Saturday, December 30, 2023

MMTCA 2023 in Review


Sanshou with Paul Gallagher at Wu Ming Valley House circa 1980

“Aspire to inspire before you expire.”

-Eugene Bell Jr

2023 has been an amazing year for the studio, the students, and me! Even though this year had a very sad, and dark time, the death of my brother, Master Paul B. Gallagher, still it was filled with light and learning. I had one of the longest outside practice streaks of my life. I even practiced in the rain one day. And I had so many partner practices filled with lots of sensitivity, two-person forms, sparring, and fencing. Truly, I look back on the year and I’m filled with gratitude for the time I got to refine my own art and practice, and see many of you improve, refine, and grow. Thank you all!

Chinese New Year was fun with a demo at St Sahag, which was zoomed out as well. Father Tadeos joined us to watch and cheer on the students. We had a delicious banquet at Peking Garden afterwards. 

Outside classes at both East River Flats and Bohemian Flats were spectacular this year! The weather was awesome, and we only missed one or two classes from May to October. We taught the Taiji Saber and reviewed Taiji Sword. Lots of Pushing Hands, Cheng’s Dalu, and Willow #2.

My YouTube channel surpassed 1000 subscribers and I learned a lot of ways to share videos and lessons with the public. Thank you to all who subscribed and promoted my channel. I’m taking tutorials during the break and will be posting even more videos and information for you all.

Original art by Eli Chaisson

“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”

-Oliver Wendall Holmes Sr

This year I got the first group through my 150 Posture Long Form, on the left side! I’ve got the counts pretty much standardized, and I’ve been working on uniting Master Liang’s Taiji with Master Choi’s Taiji, to express the amazing skills and knowledge of my two main teachers. I jokingly say that my form came from Master Liang’s form and Master Choi’s form getting together and having a baby, with Master William Chen as the midwife! Here are a few ideas on what I’ve synthesized to make my form.

The Five Steps/ Six Directions I learned from Master Liang break down as follows:

Forward and Backward comes from the legs.

Left and Right comes from the waist.

Up and Down comes from the legs.

The Five Steps/ Six Directions I learned from Master Choi break down as follows:

Forward and Backward comes from the legs.

Left and Right comes from the waist.

Up and Down comes from the spine/mid-back. Sometimes up comes from the legs and sometimes down comes from gravity.

I absolutely respect Master William Chen and his teaching that you bend, or tilt, in your postures to connect with the sub-conscious about what you are going to do. You “un-tilt” or straighten up when you go to do the action consciously! Master Choi teaches you to bend your back, or close your chest, to store energy. You straighten your back, or open your chest, to issue energy. I will be fleshing out this 9 Joint Unity for you in 2024. All I can say is I’ve never felt as much power, energy, and coordination!

Speaking of solo forms, the 150 Posture Long Form worksheet with the names, counts, and much more are now available. Email me and I’ll send you one.

The past year I’ve been hosting a monthly zoom Pushing Hands class. It’s been regularly attended and we’ve gotten through the 15 minute Pushing Hands basics workout and Wang’s Dalu. I’m going to continue through 2024 and introduce Willow #3 and some concepts and practice ideas for that.

Thursday Nights we’ve been hosting a hybrid zoom/in-person class. Taiji and Xingyi were featured. Some people have been learning the Taiji Cane form successfully online and I’m going to continue this hybrid type of class for 2024.

I’ve been saying this for years, but my Pushing Hands book is almost finished. Editing wizardry from Rondi Atkin, and Dan Dale guiding a photo shoot with many disciples, has brought my life’s work so close!

We had our first archivist meeting this year. People in many regions and schools are storing, cataloging, and preserving videos, movies, documents, and study materials for you and for the future. We are working on standardizing and cataloging the vast number of materials so we can have easy access to the wealth of the Taiji and related arts materials. For Minnesota, John Stitely and Dan Dale are keeping the archives. Bryan Davis and Chris Venaccio in Delaware. Jeff Chaison and Mark Deaver in Massachusetts. We are expanding and adding all the time and will keep you informed as we catalogue and document our systems and arts.

I’ve set 2024 as the year I teach the long version of the Taiji Sanshou, which Master T.T. Liang called “the Dance.” I’ve updated and refined many of the techniques and sections and am excited to share this treasure trove with you.

I was invited to both Massachusetts and Delaware for seminars and workshops. It’s such a treat to work with students who are more like family than seminar goers. And I was able to record some interviews with Sifu Richard Roy and Sensei Jeff Chaisson. You can find those on my YouTube channel.    

2023 saw the deaths of so many of Professor Cheng Man-ching’s American students. They are the generation that helped to spread the art and make it more accessible. R.I.P. Ed Young, Ken Van Sickle, Carol Yamaguchi, and Hsu Yee Chung, head of the Taiwan Shr Jung school.

