nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Stillness and Speed. How Does T’ai Chi Work in a Fight?

This sounds a straightforward question; but it is a difficult one even for a T’ai chi master to answer. Why is that? If a skilled T’ai chi practitioner has to use it in a real attack, they probably have little idea of what they did. They would simply respond appropriately to what was happening, with no time to analyse what they were doing. One of my teachers told me that if you use T’ai chi in a real fight, your...

Learning T’ai chi ch’uan; the slower the better

A great Zen sword master in Japan was visited by an eager prospective student. The student asked how long it would take to become a Zen sword master if he trained really hard and worked with the Master every day. The master said perhaps ten years. The student said that was too long; if he trained night and day and managed on four hours sleep, how long would it take? The Master said about twenty years. So the student was...

Chang Seng Feng Didn’t Invent T’ai Chi Ch’uan. Does It Matter?

The traditional histories of T’ai chi ch’uan assert that the Taoist Master Chang Seng Feng from Wu Tang Mountain developed the art in the 13th Century, after he witnessed a crane fighting a snake. Or in another version, the art is revealed in a dream by the important Taoist Warrior Deity Chen Wu (The Dark Lord). In reality, the art did not emerge until well into the 18th Century as a village-based boxing style, probably...

The Value of Being Relaxed: T’ai Chi and Scuba Diving

Like T’ai chi, in scuba diving, the less you do, the more effective you become. In other words, advanced scuba diving involves using minimum effort and strength to achieve efficiency. Wasteful expenditure of air, and overuse of fins and working against currents in the water, will quickly exhaust the diver and waste their air. The skill in diving is to relax as soon as you are in the water. Release the air from your...

T’ai chi on YouTube, Part II

Tung Yin Chieh Yang form, filmed in 1950. Master Tung was a senior student of Yang Cheng-fu (d.1936). This film is probably the clearest example of the Yang form as taught by Yang Cheng-fu. The stances are low and long, which is achieved by bending the knees more. Master Tung’s back alignment is similar to that shown in pictures of Yang Cheng-fu. By this I mean that the spine is straight but the back is angled in a way...

Master Moy Lin-shin – T’ai Chi Innovator, Teacher and Visionary

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dhbSE6IImU   Moy Lin-shin is best known in the West as the founder of The International Taoist T’ai Chi Society in Montreal, Canada. He established this thriving organisation after many years teaching and spreading the concepts of Taoism and its practices. Legend has it things didn’t start out too well for the young Lin-shin, as he suffered bouts of ill-health as a child...

Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching (Laozi – Dao De Jing)

Traditionally dated to the 6th Century BCE and attributed to the Sage Lao Tzu (Laozi), the Tao Te Ching (Classic of the Way and its Power) is a pivotal text for all Taoists. It integrates a mystical path of naturalness and unconstrained non-volitional action with the political philosophy of a minimal state. The text endorses a spiritualised vision of immortality, which is seen as arising from a non-acquisitive, natural and...

T’ai chi on YouTube, Part I

There are some excellent resources about T’ai chi available on the internet, and some good video material on YouTube. Unfortunately, for students beginning T’ai chi, there are many poor quality and misleading materials as well. To help beginners and those interested in following up on T’ai chi ch’uan, I have selected the three best YouTube videos I could find for T’ai chi learners and researchers; along with my...