Speed: United Tai Chi digest 11/20/13

Kathleen at the Country Music Half Marathon, 2009

Kathleen at the Country Music Half Marathon, 2009

  • Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas’ “Wall Street character could almost have said:  “Speed, for lack of a better word, is good. Speed is right. Speed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Speed in all of its forms has marked the upward surge of mankind.”  Some internal arts practitioners, masters or instructors are on board the speed train.  They hail the power, strength or fa-jing that speed supports.  For some, a level of proficiency or experience with the postures has as its goal eventual speed.  I however still align myself with the Slowskys  from a TV ad for a particular broadband internet service.  (Yes I know they have ‘turtle-back’ and we are supposed to be snake-spine, but go with me for a moment).  Back in my fitter running days, I was what running journalist John Bingham (“No Need for Speed”, Rodale Press 2002) has called a ‘penguin’ or ‘back-of-the-packer’.  The elite finishers from Kenya or Ethiopia never had to worry about me breathing down their necks at some of the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathons, nor Broad Street Run.  I just wanted to cover the distance at my own pace, and enjoy the energy of the course.  I have taken the same approach to Tai Chi.  I enjoy the reward of the slow train, the measured lingering practice, the languid journey at taking your own sweet time to enjoy the energy of the course.   Sifu Domingo Colon writes, in practicing slowly “you have the opportunity to think about, analyze and feel what is occurring in the exercise. It is also easier to recognize and correct errors in balance, coordination, posture, etc. Moving slowly allows you to focus on relaxation during each movement and to coordinate your breathing correctly with the moves for the purpose of maximizing a strong energy flow.” So too our own instructor advises “If we slow it down, our bodies read the book better and we don’t skip over things.”  I’ll take Ecclesiastes for $500 Alex… (the race is not always to the swiftest). 


  • New class alert:  Tai Chi at Radley Run Country Club in West Chester, Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:00 PM .  $70 pre-pay for four classes.  Starts 11/19/13         (1100 Country Club Rd)


You can find Dan and his colleagues at Brookline Tai Chi in suburban Boston http://www.brooklinetaichi.org 


  • Wrap-up of recent classes:  Eyeballs in your fingers to ‘see’ your alignment and spinal health issues, Ten Breaths qi gong, Grasp the Sparrows tail review, chewing your tongue. Inhale through your eyes and exhale through your ears. Review drills of White Crane Spreads Wings, done to both sides. A silent run through of part I of Yang 108 form.  Eight pieces of brocade. Review drills for Ward Off and arm intricacies for Dragon Tongue Kick. Hearing joint popping/opening sounds means you are on a path to progress. 


  • Student News & Events: Happy birthday to our dear Janet.  I tried to find a cardboard cut-out of Chuck Norris on the internet for you as a gag gift, but alas came up empty handed (aren’t you glad).  The Wednesday night pharmacy class you may have seen a flyer about is (a) temporarily on hold or (b) seeking a location.  Angel Tree youth holiday gift sponsors, thank you to those who have turned in your assigned items or chipped in funds, we hope to turn in the final container to the Y very soon so please turn in your items this week to me for the number coded container. Welcome back YuYin and welcome new student Tony to the morning class. Welcome @sihingdai from Ontario to our Twittersphere.  Please join our Red Cross blood drive at Lionville YMCA on Friday December 20  http://www.redcrossblood.org and use our sponsor code lionville to register.


  • Weekly Schedule:


Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM


Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Tuesday Night

Radley Run Country Club

1100 Country Club Rd in West Chester

[60 min, Pre-pay in bulk   $70 for 4 classes]


7:00 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

[90 min., small   class attention, Tai Chi

 *$25 drop in   rate]



7:00 PM

Coming   soon…

Additional night class locally for a mixed variety of  internal arts  (Hsing-Yi, Bagua and  other modalities) TBD





  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi 

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

 Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice        unitedtaichi@gmail.com     


5 thoughts on “Speed: United Tai Chi digest 11/20/13

  1. Deb Orsini

    “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points how the strong man stumbled,or where the doer of deeds could of done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasm, and the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt. There is no better way to express how we do things than this. So many critics, so many pointing fingers. Only the man himself knows.

  2. bafaguy

    Regarding speed, to paraphrase Sifu Huang from this year’s Wakulla Springs Internal Arts Retreats, “Fast, but not sloppy. Slow, but not choppy.” I see speed or tempo as a range, from fast to slow. I try to train towards a wider range of possible tempos, thus training in greater responsiveness and adaptability.

    1. United Tai Chi Post author

      Thank you, yes “fast but not sloppy”. I need to spend more time aiming for the ‘not sloppy’ first before I am brave enough for other tempos. Thanks for sharing. – Kathleen

  3. Ray Chevallier

    Hey Kathleen,
    Your Ecclesiastes reference prompted me to review one of my favorite books of the Bible and though I could not pick up your “Jeopardy” thread,I did come upon a rather TaiChi-esque passage:
    “The wind continues [g]swirling along;
    And on its circular courses the wind returns.”
    There is much swirling in my practice right noe.

  4. Pingback: Art of the Brand | United Tai Chi

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