A non-profit club in San Diego and Richmond, Va.: Teachers: Walter Jackson (619-647-6938), Tiffany Trader (619-818-2444) Email: tradert@gmail.com and thewalkingtiger@Yahoo.Com


The Walking Tiger Tai Chi Club


The Walking Tiger Tai Chi Club is a group of friends and neighbors, who gather regularly to share the arts of QiGong, Tai Chi, Yoga and Acupressure.


Our group practices both Yang and Sun style Tai Chi. The Yang Tai Chi is from the Cheng Man-ching school, which emphasizes old style small circle Yang style, which is more focused on health and self-defense.


For over 15 years now, we have met every Saturday; unless it’s raining, and done an hour of group practice of very basic, health focused mind-body arts. 


We have no formal registration process and we never charge any fees. We are completely non-profit.


A warm family atmosphere is always maintained and many deep friendships have developed through the years. Altogether, our members have over 200 years of experience.











Balboa Park in San Diego


Presently our western group meets every Saturday morning, at 10:00 AM, at Morely Field, part of Balboa Park, in the North Park area of San Diego. Near the intersection of Upas Street and Texas Street in San Diego.
















Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM, join us for free, basic, health focused Tai Chi classes at the Clover Hill Holistic Arts Center, 11932 Winterpock Rd., Chesterfield, Virginia. Call us at 619-647-6938 or email to: TheWalkingTiger@Yahoo.Com.



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CONTENTS (click below to select)


Qigong and Tai Chi


Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

About the Teachers

Choosing a School-What to watch out for

Articles and Essays

Quotations From Masters                    

Recommended Reading










Qigong is an ancient Chinese art of self-massage, meditation and meditative exercise; similar to Yoga, which strengthens, adds flexibility, enhances the nervous system and reduces stress.


scan0006A very long time ago Chinese scholars and priests were studying every aspect of the mind and body.


While so doing they discovered many things. One very useful discovery was that by focusing the mind and breath together with a deeply relaxed state, one could do movements with great power. They harnessed this energy to create very powerful self-defense and healing arts.


It was then they discovered that the practice of these arts also produced superb health. In fact, doing the movements slowly and without martial intent produced even more effective results.


A toned body that is strong as an ox, as supple as a tiger, and as quick as a striking snake requires a type of strength that is much more complex than just power lifting. To acquire this type of strength requires gaining skills of strength, agility, grace, relaxation, readiness, effective breathing and confident movement. Tai Chi’s simple movements provide all that is needed to retain these qualities for yourself.”

 From Stay Young With Tai Chi; by Ellae Elinwood


Qigong is still not a well-known term in the USA, but most people think they know what Tai Chi is. But Tai Chi is really just a form of qigong called martial Qigong.


All of these arts depend upon what is called "inner alchemy", the development and application of internal energy called Chi.


Like Yoga, Tai Chi Qigong frees and mobilizes the body’s energy to enhance health, awakens the mind, reduces stress and improves flexibility and strength.


Tai Chi is different from Yoga in that one doesn’t move into a posture and stop, but you keep moving continuously and smoothly; while breathing slow and deep, through a series of postures; all the while shifting the weight from one foot to the other. This movement, done with the right state of mind and with calmness, energizes the body and relinquishes trapped or blocked energy from the body. In this respect it is very similar to acupuncture, but without using any needles.


Most of us recognize Tai Chi Qigong when we see it slowly performed. And, it is quite true that one will gain the most health benefits and learn better by practicing in slow motion. But, Tai Chi may be performed at any speed-including very fast.


“In Tai Chi there is no final result. Rather, there is a gradual accumulation of benefits…” Dr. Robert Chuckrow


Absolutely essential to these arts is the Taoist concept of "Wu Wei". This is spontaneous, natural, unforced action which arises not from conscious thought, but from intuition, instinct  and dedicated training.






Links to PDF files containing useful and helpful information


Five_Breaths.PDF : This pdf file contains instruction for performing the Five Tibetan Breathing movements; a five element health Qigong and a good warm-up for the 37 postures form.


Standing Meditation.PDF : A basic guide to performing Zhan Zhuang, standing meditation.




Youtube Links


Click any of the links below to "jump" to the video at the YouTube site. These are the four forms we presently practice. Our advanced group is also training on the Cheng Man-ching 37 postures form.




 The Arthritis Form by Dr. Paul Lam. This really should be called the neurological form. It cleanses and energizes the acupuncture meridians most affected by arthritis, fibromyalgia, and a host of other neural affliction. Presented in two parts; sections 1 and 2.




Logo_WhitekThe Osteoporosis Form. Like the Arthritis form, this form is designed to work and give special attention to the meridians, joints and immune system for Osteoporosis suffers.





Logo_WhitekThe Diabetes form. Like the two previous forms, this form was developed to aid Diabetes sufferers.






Logo_Whitek The Five Element Qigong. This Qigong, revived and enhanced by Dr. Lam, is an excellent overall form for meditation, Chi cultivation and discarding stagnant or trapped Chi.








Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi



Hundreds of University level studies have all confirmed the numerous benefits of consistent, well guided practice of these arts. The most recent and truly definitive studies include research projects by Harvard University.


These improvements range from the reduction of everyday aches and pains, to overall improvements in immune system response, breathing, biological functions, balance, neurological systems, reduced stress, increased physical strength and, of course, all the benefits one acquires from meditation.



About the Teachers




Walter Jackson


With over 40 years of experience, Walter began his study about the time of the Jimmy Carter Inauguration. Also a certified acupressurist, he had teachers who included Abraham Lu, Michael Brown and Bill Funshion.


Tiffany Trader


With years of study to her credit, Tiffany is an accomplished Teacher who also studies and practices Yoga and acupressure.









Carol Elliott


Carol is a renowned and much sought-after certified acupuncturist with vast experience in the mind-body arts. Carol happily shares

 her enormous pool of knowledge and teaches us all with extraordinary and gifted insight.










