Monday, October 9, 2017

Delineation between moving and non-moving in Classical Tai Chi



In the above video the movements of the Square Form are crisp, resolute and due to what we see as a "delineation" between what is moving and not moving:
Is this Yin/Yang symbol, a white figure on a gray figure or a gray figure on a white? Is this what one might call "ambiguous"? Yet, when not caught up in ambiguity we see a yin-yang "pair", clearly delineated. The Classical Tai Chi Square Form has this "delineation" as its primary purpose and it is our "template" for learning the "Round". This is necessary because most of us move instinctively, one might say "ambiguously".
Most do not understand the fact that our bodies have segments, we are naturally segmented but have never learned how to use it. One part of the body moves, the other part is non-moving, this has to be taught to the conscious mind but as Stephen Hwa states in his book "Uncovering the Treasure", the subconscious also has its role: "We gradually absorb the essence of the forms and shapes we practice into our subconscious. Eventually, every move we make will instinctively follow the way." Note he says we will not continue to move instinctively, ambiguously but that the moves we make will "...instinctively follow the way..."

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Liked on YouTube: Tai Chi Exercises for Lower Back Pain. Improve Your Spine & Back

Tai Chi Exercises for Lower Back Pain. Improve Your Spine & Back
Classical Tai Chi Form is designed to keep a healthy spine and healthy back. This video shows those key considerations to achieve this. Many examples are shown here. For more information see: http://ift.tt/2wuNs8q See our website for other training: Introduction to Wu Style Tai Chi - http://ift.tt/2vBxltp Tai Chi Martial Arts Application - http://ift.tt/2wupeew Tai Chi Internal Discipline - http://ift.tt/2wuNs8q Tai Chi Health Benefits - http://ift.tt/2vBzghu Tai Chi DVD Library - http://ift.tt/2wuoqX1
via YouTube https://youtu.be/72OGPbcIlcQ

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Liked on YouTube: Healthy Spine and Healthy Back through Classical Tai Chi

Healthy Spine and Healthy Back through Classical Tai Chi
Classical Tai Chi Form is designed to keep a healthy spine and healthy back. This video shows those key considerations to achieve this. Many examples are shown here. For more information see: http://ift.tt/2wuNs8q
via YouTube Youtube Link

Liked on YouTube: Healthy Knee through Classical Tai Chi

Healthy Knee through Classical Tai Chi
Classical Tai Chi Form is designed to keep healthy knee. Those measures to keep knee healthy are illustrated here and should be used for everyday life. For more information see http://ift.tt/2wuNs8q
via YouTube Youtube Link

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Liked on YouTube: Forward Lean Posture In Tai Chi

Forward Lean Posture In Tai Chi
There are much discussions about this posture. Here, the health benefits and martial art application of this posture are presented. See also related video https://youtu.be/f4Oxx12QRNY http://ift.tt/2wuNs8q See our website for other training: Introduction to Wu Style Tai Chi - http://ift.tt/2vBxltp Tai Chi Martial Arts Application - http://ift.tt/2wupeew Tai Chi Internal Discipline - http://ift.tt/2wuNs8q Tai Chi Health Benefits - http://ift.tt/2vBzghu Tai Chi DVD Library - http://ift.tt/2wuoqX1
via YouTube Youtube Link

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Integrating mind and body


 



The simple movement of rotating the thumbs toward the body will cause the palms to face the rear.  However, unless it is trained not to move, the chest will hollow as well. To the casual observer, nothing is happening here. This is where the integration of body and mind can consciously occur. Humans are complex beings, however, and so we need training and practice in integrating mind and body. This is where "ting jin" comes in and sensing of one's own movement before learning to sense the partners. Here's where I find a fascinating example of how the mind and body are not intrinsically integrated for even a simple movement. It also shows how to achieve integration in both simple and complex movement.
The words "...when one part moves everything moves..." found as glaring error in the Tai Chi Classics is not integration of mind and body. For how do you take a lack of consciousness in movement, lack of yin/yang delineation and turn it into a Tai Chi principle? So you see it is a natural fact that if you move one part of the body, your body will always move another part extraneously unless your mind consciously intervenes.

