Thursday

In this world there are two times.
 There is the mechanical time and there is body time...
 The first is unyielding, predetermined.
 The second makes up its mind as it goes along...
 Each time is true, but the truths are not the same.
 

 (Einstein)

Wednesday

Can I just thank Sifu and yourself for continuing to make the sessions so enjoyable on so many levels.... 

(Doug)

Tuesday

With today's round-the-clock access to news we can now receive a twenty-four-hours-a-day parade of mostly negative information about random shootings, drug wars, environmental disasters, racially motivated hate crimes, rampaging serial killers, and gruesome sex crimes. As they say in the world of television news production, "If it bleeds, it leads." The news, in fact, has become so stressful that health experts recommend 'news fasts' to improve psychological health.

 (Dr Bradley Wilcox, Dr Craig Wilcox and Dr Makoto Suzuki)

Saturday

Exercise

Dr Michael Greger (author of How Not To Die) recommends 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.
Tai chi neatly fulfils this requirement. 

Wednesday

Lazy students are often after quick results and will happily cut corners. Taijiquan is not an “easy pastime”, it requires hard work and commitment to learn effectively.

(Alex House)

Tuesday

Fitness

There are 3 areas of fitness:

1. Cardio
2. Strength
3. Flexibility

In order to exercise the body properly, you need to gain aptitude in all 3 areas.

Many people can lift heavy weights but they are not flexible/breathing hard after mild cardio.
This is not good enough for a comprehensive training approach.

Monday

Fine motor skills

The repetitive nature of many 'adult toys' (mobile phones, tablets, video games) dulls the nervous system; causing a decrease in sensitivity.

If you want to improve fine motor control, you would be better off washing the dishes by hand rather than playing with your smart phone.

Doing craft work or building and painting a model demands fine motor skills.
By contrast, tapping a screen is simply not the same...

Fiddling

People often like to fiddle with things.
Fiddling reflects an agitated, bored, restless state of mind.

It is quite common to believe that fiddling with electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets or video games will improve your motor skills...
But is this true?

Chapter 6 details the immense benefits of daily tai chi practice


Friday

A few other guys were watching a teacher of taijiquan. Never had I witnessed such deceptive power. He performed the Art with enormous dignity and force, and I realised I was seeing something which, although I could not understand, I had to respect. Mr Wang was at least fifty, and probably older. His power was fantastic.

I once asked Nakayama if he thought karate was the best of the unarmed fighting arts. He answered that he thought it was. In that case, I countered, what about taijiquan? Nakayama sensei laughed, and with a smile he said, "For human beings, karate is the best way. But there are some men who are superhuman, and perhaps a few of the taijiquan sensei are just that."
(C W Nicol)

Wednesday

Even in our most basic actions, such as sitting, bending and standing, we have developed habits which lead us into an inaccurate assessment of the effort needed.

 
(Michael J Gelb) 
We are checking our smartphones on average 221 times a day. Recent research found that 80 percent of millennials look at their phones upon waking; this addiction is a strong one. As a result, our cognitive processing has become shallower and we have become so distracted that we play directly into the hands of the autopilot. Digital devices are the modern day equivalent of tranquillisers. They instil a trance-like state almost immediately as they are anchors for our subconscious to take over. 
(Chris Barez-Brown)

After a long day at work I might commit 45-60 minutes to watching something we've rented or bought on DVD. Occasionally a movie. It is supposed to be relaxing; a way to unwind from dealing with the trials and tribulations of my day job... Yet, so many modern films are really quite miserable. Last night we tried to watch Collateral Beauty. Big mistake. It was a bunch of actors talking about bereavement and cancer. Hey, I encounter the real thing at work. And worse. Why do I want to watch an actor pretend that they care? DVDs should have more detailed classification on the back of them. If you rent/buy Moana, it's going to be pretty safe. But even a so-called 'rom-com' nowadays involves trauma/upset/death/misery... Why? If I wanted to be miserable I'd watch the news.

Sifu said that he thinks that films/TV should either entertain, educate or enlighten. I agree with him but it is exceedingly rare to encounter anything that educates or enlightens.

 
(Rachel)

Tuesday

We will be closed Monday 9th October as the hall is unavailable.

Wednesday


Form application

Students usually find taijiquan form applications to be difficult to understand and learn.
The reasons why are straightforward:
  1. They don't know the form itself well enough
  2. They are not using their body in a whole-body way
  3. Applications are being perceived as techniques
  4. The student is attempting to employ 'external' methodology to an internal martial art
  5. The mental representation of the taijiquan principles/combat approach etc is not fully formed 
These problems can best be remedied through diligent study and practice.