TCM notes for week of 4/19/2014: Yin and Yang

4/17/2014 East and West history: Eastern and Western medicine overview:

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical system that takes a deep understanding of the laws and patterns of nature and applies them to the human body.

TCM is a holistic medical system which combines the use of acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, massage, and physical movement like Qigong and Tai Chi, to bring body into balance.

Western medicine looks closely at a symptom and tried to find an underlying cause, TCM looks at the body as a whole. Each Symptom is looked at in the relationship to all other presenting symptoms. The goal of the TCM practitioner is to assess the entire constitution of the patient—considering both physiological and psychological aspects.

The practitioner first observes the general characteristics of the patient, then tries to discern a relationship between symptoms in order to establish what is called a “pattern of disharmony”.
Treatment is aimed at restoring harmony and brining the body into balance.

Basic concepts:
I. Qi and Blood:
-the circulating life energy that in Chinese Philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things.
-Blood: meaning jing, hormones, lymph, yin, and blood.
-Qi: meaning: yuan, kong, gu, zhen, zong, ying, and wei varieties.
Nutrition Qi is ying qi. Helped with herbs and acupuncture.
Defensive Qi or Wei qi is helped with Tu-Na, Dao-yin, Qigong, Tai chi, etc.

II. Yin and Yang theory:
The shape of the yin sections of the symbol, actually gives you a sense of continual movement of these two energies, yin to yang, and yang to yin,
causing everything to happen: just as things expand and contract and temperature changes from cold to hot.
-Inside vs outside
-lower vs higher part.
-softer part vs. harder part.
-Blood vs. Qi.
- Lu,Sp,Ht,Kd,Pc,Lv vs. Li,St,Si,Bd,Sj,Gb.
-Yin is important part and essential part (holds things in).
-Yang is less important in terms of life threating (it passes through).

Yin/yang- balance, understand one is stronger and weaker. Restore the balance, know the proportions of yin and yang.

Upper Body- Yang, Face is hottest part.
Lower Body- Yin, feet is coldest part.
When you are Sick- face gets extra hot, feel temperature at forehead, this is a way to measure if it is a blood circulation problem due to excessive heat. Use cold towel to help balance.
When sick- warm-up the feet in the Yin part.

Men- are more Yang body is warm and hot temperature.
Women are colder more Yin, because of blood loss monthly. Tend to cold limbs. This changes at menopause when menstruation stops. Body will begin to get warm, thus ‘hot flashes’.
Healthy women- adjust to menopause in weeks’ time and get used to new internal system.
Unhealthy women- takes several years to adjust, have a hard time adjusting to new internal system.

Use common sense, listen to your body.
One thing is that in some western practices they may have mother who just gave birth take a cold bath. Taking a cold bath is not good after giving birth.
It is best to use warm. In Asian culture many new mothers are expected to stay away from cold 100 days after giving birth. Warm heals faster than cold.
Ice and cold are for pain, but if you do not feel a lot of pain and are just sore, use heat. Some women have a heat linament rubbed on legs after giving birth.

Yin and yang are relative:
-water is yin, but water is yang because ice is yin.
-fire is yang, but fire is yin, and laser is yang.
Age: boy is yang, but old man is yin.
Yin and yang standout in people, for example: Old woman has a very yang personality, but is old and female: yin.

Front of body is yin (soft organs) while back of body ins yang (hard bones of spine). However this is for upper body, lower part of body, front is yang (hard bones of knee) and back of legs are Yin (soft muscles).

Change happens in months, conditions of patient change with the seasons. A herb prescribed 6 months ago may not be needed to be taken. A new diagnosis may be needed to determine if you still need same herb or new formula.

Acupuncture and herbs combination:
Acupuncture is like teaching someone how to study, and herbs is like extra material a teacher will give to improve the studying: books, charts, handouts. Herbs add more help to the acupuncture. This is a good combination.

The patient is sick, you have to find out how they got sick, not just fix the symptoms of the sickness. Interview the patient, find where/how they got sick.
A patient says is feeling better and ask if they can stop taking the medicine: If you stop taking a shower will you stop getting dirty? You will get dirty, thus you will get sick.
Example: a patient with high blood pressure stops taking medicine, high blood pressure will come back.

3 types of patients that cannot be healed/cured:
1. Shamanic/faith healer: have irrational ways and lack logic. Example: snake handler religion, think snake/god will take care of sickness.
2. Money greedy: people who sacrifice money over health. Will not spend money on things they will help them and improve life. No exercise, just work to make money.
3. People who keep secrets. Not telling the doctor everything, truth. Not telling about lifestyle or bad habits.

3 ways of getting sickness:
1. Outside/External influence (Evil Qi): virus, bacteria, germs, cold energy, damp, heat, winds, ect.
2. Inside imbalance: food, emotion/stress: excessive joy, anger, fear, worry, sad, over-thinking.
3. Qi/blood Blockage: maybe from outside influence, inside influence or both.

Body signals: Use common sense, listen to your body.
Sometimes the craving you have are from the body and other times from the mind. You need to really sense what your body and mind are saying: for example you are craving seafood, this is salty, your body is telling you need some salt, but wanting something fatty and unhealthy is a mind craving. Eating the food that is not right for you will cause an internal imbalance and blockage.

External/Outside/”Evil Qi” for example it is very cold outside: the cold can get under layers: the skin, under muscles, under the blood vessles and meridians, penetrate to the bones, and finally the Zhang/Fu organs.
(Cold weather sample) into layers:
————blood vessel/meridian
Zhang/Fu organ.
When the outside influence penetrates deep to the bone and organ, it is very hard to fix.
Different methods treat the different layers:
Massage can help with skin, muscle, and blood levels.
Acupuncture helps the deeper layers of meridian, bone, and organ.

5 Element theory:
5 Element theory- heart fire, water kidney. “raise water-drain fire”. Metal- decrease, Wood- expand/rise, Earth- absorb.

5 images used to describe forces, and specific relationship to one another.

5 Elements: personality, body shape, organs, climate, taste, tissue, sense, direction, season, color, yin/yang organ, etc.

Talk on Calcium
- Milk is best for baby (baby cows that is), not adults. Digestion in humans change with age and harder to adjust to dairy when older.
- Milk is not always the best source of calcium.

Yin and yang theory is best for acupuncture, while 5 Element theory is best for Chinese herbs. This is saying that 5 element theory in acupuncture has been researched in the history of chinese medicine and found to be not as useful, using yin-yang theory in acupuncture history found this practice yields better results.

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TCM school notes week of 4/11/2014: East West medicine, Anatomy and Physiology

Western medicine has a progression where old theories die and new theories arise by scientific evidence. Something from 100 years ago is disregarded based on new scientific data and results.

Eastern Medicine has many theories that are used today that date back thousands of years, TCM doctors use many of the medical findings by doctors throughout the history.

5 elements:
1. Water- downward.
2. Fire- radiates.
3. Wood- upward.
4. Metal- destroys.
5. Earth- absorbs.

Chinese has several creation and destruction cycles. One is star pattern, other has Earth in center. See diagram on notes.
Korean has fire in center and with 4 body types. See diagram in notes.
5 zhang- solid organs.- must have or die.
6 Fu- hollow organs, can remove.

High level doctors alter the patient’s lifestyle.
Average doctors- help the internal problem.
Poor doctor- can fix the local problem.

Treating problems that are not healing: treat the part of body/balance not letting the body heal itself.
3 week sports injury- should see healing results after a few treatments.
4 month sport injury not going away- should see results after a 10 or more treatments.
Problem persisting for years: 40 to 50x treatments.

Shennong: herbal godfather, father of agriculture, tested foods and labeled them: cold, cool, warm, hot.

7 types of qi
1. Congential qi: called yaun qi and it is from parents at conception, kidneys-jing.
2. Acquired qi: 6 types.
1. Kong qi- air/lungs
2. Gu Qi- from food
3. Zong qi- collects to heart (yuan+kong+gu)
4. Zhen qi- true qi. Channels.
5. Ying Qi- inside channel, acupuncture/moxa
6. Wei qi- outside channel. Qigong.

