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Tai Chi Basics
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Health and Tai Chi

                How is tai chi good for health?  It’s the flexibility right?  No, it’s the meditative aspects isn’t it?  Can’t I get the same benefit from walking? Here is the overall picture.  The average form can take 6-12 minutes.  How can 1) we receive such huge payback in benefits in this short of time?  And 2) why is this 6-12 minutes so different from any other 6-12 walking, swimming, or the like? Firstly, yes the tai chi form does not take that long ... Read More
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The Art of Relaxation in Tai Chi (Song)

            It is my DUTY to try to explain “Song” in a way that is understandable to a tai chi novice.  Readers with experience in tai chi are probably feeling the low vibrations of the beginning of a good belly laugh.  It is something that we practitioners are told one hundred times over the  first few years and it seems as though you can never be relaxed enough.  Secondly, how do you do something that you already thought you were doing?  ... Read More
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The Origin of Tai Chi (in 68 seconds)

              The goal of this article is to: 1) introduce you to some names and places that will eventually become critical. At some point in everyone’s development an understanding of the origin of tai chi becomes essential.  Typically you begin to be in a conversation about yoga/work/religion/running and you say; “that sounds like tai chi.”  A need arises to understand how tai chi can be related to so much simultaneously and your historical pursuit begins. 2) give you confidence in the great tradition that ... Read More
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Why Practice Tai Chi?

              Think of your favorite hobby.  Does it speak to health, exercise, fun, history, and culture?  If so, good for you.  You are going to embrace tai chi.  If not, think of tai chi as a great hobby that you can run with in any direction. Think about your favorite physical activity.  Does it cause injury?  (or) Do you get excited about tweaks or sore muscles because they are messages that you’re improving?  Is there an age when you won’t be able ... Read More
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How to Choose a Tai Chi Class

            We are going to take a different slant from most of what we have recently read on how to choose a tai chi class because we would like to bring the reality of our financial, physical, and geographical situation into the picture.  Suggestions surrounding how to choose a class usually prioritize “finding a good teacher.”  We see a lot of holes in this argument.  Here is why. If you are beginning at tai chi, how do you know what good is? Of ... Read More
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A Practical Explanation of Qi Gong Development

        Let’s start with a great definition of Qigong and then discuss what role qigong plays in your tai chi development. Dr. Gayl Hubatch, in Fabric of the Soul, sums up the process of qi gong development nicely.  “Coordinating breath, intention, and movement increases energy flow.  Increased energy flow is healing and restorative.”   Eloquent and simple.  We engage in tangible, understandable activities (moving, breathing, intention) and reap health benefits. Here is what makes qi gong development difficult: It is normally a far cry from ... Read More
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The Experts Weigh In: 6 Ways to Avoid the Greatest Tai Chi Roadblocks

            On a break during a recent workshop with practitioners and teachers of many years expressed their envy to a newbie for being “so new” and for having the foresight to attend a workshop early on in his development.  The new student was confused by this and said “What do you mean, I don’t know anything!  I am new!”  The teachers responded nearly in unison “exactly.” This led to a spirited conversation of “I wish I would have known…” or “This sounds ... Read More
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Breaking the Tai Chi Long Form into Teachable Segments

        In a recent workshop with Chen Zhenglei he presented the Old Frame in a manner that caught the significance of the overall form by breaking it down into digestible sections.  It was an eye-opening explanation of the purpose of each section and how they tie together. Learning the tai chi long form takes a while but it is a worthy pursuit because the payoff is huge.  The tai chi long form is the equivalent to a moving Bible.  It is the ... Read More
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Understanding Jing Energy in Tai Chi Chu’an and Life

            Two major definitions are acceptable for Jing energy depending on how you look at it.  There is a spiritual connotation that describes an energy that is created from your essence.  On the medical side,  Jing takes on a biochemical characteristic that is found in all fluids and continues to originate from our center due to DNA.  Both definitions allude to Jing being a substance or amount.  Decisions we make such as drinking alcohol or too much sex deplete Jing.  Exercise, ... Read More
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Which Tai Chi Style is the Best?

                  An Overview of the Main Tai Chi Styles My daddy is tougher than your daddy.  We have all lived through this playground paradigm and see the adult version reimagined in all sports and especially tai chi.  So why does this mentality exist and what is the answer to the age old question?  It is understandable that when someone is newly dedicated and excited, or invested for a long period of time that a strong opinion forms.  Tai chi is great but ... Read More