A picture is worth a thousand words? The Onion, a national satirical newspaper ran this picture of some taiji players with the headline Tai Chi Practitioner Really Slowly Dislocates Knee. Possibly more worrisome is the yawning student. As everyone knows, practicing outdoors means the risk of gnats flying in your mouth. The Onion 6/26/07
December 25, 2007
December 19, 2007
Plan ahead! World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 2008 will happen on April 26th at 10 am local time. All around the world, people will gather to welcome the day with these health-enhancing, fascinating exercises. Many groups will be offering free demonstrations and classes for the public. Check your local listings or see the official site. (Photo couresty WTCD event in Perth, Australia)
December 14, 2007
A Starbucks coffeeshop in Pompano Beach, Florida became the unlikely site of a taiji lesson. Taiji teacher and writer Arthur Rosenfeld was waiting in a drive-through line when the man behind him began honking and yelling at him. Instead of getting all hot under the collar in response, Rosenfeld yielded and created a "chain of kindness" by paying ahead for the man's drink. What he started lasted all day and became a welcome surprise for later customers, who kept it up.
"It wasn't an idea to pay anything forward, nor was it even a random act of kindness, it was a change of consciousness," he said. "Take this negative and change it into something positive." Rosenfeld is a popular taiji teacher in the area, and is author of The Cutting Season from YMAA's new martial fiction line, Diamond Eye, and The Truth About Chronic Pain among others. (KSDK Channel 5 12/14/2007). To see the video, click here.
November 20, 2007
Afaa Weaver, a long-time taijiquan student, poet, playwright, and professor of English is featured as the cover story in the November-December issue of the prestigious Poets & Writers magazine. Weaver is a disciple of Huang Chien Liang, grandmaster of the Tien Shan P'ai system, and has studied in Taiwan. He wrote an article "Taijiquan and Healthy Living: Tien Shan P'ai's Grandmsater Huang Chien-Liang Shares His Views" in the Winter 2004 issue of Taijiquan Journal. Recipient of an NEA fellowship, an MFA from Brown University, a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at National Taiwan University, and a Pew fellowship in Poetry, Weaver is now professor of English at Simmons College in Boston.
Creator of "The Yang and the Rootless," Taijiquan Journal's original (and probably the first ever) taijiquan comic strip , cartoonist, author, illustrator Jackie Urbanovic's children's book Duck at the Door hit the New York Times Children's Books Bestseller List. A sequel Duck Soup will be out in January.
Science writer Sandra Blakeslee's book The Body has a Mind of its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Most) Everything Better. The book, written with her son Matthew, explores the interesting areas of brain science--how the brain forms "body maps" and how those shape our perceptions and can change our lives. Blakeslee interviewed Taijiquan Journal editor Barbara Davis for background on methods such as taijiquan for improving body sense. Blakeslee's article "When the Brain Says 'Don't Get Too Close'" appeared in the Fall 2004 issue of Taijiquan Journal. She is a science writer for the New York Times with a special focus on the brain and how it works.
Back issues of Taijiquan Journal are still available! See our website for further information.
Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin, Illustrated by Charlene Chua, Immedium Books
Taiji & Shaolin Staff DVD by Yang Jwing-Ming, YMAA Publishing
The Martial Arts of Ancient Greece: Modern Fighting Techniques form the Age of Alexander, by Kostas Dervenis and Nektarios Lykiardopoulos, Destiny Books.
The Body has a Mind of its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Most) Everything Better, by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee, Random House.
The Taoist Soul Body: Harnessing the Power of Kan and Li, Mantak Chia, Destiny Books.
November 2, 2007
A recent article explaining the ins and outs of heart palpitations suggests lowering stress can help reduce them. "If you have unexplained palpitations, start with the simple things first: Try cutting back on caffeine, or giving it up altogether, to see if it is contributing to the problem. Stress and anxiety are two other key triggers of palpitations. A two-step approach can help here. Meditation, the relaxation response, exercise, yoga, tai chi, or other stress-busting activities may help keep palpitations away. If they do appear, breathing exercises or tensing and relaxing every muscle group in your body can ease the panic or anxiety spurred by palpitations that sometimes feeds into creating more of them." Read the whole article at the Buffalo News.
October 19, 2007
The murder of Anan Liu and the abandonment of her 3-year-old daughter at a Melbourne railway station led police to suspect husband and father Xue (Michael) Naiyin, a martial arts master. A history of family violence had already brought them in touch with police over the past year. This event has shocked the taijiquan world.
Xue, 54, who according to his website, had once been Chairman of the Liaoning Taijiquan Association and a coach at the Liaoning Taijiquan Training Center practiced xingyi, bagua, and Wu style taijiquan and had immigrated to New Zealand in 1996, where he had set up shop as a Chinese-language magazine publisher.
In 2000, Xue had spent a number of months in Los Angeles touting himself as a master, during which he misrepresented his skills and training, and alienated many people in the taijiquan and Chinese communities. Xue was so convincing, he was featured on the cover of T’ai Chi magazine that year.
