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