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Find The Balanced Path

At The Tai Chi Studio

Studio News

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I'm sorry but you can't learn tai chi on video

Posted on January 31, 2021 at 12:06 PM Comments comments (0)
In these strange times I am now convinced more than ever that you just cannot learn tai chi on-line. The really worrying thing is the amount of teacher training courses which offer certificates for completing these on-line courses. People just cannot begin to feel the strength and power behind these movements and i'm afraid physical contact is needed to ensure that postures are correct. I think this is going to 'Water down' tai chi and chi kung either further than it is already. I even stopped teaching my normal tai chi classes on zoom because it was just impossible to give corrections - 5 Element Chi Kung is not quite so difficult and in any case I kept the classes to those who were already training with me - I did accept a few 'newbies' but even so it was hard to actually see if their postures were correct - were they coordinating movement with breath? I had to take their word for it! So, I for one will be so happy when we can return to normal and reopen the studio and enjoy teaching classes and private lessons once again.
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coronavirus and on line courses

Posted on July 19, 2020 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)
I find it a little disconcerting with all the cheap online diploma courses for Chi Kung and Tai Chi at the moment. Surely these diplomas are not teaching qualifications! I can only see this as a further watering down of Tai Chi and Chi Kung with people not willing to put the time or energy in to fully understand the principles and concepts of these arts. Ok, you might get some good theory through these courses but surely the exercises are impossible without one to one tuition. It is my experience that what people think they are doing and what they are actually doing are two completely different things. I am not saying that you cannot learn anything from on line courses, I have spent some of the time improving my guitar technique but at least I could play the guitar first and had a good knowledge of the theory and practice of music - it doesn't make me a teacher though!
So where are we going to go from here - Tai Chi has all but lost its true meaning with very few people teaching the Martial Art aspects of the art and I can see Chi Kung going the same way and becoming some 'happy clappy' version of what is a powerful energy/healing system of exercise.
That's all I have to say on the subject really except what will we do when everyone is a Tai Chi/Chi Kung/Yoga teacher!!! People have to have jobs in the first place to go out and find these classes and Covid19 seems to have pulled the rug out from beneath us dragging us into the worst recession ever.
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Coronavirus

Posted on May 22, 2020 at 6:43 PM Comments comments (0)
There seems to be a lot of post about at the moment about Chi Kung boosting the immune system - which is quite right - it does, but sometimes I feel that these post give the wrong impression - some are putting Chi Kung over as an instant fix, which it isn't. You can't just practice a set of Chi Kung exercises and suddenly get a perfect immune system - You need to practice the exercises daily and over a good period of time to feel the great benefits that can be gained from this art form. Practice is essential!!! There is a great quote from Gary Player, the South African golfer, who after winning a major tournament with a fantastic chip shot was asked if it was luck to which he replied 'well, the more I practice the luckier I get' - and so it is with Chi Kung - the more you practice the healthier you get!!! I have said in previous blogs that Tai Chi and Chi Kung have pulled me through some very difficult times in the past, both physically and emotionally but to keep practising everyday was and still is essential.
Another of my views has been confirmed by the lockdown due to this virus is how impossible it is to learn (or to teach for that matter) Tai Chi or Chi Kung through videos. This is especially true of Tai Chi because although you can see your students and see the mistakes they are making it is very hard, virtually impossible to correct on line. Most of the people taking my zoom classes have trained with me for quite a time so at least they can relate to some of the things that i say to correct them and it also means they still have regular access to a class.
I am confident that we will get back to a normal situation soon and I can't wait to get back to my studio teaching 'hands on' once again.
I know that some will disagree with my views and that is fine, we all have our opinions but I think it is essential to speak my truth and let people make up their own minds as to the value of my words.
Also while I have time on my hands I am going to revamp the website so apologies if pages appear a little scant at the moment.
Speak again soon - Dave
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The Tigers Mouth

Posted on March 10, 2020 at 12:29 PM Comments comments (0)
This is known as the Tigers Mouth and is a prominent feature of metal element exercises. By opening the thumb and index finger and closing the remaining fingers we open the lung and large intestine meridians which are the organs associated with the metal element. As your Chi Kung practise improves you will really feel the energy flow through!!!!
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It Works - why try to analyse!!!

