Sunday, 19 February 2012

Advice at the Beginning : Surrender to relaxation

To get the most benefit from practice we should apply relaxation. But, how do we relax? If we try to relax the very act of trying will get in the way! A good way to get around this problem is to imagine that we are relaxed already. This is an ancient method. The 'result' becomes the 'method.' When we imagine we are relaxed we stop trying... the feeling of relaxation comes and then we let that feeling take over. At this stage the effects of relaxation can become powerful when you surrender to the experience of relaxing. There is nothing that is not included. There is no sense of the self which is observing in a detached way. Become the experience of relaxing! In a similar way we can 'let go' into the experience of 'just being.'

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Dear Students and Guests

Following Alan's sudden and unexpected death, we joyfully look forward to creating an inclusive community committed to the true beauty of this precious lineage.

You can join us here.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Punch and Withdraw and Push

Remember when withdrawing before push, it is the body that turns which moves the arm. Our habit is so strong to move the arm first. Use the feet to transmit the movement to the torso. The front foot pushes the left hip back and the back foot pushes the right hip forward. In this way the t'ai chi force is not blocked.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Fist

The punch in t'ai chi is performed with a soft fist. It is worth spending time to understand the correct way to form the fist.

When the hand is open and stretched out the ch'i is able to extend out beyond the finger tips. When the hand is curled this flow is then fed back into the arm. The arm itself then forms a block of chi. In this way heat is also prevented from leaving the body on a cold day. From a tai chi point of view the arm is sealed and the fist itself is able to function as an abrupt ending to the arm. The hand is soft and the accumulation of substantial force makes the hand similar to a peice of clay.

It is important that the thumb is not inside the fingers against the palm. The thumb is on the outside of the fingers. The softest method is with the thumb on top of the hand, resting on the index finger. There is more tension in the hand when the thumb bends accross the first and second fingers.

When the thumb is touching the base of the ring finger and the fingers closed over, it prevents loss of ch'i but it is never used in the martial context. You will see a very young child naturally use this fist when they defecate. It is advised by some chi kung masters to avoid loss of ch'i even as an adult!

Finally remember that the t'ai chi force must leave the fist and therefore when using the mind intent it is not directed into the fist but beyond it.


There has been a problem with the videos recently, however I have managed to restore them back onto the blog.

The wednesday beginners course can now look at the postures up to Step forward, deflect downward, intercept and punch.

The beginners class due to start on Wednesday 10th. February is now full. The next class will start after the Easter break.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Whirlwind Left, Small Star of the Big Dipper, Waiting for Fish, Looking for the Snake in the Grass, The Bird Flies into the Forest to Rest

The Bee Flies into the Hive

The Bee Flies into the hive and Phoenix Spreads Wings.

Remember to control the tip of the sword during the turn into Bee Flies into the Hive. The steps in this posture follow a circular path after turning the left foot anti clockwise.

Remember to bring the posture to the upright position. Turning the waist to the right the left forearm rotates at the elbow bringing the left hand above the right. Keep the sword arm straight. Use the leverage from the left foot to extend the force through the body during the step and sweep of the sword.