Mary Byrne


A lifelong devotee of the mind-body arts, Mary has extraordinary gifts for connecting with others and teaching things that can’t easily be spoken. The most intuitive person, she has vast experience with Qigong and emanates positive and nurturing energy. We prize her as one of our most effective members and teachers.












Peter Duenez


Peter has devoted many years to the studies of Tai Chi and Qigong from many teachers. He provides lots of energy and new ideas, but is also a strong supporter of our club. Peter is recognized by many as a skilled teacher and performer of the 18 posture Shibashi form, our foremost and foundational Taiji Qigong.





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My original black belt certificate, circa 1976. People today seem to think that “mixed martial arts” is a new idea. In fact, it is as old as the arts themselves. Then called “JU JUTSU”, the International Martial Arts Association; which existed from the early 70’s until the late 1990’s, taught this art and brought in the foremost teachers from around the world to teach Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Boxing, wrestling and any other martial art available.


This art was called “AMMKA-JUTSU.


 Today, people are only familiar with the free-sparring style of AMMKA-JUTSU, but its real substance was in very sound and effective self-defense tactics and techniques.


A family art, in accord with Japanese tradition, which was enormously effective, for use by smaller people, women and children. Its real substance was in safe and solid methods which discarded to strutting macho persona of the arts and focused on simple effectiveness.







Also certified in Acupressure and Shiatsu, I felt it was essential for anyone teaching the arts of Qigong and Tai Chi to understand the nature of Chi and the mind/body arts at a deep level.



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Choosing a School-What to watch out for…


·        Anyone who uses the term “Blood Sport”

·        Teachers who think they are a spiritual Guru

·        Any references to Ninja

·        A teacher who calls HIMSELF master or grandmaster

·        Signs that claim the school teaches several different and disparate martial arts

·        Those who claim to be students of Bruce Lee (even if it’s true)

·        Mullets

·        Swaggering

·        Swastikas

·        A window full of tournament trophies

·        Ancient fundamentalist religious symbols

·        Contemporary fundamentalist religious symbols

·        A “king of the hill” attitude toward the “Pushing Hands’ exercise or sparring

·        A wall full of weapons that don’t apply to the 21st century

·        Long-term contracts

·        Shrines

·        Foreign flags

·        Few female students

·        Starry-eyed allegiance to ANYTHING

·        Pee wee black belts

·        Instructors who groan when they get out of their chair

·        Stoic, superior, impolite, cross eyed, smelly or unhealthy looking instructors

·        Impatient, unkind, ill-mannered or intimidating instructors

·        Smiling out of context

·        Smugness

·        Eyes whose “whites” show all the way around

·        Shiny silk uniforms

·        Preoccupation with lineage

·        Bruised, limping or twitching students

·        Topknots




Essays and Articles


The 37 Posture Yang Form


Developed by master Cheng man-ching; containing all the 37 postures of small circle Yang style, this form actually has 64 complete movements. Requiring 8 to 12 minutes, depending on one’s speed, it is our most advanced form and the most widely practiced form in the world.


“Tai Chi, practiced correctly and regularly, will gain one the pliability of a child, the health of a lumberjack and the piece of mind of a sage.”

CHENG2Cheng Man-Chi’ng


Though usually called the “short Yang” form, it should be understood that master Cheng’s form is far more than an abridged version of the longer Yang form. In creating the form he returned to the tradition of a 64-step form followed by most Tai Chi styles until the late 20th century. The forms performance is based upon internal energy, whole body, “small circle” movement, which is far more explosive and nuance filled that the so-called “Long Yang”. Though the form “seems” less blatantly martial than conventional Yang form, a deep study will also reveal that it contains dozens of hidden self-defense movements.


Pictured: Master Cheng Man-Ching


Master Cheng’s style appeared to be very different, but it was actually a return to the explosive, spiraling snakelike movement of the original Yang style before it became homogenized into the stylish and acrobatic competition style it is today. All movement is “propelled” movement; that is, all movement originates and occurs BECAUSE of body rotation. There is little independent or unassisted movement of the arms and legs. None of the kicks are suspended high in the air, there are no big waving movements of the arms and none of the flourishes and superfluous wrist twirls of big-frame or competition style Tai Chi.




Why Study T’ai Chi?


©Copyright 2010 by Robert Chuckrow


At present, you don’t have to look far to find classes in Yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, Tae Kwon Do, aerobics, belly dancing, weight training, ballet, and other forms of movement, exercise, and self-development. All of these activities can be quite beneficial depending on who is teaching them. So why consider learning T’ai Chi? Having studied T’ai Chi (and other movement and self-development arts) for over forty years, I feel that I can provide some perspective

regarding its benefits.


ChuckrowT’ai-Chi (pronounced tie jee) originated in China centuries ago. It is a meditative exercise based on Taoist philosophy and other ancient Chinese principles of health, self-development, and self-defense. In China 100 years ago, the ability to defend oneself against a skilled attacker was essential, and T’ai-Chi was studied primarily for attaining martial skill. In today’s world, however, it is much more likely that we will become harmed by a health problem or an accident than by another person trying to injure us. Therefore, T’ai Chi is now taught mainly for health and self-development, and most people who study it do so primarily for those benefits.


Pictured: Master Robert Chuckrow


As an exercise, T’ai Chi consists of a series of natural, relaxed movements that are ideally learned one at a time over a period of months. Typically, classes are once per week, and the student is expected to practice for a minimum of 15 minutes each day. For those who lack motivation and self-discipline, practicing on one’s own may seem unrealistic. However, practicing the movements alone produces such a delightful feeling of serenity and well-being that little self-discipline is required.


Unfortunately, much popular exercise focuses on the muscles and circulatory system and disregards the mind, nervous system, and internal organs. It is not uncommon to see people exercising on treadmills or stationary bikes and distracting themselves by listening to music on headphones and reading a book or magazine—often simultaneously. On the other hand, T’ai Chi is not boring or repetitive. Instead, one’s mind is actively involved in releasing all unnecessary tension and coordinating and sensing the constantly changing movement of every body part. Being aware of the myriad elements involved produces a feeling of elation and connectedness to the ground, gravity, and one’s breathing and movement.


