Books & Articles on Tai Chi

Tai Chi:

The Dynamics of a Tai Chi Class – what Beginners can expect A question that I am often asked is: “What will your Tai Chi class be like?” – this is a very important question if you are thinking about joining a Tai Chi class for the first time, because the group may be a little different to your expectations. Let me set your mind at rest, though, and give you some ideas to help make your Tai Chi a really enjoyable experience. 

Attending a Martial Arts (Tai Chi) class for beginners – further thoughts –  Attending a martial arts class may well be very different to other activities you have undertaken and it should be remembered that Tai Chi is a martial art – and I believe it is extremely important that this link is maintained. This is part of their paradox which I have written about elsewhere.  So the following are a few personal thoughts drawn from 45 years’ experience, which may forewarn and help a beginner to navigate and benefit from a class.

Take one for the team – invest in loss Here’s an idea – think of yourself as a committee – and your body and your mind and your spirit as sub-committees – then work on strengthening the weakest part and developing good connectivity.

Guidelines for practising Tai Chi and Tai Chi Exercises – important points for beginners some ideas for beginners coming to Tai Chi classes for the first time – or just getting into it. They may also be particularly useful where health and mobility are significant issues

The History of Tai Chi – The story of Tai Chi from its beginnings in the 1600s to the present day

A Western View of Chi – some thoughts on what sense we might make of “Chi” from a western science perspective – an effort to translate between Chinese and English cultures. More recent thoughts on Chi also at the end of Tai Chi – important behaviours

Beginners Guide to the Development of Internal Feeling in Tai Chi – thoughts on internal feeling/awareness which is so important to progress in Tai Chi

Question and answer session – extracts from a conversation with a friend covering ideas about martial arts in general and Tai Chi in particular

Chi and Body mapping and muscle power – further thoughts on a western interpretation of Chi and how it is of value in Tai Chi. 

My trip to the home of Tai Chi 2013 – Ian went on a 2 week trip to China – to visit the Chen village of Chenjiagou in Henan province and to train with Master Chen Xiaowang for a week. The group went via Beijing and Zhengzhou – taking in tourist time in Beijing, at the Shaolin Temple and the Buddhist Longmen Caves on the Li river.

Tai Chi for Health:

The Health/Martial Arts Link – being used to an external art for many years it intrigued me how Tai Chi works as a practice for health and a martial arts – actually it is quite straightforward.

Tai Chi for a good back – Tai Chi focuses a great deal on the back and its use – what can we learn for daily life?

How Tai Chi links to Western models of medicine, biology, neuro-science, quantum physics, psychology etc – really unfinished notes – but they give the gist of how and where links and comparisons may be made so as to improve a western understanding of this very Chinese art. 

Levels of exercise – why not go all out? –  Tai Chi is linked in the public mind with very slow movement and the appearance of ease – why do we do that? Why do we not go all out?

A few thoughts on meditation – a simple approach to meditation with a physical dimension

Tai Chi for Personal Development:

Half a lifetime in martial arts – some personal experiences of the wider territory covered over 38 years

Development of a Sword – thoughts on personal development using the metaphor of a sword

Fighting for Life – a broad look at martial arts from a personal perspective – some thoughts on their practice and their cultural aspects

Mindfulness in Tai Chi – mindfulness is core to Tai Chi and many if not all martial arts – especially those associated with Taoist or Buddhist ideas on meditation.

Feedback and Education in Tai Chi – feedback is essential in martial arts practice – especially in developing the skill of Tai Chi – but not so common in life?

Nobody ever said that a Zen Master had to be patient! – focused around the question – “what is a balanced human being?”

Physical awareness and non-verbal communication – how we differ in these aspects and where we meet them in life

The Martial Arts Path of Personal and Social Development – A piece containing thought provoking ideas and observations linking martial arts and life with a view to learning what goes on in life and why – and how we can develop to deal with it. 

A few useful strategies – Not really martial arts or Tai Chi – but some hopefully useful strategies and observations drawing on some martial art approaches

Martial Arts Principles and Techniques in our Daily Lives – a description of how martial arts can inform our daily lives in a very positive way

Tai Chi for Martial Arts:

Tai Chi – important behaviours – what behaviours would be helpful in a physical conflict situation and how would they help?

Moving Across the Spectrum – An early piece written in a time of transition from Karate to Tai Chi and before I started Chen Style – or met my current teacher Karel Koskuba or his teacher Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang

Internal Time – when we are in stressed situations like a car crash time seems to slow – how do we do that? How can we use it?

Relaxation-Speed-Power-Flexibility – Some notes on Relaxation, Speed, Power, Flexibility – a Physical, Mental and Emotional Triangle looking at what we mean by these terms and how they are linked. This piece was written many years ago but I still believe is essentially correct and hopefully a useful piece of the jigsaw.

More to Martial Arts than just Technique – how do martial arts play across to daily life?

What Are Martial Arts Really About – the “way” of martial arts 

Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Martial Arts – some of the problems involved in teaching and learning martial arts – and some ideas on dealing with them

Models for Internal Development and their Application in Martial Arts – An early piece – written when I was transitioning from Karate to Tai Chi and so perhaps useful also to readers in a similar situation.

Returning to Source – Cutting the Crap – the water runs clearest nearest the spring they say – it is at least worth going for a look!

Falls Prevention:

Considerations on Tai Chi in the role of Falls Prevention – a white paper on the planning of a Falls Prevention program and issues around it from a Tai Chi perspective

Tai Chi for Carers:

Tai Chi for Carers – a white paper explaining how basic tai chi exercises may be delivered to the community by a series of seminars aimed at carers.

Tai Chi for Carers Seminar Syllabus

Tai Chi for Sports:

Application of Tai Chi practice to other activities, e.g. golf, swimming, football, manual work etc – ” You can put Tai Chi into anything – but you can’t put anything into Tai Chi” – probably because if it was useful then Tai Chi people borrowed it a long time ago!

“Tai Chi for Golf” Whitepaper – ” How can Tai Chi improve your Golf?