Acquired qi- is like a battery.
Congenital qi- like computer memory, cannot change.

Herbs, metals, minerals-
Gold: gathers and promotes circulation
Silver- disperses energy.

Quote: All food is good food, there is no bad food or good food in a dualistic sense, there is only food that is not right for you.

Ginseng: earthy-absorbing.
Chinese and Korean is red are labeled HOT.
American is a white ginseng and is Warming.
Ginseng: uses nutrients from the soil. Once a ginseng is harvested, you cannot plant a crop there for 5-10 years.
It is best to let ginseng grow about 6 years.

Does not add or remove qi, it just moves it around.
Example: if your kidneys are weak and your heart is too strong, a good TCM doctor will move some of the heart qi to the kidney qi.
Acupuncture is a science, not an art of mystery.

Different approaches to treating a patient:
Example: a student has poor grades and not study well.
1. The poor study is due to being hungry, having girlfriend problems. Treatment: feed the hungery, get rid of girlfriend.
2. Poor study: make the student study more.

San jiao- triple warmer- separates body into 3 sections.
A C-section birth cuts the san jiao, can cause san jiao dis-eases.

Winter- do not ‘train hard’ in winter time, do not stress lungs. The Cold air, or “air qi” is weak outside. It can hurt your lungs. gain a few pounds in winter is ok. this will help for Spring time.
Fat/weight gain: men tend to get round in stomach area when weight gain, women accumulate in butt area.

Allergy analogy: If body is strong, allergy is like a 5 year old bully.
If body is weak allergy is like a 300 lb. biker brawler.

Anatomy and Pathology I and II:
Anatomy- ‘cut up’ as in like a cadaver. In modern med school, 6 students share 1 body to cut and learn the entire semester.
Western doctors take anatomy 1 and 2, and Physiology 1 and 2 (4 classes). Eastern students Anatomy and pathology 1 and 2 combined (2 classes).

Physiology- relationship to nature what is function. Anatomist examine body, while physiologists experiment.

Cell- sub atomic, atomic, molecular, macro molecular, organelle, cell, tissue, organ, organ system, organism.

Integumentary systems: skin, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic,etc.

Homeostasis: nervous and endocrine system.

Anatomy /Physiology continued:
Cardio system: heart, arteries, capillaries, veins, blood.
Lymphatic: lymph vessels, fluid, nodes, thymus, spleen.

Cardio and lymph- transport substances throughout internal environment.

Digestive, Respiratory, Urinary systems:
Digestive: break down food into simple forms for digestion.
Respiratory: air/oxygen- in out remove CO2.
Urinary- eliminate waste from blood, water balance, electrolyte balance.

Reproductive system: progeny , new offspring.

Respiratory- breathing/ventilation, move air in and out, exchange of gases.
- Internal: air to blood.
- Lung to blood: blood and body cell.
- Inside cell/cellular: O2 – CO2.
Upper respiratory: Nose, nasal cavity, sinus, pharynx, larynx.
Lower respiratory: trachea, bronchial tubes, lungs.

1. filter warm moist incoming air.
2. detect olfactory/smell.
3. modify vibration of speech.

Nasal Cavity:
Conchae: superior, middle, and inferior: curved mucous layers.


Sinus: drain from sinus into nasal cavity.
Sinusistis: block drainage, infection, increase pressure, headache.

Pharynx: throat: 3 sections-
1. Naso pharynx
2. Oropharynx
3. Laryngopharynx

Larynx: voice box and epiglottis- separate food/air passage.

Medical descriptions:
Anterior: front
Posterior: back
Mid sagittal: side view.

Larynx: voice box and epiglottis- separate food/air passage.
Larynx: paired folds- voice box.
Upper folds: false vocal chords.
Lower folds: true vocal folds.

Anatomy/Physiology II

I. Digestive system-
-GI tract is 30 foot long from mouth to anus.
-Accessory organs: not true part of tube but aid in digestive process.

1. Alimentary Canal: mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestine, anal canal.
2. Accessory organs: teeth, salivary glands, tongue, pancreas, liver, gall bladder.

-Teeth cut and grind.
-Amylase- enzyme of saliva.
-Saliva glands: sublingual under tongue, 2 at ear/masseter muscle (parotid), 2 under mandible (submandibular). (5 total).

Pertioneum- abdominal cavity/membrane
-Only duodenum, pancreas and parts of large intestine are retroperitoneal (cavity wall).
-Doral mesentery suspends GI tract and forms serosa (visceral peritoneum- membrane around organs) of stomach and intestines.
-Ventral mesentery forms lesser and greater omentum: the lacy layer of connective tissue containing lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels and blood vessels.

Lesser and Greater Omentum
Lesser- attaches to stomach and liver.
Greater- covers small intestines like an apron.

Mesentery and Mesocolon
Mesentery- rich blood vessel system of small intestines. It also holds/supports intestines.
Mesocolon- anchors the colon to back of body wall.

Carbs- 2hour in stomach
Fats/proteins- 5 hours in stomach

Oral Cavity/mouth.
-Upper/lower lips
-Superior/inferior labial frenulum- points inside center of lips/gum top and bottom.
-Hard and soft palate-front and back of roof/palatine. Uvula and pharyngopalaine arch.
-Glosso- tongue. Lingual frenulum- line under the tongue.
-Saliva ducts- sublingual.
-Teeth: Adult have 32. Baby has 20. Know the teeth structure.

• Nasopharnx
-Sinus: frontal, sphenoidal,
-Nasal cavity-
-opening of auditory
• Oropharynx
-lips, vestibule, tongue,
- oral cavity ,hard/soft palate.
-uvula, tonsils.
• Laryngopharynx

-25-30cm long: nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium.
-esophageal glands in submucosa.
-skeletal muscle in upper part and smooth in bottom.
-from pharynx to cardiac stomach passing esophageal hiatus in diaphragm.
-enteric nervous: submucosal and myentric plexuses control mobility and secretion in response to stimuli to the mucosa.
-lower esophageal sphincter closes orifice to reflux.
Tissues of GI tract
1. Mucosa (3) Epithelium, lamina propria, and muscularis mucosae.
2. Submucosa
3. Muscularis externa: inner circular layer, outer longitudinal layer for peristalses.
4. Serosa: areolar tissue/mesothelium. Outer to blood vessels and nerves, mesentery.

-Muscular sac with a typical volume of 1 to 1.5 Liter.
-J shape with lesser and greater curvatures.
• Cardiac- inside cardiac orfice
• Fundus- domed portion to esophageal opening.
• Body- main portion of organ.
• Pyloric region: is narrow inferior end with antrum and pyloric canal (opening to duodenum sphincter).
Stomach Wall
• Mucosa- simple columnar glandular epithelium. Lamina proria (inside) is filled with gastric pits.
• Submucosa- veins and artieries.
• Muscularis externa- circular and longitudinal layer of muscle.
• Serosa- outer layer.
Cells of the Gastric glands
• Mucous cells- secrete mucus.
• Regenerative cells- divide and move to surface.
• Parietal cells- secrete HCI acid. Gastric pit and glands.
• Chief cells- rennin, lipase, pepsinogen.
• Enteroendocrine cells- secrete hormones and paracrine messengers.

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Warrior Healers: Acupuncturist, Chiropractors, and Massage Therapist, Hypnotherapists who are Martial Artists. My Network

last update- 4-3-2014


Dr. Eugene Zhang- his clinic is here in Fairfax Va. he is a doctor of TCM and is also a Tai Chi Chuan instructor. he is my current doctor and very good.

Dr. Hon Lee- is a Chinese doctor in Herndon Virginia. Link to clinic here. I first heard of him at Jow Ga Kung fu in Herndon Va.

Dr. Alex Shpigel- San Diego Ca. clinic link. A national champion of Lei Tai fighting using neijia- Taiji, Bagua, Xingyi (Hsing-i). Graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. San Diego Hsing-i
Interview with Alex.

Dr. Tom Bisio- New York. Tom has not only written many books on the subject of healing, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan, he is also a doctor of chinese medicine. Zheng Gu Tui Na. founder of Internal Arts International.

