Tai Chi Alchemy visits China – Day 1

It was the trip of a lifetime for me. Last spring my friend/teacher, Master Yang Fukui, suggested we visit Wudang Mountain, the legendary birthplace of taijiquan. We would also visit his hometown of Tianjin, another place with a rich martial arts history (see Jet Li’s film Fearless).  Sign me up! I had visited Beijing in ’99, a great trip, but going to Wudang with Master Yang was like a back stage pass to a world I could never access on my own. Maria was immediately up for the adventure, and so were some Tai Chi Alchemy regulars: Jonathan Bricklin, Mike… Read More

The Roots of Pointing

A question I often get when showing people how to enhance energetic coherence by pointing is, “Why is it the index finger?” The short answer is, “Because it works.” I’ve tested using other fingers with hundreds of people and the index finger is the only one that does the job reliably. The inspiration came from two sources. First, in taijiquan sword forms, the hand not holding the sword is often in a shape called “the secret sword hand.” The index and middle fingers are pointed forward and the ring and little fingers are curled under the thumb. I dutifully did… Read More

12th Annual Scholars Garden May 21-22

The dates have been set for our 12th Annual Scholars Garden at Stephe Watson’s Someday Farm in Killingworth, CT: Saturday/Sunday, May 21-22. We added an extra day this year so we can focus on energy healing on Saturday. It’ll be energy cultivation, internal martial arts, and a heavy dose of “OMG! Are you kidding me? How is that possible?” on Sunday. This event began at the Chinese Scholars Garden in Staten Island as a springtime fix for those suffering from TCA withdrawals, then moved to Stephe Watson’s exquisite Someday Farm in Killingworth, CT. Someday Farm is a bucolic treat nestled… 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

Song Kua Seminar at Peaceful Wolf T’ai Chi

A week ago I had the wonderful opportunity to teach a seminar at Peaceful Wolf Tai Chi  in East Haddam, CT, hosted by my good friend, Sifu David Shaver. David is an 81 year old testimonial to the power of the internal martial arts to keep you youthful and active. He has been an actor and a rodeo bull rider, among other professions, and now focuses on teaching taijiquan and other martial arts in his beautiful studio (built by David and his students and modeled after the Zhang San Feng Hall at the T’ai Chi Farm). As I mentioned in… Read More