There are several stages in every Tai Chi practitioners journey, understanding the structure of the various stances, learning to separate weight, smooth transitions, good alignment; every one must learn these things and more, and the standard square and round forms will provide many opportunities to learn them all. At some point you may wish to make your practice more personal, we need not become clones of our teachers, rather we should aim to surpass them, add to the knowledge and ability they passed on. Owning your tai chi form can be part of that process, obviously you should not exceed the boundaries of sound structure and efficient bio-mechanical movement, (use the language of the tai chi classics if you prefer)
but that leaves a great deal of room for experimentation. Are your movements minimal and pragmatic, embellished and artistic, dynamic and enthralling? the choice is yours.
Below you see a clip of Cheng Tin Hung, perhaps in one of his more pragmatic moods, you can contrast this with the clip further down of a more dynamic performance by the same teacher. image quality is poor because its old material, best viewed small.
In response to numerous requests, we have finally uploaded a short section of the hand form shown from different angles. If I can overcome my desire for perfection we may complete publication of the whole form, Currently finishing a move by move breakdown.
Enjoy the clip,
Its that time of year when people make resolutions, often designed to improve their life in some way. We thought it might be fun to apply the idea to Tai Chi practice, but don't take it too seriously.
Prepare - mentally and physically
Breathe - deep, naturally and quietly
Stand - still, open and aligned
Stretch - everything easily
Balance - everything
Practice - frequently, happily, with intention
Empty - your cup, and mind
Meditate - regularly, without effort
Free - waist, mind, and steps
Distinguish - weight in hands, feet, and effort
Use - intention, intentionally
Some of you are following the activity on our social media pages- Facebook -Twitter, etc and may have seen this article published on Keith's website. It is actually a response to another video and explains the concept of ground connection as simply redirecting the incoming energy to ground, and /or back into the opponent. It is a subtle use of the basic principle of yin becoming yang. Yielding (yin) is to make a strategic controlled withdrawal to a position of stability and strength, in order to redirect, or (in this instance) 'bounce' the opponent with his own force, by feeding it back to him. In the video for the sake of safety we only direct, rather than bounce. This is the strategic use of one particular form of 'Jin' or trained force/ energy in Tai Chi Chuan, there are many other manifestations available. follow the link to find the video if you cannot see it below.
Christmas and New Year 2014-15
It's that time of year when everyone is thinking of celebrating and relaxing, and perhaps (whisper this) easing up on practice a little?
So in the spirit of the Season and Wu Wei (non doing) we aim to facilitate that with the following information:
Last classes for 2014.
Trowse 16th December
Hindolveston 18th December
New term 2015 Fee payable on first lesson unless paying weekly
Hindolveston 8th January £25.00
Trowse 13th January £18.75
Private classes remain according to the schedule agreed with your personal teacher.
Drop in fees remain at £7.50 per session.
Have fun over the holidays and we look forward to training with you in the New Year.
Stay in touch during the break
In our courses we cover the Ba Duan Jin set, at three levels of performance.
The Ba Duan Jin is one of the oldest Qigong techniques recorded in ancient Chinese history; you will read this in almost every treatise on Qigong. What far fewer texts will reveal is that there are many versions, some seated, some standing, some very dynamic, some comparatively passive.
All of these forms are intended to act upon the energy circuits associated with the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which are concerned with regulating the flow of Qi (intrinsic energy). The major governing vessels (Ren and Du, or governing and Conception Vessels) primary circuits, and those associated with the organs are activated by this set, and as such benefit the whole body and psyche.
I was taught that the name is derived from the ability of this set to impart the quality of a fine silk brocade to the energy of the practitioner, that is soft, smooth, strong, rich and intricately interwoven, just as your energy circuits should be.
Perhaps the reason so much has been written about this set is partly because of its historical heritage, partly its adaptability to so many ranges of ability, but mostly its remarkable effectiveness, even when performed in the easiest forms. Of course when the most demanding, advanced versions are practised daily, the beneficial effects are even greater, it is for this reason that versions of these more demanding forms are often the basis for the secret Nei Gong training of many respected martial arts systems, the tough guys of the Qigong world.
