To Hop or Not to Hop, That's the question!

Whether to Hop merrily to the forbidden kingdom where some claim to be the land of ‘magical’ power and non-compliant detractors will be hopped to oblivion…Or Not to Hop and stay within the physical boundaries that seem grounded on combat reality…

It’s the most controversial topic in Taiji FB forums today with two opposing views constantly at each others’ throats where dummy spits become the norm from unpleasant and heated personal exchanges!

On one corner, we have the Hop proponents who believe the hop is a real life application which can be used for combat. They insist that it’s the pinnacle skill level to attain in internal martial arts and accuse detractors or ‘haters’ for criticising what they don’t understand; ‘ignorance’ is the common derogation.

On the other corner, we have the Hop critics that demand evident-based application to confirm combat efficacy. Since to date, there is no credible evidence to prove the combat efficacy …

[continue reading To Hop or Not to Hop, That’s the question! …]

What Does The 'Teh' Mean In 'Tao Teh Ching'

If you have ever wondered about the “De” in Dao De Jing… you are not alone. I remember wondering this myself, and expending notable energy researching the etymology of this classical Chinese text’s title.

First off, if you spend much time reading this blog, you’ll know I typically use the Pinyin (pīnyīn) system for transcribing Mandarin into the Latin (English :-P) alphabet. However, especially since many of the popular translations were printed before the official adoption of Pinyin by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), many popular copies of the book – which in Pinyin is written as Dao De Jing are commonly known as Tao Teh Ching or Tao Te Ching (thanks to the older Wade-Giles system of Romanization under which the work was originally translated).

Hence, and rather unfortunately, the whole …

[continue reading What Does The “Teh” Mean In “Tao Teh Ching” …]

Hypnosis & Martial Arts - Part Two - Self Delusion

One of the most nefarious side effects of incorrect martial arts practice is the potential to fall into unexamined groupthink. This effect can be disastrous. It is damaging not only for one’s progression in the martial arts … but also for one’s progression in life, and for one’s spiritual pursuits (if any).

Hypnosis In Martial ArtsHypnosis In Martial Arts

“Self Delusion” or “Groupthink” In The Martial Arts

While I usually confine this blog discussion to taijiquan and the Chinese Internal Martial Arts (CIMA) in general, this is a topic that applies to a wide variety of martial disciplines (and many other group-focused activities).

I’m sure you’ve experienced this, or at least heard of it somewhere. A …

[continue reading Hypnosis & Martial Arts – Part Two – Self Delusion …]

Hypnosis & Martial Arts - Part One

As an avid student of hypnosis, I have frequently noticed and contemplated many areas of overlap between hypnosis & taijiquan.

Hypnosis SpiralHypnosis Watch Induction

I had my own hypnotherapy practice for a few years in Brentwood, California, mostly as a passing fancy rather than a career or major source of income. I’ve also dabbled in stage hypnosis for nearly a decade, performing in hypnosis “edutainment” demonstrations for crowds of 5 – 50. In all cases, I’ve always been a fan of the fine art (and science) of hypnosis, and through the course of my interest I’ve had a chance to study with some of the greats.

Today, I’m drafting a post in response to several requests on Facebook regarding an …

[continue reading Hypnosis & Martial Arts – Part One …]

Tai Chi Movements - Cheng Man-Ch'ing (Zheng Manqing) Tai Chi 37 Form

Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-Ch’ing or 郑曼青) was a renowned & controversial taijiquan master. His multifaceted skills were widely acclaimed both in China and the West. Few disputed his abilities & character; Cheng Man Ching was master of the “Five Excellences”: Chinese medicine, tai chi chuan, calligraphy, painting, and poetry (not to mention flower arranging and a host of other impressive feats).

Cheng Man Ch'ing SmileCheng Manqing - Deep Thinking

However, as stated, Cheng’s legacy is also quite controversial. From being one of the primary exponents of openly teaching taijiquan to Westerners (a feat which gained him plenty of ill will in certain traditionalist Chinese tai chi circles), to drastically modifying the tai chi …

[continue reading Tai Chi Movements – Cheng Man-Ch’ing (Zheng Manqing) Tai Chi 37 Form …]

The Taijiquan of Departed Master Li Jingwu

While there are many Taijiquan Grand Masters who are well known in the West … there are also many of the greatest adepts of this internal martial art who are almost completely obscured. Even masters from more recent years, of whom there is plenty of video & photographic evidence demonstrating their skill, are often totally unknown to English speaking Western Taijiquan practitioners.

Li Jingwu TaijiquanTaijiquan Li Jingwu

The departed Great Grandmaster Li Jingwu (1912-1997) is one such example. Master Li was an expert at both Wu style taijiquan as well as Chen style taijiquan … and studied with some of the most preeminent masters in these styles of his day.

Born in Shandong province, and raised in Harbin (of Heilongjiang province), it was not until he moved …

[continue reading The Taijiquan of Departed Master Li Jingwu …]

Tensegrity and Taijiquan (Tai Chi Ch'uan)

No matter what school, style, or lineage of taijiquan you may encounter, it is likely that over the course of studying this internal martial art … you will at some point be forced to totally reconsider the way you think your body works.

Tensegrity Structure AnimatedTensegrity Structure :: Human Body

The above spinning image (left) is an example of a structure being held together by the force of tensegrity or tensional integrity. In other words, the rigid green “beams” are never touching, but are suspended in their shape by the interconnected flexible red “strings.” The structure in the black and white image (right) is a symbolically simplified model of our skeleton & muscles to display that the …

[continue reading Tensegrity and Taijiquan (Tai Chi Ch’uan) …]