Dr. John Kang- clinic in Richmond Va. link John is a acupuncturist as well as Wing chun disciple of Lo Man Kam. East-West Wing Chun RVA. John is a graduate of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine in Berkeley Ca.

Dr. Dale Dugas- Doctor of Oriental Medicine(DOM) and an Acupuncture Physician. He has studied Southern Mantis, Bak mei, Iron body and palm skills, Taiji, Bagua, Xingyi.
Dale’s blog Graduate of New England School of Acupuncture. Resides in Tampa Florida. Dale on LinkedIn

Dr. Brian Allen- Oriental medicine and health services in Wilmington Delaware. Brian is a teacher and practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan.
Graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

Dr. Celeste Wray- Yuen Accupuncture in Redlands Ca. studied Tai chi, Bagua, Xingyi in Richmond Va. went to 5 Branches in San Jose Ca.

Dr. Fernando Bernall- clinic in Westerly Rhode Island. teaches Tai Chi Chuan, strength training, and other martial arts.

Dr. Ben Ng- Sydney Australia clinic click here. Ben is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine down under in Australia. He is a very good push hands practitioner studied in the Yang Tai Chi chuan lineage of Fu Zhong Wen. other site here.

Dr. Christian Saint-Pierre- is a registered acupuncturist in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada who practices Taiwanese acupuncture. I also practice Yang Taijiquan and XiangShan Ziranmen.

Dr. Amy Tseng- no information available at this time.
Dr. David Walls-Kaufmann- Capitol Hill Chiropractic. David is a long time student for Ben Lo. His Tai Chi website here. he is a graduate of Palmer College.

Massage Therapists

Ray Abeyeta- El Paso Texas. Ray is a Reiki healer besides Tai Chi instructor. Link here.

Matt Stampe I will include myself. My website While I do not practice massage much anymore and have let my license with Virginia Board of Nursing expire, I continued my education at as a student of TCM to be an acupuncturist. I do bodywork on various combat athletes and competitors in fight sports when asked.

Diosodao Santiago- Greater New York area. is an instructor in cheng Man Ching Tai chi and is a massage therapist. Link here:
Physical Therapists

Chris Jurak PT- Chris utilizes a unique combination of manual therapies. He is a long time student and teacher of Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong. LinkedIn here.


Dr. Kenneth Fish in Gaithersburg Maryland, is a Osteopath/Chiropractor and a long time practitioner and teacher of Hsingyi, Tong Bei, Wing Chun, Boxing, and Taijiquan among other
rare styles and qigong. Clinic link in Maryland

Hypnotherpists(click on name to get to website.)
Juan Maldonado- is a Tai Chi Chuan, qigong, and boxer/Muay Thai fighter. practitioner in Los Angelas Ca.
BA in Psychology from CSUN, Cert. in Hypnosis by ICBCH and American Hypnosis Association, Certified Taiji and Qigong instructor by Center for Holistic Arts. Twitter

Michael Pekor- Long Island NY, Mike is a push hands champion that does Tai chi chuan and Wing Chun.

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Cheng Man Ching’s students with permission to teach the “Yang short form”

Attn: refresh web browser. last update: 4-18-2014
A Lighthouse for approved Cheng Man Ching’s Tai Chi Chuan instructors in USA*
Since I have lived in the Washington DC metro area, I have come across many folks who teach the “Yang Short form” that was designed by Cheng Man Ching. Robert W. Smith (RWS) is the main influence in this area and was a Zhang Men Ren or Lineage Holder. Mr. Smith taught a free Taiji class at the Bethesda YMCA parking lot on Saturday morning’s beginning in 1962.

He also offered a class near his home in Bethesda at Fleming Park where he started a group interested in Pa-kua Chang and Hsing-I Chuan . This group still meets to this day to practice every Sunday mornings at 8 am. Surprisingly, I recently re-read “Martial Musings” by RWS, his disdain for many folks he taught, whom either came to the YMCA a few times, or later became “teachers” without having spent significant time under his watchful eye. Nor had these folks have his permission to teach. This is completely understood in regards to developing real ‘kung fu’ since time, practice, and correction is needed for an art as sophisticated at Tai Chi Chuan (Grand Ultimate Boxing) to master in the early years of fundamental training. Often times students who are actually doing the work long term with a instructor are quite aware of who comes and who goes, who does the work and who doesnt. It is very much about who put in the time with teacher, who is progressing, and who is in the teachers inner circle. It is unfair to those who have done years of deep work and study with a qualified teacher and received a teachers grace. This is stealing an art and does not coincide with ‘Wu De’, “Martial virture”.

Here I will list some of the “approved” and well known students of Robert W. Smith, William CC Chen, T.T. Liang, “Abraham” Liu Chen Huan, Liu Hsi-heng, and Ben Lo as well as some others based on conversations with senior level students. This is to give clarity for future students since there seems to be many un-approved teachers of Cheng Man Ching’s Yang Short form and people un-certified to be teaching and giving students permission to teach.

First lets talk about Cheng Man Ching’s early years Taiwan “Shr Jung” school and his students:
Some of these include: (no particular order)
Benjamin Lo,
Liu Hsi-heng,
Hsu I-chung,
Dr. Ping-Siang Tao,
Robert W. Smith,
T. T. Liang,
William C. C. Chen,
Huang Sheng Shyan,
“Abraham” Liu Chen Huan.
Wu Kou-Chong- Malaysia.
Hsu Fun Yuen,
Yi Chung Bo- Taiwan,
Cheng Hsing Yu- (deceased).
other Shr jung instructors list here at: 37Tai’s Instructor List

In 1964, Cheng Man Ching taught in New York city. (In no particular order)
Tam Gibbs (deceased),
Lou Kleinsmith,
Ed Young,
Mort Raphael,
Maggie Newman,
Stanley Israel (deceased), his student is Mario Napoli
Herman Kauz,
Victor Chin,
Y Y Chin,
Jon Gaines,
Natasha Gorky,
Wolfe Lowenthal,also list of CMC student links on Wolfe’s page
Ken VanSickle,
Jane and Bataan Faigao (deceased), Rocky Mountain Tai Chi Center
Don Ahn,
Carol Yamasaki,
Saul Krotki,
Liam Comerford.
Sifu Bill Phillips: Patience Tai Chi instructors
Judyth Weaver,
Robert Ante,
Lawrence Galante,
Robert Chuckrow.
Patrick Watson- School of Tai Chi Chuan

William CC Chen (WCCC): Is one of the longest students of Cheng Man Ching and has competed in full contact fight events. He is one of the most Senior alive today. His children Tiffany and Max Chen were also groomed and have competed in many nationally and internationally representing the USA team in various countries. WCCC has his list public on his website of his approved teachers: Link is here, click.
T.T. Liang’s known students:(unofficial)
Don Ethan Miller- Mastodon productions
Stuart Alve Olson
Gordon Muir
Paul Gallager
Jonathan Russell
Ray Hayward
Paul Abdella
List of Ben Lo’s approved disciples/students who teach:(No particular order)
Carol Yamasaki in Michigan
Pat Culotti in Wisconsin
Garret Chinn – Bay Area. SF Ca
Dr. David Walls-Kaufman- Washington DC
Lenzie Williams- Berkeley CA
Kim Kanzelberger- Kansas
John Crouse- Richmond Va.
Julian Chu- Fairfax Va.
Scott Meredith- Tokyo Japan
Larry Mann (deceased),
Donald Davis- Tidewater Tai chi, Norfolk Va.
Bert Brown is teaching in Santa Cruz
Michael Hackshaw- Germany
Darin Henry- Phoenix AZ
Peter Kwok- San Francisco
Terry Li (deceased)- San Francisco
Kayo Robertson- Utah
Ed Chan – Los Altos, CA
Pak Chan – Cupertino, CA
Alan Kepner – S.F., CA
Don Gillaspie – Marin, CA
Cottie Morrison – Ukiah, CA
Tana Farnsworth – Las Vega, NV
Pamela Zilavy – S.F., CA
Nellie Donovan – Santa Cruz, CA
Lee Scheele- Coasta Mesa Ca.
Robert Davis
Wayne Abramson
Marvin Feldman
Michael Jang
Sam Edwards
Tricia Yu- Taos, NM
Arnold Lee- Rockville MD
Tom Krapu and Michael David- St. Louis MO (St. Louis Tai Chi Chuan Association)
David Chen (deceased), Joanne Chen (wife).
The top students of Robert W. Smith on the “list” to teach: (No particular order)
Note: There were originally 3 lists: one of students who teach Tai Chi Chuan, and a second of those who teach Pa-kua and Hsing-i, 3rd who teach all three.
Tai Chi Chuan
Warren Conner,
Len and Ellen Kennedy,
Michael Ward,
Pat Kenny
Rayned Wiles
Pa-kua and Hsing-i
Bart Ingram,
Paul Cote,
Dainis Jergenson,
Kirk Talbott,
Stu Scantlebury,
Jay Falleson,
John Lang,
Steve Goodson,
Jim Hill,
Billy Fox,
Russ Mason.

