Saturday, 31 May 2014

Seven Stars Tai Chi Club - Vancouver Island

Seven Stars Tai Chi Club in Vancouver Island is run by Osman Phillips, an old tai chi friend from our days studying with John Kells in London during the 1980's.

His website is Cedar Lane Studio

Osman offers training in Yang and Chen style tai chi with regular classes and workshops.

His photography is also amazing and captivating!

Check it out, as they say.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Secret Space - new Tai Chi course

I will be teaching a 6 week Tai Chi course at the Secret Space in Hertford, commencing Monday 16th June, 6.30 - 7.30pm.

The link is

Click on " Book a Course " on the left hand side to book.

The course will comprise some of John Kells' exercises, simple partner work and Sun style Tai Chi.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Leading Hip Sink

I've been watching a number of pushing hands clip and am struck by how most of them involve transitioning backwards and forwards.

The problem with going straight back is that if the other person can follow you will find yourself trapped and the back foot and are sure to lose your balance.

If you sink first in your front foot hip without lurching forwards, you will then be able to make a hole and lead the incoming energy into your center so it can be returned.

You will also find yourself in closer proximity to the other person and be able to engage with them.

I'll try to film this at some point.

Saturday, 17 May 2014


In the moment of sending out force, one has to place the waist and thighs in the correct position.

The force is then sent out from foot to leg and from leg to waist to become a unitary whole.

The energy starts from the heel and is sent out from the spine, controlled by the waist and shown by the fingers.

Such a process should be in perfect coordination without any confusion.

Excerpted from West & East Monthly, 1965.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A String of Pearls

A String of Pearls is a great little book by Michael Gilman, published by Turning Point Press in 1996.

It contains 108 meditations on Tai Chi Chuan , in line with the 108 movements of traditional Yang style.

Each section focuses on principles or concepts of Tai Chi, looking at the use of the Mind, Physical Structure, Energy, Pushing Hands and Strategies.

The book contains lots of little gems. I really like number 68, which emphasises connecting the Dan Tien, Yung Chuan, Bai Hui and Lao Kung points before starting your form.

I don't know if this particular book is still available but you can buy other books and materials from Michael Gilman's website,

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Standing Exercise 5

This exercise is the same as exercise 4, except the palms are facing upwards to receive the energy
from Heaven.

Relax your torso into your legs. Little by little we learn to dissolve tensions, peeling away layer by layer.

This is not a quick process.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Cook Ding's Kitchen: External and Internal Stretching for Martial Arts

I first came across working on stretching the Fascia over 20 years ago.

The late Rey Nelson and his wife Rose Oliver MBE brought over Michael Philips from Tucson to hold workshops. It was amazing how much difference it made to me. It felt as if I was floating along as I walked.

See the link below from the excellent Cook Ding's Kitchen Blog on this theme.

Cook Ding's Kitchen: External and Internal Stretching for Martial Arts: Today we have another guest post by Jonathan Bluestein. Jonathan's guest posts have a knack of turning up on the all time favorites li...