Sunday, April 15, 2012

No Tai Chi classes for the remainder of April

Because of schedule conflicts and Sifu's travel schedule, there will be no more classes for the month of April. Some of the senior students have spoken about leading practice in Clover Park (weather permitting) on the next 2 Saturdays. But classes will resume at the West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy under Sifu in May.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tai Chi comes back to West Los Angeles

Sifu Cheng opened March with a bang, bringing the long-held Clover Park Tai-Chi class indoors to the West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy this morning.

If you're seriously interested in Tai Chi training, you'd better jump on this fast, since the available spaces are severely limited & enrollment prices are going up in April, if not sooner!

Saturdays at 8am at the West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy

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Friday, October 8, 2010

No Class this Saturday

Since the vast majority of us are either out of town or under the weather as of today (Friday, Oct. 8th, 2010), we'll take this Saturday off and resume training as usual on Saturday, Oct. 16th.

Have a restful weekend, and please remember to make the little facets of your daily life a part of your practice. From how you sit to how you type, from how you walk to how you breathe, the central concepts of Tai-Chi as I teach it are universal and constant. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I was starting to write a new blogpost, and then I scrolled down through the existing posts. It was both shocking and pleasantly surprising to see that I'd already written on what I was planning on.

Over & over, we have the chance to review material we've already been exposed to, but we rarely ever do. Regardless of how rich the information is that's right in front of us, already learned, already paid for, already sitting in our libraries, we still surf through Amazon & Youtube to look for still MORE information to add to our hoarding mounds.

Instead of looking for new & flashy, please take a few moments to revisit some of the earlier posts on this blog, and see if you can't find some pointer that will inspire better form, better performance, or a better life for you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Movement Mastery - the initial process

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog (or any other) with regularity, so I apologize for allowing myself to be distracted. Trust me when I tell you that it's all going to change rather dramatically in the not-too-distant future, so hang on for the ride and it'll be well worth it.

One of the main things we've been taking the time to focus in on lately is "ownership of movement". Ownership of a movement means that you can completely dictate the speed with which you execute the movement without strain or stress.

Strain or stress betray themselves in a few basic ways:
1. tensed or rigid muscles, especially further away from the areas creating the movement
2. elevated shoulders / hunched neck
3. shallow breathing
4. inability to change trajectory

In Tai-Chi terms for example, if you can take 10 seconds to put your foot out while making a step, yet keep perfect posture without excessive rigidity, keep your arms & neck in form while staying loose, and maintain a centered dantian breathing and relaxed/focused mind, YOU'VE GOT IT!

I know this is going to seem painfully repetitive, but I'm going to focus us all on walking drills and OWNERSHIP of Section 1 for a while. Many of you have been focused on improving your skill in Tai-Chi. While that's an admirable goal, please remember that skill improvement is far secondary to building, deepening, and strengthening your foundation.

Movements are going to get slower, straighter, more precise, and yet softer, more responsive, and more alive. I know it often feels like there are too many things to keep in mind with Tai-Chi practice - spine pulled up, hips under shoulders, breathing from the abdomen, foot placement, joint alignment, etc., etc.... 

Remember instead that any movement is like a line. A line, while it may seem like 1 object, is actually composed of countless little segments. We can control how those segments appear or align. And when we exercise that awareness and control, the lines we create are both unique and beautiful.