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

The Force…Now Appearing in a Galaxy Near You

Check out the current edition of Connecticut’s prestigious INK magazine (“a guide to finer living in Connecticut and abroad”) for an article I wrote: “The Force…Now Appearing in a Galaxy Near You.” The spread includes about twenty photos, many from last year’s visit to China. You can view the article in PDF format here: The Force. (Check that out at least for the photos.) Some may prefer to read the text here:   THE FORCE…Now at Galaxies Near You Rick Barrett Every one of us who left that theatre in the fall of 1977 knew that our lives had been… Read More

Wudang Tai Yi Wushingquan at Wudangshan

I just posted this video from last October’s visit to legendary Wudang Mountain, the highlight of our trip. In it, Master Yang and I perform the first section of the Wudang Mountain Tai Yi Wushingquan, a form that he learned from an old monk during an earlier visit to Wudang. There appears to be several forms with that name, and I don’t know the provenance of the one we’re doing. A great effort was made to restore the Wudang tradition after it had been nearly destroyed during the cultural revolution. Wudang is the spiritual home to Daoism and the Chinese… Read More

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

Yang Chengfu’s 13 Original Postures

Yang Chengfu’s 13 Original Postures is a short, powerful form I learned from Master Yang Fukui. He learned it from his grandfather in Hebei, China. It is a large frame form, and contrasts nicely with my go-to taijiquan, the small to medium frame, Grandmaster William C.C. Chen’s “60 Movements.” I have been doing Master Chen’s version of the Yang style short form for over 35 years. I love its economy of moment. It is about as spare as you can get. Master Chen comes from a fighter’s perspective, and all unnecessary frills are trimmed to leave a rugged, dependable taijiquan… Read More