Thursday, May 25, 2017

Your body and mind on stress

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 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...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Liked on YouTube: Internal Discipline in Bassball

Internal Discipline in Bassball
How to generate power in baseball using Internal discipline in Classical Tai Chi. For more information, see
via YouTube

Liked on YouTube: Internal Discipline in Tennis by Roger Federer & Selena Williams

Internal Discipline in Tennis by Roger Federer & Selena Williams
How to generate power in tennis by Roger Federer & Selena Williams using the internal discipline of Classical Tai Chi. For more information see
via YouTube

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Returning the splendor of Tai Chi

Since post-Qing Dynasty, about 1911 and the tremendous popularization of Tai Chi in China the few Tai Chi Grandmasters "simplified" the "forms". In simplification, they removed more than the example "internal discipline" that you see here:
. In removing what the essence of Tai Chi movement was, they also did away with the need for explanation. The learning was made more difficult in doing this however because it became an act of constant memorization of a sequence of movements with no explanation of rationale. In so many words people were told and to this day are told to "just follow along, and you will get it." In teaching the "internal discipline." Stephen Hwa has begun the process of bringing Tai Chi back to its original splendor.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why "Uncovering the Treasure" is not digital

There will never be a digital version of "Uncovering the Treasure" coming to a Tablet, Cellphone or PC near you. For one thing those electronic devices cannot "open and close the body along the spine" like this book can...for another that book smells so good when one's "nose is buried in it". Unfortunately batteries are not included with the book but you can smile when the flight attendant tells everyone to turn off their electronic devices. The book feels different each time, much like the Classical Tai Chi form.  To paraphrase my teacher as well I think there will always be more books passed on to other people than tablets.

"Uncovering the Treasure" by Stephen Hwa, PhD available at Amazon.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Understand "fajin" as being multifaceted

Let's not continue to conflate "fajin" only with "one inch punch" which time wise is of short duration. As you see in the photos which show "longer duration" and "short duration" of force. How do we do either or both? If there is a "secret" to success it is to be found by us in our discernment or non-discernment of small differences in sensation that we feel and our subsequent ability or inability to both note and choose options and movement efficiency. In a workshop Master Stephen Hwa said "...the amount of fajing you can deliver is proportional to how compact you can make the delivery..." AND as I have said "... It is an established principle that the smallest difference in sensation we can discern is proportional to the magnitude of the larger sensation..." The "larger sensation" for all of us is the much larger section of the body that is away from the much smaller area that we wish to move.

IMHO: There are no "SECRETS" of Tai Chi, if you want to develop "one inch punch" in a hurryyyy, go home and do slowwww quarter body movement as a punch for 2 hours a day for a hundred days. The thing is there are slim and none people willing to do that...the "secret" is in sheer persistence for a "short duration" of time. Or you can do it spread out over years as a "long duration" with the same persistence.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Liked on YouTube: Classical Tai Chi Individual Moves Foot work

Classical Tai Chi Individual Moves Foot work

via YouTube

Classical Tai Chi individual moves footwork

Video of how to do footwork

I never hear feedback from my Classical Tai Chi students regarding difficulty in doing this, this is reasonable to understand...they do not yet know what it feels like. So, the teacher, a mirror or one's own personal video to monitor the moves and one sees they are pushing with either front or back foot. Also, important to check stance, structure, distance between feet, etc. To the nitty gritty of this they are really in the beginning and most difficult stage where they are learning to gain and keep attention in the core region. Any attention on the leg as evidenced when one pushes then the move will be partially initiated by the leg and as you say "external" movement. I like the expression " feels like a suction force pulling the body..." when pulling. If done correctly there will be no feedback of sensation from the leg. If pushing one first feels sensation in the calf, if pulling one feels just the sole of the foot as it seemingly "grips" the feedback of the leg, calf, thigh, etc.

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Hand Push Forward" as a quarter body internal movement

Video link to "Hand Push Forward" as a quarter body internal movement Published by Jim Roach on behalf of William C. and Master Stephen Hwa, excerpted from Classical Tai Chi Forum, March 2003.

I have been working with the classical tai chi tapes for a couple of weeks now and as a twenty year practitioner of the Yang family style I want to make the following comments. I have never been so clearly informed on the differences in moving the waist while the pelvis and hips are still. I feel like a towel that is being wrung out with the center of the wringing out dynamic is in my abdomen. Also I have never been instructed in pulling from the leading foot. I was having a hard time with this until at last in practicing the walk I had the feeling at first in the backwards walk that there was a suction force pulling me back and it felt quite effortless. It is taking some time to get used to but my practice formerly was to play the form with such big steps, now I really need to think a new dynamic and remind myself to place my heel near the toes of the other foot. It's amazing that this small step produces such a good whole body stretch. I am finding ways to practice the quarter body movement in a repetitive manner in many situations including the physical work that I do. Mainly though in repetitive single tai chi moves. I have never been shown the difference between the internal discipline and momentum before..I am interested in the history of this form, not to prove its validity, that is borne out in the practice. Thank you Master Hwa for the wonderful instruction! William C.

Response from Master Hwa: Your method of practicing the quarter body internal movement is right on. Students in my class tell me that they practice such a single movement when they are driving, standing in the line, during working. One could therefore concentrated on learning the external aspects of the form movements initially, without worrying too much about internal discipline, keeping the learning of internal discipline .offline.. Later on, one can integrate the external aspects with the internal discipline. The history of this form is well recorded up to the Yang family founder. There is a very interesting article talking about large circle tai chi and small circle tai chi, and how Wu, my lineage, learned the tai chi from the Yangs.: . Earlier history about the form which passed down from the Chen to the Yang is not quite as clear. The form I am teaching is actually an intermediate circle, simply because small circle or the compact form as I mentioned in the video, should not be taught to beginner. When one is proficient with the intermediate circle, you will be able to evolve into small circle naturally. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tai Chi is Tai Chi is Tai Chi is Tai Chi...In my classes and discussions I hear comments that "Internal Discipline is LIKE belly I will dust off my belly dancing dvd", "Internal Discipline is LIKE isometrics or IS Isometric exercise", "Tai Chi is LIKE Yoga, like upright Yoga", etc., etc. These are all wrong because the art is not an "analog" and therefore is not subject to "analogy"...this is due to the concept of "Yi", the martial intent of movement. Read on gentle reader to see what my teacher Master Stephen Hwa says to Lori N. when she calls it dance and subjects it incorrectly to being an "analog" and therefore analogous to dance. 

From Forum 6, October 2003, Lori N. writes:
"I just completed my first lesson -- the walk. Very tricky but also very
fun. This is going to be exactly what I have looked for so long. I have always loved to dance but never enjoyed performing for people. This dance of Taiji will be that dance I have been needing for so many years!"

"I am glad you have made a good start. It is important that you feel fun and challenged while you doing it. Your comments about Tai Chi as a kind of dancing is what prompted me to write about the topic Yi  click here for article on "YI" (martial intent)– the martial art intent. I remember my teacher became unhappy when someone referred to Tai Chi as an exercise. Again, the “intent” is lost when it was called as an exercise. "