Tag Archives: Mark Saltveit

Thanksgiving: United Tai Chi digest 11/24/14

  • Oral history –stories, teachings, principles and concepts passed down through the generations– has been a touch point this weekend. In my professional work, I came across a video-taped oral history with one of the early pioneers of qualitative market research, William Schlackman. A popular television pastor was also discussing the generational influences and direction of his father and grandfather, whose hard work and sacrifices had helped pave the way for his current flood of goodwill. And our own local instructor Christian was at a workshop in Boston recently with Master Wei Lun Huang. Sifu Huang can trace his internal arts lineage back to Liao Fo Hi, and Lou Tzi Ling (himself a student of Yang Chen Fu). Many of us will be fortunate to witness some of our own generational oral histories this Thanksgiving week. Internal arts such as tai chi are rife with this kind of oral history. Again part of my “living the art” theme I have explored in previous blogs. I found it interesting that one of Mr. Schlackman’s advice notes was, “the most important interview you do is on yourself”. Yet another concept we find in tai chi. Peace and blessings to you all this Thanksgiving.
  • Schedule update/alert: After Tuesday night November 25, we will no longer have a night tai chi class at the Blue Buddha yoga studio in Glenmoore.

 

  • Shares/Finds: This Paul Read / Bean Curd Boxer blog on tai chi and snow removal reminds me of Christian’s snow tai chi video last winter. Eagles NFL fans, we all know from The Tao of Chip Kelly football, internal arts (and life) are about adapting to your opponent, humility, favoring the process not the result, flexibility, and empowering your players with equal importance.

 

  • Student News & Events: Thank you to those who joined UTC at the monthly Exton Dragon Gym Sunday session this weekend. Birthday shout-out to Janet, Son and Dot. Sorry I didn’t hear about Sifu Huang’s workshop in Boston this past weekend until a few days beforehand. If you were there, report in! Local students, if you received my note about the YMCA’s Angel Tree program to collectively purchase holiday gifts for one child in the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity community, please return your gifts to me or Christian by or before Sunday November 30 (so everything can be wrapped/bagged/tagged and dropped off at the Y, Monday 12/1). And I would be remiss not to mention a certain instructor’s birthday coming up before our next newsletter is out –from your students and everyone you have influenced, have a peaceful and meaningful day Christian. Details on our annual combo holiday + birthday breakfast coming soon.
  • Social Media Roundup: Thank you to our new followers, sharers or readers on the following platforms: (Twitter) Daryl @dmuran1, and @WillieWil1 from NYC. (Facebook) Welcome Michaela and Gregg –locals from Chester County PA, Chris K from Oregon, Brandon in Alberta, Ernie in Massachusetts, Alianza in Florida, K Bar from Nashville, Bigpapa from Chicago and Jessica from Nashville. The windy city and music city, representin’. (WordPress) We have reached over 4,000 views since I started publishing there in June 2013. Thanks for our recent growth this month in readers from Europe. And as always, our neighbors to the north continue to be our #2 readership.
  • General Weekly Schedule:
DAY LOCATION PRICE TIME
Tuesday Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

** Last class at Blue Buddha is Tues. Novem25 **

Membership

$20 p/hour

4.45 pm

7.15 pm

Wednesday Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA Membership 7.30 am
Thursday Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Kokikai Akido School  1209 Ward Ave, West Chester (2 hour class, at $20 per hour)

Membership

$20 p/hour

4.45 pm

7.00 pm

Friday Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

See instructor

7.30 am

See instructor

 

