Skip to Content

Tai Chi Basics
blog post

Tai chi and Buddhism – Limitations of Having a Teacher

“Not for one moment did I doubt that you were the Buddha, that you have reached the highest goal…  You have done so by your own seeking, in your own way, through thought, through meditation, through knowledge, through enlightenment.  You have learned nothing through teachings, and so I think, O Illustrious One, that nobody finds salvation through teachings.  To nobody, O Illustrious One, can you communicate in words and teaching what happened to you in the hour of your enlightenment…” Siddhartha’s ... Read More
blog post

Tai Chi and Healing – the other 80% of the story

Every time that I begin to talk about tai chi and healing I feel like I should be on a TV sales program.  “It slices, it dices…” as though I am promising the world and asking you for a small commitment (of just 3 installments of $19.99). But there is some truth to this.  In this essay let’s talk about the 80% of us who are not suffering from severe ailments (thankfully) and can keep it that way. The  Status Quo  Problem #1: Most ... Read More
blog post

Why Study Tai Chi?  Adaptation

          It is the perennial question:  “Why study tai chi?  There are a host of obvious answers such as fitness, health, community, interest, or culture.  But the truth is that any number of sports or hobbies can deliver on these promises.  Some are even better.  Here is one idea where tai chi truly stands out: Adaptation Tai chi is a systematic rewiring of your movements and breathing.  You breathe and move just fine last time you checked right?  Movements are based on habit ... Read More
blog post

How the Buddha’s Teachings Relate to Tai Chi

                        Is Tai Chi Intended to be Spiritual or Religious? Tai chi can be as spiritual or non-spiritual as a practitioner makes it.  It has a heavy sense of good will and absolutely has a sacred feel.   Quotes and references abound about the similarities between tai chi and Buddhism/Daoism/Confucianism.   Some go as far as to say that Tai Chi is based on Daoism or that it runs parallel to the teachings of the I Ching (Book of Changes). On the other hand, ... Read More
blog post

4 Easy Steps and 1 Great Reason to make Tai Chi Practice a part of your Life

I recently received this feedback below from a long time practitioner about the content of this website. "…knowing everything about T'ai Chi is a lot different than making Tai Chi practice a part of our life… This is something I rarely see in any of the educational media.  It is just assumed that the student will develop a practice but the reality is most students do most of their T'ai Chi in class. The most important thing is to do it, to ... Read More
blog post

How Tai Chi Influences our Life – Jumping Outside of the Form

There is this general idea that tai chi influences our lives positively after a while.  You practice the form diligently and somehow the tranquility and understanding that ensues flows like water out of your backyard and pervades all aspects of your life.  Aaaahhh. Malarkey you scream!   Way too touchy feely. Like every good tai chi concept, the answer is yes and no.  My non-tai chi life has benefited immensely from my practice.  Let’s use this essay to describe how the benefits of ... Read More
blog post

Tie-dyed Tai Chi – Why tai chi suffers under the weight of its own reputation

You have seen him.  The tie-dyed-shirt wearing gentleman with the fanny pouch at the last conference.  Or the woman ordained with endlessly flowing scarves on a 100 degree day.  At a conference I attended in Austin, Texas an attendee relaxed between sessions by playing a didgeridoo.   At a summer camp I participated in in Oregon, an attendee entertained Chen Zhenglei and his wife with juggling and hacky sacks. These are our peeps.  As eccentric as they are, they make up a ... Read More
blog post

Martial Progress in Tai Chi: Using Yin Yang Theory to Gauge our Development

              When we're starting out practicing tai chi we often think we are soft and relaxed when we're actually pretty far from it.  This can be frustrating on a number of levels.  First of all, who am I (or your teacher) to tell you that you are not relaxed when your body is giving you every indication that you are?  Secondly, what is the value of a teacher pointing out this error continually which seems to undermine progress?  Fact 1:   Your body ... Read More
blog post

The Five Levels of Development in Tai Chi

              In a conversation with a friend who is a long time practitioner of Japanese martial arts I was envious at the structure that was imbued into the different levels of progress.  They have very defined levels which are defined by specific curriculum, vocabulary, knowledge, performance expectations, and even visible uniform upgrades.  What do the Chinese systems have? (crickets).  There are some schools that have tried to implement belt-systems or sashes or name walls but none of this has gotten any ... Read More
blog post

Why People Practice Tai Chi

Understanding why people practice tai chi is extremely important to our own development and to the development of classmates and students. We posted a survey here for two months and collected information about why people practice tai chi.  There were many responses that were expected but there were tons more that were not.  The combined results create a unique picture of the many reasons why people practice tai chi.  For instructors, it is valuable information in what to include in curriculum to keep ... Read More