My Weight Disappears

Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 29th, 2009 in Principles, Technique.

We (my Improvers group and I) were half-way through our second stab at playing the form tonight, and the weirdest thing happened. There was a shift in my single weight, and for a few moments, all I could feel was the contact I was making with the floor (which I’m normally aware of) … and nothing else.

My single weight’s not bad normally (it certainly stands up to scrutiny during class, which is a good start), but this was different. This was a connection with the ground that I’ve not come to before. I don’t know what it was, or how really to describe it, but I’m going to be looking out for it in future and seeing if I can achieve it again and study it further.

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September Tai Chi Podcasts

Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 29th, 2009 in Podcast.

Every September is a new academic year, which means I’m back teaching twice a week (three times if you count Saturday mornings, although those aren’t really classes as such) … and that means regular podcasts once again. I hope you find them interesting and informative.

I don’t get a lot of feedback on the podcasts, so I’m not sure whether they’re really of any interest to anyone. If you enjoy them, let me know in the comments.

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Open Source T’ai Chi :)

Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 21st, 2009 in Books, News, Teaching.

Over the past two years, I’ve been working on a set of notes for my Beginners’ class. With the help of feedback from my students, the notes have been polished, tried and tested, and I’m now happy enough with them to share them online for anyone else who is interested in reading them.

To make my notes easy to find, I’ve added a new Class Notes page to the website which lists all of the notes I’ve uploaded. I still need to finish off and publish my T’ai Chi for Improvers notes, plus the notes I’m scribbling away about my own practice!

And, to make my notes as free as possible, I’m licensing them under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 (UK) license. This license allows you to re-use my notes, and to make your own version of these notes, provided you give the original author (me) credit and that you also distribute your own version of the notes under the same license.

This makes our T’ai Chi notes a Free Cultural Work.

Why am I doing this?

  • Our art has a tradition going back at least to Yang Cheng’fu in the 1930’s of sharing everything we know. This means you don’t have to take any modern teacher’s word on T’ai Chi; you can go and track down a translation of Yang Cheng’fu’s book and see for yourself.
  • When my teacher died, his surviving family chose to withdraw the two instructional aids he had made during his lifetime (videos of both himself and his teacher playing the form). This sadly means that my students (and, in time, their students) cannot compare their own understanding and practice to that of the teachers who went before me. My own work, such as it is, is now a Free Cultural Work and can never be withdrawn from my students when I die.

I hope you find these notes helpful, and I’m always keen to receive feedback to help me improve them still further.

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July Tai Chi Podcast Round-up

Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 21st, 2009 in Podcast.

Here s a list of the Tai Chi podcasts that I published in July through AudioBoo, before heading off on my summer vacation. I hope you find them interesting and informative.

There were no podcasts in August, as unfortunately I’ve been recovering from a car crash. However, the academic year starts again in September, so expect plenty of podcasts once more 🙂

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