Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Expanding and contracting

It all went by too quickly.

This year's conference, nestled in the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe, gave Guang Pingers an incredible backdrop to the workshops that filled our mornings and afternoons.

It was one of those conferences, in my opinion, that deeply challenged my practice. It forced me to expand and contract at the same time: Expand the meaning of my practice, expand the uses of my practice, expand the energy of my movements; but also to contract: focus my attention to details, focus my intention and awareness to my movements, focus the deeper foundation, to simplify. To expand my focus...to focus my expansion.

Deep. :)

As I sat on the plane ride home, the first Guang Ping conference I went to 11 years ago sifted forward into my mind. I had only one emotion just before attending: Fear.

I had never studied with a master. I had never studied with a direct student of a master...or even a student of a direct student of a master! Am I going to embarrass myself? My teacher? We all do form together in the morning, am I going to be used as a poster child for what NOT to do in taiji?

And I wonder...are there others who feel this way and hesitate to come to a conference? Are there other people who feel they aren't going gain from the conference because they are too new? It will be over their heads? Or might feel their form isn't up to par when compared to others?

Because when I got up the first morning for warm-up and form, the fear I had vanished. We were just us, just a big group of people warming up, doing form. We all had our variations in style and weren't looking to judge or evaluate anyone else.

So, if you find yourself hesitating to come, let go. You'll only be welcome with open arms and left with a very rich experience.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Presenting....This Year's Workshops!

Grandmaster Henry Look
Applications of Guang Ping Yang T'ai Chi
Grandmaster Henry Look will teach and share the usage and martial applications, by correlation of the 64 posutres. No matter what Guang Ping lineage you follow, you will find this information illuminating and valuable. This workshop will help you understand the purpose of each posture - be it "step back repulse the monkey" or "stork cools its wings"- and will give you a deeper feeling of the various movements. It is also an excellent learning tool for those who have difficulty remembering the form. Don't miss this rare opportunty for Grandmaster Look to explain "efficiency in movement."

Master Randy Elia
Hsing-Yi Five Elements

Master Randy Elia is recognized for his relaxed and smooth delivery of power in Hsing-I Chuan, and in this workshop he will demonstreate and teach how one can achieve this skill. In Hsing-I Chuan, the five basic patterns are related to the Five Elements, phases of Chinese philosophy and medicine. However, they are also five devastating moving martial arts postures in which Yi (the mind) creates a will of motion (intention) directing the body without any distractions, and delivering a true potential energy or "jing". It is believed that the movements of each of these five postures benefits the health of the internal organ related to each posture. For example, Pi Chuan "metal" relates to and benefits the lungs. In the words of Master Wang Xiang Zhai, "metal is the power contained in the bones and tendons; the mind being firm like iron or stone, able to cut steel."

Master Jiang Jianye
Wuji 8-Section Brocade

Wuji is a state of nothingness/emptiness, the beginning of the beginning. We can think of wuji as a zero. T'ai Chi would be 1. In Chinese symbolism, first there was wuji - nothinginess, emptiness - from which T'ai Chi evolved - completeness, fullness, balance. You can get endless benefits from the Wuji 8-Section Brocade form: powerful energy (chi), great stretching, and super balance. It can also help prevent high blood pressure, arthritis, and osteoporosis, among other health issues.
T'ai Chi 9 Circles for Joints and Health
Circles all joints of ankles, knees, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and the eyes with T'ai Chi postures that can help prevent arthritis due to the normal aging process (fifty-year elbow), and work-related repetetive activities, such as typing at a computer. This stationary T'ai Chi form is very simple but highly effective. It helps keep the joints flexible, improves blood circulation, and allows Qi to flow through the meridians more effectively, thereby generating more energy.

Sifu Paul Taylor
Wave Hands Like Clouds
During this workshop we will investigate and determine the structure and dynamics of "Wave Hands Like Clouds" in the Guang Ping Yang form through a series of pattern drills and interactive exercises.

Jarl Forsman & Steve Sekhon
Principles of T'ai Chi as Metaphors for Right Living

Kuo Lien Ying once said, "If you do the form with the right spirit, everything you need to know will come through naturally." Working with the basic principles common to all T'ai Chi forms, we will explore the way in which embodying these principles can bring you wisdom, health, a meditative mind, and the highest form of self defense: Integration (of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects).

Marilyn Cooper
Four Hands
Marilyn Cooper will offer a workshop on "Four Hands", a moving push hands drill from Yang style that, when practiced with a training partner on a regular basis, will produce highly concentrated, conditioned responses to force. Once proficient, one partner will be making larger steps and be on the outside, while the inside partner's circles will be smaller.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Guang Ping Yang Association Conference

We're off to The Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe for the GPYTCA Conference 2011! Well, not actually IN the lake...though, who knows? Ai Chi might be fun. Want cost breakdowns and basic registration information?

Conference Registration Details:
Conference presenters

For a full view of the Resort, check out their website:

Now, we know you're itching to know who will be leading the workshops and what the topics will cover...which workshops will you attend...who's leading the morning stretches and taiji form...breathe in...breathe out...young grasshopper. Answers to these burning questions and more are unfolding as we schedule flights, meals, rooms, equipment and times. In the meantime, look for the registration form that is coming soon!