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!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Short Meditation Answer, mine anyway!

Fierce Tiger Leaves the Cage,Black Tiger Leaves the Cave. First off, fierce and black are the same. In TCM, when the liver is malfunctioning you will experience anger. The color of the liver is black or dark green. When a tiger is in a cage, it just wants to get out. If it gets the chance to leave it will, and maul you if you are in its way. When a tiger is in a cave, its home, it doesn't want to leave. If you make it leave it will come right at you and eat you! So for martial arts, the tiger leaving the cage is a medium power, painful technique. The tiger leaving the cave is a full power, deadly technique. That's my answer, please add or embellish!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

MMTCA July Newsletter 2021


Yang Cheng-fu, 3rd generation

"What you focus on determines what you miss."

-Brian McClaven

The heat and sun are definitely here! Outside classes and practices have been wonderful. Not only the weather, but to practice together has been so healing and unwinding from the past year .

This is what the classes are working on for now;

Friday 6-8PM Medium Form, Applications, Tai-Chi Spear, Tai-Chi Sword, Hsing-Yi Spear, 64 Mother Palms

Saturday 9-12 Medium Form, Applications, Fast Form, Tai-Chi Sword, Tai-Chi Saber, Saber Fencing, Wu Dang Sword, 64 Mother Palms, Pa-Kua Sword

Cheng Man-ch'ing, 4th generation

I am now offering private classes. (If you are a Patron , check your tier.) $40 for 45 minutes, or $75 for an hour. Email or text to set up a class.

I'm going back to Colorado for a month!  I'll be there July 15 to August 15.I will be sending lessons so keep checking my Patreon and YouTube pages. Classes and practices will continue with my senior disciples and students sitting in as guest instructors and guides.

Yang Chien-hou, 2nd generation

Book suggestion= Presence by Amy Cuddy

I had the honor and privilege of initiating three new disciples into the 7th Generation of Yang Style Tai-Chi Chuan:

Rondi Atkin

Stephen Peterson

Robert Wozniak

Margo and Mark hosted at their home in Roseville, and we had perfect weather for a lovely outdoor ceremony. Wanda and Rick came from Northfield and joined other classmates to witness this rare ceremony. Congratulations! Now it begins...

Our Altar for the ceremony

Robert, Rondi, Steve

We are looking for an indoor space for the Fall. I am planning on teaching outside into the Fall. I will keep you posted on our new Kwoon, Tang, Mo Goon, Studio, Academy, Home!

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement this past year. As we emerge from the pandemic, let's put our health, well-being, and practice, firmly in a place of priority and gratitude. So many people told me their Tai-Chi kept them healthy and sane this past year. Why wait for a pandemic? Let's be healthy and sane all the time with our daily practice.

A bow from the waist,


"Dance is kinetic sculpting of space."

-John O'Donahue

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

Liang Tung-tsai, 5th generation

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Long Meditation

 Master Choi asked me one time what is the longest time I do the Tai-Chi Long Form. I said between 25 and 35 minutes. He asked me me how many times in that half hour do I do Fist Under Elbow. I said once. He asked how many time did I do Twin Winds Pierce the Ears? I said once. He asked about some other one time postures. 

He then said, "How can you make those any good? Even two forms is only two repetitions in an hour." 

He went on to say that to master a posture or technique required thousands of repetitions. He told me that he puts 30 minutes on a timer and then does one of the shortest Hsing-Yi form, the 5 Element Change Form. Choi said, " In half an hour I do hundreds of the five fists." He went on to say that at the height of Muhammad Ali's career, Ali did 3-5 THOUSAND left jabs a day!

This is when Master Choi showed me how to do single movement training in Tai-Chi. He said take just one posture or technique, and do it for half an hour. Now at the time, I was a full time teacher and needed to be sharp. For most people, you could take a movement and try 20 times, 50 times, or 100 times if you have the time, energy, and motivation.

Over the covid break, I had lots of time to train. And it hit me one day. If I do a 30 minute solo form, what am I practicing and perfecting? What am I working on for the whole time? What skills am I developing?

So I ask you, what are we training during that  time if it's not a single technique or movement? I have my answer, and would love to hear yours, or at least get you thinking and pondering and meditating!

I'll post my answer in a while.

Monday, May 31, 2021

MMTCA June Newsletter 2021

"A pilgrim travels differently. Always in a pilgrimage is a change of mind and a change of heart." -John O'Donahue 

 Welcome June! The weather has been great already and outside practice is calling you! Speaking of outside practice, we have done a month of classes in the park and out side of some sprinkles and mist, we had perfect training weather. Come out and join us! I'm at East River Flats Park Friday night from 6:00-8:00PM. Also Saturday morning 9:00-10:00AM .

 Our rain alternative is further up East River road to Elliot Hall.

 As the Covid restrictions lift, I am thinking about partner work beyond two-person weapons. If the trend continues then in late June we will start to add applications and pushing-hands to our classes. If for any reason you feel unsafe, or you are not vaccinated, or have any concerns, feel free to refrain from any and all partner practices.