  • 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

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Match Point: United Tai Chi digest 6/24/14

tennisball

  • Crosstraining. We talked about this in January in another newsletter. Christian mentioned again recently how some of our tai chi principles have helped golfers with their swing. And that Laoshi book I often quote also repeats “Tai Chi helps with everything else you do.”  Last month I dipped a toe (and arm) back in some tennis practice, which I had been away from for many years. As a current internal tai chi student, I am finding moments in my tennis practice that align with, or benefit from tai chi.  Certainly there is the shoulder, rotator cuff, armpit opening in the circle of an overhead serve. The coil and uncoil of returning to your ready position after a hit only to prep for another shot. And our old friend the ‘bubbling well point’ of our foot, where we are poised always, to maintain a fluid continuous motion. The hip control of the torso turn.  The kidney story as the elbows exchange places. And who would deny tennis’s resemblance to push hands–sometimes referred to as ‘a conversation’. Tennis is not played alone, and doesn’t have quite the same mental feel of a more solo sport such as long distance running. Just as in push hands, you need to be able to intuit where your partner/opponent will be, even before they are there. Reading habits, diagnosing blockages or weak spots, patterns of motion.  On Bill Douglas’s site, worldtaichiday.org, there is also commentary about benefit to the knees –“Tennis players will also often discover less pressure in the knees after practicing Tai Chi. Consciously moving from the dan tien can bring less pressure to bear on the knees when coming to an abrupt halt because when the head or upper body leads the movement, the knees must work harder to stop your momentum.” There is a lovely tai chi tennis video here on vimeo you may want to take a look at and discuss. This is a great time of year to get outdoors with both your tai chi, and other of your favorite cross training activities.

 

  • Shares/Finds: This Huffington Post article by Karl Romain that Chris S shared about 3 ways tai chi trains your brain. And this reminder on a summary of Five Principles of Tai Chi.  Number five is the one that our instructor Christian calls Madge/Palmolive hands.   
  •  
  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Forgetting yourself and your ego continues to be a main goal to strive for internal arts. Reminder of the yin and yang parts of each posture, elbow and kidney connections, sloshing your water all the way to the fingertips. And be cognizant that there is a little dot of yin in the yang swoosh and a little dot of yang in the yin! Bagua animal qigong. Breathing into your sore or tense spots and tricking your brain, relaxing your body. Welcome 2 new students to the afternoon class. Reminders about quality of practice versus quantity (‘we ordered the macaroni and cheese –there was a lot of it, but it wasn’t very good’).  Defining the edges or boundaries of the self. Left pull down/dragon tongue kick/parry re-direct practice. Weekend Blue Buddha or Dragon Gym classes included Hsing-I five elements, staff stance drills and the Little Dipper form. 

 

  • Student News & Events: Welcome back Marcia Z from some time away; and is Ray C back yet soon? Welcome back Steve from his Bikram Yoga studies in California. Thanks Deborah for sharing your story of utilizing tai chi principles while teaching your grandson to climb trees –reminding him to “stay close to his center for strength while climbing, and to grab the branch closest to the center of the tree trunk where it is the most stable, less likely to break or bend.”Hey we talked about Yin and Yang last blog and darned if I didn’t see another sign –the recent film 22 Jump Street had a small scene paying tribute to this integral martial arts principle too. And a pre-emptive thanks in advance for the birthday wishes this week for those of you reading this far, kudos.  Social Media Roundup: In the Twittersphere, welcome new followers @MastrYourHealth, and @RadDad64.  Reached/exceeded 3,000 total views on our WordPress page on June 10, thanks very much for your international support and readership! In this pre-football training season, don’t forget to follow @taoish (Mark Saltveit), one of the reasons I started putting our newsletter online last summer, and author of and Eagle’s fan reading list item, “The Tao of Chip Kelly”.  Welcome Leila W to our Pinterest followers. And hey, thank you Brazilians for your recent engagement or visits to our Facebook page –good luck in Group A (World Cup 2014).  This weekend our “most engaged insights” city was Rio de Janeiro.