In our courses we cover the Ba Duan Jin set, at three levels of performance. first we teach the root of each movement, the essence, then we move up the scale demonstrating how adding in pauses, spirals, weight shifts and different breathing increase the demands but also the benefits of each technique. This means our students are shown how to scale the versions up or down according to their ability. Teacher training of course goes even deeper into these aspects, so our teacher candidates have a thorough understanding of the way the system works from a traditional and physiological perspective
The easiest level we teach is less physically demanding, the levels increase in the amount of physical complexity, sinking, rising, twisting, compressing and expanding, as they progress. Also the difficulty of the breath components progress, therefore the easiest physical form, combined with the most advanced breathing can be a demanding and beneficial practice even for advanced practitioners. Always practice with sympathy for the body and mind, intention should be strong, even when the action, and breath are less.
The dvd below does not include 'Bouncing the heels' or 'Contemplating Dao' please see your teacher for details of the variations included in your regular class.
Aways seek the advice of your medical team before beginning any new exercise programme
The Eight strands of the silk brocade is one of the first Qigong sets I learned, almost 40 years ago, also known as the eight fine treasures the Ba Duan Jin is one of the most widely practiced sets of Qigong, as it is included in most kung fu and Tai Chi classes. There are many different versions of this Qigong set, without thinking I know at least 5, varying in intensity and complexity from simple and easy, ideal for entry level inactive people, to vigorous and demanding. It is not just the physical aspect that demands more, there is also an increased demand on the mind and breath as befits a more advanced form.
The video below is comparatively simple, Keith is not using the horse stance to rise and fall with the movements, the shots are taken to emphasise the breathing. As always use the 70% rule and stay within your comfort zone. This series was filmed during a public display in the Millennium Forum, Norwich,as part of a National health promotion day.
So here we have the new series of Coffee break Qigong, in response to those many requests for short follow along pieces.
Part 1 was first published on Gloria's site, Part 2 is below. let us know how you like it. subscribe, like or share on your favourite social media outlet.
Correct practise of Qigong can produce many benefits, but what level of practice is right for you?
There are many versions of standard Qigong sets like the Baduanjin or Eight strands of the silk brocade. In our classes we start with basic versions and then teach you how to modify the movement to get the best results. Different hand positions, deferent breathing cycle, different focus or a more difficult or easy version of the same drill. Which is right for you? We have to see you to say, and it should change when you are below par or in better health.
The version shown below is one way to perform Draw Bow, there are others.
Beginning with Zhang Sanfeng, traditionally credited as the founding father of Tai Chi Chuan, we follow the most common theory of the development of Tai Chi Chuan. through the Chen family to Yang Lu Chan founder of the Yang system and teacher ( along with his son Yang Ben Hou) of the Imperial Banner Men Wu Quan Yu and his son Wu Jianquan the founders of Wu style. Wu Jianquan's son in law Ma Yueh Liang is featured showing an elderly Ma Y L still moving quickly, but showing the typically higher stances and compact movements of main stream Wu style From there we move to a clip of some long form practice by students of the Cheng Wing Kwong academy. Cheng Wing Kwong was Cheng Tin-Hung's Uncle and first Tai Chi Chuan teacher. CTH later had another teacher, but I am not aware of any photographic evidence of him. We then see various films of Cheng tin-Hung at relatively young ages demonstrating various applications, or form. Then some rather fuzzy clips of an elderly CTH, to a dated TV demo featuring Dan Dochety,(incidentally CTH's son in law) former S.E.Asia heavy weight full contact champion, and head of Practical Tai Chi Chuan International, and all round promoter of Tai Chi in Europe. I read in an old magazine that CTH was apparently regarded as the head of Wu Style for a short period, but declining to be associated with a particular style, referred to his style as Wu Dang after the mountain range where Zhang sanding lived. DD was my teacher of Cheng Tin-Hung lineage WuDang Tai Chi Chuan, also known as Practical Tai Chi Chuan, and so we end with a clip of myself filmed for the Golden Rooster School.
Regards Keith R. Visit www goldenroosterschool.com for more information
If for some reason known only to internet gods, you can not see the play list, please click this link: View playlist
Allow around an hour and a half to see the whole thing if you click play all, or watch it bit by bit, much easier and you can practice in between.
Traditional Tai Chi
Golden Rooster School
Mobile 0790 4367990
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