Sunday, 23 April 2017

My Favourite Books

Form to Function by Nigel Sutton is a great little book on pushing hands, mainly in the Ch'eng Man Ch'ing tradition but there are also some additional exercises provided to help you with developing necessary skills.

The book looks at single, double, fixed step and moving push hands, ta lu and fa jing exercises with a staff /pole. There is also a discussion about pushing hands for competition.

I really like the staff/pole exercises but I have a wing chun pole rather than a rattan one. I did have the pleasure of meeting Nigel Sutton many years ago when he lived in Hayes and I learnt a walking stick form from him.  Sadly I can't remember the form but I do still practise the warm up exercises with the walking stick.


Friday, 14 April 2017

The Cook and his Cleaver

Check out this post by Caroline Ross on her Great River Tai Chi Blog.

I fully agree that Tai Chi is experiential. Words and Videos can only touch, for the most part, the surface. I love the line that says " Corrections are made by smiles and nods as the connection between one's hand and another person changes ". How you approach Tai Chi is a reflection of your psyche and hard work born of inspiration and passion.

Read the post here.

After that, go to her Drawing website carolineross.co.uk

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Martial Arts Madness


Martial Arts Madness is a book written by the late Glenn Morris. I enjoy reading his books for the way he writes, if nothing else.

I like his insights too.

My favourite section in this particular book is on the Archetypes that can be found in martial arts training. There is the Ultimate Martial Art syndrome, the Keeper of the Masters Secrets syndrome (love that one - know a few of those), Martial Master as Sex Stud ( I keep trying ), the Dangers of Following (come on, I need more followers on this blog) and Faithfulness to Teachers.

With regard to the last one, I think this sentence is especially apt " if you are going to have someone tell you how to live, be certain that they know more about living than you do. Most martial artists don't have what I would call a life. When entering the Master / Student religion - oops - relationship - one should look carefully at who is dependent on whom".

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Put the Mind In


I was talking to John Kells a few years ago about the Dantien when I said it never felt right to me to put my mind in the Dantien.

Surprisingly, he said he felt exactly the same. He slept in a special position and for years had put his mind in the Dantien and the Bubbling Well points in the feet. It never felt right and then he switched his focus to putting the mind in the Thymus and the Bubbling Well points, which made a significant change to his energy.

After my Prostate Cancer and recovery from surgery I took (finally) his advice and did the same. It has made a profound difference to my energy and there is something about the Thymus/Feet connection that adds a liveliness and directness to my Tai Chi both in form and application. Mind in the Dantien was, for me, always too slow and had a dullard feeling.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Solitary Path of Mastery

This article by Mark Mikita pretty much mirrors my own feelings about being a companion on the path with my students and a way of being. I think this what any good teacher does, not just in Tai Chi or martial arts in general.

Read the full article here

Sunday, 2 April 2017

My Favourite Books

T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Meditation by Da Liu is a great little book delving into Chinese Physiology, Meditation,  Breathing, Points for Concentration and T'ai Chi postures.

Reading the Tao of Health and Longevity by Da Liu is what first got me interested in T'ai Chi Ch'uan and I really found this book very useful in my own practise.

It should be in every T'ai Chi practitioner's library!