 

  • Weekly Schedule:

 

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Monday

  • Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA,  pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed , through Chester County Night School.   [ENDS June 30]

$52 whole session

7.30 pm

Tuesday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

  1. Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

Membership

 

$15 drop-in

4.45 pm

 

7.15 pm

Wednesday

  1. Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

 

Membership

 

7.30 am

 

Thursday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

  1. Lionville Holistic Health Center Natural Pharmacy, 309 Gordon Drive in Exton PA

Membership

 

$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

4.45 pm

 

7.00 pm

Friday

  1. Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

 

  1. Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

 

See instructor

7.30 am

 

See instructor

Saturday

  1. Blue Buddha Studio, 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

12:00 pm

 

  • 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    

CRUSH: United Tai Chi digest 12/4/13

orangeCrush

  • In the world of internal arts, the term “Crush” corresponds to the wood element in Chinese medicine and is part of the 5 element Hsing-Yi practice and energy matrix of the universe in Taoist cosmology.  It aims to mimic a fist growing out of the body, or an arrow darting. In 2013, in my journey back to amateur writing, blogging, journaling, columns or essays, that energy matrix has yielded personal influencers of a crush-worthy nature.  Artisans who have begun to show me that who I am on paper (or screen) is meaningful, worthwhile and still relates to internal arts and Tai Chi.  That I see vindication of my style or approach in some of their writing is further encouragement that I have been on the right path.  I used to wonder if throwing the occasional pop-culture or non-internal arts reference and humor into one of my newsletters was off-putting or un-relatable. That is until I discovered the books and podcasts of Paul Read (“The Beancurd Boxer”) who’s work has shown me, that for a relative beginner who has come to this art late in life (not a Karate Kid was I), it is a little easier to grasp something when crafted in my own language (see his crazy funny One Last Thing: The History of the Martial Arts Philosophy).  I also want to thank Mark Saltveit (The Tao of Chip Kelly), Tim Larkin (Survive The Unthinkable), Mark Salzman (Iron and Silk), Sifu Anthony K (Flowing Zen blogs and articles), Peter Wayne (The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi), Deng Ming-Dao (The Wandering Taoist) Gail Reichstein (Wood Becomes Water) Dan Kleiman (Qi Gong Radio podcasts) and Bruce Frantzis (energyarts.com) whose words or voices I have been fortunate to have encountered or were recommended to me.  Outside of Tai Chi, though still journalists I geek out over, I want to also mention music writers Peter Cooper, Brian Mansfield and Robert K. Oermann.  Lastly, a special honorable mention of Owen Gleiberman who I have followed now and again over the years and whose amazing recent article for Entertainment Weekly about Robert Redford’s career inspired me to change my digest topic this weekend   http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/11/30/robert-redford-is-an-underrated-actor/   Just like Tai Chi, writing is an art and a discipline, inspired from the heart, requiring practice and patience.  And I want to thank students and teachers of United Tai Chi and all of our readers for sharing both with me this year.  I was fortunate to have also found, in our instructor Christian, a ‘voice’ who’s teaching style resonates with the type of learner/listener/reader/writer that I am.

 

  • New class alert:  Starting January 6th, six session Monday night tai chi class at East Bradford Elementary School in West Chester, 7.30pm.  $62 pre-pay, and you order course #14WFH710 from http://www.chestercountynightschool.org.  Please read their snow/closure policy for classes held inside a school building.              

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes:  ‘Serve the fruit’ warm-ups, right side Tai Chi and Left side Tai chi, thirteen postures. Inhale and exhale stories.  Cleansing breath, gathering breath, calming breath. Neck exercises as part of the standing 10.  Finger and palm connections in “press” and “shoulder strike”.  Eight pieces of brocade. Parts I and II of Yang 108. Thanksgiving take-away:  seeing my 3 year old grandnephew demonstrate a great rendition of “folding”. 

 

  • Student News & Events:  Annual holiday breakfast thank you for Christian, Friday December 6 at 8:45am (following the morning class) at Penn’s Table, 268 Eagleview Blvd in Exton. Truck loading day for our Angel Tree youth sponsor gifts you guys helped contribute for is Thursday morning December 5 at the Lionville Y.  An early Christmas present—reached 1,000 Facebook followers!  Red Cross blood drive Friday December 20 also at the Lionville Y, join our life saving mission with a donor appointment at http://www.redcrossblood.org and use our sponsor code of lionville (or sign up at the Y).  Welcome back Carl to the morning classes. Welcome a reader in Croatia to our WordPress newsletter. Welcome @aharkins1 from Florida and @LoveLightandQi from the UK to our Twittersphere.  Rest in peace to a fallen outdoorsman, marine biology fan, humanitarian/activist, film actor and Brazillian ju-jitsu student, Paul Walker this past weekend. 

