We have all met them: those individuals who have such a singular focus and dedication that they devote the entirety of their working lives to the development of a particular skill (or set of skills), and hence attain a rare and astonishing level of refinement of that one thing. My suggestion: learn from them, as … Continue reading “Monofocus” in Martial Arts
There is nothing that does not follow the way of nature. There is only that which, from our perspective, does not seem to follow the way of nature. This, too, is the way of nature.
Excerpted from Psycho-Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz: The energy that heals a wound is the same energy that keeps all our other body organs functioning. When this energy is at an optimum, all our organs function better. We feel good, wounds heal faster, we are more resistant to disease, we recover from any sort of stress … Continue reading Maxwell Maltz on Life Energy
In Western medicine, the body's natural state is death and decay. Health is like a stick balanced precariously on its end, an unstable equilibrium the maintenance of which requires constantly inputting energy and impeding the natural progression of entropy. The role of a healer is to "prop up" the body's state of health to prevent … Continue reading The Marble And The Stick
To find your proper posture, visualize that you are wearing a heavy, lead-filled backpack, with the straps resting squarely on the bony parts of your shoulders. What's more, imagine that you will have to wear that backpack all day long, and stand so that you can bear the weight indefinitely. This will make you sensitive … Continue reading How To Achieve Tai Chi Posture In An Instant
For most of us, our body is in a constant state of tug-of-war with itself, as muscles use tension to counterbalance other muscles that are carrying excessive tension to begin with. This state of affairs is analogous to driving a car with the emergency break on. It limits our range of expression, creates wear and … Continue reading Unconscious Muscle Tension
When is the body ever completely still? Only in death is there no movement. If you are living, you are breathing. If you are breathing, you are moving. The movements of tai chi ride upon the breath wave like flotsam following an ocean current. The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone. The thigh … Continue reading Stillness Is Death
One day my big apprentice brother told me a story. He said that our sifu once did a demonstration at a festival where many people were gathered to watch. After performing the demonstration, our sifu addressed the crowd, and began to describe our kung fu in great detail, even revealing the most esoteric secrets of … Continue reading The Secrets Of Our Kung Fu
While practicing, you are relaxed, aligned, your movements are smooth, deliberate. In other words, you are actively maintaining your tai chi composure. The question is, when do you stop? Do you turn your tai chi on when you practice the form, and turn it off when you stop? Do you turn it off when class … Continue reading When Do You Turn Your Tai Chi Off?
Yoga and tai chi have several elements in common, but they also provide distinct benefits. This is how they are alike and different: Alike Both are mind-body arts that work by regulating and integrating body, breath, and mind, and are suitable for people of all ages and physical conditions. Practice is meditative, and benefits include … Continue reading How Yoga and Tai Chi Complement Each Other