Tai Chi movement

Some simple training tips I have found useful:

  1. Pick a part of your body to focus on – legs, arms, hips, shoulders or whatever then do your exercises and form while focusing on them trying to keep that part 50% relaxed. Then do the same while working with your lower abdomen – tantien.
  2. Read a good book on Tai Chi eg Master Chen Xiaowang’s “Five Levels of Tai Chi” or his coffee table “Chen Family Taijiquan” perhaps the “Tai Chi classics” which I think can be found for free online. Pick a part which seems to resonate with you and then focus your practice on understanding that particular part by recognising what they are saying from the feelings in your body. Repeat as necessary.
  3. Watch videos by good practitioners in an attentive manner – seek to understand what they are doing

Good luck

Enforced practice!

26/03/2020

Well with all this working from home I find that the urge to go outside in our garden occurs a few times a day – often to sit with a coffee, but increasingly to do a Tai Chi form maybe 2 or three times a day – which means about one to one and a half hours a day of practice. We are lucky to have quite a large area of lawn but I am really only using a patch about 20 feet by 10 – which is getting very trampled – so not so much grass to cut then!

Working on my own I can go at whatever speed I like – and that is getting slower and slower – and co-incidentally lower and lower.

So my practice has taken on a sort of “do it when I feel like it” routine and I am enjoying it that way – and finding more and easier movement in some unexpected places.

Good luck with your own “enforced” practice and I hope you are all well – I look forward to seeing you when we come out the other side.

Residential program

01/09/2019

Our residential program this year will take as it’s theme ” Don’t just do the exercise – feel and think about the movement in your body.”

The program has the following points for students to consider:

History and fore runners

Shaolin, Bodidhama, Buddhism, Yoga, Chi Kung, Chin na, traditional Chinese medicine, theories of 5 elements, theory of Chi and meridians, Taoism, Power vs Yielding,

Sensing the feeling of movement

The place of weapons

Identifying: Relax, Move from the centre, All moves at once,

Mapping the space – partner work

Links to other approaches – Chi kung, Yoga, Pilates, Karate, various Kung Fu eg Shaolin, meditation, Taoism, Yiquan,

Very slow practice, fast and loose practice, standing, creating your own exercises,

Large movement, small movement,

Making and feeling connection

The place of meditation

Integration

Theory of martial arts – what are we seeking to achieve?

Structure, balance, fluidity,

The place of fighting, studying conflict, balancing forces, Tai chi in daily life, the path of martial arts – combative, healing, wisdom/understanding.

To those who are coming – I look forward to seeing you there – if you are not joining us then maybe the notes will give you something useful to think about.

All the best in your practice.

Over the years I have from time to time noticed changes in the way my body moves – recently I have noticed some small changes. Interestingly these changes have begun with very small perturbations in existing patterns – so small I could not properly describe them until a while later after more relaxed practice when they have grown bigger and more defined.
They are initially so small and undefined that it is often not even clear if they are a fault or an improvement until they have grown naturally into an extension of the basic pattern.
I suspect the same is true of other types of behavioural change where the new is developed “underneath” the old habitual pattern before it emerges and eventually replaces it.

Healthy Movement From Tai Chi & Alexander Technique

30 January 2017
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The following article was recently published by Kindred Spirit magazine: Over my many years of studying and teaching Tai Chi I have recognised that much of individual movement stems from habit – we learn to walk at around 1 year old and then pay it little attention to it until some 60 or so years later when, […]

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Develop your journey with Tai Chi

21 December 2016
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As a martial artist (since starting Karate in the early 70’s) and as someone interested in my own personal development, I have experienced many styles around the world and many approaches to personal growth. Now in my 60’s I try to share what I have learned in those areas and seek to facilitate others in finding their own path. […]

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Residential weekend – retreat/workshop

17 November 2016
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On 12-14 May 2017 at the Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Suffolk we will be holding our first  Alternative Health Exercises Residential Weekend – of gentle movement and body awareness exercises in a environment of light humour and relaxation. The weekend program will be based on our popular seminar series of exercises  developed  from Tai Chi &  Alexander Technique with  elements of dance incorporated  into two days of mindfulness exercises  and meditation ‐ developing a practical  way of being. Widely experienced Alexander teacher  Judy Hammond and long‐term Tai Chi  instructor Ian Deavin have created […]

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Why Tai Chi works for the over 50’s

16 November 2016
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Well there are many factors and to begin, as I understand it, during aging cellular replication slows down around 50 or so, that is the number of stem cells in our body start to run down. The 115 year old woman who died a while ago was found to have only two types of stem cell […]

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Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 17th July 2016

15 June 2016
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Covering exercises, spiralling movement, Qigong, mindfulness, meditation, Tai Chi principles and Alexander principles. The seminar will be run by Ian Deavin and Judy Hammond and participants will be engaged in a fascinating mix of meditation and movement, creating inner body awareness and developing a practical and spiritual mind/body link of considerable strength. Qigong is a basic […]

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Tai Chi wellness at the RSPB Sandy

19 May 2016
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I was recently asked to do an introductory Tai Chi session at the RSPB Sandy where they were having a staff wellness month with a variety of activities  – on what turned out to be the only rainy day of the week! – but despite this we had a delightful lunchtime session and it was great to do […]

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