Tai Chi Alchemy visits China – Day 1

It was the trip of a lifetime for me. Last spring my friend/teacher, Master Yang Fukui, suggested we visit Wudang Mountain, the legendary birthplace of taijiquan. We would also visit his hometown of Tianjin, another place with a rich martial arts history (see Jet Li’s film Fearless).  Sign me up! I had visited Beijing in ’99, a great trip, but going to Wudang with Master Yang was like a back stage pass to a world I could never access on my own. Maria was immediately up for the adventure, and so were some Tai Chi Alchemy regulars: Jonathan Bricklin, Mike… 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

Metarobics: Blood Oxygen Saturation and Health

I got a very interesting link from Sifu Marilyn Cooper recently, and I’d like to share it with you. Marilyn has been teaching internal martial arts for decades and operates the Little River Kung Fu School in northern California. She is the founder of Pushing for Peace, which uses taiji push hands as a tool for meditation, body-mind integration, and conflict resolution. The program was originally aimed at children and has presented in several countries. It has expanded its reach to include adults and those with physical challenges. The program seeks to shares the many benefits of taijiquan without requiring… Read More

Taijiquan Immersion at Kripalu, December 9-11

I’m very excited about a weekend course I’ll be giving next month at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Fitness in Lenox, MA next month. It’s called Taijiquan Immersion and it’s for anyone who would like to really feel internal power easily and dependably and would like a short form to develop it. For decades, I have been showing people how to get the most out a taijiquan form that they know or are studying. What is different here is that I’ll also be teaching a short, powerful form called Yang Chengfu’s Thirteen Original Postures. I learned it from Master Yang Fukui,… Read More

The Roots of Pointing

A question I often get when showing people how to enhance energetic coherence by pointing is, “Why is it the index finger?” The short answer is, “Because it works.” I’ve tested using other fingers with hundreds of people and the index finger is the only one that does the job reliably. The inspiration came from two sources. First, in taijiquan sword forms, the hand not holding the sword is often in a shape called “the secret sword hand.” The index and middle fingers are pointed forward and the ring and little fingers are curled under the thumb. I dutifully did… Read More