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 …

Easy things you can do to fit tai chi into a busy life

You’re so busy to take in the wonder, not even enough time to take a moment to mourn the loss of the precious time burning away. What do you do? Here are a few ideas. Tip #1—Where you do tai chi. Get away from where you do your business in order to do tai chi without interruptions. Tip #2—When to begin tai chi When you wake, even before you get out of bed, give a thought to tai chi. When you rise, at least, inhale three times deeply, fully and think about one thing, one move, from tai chi that you did the last time you practiced. Tip #3—Be kind to yourself Pay your respects to Read More …

Knowing what you want to do in tai chi practice and doing it

One key to reaping the greatest benefits from tai chi is to develop a home practice. Practice is something you do regularly, which offers opportunities to refine and discover new things as you learn. I recently suggested working on releasing tension and not to clench or tighten joints, tendons and ligaments, as well as muscle, when moving. This may sound like a rule to apply to all of your efforts, but it’s actually not likely you can do it all the time. It would be great if you could whenever you needed. For the sake of your practice now, just remember to let tension go when you recognize you have it. Try to change that condition Read More …

A word on the word “taiji”

This is an excerpt from taijizen.org, a school founded by Jet Li and Jack Ma. The site looks non-maintained, with latest posts in 2013. The facebook page looks current, though. Of course, the meaning of taiji stays the same. Taiji 太极 is an ancient Chinese philosophy about the natural world and is one of the central elements of traditional Chinese culture. The word Taiji itself refers to the “great primal beginning” of all that exists, and is often translated as the ‘Supreme Ultimate’. It is the state of absolute and infinite potential, the oneness before the duality. This concept is comparable to the initial state of the universe right at the moment of the big bang, Read More …

The bubbling spring and your gongfu

In the beginning, you want to develop sensitivity to the bottoms of your feet, or the “Bubbling Spring,” also called “Bubbling Well,” or in Chinese, Yongquan. As you practice over time and develop your gongfu, that feeling that you once had to concentrate so much in order to develop now results from a more-mature practice. Gongfu = Effort done over time that creates knowledge and ability. A highly sensitized bubbling well liberates you from the initial task of focusing attention on that spot and sustaining concentration as you move from, or through, it mindfully. Once that’s achieved, you can move on and focus on other aspects of practice, such as other parts of the body and Read More …

One-minute or less tai chi exercise tips

We think we have to separate tai chi practice from our jobs and other daily requirements. We see it as a time thing. We either have time for tai chi or we don’t. We have to work. No doubt about that. Tai chi is extracurricular, not necessary. This is difficult to accept as a teacher and a long-time practitioner. I prefer to see the issue as a “timing” thing and what kinds of movement can fall under the category of “tai chi.” By that I mean that if we time it right, we can do tai chi anytime during the day by simply recognizing that we have a minute or two to do something—however little it Read More …

Thoughts about when to practice tai chi

When you do tai chi and qigong (day of week, time of day) can affect the quality of your daily life schedule in positive ways that you might not be thinking about. We have been meeting Saturday mornings in the park to practice tai chi and qigong and I think others really enjoy these morning sessions. Summer mornings in SW Colorado are exceptionally peaceful, bright, and clear. Morning is perhaps the most common time to practice tai chi around the world. But our busy lifestyle’s hinder many, if not most, of us from practicing everyday. Although I offer an evening and morning practice a week, I would do both everyday if circumstances were more amenable. I Read More …

Two strategies to help manage stress

I do tai chi and qigong as exercises to reduce stress. I find them effective because movement central to each can loosen up inertia and stagnation produced by various types of stress. Just sitting too long can produce physical stress, accompanied by poor lymph drainage and negative brain/hormone activity. Tai chi and qigong get you moving in beneficial ways. Stress is one of those conditions that predisposes you to illness, says Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, published in 2014. In a TEDx talk, she covers a whole range of topics related to stress and how modern medicine has fallen short of addressing the cause of illness, Read More …