Three Things We Learned in Class

Pythagorus Points

1. It’s Winter! (At least for those of us north of the Equator.) Yup! January here. And that means we’re in the most yin part of the year. This is the time to lay the foundation for the rest of the year by cultivating the Water Element. Kidney qi. Restore your pre-natal qi. That means your qigong is really, really slow and quiet. Here’s a Water Meditation from Fukui Yang (courtesy of Rabbi Andrew Hahn) that demonstrates the ultra-soft attitude of the season. You can still hit the gym in winter. Or ski. Or chop wood. External (muscular) exercise can… Read More

It was a very good year…

Maria Demonstrates Meeting at Book Signing

2014: A Year to Remember I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season and that the year to come will be filled with love, light, and just the right amount of challenges faced and overcome to keep you playing the game with joy and curiosity. 2014 was just such a year for me. Please allow me to share a few of the highlights with you. 25 Years as a Taijiquan Teacher This is a biggie. In 1989 I got a phone call from my teacher, Grandmaster William C. C. Chen, asking me to teach a class at the Y… Read More

Three Things We Learned in Class 12/10/14

RB in Diagonal Flying

1. This week we explored the “Diagonal Flying” posture and how to maintain your root and coherence throughout. Of course, the basic principles are the same as in every posture, but Diagonal Flying presents some unique challenges. First of all, it is about as wide open as it gets in William C. C. Chen’s 60 Movements. The power is issued from an extended right arm that is reaching like a backhand in tennis. I love this move in push hands because no one expects that much power and lift from an outstretched arm. And for good reason, if you try… Read More

Three Things We Learned in Class

Right leg is substantial

We examined the “Turn and Strike with Fingers” move from Master Chen’s 60 Movements on Wednesday and isolated some universal principles. So much of what we do gets put on automatic after a while and it isn’t until you shine a bright light on it that you become conscious of what is really going on. Oftentimes a pattern gets established in a half understood way, then decades later it has calcified into a rigid belief. So we test every movement, and every movement within the movement. Here’s what we came up with this week: 1. Which is the “substantial” leg?… Read More

Three Things We Learned in this Week’s Class

Stan Wards off Dennis and Charles

1. The quickest, most dependable (and maybe the only) way to access true internal power is by meeting with your whole being. Sometimes it happens by surprise, in an emergency, say, or when all the chips are on the table and you have to put up or shut up. Some people put themselves in dangerous situations just to feel “more alive.” We’ve been exploring a kinder, gentler approach to getting to that place, and the results have been pretty spectacular. Here 69 year old Stan Kedzierski demonstrates the power of meeting two much larger classmates. (Notice that he has no… Read More