Huang Sheng Shyan (disciple of Cheng Man Ching)- Unofficial Link of instructors here.
(in no particular order)
Lau King, video
Patrick Kelly,
Choong Chi Pin,
Wee Kee Jin,
Yek Sing Ong,
Foong Choon Sang.
Liu Hsi-heng: (Official list no particular order)

Bill Tucker- Canada
Jeff Herrod- Catonsville, MD.
Daniel Pfister- Davis, CA.
Mark Lord – Reno, NV (deceased)
Rick Halstead – San Francisco, CA
Mike Moran – Chicago, IL
Danny Emerick – Tallahassee, FL
Michael Schnapp – Taipei, Taiwan
Yuan Wei-ming – Taipei, Taiwan
Mark Hennessy – Taichung, Taiwan
Lin Farley – Vista, CA
Barbara Davis – Minneapolis, MN
Stephane Moreaux – Taipei, Taiwan
Alex Makapa – Taipei, Taiwan
Daniel Altschuler – Seattle, WA

Abraham Liu- (Unofficial list)
Gene Walder
Bill Helm- San Diego, Ca.
Terry Dunn
Chris Luth
Ted Purpero
Jesse Tsao
Kip Leggett
Ted Kardash

Future Section: Links to other 3rd and 4th generation teachers of Cheng’s Yang short form (starting from CMC as 1st generation).
Diosdado Santiago- student of Lou Kleinsmith.
Michael Pekor- student of Bill Phillips.
Avi Schneier- student of Bill Phillips.
Lee and Beth Fife- students of Jane and Bataan Faigao in Colorado. Rocky Mountain Tai Chi
Patrick Kelly’s students network: List of students of Huang’s style International.
Patrick Watson schools- Tai Chi foundations International
Alan Pittman (former student of Mr. Robert W. Smith who authored Pa-kua and Hsing-i books with him in 90′s ).
Other Lineage tracing sites, points of interest:
Why so many Yang Styles? great list here from 1820 and on.
Thoughts on Ranking, testing, certificates, etc.- thoughts on Pros/cons by Sam Masich.
A CMC Family Tree- another listing attempt by someone else, cites emails, discussions.
Thoughts on Yang Family Lineage discussion on the Yang Sau-Chung 4th generation Yang Family.
Yang Jun accepts disciples
Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming discusses his lineage.
Yang Family online Temple
Northwest Tai Chi Chuan Association- Tchong Ta-tchen (Canada)- lineage from Yang Shao-hou to Hsiung Yang-ho
Guang Ping Tai Chi Association- Lineage info

Links to other sites with Certified Instructors of Tai Chi Chuan

Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan
Yang Family Tai Chi Association International (Yang Zhen Dou and Yang Jun)
World Yongnian Tai Chi Association- Fu Zhong Wen/Fu Sheng Yuan/James Fu.
Dong Hu Ling- Honolulu, Hawaii, maintained by Dong Zhen Chen, Chip Ellis
Tung Family Taijiquan- Alex Dong’s list of instructors

Wu Family Tai Chi
Wu Family Tai Chi Chuan International (Wu Chien Chuan branch)

Wu/Hao Tai Chi chuan
Wu/Hao Taijiquan: Lineage in China and abroad.

Chen Tai Chi Chuan
The 4 Tigers are: Chen Xiao Wang, Chen Zhen Lei, Wang Xian and Zhu Tian Cai.
Chen Xiao Wong’s USA disciples- List of CXW cert. instructors.
Chen Zhen Lei- website here.
Wang Xian- website here
Zhu Tian Cai’s website here
other Chen, Xiaobao, Li, other:
Chen Yu’s Taijiquan- list of instructors

International Hunyuan association of Feng Zhiqiang. site in Chinese, English site not working last check.
Chen Practical method international- Chen Zhonghua

*sources: This list is as complete as I digged into research, it is to be a guide for new students. Be aware of who your teacher is and where they are coming from. Seek the right path. Some are disciples while others have “permission to teach”, buyer beware, based on conversations and emails with Danny Emerick, Bart Ingram, David Walls-Kaufmann, Scott Meredith, Daniel Pfister,, Paul Gallager, Terry Dunn, Tom Krapu, (sorry if I missed anyone), Lee Fife, and sources online CMC Wikipedia.

Follow the principles to the letter, do the work, relax, and get back to your martial discipline with diligence!!

Posted in Tai Chi Chaun/Taijiquan, Teaching Insights and Lessons | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy Chinese Year of the Horse- go tree hugging!

Happy Chinese New Year 2014.

In the Chinese Astrology and Feng Shuai book, “The Universal Law of Cosmic Cycles” by Robert A. Ferguson he writes on the Chinese Year of the Horse. Here are some Notes on the Horse chapter.

The cycle of the Horse is a vibration of egotism and feeling superior, it is important to develop psychic tools to overcome negative forces that will work against your success in love, money, and health.

Tree hugging at UCLA sports science:

To overcome obstinate and unyielding Horse-like personalities, try this Tree hugging ritual:
1. go outside and find a tree (trees emit the same cosmic energy as does the heavens zodical Horse.)
2. Place back to the tree while facing north.
3. Take 20 steps north and then turn face the tree. (south). chant as you walk to the tree.
4. choose which chant that applies to you:
A. chant of the colt*.- for unmarried, widow, or widower.
B. chant of the mare*.-married woman.
C. chant of the stallion*.-married man.

*Chant of Colt: I the zodiac (your chinese sign), approach the cosmic horse wiith respect, and without fear. I do not accept any negativity from either friend or foe. any obstacle before me will be hurdled with the strength and the grace of the cosmic horse. it is myself that i am victor in the race of life. and so it is!”

*Chant of Mare: The mystic power of the Mare shall now become mine. I am protected from any intruder that attempts to block the manifestation of the blessings that are rightfully mine. The cycle of the Horse and my cycle of the (your chinese zodiac) work together to bring harmony, prosperity, and health into my life. And so it is!”

*Chant of the Stallion: “I, the zodiac (your chinese zodiac sign), approach the vibration of the Horse with the physical power of the Stallion, his swiftness of mind, and beauty of body. There is no power within the universe that can keep my good from me. And so it is!

5. End your ritual:
you repeat your chant, walk toward the tree. Hug the tree and say:
“The mystic strength of the cosmic horse fills my mind, my body, and my spirit with power, Now.”

Hug the tree for a few minutes. You should try to feel body tingle. Understand tree hugging is not unusual. How many times did you hug a tree as a child? There is an instictive nature in humans that subconsciously direct us to the source of energy we need. Children, without thinking, are drawn toward the cosmic energy that is emitted by the common tree.

Pine trees are preferred by Taoist as a longevity tree. They invented standing qigongs like “Rooted Pine Gong”. They would do tree hugging in early morning hours when trees emit the most oxygen. Beware some types of trees have a type of “poison qi” not good for humans, this is usually emitted by trees in the afternoon.

More Trees: Evergreens, Fruit, Citrus, Bamboo, Oak, Maple, etc.

