Setting the Knee (Part 3): The Most Important Movement in the Form

I just shot this video after class last night to further illustrate the importance of “setting the knee.” Even students that have been with me for decades found this enormously helpful. Don’t worry if you don’t get this right away. Oftentimes, habitually over-shifting to the outside of the foot results in atrophy of the muscles on the inside of the thigh. Hold on to something (wall, chair, table) as you learn to trust the power that comes from being centered and rooted. Take it slow. It’s worth the time and effort!

Setting the Knee (Part Two)

“Correct Knee Position” is not a topic that exactly quickens the pulse. For most of us it sounds like a real snoozer. We don’t really care. That is, until there is PAIN. For the first fifty years of my life I had little regard for this ingenious and delicate joint. I rode my knees hard and put them away wet. Playground pick up basketball, high school football, running through the woods, competitive push hands…I was pretty oblivious to the pounding my knees were getting. Then I started getting sharp stabbing pains when I walked up and down stairs. My knees… Read More

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

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

Taijiquan Immersion with Rick at Eastover, July 21-23

Eastover Estate and Retreat is a stunningly beautiful holistic retreat center and 600 acre natural sanctuary, located in the heart of the Berkshire mountains. Eastover is the vision of founder Yingxing Wang who orchestrated an incredible ten-year renovation of the entire estate, making eco-friendly choices wherever possible. It opened a couple years ago and focuses primarily on Chinese medicine, qigong, and internal martial arts. The housing is priced very reasonably (by Berkshire standards) and the options range from luxurious to tents pitched in the yard. Check out this online brochure.   July 21-23. Yang Cheng Fu’s 13 Original Postures. This… Read More