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Tai Chi Benefits Body, Mind and Spirit

posted 4 Aug 2014, 23:42 by Sean Barkes   [ updated 5 Aug 2014, 00:00 ]

3 Ways Tai Chi Trains the Brain

posted 23 Jun 2014, 01:22 by Sean Barkes

Interesting article regarding the benefits of Tai Chi in Huffington Post: http://ow.ly/yktEq

Relaxing the Face in Tai Chi

posted 21 May 2014, 08:03 by Sean Barkes   [ updated 21 May 2014, 08:04 ]

An interesting video blog by Bruce Frantzis about relaxing the face in Tai Chi practice

Tai Chi Combat Applications

posted 15 May 2014, 08:07 by Sean Barkes

At our Tai Chi classes in Lincoln, those students who are interested in the combat application of the movements from the Tai Chi sequence, here is a video that illustrates one such grouping of applications:

Follow the 70% Rule!

posted 14 May 2014, 01:46 by Sean Barkes   [ updated 14 May 2014, 02:37 ]

I often repeat the mantra that everyone should follow the 70% rule: only push yourself to 70% of your current capacity. However, some people feel embarrassed in a class situation not doing the same as everyone else and resting, despite this being absolutely fine with the rest of the class. Private lessons or specialist classes are sometimes more appropriate for people with these circumstances.

Tai Chi Paradox of Complexity and Simplicity

posted 14 May 2014, 01:41 by Sean Barkes   [ updated 14 May 2014, 01:59 ]

Each movement of Tai Chi Chuan is incredibly complex and intricate. Unfortunately, nowadays Tai Chi Chuan is taught as a simple sequence of movements, no different to waltzing or some other form of slow dance. The profound health benefits come from the complexity and intricacy of Tai Chi Chuan's internal dynamics.

When performed fluently, however, Tai Chi Chuan has an appearance of simplicity. Its complexity is hidden from plain view. From this perspective, it is no different from any other physical activity. Think about the first time you tried to emulate a tennis player's service. Think about the incredibly complex interactions between muscle, bone, joint and chemical systems involved in each movement. In Tai Chi Chuan practice, we try to perform all the movements with absolute awareness of all these interactions. This is one of the reasons why many of the practices are performed slowly. It gives us the opportunity to fully participate in each moment.

However, anything can be adapted appropriately to the stage of learning of each student. The student can explore the movement more deeply in their own time, when they are ready to grasp higher levels. So, Tai Chi Chuan can be very simple to practise.

Tai Chi Chuan is very powerful medicine if it is practised correctly and with sufficient frequency.

The Tai Chi Paradox of Formlessness & Structure

posted 13 May 2014, 06:52 by Sean Barkes   [ updated 13 May 2014, 06:54 ]

Tai Chi should look formless. However, it is founded upon definite structures. There are straight lines to be seen within the form.

Supreme Ultimate Posture

posted 12 May 2014, 08:35 by Sean Barkes

The supreme ultimate posture is mechanically efficient. Hence Tai Chi's basis in martial arts.

Tai Chi Definition

posted 12 May 2014, 08:32 by Sean Barkes

Tai Chi Chuan is the constant striving to find the 'supreme ultimate' way of holding one's body, in movement or stillness, a posture that is supreme in sustaining life's function. It is a process, not a destination, a constant refinement for body and mind. The Tai Chi Chuan proponent is repeatedly pitted against their monkey mind, tempting them to give up. Their repeated refusal to give up and strive onward to perfection refines their character and their ability to meet life's challenges with a positive mental attitude.

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