Frequently, people will say, “I wouldn’t be good at T’ai Chi because I am so uncoordinated.” Actually, the more uncoordinated you are, the more you can benefit from learning and practicing T’ai Chi. Another thing that people say is, “It’s way too slow.” One reason it is so slow is dancing-tree-optical-illusionthat, if it were any faster, the mind would have trouble encompassing the many things that are going on. Also, once the movements have been learned, there is a natural rate of motion that coordinates the breathing and flow of something called ch’i (pronounced chee), which will be discussed next.


Pictured:  A tree dancing with the wind is a perfect metaphor for Wu Wei and Tai Chi in harmony


In our part of the world, ch’i is not usually mentioned—there is not even a word for it in English. In Asia, however, the concept of ch’i is commonplace—it is called ch’i in China, prana in India, and ki in Japan, and other Asian countries have other names for it. In fact, one way of greeting a person in China is to ask, “How’s your ch’i?”


There is no current scientific understanding of ch’i, but it is most easily felt as a tingling sensation, first in one’s hands. Ch’i is the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of whose tools is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a method of inserting needles at specific points to free blockages of ch’i. T’ai Chi achieves similar benefits naturally, without the needles.


My interpretation of ch’i is that it involves the natural movement of cells as they absorb oxygen and nutrients and release wastes. When the body is very relaxed and moves naturally, its cells are more able to carry on such activities. Of course, fixations of muscular tension act oppositely. So when we relax our habitual fixations of tension, the cells are given an opportunity to carry on their cleansing and restorative activities, which are essential to health and healing. Over time, and with the correct teaching, T’ai-Chi practitioners can not only feel the ch’i throughout their bodies but also guide it to an injury. When a minor injury such as a bruise is thus treated immediately after t occurs, it usually disappears within minutes! Read a biological interpretation of ch’i


One of the nice things about doing T’ai Chi is that no equipment or special clothing is required, and it can be done in a very small space. It is suitable for people of all ages from teens on up. When you are old or infirm, you probably cannot do Tae Kwon Do, aerobics, or weight training, but you should be able to do T’ai Chi. That is why it is best not to wait until then to learn it!



Qigong and the Power of Intention


This is a marvelous essay by renowned Tai Chi and Qigong teacher Jane Golden.


Qigong is an ancient Chinese exercise that is literally translated as "breathing exercise". Qi is "life force", which essentially means breath. Gong means "work" or "cultivation," hence the literal translation.


References to this art can be found as far back as we can trace the history of the Chinese Culture. Qigong is core to the foundation of Chinese Medicine, Chinese Martial Arts, and Chinese Meditation. Glyphs from centuries past portray figures in postures that are recognizable as some of the forms we see practiced in modern times.


There are many stories about famous Qigong masters reaching extraordinary levels of ability as Healers, as Martial Artists, as Sages. Today, great numbers of people practice Qigong daily for its simple pleasures and benefits. Created in the inspiration of Nature itself, Qigong is learning to stand like a tree, move like the wind.....with bones as strong as a Tiger's and eyes as fiery as a Dragon's.....developing inner and outer strength, a clear and calm mind, and an increase in the spirit with which you move through your life.


The focus of this art is to increase vital energy in the body, lead it with the mind, and direct it with intention. This aspect of intention determines the specific type of exercises you choose to practice. For example, if your intention is to develop prowess as a martial artist, you would choose the more strenuous postures and practice them with an intensity that would be directed towards increasing physical stamina, speed, and agility. You would also practice "discharging" this increased energy or power, with the intention of defeating an opponent. To reach a high skill level as a martial artist, the mind and the spirit must become as clear and strong as the physical body. Therefore the result of Qigong practice, with this intention, will integrate the mind, the body, and the spirit.


Another intention or purpose of Qigong practice is healing -- healing yourself and healing others. This practice is referred to as Medical Qigong, and is based on the Chinese Medical theory that illness results from imbalance or blockage of vital energy that flows through the body. The flow of energy in the body occurs in specific pathways called meridians. As the acupuncturist uses needles to increase or decrease the flow of energy through the meridians, the Qigong practitioner uses posture, movement, breath, and mind to cultivate and circulate "qi" for the purpose of maintaining and improving health.


Qigong is active participation in healing while receiving acupuncture is passive. Therefore, in practicing Medical Qigong, you not only benefit from the result of balancing energy, you also develop confidence and trust in your own ability to heal and stay healthy. Again, this requires the integration of the mind, the body, and the spirit -- the essence of Qigong practice.


Another intention or purpose of Qigong practice is to develop or cultivate Spirituality. This practice takes the form of meditation, including moving meditation as well as stillness. The meditations often take their forms from Nature. The practice of moving like a river increases circulation and encourages fluidity of movement. Standing like a mountain builds strength and endurance, increasing longevity. Walking with the grace of a deer or soaring in the sky like a bird brings you into harmony with a spirit much greater than yourself. It connects you to a resource of nourishment for your own spirit -- spirit being as vital to your health as the food you eat.


No matter what type of Qigong you practice, Martial, Medical, or Spiritual, you'll find that any one type of Qigong will benefit the other aspects of yourself. Practicing Martial Qigong will benefit your health and enhance your spirituality; Medical Qigong may include the practice of "discharging" qi (for healing rather than martial purposes); Spiritual Qigong practice can enhance both martial prowess and health.


The experiences and benefits of all three types of Qigong practice overlap because Qigong is a holistic practice. It's all about balance -- about developing balance between the many aspects of ourselves -- again referring to body, mind, and spirit. We can restore imbalances in the body, indicated most often by pain or tension in a muscle, joint, organ, etc....we can restore imbalances in the mind, most often indicated by stress, depression, unhappiness, etc....and we can restore imbalances in the spirit, most often indicated by lack of enthusiasm, lack of ambition, etc.