Book Suggestion= Kung Fu Tai Chi Sabre for Self-Defense trans by Captain Tom Marks

I will be out of town June 9th -16th. Feel free to still meet to practice with your classmates or take time off for yourself! I'll be back at class June 19th.

Thank you for your continuing support! Check out my Patreon page, Ray Hayward The Inspired Teacher.

Wishing you a wonderful Summer,

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

A Short Meditation

Something for you to contemplate, ponder, meditate on, etc. In the 64 Mother Palms Pa-Kua Form there is a posture called The Fierce Tiger Leaves The Cage. In Pa-Kua Sword there is a posture called The Black Tiger Leaves The Cave. What is the difference? How or why is leaving a cage different than leaving a cave? I'll post my answer next month!

Friday, April 30, 2021

MMTCA May Newsletter 2021


   “T’ai-chi expert Zhang Qinlin Laoshi takes a group photo to commemorate his students, April 30, 1941.”

"By creating space in our homes, we put the focus back where it should be: on what we do, rather than what we own."

-Francine Jay

Happy May! May the 4th be with you! Finally we can train outside and meet for classes!

Starting May 7th, I'll be holding outdoor classes at the East River Flats Park. I have an alternate for rain. Bring your swords, sabers, staves, canes, and masks! Covid responsibility is on you whether you want to stay far apart or wear a mask. I am only asking you don't do hand to hand training just yet. I will be reviewing and teaching Wu-Dang Sword fencing, Tai-Chi Saber fencing, and Tai-Chi 13 Spear throughout the Summer for partner work. Here is the basic schedule, Taoist time and care being applied!

Friday 600-830PM

Review =Hsing-Yi Spear, Karambit, Man Chiang Hung.

Learn =64 Mother Palms, Tai-Chi Saber Fencing, 

Saturday AM 900-1000= Medium and Fast Form review and refinement

               1000-1100 =Weapons including solo and two person sword, saber, spear, cane, double saber, fan, catapult, blowdart, etc                  

                1100-1200 Hsing-Yi Lightening Hands, 64 Mother Palms, Pa-Kua Sword

Book suggestion- Peking Story by David Kidd

All my books are now available at

Thank you to all my students, classmates, and friends who supported me and this art throughout the pandemic. There have been some dark days but I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just don't know how LONG that tunnel is!

As always, if you have any questions or just want to chat, call, text, or email me.


"There is a saying in the (armed forces) community-slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."

-John T. Mainer

Here is a note from Julie Cisler who is now teaching all new and beginner Tai-Chi students,


It's time to move some of my classes to an outdoor setting. I am also opening my classes to new students. Exciting!

At first, I thought that I would do the same as last year, and simply move the Monday class to the park. But to give new students more options, I am going to teach two classes outdoors, and continue my indoor class at the Black Forest Inn's Banquet building. TAKE NOTE: Saturday's class time will change slightly. Here's a complete schedule:

Monday: 11:30am-1:00pm Outdoors in Thomas Lowry Park, on the west side of the park. I will include a Zoom option for this class.

Tuesday: 6:30-7:30pm, Black Forest Inn Banquet Building. This will also have a Zoom option. Please wear a mask for indoor practice.

Wednesday: 11:30am-12:30pm Zoom class

Friday: 3:30-4:30pm Zoom class

Saturday: 1:00-2:00pm Outdoors in Thomas Lowry Park, on the west side of the park. I will include a Zoom option for this class.

Thomas Lowry Park is just south of the Walker Art Center. There is plenty of street parking, and a porta-potty on the east side of the park. Here's a link:

If you attend the Black Forest Inn class, there is parking available on Nicollet and 26th Street, as well as in the restaurant's parking lot.

This new schedule won't start until Monday, May 10.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Julie Cisler


Zhang Zhirou, daughter of Zhang Qinlin demonstrating a perfectly single-weighted Single Whip.

(Zhang family photos courtesy of big brother Danny Emerick)

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Studying with Master William C.C. Chen


My first introduction to Master William C.C. Chen was through my teacher, Master T.T. Liang. Liang and Chen were classmates under Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing. Both came to New York in the 60’s to help the Professor spread the art of Tai-Chi Ch’uan. In the book Fundamentals of Tai-Chi Ch’uan by Wen-shan Huang, he writes,

“About a year ago, three visitors from Taiwan- Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing and his two accomplished pupils, Professor T.T. Liang and Mr. William Chen have remained in New York, to conduct classes of Tai-Chi Ch’uan for primary and advanced pupils. They are also experts of Tai-Chi Ch’uan for Hand Combatting and Medieval Weapons Fighting, which are more appealing to youngsters and sportsmen here.”

In 1979, Master Liang had arranged for me to take private classes in Hsing-Yi and Pa-Kua with Master B.P. Chan, who was teaching at William’s school. During my classes, William came in, introduced himself, and asked me to send his warmest regards to Master Liang when I returned to Boston. I ordered a sword from Master Chen at that time, and he brought me back a Tai-Chi sword from Taiwan.

