Tai Chi Stories, Tips and Resources   ||   Issue #17 July 2019

ChrisB thb

Dear Reader,

Among the items in this month's issue is a short video about the power of 'Wu Wei' - doing nothing, but being constructive at the same time. :)

I've also shared a tip I always find helpful for my own Tai Chi practice, the next article in my series What is Tai Chi Chuan - this time about Push Hands and other snippets of news about what I've been up to.

Richmond Football Club gets a mention too, because the team has been using mindfulness and meditation to improve performance.

Chris Bennett
Chris Chi


Wu Wei - Doing Nothing

Wu Wei

Here is an interesting short clip from The School of Life about Wu Wei, which is a key concept within Daoism.

In Chinese "Wu Wei" means "non-doing" or "doing nothing". But it's not an invitation to relax or, worse, become lazy or apathetic. :) Instead, it's referring to 'effortless action' or the 'serene acceptance of events'.

So if you sometimes feel you're swimming against the tide or struggling with your workload, this clip is worth watching.


I'm a Travelling Man ....


Recently I had an email from a director in an Aged Care organisation from New York (USA) inquiring about our Chair Chi Training Program – and that’s encouraging. :)

So far over the past six years, I’ve run aged care workshops for staff across Australia and in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of my dreams (I have many) is to travel internationally and run workshops in various countries. Read More ...


Tai Chi Tip: Mirror Mirror


Practicing in front of a mirror is a great way of monitoring the skill you are practicing. It allows you to see if you are performing a technique or movement correctly.

Practice standing in different positions - stand front-on as well as sideways - so you can see different angles.

I still use this mirror practice in my own training and it does make a big difference when you are training on your own.


What is Tai Chi Chuan? Part Three: Push Hands

Tai Chi Chuan is a health and self defence system. There are various styles of Tai Chi and the major styles are Yang, Wu, Chen, Sun, Wu Hao, and all the styles comprise of five sections: The Hand Form - Push Hands - Chi Kung/Nei Kung - Self Defence - Weapons (sword, sabre, spear).

In this five part series I've selected one clip from each of the sections of Tai Chi to give you an appreciation of what they look like. Selections are random and are from various styles of Tai Chi.

Push Hands is a two partner training activity that teaches balance, sensitivity, and develops skills that can be used in self defence. The two types of Push Hand methods are fixed feet and moving (free style and Da Lu).

push hands

Wu Style

Yang Style

Chen Style

Wu Hao Style

Sun Style

Previous Issues
Part One - Hands Form - May Issue
Part Two - Weapons - June Issue


Medical & Aged Care Group - Ease Pain Workshop

I very much enoyed our recent Ease Pain ... the Chi Way onsite workshop with staff from the Medical and Aged Care Group organisation.

We had 18 particpants from various aged care centres and they definitely worked out - especially in our horse stance segment! :)


Mindfulness and Meditation: Richmond Football Club


It's good to see sporting teams around the world and here in Melbourne embrace the concept of mindfulness and mediation to improve sports performance. Here's an article from The Age entitled Mindfulness and meditation helped Richmond break their AFL premiership drought.

In the Sports Chi programs I provide for players and coaches I also cover mindfulness and meditation, but from a Tai Chi perspective. I use specific practical Tai Chi skills, philosophy and movements that can be applied during a game and during training to improve performances. They also have the added value of improving overall well-being.


Be Upright - Progress Report


In the May issue I wrote about an aged care resident who occasionally attends my Chair Chi sessions. Every time I see him, he's bent over in his wheelchair at about a 45 degree angle.

Well, he came along last week bent over but when we practiced structural alignment he again sat up almost vertically without pain. He said, 'it helps me as I also suffer from depression'.

It's quite inspiring to see what can be done if there are sufficient resources and time available. I do try to encourage him to practice the structural alignment each day for a minute as practicing only once in a while will not achieve a training effect.


What's Happening

I've been busy contacting contacting Aged Care centres around Australia for expressions of interest in our programs: Chair Chi Staff Training Program; Ready Steady ... Better Balance for Seniors; and Ease Pain the Chi Way.

And I've also started to contact local football clubs for an expression of interest in my Sports Chi workshop for players.

I've had a few nibbles so fingers crossed - I hope to land assignment soon otherwise it's 'back to the salt mines'. :)

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