Monday, 24 July 2017

My Favourite Books

One of my early purchases was Breathing Underwater- the Inner Life of T'ai Chi Ch'uan by Margaret Emerson.

It's the kind of book I like the most; talking about her own experiences, thoughts and feelings, discussing Silence, the Tan Tien, Gurus, Teaching, Circles and much more.

She describes a lovely exercise - the Light Exercise - in which a continuous stream of white light enters through one arm, fills the entire body and exits through the other arm. This reminds me of an early Christian meditation described by John O'Donohue of white light descending from above and permeating the body, going into the ground.

I think the book is still available and her website is here.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Strength and Conditioning for Martial Arts Training

John Kells used to say that if you wanted to fight using Tai Chi, then you needed to train like a fighter.

This is an interesting article discussing a number of training methods at the Martial Way blog.

The article can be read here

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Kinaesthetic Learning

This is an excellent post on Devon Boorman's blog about kinaesthetic learning.

Very useful, especially the bit about practicing all the wrongs around the right.

The post can be read here

Saturday, 8 July 2017

It's in the Stories

Today I visited my Sun style Taiji teacher Dave Martin. Now retired, he studied with the late Sun Jian Yun and had the honour to become a formal disciple. Dave was introduced to her by Cui Rui Bin, the Yiquan Master.

It's always enjoyable to hear the stories regarding his training in China, an oral history that brings names on a page to life. Today there was one about when Sun Jian Yun was teaching him Taiji Sword. The weather was bad so they were in her tiny one room apartment. The room was too small to practise in with a proper sword so she lifted up her mattress and pulled out one of the wooden slats and proceeded to use that instead as it was shorter.

Just priceless!

I've been studying traditional Sun style Taiji since early 2004 with Dave Martin and his wife Su Ying who is herself incredibly knowledgeable and skilled.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tea Cup Exercise

This is a Ba Gua Zhang exercise. There are lot's of  different ones - just look on YouTube.

I'm a bit lazy here, doing it fairly high up. Once you get used to the movement and as your flexibility increases, lower the height of your stance in a horse riding posture. Do this carefully and watch the back bend so you don't hurt yourself.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Hai Le Taoist Internal Arts

My good friend Heron Beecham has returned to the UK after living and studying Internal Martial Arts and Taoism in Taiwan for the last 17 years. He is now based in London.

His website is Hai Le Taoist Internal Arts

Please visit the website to find out more about Heron, the Arts he has studied and his Teachers. 

Contact him via the website for details about classes and private tuition.