The practice of Qigong is the active participation in restoring balance within yourself, and developing a healthy relationship to the environment outside of yourself. Qigong is simple and profound. With diligent practice, your health will improve, your frame of mind will improve, and your Spirit will shine in your eyes.




Quotes From Masters


“America has always been at its best…when it admitted its mistakes and sought to overcome them.”   Ron Chernow


Great quotations are like vibrant little jewels. They contain wisdom and insight. The greatest quotes can summarize ideas, often very abstract ideas, and are all the more resonating because of their brevity. Think of all that is said, by what is unsaid, in the following:


"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” From Abe Lincoln’s First Inaugural address.


"I think what we are actually seeing are not the lowering of standards of behavior, but improving standards. Intensifying social condemnation of cruelty, and bullying and sexual predation. That is something we will take out of this [ this time era] as a gift."  David Frum


"The latest attacks on the FBI and the Department of Justice serve no American interests - no party's, no President's, only Putin's. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia's ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why special council Mueller's investigation must proceed unimpeded."

Senator John McCain


"In a time of deceit, the truth is a revolutionary act."  George Orwell


"My life has been full of disasters - most of which, never happened." Mark Twain


"Christianity has institutionalized guilt as a virtue."  Alan Watts


"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called and idea at all." Oscar Wilde


Cheng Man-ching described the path to mastery of his old-world, small circle Tai Chi [paraphrased]: Other styles of martial arts take a very direct path up the mountain; while we take a circular spiraling journey, experiencing the best of all the arts. Arriving at the top of the mountain last, but with the most to offer.


“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”  Martin Luther King


"Free speech is the freedom  that safeguards every other freedom." Sam Harris


"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." -Voltaire


"The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice." -Bertrand Russell


"Inquiry is fatal to certainty."  -Will Durant


"Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof."  -Ashley Montagu


"If you have a garden and a library, then you have all you need."  Cicero


"Courage is when you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway." from To Kill A Mockingbird by  Harper Lee


"The discrimination of insubstantial and substantial is the first meaning of Tai Chi Chuan." Yang Cheng Fu


"Long tendons mean long life." Chinese proverb


“…And because the goal is God, rather than thin thighs, fabulous pensions, and geriatric erections; the old in India enjoy a peace, after the storm of youth, that is largely unknown to aging Americans.” From Still Here, by Ram Dass


"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes. All is a miracle."  zen master Thich Nhat Hanh


“Beauty is found in the ordinary, mystery is found in the everyday.” From The Way of Qigong; Kenneth S. Cohen


“I have come to believe that the visualizations are the most important part of Qigong.” From Heal Yourself With Qigong by Suzanne Friedman


“A fanatic is always concealing secret doubt.” John Le Carre


"Knowing others is intelligence,

knowing yourself is true wisdom.


Mastering others is strength,

Mastering yourself is true power"


by Lao-Tzu


Rather than working with a body made of solid bits, we move as if we are pure water. Thus transformed we experience the miracles so many long term players report: the disappearance of life-long aches and pains, the easing or even the cure of long-term chronic conditions, the minimizing of negative emotions, the increase in concentration, the sharpening of focus, and the rise of non-dual perceptions as the illusion of separation from the world around fades.


Arthur Rosenfeld "TAI CHI, the perfect exercise"


“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein


“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.” Mantak Chia


 “When a fool sees the Tao, he laughs. Otherwise it would not be the Tao.” -Tai Chi parable


 “One who thinks everything should be easy inevitably finds everything difficult.” Lao Tzu


“Eliminating blame cultivates patience and the ability to forgive ourselves or others when we or they fall short of perfection.”- Dr. Robert Chuckrow


“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” - Carl Gustav Jung


“The white man builds very large fire and sits far away; the Indian builds a small fire and sits close by.”- Cherokee parables


Being able to say; ‘I’ll try again’, is one of the deepest expressions of faith in oneself.”- Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt


“The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and watch someone else doing it wrong, without comment.” Theodore H. White


Eight forces sustain creation:

Movement and stillness,

Solidification and fluidity,

Extension and contraction,

Unification and division.




“There are two kinds of liars; those who want others to believe them, and those who want to believe themselves.” Scott Turrow


“Embrace your pain, for there your soul will grow.” Carl Jung


“Anyone can teach a gifted student, the real test of a teacher’s skill is how accomplished his novice students are.” EC McGilvery


“The truth dazzles gradually, otherwise the world would go blind.” Emily Dickinson


“What we do not make conscious, emerges later as fate.” Carl Jung


“Defining things limits them.” – Dr. Robert Chuckrow


"Every idea was once an absurdity; every custom was once an eccentricity"  A. Einstein


"Only the truly mediocre are always at their best." A. Einstein


“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”- Galileo Galilei


“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired. “- Stephen W. Hawking


“In pursuing knowledge, one accumulates daily. In pursuing the Tao, one loses daily.” – Lao Tzu


“Your aim is to change and change again…nature itself ensures that conditions within you and around you are never the same.” Jou Tsung Hwa


“Any ardent human quest teaches us about ourselves.”  Mark Chen


“The lymph fluid does not have a pump (like the heart) to move it around the body. It relies upon physical movement instead. The expansive non tensile movements of Tai Chi are ideal in this respect.” Robert Parry


“One way of making a breakthrough is to think deeply about things other people take for granted.” Jou Tsung Hwa


“The ultimate aim of Tai Chi is to do without method-the response to an attack is a reflex done without cognition.”  Cheng Man-Ching


“Practicing Tai Chi is an opportunity to step out of the addiction to getting the most done in the least amount of time. “ Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt


“Twisting, turning and spiraling should be present either in an overt or hidden way within Tai Chi techniques.” Bruce Franzis


“Like a kinked garden hose, a body that isn’t aligned, relaxed, breathing and visualizing can’t let its energy flow smoothly and efficiently.” From “Tai Chi For Dummies” by Therese Ikonoian


