Using Mathematical Principles to Understand the Concept of Fluid Motion in Taijiquan

Tara Brayshaw - Sunday, June 26, 2016
A lot of Taiji practitioners in their early learning find it extremely difficult to understand or utilize the concept of fluidity of movement. This is especially so when faced with the transition from one movement to the next and how to give the movement finality, while still appearing to be in motion. From a mathematical perspective, if something is moving at a constant rate we refer to this as a steady velocity. This is what a cruise control on a ...  read more

What is Qigong?

Tara Brayshaw - Monday, June 13, 2016
Qigong is an ancient Chinese health practice dating back 3000 years that aligns the breath and physical activity to promote mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. It includes aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Martial Arts but its main emphasis is on preventing illness. A literal translation of the term Qigong is “breath work”. The Chinese character Qi meaning air or breath is the energy that circulates within the body. Gong means work or self-discipline. Gong is the term used ...  read more

What is Tai Chi?

Tara Brayshaw - Monday, June 13, 2016
Tai Chi (Taijiquan in Chinese meaning “Supreme Ultimate Fist”) is literally an internal Chinese Martial Art that has been practiced in China for both its self-defence training and health benefits since the 16th Century. Although it is a branch of the Chinese Martial Arts (Wushu), today it is predominately practiced for wellbeing including the prevention or improvement of illness and disease, and the stresses and strains of modern living. Taijiquan training usually involves several elements including Neigong (內功; breathing exercises, ...  read more

Bad Boys Rock with Tai Chi and Qigong

Tara Brayshaw - Sunday, June 12, 2016
The stage-diving wild child of rock, Iggy Pop of The Stooges, credits 40 minutes of Qigong a day with staying on the road, staying sane and still having pecs at 65 years of age; Lou Reed, singer and guitarist from The Velvet Underground tamed his "rock and roll animal" by practicing Tai Chi for three hours a day; The American Grammy winning music producer, actor, rapper and leader of the Wu Tan Clan (rap group), RZA has trained in Kung ...  read more

Li Tianji - The Truths About Taijiquan

Tara Brayshaw - Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Text of a lecture at the Wuhan International Taijiquan and Taijijian Display and Exchange Meeting, Wuhan, China, April 1984 by Distinguished Taijiquan expert Li Tianji “Regardless of whether one is learning traditional Taijiquan sequences, or studying the newly-compiled materials, Taijiquan's characteristic features should be maintained and expression given to its basic essentials. The Wushu competition rules incorporate five points concerning the characteristic features of Taijiquan. I will give them some introduction merely from my own personal understanding. 1. Body relaxed ...  read more

Tai Chi in the Modern World

Tara Brayshaw - Wednesday, June 08, 2016
When Professor Zeng performs taijiquan, it looks textbook perfect. There's a simple reason for this. Professor Zeng wrote the book. He was one of the editors of China's 1988 taiji compilation, an influential treatise for the development of modern taijiquan. Professor Zeng Nailiang (曾乃梁) is one of the founding fathers of modern taijiquan. But what is modern taijiquan? It's almost oxymoronic as taiji is an ancient art. When "modern" is bandied about in Chinese martial arts, one can't help but ...  read more

Move Like a Tiger, Gaze Like a Hawk

Tara Brayshaw - Wednesday, June 08, 2016
In applying this piece of advice to our form practice we have to be selective in choosing which attributes of these two animals we wish to emulate. In the case of the tiger we are concerned with the relaxed, padding movements which contain the potential for swift and terrible action should it be required. If you study the way a tiger moves you will notice how once its leg touches the ground the whole of the bodyweight follows, yet without ...  read more

It Takes Years and Years to Fully Discover Tai Chi

Tara Brayshaw - Wednesday, June 08, 2016
“… A tai chi master would tell you that you’re doing nothing wrong but you just don’t have it yet. It takes years and years to fully discover tai chi. You cannot just learn life instantly. Life is to be lived. You might think “If I find a good teacher, if I read a good book, I will eventually become very wise, and I will have conquered all the difficulties in life.” If you do that, then what’s next? Boredom. ...  read more

An Introduction to the Chinese Wushu Duanwei System

Tara Brayshaw - Wednesday, June 08, 2016
The Chinese Wushu Duanwei System is a hierarchical system which the Chinese Wushu Association formulated to evaluate the professional level of wushu practitioners. Based on this system, a series of Textbooks was compiled to ensure a unified standard of education and evaluation. In order to promote the popularization of Wushu and develop different schools, every effort was made to establish an agreed set of standards in the hope of guiding wushu practitioners to master wushu and its empty hand and ...  read more

The Cracked Pot

Tara Brayshaw - Tuesday, June 07, 2016
An elderly Chinese woman had two large water pots hung on either end of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it and at the end of the long walks from the river to the house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full.   Every day the woman continued to bring home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. ...  read more

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