Tag Archives: Tim Larkin

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     

Take Notice: United Tai Chi 8/21/13 newsletter

  • Gratitude. One of the things Tai Chi has helped me with, cliché or no, is to ‘slow down and smell the roses’. Metaphorically at least, as I am anosmatic. There were things I used to take for granted, things I didn’t used to see, hear or feel.  An unlocking of doors. I didn’t used to pray as much. Or notice the sight and feel of freshly cut grass. Or realize that my feet had so much receptivity and power. To listen or read a fellow student’s testimony without judgment.  The value of an invitation. This weekend I heard an instructor caution a student not to cheat at a posture –this could have meant not to discount the energy or expressiveness of an opening. I’d also like it to mean not to short-shrift the gratitude one finds in internal arts and the universality of grace.  What are you grateful for this week and how has Tai Chi helped you appreciate your world?

 

  •  Shares/Finds:  A book I’m reading this week is “How to Survive The Unthinkable” by Tim Larkin, which discusses differences between antisocial aggression and asocial violence.  It warns against our tendency to want to play by the common social rules, when asocial or violent predators do not operate in the same confines.  The book encourages you to not “fall into the pool and sink” since most are “so afraid of experiencing violence that they have no response at all when they do encounter it”.  Intuition, learning to read signals, avoidance, and being prepared are topics discussed.  Let me know if anyone is interested in discussing some more notes from this current book, including how meditators tend to be more attuned to details and “connected to their senses rather than being on autopilot (a predators dream).”

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Ten breaths, breathing orbits, 13 postures, studying the bottom of the foot tan tiens as they relate to their corresponding partners in other parts of the body. Yin energy raising your left arm for Play the Pan Pan.  A strong foundation or root yields strong branches. A great session of the Qi Gong practice “Growing Like a Tree” on Thursday –quiet, slow, long, internal and utilizing the notion of the pelvic curve or full body hugging the tree.  Another visit to our old friend Brush Knee, and relaxing the heaven hand (snake eyes).  Eight powers and five directions. Balance tip—do morning neck stretches to readjust the inner-ear bones.  Curving your pelvis. Parts I and II of Yang 108. And finally, Tuesday afternoon some more detail work on our Pull Downs (near Shoulder Strike, and Dragon Tongue Kick), and spinal alignment on the Apparent Closing (uprooting the opponent).

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  We will hold another outdoor Qi Gong workshop on Saturday afternoon, August 31 (specific start time TBD soon).  And the DVD night to come together and watch some Tai Chi videos from Wakulla sessions and YMCA classes will happen in late September. Thank you to Master John Armstrong for the sword class I tried this weekend.  On the horizon: short-video testimonials from one or more students.  Jaclyn will be travelling to China soon. Red Cross blood drive this Friday August 23 at the Lionville YMCA 8.30a to 6.30p (walk-ins welcome). Thanks Deb for your outreach.  Thanks Marilyn for sharing your Tai Chi walk connection to a nature documentary.  If you missed the link to Christian’s Chester County Night School tai chi course this fall, here it is again https://www.chestercountynightschool.org/CourseStatus.awp?&Course=13FFH710&DirectFrom=Schedule&Origin=Courses+Taught+by+Christian+Samuelson    

 

  • Etcetera:  Apparently “Shark Week” on Discovery network recently posted its best ratings ever. Note to self, change title of next week’s newsletter to “Shark Week”.  Also since I just saw the Steve Jobs biopic this weekend, I am of a mind to quote Bean Curd Boxer (Paul Reed), blogging after the death of Jobs, “his refusal to be bound by the dictates of history, by the opinions of experts or the advice of marketers enabled him to pursue his vision for a more meaningful and productive digital evolution. When the complex is made simple, evolutions are born”…and in linking this to the internal arts, “Nothing stays still, everything changes. Empowering others is a good thing. Belittling and undermining is not. The old will always have to make room for the new as that is the way. Let us welcome the new interpreters.” 

 

  • 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

 

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

Kathleen         unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

On The Waterfront: United Tai Chi 8/7/13 Newsletter

Wolfeboro / Lake Winnipesaukee NH

Wolfeboro / Lake Winnipesaukee NH

  • Water. One of the five elements in Chinese medicine. A majority content of the human body. A goal to strive for in Tai Chi is the sensation that our bones become water. Water is a force that is both creative and destructive. Water is also reflective.  A Qi Gong viewpoint of water calls it an essence or vitality “that distinguishes life from non-life, and in many ways consistent with the Western understanding of a soul –the material aspect of divinity”.  (Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine For Everyday Life by Gail Reichstein). I had the opportunity to be out on the water this past weekend, a chance to experience both its flexible yielding nature and its reflective properties. A chance to be in the elements with the wind and the trees. To perhaps inhibit its soulfulness. But going home is only one piece of a journey, one curve on a circular path that also must include the rest of the spaces we encounter outside the water. The spaces we all find joy to navigate.

 

  • Shares/Finds: Those of you who ever had designs on a Tai Chi flash mob, here is a sample of one in Europe this spring. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eaY8VkRAqWI  Tai Chi and Short Weapons seminar in New York City this weekend (August 10-11) at Addis Kung Fu with Sifu Dennis Dereje (who has studied with Master Wei Lun Huang). See http://addiskungfuacademy.com for info.  Women’s Health Magazine, September 2013 issue has an article “The Most Important 5 Seconds of a Your Life”, about self defense. In one of the sidebar call out boxes, it indicates that “people who meditate every day tend to be more attuned to details in the moment. They practice noticing their thoughts and emotions which can make them less likely to freeze up in scary situations, because they’re in touch with their instinctual emotions and not ruled by them”.  The complete article by Tim Larkin, is excerpted from his forthcoming book Survive The Unthinkable: A Total Guide To Women’s Self Protection.

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Ten breaths. Slowly finding your center.  Self adjustments. Tai chi flash cards.  Five colored clouds. Folding. Listening to your bone marrow. Forgetting yourself. The ‘rock back’ mechanics of brush knee. Thirteen postures. Director’s cut extended version of Dragon Tongue Kick/Parry Redirect.

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  From what I hear the Qi Gong workshop this past Saturday went very well, thank you to everyone who attended and shared your enthusiasm –I heard nice things from Deborah and Rick via Email and Facebook (where you can view the photos).  Stay tuned for a repeat soon. Those away traveling recently include Jane and Martina. I got my fill of shellfish at a weekend pilgrimage to my homeland in the lakes region of NH –from lobster rolls, to chowder, to scallops, to clam rolls…sorry no crab as a professional courtesy. Thanks to @EmpoweringQi for favoriting one of our Twitter posts. Thanks Ray for the Linkedin endorsement.  Life saving Red Cross blood drive at Lionville YMCA (8/23), register here http://bit.ly/1aJCcaF    

 

  • Etcetera: From  How To Be A Successful Tai Chi Teacher  (Bill Douglas) …”When you feel what you are saying, it changes the resonance of your voice and the vibration of the room. Sharing an experience with your students rather than talking at them is a shift in approach.”  I’m sure all of us would agree we are fortunate to have such a teaching experience at United Tai Chi.

 

  • 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

         

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

Kathleen        unitedtaichi@gmail.com     

(P³)   a PLUM POINT PUBLICITY production