“Let your mind be like a hawk-hunting for a rabbit, let your movement be like a bow-preparing to fire an arrow; when moving-move like a river…” Tai Chi Classics


“All Tai Chi exercises are fundamentally holistic, benefiting the whole body as well as the mind.” - from “The Complete Book of Tai Chi “ ;by Stewart McFarlane


“…the goal, is formlessness.” – Jou Tsung Hwa


 “Tai Chi cannot settle into a dull habit, something they go through absentmindedly, by rote. It becomes an imperative, a kind of necessity, to approach the exercise on very occasion it is done as though going through for the first time… This is partly the reason of why the exercise, no matter how often it is performed, must feel quite spontaneous, as though always being newly explored.” -Wadsworth Likely


“…The speed of a deer, the calmness of a crane, the patience of an ox, the courage of a tiger-all features that a martial artist can expect to attain.”  From The Complete Book Of Tai Chi Chuan by Wong Kiew Kit


“Most students who quit Tai Chi after a short time do so not because Tai Chi is difficult to learn but because their expectations are not satisfied quickly enough. They leave because they do not want to face disappointment. Not wanting to feel the pain of disappointment is often what holds us back…”  Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt


“A toned body that is strong as an ox, as supple as a tiger, and as quick as a striking snake requires a type of strength that is much more complex than just power lifting. To acquire this type of strength requires gaining skills of strength, agility, grace, relaxation, readiness, effective breathing and confident movement. Tai Chi’s simple movements provide all that is needed to retain these qualities for yourself.” From Stay Young With Tai Chi; by Ellae Elinwood


“The first principle is to always use calm against action (calm against excitable). The second calls for using soft against hard (relaxed against tense). The third principle is slow against fast (precise against rushed). And the fourth, single against a group (one technique can defeat many).” Doc Fai Wong


“Through research in the exciting new field of  Craniosacral Osteopathy, a very subtle rhythm has been located. Called the “cranial rhythmic impulse”, …this rhythm, generally 12 to 14 beats per minute, is precisely that at which the Tai Chi form is enacted. One cycle of Yin and Yang around every four or five seconds. Tai Chi seems to work at a level wholly in tune with our body’s most basic rhythmic impulses…” Robert Parry


“Regular practice of Tai Chi helps you to focus your mind without forming rigid attachment to a single point of view. This is known as Tai Chi mind: perceiving the unifying elements of a situation rather than those that divide, and remembering that there is always an element within you of that which you oppose. This perspective on life encourages harmony and a sense of connection.” From Tai Chi Mind and Body by Tricia Yu


“Where the intent goes, the Chi follows.” Waysun Liao


“In Tai Chi there is no final result. Rather, there is a gradual accumulation of benefits…” Dr. Robert Chuckrow


“Ten minutes of Tai Chi is better than ten minutes of sleep.” Cheng Man-Ch’ing


“The most prominent mistake made by many is to misinterpret the word ‘soft’…it also means suppleness; represented by the suppleness of metallic springs. Small wonder, some people regard Tai Chi as an exercise merely for health.” Lee Ying-Arng


“Tai Chi movement may be likened to the movement of a long river.” From The Tai Chi Book by Dr. Robert Chuckrow


“Tai Chi Chuan reconnects the mind to the body, the consciousness to the subconscious and the individual to his environment.”  From Movements of Magic by Bob Klein


“…Tai Chi people speak though maintaining a ‘cool heart even in the direst circumstances.” Return to Stillness by Trevor Carolan


“The Health care industry in the United States is second in size only to the defense industry; an estimated 750 billion dollars annually. The first thing one might conclude is from these figures is that people in the USA must be incredibly healthy. They are not. They are nowhere near as healthy as the Chinese, and comparatively, the Chinese have nothing at all.” -  from The Complete Book of Tai Chi: by Wong Kiew Kit


“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.“  Eleanor Roosevelt


“It is a bloody shame for a man to die, well known to almost everybody-bur unknown to himself.”  Francis Bacon


“I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life."  Anne Rice


“Reality is the enemy of prejudice.” Congressman Barney Frank


“Zen is spiritual ophthalmology.”  Allen W. Watts


"It’s not so much religion per se, it’s false certainty that worries me, and religion just has more than its fair share of false certainty or dogmatism. I’m really concerned when I see people pretending to know things they clearly cannot know."

-Sam Harris


"Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance."

-Bertrand Russell


“Historically, the martial arts have been viewed with some ambivalence by China’s government. While on one hand seen as a source of national pride and a means of improving one’s health and vigor of the masses, the martial arts were also traditionally viewed with suspicion as potentially posing a subversive threat. Many lament the watering-down of the traditional martial arts in their appropriation by the government to become Wu Shu, the “arts of the nation.” Forms have been shortened, simplified, assembled into hybrids by committee, all in the interest of packaging the martial arts as a kind of exhibition sport rather far removed from their traditional origins.” From Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan by Louis Swain.



This was transcribed from the Tai Chi Classics, an ancient anonymous poem.



Keep the thirteen postures close. Do not forget them.


When wishing to move, start from the waist.


Be sensitive to the changes; the slightest shift from full to empty.


Thus you let the chi circulate, like a flow, throughout your body without ceasing.


Invisible in the embrace of stillness lies motion. And within motion, stillness is concealed.


Search for that stillness within motion. Let every movement be filled with awareness and meaning.

If you can approach this, the effort of no effort will appear.


Never abandon your attention to your waist. When the abdomen is light and free the chi will be aroused.


When the lowest vertebrae are upright then the spirit will rise to the top of the head.


The whole body should be pliant and soft. The head suspended; as if from above, by a single hair.


Remain awake, searching for the meaning of Tai Chi itself.


Whether the body bends or stretches, whether it opens or closes, let the natural way be your way.


From the beginning students listen to the words of their teacher. But, with care and effort, they learn to

apply themselves and then skill develops of its own accord.


The first principle of Tai Chi is the awakened mind.