This year saw the passing of another early pioneer of American Taiji, and my closest friend and brother in the world, Master Paul B. Gallagher. I met Master Paul when I was 19 years old, and I had the luxury and great good fortune to have him in my life for almost 45 years. I spoke with him weekly and talked with him the week before he died. I traveled to North Carolina for his internment, and to Massachusetts for his celebration of life. The loss is still so fresh for me, and I miss that I can’t just talk to him, share with him, or visit him in this realm. Rest In Peace dear brother…

I’d like to thank you all for your support, dedication, interest, and appreciation. I wish you a 2024 that is at least as full and rewarding as 2023. May the Wood Dragon bring you abundant health, energy, and purpose!

I bow to the floor,

-Sifu Ray


“Highest source of spirit.

For the highest good of all concerned.

With the light of perfect protection.

For something of greater or equal good.”
- an anonymous healer I know

Monday, December 4, 2023

MMTCA December Newsletter 2023

Taiwan Taiji Association, early 1960s. You can find Prof Cheng, M Liang, RW Smith, Wm Chen and many others!

“When you are a light to yourself you are a light to the world.”



Merry Hanaramayulekwanzmas! I love this dark time of the year filled with so many celebrations of Light! Take time to look inward and see your own incredible light.


Classes will continue as usual this month, including the beginner class on Saturday, until Thursday, Dec 21, my last official class of the year. We’ll be closed from Dec 22nd to Jan 5th. Classes resume January 6th, 2024, and we’ll have a few changes to our curriculum and schedule. One change is that I will continue the beginner class but will move it to 10:30-11:30 AM.

Some of the forms and practices I’ve got planned for next year are to continue Sanshou, advanced pushing hands drills and Willow #3, teach Xingyi Sword and do a Xingyi weapons review, continue solo and two-person Taiji Cane, continue Yin Fu 8 Palms, and maybe a visit from the Fast Form…


Huang Yuanxiu and Tian Shoulin

I scheduled one open practice for Thursday, Dec 28th from 6-8PM. Bring your canes and weapons, and practice Sanshou to your heart’s content! Margo will be there to open and close, and to practice!


I’m planning on a one-day, in house retreat, at St Sahag, to get together, practice, discuss, and to grab some food. I’ll get a date to you in the next newsletter.


Wu Yinghua, double sword.

Speaking of retreats, Twin Willows Tai Chi Studio is planning a retreat in June of 2024 and I’m the instructor. I’ll have more details next month. Consider driving with me and a few people from Minnesota who are going!


Starting January 6th, 2024, I’ll be offering a beginner Taiji class from 10:30-11:30 on Saturdays at St Sahag. If you know people who are interested in starting Taiji, let them know. The cost is 50 dollars a month.


Prof Zheng Manqing

Book suggestion- The Tai Chi Cane by Sifu Bob


Starting in January next year, I’ll be resuming the monthly check-in on zoom. Like last year, we’ll meet, talk about our training, ask questions, and discuss all things Taiji. Let me know if you are interested and how you can sign up.


Speaking of monthly zoom, the monthly zoom pushing hands class will be Monday, Dec 18th. We’ll continue with Wang’s Dalu, and some new ideas for the Pull drill.


Wang Yennian, right, one of M Liang's teachers in Taiwan.

As of this writing, I’m at 976 subscribers to my YouTube channel. At 1000, I get many more benefits including being paid by the advertisers. As I grow my channel, I can also make private groups and classes too. If you are a subscriber, thank you so much! If you are not, please subscribe, it costs you nothing but a click! Spread the word and help me out!


FYI I’m looking at one of the last Saturdays in February of 2024 to celebrate Chinese New Year, the Wood Dragon! I’ll have a date for you next month.


Paul Brennan Translation- Answering Questions About Taiji by Chen Weiming

School shirts, long Ts, and hoodies-

Thank you so much for one of the best years of my life! My practices, classes, filming, teaching, writing, and learning were all at another level. I will write a year end blog and flesh out some of this, but for now, thank you all! Bow from the waist, to the floor…

-Sifu Ray


“Humans follow Earth,

Earth follows Heaven,

Heaven follows the Tao,

Tao follows Nature.”

-Taoist proverb


Contact info

my phone- 1-218-341-9894








Facebook= Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy


                Ray Hayward Enterprises


YouTube= Ray Hayward, the Inspired Teacher


                 Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy


Twitter- Ray Hayward 1988


my books at Lulu=


my books on Amazon=


Patreon page=


Instagram= Ray Hayward, or, ataoistsufitemplardruidviking


School shirts-


My address,

2715 Nathan Lane N

Plymouth, MN 55441


#rayhayward#taiji#taichichuan#bagua#xingyi#sword#qigong#yichuan#wudangsword#chinna#standingmeditation#taoistmeditation#taoistlove#semenretention#masterttliang#wailunchoi#mindfulmotiontaichiacademy#rayhaywardtheinspiredteacher#inspiredteacher#rayhaywardblog#sanshou#prayingmantis#karambit# #pushinghands#fajing#imsak#rosslynchapel#druidry #lulubooksrayhaywardauthor #patreonrayhaywardtheinspiredteacher




Possibly the last photo of Yang Shaohou, seated with cap.


