The Difference Between Tai Chi and Qigong

Sep 1, 2021

A prospective student asked the studio not long ago what the difference was between tai chi and qigong.  I probably should have addressed this question earlier so people answering the phones would have a ready answer.  But since experience is a thing you don’t get until right after you need it, here we are.The short…

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Practice

Jul 19, 2021

Ask any 100 tai chi students what the hardest part of tai chi is and I suspect the majority of answers you’ll get are variations of:o  Memorizing the formo  Getting the body position correcto  Remembering the Ten Essential Principleso  Doing well at push-handso  Feeling the energy…and so on. These are important, but to my thinking…

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Peng Jin

Jun 24, 2021

Now that we’ve begun in my Monday class to explore the possibilities and potential inherent in push-hands, the time has come to discuss “peng jin” or “ward-off-energy.” Like many Chinese words, “peng jin” is highly contextual.  A meaningful direct translation to English is all but impossible.  This author comes as close as I’ve seen to…

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Facebook Discussion Group Now Open

Jun 21, 2021

There’s a public Facebook group for the Tai Chi classes now:https://www.facebook.com/groups/240945434106562 It’s a better way to interact when we’re not together – if you have questions, that’s an ideal place to ask them as they occur to you.  Likewise, it’s easy and quick to post resources, links and learning materials in a timely manner. The…

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Attack and Defend Don’t Exist

Jun 11, 2021
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Philosophy, spirituality and tai chi

Jun 3, 2021

Look through enough tai chi blogs or read enough tai chi texts and you’ll run across references to the “bagua,” the “Eight Trigrams” of the I Ching.  It’s represented in the diagram below. A very simplified version of the Bagua symbol.  Most are far more complicated. Without going into needless detail, this symbol is a…

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Music

May 18, 2021

Among his many other accomplishments, Confucius is said to have been an archery instructor.  If you want to know whether he considered this a career or whether it was just a side gig between studying the I Ching and writing the rules for an entire society, you’ll need to consult a better historian than I…

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Martial Arts and Self-Defense Are NOT the Same Thing

May 17, 2021

Back when I first introduced myself to the staff at East Wind, the studio owner asked me about the possibility of including self-defense training alongside tai chi instruction.  I was hesitant to answer, largely because I didn’t quite know how to answer her.  It’s taken a while to form a satisfactory response; it’s a valid…

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Zhan Zhuang – the Only Shortcut in Tai Chi

May 7, 2021

Earlier I promised my students I’d share something about Zhan Zhuang – the “standing meditation” we briefly did at the end of tonight’s class.  What I promised was an essay that goes into detail about what it is, why it works and why we should do it. Zhan Zhuang is a “supplemental” exercise to tai…

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Tai Chi Checks

May 1, 2021

One of the best things in tai chi – or in any pursuit, really – is reading something that we not only agree with, but that also challenges us, inspires us and broadens our outlook in ways we may not have recognized.  That’s how I felt when I read the following, which a friend and…

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