Friday, September 3, 2021

MMTCA September Newsletter 2021


The late Grandmaster, Gin Foon Mark, my Southern Praying Mantis teacher, Como Park, 2011.

“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”

-Maya Angelou

The weather has been perfect for outside practice these last few weeks. I hope to keep classes outside into October. The year I moved here, 1984, we had class outside into November! I have a few options for indoor classes, and will keep you posted. Covid19 is still a factor and I do want to provide safe and healthy environments while training. Patience is still key!

A hearty THANK YOU to my subs and guest instructors! I am able to travel and teach outside of Minnesota with your help.

My Northern 7-Star Praying Mantis teacher, the late Sifu Lo Man-biu, second row, far right.

Speaking of travel, I’m going to Delaware for the month of October. I’ll be working with Sifu Bryan Davis and Twin Willows Tai-Chi the first half of the month, and Sifu Diane Cannon and Ming Tao Tai-Chi the second half. My classes in Minnesota will continue as before.

Book suggestion=Secrets of the Karambit by David Seiwart


While I was in Colorado, I got to meet up with my long time student Mike Sauter, and his son Kai. Mike is one of the few to earn a teaching certificate from me in Northern Praying Mantis and Shao-lin. Mike is a full-contact fighting champion, as well as forms and weapons. We worked on a few ideas and concepts, then I tested Kai’s stance work, which was excellent. As always happens when martial artists get together to train, the time flew by!

As of September 1st, I’m no longer teaching beginner classes. I have five students who are more than qualified to bring people on to the Tai-Chi path. Call or text any of the following for new classes and start times:

Julie Cisler, Minneapolis, 612-876-7915

John Stitely, St Paul, 651-328-7777

John Feely, Stillwater, 651-323-8714

Mike Cain, Rochester,

Wanda Koehler, Northfield, 612-209-5752


September 9th marks my one year anniversary on Patreon! My page has been such a great addition to my teaching, and helped me navigate the pandemic. I’ve been able to reach people beyond Minnesota, reconnect with old friends, and share many forms, practices, and lessons. As I learn even more about the page and the various services, I plan to expand my teachings. I have a few forms to finish posting, then I’ll start posting pushing-hands drills, methods, etudes, and applications. If you haven’t joined my page please do! If you’ve been my patron for this past year, I am truly grateful.


While you’re online, also check out my YouTube page, Ray Hayward the Inspired Teacher. You’ll find many historical and instructional videos there.


Questions, comments, ideas, feel free to text me at 218-341-9894

My teacher, Dr Leung Kay-chi turns 83 on Sept 4th, Happy Birthday!


Wishing you a happy and gorgeous Autumnal Season!

With a bow,


“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

-Sydney J. Harris


Here is a message from Julie Cisler

It’s been great to work with many of you in the park again. But shorter days and cooler temps are coming. Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy needs a new home!  


Our old space in the Ivy Arts building was spacious, but too large for our current needs. We’re looking to re-open in a slightly smaller space.  


I am currently looking for a new home for Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy. We haven’t found a permanent space yet, but I’m excited to be able to find a new home for our school.  


Thanks to several helpful tips from classmates and teaching contacts, I’ve found a few good sublet options, with wood floors, plenty of space, and ample parking. We plan to have indoor classes available by October 1. 


Our new schedule will include beginner-level classes taught by me, and classes for Sifu Ray’s students. I will also continue to offer classes for my long-term students. Expect email updates with our new schedule, COVID guidelines, and location(s) in about 2 weeks. 


I look forward to seeing you again!







Sunday, July 25, 2021

MMTCA August Newsletter 2021


John F practicing Tai-Chi in the Black Hills. Nice kick!

"I am not my thoughts. I am what I do."

-Gary John Bishop

I am writing this somewhere in the Pike National Forest...  Wow August is upon us! I hope you are enjoying your Summer so far. State Fair, Irish, Fair, Renaissance Festival, all the Summer in Minnesota good times are coming up.

Thank you to the guest teachers who are covering my classes! I'll be back mid August and we'll change up the curriculum a little bit.

