Your life

How do you spend your life?
Watching TV?

How many people suffer from a mid-life crisis? And what exactly is a mid-life crisis?
Surely it is the realisation that there is more to life than earning money.
Life is fascinating, mysterious, exciting.
Yet, sitting at your desk or on the sofa... life seems somewhat dull.


Shido-geiko (learning-by-helping)

Students seeking lineage must have a long-term pattern of shido-geiko.
If a would-be candidate has no history of helping new starters in class - before the lesson commences - then lineage is not for them.

 Becoming responsible for the art entails a commitment to passing-on the teachings.
 As with all things, action (rather than talk) is required.


Peter Southwood's tips #10 Application

Unless you can apply the art using the principles that govern the art, you are a novice.
You must be capable of application in a wide range of unpredictable situations.

All applications must be thorough and convincing.


The journey

Instead of fading slowly within the confines of their own life, the rare individual undertakes a journey of intimidating difficulty.
They do not withdraw in fear from the uncertainty ahead.
Nor do they question the need for a quest.

Learning an internal martial art is an intensely personal adventure.
There will be startling insights, unexpected joy and occasional moments of considerable fear.


Envy and delight

When I first saw a high-level demonstration in Japan I felt envy and delight. I knew I'd never get those skills and I was jealous, but I was also awed that those skills were possible. It is important not to resent your martial arts teacher. If you really want their skills, work hard and recognise that the responsibility rests in your hands, not your sensei's.

(Andrew Clarke)



Rather than use unnecessary tension, tai chi uses the least amount possible and focuses upon improving skeletal alignment for support.
We want the spine and the joints to be free and mobile.
Relaxing the muscles helps us to work with gravity.

Much of our training is concerned with how we use the body. This is a process-oriented approach, rather than a result-oriented one.
We are also interested in what we do with the body.

Our aim is to only move the body in a manner that is healthy, comfortable, easy and natural.


Playing taijiquan?

It is common for students to say that they are "playing" taijiquan...

This notion of 'play' must be considered carefully.
Most adults perceive play as tooling around - insincere, light-hearted and carefree.
But is this play at all?