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Tai Chi Basics
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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
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One of the Most Important Tai Chi Concepts: Hsu and Shih

            Tai chi abounds with cryptic, mystical statements that circle around back to themselves.  Let’s take a look at a few from the famed sage Lao Tzu: “If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence. “ “Those who know do not speak. Those that speak do not know.” “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” “Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.” But here he sums it up best:  “The words of truth ... Read More
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Tai chi 101 : Is it Tai Chi, Taiji, taichi, or T’ai Chi Chuan? Yes.

              Here is a little history and an explanation. Chinese is made up of characters and ideograms to represent the concept of what they are writing about.  Whereas the writing you are currently reading  is a string of sounds that your brain puts together to get the concept.  Up until recently, most writings on Chinese topics in English used the Wade-Giles system.  This is a system that was developed by a British ambassador to China (Wade) in the mid 1800s and refined ... Read More