In spirit, be like a cat catching a mouse. Let your manner be like a hawk swooping for a rabbit. Let your

stillness be lie that of a mountain. Let your movement be like that of a river.


Gathering your chi should be like drawing a bow. Releasing your chi should be like loosing an arrow.


Your mind is the general, your chi the flag, your waist the flagpole.


When jing (internal force) moves, it should be like the reeling in of silk.






Personally I read everything I can get my hands on, but, during that process I have found some books which are exceptional. Some of them, simply because they are so thorough and well written, and some because they offer an extraordinary viewpoint, technical principle or idea which makes the work stand out. This is a list of those books.


The Complete Illustrated Guide To Tai Chi; Angus Clark

Teach Yourself Tai Chi; by Robert Parry

Chi Kung, The Chinese Art of Mastering Energy; Yves Requena

Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong, Volume 1: Develop Health and Energy in 7 Simple Movements by Bruce Frantzis

Heal Yourself With Qigong; Suzanne Freidman

Qigong For Total Wellness; Dr. Baolin Wu

The Way of Qigong; Kenneth S. Cohen

The Theory and Practice of Taiji Qigong, Chris Jarmey

Complete Book of Tai Chi; by Stewart McFarlane

Essence and Applications of TajiQuan; by Yang Cheng Fu   (Translated by Louis Swain)

Exploring Tai Chi; by John Loupos

Inside Tai Chi; by John Loupos

Mastering Yang Style TajiQuan; Fu Zhongwen  (Translated by Louis Swain)

Tai Chi As A Path To Wisdom; by Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt

The Tai Chi Book; By Robert Chuckrow Ph.D.

Tai Chi Chuan; by Douglas Lee

Tai Chi Chih! by Justin Stone

Tai Chi Connections; by John Loupos

Through the Western Gate by Rick Barrett





Personal comments by senior teacher Walter Jackson


Martial Art or Self Defense Art:


“Martial Arts” is a common term that elicits all sorts of reactions. Mostly, I think, negative reactions.


It conjures images of people flying, somersaulting backwards or of mean looking tattooed men facing off in so-called “Mixed Martial Arts” contests.


But for most people, health benefits aside, these arts are studied to acquire solid self-defense basics. The fact is that self-defense is not about winning. It is about avoiding harm. Self-defending may include running away, hiding, avoiding or even screaming for help. In action to prevent injury or death the “defender” doesn’t need to win-she simply must avoid losing.


There are no cowards in Nature.


Consider the example of General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. He didn’t necessarily have to win, he just had to avoid losing. Thus he could draw his attackers in against entrenched positions, lead them in confusion going in all directions at once, and keep up a constant terror by using “Hit and Run” attackers to harass and demoralize. Had he not made a couple of blunders during this time, the South might have lasted a good deal longer, and may have actually avoided losing the war.


Thus a defender may stun, confuse or shock an attacker and then escape. The defender, in such a situation, may prevent harm even though the attacker is stronger and more skilled.


Unless you’re interested in being the toughest kid on the block or beating a rival senseless in a contest, self-defense is much easier than martial arts.


You don’t even have to learn to fly.




The Energy of Self Defense


Even today, in Tibet, the practitioners of Tummo, an ancient meditation technique, are able to create enough body heat to dry out ice-cold wet sheets thrown over their bodies. Harvard studies have also shown that these monks can maintain their health at elevations that would cause life threatening Oxygen deprivation in a normal human.


The monks explain that the source of their power is from imagining the “breathing the fire” of the Universe, the energy or Chi, of a woman protecting her young.


There is no more powerful energy; there is no more dangerous creature, than a mother defending her young.


Self-defense energy is the most powerful of all human energies. Hunger, reproduction, and every other drive we experience is not as strong as this energy.


This is why; if like most of us one isn’t really interested in the self-defense aspects of Tai Chi, they will still gain the most benefit from Tai Chi by visualizing the imaginary attacker when practicing.


If self-defense actually is of real interest, you should know that this imaginary attacker, whom we visualize during practice, is very important. Even more important is the “state of mind” during practice. A deeply focused and serious mind during practice, practicing in deadly earnest, is the key.


This is a fact not really understood by many practitioners who think that kata (Karate shadowboxing), and form practice is mere demonstration.


The ancient masters knew that one who trains in earnest is programming the mind to act instantly, without a second thought, if attacked.


Nurturing of the spontaneous nature enables us to acquire and absorb changes in ourselves and make them a part of our character.



The Nature of Practice


Everyone knows that practice makes perfect. Or, at least, it gets us something near perfect. If you decide to become good at throwing darts one of the things you will do is obtain a dartboard and begin practicing.


But, why does it improve our ability?


It is because every time we perform the same movement or process, neural receptors on our cells are “fired”. More important, the number of receptors increases. This has the affect of making our movements even more precise, more refined, smoother and more powerful.


When practicing Tai Chi we use a number of facilities that are rarely used. We reinforce our sense of balance, distance from objects, and research has shown that deeply rooted meditative postures elevate our energy levels.


Many consider standing meditation, form practice and “pushing hands” the foundation of Tai Chi. Each time we do them, we improve just a little bit more.


Ultimately, we must also remember the main reason Tai Chi and Qigong are so absorbing. Why they don’t become boring.


It is because they are meditation in motion. This is not a meditation where one “zones out” to relax. It is a highly active and deeply focused meditation. Doing this a few times a week is in itself, something that makes practice very worthwhile.



The Amazing Demonstration


Many times people have told me of magical demonstrations they have seen. Demonstrations in which a Tai Chi master “just touches” someone and sends them flying. Or, maybe they did it to a whole row of people at once.


Unfortunately, there are many disreputable Tai Chi teachers who use such tricks to inspire awe in potential students, or to sell their books and video programs. There are no such powers.


Next time you see such a performance look closely at the person being pushed or hit. What you will see is that person using their legs and back muscles to make it appear that they are being blown away by the master’s touch.