Rooted Pine Qigong notes:
1. Pine standing: Bend the knees slightly, allow lower back to relax, feel breathing change from chest to lower diaphragm. back of fist on ming men on lower back, open ming men point.
2. Diaphragm breathing- chest relaxed soothing the “heart fire.”
3. “Raise the head” by feeling as if steam is rising inside of you from dan tien.
4. Rock the weight back and forth with breathing while eyes closed.
5. One arm raised and rising on toes. detail: fist on back with other arm raised. do Both sides.
6. Raise the hands: (opening movement of Taiji). Raise hands to shoulder level then down to sides.
7. Slow Shifting the weight to the left and right leg.
8. Circle the arms as if swimming on dry land (repulse monkey of taiji). Palm will push to the front, circle arm down, fold the elbow so palm is at ear, push palm back to the front.
9. Holding the tree posture.
10. Hand over various chakras (hover over chakra, hold and breath): crown, 3rd eye, throat, heart. Finish/close hands at dan tien/solar plexus.

More Tree meditations on the web:
Tree Meditation
Tree hugging and health science.
Science on tree hugging.

Posted in Health/Qigong/Healing | Leave a comment

Interview with various competitiors of Taiji Tui Shou aka “Push Hands”

I asked some American push hands players some questions on push hands training, and their thoughts on the future of the sport. Most people I have met in person at one event or another, or on forums. here is some of the comments they have to say:

Last edit: 1/3/2013 interviews with Ray Abeyta, Mike Pekor, Stephen Watson, Lee Scheele, Lan Tran, David Walls-Kaufman.

Raymond Lee Abeyta: Taiji student since 1988, Yang style, Wu Style & Chen…

Awards background can be found here: Link to Awards

What kinds of preparation do you do before a big event? Strength training or supplementary training? normally for USA comps just pushed with my students, for China I used a 55 gal drum half filled with rocks & dirt, (very heavy) tilted it on it’s bottom edge & would roll it right & left to practice throwing folks, helped some…

What is the difference in your experience between training in push hands competitions in USA vs. competitions in China? US comps are very, how can I say, careful….can’t touch here, can’t throw folks down with sweeps, no open palm strikes or chin na or shoulder strikes, etc…US has PH lite, China folks were being carried off on stretchers…bleeding broken bones, etc.

Is there a difference when pushing with westerners and with Chinese? What do you notice as the fundamental difference? IN US, they make you do at least 3 circles with your hands & commence slowly, in China when the ref says go, you blast off, none of this become one with the Universe crap.

Though not everyone chooses to compete, but who do you consider some of the best people you have push hands with? The best comp PH folks here in the USA that I have touched with: Stephen Watson, Brian Moran, George Harris are some of the best I have competed against.

What do you think can be done to improve Taijiquan ‘push hands’ as a sport in the USA?
to improve our PH comps, make it more like China. I hear Nick Scrima is starting to do that, but I haven’t see n it so not sure, funny thing is that they call it “Extreme Push Hands” but in China.. they just call it Push Hands.
Mike Pekor I began training in taiji 1992 after 10 years of Shotokan Karate under Sensei Thomas Casale . My style is Cheng Man Ching taiji and my teachers include Sifu William C. Phillips of the Patience Tai Chi Association and Sifu James Leporati of the Patience Tai Chi Association. In addition to my main Sifu’s I also attribute much of my approach to practicing and teaching taiji to the late Stanley Israel and Sifu Mario Napoli I am also a Wing Chun Kung Fu practitioner under Sifu Dr. John Crescione of Laughing Dragon Wing Chun
Mike Pekor

Name some of the Taiji push hands events you have competed in? The main competition that I have elected to compete in most frequently has been the USCKF Kuoshu tournament held in Cockeysville Maryland every summer. I have also successfully competed in many smaller, more local tournaments in the NYC area over the years. The divisions I have participated in include the Advanced Cheng Man Ching form division, restricted step and moving step push hands divisions many times. I have also competed in the Wing Chun Kung Fu “Chi Sau” division many times as well ( ) . I have place first in all of these divisions many times and also placed second and third a few times along the way.

What kinds of preparation do you do before a big event? Strength training or supplementary training? Excellent question. I realize that the idea is to move 1000 pounds with 4 ounces, but unless the other guy STINKS it’s not so easy. That being said, you better get your body ready for some heavy, sustained exertion if you want to compete. In other words… you must GET IN SHAPE for your event.

The most important part of my preparation has always been the activity itself. In other words, if I was getting ready for a moving push hands competition ( ) with a particular rule set (no grabbing, no sweeps, whatever…) I would make sure to do a tremendous amount of training under those exact restrictions. If the rules allowed sweeps and grabbing, I would make sure to play lots of push hands with sweeps and grabbing. The basic idea is called “specificity of training”. That is, train in a way that is as close to what you will be doing on the day you compete. To be clear, the type of work shown here and here would NOT be useful in terms of preparing for a moving step push hands competition because points are awarded for pushing your opponent out of the designated area or throwing your opponent down to the ground. The practices shown above are more useful as a transitional exercise between push hands and striking/sparring. Here is another video showing some restricted step push hands with various levels of pressure: . While all of these variations have their place in training, when preparing for a competition you want to maximize your ability to handle sustained, heavy pressure.
In addition to lots of push hands, I always made sure to do lots and lots of strength and conditioning specific to my event. As a guy who always came in on the lighter side of the heaviest division (I usually weighed in at a bit over 200 pounds… most of my competition weighed in 50-100 pounds heavier), I made sure to do things that helped my body be able to sustain tremendous amounts of pressure. Dead lifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press, shiko (sumo exercise, kettlebells ( ), and Bulgarian Bag training ( ).

What is the difference in your experience between training in push hands competitions in USA vs. competitions in China? I have no experience outside of the USA.

Is there a difference when pushing with westerners and with Chinese? What do you notice as the fundamental difference? Again, I have no experience outside of the USA. Watching videos over many years I can say that I see one major difference in the style of push hands play between the USA and China. Chinese players like to grab and twist to throw, while in the USA players tend to push and drive forward more than grab and twist to throw.

Though not everyone chooses to compete, but who do you consider some of the best people you have push hands with?
While I have learned from every person I’ve ever played with, I would say if I had to choose one or two people as the best at the game of push hands, its Sifu William C. Phillips for his softness and Sifu Mario Napoli for his root. Other excellent players include Sifu James Leporati and Sifu Avi Schneier.

What do you think can be done to improve Taijiquan ‘push hands’ as a sport in the USA? Sure… Here are a few suggestions:
Do away with fixed and restricted step matches. As a form of competition they are silly and useless. They are an excellent practice method to make sure a person can function if caught with one foot out in front, but that’s it. We don’t see many “left jab” competitions, do we?

In order to survive as a sport, push hands has to be interesting to watch and fun to do. In order to maximize dynamic action and minimize interference and stoppages from the judges, Use these clear, simple rules:
Matches should be decided by the first player to win two rounds (best of 3). Each round should be 3 minutes long with a minute rest in between. The action should only be stopped to prevent injury, award points, or issue warnings. Keep it simple.
a. Points are awarded for throwing or pushing the opponent down or out of the ring
b. You may not bite, pinch, strike, kick, grab clothing or joint lock.
c. You may not contact the neck, head, face, or groin.
d. You must obey the referee at all times.
e. After five second in the clinch, the referee may call break to resume the action
Deduct points only for obvious intentional fouls or repeating the same foul twice.

I have always been and still remain a strong advocate of T’ai chi push hands tournament competition. I have made great friends, honed my T’ai Chi skills and had lots of fun at T’ai Chi tournaments over the last 15 years. While only a PART of Taiji training…. Push Hands tournaments motivate us to train hard and always leave us with lots of great lessons, stories and memories.
Stephen Watson
I’ve been training for about 30 years. My teacher is Bruce Walker, though he’s semi-retired) primarily though I always list Robert Mann, Don Miller, Rick Barrett and teaching Chen among my teachers.

Name some of the Taiji push hands events you have competed in? The Chung Hwa Cup in Taipei comes to mind. Another World Championship in São Paulo too. ICMAC has a series ( where I’ve competed and judged-it’s Nick Scrima’s circuit/event. The AAU nationals as well as USAWKF’s ( nationals a few times. In general, I’ve tried to make myself available to every association hosting a National Championship a few times each. This was my attempt to insure that anyone wishing to find m e in competition could do so, despite perhaps their being stuck politically in one association or another. Not perfect, no but my intention nevertheless was to be available.