Anan Liu’s remains were found in the family car’s trunk. Grandmother Liu is to take custody of the unfortunate child.
Xue, now wanted for murder and kidnapping, escaped to the United States, where he was last seen in Los Angeles Chinatown. An international force is in search of him with full support of the Asian media in California. Anyone with information is urged to contact the authorities immediately.(Compiled from the Sydney Morning Herald, USA Today, and other sources, October 2007)
October 4, 2007
The acclaimed Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will be touring North and South America this September and October, visiting Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Minneapolis, Chapel Hill, the University of Kansas, New York City, and Sao Paulo. See their website for dates and ticket information.
Cloud Gate's rich repertoire has its roots in Asian myths, folklore, and aesthetics, but it brings to these age-old beliefs and stories a contemporary and universal perspective. The company is made up of two-dozen dancers whose training includes Tai Chi Tao Yin (an ancient form of Chi Kung), meditation, martial arts, Chinese Opera movement, modern dance, ballet, and calligraphy.
Wild Cursive is the result of a long journey into the ancient practice of movement and spirituality. In 2001, Lin Hwai-min further explored the possibilities of Tai Chi Tao Yin and martial arts, and created Cursive, with its title derived from Chinese calligraphy. After studying Chinese calligraphy masterpieces, Lin found, despite the differences in styles, all the brush works shared one common element: the focused energy with which the calligraphers“danced”during writing. He asked Cloud Gate dancers to improvise by facing blown-up images of calligraphy. The dancers absorbed the energy, or Chi, of the writer, and imitated the linear“route”of ink, full of lyrical flows and strong punctuations, with rich variations in energy. The exercise produced unimaginable movements, with subtle slow motions and dynamic martial-arts-like attacks. These eventually became the movement material for Cursive, a work of stunning beauty that has received rave reviews in Europe and the U.S., where it opened the American Dance Festival in 2003.
Inspired by the spirit of “wild calligraphy,” Wild Cursive utilizes paper as its only set. On a stage covered by white marley, streams of white rice paper cascade to the floor with black ink pouring from hidden pipes above, and seeping on to the paper slowly and almost invisibly. The ink feathers and spreads in abstract patterns true to the spirit of chance as set forth in I-Ching -- The Book of Changes. With these traces of time accumulating, an art installation of“set in progress”emerges. As the ink breaths through the performance, the lighting design illuminates the transparency of the rice paper and thereby enhancing the power of the flowing black images.
What do you do with an old airport? You set up a taiji event—a really big one! More than 20,000 people did taiji together on September 30th in a celebration of the Hong Kong special administrative region's 10th anniversary. The Mega Tai Chi Show was sponsered by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Wushu Union, the Chinese Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association, and the Tai Chi Association, and featured local and national masters. More at Hong Kong government news.
Elsewhere in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Tourist Board organizes classes for tourists. "Depending on the day of the week, the Meet the People program highlights feng shui, tai chi, traditional medicine, Cantonese opera, cake-making and Chinese tea. There are also guided walks, a kung fu demonstration and a ride on a Chinese junk." More from Dallas News.
September 23, 2007
"Transformation: Individuals in Balance, Families in Harmony" is the title of an upcoming conference in Chantilly Virginia, Ocotber 18-21. If you're interested in learning more about Chinese medicine from a number of different perspectives, this conference has a wide variety of offerings such as "Standing Form Qigong and the Immune System," "Arts in Medicine: Expressing Healing the the Brush of Calligraphy," "The Five Phases of Attention Deficit Disorder," and "The Chinese Medicine View of Health and Illness in Early Childhood." There are also qigong, taiji, and mediation times. For information see Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine.
September 10, 2007
Here's yet one more way taiji can help your health: it can increase the efficacy of your flu shot. In an article in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, well-known taiji teacher and researcher Yang Yang found that five months of an easy taiji and qigong routine could "improve the magnitude and duration of the HI anti-influenza antibody titer response in a small cohort of older adults.” Yang will discuss his results at a conference in September at the Mayo Clinic. Click here for the entire news release.
A dramatic series "The Legacy of Guangfu Taiji" will be launched soon in China. Featuring actress Eva Huang (Kung Fu Hustle) the television show will serve as a tribute to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, according to director Du Jun, and is being filmed in taiji's birthplace. Huang and others are taking taiji training from Wang Shaojun. Click here for the full article. (Xinhua News)
Labels: taiji in news
August 14, 2007
Check out our summer newsletter. A few more pages will be posted shortly. Taijiquan Journal News comes out semi-annually and includes articles, reviews, columns, and more.
Check out our booth at the National Qigong Workshop this weekend in Chaska, Minnesota.
July 25, 2007
The National Qigong Association annual national conference "Dancing In Stillness" will be held in Chaska, Minnesota this August 17-20. This is a chance to explore qigong and t'ai chi-related topics with some of the world's leading experts, including Chunyi Lin.
