Setting the Knee (Part One)

I have long advised taijiquan practitioners to consciously “Set the Knee” before loading the substantial leg. Meaning, you make sure that your structure is in place before you put weight on it. The knee should be in the optimal load-bearing position before asking it to handle not just the weight of the body, but also the force generated by the powerful muscles of the legs, back, and buttocks. To which I now add, “No, really.” The habitual patterns established long, long, LONG ago tend to override that simple instruction and filter it out. It requires a conscious decision to tell… Read More

Baguazhang for the Ages

I just started teaching baguazhang (pa kua) basics at my 6:30 Wednesday class in Staten Island and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m fairly late to the bagua party, having just started my practice in my 60s, but I’m appreciative of the unique qualities it brings to my practice. Its spiraling movements and energies are similar to some of the luoxuanzhang that I have have practiced for 10 years or so, but luoxuanzhang is a hybrid (bagua, xingyi, taiji, and yiquan) and bagua is its own thing. Baguazhang derives its name from the “Eight Trigrams” of the Daoist classic, Yijing… Read More

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

The Force…Now Appearing in a Galaxy Near You

Check out the current edition of Connecticut’s prestigious INK magazine (“a guide to finer living in Connecticut and abroad”) for an article I wrote: “The Force…Now Appearing in a Galaxy Near You.” The spread includes about twenty photos, many from last year’s visit to China. You can view the article in PDF format here: The Force. (Check that out at least for the photos.) Some may prefer to read the text here:   THE FORCE…Now at Galaxies Near You Rick Barrett Every one of us who left that theatre in the fall of 1977 knew that our lives had been… Read More

Wudang Tai Yi Wushingquan at Wudangshan

I just posted this video from last October’s visit to legendary Wudang Mountain, the highlight of our trip. In it, Master Yang and I perform the first section of the Wudang Mountain Tai Yi Wushingquan, a form that he learned from an old monk during an earlier visit to Wudang. There appears to be several forms with that name, and I don’t know the provenance of the one we’re doing. A great effort was made to restore the Wudang tradition after it had been nearly destroyed during the cultural revolution. Wudang is the spiritual home to Daoism and the Chinese… Read More