A great deal of work, research, and generosity has been done for us nonspeaking Chinese martial arts practioners. Many of the classical works, including books by some of Master Liang and Master Choi's teachers, have been translated into English by the scholar Paul Brennan. Check out his site and support him if you can.

Book suggestion=Wu Style Taijiquan by Wang Pei-sheng. Lots of excellent training ideas and history for all styles, with many applications.

I will not be accepting new students, and my classes and practice times will be closed September 1st. I am taking time to focus on the current, active students and supervising their training and progress. I have been getting many inquiries now that the pandemic is slowing and I have excellent disciples and students who are now offering beginning classes for new Tai-Chi students. If you have referrals, you can have them contact me and I will put them in contact with someone near them.

Thank you for all your support and appreciation. I am filming in the mountains and will be posting new information and lessons on my YouTube channel and my Patreon page. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel, and if your are not on Patreon, supporting me on my page. Both are titled "Ray Hayward, The Inspired Teacher." I AM inspired to share these wonderful arts and sciences with you.

I'll see you soon! Keep cool, keep calm, and keep practicing,


"Let go of certainty. The opposite isn't necessarily uncertainty. It's openness, curiosity, and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather then choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow."

-Tony Schwartz

contact info:

my phone (new)- 12183419894

address= 1721 Jefferson St, Duluth, MN 55812




facebook= Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy

                Ray Hayward Enterprises

Youtube= Ray Hayward, the Inspired Teacher

                 Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy

my books at Lulu=

my books on Amazon=

my Patreon page=

Instagram= Ray Hayward, or, ataoistsufitemplardruidviking

Master Chen Wei-ming, 4th generation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

My answer to the Long Meditation question

Yang Ch'eng-fu

Thank you all who sent their ideas, musings, and comments. You will see we tracked on many items! Here is my rather long answer from my meditations and ponderings, and thoughts on training techniques for practical use. 

During a thirty-minute round of Tai-Chi, I am working on my alignment with gravity, and the careful transfer of weight from foot to foot and leg to leg. Paying attention to where and how my center of gravity moves. This culminates in training my balance. 

From the beginning to the end of my round, I am constantly checking my relaxation and seeing if tension shows up in jerks, inconsistencies, shallow breath, forgetting the sequence, and losing balance. Relaxation is the key to speed in martial arts, sports, music, etc. 

 Breathing with my nose and not my mouth and starting and ending each breath with my lower abdomen, helps with proper oxygen levels. I want to neither over breath nor under breath. Breath keeps me calm, maintains my energy levels, and helps with endurance at my age. 

For thirty minutes I work on coordinating the upper and lower parts of my body. Using the principles of start together/stop together, and having my whole body as one unit, I work on my whole-body power. Power in Tai-Chi comes from the harmony of the 9 Joints and the whole body unified in any action.

 Using my mind to direct my body, practicing meditation in motion, I work on my intuition, instinct, and will-power. 

There are so many turns, shifts, bends, circles, and sinking in thirty minutes of solo form practice. These are the foundation of the Willow exercise and the defense in pushing-hands. 

So what am I working on and perfecting for a thirty minute round? I am working the whole time on Balance, Speed, Power, Endurance, Defense, and Will-power! That is my answer. 

As for techniques for mastering for sparring and self-defense, although there are some great techniques in the solo form, most are for a very narrow set of circumstances. If you think you are going to use Single Whip while sparring or fighting, you will probably end up like the modern Tai-Chi masters who are getting beaten up. 

I suggest four techniques to master for sparring, Fair Lady, Parry and Punch, Brush Knee, and any of the front kicks. Remember big moves in training become small moves in fighting. Do these four at least a thousand times in the air, then another thousand against a bag. 

Then, practice defending against single punches and kicks. Then practice kicking and punching at a moving, non-compliant opponent. Then try offense and defense together. This is how you learn how to fight. 

Just doing solo form, or pushing-hands with a willing partner, is not enough training. Just my experience and opinion. Namaste!