While it is possible to sends someone flying in that way, it requires a complete whole body movement by the pusher. You should see a flexing of the legs, a rotation of the waist and an upward movement. Most often, you will also see a forceful exhalation from the pusher’s diaphragm, too.


You will also see a sudden wave of force that “shakes” both the pusher and the victim. This explosion of force is called “Fajin” among Tai Chi practitioners. It is not magical, but it does require very sophisticated and fluent movement to perform correctly.


Fajin itself has an addictive power. Many masters have become intoxicated by this compelling power and have damaged themselves internally. There is a high incidence of brain injury and cerebral hemorrhage littering the otherwise proud history of Tai Chi.


In addition, it must be understood that it is very difficult to do this if the victim is deeply relaxed. The victim would need to tense their upper body sufficiently to afford the needed leverage.


Finally, I must note that even though some demonstrations of the second type, the legitimate one, is considered an immoral demonstration by a growing number of experienced Tai Chi practitioners.


This is because doing it properly requires that one perform a “cavity press” on the ribs of the victim. This sudden explosion of force compresses the rib cage, causing a corresponding counter expansion of the compressed area, resulting in a large “bouncing” force through the victim. It is very dangerous.


As Allen Watts once pointed out, mystical language and ideas can sometimes express concepts in ways, which cannot be expressed otherwise. This was true when the students of Tai Chi were illiterate peasants, but in the modern age there is no need for this.



Modern day demystified Tai Chi and Qigong has a sound basis in science and physics. Mysticism is for con artists and “sham” masters.



Everyone’s Doing It Wrong


It’s a funny thing. Most people who do Tai Chi and take it seriously instantly recognize the little imperfections in someone else’s form performance. In fact, virtually everyone I ever saw watch a performance has said it was being done incorrectly.


There are people out there who are so fixed on “doing it right”, that they, no kidding, use a ruler to measure the precise distance of the hand from the face and so on. These are the type of people whom we send in after a battle to bayonet the wounded.


Of course, I also dislike performances by a half-baked performer who has learned only the surface content of Tai Chi, but I have equal dislike for those who “pretty it up” with lots of big circles and superfluous flourishes like we see in competitions.


But, let us not forget what Tai Chi is all about. Especially when it is done as a health exercise.


If someone obviously takes it seriously, and follows the basic rules of rooting, structure, weighting, whole body movement and a focused mind, who cares if it is not textbook perfect.


After all, once one has learned a form, it becomes their form. Just as on two singers ever sing a song precisely the same way, just as our handwriting takes on our personality no matter how hard we try to avoid it, a person’s form grows with subtleties and nuances unique to that person.


Let’s lighten up and enjoy.



Fear Is A Gift


Gavin De Becker’s landmark book, “The Gift Of Fear”, is an exceptional book and a “must read” for any parent. It is also, in my opinion, is a “must read” for anyone learning the internal art of Tai Chi.


De Becker recognizes that fear is a natural and needed facility for avoiding danger. But, it also recognizes that humans, like all other animals in nature, have powerful instinct and intuition. Further, he points out that intuition is a real thing to be taken seriously. Intuition is thought at warp speed.


When you suddenly feel or sense something, what is happening is that your mind is assembling data at a speed beyond that of normal thought.


For example, your mind might recall an overheard conversation from years ago, while also recognizing someone standing to close or holding a gaze too long for comfort, together with dozens of other fragments of information and logic at lightning speed. Trust your intuition. It is the key to awareness, a power we must not allow ourselves to ignore.


How does Tai Chi use this power? It uses it in two important ways. First, we must remember that in doing Tai Chi, we are defending ourselves against an imaginary attacker. But, we must do this in deadly earnest so that our self-programming is accomplished and our innate abilities are awakened.


The latter part of that explanation; the part about “deadly earnest” is the part not understood by those who claim forms, shadowboxing or kata are useless. The ancient masters understood this very well.


Second, and also very important, is that practicing the Tai Chi form makes us familiar and comfortable with fear. This prevents us from being paralyzed by fear, but teaches us to react correctly. It does this in a very clever way.


The Tai Chi form exploits our innate fear of falling. As we progress through a form, such as the Yang form, we go through several difficult turns involving the whole body. We begin with simple 45 degree turns, then 90, 135 and even 180 degree turns. It ends with a virtual 360-degree turn. We also learn to walk backwards, sideways and to suddenly change direction in difficult ways. As we discover, doing these in a calm, centered and poised way teaches us not to over react to the fear of falling and to maintain a poised, relaxed status even when performing very trying movements.


As Master Robert Chuckrow once said, being consciously balanced, centered and relaxed in our body teaches us to stay calm, centered and relaxed in our mind.


Or as Carl Jung said, “Embrace your fear, for there your soul will grow.”



Why Practice Tai Chi So Slowly?


The very slow practice of Tai Chi often mystifies typical martial artists. Their conventional wisdom is that to be fast, you practice fast.


This is one of the paradoxes presented by Tai Chi practice.


It is easy to understand from a health perspective. Very slow movement, focusing on all the requirements of slow, meditative, deep breathing, relaxation, rooting, structure, weighting, whole body movements and directing the Chi with the mind-that calls for slow and deeply focused movement.


Another not so obvious benefit is that slow practice enables one to exercise the body to a level we normally can’t reach, because the lungs and heart become too stressed.


Most beginner’s classes begin at moderate speed because slow, or very slow practice is too taxing for beginners. Gradually, over time, the teacher slows the performance down. By the time several classes have been done, the class is moving very slowly.


Advanced practitioners practice at different speeds. Slowing the 37-posture form way down, so that it requires 20 minutes. That’s a workout. But, the advanced practitioner will also practice a moderate speed (say 8 minutes) and very fast (2-3 minutes).


But, advanced practitioners will also tell you that slow practice enables them to move at blinding speed. This is because the deeply relaxed but explosive spiraling POWER of Tai Chi requires that all of the many principles are followed. One who has trained his mind and body slowly is able to do this movement easily.