What kinds of preparation do you do before a big event? Strength training or supplementary training? As far as preparations go for an event, zero. I’d prefer to see no difference in trainings for different goals. Training to teach, training to defend, and/or training to compete describes, in my mind the same training. I call it goal-less training. I train for training. This moment, in this training, I train for it. Every day.
>> The only exception was when traveling with William C. C. Chen (, to compete on his team he did ask me to train for it. I said yes instinctively; he’s the grandmaster. And I kept my word. I only had a month or so of training from the time of invitation to the time of travel and so I trained specifically for the rules I was able to suppose/infer/research that would be employed once in Taiwan. So it was coaching, not teaching, and tactics related to the rules. As well, as the normal training.


On Rick Barrett’s advice one year I took upon a type of training for push hands which, though I employed wasn’t necessary to the competitions on my horizon. So I don’t think of it so much as a competition-specific training regimen but rather a new twist to regular training which had as its end-point a competition. In other words, I didn’t adopt the advice to vary my training so that it would influence the competition’s outcome in any way. Specifically, speaking, this was to train only on the weak side (i.e. left leg lead only) until I next competed. This meant that I’d train for 2-3 hours a day, only left lead for nigh on a year. The training suggestion from Rick was to, once in competition again allow myself to return to a dominant (right side) lead. When the judge eventually told the two of us to change leads/sides in the second half of the event, I was mind-bent at the prospect for a long-seeming moment but then slipped into it like old shoes but with new soles/souls. My right lead stance felt like coming home, a joy to see a child return to the mother-fold, as it were. What a delight! I’d forgotten that I’d forgotten the right side leads. And it was revelatory!

What is the difference in your experience between training in push hands competitions in USA vs. competitions in China? As far as differences between different people (Westerners & Chinese e.g.) I’d say that I haven’t noticed any. Everyone, in many ways is unique. A unique puzzle to unravel, to torment., to befriend, to fold and unfold. Also, everyone is exactly the same. Its a paradox which I delight in. When competing, I am generally the only competitor signed up who is not seeking a win, but only friendly interconnections, insight-giving tests of skill, joyful moments, distinct and delightful human connections and new friends and students and, with luck long-term teachers. Everyone I teach with, becomes a friend, a teacher, and perhaps a student. It matters not where they are from, or how they play, if I give over any focus to those suppositions or prejudices or projections then I would lose sight of my reasons for ‘competing’.

Though not everyone chooses to compete, but who do you consider some of the best people you have push hands with? The best I’ve pushed with? In competition? Jeffrey Pratt and Avi Schneier. Bar none. Another great and enjoyable test was Tiffany Chen, though that was an exhibition match at some Nationals or other. The most fun pushing in competition overall award would have to be with Josh Waitzkin. As an aside, he’s the most highly recommended person to suggest you include in your interviews. Outside competition it would have to be, for most sacredly shamantastic and poetic presence – Don Miller, for joynado of rapturous virtuosity – Rick Barrett, for old-soul, tree-root, Earth and Heaven divining I-just-touched-Source resplendence – Pompey Macy, and the late, though still teaching – Teaching Chen. Mario Napoli is exquisite, precise and focused in moving step pushing hands. Of course, there are many thousands of others (many of whom have never physically pushed hands with me, but have nevertheless left an indelible pushing hands mark on my life) but these four come springing easily to both mind and heart.

What do you think can be done to improve Taijiquan ‘push hands’ as a sport in the USA? To improve it as a sport we’d perhaps have to divide it among those who believe in qi/mysticism and those who believe in bodily dynamics and science and rule out qi and such non-stuff. The division between folks seems to be there, and when and where there is conflict and confusion it seems always to be born at this fracture. Once you have the two camps sorted you can design different rule-sets for both. Also, no gender/weight distinctions. If it’s taijiquan, let it be thus. Of course, there is plenty, plenty more. Lots and lots.

Lee Scheele
Your Name, how long trained in Taijiquan, Taiji style, and teacher?

Lee Scheele, 35 years, CMC Style w/Ben Lo & Wu Style w/Tony Ho

Name some of the Taiji push hands events you have competed in?
Taste of China, Taiji Legacy, ICMAC & some others

What kinds of preparation do you do before a big event? Strength training or supplementary training?


What is the difference in your experience between training in push hands competitions in USA vs. competitions in China?

Haven’t competed in China

Is there a difference when pushing with westerners and with Chinese? What do you notice as the fundamental difference?

Taiwanese are more aggressive and play rougher

Though not everyone chooses to compete, but who do you consider some of the best people you have push hands with?
My teachers, Uncle Bill, Wm. C.C. Chen, Mario Napoli, Don Miller, Stephen Watson, & Lenzie Williams.

What do you think can be done to improve Taijiquan ‘push hands’ as a sport in the USA?

Wouldn’t want to. Fun to do, but competitions do little to improve t’ai chi. The more emphasis on competition, the worse it gets.
Lan Tran
Your Name, how long trained in Taijiquan, Taiji style, and teacher?
Lan Tran
Trained in Taijiquan since 1986. Yang Style Taiji and currently a synthesis of Taiji, HsingI and Baji dubbed as Internal Fusion.

Name some of the Taiji push hands events you have competed in?
Retired from competition in 2004, but have competed in most major Eastern Regional Mid Atlantic states tournaments including, NACMAF, KUOSHU Hunt Valley, Anthony Goh, Raymond Wong’s, Tony Yang WUTAN Ohio, etc…

What kinds of preparation do you do before a big event? Strength training or supplementary training?
What I did in those days was to have a more aggressive Push Hands practice sessions prior to tournaments. I was against supplemental strength training and believed it took away from precious push hands time which would give you all the strength training needed on the aggressive level. Looking back it was so basic but this is how we all learn and the stages we al go thru.

What is the difference in your experience between training in push hands competitions in USA vs. competitions in China?
There is PH in the school, PH amongst friends, PH between schools and PH in competition. They all manifest different aspects of movement based in the setup. I don’t have enough information about PH in China to make an informed comment about that, but PH in the USA in tournaments is frankly at a very low level….most people with PH skill develop them AFTER they get away from the competition aspect of PH.

Though not everyone chooses to compete, but who do you consider some of the best people you have push hands with?
George Harris, Alexander King, Paul Ramos, Taj Johnson, Sam Masich. I haven’t push with these guys in a while. These are judgements from past experience.

What do you think can be done to improve Taijiquan ‘push hands’ as a sport in the USA?
The quality of internal basics and the teaching of it needs to be better. Push Hands really should not be set up as a sport although it is a necessary evil in some respects. Too many people who push in competition have no internal basics at all. It is brute strength masked in balance tricks.
Your Name, how long trained in Taijiquan, Taiji style, and teacher?

Dr. David Walls-Kaufman

Since 1988, Yang style, Ben Lo

Name some of the Taiji push hands events you have competed in?

Lots. Taste of China numerous times. Hunt Valley. Europe. Taiwan. Man-ching Bei.

What kinds of preparation do you do before a big event? Strength training or supplementary training?

None. Just usual Tai Chi regimen. Sometimes I try to remember to have push hands partners go crazy with some intense shoving.

What is the difference in your experience between training in push hands competitions in USA vs. competitions in China?

China and Taiwan are MUCH more open. Virtually no rules except don’t let your feet go off the blocks for fixed step. Can be dangerous. Competitors beware.

Is there a difference when pushing with westerners and with Chinese? What do you notice as the fundamental difference?

In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and Japan, it can be harder to even find people to push with because of the risk of losing face. I once sat in on a class in Tokyo for three hours waiting for a chance to push with the senior students – and the honored guest at the very time of my arrival that evening was none other than a very old and dear friend of my teacher. None of that made any difference. They stayed well away from me. Tokyo Tai Chi Society, I think their name is, descended from Wang Hsu-jin, the famous Ba Gua master from Taiwan.

Though not everyone chooses to compete, but who do you consider some of the best people you have push hands with?

