The Earth is rotating on its axis and revolving around the sun, yet we perceive it to be static. We often make the same mistake with our bodies, believing that they are static and that a problem can't go away unless it is medicated or surgically removed. Yet the equilibrium state of our bodies is … Continue reading The Eternal Return to Health
"Composure" is a term that I find useful to describe the state of being while practicing tai chi. The specific movements made matter very little, what is important is to maintain composure while doing them. The elements of composure are many and subtle, but the main indicators are posture, breathing, relaxation, and focus. Posture: Are … Continue reading What Is Composure in Tai Chi?
Tai chi both affects and is affected by our emotional state. Emotions engage the whole body, including the neurological, muscular, and endocrine system, and tai chi does as well. Any form of meditation can calm and regulate the nervous system, but emotions exist in all the tissues of the body. They are stored long-term as … Continue reading The Emotional Component of Tai Chi
Excerpted from A Tooth from the Tiger's Mouth, by Tom Bisio: [Cats] appear to be lazy and sleep a lot, yet they are agile, flexible, and strong. Cats don’t do stretching exercises or engage in weight training, yet they move with a supple, relaxed grace that few humans can match…The word supple conjures up an … Continue reading Bisio on Cats
In beasts from large to small, there is an inverse mathematical relationship between base metabolic rate and life span. A fast heart equals a short life, a slow heart equals a long life. In fact, the total number of heartbeats in a lifetime is roughly constant between species. This is likely part of the mechanism … Continue reading Slow Down, Live Longer
Tai chi is a mirror for life. Your practice can be a mirror for your life. But the effect goes both ways. What is showing up in your life will show up in your practice. The qualities you cultivate in your practice will show up in your life. Reflection and correction go hand … Continue reading How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything
I study Tai Chi. Yang style or Chen style? Long form or short form? No. I study the principles, not the styles. All martial art “styles” derive from a single source: the ancient art of hitaguy.
A good teacher should not teach by adding but by taking away. Learning tai chi is not a process of adding skills but of removing inhibitions to reveal the natural virtue of the body's functioning.
In tai chi practice, there is no distinct "striking", only undifferentiated movement. If structure and central equilibrium are maintained at all times, then each part of the movement will be equally powerful. So in practice, no part of the movement should be emphasized with muscular tension or feel any different than any other part. In application, this means that … Continue reading Undifferentiated Movement
To learn how to do something, make it easy enough for yourself that you can have fun with it. When it becomes so easy that you become bored, you will naturally want to increase the challenge. If you let the natural learning process proceed in this way, your skill will progress automatically, without a sense of conscious … Continue reading How to Learn Anything, the Tai Chi Way