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Tai chi

On Emptiness

Emptiness   Emptiness is a core theme throughout the Tao Te Ching, it is the eternal and inexhaustible wellspring from which everything is derived.    In Taoism, emptiness (Wuji) is represented by a circle. From Wuji the Taiji is derived and the polarities of Yin and Yang come into being. …

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Martial Arts for Stress, Balance, and Happiness

During the 15 years that I had a career in the corporate world, I was often asked how I was able to not display signs of stress when everything seemed to be going wrong – as it very often does when you work in IT!   My standard answer was, …

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Kung Fu Beats Coronavirus

As a martial artist we spend a great proportion of our lives putting our bodies as well as our minds into uncomfortable situations and positions.   Take my favourite exercise for example, the low horse stance (those who know me will not be surprised!). It’s the perfect example of physical …

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Jack Kerouac, Toilet Paper, and Finding Your Purpose

I haven’t written a series of blog posts for a while, the last time was whilst I was in China last summer. I was expecting to do something a little similar this summer coming but you know what they say about the best laid plans.    So here we are, …

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Benefits of Martial Arts Weapons Training

There comes a point in the training life of every traditional martial artist when the shiny glint of a blade catches their eye and lures them into the temptation of training with traditional weapons.  For me, it began with the ‘jian’, more commonly known on these shores as a Chinese …

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Dealing with Stress in the Workplace

I’m lucky enough to be able to work for myself now but I spent the best part of 20 years in a corporate career. Whilst I didn’t always feel that way, many times over the near two decades people would frequently comment on how un-stressed I was at work. My …

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Martial Qigong

Welcome to another edition of the weekly White Crane Online blog. Over the past few weeks we have been exploring topics in and around the theme of Taoism. Last week I introduced the core concept of Qi (if you missed it, you might want to read it here first) and …

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Qi

Teacher: ‘Well done today everyone, great class! Does anyone have any questions?’ Student: ‘Yes, I was wondering, what is Qi?’ Teacher: ‘Good question. Have you seen Star Wars?’ Student: ‘Yes.’ Teacher: ‘It’s The Force.’   Being a man, and tai chi instructor, of a certain age there are two cultural …

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The 5 Elements

The previous two blog posts in this Taoism series have explained the concepts of Wuji, and Yin-Yang. Respectively the unseen, unfathomable void from which all existence springs (Wuji), and the duality of natural phenomena which gives it its definition (Yin-Yang).  Our next step in our journey of understanding Chinese thought …

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Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang are fundamental to Chinese cosmology. The symbol is a familiar one, even to us in the West, I remember trying to draw it as I graffitied my school books as a child! Even though I had no clue what it meant… ‘something to do with peace!?’ was …

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