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chinese martial arts

Struggling to Meditate?

Part One.   Meditation is great, we all know that now. Long since disregarded as merely an esoteric activity for hippies and followers of Eastern religions, there is now a plethora of supportive medical research, classes in almost every town and village, and more apps than you can fill your …

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Tai Chi for the Brain

One of the most common comments that students who are new to my class make at some point during their first class with me are along the lines of, “I didn’t realise it would be so good for my brain!”.   Learning to move our bodies slowly and methodically is …

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Warming Up for Tai Chi 

I remember being at school in the 80’s and for the first minute or so of our PE lesson we’d do the warm up. It was a case of the teacher shouting something along the lines of, “Okay boys, touch your toes… now you’re good to go!” I would hope …

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Tai Chi Fan

When a student reaches a certain level in their open hand tai chi practice (ie. not with a weapon in their hands), it is time to start practicing weapons!   Traditionally, attainment of this level may well have taken up to a decade or more. However, these days it is …

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Tai Chi and IT

I count myself incredibly lucky that I can dedicate my time to teaching and learning tai chi. Before I became a full time instructor, I had a career in IT and computing for well over a decade. Now, there aren’t many links between tai chi and IT but I do …

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Winter in Chinese Medicine

Winter is the most Yin time of year in Chinese medicine. The darker months are a time of looking inward, slowing down, resting, wrapping up, keeping warm, and eating nourishing foods.    It is a time when looking after our kidneys is important. In Chinese medicine each season is associated …

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Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong

One of the oldest and most famous of all qigong sequences is ‘Ba Duan Jin’, or ‘Eight Pieces of Brocade’, also known as ‘Eight Treasures’.  Visit parks across China in the mornings and you’ll see individuals or groups practicing a variation of the form which has been passed down and …

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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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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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