Could the same be accomplished with fast practice? For most of us, the answer is no. We automatically use shortcuts, excessive muscle contraction and especially momentum, to move that fast.


Besides, if you generate Chi in a movement, think how much more you can generate if you stretch it out in slow, slow movement.



You Are A Child Of The Stars: Taoism, Quantum Physics and the Big Bang


Even the most staunchly religious among us must recognize that many great minds combined with advanced technology have proven that our Universe is expanding outward. Further, the math proves that it has been doing do for about 14 Billion years.


In the realm of science, the word “theory” has a very different meaning. It is not an educated guess. It is a set of facts and a conclusion that is subjected to testing by many brilliant minds, and no errors found. Only then does hypothesis become theory in science.


But, what caused the Big Bang? That we cannot know. Or, possibly, cannot conceive. But, most of us feel that some sort of consciousness, with focused intention, caused all of this to happen.


After all, as Allen Watts said, have you ever considered ‘Why is there is anything at all?’ Why is there existence, matter, anything? After all, existence is effort. Intention.


What’s more, it is difficult to ignore the metaphor when applied to humankind. We ourselves arise from the microscopic and, in a relative twinkle of time, expand into (big bang) full-grown beings. And, each of these big bangs results in subsequent big bangs, (our children), into infinity. We are born and grow in the body of another being, and then we ourselves do the same thing.


That intelligence, that intention, stays with us all our lives. As Dr. Joe Dispenza said, “this is the intelligence that pumps blood, manages millions of chemical changes per second and enables us to acquire new skills which become second nature. All of this is involuntary and cannot be overruled by our minds. This is what Yoga and Tai Chi practitioners call “the Subtle Body”. This is the  Energy body”, or “Rainbow Body” concept of the Taoists. They do not call it God, but consider how much more logical this is than the hyper simplified concept of some pastoral Great Father watching over us.


It is also important to remember that the Taoism written about in the Tao Te-Ching is not a warm, embracing, benevolence; nor is it cruel, it simply is.


Consider too, that one of our newest sciences; Quantum Physics, and our oldest eastern and native shaman’s philosophies conclude that matter is a temporary state, visible and felt by our limited senses, but that everything in the Universe is composed of energy in different forms, traveling at different speeds. And, as Louis Allen Selzer observed, all matter is breaking down into energy.


Therefore, we must see that no new matter has been added to the Universe, but that original stellar matter and energy have just changed form. And, that we humans and all that we can see, are made of the same stellar matter that has existed since the beginning of time itself.


When performing Tai Chi or Qigong, it is very useful to remember this, and to see our own intention can be used to mobilize the chi (energy) of the Universe to strengthen, balance and cleanse.


We are the Children of the Stars.



Mimicry Is A High Form Of Learning


Humans and primates have this innate ability to acquire skill at movement by “aping” or mimicking someone else.


This is what most training in Qigong and Tai Chi is really all about. Most of the time we are following a teacher and trying to move like them.


This is a very effective method of absorbing the art at a subconscious level. When we impersonate we can absorb not just the movement, but the attitude, demeanor and feelings of the person we are imitating. At first we try to be a carbon copy of the person we imitate, but when one has truly immersed themselves in the movement, it becomes their own movement, taking on its own unique quality.


But, there is more to this than just imitating. Closely following another persons movement, we finely tune and sharpen our reflexes at a very deep level. If you watch a football team preparing for a game, you will see that they go through similar drills of quick hand movements, sidestepping and comparable movements just before the game to sharpen the team’s reflexes.


Later, when one has learned to perform the solo pantomimes by themselves, they are programming their minds and their nervous systems in a very powerful way. When done with the proper state of mind, this is the most effective way to communicate directly with our subconscious.


Imitation isn’t just the highest form of flattery; it’s the highest form of learning.



The Tai Chi Classics


This was transcribed from the Tai Chi Classics, an ancient anonymous poem.



Keep the thirteen postures close. Do not forget them.


When wishing to move, start from the waist.


Be sensitive to the changes; the slightest shift from full to empty.


Thus you let the chi circulate, like a flow, throughout your body without ceasing.


Invisible in the embrace of stillness lies motion. And within motion, stillness is concealed.


Search for that stillness within motion. Let every movement be filled with awareness and meaning.

If you can approach this, the effort of no effort will appear.


Never abandon your attention to your waist. When the abdomen is light and free the chi will be aroused.


When the lowest vertebrae are upright then the spirit will rise to the top of the head.


The whole body should be pliant and soft. The head suspended; as if from above, by a single hair.


Remain awake, searching for the meaning of Tai Chi itself.


Whether the body bends or stretches, whether it opens or closes, let the natural way be your way.


From the beginning students listen to the words of their teacher. But, with care and effort, they learn to

apply themselves and then skill develops of its own accord.


The first principle of Tai Chi is the awakened mind.


In spirit, be like a cat catching a mouse. Let your manner be like a hawk swooping for a rabbit. Let your

stillness be lie that of a mountain. Let your movement be like that of a river.


Gathering your chi should be like drawing a bow. Releasing your chi should be like loosing an arrow.


Your mind is the general, your chi the flag, your waist the flagpole.


When jing (internal force) moves, it should be like the reeling in of silk.


The 7 Weaknesses


In ancient times, part of a physicians’ job was to help  change vices into virtue.

This was called "Culturing the virtue". Healing occurred when vices were changed

to virtue.


Taoism, the underlying philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine focused

on changing personalities. The Seven Emotions, fear, anxiety, pleasure, anger,

sympathy, fright and sadness were all considered the main part of Chinese medicine

until the early 1800's.


Thus, anger stimulates qi; pleasure calms qi; anxiety obstructs qi;

brooding coagulates qi; grief reduces qi; fear suppresses qi; and shock disturbs qi.

 During the Han dynasty the 5 elements were used to transform the emotions. The famous

 clinician, Sun Szu Miao, used one emotion to overcome another.




 The Walking Tiger Tai Chi Club