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

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

Taijiquan at Kripalu

Many thanks to the wonderful Kripalu folks for sponsoring last weekend’s “Taijiqan Immersion.” It was an intensive introduction to both taijiquan and to my particular teaching methods and language, and I had my doubts going in. How were we going to do justice to all this material in such a limited time? This group was more than up to the challenge, though, and we did cover the entire Yang Cheng Fu’s 13 Original Postures plus a solid grounding in my “Three Pillars”: Energetic Coherence Central Equilibrium Song Kua The only way we could do all this was to abandon upfront… Read More

Tai Chi Alchemy at Kripalu Part 2

This was the first trip to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for Maria and I. It is one of those legendary institutions, like Esalen and Omega, and we didn’t know what to expect. We weren’t disappointed. The 350-acre campus overlooks Lake Mahkeenac and is just down the road from Tanglewood in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. The grounds are immaculate and beautifully landscaped. The lodging is functional/no frills, but comfortable enough. (We didn’t spend much time there, save to sleep.) The seminar we presented was “Tai Chi Alchemy: Get Out of Your Head and Into the Game.” We… Read More