Ng Family Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan

Stuart is both a student of, and instructor in, the Ng Family's take on Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, under the instruction of Robert Earl Taylor.

Follow his discussions on studying the art and also on his experiences teaching the art to the next generation.

Lighting The Way Home

Where Do You Play?

Posted by Stuart Herbert on February 21st, 2010 in Benefits, Podcast, Your Practice.

This blog post was originally published as a podcast in June 2009. I’m slowly transcribing all of my podcasts, to share them with my readers who either cannot play podcasts on their computer, or who simply prefer reading instead of listening.

If you learn your T’ai Chi as part of a class, do you only ever practice indoors in a training hall, or do you go out and practice outside?

One of the great joys of this time of year for me (remember I recorded this in June before the record-busting winter snows beset us all!) is to watch my Beginners’ Class as it comes to an end make that transition to joining us on a Saturday morning practicing outdoors down at the Knapp out by the sea or, on wet days like today, down undercover in Whitmore Bay.

It is a completely different experience playing T’ai Chi outside, and a much better one, I think personally. And, the reaction of people who have made that transition is always very positive too. You’ve got the whooshing of the sea and the waves and you’re no longer constrained by four walls. It’s just you, the sun, sea, and the wind.

So if you’ve never tried playing T’ai Chi outside, please go and do so. I hope you’ll find it as much an enjoyable experience as we do.

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Podcasts Updated

Posted by Stuart Herbert on February 21st, 2010 in Podcast.

I’ve updated my podcasts page to add in all of the T’ai Chi podcasts that I’ve recorded up to February half-term. As usual, each podcast focuses on something notable that came out of one of my Tuesday or Thursday classes, or out of my own practice.

Have a listen; I hope you find something helpful in there.

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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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Tai Chi Classes: Enrolment Dates

Posted by Stuart Herbert on August 30th, 2009 in Classes, News.

If you live in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan or the surrounding area and would like to learn Tai Chi, why not come along to one of our enrolment events in September?

  • Saturday 5th September 2009: 10am to 1pm, at Palmerston Adult Education Centre, Barry.
  • Wednesday 9th September 2009: 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at Barry Comprehensive.

I’ll be there to answer any of your questions about Tai Chi or the course, and hopefully to convince you to join our classes. The classes themselves start later in September, and will be on Thursday nights at the Barry Island Community Centre.

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Teaching Tuesday Night

Posted by Stuart Herbert on August 24th, 2009 in Classes, News.

Just a quick note to tell everyone that there will be a class on Tuesday night (25th August), 7pm, Barry Island Community Centre as previously arranged.

My banged-up knee came through my first full practice on Saturday, so I’m up for testing it for a full two-hour class on Tuesday. Hope to see all my students there!

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Back To Classes On Saturday

Posted by Stuart Herbert on August 16th, 2009 in Classes, News.

I’m planning to be back down the Knapp on Saturday 22nd August as normal. I’ve got some ligament damage in my knee from the car accident, so I’ve got to take it a bit easy, but I’m looking forward getting back to training 🙂

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Tonight’s Class Cancelled

Posted by Stuart Herbert on August 4th, 2009 in Classes, News.

Apologies for the short notice, but I’ve had to cancel tonight’s class at Barry Island Community Centre. My wife and I were in a car accident last week, and unfortunately I’m not able to travel to tonight’s class.

I hope the next Tuesday class (planned for 25th August) will go ahead. I don’t know yet whether or not I’ll be at the Knapp on Saturday morning.

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