.

Reshape your body with tai chi

I recently caught an article in the New York Times about the effects of swimming and running on heart size and function in athletes. It resonated with me because it seems like something kind of similar happens from long-term tai chi practice. For example, it’s reasonable to see that tai chi can reshape the body by virtue of improved posture, for one thing. Plus, physiological functions, such as breathing and blood and lymph circulation notably improve. Research shows as much. Maybe it’s possible that the internal organs of tai chi practitioners change shape, too. As the NYT article talks about, the hearts of running and swimming athletes do. Other research findings show that physiological functions change Read More …

Another attempt to give meaning to the term tai chi

A lot of people don’t know what tai chi is . . . . really is. We’ve all heard a bunch to stuff from different sources, but I think that the best way to know what tai chi is is to do it. I think more people would be more likely to do it if they understood a little more about. I’ve taken it upon myself to to write and talk about what tai chi is in as many of its manifestations as I am aware of—to the limits of my own understanding. So here is another attempt to give meaning to the term: tai chi, tai ji, taijiquan and all its other spellings. It won’t Read More …

How we move says so much

Sunday, June 9, 2019 How we move says so much about us. We identify so closely with how we move. Whether or not we are aware of it, our manner of moving is very often a matter of self-image. Posture and gait even develop from attitudes—how we see ourselves and how we wish others to see us. It’s a personality thing. We would not be the person we know if we moved differently. We’re not going to saunter like John Wayne, because we are not him. Our walk is us; our posture is us. The famous actor’s walk was made up, of course. Normally, we are not conscious of how we walk and stand. We learned Read More …