Saturday, April 3, 2021

Two Shameless Endorsements and Plugs!


On 4/4/2021, my friend Rob Jones launches his website Greenman-Gifts. Rob creates works of art, both functional and decorative. Custom orders and standard inventory include:



Carved Stones

Viking Benches

Casting Sets for Runes and Ogham

Etched Glassware

Drinking Horns



Knife/Ax Targets and Stands

Altar Cloths

And So Much More!

Go to Rob's website tomorrow and see all the great art and craft he has to offer!

Last month I went on a two day retreat at Wild Rice Retreat Center in Bayfield Wisconsin. Run by my friends Heidi and Martin, I spent my time relaxing, hiking, meditating, and enjoying the quiet and scenery. The Center is across from the Apostle Islands and on Lake Superior. I had the option to order food prepared there, but chose to semi-fast and brought my own food and snacks.

I made full use of the sauna and reserved it both days I was there. Rain showers, where the water comes straight down from the ceiling, were new to me. I also hiked along the lake on a trail that took me to downtown Bayfield, which was pretty, quiet, and cozy.

The Grand Opening is 400:PM on July 22nd. You can contact them for openings and availability before then. I highly recommend it! Who knows, maybe a Tai-Chi retreat there in the future...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

MMTCA April Newsletter

 "I had crossed the line and I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land."

-Harriet Tubman

Welcome April, or is it February, or June? Hard to tell by Lake Superior most days!

There were so many birthdays in March, including J. Richard Roy's entry into the land of life beginning at 70! I talked to Diane Cannon, Joanne Von Blon and Master Wai-lun Choi just to name a few, to wish them Happy Birthday. Now there are even MORE birthdays in April. Happy Birthday to all you April Babies!

I got both shots and am now vaccinated and wanting to get back to teaching. As soon as the weather warms up enough, I will have a few announcements as to when, where, and what classes we can meet each other again. I still ask for distance, masks, and no empty-hand partner work just yet. That may change soon or eventually.

You can continue to study with Julie Cisler on Zoom classes. I am offering video classes on both my Patreon page, and my Youtube page for now.

Book suggestion= Taijiquan Style Yang The Fast Form by Igor Dudukchan

Last year after Chinese New Year, nine people requested to be accepted and initiated as 7th Generation Disciples. I had plans to test each and every one, but then covid19 saved me a ton of work! These nine have studied with me for years, established their own practice routines, and show great dedication and skill in Tai-Chi and related arts. I will be holding three ceremonies throughout the year to formally recognize:

Michele Ashmun

Rondi Atkin

Mathew Barrett

Paul Dahlberg

Jenny Graves

Paul Ittner

David Kielkopf

Stephen Peterson

Robert Wozniak

Congratulations one and all!

I have begun filming the 64 Mother Palms in advance of teaching them this summer. You can have a preview and get them roughed in before official classes start. You can find them on my Patreon page. Please consider becoming my patron, there are many levels.

I thank you for your support, interest, and care. We are going to come out of this and get back to regular classes and social ties. Thank you for your patience and concern.

A deep bow,


"Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure."

-Tony Robbins

contact info:

my phone (new)- 12183419894

address= 1721 Jefferson St, Duluth, MN 55812




facebook= Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy

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Instagram= Ray Hayward, or, ataoistsufitemplardruidviking

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hua, Na, Da revisited


After writing a full article on Hua Na and Da on my blog, I got such great feedback that I wrote a follow-up on Patreon. Now, after revisiting my notes, lessons, and memories, I have two more additions to the Hua Na Da essays.

The first is a lesson I got from Master Wai-lun Choi when I was learning the 12 Animals of Liu Ho Pa Fa. He told me the three main stances, Cat-stance, 60/40 stance, and L-stance were used for each part of a technique. He said the Cat-Stance was mainly for defense, it is mobile, flexible, and can defend the front leg from kicks. The 60/40 stance was mainly for controlling, you use the body weight and sinking to trap, off balance, pull down, and use your weight to trap.
Lastly he said the L-stance ( bow-stance) was to completely put your whole body power and weight towards your opponent. You use the hip, shift, and waist turn, in combination with the body weight in motion, to deliver your whole body into your attack.
Master Choi also said there are places where we use these stances during attacks. He also said the follow-steps, like Hsing-Yi, used in the Tiger, Bear, and Leopard, are L-stances that have been full issued and then reset, or "cocked." He said he also emphasized and used the three main stances in all the styles he taught.

The other lesson I got was when Master Choi came to teach the Hsing-Yi Two-Handed Saber. I had a student, Patrick, who had come from England, where he was a 4th degree black belt in Judo, and a 1st degree black belt in both Aikido and Wado-Ryu. He was also a 2nd degree black belt in Iaido, the art of drawing and cutting with a katana. Patrick signed up for the seminar.
I was not only excited to learn this weapon from Master Choi, but to see what was the same or different with Iaido. We learned the Five Elements applied to the weapon. We were shown the applications and how to link the movements into a form. And we were taught how to generate power into the attacks using whole body power.
After the seminar, I had the chance to compare notes with Patrick. He told me he had seen all the attacks and defense before, and that there was nothing new there for him. He was trying to learn whole-body power and was excited to work on that.

But, he was truly amazed at how there was something in between the defense and attack! Patrick said that what was missing in Iaido was the controlling of the opponent before cutting, slicing, or stabbing. He was impressed that Master Choi would have him off balance, or under control, so that he could not defend himself. Patrick showed me similar techniques from Iaido, but Choi's versions had control and minimum body movement to generate power. Neither did Master Choi use a huge wind-up, or opened himself up, before he attacked.
There is more to Hua Na Da and I will share as much as I can as it all percolates and surfaces. Stay tuned!