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

Sincerity?

The mind and body have an absolute ruler, and that is principle (li); ching, ch’i, and spirit have an absolute ruler, and that is sincerity. Sincerity is the way of heaven, and he who is sincere follows the way of humanity. Both of these are inextricably bound up with consciousness. If you understand the principle of the unity of heaven and humanity, you will naturally absorb the circulating ch’i of sun and moon. This ch’i is the circulation of consciousness, for spirit is naturally concealed within principle. Finally, we can speak of the martial and the spiritual, sagehood and immortality.… Read More

Song Kua: Clarification

I devoted a chapter to the kua in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate and it’s time to clarify what is meant by song kua. (pronounced soong) I recently posted the steps to take to get more from your kua and I’d like to sharpen the focus a little here. For years, I have been telling students to “release” the kua in preparation for any movement. And that is still true. But don’t stop there. “Releasing” gets you out of the habitual hip tension that prevails in our culture. (I blame it on the flush toilet. In China, where you squat… Read More

Big Change! Getting More From Your Kua

Understanding the kua is essential to internal gongfu. It’s what connects the legs to the torso physically and energetically. I devoted a chapter to it in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate:            The pivotal point for the nine-channeled pearl is the hip area, known as the kua. It is more than the ball-and-socket hip joint, taking in the whole area, centering at the inguinal crease. It includes the relationship between the thigh and the torso.             The kua includes some of the strongest muscles in the body. It is the area that we use when we… Read More

Three Things We Learned in Class 12/10/14

1. This week we explored the “Diagonal Flying” posture and how to maintain your root and coherence throughout. Of course, the basic principles are the same as in every posture, but Diagonal Flying presents some unique challenges. First of all, it is about as wide open as it gets in William C. C. Chen’s 60 Movements. The power is issued from an extended right arm that is reaching like a backhand in tennis. I love this move in push hands because no one expects that much power and lift from an outstretched arm. And for good reason, if you try… Read More