Saturday, 27 February 2016

Cook Ding's Kitchen: Which Tai Chi Blogs You Should Read

Cook Ding's Kitchen: Which Tai Chi Blogs You Should Read: Recently on the Facebook page for Kung Fu Tea , there was a post about a list the author had found naming what the list maker considered t...

Sunday, 21 February 2016

My Favourite Books

Cheng Man Ch'ings's Advanced T'ai Chi Form Instructions - compiled and translated by Douglas Wile (ISBN 0-912059-03-6)

I found this to be a really interesting book which covers T'ai Chi principles, form ,application, meditation, I Ching and medicine.  There weren't any photos but there are line drawings of the postures.( You can find the photos in the translation Cheng Tzu's thirteen treatises on Tai Chi by Ben Lo and Martin Inn).

There are lots of interesting snippets in this book but it requires careful reading.

One such snippet is on pp 62-63 about movement and swing;swing and movement. The movement at the centre is smaller than at the periphery, so after the waist has finished moving there is still momentum in the limbs. Before they come to a rest the waist moves again so you have an endless cycle.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Sacrum

Here is a post about "straightening the sacrum" with regard to Tai Chi from Scott Meredith's Tabbycat blog.

My teacher John Kells  always summed it up as "bum in", which to be honest was not a particularly helpful instruction. Many people resort to a forceful tucking under of the pelvis in a desperate and tense attempt to have a straight back.

If you are not careful this can lead to other problems in joints such as the knees. Don't believe me, investigate it. I like the "ideokinetic" approach in the article.

Tucking the Sacrum

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Third Hand

The third hand is the torso combined with the legs. This is the primary mover, with hands and feet following.

Cheng Man Ching wrote that the whole body is a hand. Famously, he is reported to have said that a dream about broken arms led him to a new understanding. I recently read that it was not about having broken arms, but actually that the arms had broken off.

Therefore the body is the hand.

John Kells used to talk about another third hand, reaching out from the solar plexus area. He described it initially as a fist but later went on to see it as tendrils connecting with the other person.

His later evolution to the figure eight sinuosity in the torso with shoulder and hip blades rising and falling, generating accompanying spirals in the limbs served to make the third hand even clearer.

Play with this.