A Very Special Seminar at Eastover with Rick, Master Yang Fukui, and Abdi

You will not want to miss this opportunity! Friday October 13-Sunday October 15, I will be teaching at Eastover Estate and Retreat with the amazing Master Yang Fukui and my good friend and long-time training partner, acupuncturist Abdi Assadi. The seminar is Yang Style Teacher Training, and is open to anyone who wants to go deeper into their taijiquan practice. It’s not just for teachers, but information will be presented in a way that will allow you to share with others. I had the good fortune to travel to China with Master Yang last year, and got to witness first-hand… Read More

Fighter or Martial Artist? Which Are You?

This article appeared in Inside Kung Fu magazine, Spring 07. Ten years ago!   Fighter or Martial Artist? Which are You? by Rick Barrett “He’s a martial artist, sure…but can he fight?” How often have you heard (or said) some variation of that refrain? It is actually an important question, but it does beg other questions: Is there a difference between martial arts and fighting? Is there value in martial arts independent of preparation for fighting? Does such a distinction matter? There are some who would answer the last question with a resounding “No”. To them such a distinction is… Read More

“Light, Lively, and Connected Throughout”

“Whenever one moves, the entire body must be light (qing) and lively (ling), and must above all be connected throughout (guanchuan)…There must always be completely one qi.” Taijiquan Jing, attributed to Zheng San Feng If you want to take your game to the next level, these words from one of the most important of the Taijiquan Classics are where to begin. Nothing else gives quite so much bang for the buck. For the martial artist, this is like upgrading your heavy, clunky medieval suit of armor for a light, soft textile vest. Sure, the metal armor looks cool, but it… Read More

Tai Chi Alchemy Comes to Kripalu, March 18-20

This is one you won’t want to miss: Maria and I will be teaching “Tai Chi Alchemy: Get Out of Your Head and Into the Game,” at Kripalu Yoga in Lenox, MA, March 18-20. Kripalu has been hosting extraordinary programs for the past 40 years, and (the catalog says) is “the largest and most established retreat center for yoga, health, and holistic living in North America.” This is a rare opportunity to get an adult dose of what we’ve been cooking up for the past 35 years (it’s still simmering on the stove). Lately, we’ve been refining the process to make… Read More

Luoxuanzhang: “Spiral Mystery Palm”

Luoxuanzhang is the martial arts equivalent of eating braised short ribs: you can’t believe all that flavor is packed into such a small package. It is astounding how much energy is unleashed in a few movements. When Master Yang Fukui first showed it to me I was dazzled. What was happening? The movements were exquisite and dynamic and…strange. They didn’t seem to follow the rules I had then accepted as fundamental. How could such power be manifested while violating so many of the hoary “truths” I held as gospel? I had to know more. And what I have found so… Read More