What does “intent” or “sense of enemy” add to the forms?

I was asked this very pertinent question at class the other night. Performing any Tai Chi set is more than just choreographed movement. Tai Chi at its foundation is a martial art and Tai Chi philosophy is all about energy and natural law. When one performs the set without “intent” then the benefits they can […]

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Maturing Your Practice

Learning the forms is just one aspect of Taijiquan practice. After you have committed the forms to memory one should stop and take a look as to what has made it into your forms. Do you have: Proper structure and alignment Root Is the breath being utilized correctly? Are you utilizing and adhering to the […]

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Substantial and Insubstantial

The Classics say “I know my opponent but my opponent does not know me.” Taiji discussions around substantial and insubstantial can be related to many and various concepts but I want to relate what a student and I talked about last Sunday. I asked him to assume a right forward fighting stance and then sink […]

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Making the Most of Your Practice Time

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. ~Charles Richards We all lead busy lives and have to set aside […]

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The whole body should be light and agile

In motion the whole body should be light and agile, with all parts of the body linked, as if threaded together. The ch’i [vital life energy] should be excited; The shen [spirit of vitality] should be internally gathered. Attributed to Chang San-feng (est. 1279 -1386) It is fine to say the “whole body should be […]

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There are no shoulders in Taiji

One of THE major concepts in taiji is relaxation or when your practice becomes more mature this concept changes to song/sung (pronounced shoong). A major component in achieving relaxation is the dropping of the shoulders. If your shoulders are not dropped and relaxed you will have much less chance of feeling qi in the hands. […]

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