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.
Ok its old footage and the sound isn't good, but the points are still valid. So for all of you who have asked here it is , at least until we produce a better version. Enjoy it, study, and practice. Oh yes you can like the video on your favourite social media as well.
In our classes we aim for the benefits of smiling and laughter, as well as our Qigong and Tai Chi.
An icy wind has dropped the temperature and Gloria and I are wrapped up, feeling winter has arrived, In last nights class we enjoyed our practice in the lovely space of the Manor rooms, Trowse, which I am pleased to say were warm. After practice we made sure to wrap up against the cold, refuel with some hearty homemade food, and relax, an essential part of looking after our health, when the weather changes.
Scientific studies consistently show that the regular practice of ancient Chinese martial and healing arts of Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong can strengthens the immune system and reduces the incidence of ailments such as colds and flu.
Just as smiling and vigorous laughter immediately raises the level of our energy, strengthens the immune response and lightens our outlook on life, the regular practice of qigong increase the sense of well-being, raises physical and mental energy and enhances overall health.
In our classes we aim for the benefits of smiling and laughter, as well as our Qigong and Tai Chi, surely a recipe for winter health.
In our classes we often see people ’getting’ the idea of Tai Chi or Qigong for the first time, its very rewarding. Tai Chi is a deep practice and it can be easy for new students to lose their way in the beginning.
Here are some pointers for beginners.
Listen to your teacher to learn the fundamental concepts.
When explaining what certain movements are for, we aim to provide a balance between traditional concepts (The Yi leading the Qi, Zhong Ding or central equilibrium, and silk reeling energy) and very tangible benefits (developing balance, improving posture, boosting circulation) These concepts and benefits are given to develop your understanding and help you remember the lessons.
Practice the concepts
In Square form,
we work on alignment and control, learning to separate weight, open and close hips and shoulders in unison, learning to turn the feet to the best angle for the next move.
In Round form,
aim for slow flowing movements, with good alignment, weight separation and focus. Make your postures large and relaxed, yet find the expansion and contraction, the spirals and circles.
Deepen your understanding
Make your practice deeper, by developing your ability to see the subtle nuances, watch others to identify good practice principles. Control your action and composure to reproduce them in your practice.
Take your time.
Tai Chi is a life long process and every step along the way is enjoyable. It's better to deeply know a couple of postures from the form and train them several times a day than to superficially know a whole form. You will have a much more satisfying experience from the deeper practice.
'As teachers we can open the door, and point the way, but you have to make the journey.'
First class of the new term at Hindolveston today, and as always it is a pleasure to catch up with friends we haven't seen for a month, and of course new faces. in my case its my first full class back since breaking both legs in June, and first day out without the reassurance of a walking stick (unless you count a spear) and despite being a bit wobbly on deep single weighted stances, it was good for me.
Another nice thing was to see the progress many people have made in the time I was off, There was evidently a lot of time spent on form with Gloria, and despite having a month off I could see the difference.
Its a funny thing but when it was my job to supervise all of the NAES Tai Chi and Yoga classes, I got used to seeing a lot of the same faces, in different classes, always looking for the same thing, never finding it, perhaps it was because they were always looking to their teachers to give it to them instead of finding it in their practice?
' always looking for the same thing, never finding it,'
Today at our first class of the new term, we took things gently, Standing pole Qigong and Short Tai Chi hand form, its nice when you see people getting something worthwhile from their practice, discovering something new, perhaps about Tai Chi, or perhaps about themselves. As teachers we can open the door, and point the way, but you have to make the journey.
Traditional Tai Chi
Golden Rooster School
274 King Street
Norwich, NR1 2BL
Mobile 0790 4367990
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