Tai Chi Fundamentals – Yin/Yang Theory

Apr 20, 2021

Much of what follows comes from notes I took at a seminar with Grandmaster Yang Jun near Detroit in September 2019.  It was a transformative experience, not only to receive instruction from the Grandmaster, but also to learn what he thinks is important, and how he teaches it.  I tried to learn as much about…

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Why So Slow?

Apr 19, 2021

The most common response I get among people who do any martial arts, when they find out I do tai chi, is that it isn’t really a martial art at all; that saying you do tai chi as a martial art is a lot like saying you do “Combat Pilates.”  A humorous (and slightly gross)…

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Yang Chengfu’s Ten Essentials

Apr 17, 2021

Every martial art has a foundation – those essential principles which define it, and without which, no matter how good you look, whatever you’re doing isn’t that martial art. Yang Family tai chi has the Ten Essential Principles.  They were codified by Yang Chengfu but they’ve been around rather longer, either expressly or implied in…

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Progress

Apr 16, 2021

A student’s progress in tai chi is pretty straightforward. There are certain steps one takes in his or her journey; they go roughly in order, and there’s really no “skipping a step.” It’s a process, and we must learn to trust the process. The first thing we learn is the “external” part of tai chi…

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Jargon, Chi and Hocus-Pocus

Apr 15, 2021

Any activity has its own unique language which will be more-or-less meaningless to those not undertaking it.  For example, the only reason I know that “purl” is a knitting stitch is because I went and looked it up. Tai chi is no different.  However, it has the added challenges that much of this jargon is…

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Families

Apr 14, 2021

The long name of the tai chi style we do is “Yang jia taiji quan” or “Yang family tai chi boxing.”  I’ll explain more about the differences and spelling in tomorrow’s blog, but for now just work with me. Traditionally, martial arts in China are based on lineages – passing the art down from one…

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Beginning.

Apr 13, 2021

It’s a cold, cloudy, crummy day as I begin this blog. Then again, it’s April, and spring is a transitional season, so the weather is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing. This is enough. Nearly every tai chi teacher seems to have a blog, and they’re almost all pretty good – you can…

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