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.

Who does tai chi?

What kind of person wants to learn tai chi? A person who: needs/wants more physical activity needs/wants more mental focus is healing from injury wants to do more than an occasional fitness class enjoys interacting with others in an educational setting wants to delve deeper in the study of the subject is looking for a practice that complements other activities is having health issues, such as autoimmune disease. is having balance issues. is interested in martial arts wants to delve deeper into self-awareness wants a moving meditation, as opposed to sitting meditation is feeling stressed and wanting a relaxation practice is interested in making new friends

New book offers novices and beyond activities, concepts for developing a tai chi practice

“At its core tai chi is a practice, a routine activity that you engage in, in order to improve and maintain specific kinds of movement for a multitude of results, such as for overall health and longevity.” This statement in my new book, Practicing Tai Chi: Ways to enrich learning for beginning and intermediate practitioners, offers ways to think about a tai chi practice and to learn a few techniques from tai chi movements. It’s a brief learning aid that I wrote to instruct and inspire, but also to have as a reference to keep handy for reviewing concepts related to an authentic tai chi practice. It’s really about the process of learning tai chi, or as Read More …

Adapt to change with tai chi

Tai chi is a tool for adapting to changing conditions. Change prevails wherever you look. The weather changes. The wind blows, doesn’t blow, blows hard, then is a breeze. The temperature is hot, cool, cold. It’s raining or it’s dry. Grass is green and moist, or brown and maybe tinder dry. A tree never stops growing. It’s always at some point of changing from a sprout to a tree. Even a desert plant that seems never to grow is active in its own way. Water flows in a stream or river. It is never the same river, they say. People change. We flow, or stumble, through emotions all day and even through our dreams at night. Read More …

Tai chi and getting some energy back

It is said that we are born with a finite amount of energy and that is all we have to make it through life. As life progresses that supply of energy is depleted through living: events, act, thoughts, points of view. It takes energy to live. Less of our original life force becomes available to us as we age. It becomes stuck, tucked away, or wasted upon others. We can get much of it back, however. If you knew this were possible, would you consider doing what it would take to get it back?

Yep. Martial arts are (virtually) popular, but here’s the (real) thing

With the popularity of martial arts in the movies and in gaming, wouldn’t it be nice to know what the real thing is . . . . and actually do it . . . . with your body? And wouldn’t it be best to learn from the best? That’s what you get if you were introduced to Martial Arts masters like Xu Guo Ming. A 40-year-plus practitioner and teacher of a number of styles of Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Master George, as we call him, is well known and loved for his style of teaching and his knowledge of Chinese Martial Arts. I just finished producing an instructional video of Master Xu lecturing and demonstrating his Read More …

Tai chi as a strategy to relax

One of the first things you’re asked to do in tai chi is to relax. Not easy for many beginners, who seldom can relax on command. Actually, most of us forgot how, or even define what relaxing is for ourselves. Life is like that. Tai chi offers a strategy for relaxing. My own approach is two-fold: mind intention and physical activity, both based on tai chi principles with which I have become familiar over time. It takes time, but more importantly, effort. You don’t have to work hard, rather calmly, regularly, consistently. Breathing meditation, single-basics, stretching, moving meditation and taijiquan forms all combine to form a pretty sophisticated strategy for relaxing using these two core principles. Read More …

Tai chi and alpine climbing similiarites

I was talking with an alpine climber friend the other day. He spent some time in Switzerland as a guide and teacher. Mountain climbing, at least the way he describes it, sounds very familiar to tai chi. He was describing to me some of the things he would say when interacting with clients or students. One of the things he said that resonated with me was that a big key to alpine style rock climbing is the need to save energy. A big part of tai chi is to save energy, because we only have so much given to us to work with throughout our lives. We don’t make new energy, technically. We re-access what is Read More …