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

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

11th Annual Scholars Garden with Stephe, Maria, and Rick

It’s getting close! 11th Annual Scholars Garden, June 7th, 11am-5pm at Stephe Watson’s beautiful Someday Farm in Killingworth, CT. You will definitely want to register before May 15 for this one. (Contact either me –Rick@rickbarrett.net– or Stephe –FarmingOurSomedays@gmail.com– to register.)   What are we up to this year? Let’s here it from Stephe: Living in the Sweet Spot: Your Body and Wholeness Every living thing leaks energy. In the “sweet spot” not only do we leak less but we can also tap into the Big Qi and refuel. Every conscious posture has sweet spots hidden in plain sight. Maria, Stephen, &… Read More

Throw Back Thursday: Rick Barrett demonstrates Roll Away Applications

This week we highlight a clip that Rick made with one of his most advanced students, Denis. Even facing a seemingly big and imposing guy like Denis (who is really a sweetheart but don’t tell anyone), the use of a simple move like Roll Away can mitigate oncoming force without disrupting your own balance. This is part of an ongoing campaign so if you’ve missed the previous #TBT posts, catch up here. Enjoy, and please subscribe to our Youtube channel!