A sampling of some workshops: Zhongxian Wu - Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong, Cari Shurman - Bringing Tai Chi and Qigong to the Schools, David Haines - 20 Minute Body/Mind Routine: Tai Chi and Qigong for Busy People, Jianye Jiang - Qigong for Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, Lawrence Galante - Basic Principles of Push Hands. See their site for registration information, or click on above image for more details.
The Book of Martial Power:The Universal Guide to the Combative Arts, by Steven Pearlman
Chi and Creativity: Vital Energy and Your Inner Artist, by Elise Dirhlam Ching & Kaleo Ching
Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey by Brian Kennedy & Elizabeth Guo
Combat Fitness for the Elite Female Martial Artist, by Martina Sprague
Empty Force: The Power of Chi for Self-Defense and Energy Healing, by Paul Dong & Thomas Raffill
The Overlook Martial Arts Reader, Volume 2, by John Donohue, ed.
Sun Tzu: The Art of War, Lin Wusun
Training Women in the Martial Arts: A Special Journey, by Jennifer Lawler & Laura Kamienski
Zen Body-Being, by Peter and Laura Ralston
The Knee Crisis Handbook: Understanding Pain, Prenting Trauma, Recovering from Injury, and Building Healthy Knees for Life, by Brain Halpern, M.D.
The New Rules of Posture: How to Sit, Stand, and Move in the Modern World, by Mary Bond
PHILOSOPHY, Daoism / Taoism, Yijing / I Ch'ing
Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China by Nancy Chen
The Living I Ching: Using Ancient Chinese Wisdom to Shape Your Life, by Deng Ming-dao
Nine Nights with the Taoist Master: Deluxe Study Edition, by Waysun Liao Nourishing the Essence of Life: The Outer, Inner, and Secret Teachings of Taoism, by Eva Wong
The Practice of Presence: Five Paths for Daily Life (T'ai Chi & Taoism, Jung & Individuation, The Teaching of Gurdjieff, Prayer & Meditation, F.M. Alexander's Mind/Body Integration, by Patty de Llosa
Qigong for Staying Young Shoshanna Katzman
Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic, by Hu Xuezhi
Vital Breath of the Dao: Chinese Shamanic Tiger Qigong, Laohu Gong, by Zhongxian Wu (Dragon Door, $29.95)
July 2, 2007
Chen Style Taijiquan:The Source of Taiji Boxing, Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim & David Gaffney
Chen Taijiquan: Lao Jia Yi Lu & Straight Sword, video, Ren Guangyi
Classical Northern Wu Style Taijiquan: The Fighting Art of the Manchurian Palace Guard, Tina Chunna Zhang & Frank Allen
Drawing Silk: Masters' Secrets for Successful Tai Chi Practice, Paul Gallagher
Hwa Yu T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Five-Word Song, Glenn Newth
Like a Long River: Some Tai Chi Thoughts, Wolfe Lowenthal
A Little Beneath the Surface of the Tai Ji Quan Classics, Ping-siang Tao
Old Frame Chen Family Taijiquan, Mark Chen
Seven Treasures of Taijiquan: Six Classical Texts, Jurgen Licht
Scholar Boxer: Chang Naizhou's Theory of Internal martial Arts and the Evolution of Taijiquan, by Marnix Wells
Sunrise Tai Chi: Simplified Tai Chi for Health & Longevity, book/video, Ramel Rones & David Silver
T'ai Chi According to the I Ching: Embodying the Principles of the Book of Changes, Stuart Olson
Tai Chi Connections, John Loupos
Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate, Rick Barrett
May 15, 2007
April 23, 2007
Recent research has demonstrated taiji's efficacy on the body's ability to fend off illnesses. An article in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society reported on a study conducted at University of California, Los Angeles' Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology that showed dramatic . "Also in the works are five federally funded studies examining whether regular practice can help patients contending with heart disease, osteoarthritis and cancer fight off threats such as depression, infection and the pain of joint inflammation. Other studies are probing whether tai chi can improve balance and reduce falls among the elderly, and improve the well-being of patients with HIV."Sun-Sentinal, 4/20/07
April 21, 2007
Spring and summer bring numerous taijiquan events. Join in and learn!
April 28th is World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day. This event is held each year on the last Saturday of April, and is organized in a grass-roots fashion. You can check your local newspapers for events in your area or look on the WTCQD site.
The annual Zhang Sanfeng Festival will take place May 31 - June 3 in East Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania, and will feature many well-known teachers.
Taijiquan's flagship event A Taste of China celebrates its 25th year of summer seminars June 28-July 2 in Winchester, Virginia. This year's theme is "The Art and Science of Taijiquan's Power," and will be the last large-scale summer event, but director Pat Rice promises new directions in the future.
Dallas, Texas, is the location of the 10th Annual Taiji Legacy features seminars, master's demonstrations, lion dance and competitions, July 20–22. One of North America's largest taiji events.
The National Qigong Association Conference will be held in Chaska, Minnesota from August 17 – 20, 2007. This year's theme is "Dancing In Stillness," and will feature a wide range of programming.