Friday, June 30, 2017



An overwhelming majority of people I meet are learning Tai Chi for something other than serious understanding of martial arts. This is a good discussion on martial arts, ballet, dance, walking dogs and more from a student Barbara R :"I found Master Hwa's discussion of YI (martial intent) and cold hands and dancers' problems in taking up tai chi interesting because of my own experience. When I used to do ballet, the palm side of my hands and fingers would get very warm and flushed and so would my teacher's. As she was older and had high blood pressure and none of the other students seemed bothered by "hot hands," it really kind of worried me a little. When I started doing tai chi and found out warmth and flush and tingling in the hands could all be signs of chi flowing correctly ( Very true- Master Hwa), I was relieved in retrospect, but disappointed, because I didn't have any of those experiences playing the form. I thought maybe it was because of so much keyboarding in the years between—enough to cause some carpal tunnel syndrome problems.
Then, in the last few months, I began to have some color and tingling while practicing and hoped it was some healing effect taking place, although I still have to use wrist braces now and then and curtail my activities a little. Master Hwa's piece offers another explanation. When I first started doing tai chi, I had no idea what most of the motions were for. Since then, I've learned a good bit more about applications and now often play the form to an audience of imaginary opponents "walking the circle" around me like ba gua players. (That is the way to practice- Master Hwa) This is actually much nearer the way I used to practice ballet--with the intent of expressing to an audience, real or imaginary, whatever character or emotion the dance I was doing was supposed to represent.
The "yi" in ballet--mind intent if not martial intent--seems to come in with the desire to project ( “To Project” is the key- Master Hwa); so maybe it is learning about the martial applications that's making my tai chi playing better for me, whether it looks better or not. Actually, I've gotten so I rather like catching a glimpse of myself in the "on guard" position (lute hands, or long arm and short arm, or even grasping the bird's tail), whereas I used to feel ridiculous doing it, particularly in exercises like "walking in the presence of the enemy." I think that women in the west even today often have a problem in perceiving fighting skills as being "artistic" enough to be appropriate for them because of the way they are often depicted in our culture and because of a tendency in the culture itself to label "art" as being more of a woman's thing than a man's and "defending" as being a masculine prerogative. That attitude may make it more difficult for women who are attracted to tai chi because of its graceful movements to see that there is any martial aspect to it. I can't think of any fighting skill in western culture that has anything like the same cachet of art and beauty about it except mayb swordsmanship--as it has come down in fencing………………
Maybe one of the reasons I was drawn to Wu style was Wu Ying Hua and Wu Yan Hsia, although I'm not sure I knew about them until I got into it, just as I didn't know about Master Young's daughter until I found your website.The only difference any of this makes is that it can create a kind of little barrier that you've got to get over in your own mind. Punches still feel quite alien to me, although a "one inch" punch is certainly an improvement over a haymaker. I think the biggest help is to find something in the martial essence of tai chi that you can relate to and use it as a bridge to the rest. For me, maybe one of the best is something I read recently about peng ( I think you mean ting jin, which means listening to opponent’s jin(power). I will talk about this laterMaster Hwa) or which mean as an attitude that permeates tai chi and almost incorporates the "audible force" rather than as any specific action. I certainly ought to be able to relate to that, after spending so much time walking herding breed dogs off leash and having to "listen" to their muscle tension and for anything about to come our way so as to be able to "ward off" their attacks on cars and cats before they start. That may sound bizarre, but just as you mentioned applying the principles of tai chi to everyday life, I think you have to find your point of entry to a martial arts mindset,if it seems alien to you, wherever you can."
Master Hwa’s reply:
I enjoy reading your piece very much, many good insights!.....

Friday, June 23, 2017

Concerning integration of internal discipline into Round Form



Concerning the integration of Internal Discipline into Form Play. This cloudhands exercise just done on the heels is a great precursor to eventual integration of internal discipline with round form cloudhands... IF and WHEN there is good quality of round form. Students may be making good progress in the class but need to keep in mind there is a qualitative minimum before we worry about quantities. If we have good quality in our form and it is the standard, then moving often with internal discipline is within reach. This is why it is so important to do internal movements, quarter body, upper body turn, etc. separate from form practice, LITERALLY ANY CHANCE YOU HAVE ANYTIME. Too often I see students attempting in vain to do internal in the form when they are constantly corrected for making mistakes like "wrong direction", "incorrect position of hands", "bad timing of movements".  I understand this day and age is impatient for results but find a teacher that can  thoroughly immerse you in the principles and explain those same principles behind all of this in Classical Tai Chi.  Please keep all of these principles in mind and catch yourself when you try to force internal on a movement that is wrong in so many other ways.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What is "small circle" Tai Chi, what is "internal"?

http://youtube.com Besides my own personal study in the 70's, 80's and 90's for a considerable time at numerous locations, particularly Youtube. I did a search of all of myriad sources, websites, videos, images, articles for actual instruction on true "small circle" Tai Chi and I do not find "small circle" Tai Chi being taught. Although I saw the words "small circle" used quite frequently, a critical examination (with an accompanying comparison to Classical Tai Chi) of the body structure, foot positioning, size of footsteps, (in many cases "extraneous") movement of the extremities, and lack of "internal movement" from the core of the body, demarcation/delineation of yin and yang, positioning of yin/yang pairs, etc. revealed to me that there is no "small circle" Tai Chi being taught. This picture gives a good comparison of what is "small circle".

 In the truest sense, saying one's Tai Chi is "small circle" is like saying their Tai Chi is "internal". Recently, a new student said "...internal is what my teacher is teaching in a particular Style short form.." yet I asked the student to show me their "internal" and they said"...well, that is what my teacher said he was teaching...". I think "caveat emptor" is particularly germane to what we discuss along with "all that glitters is not gold". wherein the attractive "external appearance" of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Your body and mind on stress

http://www.nytimes.com/1986/09/28/magazine/relieving-stress-mind-over-muscle.html

Try a little experiment: This is what happens to your body on stress. Squeeze fists, arms, shoulders, face, core, etc. into as tight a squeeze as possible...now without letting go of the self-inflicted tightening STRETCH DOWN YOUR TAILBONE as you see in this picture, whether you are standing or sitting. If you cannot do that then pull in your lower abdomen until you feel the tailbone stretch down, then hold the stretch for 5 or 10 seconds. You will feel all the tenseness leave the body. This is a remedy for stress, anger, fear...