Thursday, 21 August 2014

External to Internal

This quote from Scott Meredith ( Author of Juice: Radical Taiji Energetics) sums it up nicely and it applies to Tai Chi, Xingyi,Bagua etc.

 "we begin with physical structure and slowly replace it, bit by bit, with energetic substance. We  begin with physical movement and slowly replace it, bit by bit, with energetic dynamics"

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Small Space

Allen Ginsberg writes about practising Tai Chi in his poem " In My Kitchen in New York" 1984.

I love it because it mirrors the many thoughts that come and go in practise. Also because I frequently practise in my kitchen when the weather prevents me from going outside.

When learning the form it is usually best if you have a space large enough so you don't need to make adjustments.

Later on you can practise an entire form in a very small space by understanding single weightedness and making adjustment steps in accordance with that principle. It is possible to practise a series of postures almost on the spot. Might film that at some point and post it.

Here is a kitchen I recently practised the entire Cheng Man Ching form in.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

What about Breathing?

I think it was in one of John Kells' classes that someone asked about breathing.

Good Idea was the answer.

Some people co-ordinate the in and out breath with their postures.

I'm personally not in favour of this approach.

Let the breathing be natural. I feel that you will otherwise create tension in trying to combine it with movements.

Whether you move fast or slow, the breath will follow naturally. I think it is more important to remain relaxed, lively and spirited.

Of course opinions vary :)

Give Up

Give up your strength.

That is to say give up your ordinary strength by letting it go down to the earth.

Release but don't collapse.

As the ground comes back up through your body you then experience a unified strength of the whole body.

The key is to keep this feeling throughout the form, creating new neural pathways.

An equal and opposite reaction.

No need to dress it up with mystical mumbo jumbo.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


As T'ai Chi Ch'uan is a martial art, it is important to understand the techniques embodied in the form.

Examine them and understand the principles on which they are based.

Practise with friendly people who don't "play the game".

This is good feedback for you.

I have some higher Dan grade Karate students and when they punch it is direct and you really have to be on the ball.