Monday, May 5, 2014


I started to talk to about William Morris, who said have nothing in your house which is apart from that which has beauty of function.

That's Buahaus, I was told. I was told that "form follows function".....

Beginners' Guide to Pushing Hands

Push Hands - A Beginners' Guide by Linda Chase Broda.

The story of Bill and Jane, two works of fiction....

Friday, August 28, 2009

What is tai chi?

Tai chi ch'uan is a slow motion self defence art based on Daoist principles. The meaning of the word is supreme ultimate fist. The translation may be limited, but does go some way to explain things.

The word chi above is different to the word chi or ki meaning breath. Again, the translation into English hide much of the original meaning.

Another concept is the notion of being double weighted. Again, not much hope of grounding this term in English without some other input. Double weighted is a state in which you can move with ease, it is a state of stuckedness... that is you are stuck in one position and cannot easily get to the next. This can be a physical or a mental state - a rabbit staring into the headlights of a car is double weighted.

Is this clear? Probably not. Tai chi is experiential, so only by practice and a little discussion can we start to understand.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Form follows function

Form follows function? Tai chi does that! The tai chi form (Slow Set) follows the function of martial art application. Each posture has an application, which defines most if not all of the posture.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An orchesta and a symphony

Tai chi is often difficult to learn. Every position is given in detail by the teacher to the student. Arms and legs, the body, and then other aspects, such as the gaze. The fine tuning of tai chi postures takes many years, and in a sense will never end.

Tuning up? Like a car or an orchestra, fine tuning (and tempo) is the aim of anybody who wants to improve.

The human body is like an orchestra in tai chi. The upper body, particularly the arms, is light and flows, like the strings (violins, treble clef, piano right hand). The lower body, the legs, is a like the bass (continuo, bass clef, piano left hand) where is there is less movement and a more solid feel. The waist joins the two, and corresponds to the conductor, telling each instrument what to do! When the tai chi postures are controlled the waist, the whole orchestra works together, in perfect harmony.... a symphony of movement.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Tao

The starting posture in tai chi (taiji) is that of complete stillness, which represents the "tao". The "tao" is the "uncarved block" and the movements in the tai chi set are the interplay between Yin and Yang. At the end, we return to stillness. This pattern is like the life of the Universe, which also started from the Void. It is an open question in cosmology is the Universe will contract back and end in a "Big Crunch".