 

  • Weekly Schedule:   

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

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]

Tuesday

7:00 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

[90 min., small   class attention, Tai Chi

 *$25 drop in   rate]

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

Starting   1/6/14

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

$62   pre-pay for 6 classes,   Order at http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

7.30 PM

Coming   soon…

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

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     

Continuing Education: United Tai Chi 8/23/13 Newsletter

  • Back to school.  This week you may have noticed the buses on your morning travel route, or kids waiting on the sidewalk set to begin another academic year, as many schools in this local area had opening day on Monday.  As practitioners of internal arts know, learning doesn’t stop once the cap and gown are gone. The curious are always on a quest. I talked about collaboration last week on one of our social media feeds, and an unexpected part of my journey with Tai Chi has been a room full of teachers in one way or another, inside and outside the classroom. What is it that ball players say –the bench is deep.  We all have something to teach, to share; and something to learn.  Education comes in many forms, and though some of us may have different triggers that facilitate our learning, or different speeds of ascension, eventually we all end up at the same point in the circle. The same path from the heart. Don’t hang up your backpacks and your slide rule just yet, the ride’s not over.

 

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Five colored clouds surrounding the mountain. Folding. Coiling. Standing ten. Navel –umbilical cord and fountain of youth; coil your fist up through your navel for ‘serve the fruit’ exercise.  Opening bow practice and filling up our bucket from our root, diagnosing internal maladies in the spaces where our shoulders pop up.  Reviewing the tan tiens of our arms in the Pull Down/Ward Off transition in 13 postures.  Finding your center. Thumb and spine connections. Transitions between Press, Elbow and Shoulder in 13 postures. Travelling an internal path from bone to ligament, muscle, skin and back again. Growing like a tree Qi Gong. Detailed breakdowns of opening bow, scoop the water, and ward off left. Hand and foot connections in the Slant Fly posture. 

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  We’re holding another Qi Gong workshop on Saturday August 31  at 2pm in Kerr Park,  $25, or a $5 discount if you are wearing our United Tai Chi shirt. Bring a water bottle and a mat. RSVP on our Facebook page or to unitedtaichi@gmail.com  Welcome back Martina.  Thanks @Silverwolfma in the UK for re-tweeting my 8/21 newsletter link to your bevy of followers.  Safe journeys to travelers Jane, Jaclyn and Christine H.  Rather large attendance at Tuesday’s class, sorry I missed it but glad to see everyone at the desk.  Reminder there is no class on Monday September 2 (holiday hours at YMCA).  If you missed out on our spring/summer T-shirts, fret not as fall ones are in the offing.  Dot thanks for the supermarket chat.  Mario good luck in Miami. Pat, the Red Cross thanks you. A huge welcome and thank you to our international readers who have found at least one or more of our newsletters on WordPress (Canada, Italy, Mexico, Australia and the UK)!   G’Day, Buenos dias and Buon giorno. And no, spell-check, I am not trying to type Bon Jovi (though perhaps Richie Sambora could use some Qi Gong right about now).   Sorry Canadians, I am not sure how you greet each other at the local Tim Hortons. 

 

  • Etcetera:  With football season approaching, those of you who read my reviews and/or discussion in June about Mark Saltveit’s book The Tao of Chip Kelly, you can follow his Twitter feed @taoish, and tell him Kathleen from United Tai Chi sent you; I know he’d appreciate it.  

 Weekly Schedule:

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

EVENING

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr

  [90 minute, small class attention, *separate fees   apply]

Thursday

7:00 PM

Spring/Summer Evening

Beginners  at Boot Road Park (weather permitting)

110 W. Boot Rd       $10 drop in rate.

Monday

6:00 PM

 

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

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

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

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

See or share this newsletter from our WordPress URL  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

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

Kathleen Rice      unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

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