Wednesday, 14 September 2016

My favourite books

Tai Chi: The Story of a Chinese Master in America is a novel by Marc Meyer, a fellow Tai Chi instructor and musician from Naples, Florida.

The book has a number of strands running though it. There is the story of the Master, coming to America and teaching Tai Chi, the concept of Family, Tradition, Tai Chi concepts and history, Drug and Alcohol abuse, Tragedy and Children becoming Adults bridging the culture between East and West.

Marc Meyer touches on all of these in a gentle and skilful manner. He weaves a compelling story pulling these themes together in a way that made me want to read the book and find out what happens to all the characters. I was not disappointed.

You can find it on Amazon.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Hand or Waist - Branch or Root?

I've always been stumbling and bumbling along on the path to understanding Tai Chi and how it works.

There are different approaches and interpretations of principles. One that interests me is whether the waist or the hand leads the movement.

When I was learning the form with John Kells, it was the waist. However, once we started learning the 2 person fighting set John told us that the hand could lead. Is it the root of the tree or the branch?

So it is interesting to read Ma Jiangbao, son of Ma Yuehliang, talking about the hand leading in Wu style. The article is here.

There is also an older article by Gerald Sharp in response to an article by George Xu in Tai Chi magazine which is here.

I'm interested in other viewpoints, informed not dogmatic or ranting. Any thoughts?

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mysteries of Reality Number 17

Mysteries of reality number seventeen

Truth is a word like love. A unique meaning to each person and the mystery that cannot be described. Truth has a work to do. All the structures of the human body, the animal world, and nature in general, have truth attached working for recognition. To recognise truth requires humility, positioning yourself less than the other, so that respect takes away self and supplies direction of something we call freedom. Free is another one of these, selfless words. True requires soft, because forgetting self is identifying with nature so strongly you become natural. There is an art to natural. In China with Tai Chi Chuan and the Tao Te Ching, in Europe with St Columba's Iona, reaching with the indirect heart from what is now presented to you. The indirect heart is that direct truth of the care that softens what one tries, and comes to what one is. The loss of which again is truth.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Increasing Skillfulness in Movement, 4 basic exercises, Systema

Not Tai Chi but 4 exercises to be combined with breathing. For more on this read "Let every Breath" by Scott Meredith which you can find on Amazon.