In 1984 I began taking private lessons with Master Chen with Master Liang’s blessings and introduction. I mostly worked on Pushing-Hands, and studied form applications and William’s “Body Mechanics,” his unique way of explaining and teaching the speed and power in Tai-Chi as a martial art.

When I would return to Master Liang, he would ask me what I learned from William Chen. He always called him William Chen, like one long name. He also always used Paul Gallagher’s full name! I would recount and show my lessons and then get Liang’s confirmations and insights into William’s lessons.

One time pushing hands with Master Chen, he said “You push like Mr. Liang. We call that Da-Chin, strike energy. Do you want to know how to defend against it?”  He then showed me a couple of ways to defend and counterattack. He had already showed me his basic pushing idea, and how to defend against it.

I went back and told Master Liang all that had transpired in my classes and told him about the Da-Chin counter. Master Liang smiled and said “Yes, quite right, that is how you defend against my push. Do you want to know how to defend against William Chen’s push?” He showed me the same counter William had, and I had a great laugh over how open both teachers were!

One time Master Liang’s classmate came from Taiwan to Boston to challenge him. When I told William about the visit and challenge, William said the classmate had visited him, but didn’t mention visiting Liang in Boston. I said probably because he tried to push Master Liang and couldn’t! (Liang was in his 80s!)

My time with Master William Chen culminated in a seminar in Minnesota in 1987. I hosted William for two days, going over pushing-hands, form applications, body mechanics, plus his ideas on self-defense and sparring. During his stay, he went to visit two old friends, Master T.T. Liang, and Master Gin Foon Mark, who he knew from New York.

During the seminar, I was hit by William with a short roundhouse palm to my shoulder. It was the hardest I have ever been hit! It was short, snappy, shook me to my core, and made me slightly nauseous. The speed and power generated by his body mechanics were frighteningly effective.

After that seminar, my life was such that I never went back for more lessons with Master William Chen. I hold William at the highest level of ability and respect. I still use many of the concepts and teachings I received, and his roundhouse punch as a Cloud Hand application.

Here are some of William’s teachings from my notebook.

-Pushing-Hands is to learn how to neutralize and be in balance in any position. You don’t have to be upright to be balanced.

-For practice, you must have your body pushed so you can make it sensitive.

- The speed of a push comes from the change of soft to tense. Power comes from leverage.

-When stepping in to push, keep your hand soft, this will give a t’i-fang affect.

- The reason the Professor (Cheng ) was so good was because his arms were weak, so he had to develop his leg power.

- It’s faster and softer to neutralize with your body and legs instead of just the arms.


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

                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

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!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

MMTCA March Newsletter 2021


"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again."

-Joseph Campbell

March forth! March is upon us and with it, one year since we closed our academy. More about that later. I hope you are all safe and healthy, and keeping your practice fresh and interesting.

I am thinking about outside classes as soon as the weather and temps permit. I am looking for a park with some kind of shelter or overhang so we can train if it rains. If you know of a park that fits that description ,please contact me.

I am planning on offering the same classes as last year, but with these emphasis': I'm going to bring the Medium Form and the Fast Form more together and make them so that the only differences will be tempo, footwork, and a few variations for each.

 I'm going to start partner work again with the three Tai-Chi weapons fencing forms, Tai-Chi Saber Fencing, Tai-Chi Spear Fencing, and Wu-Dang Sword Fencing. The distance with the weapons, and wearing masks should keep us safe. Of course, if for any reason you don't want to participate you have to be your own judge.

I'll be reviewing the Wu Li Sword, Karambit, Tai-Chi Saber, and fit in Tai-Chi Sword practice as well. Man Chiang Hung Sword, Hsing-Yi Spear, and the Hsing-Yi Solo Form, Lightening Hands will be reviewed as well.

I will be going over Pa-Kua Sword again and will teach the names as well. 64 Mother Palms, both straight-line and on the circle will be also taught this year.

A big, huge, thank you to Julie Cisler for putting together our first ZOOM Chinese New Year! Thank you to all those who demonstrated and to our audience. Next year in person, I hope!

Book Suggestion= Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

Margo Bock has her webpage up and running, selling her Tai-Chi animal inspired cards and artwork. Check it out!

March 17th will be the one year anniversary of closing the academy. It was a painful decision, one made with lots of input, advise, and care from the students. I went in on the 17th to get a few things, and just say a quite goodbye to the place where so many of us relaxed, gained insight, and just loved to be! John Feely called and asked if he could meet me there. I waited for him and he came in and gave me a check, saying he wanted to make sure I got April's tuition! He also said not to worry, we'll be back before we know it! I was grateful for the hope and care then, as I am grateful now. Thank you John. Thank you all.

So many birthdays this month! Grandmaster Wai-lun Choi, Joanne Von Blon, Diane Cannon, and J. Richard Roy to name a few. Happy birthday to these and every other March baby!


Season of the Awakening of Creatures


As a fervent hiker, Henrik Ibsen gave name to a concept already deeply rooted in the Norwegian psyche: friluftsliv (free-loofts-leave). Roughly translated as “life in the free air,” the idea is to immerse yourself in nature, resulting in benefits to mind, body and spirit.

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