Of Taoism and Football: United Tai Chi 6/26/13 digest

  • The Philadelphia Eagles don’t report to training camp until August, but you can already get a glimpse into the essence of their new coach.  In “The Tao of Chip Kelly”, author Mark Saltveit (@msalt) likens Kelly’s efforts and style to eastern philosophy and martial arts principles like “be present in the moment, minimize ego, ignore rewards, criticism, and comparison with others.”  Kelly also told USA Today in August 2012 while still at Oregon “We are not an end-result operation. Our whole deal, why we’re good, is because we’ve very, very focused on the process.”  Also Saltveit, in citing Kelly’s work at Oregon and The University of New Hampshire says “Kelly has always had to make do against bigger opponents, he has developed lots of ways to work around his team’s lack of size.”  He comments on Kelly’s disinclination toward rigidity, “redefining positions more flexibly, seeking versatile players who can fit more than one role and shift from one position to another.” Kelly’s practice routine: “there are the broader rhythms, following the body’s cycles like sleep…so that the familiarity of the routine settles players and gets them back into muscle memory, not in their heads.”  And that Chip uses the notion of the Faceless Opponent –“work the same against powerful teams and weaker teams…recognize and adapt to whatever the team does.” 
  •  Shares/FindsA Huffington Post link with Getty Image photos of Keanu Reeves at a press conference for his film “Man of Tai Chi” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/keanu-reeves-tai-chi_n_3473849.html   And to balance out the modern with the historical, a video of Yang Chen Fu’s disciple Tung Ying Chieh performing Yang style Tai Chi  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ-k6my-d3g&feature=youtu.be&a
  •  Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Slow drills on individual postures to check your alignments (knees and tailbone relaxed, head suspended, soft collarbones). Part I of Yang 108 done to both sides. Shoulder strike—yang (open) fingers at left, then yin (closed) fingers as you cross over to shoulder. Looking at the yin versus yang side of Thirteen Postures. Ligament/foot/knee health –rolling from heel to toe in a straight ahead motion.  Ten breaths.  White crane. Brush knee. Rehearsing your 45 and your 90.
  •  Student News and Upcoming Events: Our instructor Christian is pondering one weekend workshop (90 minutes or 2 hours) of Qi Gong for a fee—let us know if a Saturday or Sunday is better for you and what time of day, or what weekends are you most available.  A couple of Boot Road Park students tried out the Eagleview class (Hi). Lots of travelers this time of year– Ray, Rim, and Janet.  Those of you who RSVP’d to my birthday event, thanks bunches, see you soon. Curse you Party City for not having confetti with My name on it—I shall speak ill of you on social media.

– Kathleen Rice, administrator and PR support for United Tai Chi


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