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.

New George Xu video just out

George Xu Presents Elementary Exercises for Developing Internal Martial Skill: 14 Essential Everyday Moves (with English Subtitles) A film by Paul Tim Richard, 48 minutes I have been producing, or co-producing, taijiquan and internal martial arts videos since 2002; about 16 years. Master George Xu and Susan A. Matthews got me going and I’m still working with them. I’m happy to film, edit and distribute Master Xu’s knowledge (with his expressed permission, of course) in order to disseminate this vital information that I have seen few, if any, other teachers demonstrate in practice. In this video, Master Xu leads 14 basic moves and explains in detail how to do the moves in order to make the 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 …

Question about changing directions in Wu Style Tai Chi Form

Sometimes, I get questions from learners that merit sharing. This question is about whether we should pivot on the heels or the balls of the feet when changing directions in the Wu form. QUESTION: When you turn doing Tai Chi, is it always on your heels? ANSWER: This is a good question. By “always,” do you mean outside of class or inside? I learned in Wu style training, of which two lineages exist, to turn on the heels … except when the teacher does something else, such as turning on the bubbling well. The point I try to convey in class is to cultivate enough control to do what you intend to do, such as pivoting Read More …

A goal in tai chi

There is a progression to tai chi. First is to relax places where we’re tight (often painful, too). Often it can be described as “clenching.” For most of us that is true. The next step in the progression is to move. Move around and through the tight places with a mindful intention to dissolve the tension. The moves are designed to help you to relax. Moving changes the body. We use different methods to get that change to happen: loosening, stretching, and single basic exercise. Repetitive, rhythmic, single moves, in which we employ awareness of and intention to the six directions, and then in shapes and patterns. The six directions are up down front back left Read More …

Your tai chi goal

My goal in teaching tai chi is to show you the process. A secondary goal is to help you to realize that you can do it. The question of what is tai chi lies at the core of all learning in tai chi. You’re in the process of discovering what tai chi is for you every time you stand up and start moving. No one can do that other than you. Isn’t that a remarkable thing to realize? …that you are the only one on the planet who knows what tai chi is, and can be, for you?

Master George Xu Introduces “Ling Cong Shen Si Men”: A universal martial arts system

In his Annual Weekend Workshop to Cortez, Colorado July 15-17, Master George Xu introduced his system he entitles “Ling Cong Shen Si Men” (Light, Agile, Empty, Spiritual, Invisible, Indirect Potential System). He describes it in a July 15th lecture in Cortez, Colorado that will be made available on streaming video at mastersfromchina.com. We first heard his term for the system last April during a one-day workshop in San Francisco, CA. “I finally can say that I have a system I can talk about,” Master Xu said at the time. We’ve heard bits and pieces of his predator theory out of which his system is developed, but never so clearly organized until now. This Cortez workshop, the Read More …

What you learn in Teacher Tim’s tai chi class

The basics, including “single basic moves” to train for specific objectives, such as loosening, relaxing and strengthening joints, ligaments and tendons, which is an exclusive offering of the tai chi exercise system. Other forms of exercise tend to strain those sections of the body. Form … which is essentially postures and transitions. Great for memory improvement, balance, circulation, and lot more. Form is the culmination of basics training. Qigong … takes you into a world of energy, cultivating your own special life force for health and awareness. Personalized instruction. Learn how to learn tai chi. This information is crucial and can apply to many things we do in our daily living.