Posted on March 6, 2020 at 10:26 AM Comments comments (0)
I was talking to one of my students today who was telling me about how Chi Kung was really beneficial to his health and how well he was feeling but he didn't understand why!!! I ask him if that was really necessary to know, was it not just enough to receive all the benefits. I remember once asking a similar question and was told I was looking at things the wrong way round; instead of asking 'How it works?' I should be asking 'Does it work?' and the answer was yes. Obvious since then my understanding of Chi Kung has become much deeper but at an initial level it isn't necessary to know why. Think of all the people that drive cars (maybe not a good idea in the present Earth Warming situation) - but they know that the vehicle gets them from A to B as long as they put energy into the engine - apart from that the majority have no idea how it works!!!! So, by practising Chi Kung you are putting the 'energy' into your body and your body will respond accordingly!!! So, for now, enjoy your practise and you will find that as you become more aware internal energy running through your body you will come to naturally understand how it works!!!!
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Over 60 classes

Posted on February 26, 2020 at 11:42 AM Comments comments (0)
I like to teach Tai Chi as an all round system of exercise including the self defence aspects of the art but I also like to see the benefits that it brings to my older students - I teach a short form in very small sections (as well as putting the videos on the facebook group page!!!) so that they can remember the moves and practice on their own without having to follow anyone. This is much preferable to just going to a class and following along. I explain the 'fighting' applications for the movements because find it makes it easier to remember the movements if you can put a practical application to them!!!
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Kidney 1 and Percardium 8

Posted on January 28, 2020 at 10:38 AM Comments comments (0)
There are two acupressure points I ofter mention in Chi Kung and Tai Chi class - Kidney one and Pericardium eight

The Kidney one spot is located at the centre of the foot virtually next to the bottom of the ball of the foot - if you trace a straight line from your middle toe down through the foot you will come across a soft indentation (this is how you find a lot of acupressure points) and there it is!
it is the point we want to feel the majority of weight going to the floor when we stand in our static postures (wu ji etc) - it is an excellent spot to massage if you want to calm the mind or feel more grounded.

The Pericardium 8 point is located at the centre of the palm (trace down from the middle finger which is also the Pericardium meridian. this point is used by practitioners of energy healing and is also a power point for balancing the fire element. The Chinese name for the point is Lao Gong and also sometimes referred to as the 'Palace of Weariness
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A New Era

Posted on January 14, 2020 at 4:22 AM Comments comments (0)
I am feeling that a new age is coming for the Tai Chi Studio and indeed my own training - As I become more involved in my own training and teaching  I realise just how important the Chi Kung work is. I have already mentioned in other blogs how I have been helped through some difficult times physically, emotionally and spiritually and I am always amazed at the progress regular practice makes to all my students.
I strongly urge people out there to take up the practice of Chi Kung - I believe in the short term it is much more beneficial than Tai Chi when there are movements and forms to learn and it is pointless just going to a class and following the leader!!!
There are many forms of Chi Kung out there and I have no doubt that one of them is for you - hopefully it would be with me but of course everyone has their choice and path.
So, look for a Chi Kung class and remember sometimes you have to travel to find the one for you - Just because it maybe on your doorstep doesn't necessarily make it right - If you are looking for a 5 Element Chi Kung class I suggest you go to the Elemental School of Chi Kung website and find a class around your area - you will find me in the Essex section!!!
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Why Am I So Passionate About My Training!!!

Posted on December 18, 2019 at 6:22 AM Comments comments (0)
People often ask why am I so passionate about my Chi Kung and Tai Chi training - well, the simple answer is 'I know that it works' - and it can work for you too!!!
Over the last thirty odd years Tai Chi and Chi Kung have brought me through some very difficult periods, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is no idle boast - I have already written about my Guillain Barre Syndrome trouble and how Chi Kung helped me through that but also sometimes we can feel that things are getting on top of us, sometimes almost too much to take, and once again Chi Kung and Tai Chi works wonders because in that moment of time (some would call it the 'now') you are open to solutions - sometimes inspiration appears to come from nowhere with the answer to your problem. 
If you are an artist/musician/writer and you are going through a 'barren' patch then once again your practise will open up those creative channels. Going off piste for a moment, these flashes of inspiration can come at anytime - sometimes just watching TV, having a shower, washing up, but they nearly always come when your mind is quite - often they come in dreams, I believe it was Paul McCartney who woke up with this song in his head - he felt it was so good that someone must have already written it - I believe the song was Yesterday.
So, new classes starting at the Studio in January and hope to see some of you then. Meanwhile have a merry Xmas and happy New Year.
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The Three Treasures

Posted on October 2, 2019 at 3:57 AM Comments comments (0)
The Three Treasures
Here is something for probably the more advanced students of Tai Chi and Chi Kung who come along to the studio. The Three Treasures otherwise known as Jing, Chi and Shen or Essence, Energy and Spirit can be broken down into their individual components as Jing (essence), the energy we are born with, closely associated with the water element and the kidneys - Chi (energy) is what it says energy and how we use it while Shen can be spirit, not spirit in the sky spirit but how we are - when our Jing and Chi are strong it shines through making us feel and look healthy and strong.
A better description can be used by comparing the three treasures to a candle - The essence would be the wax and wick of the candle which makes it substance and Chi could be likened to the flame which will be strong if the main body of the candle is good. Shen (Spirit) would be the light that glows from the flame - the better the essence, the stronger the flame and the brighter the spirit (the glow around the flame) - I find this to be a really good analogy.
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