Self-discovery school of T’ai Chi Ch’uan

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I hope your new year is moving forward smoothly and exceeding your expectations.
Class is starting up Monday February 16th at 6:00 PM. This is the beginners Monday and Wednesday class.
This year I am also starting a Saturday morning workout class. It will be from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and will be a workout for all levels. The class starts February 21, 2015. The rate will be $10 a class.

Warm regards and I will look forward to seeing you all in 2015

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Below is an article by my teacher Dr. Martin Inn on “How Fast Should You Do The Single Movements?”

How Fast Should You Do The Single Movements?

This is a question that is often asked from beginners who are not sensitive to their internal world. They just learn the movements and follow the speed set by their teacher. However for the beginner,this may not be the correct speed of doing the form according to their stage of development.

When I first leaned the form, I noticed that I was doing the form a lot faster than my teacher. As I watched my teacher do the form, it seemed like his shirt was rippling whereas my movements did not have this kind of flavor. I realized the difference was that my teacher had a lot more changes in his movements than me, and that is why he would take a longer time to execute the form.
Through the years of practice, and the cultivation of greater relaxation, my movements began to take on the flavor of my teacher and his changes. Not only did it take longer for me, I had to simultaneously pay attention to more parts of my body as I executed the form.

So what determines the speed of doing the form?
At one time, I thought that the slower I did the movements, the more I got out of it. However I discovered that by doing it too slowly it caused stagnation.
On the other the hand, doing it too fast did not allow the body to relax and just promoted more muscular tension. Then I thought that the breath would be the central factor in determining the speed of execution. One would coordinate the inhalation and exhalation with the movements. This concept is not incorrect however it didn’t go deep enough. On the inner energetic level, the speed of the movements should depend on the rising and sinking of the Qi.

What governs the timing of the shift of weight from one leg to the other is the sinking of the Qi into the feet.
As the Qi rises, the weight can begin to shift from the substantial leg on to the insubstantial leg. If the Qi has not reached to the bottom of the substantial leg and the practitioner begins to prematurely shift the weight, the movement becomes uncoordinated and external. This is the lack of coordination of the internal and the external and can result in being double weighted. So the cadence of the single movements should depend on the rising and sinking of the Qi.
This is also matched by the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. The rising of the Qi is more easily achieved by an inhalation and the sinking of the Qi an exhalation. This is also matched by the rise and sink of the external body in the movements.

In the beginning, the student is taught that the form should be executed so that the body moves on one level plane. However, as the practitioner develops more of the internal, he begins to feel that the body naturally rises and sinks with the inhalation and exhalation of the breath, and it also naturally matches the rising and sinking of the Qi in the internal body. The more practiced the student becomes the deeper the Qi sinks and the more changes he has in the movements. When your Qi sinks into the feet, you will also develop root. This requires years of dedicated practice. The 37 movements short form should take about 8 minutes to execute.

The kind of Tai Chi I teach

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The first thing I teach and most important principle in my mind is that Tai Chi is about learning to “relax”. We all know that whatever we do we do it better when we are relaxed.

We use the Tai Chi movements, which are very difficult to perfect as a framework that we try to relax around. This to me is a metaphor for those moments in life when we are put in difficult or stressful positions. Those are the moments that having the abilities to relax, breath deeply and focus are priceless.

Both the founder of the style of Tai Chi I teach and my teacher were Doctors of Chinese Medicine. This greatly influenced their interpretation of the form. Each posture, when done correctly, should be like an acupuncture treatment, opening the meridians and allowing energy to flow through the body. There is a strong focus on breathing into the abdomen because this stimulates the internal organs. 70% of American health issues have  been traced to people only breathing into the chest area.

Tai Chi has been proven to reduce arthritic pain and improve joint movement

In class, I explain the health benefits of the movements as well as the history and the philosophy of the movements.

I have an aversion to “just waving your hands in the air” so I explain what the application of each movement is,  not that I expect that any one will have to use it but I think it helps the learning process when you know why your arm is in that weird angle.

My classes are a workout but no one is asked to go beyond where they are comfortable.

Thank you



Tai Chi Chuan

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Mission Statement:

To promote the safe and productive practice of Tai Chi Chuan
for Meditation, Healing Arts, Fitness Training and Martial Arts.

To inspire people to practice Tai Chi and enhance their lives.

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