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

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address= 1721 Jefferson St, Duluth, MN 55812




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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!