Not bothering to name the handful of grandmasters, and not in competition, because they were other weights than mine, or it wasn’t in competition: Mario Napoli. Lenzie Williams, Julian Chu, Ed Chan, Scott Meredith, Kim Kanzelberger, Avi Schnieir, Gianfranco Pace, Rick Barret, Russ Mason, John Crouse, David Chen, and Dr. Lo at the Washington DC David Chen Memorial Tai Chi Park.

What do you think can be done to improve Taijiquan ‘push hands’ as a sport in the USA?

Nothing. I know there is some discontent with the American rules often over-emphasizing soft play and neutralizing, but I think having that emphasis someplace, somewhere in Tai Chi competition is obligatory, considering the philosophy and emphasis of the art – even at the risk of it seeming obscure to non-Tai Chi people.

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So you do Neijia, but want realistic fight training? 10 suggestions here.

It all starts with a good warm-up. I do not prefer to do static stretches as a warm up, however I do like to stretch after the body is sufficiently warmed up. You can hurt muscles while stretching them with they are cold and stiff. Warm-up up via rope skipping, shadow boxing, light jogging ect.

why practice boxing drills and not pure Tai chi or Neijia: universal fighting principles!

With that, you will need to know your basics: guard, stepping, punches, kicks, elbow, knee, and palm strikes, and know where they are in your forms:
guard stance:your centralized balance stance, in Taiji for example: 7 stars, Play pipa, are often used as guard stance.
stepping- forward, back, left, right, angling, 7 star step, etc.
defense- stepping as defense, covering, head movement, duck/level change, slip, weave, blocking, catching, parrying, dodging, rolling, etc.
Punches- know how to throw a jab (single whip and open fan), cross (brush knee), hook (Cloud hands), uppercut (seven stars), body shot (step parry punch), backfist (turn and chop), and combinations of.
Kicks- front kick, push kick, round kick, side kick, sweeps.
Elbows: horizontal, up elbow, spike, diagonal elbow, etc.
Knees: up knee, side knees.
Palm strikes- side palm, lotus palm, chopping palm, crashing palm, throwing palm, etc.
Understand: speed, power, timing, distance, clinching, grappling, throwing, sweeping, tie-ups, take downs, how to put the punches, kicks, and other strikes together with defense, etc.

1. When to do your road work:(for those with a 9am to 5pm day job)
Morning is best to get your jogging and sprints in, this is also adding dynamic (movement based stretching) and ballistic stretching (like stretching kicks). It is also a good time to stop for a few seconds: throw in some push ups, air squats, sit ups, etc. along the jog, or run. I recommend running no more that 5 miles. Personally I only jog a few miles and throw in some sprints along the way every few days. Static stretch afterwards. sample of stretches here from a “old school” boxing coach:

Post day job training and the “meat and potatoes” of the fight training workout:
get some kind of timer to train in timed rounds. most likely you will fight in 2 or 3 minute rounds. Also train with your mouth piece in to get used to the breathing and discomfort of it. always use hands wraps and 14 oz gloves to protect your hand in training, and Wear your cup! get use to moving around with it in protecting your gems.
2. Warm-up: here starts with shadow boxing and jump roping. you need to do a few rounds of both, 3 of each is best. If boxing: just do hands, if kick boxing: hands and kicks, Muay Thai (MT)- hands kicks, elbow, knees and MT throws, if doing Lei Tai or SanDA: combine all techniques including shadow throws and take downs.

jump rope: advice: use many skipping rope patterns in this notes from Buddy Lee Olympic wrestler who trains athletes jump rope crosstraining- Jump rope for martial artists:
Jump rope sample video

Shadow boxing: you can add light hand weights, resistance bands. Be sure to practice your breathing in shadow boxing, it gives you a chance to deal with how your breathing will be in sparring under pressure. visualize your opponent, circle, cover, and move, use angles. You will need to get used to moving alot and dont stay in one place for more than 2 seconds.

Shadow boxing sample video

3. Bag work- heavy, double end, speed
I do not recommend a lot of Heavy bag work for a few reasons:
1. the recoil of power back into the limbs is not that good for you.
2. bag work can teach bad habits with stepping if not done right, because your opponent will be moving and hitting back.
On the positive side heavy bag can do the following:
1. condition the limbs- arms, legs, elbow, knees for getting used to impact.
2. help you train in hard knock out blows. When you hit the bag, train with hard blows.
3. can still be a good kind of cardio endurance practice, so sweat it out!
Suggested amount is 3 or 4 rounds.
Heavy bag sample video

speed bag-trains hand speed there are many patterns to try out.
Speed bag sample video

Double end bag- great use for training head movement.
Double End bag sample video

3. Focus mitt (boxing), Thai pads and kick shields for kicking arts: timed rounds
Focus mitts are good when you have a good pad holder. The mitts need to be held in close, and two people should be moving around (based on the drilling), and the mitt/pad holder should throw punches and kicks back to make it more realistic. My Chinese teacher used to make us just do all defense rounds while he smacked the shit out of us with focus mitts.
all defense mitt work:
Defense mitt work sample video

thai pads:
Thai pad sample video

other: getting ready for a fight training.
fight training sample video

4. Functional Internal Neijia kinds of training for Lei Tai and Sanda: solo fajin and stepping, push hands (compliant and non-compliant), and palm striking. research qin-na and throws:
Stepping and solo fajin training:

Da shou or striking hands

Palm strike techniques from Taiji and Bagua on mitts:

compliant push hands, understanding and drilling the classic patterns:

research Qin-na: joint holds

Non-compliant push hands

Taiji technique research takedowns and techniques

5. Putting it together with Sparring:
In sparring you can take themes like:
defense vs offense, all kick sparring, regular light , medium, or heavy sparring:
kick sparring:

regular sparring with push hands added:

takedown based sparring:

other sparring:

6. Strength training: You are in for a rude awakening if you think you do not need cardio and strength training. If you want real strength you will need to know some of the basic lifts like: squat, dead lift, overhead/military press, bench press, dips, pull ups, etc. do your self a favor and get this book, practically the bible on strength: Starting Strength Stay away from Crossfit, that shit will hurt you! Believe me! We had a Crossfit at our MMA gym, and several fighters had to get back surgery.
The goal is to not body build and get tight big muscles. the goal is to condition strength but still keep muscles loose. To much body building will make you bigger and you will get tired quickly in sparring and fighting. We want functional strength.
Here is a video of some samples of body weight strength exercises, kettlebell, medicine ball solo drills:

Partner medicine ball drills:

Old school boxing light dumbbell work: should be slow and exact (this video the exercises are done a bit faster and will need to remake video)

7. “Pai Dai Gong”: a form of body and limb conditioning using hitting prepare to get hit and get used to it. Where you self hit or partner hitting to “harden” the limbs and body: seen in many styles of kung fu and used in Thailand as well. you can start with “tapping” with palm, then fist, and eventually start to use objects also like iron brushes, sticks, bottles, bags of BB’s, Beans, etc. etc. list here:
Hit conditioning “Pai Dai Gong”

Taiji root training, Pai Dai gong- hit training of Taiji and Shaolin.

Stretching: get your stretching on you lazy sons-of-b$%#@es. tired of hearing about how you Taiji guys don’t need it.bullshit.

8. Qigong: breathing and movement training to help with the bumps and bruises along the way, recovery from over training, restore balance.
here is a sample using Ba Dua jin used by ancient chinese military:

9. Mental training- meditation to help relieve pre-fight nervousness:
Sahaja yoga:

10. Other things you can do: watch fights, study your opponent if available, read good books on fighters, fighting styles, how fighters overcame loses, Toughness training for sports (sports psychology).

Posted in Fighting: San Shou/Sanda/Shuai Chiao | Tagged | Leave a comment

I-Ching Hexagrams in Tai Chi Chuan book- deciphered

Softly, softly: Tai chi chuan (Taijiquan), book by Robert W. Smith has several Hexagrams on opening page, that I felt like Cheng Man Ching and Robert W. Smith were trying to communicate to folks, maybe something to do about their Taijiquan philosophy and style,
I investigated what they were, giving my personal commentary to reflect in terms of tai chi chuan.

