Tai Chi and Alternative Health – Issue 94 (Editorial)

Editorial by Sifu J Ding.

n my years of teaching Traditional Tai Chi Chuan, I have often met experienced practitioners with good intellectual understand- ing of Tai Chi principles. Yet many of these same students of

Tai Chi are unable to apply and make any of the principles work through their movements or structure. Upon touching through Gau Sau (or exchange of hands), it becomes even clearer that often their minds and bodies are not in harmony and balance. The

mind is often too busy, with no Yi (intent). The body structure is “hard” and physi-
cal rather than imbibed in softness and Chi. There is no stability, nor rooting. All too often, these issues reflect the missing third element of the triad in Traditional Tai Chi Chuan; namely Applied Chi. This aspect of training is a must to take your skills to
the next level. It takes theory into practice and requires you to trust in and cooperate with a partner, so that experience is gained first hand, of applying Tai Chi Principles into practice. Regular partner practice of this nature provides a point of reference to measure your own progress and will ensure that you are on the right track. It is an op- portunity for both parties to help each other refine movements and postures and gain better insight and understanding of applied energy. If you want to improve your level of Tai Chi, the inclusion of partner practice is paramount.

In this issue, we therefore feature ‘Sensitivity Training’. This is a fundamental as- pect of Applied Chi practice which focuses on applying Tai Chi principles and help in development of your practical skills. It trains your body to feel and react naturally to any external force being applied to your structure. In this issue we specifically look at yielding and the elements required grow this skill.

With a new year, comes a new impetuous to restart fallen away good habits. In Tai Chi Chuan like all disciplines, progression requires consistency and regular practice. So to help Nick Cheang’s article, “Starting Tai Chi – some useful attitudes to develop” looks at how framing Tai Chi in the right manner can help to make a big difference to improving your practice and the regularity of it. Ross Cousens’s also helps by inspect- ing “Tai Chi Progression” and applies the idea of the learning curve to stop falling into the trap of giving up the pursuit of our goal and to keep our motivation consistent.

We welcome back Andrew Lawrence-King with his article, “Tai Chi State Of Mind” in which he make a similarity comparisons with other disciplines such as Therapeutic hypnotism, Alexander Technique, Trager Approach and Feldenkrais. We also have feedback from first timers of their experience of the Open December Retreat 2019. Inaddition, we have a book abstract from Master Zhonxian Wu,”Men -The Entrance” introduces the Shamanic Tiger Qigong.

Once again, we hope that these articles will inspire and motivate your Tai Chi training. Until next time…