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    Archive for January 2007

    Box Inside the Circle

    Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 at 5:35 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith

    Thursday night's practice was very rewarding. We have a group of new students who have been learning form and have been doing well remembering the pattern. After watching them for a bit, I made the statement, there many details that need to be worked out, both in how you are moving and your thought, while moving.

    All movement co-exists with non-movement, so it is time to practice the Box Set of Tai Chi. The square inside circle; the fluffy round circle, supported by the frame, balanced square. The new students looks confused, the older students had a variety of responses; "uh-oh", "hmmmmm", and one later looked up and "I knew I was in trouble".

    What is so challenging with the box set? It emphasises drawing the mind deep within, and uses a variety mind-scenes and rolling/reeling silk exercises. Physically it places a premium on your balance in every half-inch of movement, which in turn puts new demands on bone, tendon, and ligament.

    The waist is the commander and the hips-shoulder move in coordination with intention and one another.

    The Box set brings the posting/meditation heavily into the Tai Chi Chuan set. Each moment is accounted for and utilized during the Tai Chi Form, there is no empty movement.

    What are some of the effects? Lots of new challenges and rewards. First most students find answers to their own questions during the box set. Every half-inch of movement reveals itself. Legs are shaking, foreheads are sweating, stamina is worn thin, all with a set of Tai Chi, yet every student say it is very rewarding, they "loved it" as they head to the water fountain.

    The Box set of Tai Chi normally takes 3-6 times longer to perform and since we have "all the time in the world" while practicing we assess ourselves regularly.

    I shared with the students that when I started Tai Chi Chuan with Master Chin, practice planning was simple:

    Use the Box Set regularly to set a new standard and create growth. Use the circular set to flow through pattern. Use them both to become integrated, and then speed won't matter.

    Edited on: Thursday, July 03, 2014 12:37 PM

    Posted in Style: Tai Chi

    Silk Road of China

    Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 at 11:06 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith

    Silk Road of China is a route of sand and considered one of the harshest natural environments on the planet. This desert has little water, little rain, and sandstorms that are brutal. china_silk_road_travel

    Several branches off this sandy road sprouted near the seldom found oasis settlements. The silk road became a passage to trading commodities, animals, art, and much more with the western part of the world. xinjiang_china_silk_road

    The Romans found silk while conquering the Parthians in 53 B.C. The Roman's did not believe that the Parthians were able to sophisticated enough to create silk. The Roman's were able to get from their Parthians that the silk was coming from the 'silk people' further east. The Parthians found a market for the silk in Rome, because of its unique texture and magnificent colors.

    Besides the harsh weather and environment, when the bandits of the Han Dynasty discovered that treasures and goods were moving down the route, they would attack the caravans. The caravan needed a police force to protect them, that increased the fees and costs of moving the goods. fort_silk_road

    Sections of the Great Wall were being developed and then used as a barrier to seperate the caravans from the bandits.

    Xinjiang a city of mostly sand is now one of the great tourists attractions on the Silk Road Route. However travel isn't much easier through the desert.

    The Silk Road of China gives the impression of a carpet through a land with beautiful cities. However, it has been for centuries one of the most unforgiving places in the world to travel, with settlements buried completely in the desert due to sand storms. A new settlement would pop-up sometime later.

    Edited on: Thursday, July 03, 2014 1:40 PM

    Posted in Cultural