1. Hexagram 28: Greatness in Excess. I-Ching: superior man stands up alone and fearless.
Image is of a house in danger if the foundation and frame is weak. Withdrawal to unnatural weight and force.
bend like a reed in gale force winds and heavy flooding. bend but do not break.

Taiji commentary: Withdrawal and push, accept a heavy incoming force from opponent,
try not to resist but use pliable strength. Taijiquan must also have a proper foundation from the base at feet and legs
into the framework of the body’s structure. The alignment must be efficient enough that when a strong force is applied
to the body, the structure can drive and sink that force into the ground.
Wu De is perseverance.

2. Hexagram 61: Understanding. I-ching: The superior man weighs all options and carefully executes.
Strength lies in clear vision. View without prejudice to maintain a healthy mind.

Taiji commentary: the mind of the practitioner must be clear without thought in the practice of Taiji and tui shou.
You must not pre-think of what technique you will use, but calmly respond to how your opponent tries a technique.
Understanding jin is this way: from listening jin, is about how you will
deal with the method when your opponent uses a technique.
Wu De is the empty mind of humility.

3. Hexagram 31: Tension. I-Ching: Superior man feels calm and chivalrous. Be active for those who can not.
Mutual subjugation to a common idea.

Taiji commentary: Martial arts masters always emphasis using the fighting systems as ways to help those weaker, defend the self,
do not start fights, or hurt others.
Taiji is no different, it is there to raise your spirit, make the weak stronger, and help the sick get healthy.
In regards to tension, we must release it to allow qi to circulate properly.
Wu De is bravery, the action of courage.

4. Hexagram 30: Fire. I-Ching: The superior man refines his brilliance.
Yang: give, be active, outgoing.
Yin: hold on to the passive sustenance.
Light requires dark.

Taiji commentary: The Taijquan masters speak of everything about taijiquan must have Yin/yang action:
Open and Close, Left and Right, Up and Down,
Inner and Outer, Upper and Lower, Top and Bottom, movement and stillness, rounded and straight,
big and small, high and low, slow and fast, strength and relaxation, insubstantial and substantial,
Kan and Li, yi and Chi, hard and soft, square and circle, attack and defense, offensive and defensive, masculine and feminine,
passive and aggressive, fight or flight, gentle and explosive, the list goes on and on…
Wu De: Patience.
Form: Press/squeeze.

5. Hexagram 2: Yin. I-Ching: the man does not take initiative, but follow the initiative of others.
Creative force. Feminine, Earth, Receptive.

Taiji commentary: In the oral tradition of two person tui shou, listening comprises of 4 parts: stick, adhere, neutralize and follow.
Following: try not to separate, stay connected.
wu de: loyalty.
Form: Lu or “roll back”.

6. Hexagram 41: Decrease. I-Ching: the man restrain anger, represses desires.
diminishing pleasures and social interactions. Retreat.

Taiji commentary: the bridge between the mind and body is the nervous system which connects brain to organs.
Chinese medicine teaches the relationship
between the internal organs, and the wisdom mind and the emotion mind in its 5 element theory:
1. Heart/Small Intestines: is fire element, with positive emotion is compassion, and negative is cruelty,
2. Kidney/Bladder; is water, between positive courage, and negative, fear.
3. Liver/Gall Bladder: is wood, positive emotion is Kindness, and negative is anger.
4. Lungs/Large Intestines: metal element, positive is joy, negative is sadness,
5. Stomach/Spleen: element earth, positive is centeredness, negative emotion is worry.
Taijiquan is a system that requires diligence to understand the moment where you can start to cultivate qi.
Taijiquan is a qigong, but qigong is not Taijiquan. When qi harmonizes in form practice with the body and mind,
it transforms our moods, purifies and strengthens the body, all the while training martial techniques “slow and exact”.
One must also have faith in decreasing strength, everything in life is about gain, have faith in loss.
In Taijiquan we want to lose ego and tension and not gain stress.
Wu De: diligence. Do the gong! Time is a requirement for good gong fu, so do the work!

7. Hexagram 1: Yang. I-Ching: Heaven in motion, strength of a dragon, man nerves himself for ceaseless activity.
Yang- strong, spiritual, Heaven.

Taiji commentary: Yang is the other “fish” in the Taiji symbol. Form: “An” or Push. Yin and yang are the Taiji forces, you have to have both.
Wu De: Will. What the mind believes the body achieves. Yi (mind) guides qi (vital energy) and the body (Li). Sets body into action.

8. Hexagram 63: Completion. The superior man considers the potential evils and guards against it.
The moment something is complete, is the same moment it starts to decay and fall apart. The peak of yin, transforms to yang,
the peak of yang transforms to yin. change. Yang changes to yin, yin changes to yang, within yin is yang, and within yang is yin.
Seek Perfection. Find Peace.

Taiji commentary: Ward off also called Fend off, is to protect and “guard” your center.
Wu De: Benevolence.

Posted in Tai Chi Chaun/Taijiquan, Teaching Insights and Lessons, Yoga and Meditations:Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Tibetan, | Tagged | Leave a comment

Wu Mengxia’s book: “Annontations on Taijiquan’s Nine songs and Eighty One Postures”

The book finally came in on Wu Mengxia’s “Annontations on Taijiquan’s Nine songs and Eighty One Postures” which goes more into the fighting applications of Yang Taijiquan. Wu was as student of Yang family Taiji line of Yang Banhou.


I found a passage early in the book about having defense in an attack and attack in defense. This is called “Gu dai da”, I do not have Chinese character but showing the page in the book. I have been in discussion about this concept when playing “Da shou” or “striking hands” what I consider the early form of “Tui shou” as a striking art, rather than sensing and grappling one. What I have been discussing is Taiji “yin yang” in everything Taijiquan, that means with attack, must have defense within, and defense, must have attack within, when dealing with other in sparring, fighting, and Tui shou. You can not be yang, yang, yang all the time, in exchanges you must be ready for counter attacks and more. see here.

video:The 81 Posture Large Frame of Yang Ban Hou.. as passed down through Wu Mengxia.. and the subject of Wu Mengxia’s Annotations on Tajiquans 9 Songs and Eighty-One Postures

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Fast forms of Taijiquan on Youtube

Here is a collection of some of the Fast Forms on Youtube:
Please note the real fast forms are separate from the slow forms. The real fast forms ARE NOT the slow form done fast.

My first exposre to Fast form was at “A Taste of China” tournament’s Master Demo. Wei Lun Huang demonstrated a Yang fast form, but it was in the sequence of the Yang form. It did however look very powerful and the first section done in just under 10 seconds.

In 1996 on our trip to Shanghai, in the park next to our hotel, we met Dr. Li Li-Qun who is a disciple of Ma Yueh Liang. We were shown parts of the Fast frame and plenty of push hands. This was my first training in a fast set.
Wu Fast form by Dr. Li-Li-qun

Wu fast form by another Ma yueh Liang student:

Around 1998 Forest Chang and CP Ong began to bring Chen Xiao Wang to the Washington DC area. Chen Xiao Wang eventually did a seminar of Lao Jia Er Lu around 2001. Chen Zhen Lei did a Xin Jia Er Lu around 2007. Both form I had learned but did not pursue to master them. I felt that Wu fast frame was enough and closer to the Yang Taijiquan I had studied since late 80′s. My view at the time was that Yang Lu Chan learned from Chen Taijiquan originally, so why not find out from the source some of the training he may have done before he modified it.
Chen Lao jia Er lu “pao chui” aka “cannon fist”-

Chen Xin jia Er lu “cannon fist”-

Wu tunan/Yang shao hao/li lian:

Gin soon (small frame)/yang shau ching:

Gin soon long fist: chang chaun:

Imperial yang xiao jia:

Dong fast: by Lim Bo yan:

Chen Wei ming chang chuan- no video

Fast taiji Li sun Po:

Nui Chunming fast:


Master Pei Chang,
Yang Shao-hou’s small frame (Xiao Jia) of Yang Tai Ji Quan

Zhong ding USA-

Yang fast variation:

Zhao Bao Taijiquan-

Yang style Fajin form (Fu Zhong Wen family)-

Fu Sheng Yuan- Fajin drills-

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