Monday, October 30, 2023

MMTCA November Newsletter 2023


Master Liang's Praying Mantis teacher, Fan Shudong, seated. Fan taught Liang at his high school, kung-fu being the PE!

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

-Albert Einstein


November already? Where have I been? What have I been doing? Taiji of course! Although we’ve moved indoors, classes are still amazing and fun. The dance studio is a great indoor space, and I invite you to attend class.


Tuesday 6-8PM at St Sahag, Solo Form, Sanshou, solo and two-person Taiji Cane, Bagua

Wednesday zoom 630-730PM Solo Form Review and Taiji Qigong

Thursday 6-8PM at St Sahag, Solo Form, Sanshou, solo and two-person Taiji Cane, Xingyi

Saturday 900-1030AM at St Sahag, Solo Form, Advanced Pushing Hands Drills, solo and two-person Taiji Cane

Beginners class are Saturdays 11-12 at St Sahag,

Monday November 11th 630-730 Monthly zoom Pushing Hands- Wang’s Dalu


We’ll be closed Thursday, November 23rd. There will be zoom class on the 22nd, and in person classes on the 25th.


I taught a seminar and classes in Delaware last month at Twin Willows Taiji Studio. Plans are in place for a retreat next June. The venue is reserved, people have paid deposits, and there are only two spaces left. I’ll post more info and the curriculum next month.


My pushing hands book is getting closer to the finish line! I’ve got great help in all the different processes like editing, photos, and layout. Here is an excerpt from the introduction.


“To be perfectly clear, we must know what we are training for. Are we training for health, stress relief, and well-being? Are we training for fighting and competition, or self-defense? Are we training for meditation and spiritual growth? Or a combination, or all the above? These different components of Taiji: health, self-defense, philosophy, and meditation, have different training methods and mindsets.

For instance, for fighting and competition, you know when it is going to happen, when you’re going to get into the ring. Mental attitude and training are just as important as your physical training and conditioning. For self-defense, you don’t know when an attack will come, and you will have no rational response. This is where your instincts take over. You react to how you train. For self-defense you fight with reaction. For competition you fight with skill and mindset.

You are probably not going to get attacked by a ninja, ever! I think it's safe to say no one will be swinging a Kwan Do or 9-section chain whip at you in your everyday life. You will be attacked daily with stress, worry, fear, other people’s attitudes and energy, and all kinds of perceived threats. To stay relaxed, grounded, healthy, and happy throughout your day, and life, takes embracing the lessons of Taiji and applying them directly to your inner and outer world. To not get mad, stressed, or tense as your knee jerk reaction takes time and consistent training to change your temperament.”


I was watching the final episode of the final season of Mad Men. The lead character was on retreat and doing yoga and Taiji. I thought the Taiji looked good, and familiar. Then during sitting meditation, as the camera panned the group, there was my beloved disciple, Micah Lopez! Micah was the Taiji teacher for the cast and had a non-speaking role as a retreat participant! I jumped out of my seat screaming “It’s Micah!” Wow, I’m just so proud!


Micah with Don Draper

Paul Brennan Translation- Chen Yanling’s Sanshou


Thank you to my subs who filled in for me while I was out East. Julie, Karen, Paul I, John S, a bow from the waist!


Book suggestion= Mastery by Robert Greene


My student Martin Ebelhardt is opening an Egoscue practice in the cities. Here is a write up and contact info.

Healing Movement LLC

Whether you are suffering with chronic pain and muscle tightness, recovering from an injury, surgery, want to improve athletic performance or are just interested in improving how you feel, move, and look, Healing-Movement” can help. 

Healing-Movement is client-centered therapy practice that synthesizes concepts and methods from a variety of somatic and human movement approaches. Marty Ebelhardt developed the practice in order to teach clients how to use their bodies more effectively in order to overcome posture and movement patterns that result in chronic pain, muscle tightness, and limited mobility.  

The method differs from many other therapy approaches in that it empowers the individual client by giving them tools to work with in order to learn to gain mastery over their own body. Each client brings innate knowledge and experiences about their own bodies, which are an essential part of the process. In that way, the therapy is a team effort.

The process begins with a postural assessment, and functional testing in order to identify dysfunctional movement patterns, then proceeds with the teaching of exercises, self-massage, and mobility practices in order to restore function through engagement of the nervous system in re-patterning posture and movement.

Sessions proceed on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis based on the client’s needs, until the client feels they have met their goals.  

For more information or to schedule a session you can reach Marty at

or call 612-760-9935.


Thank you all for your continued support, appreciation, and assistance, in this amazing art, Taiji Quan!

-Sifu Ray


“The need for certainty is the greatest disease the mind faces.”

-Robert Greene

Contact info

my phone- 1-218-341-9894








facebook= Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy


                Ray Hayward Enterprises


YouTube= Ray Hayward, the Inspired Teacher


                 Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy


Twitter- Ray Hayward 1988


my books at Lulu=


my books on Amazon=


my Patreon page=


Instagram= Ray Hayward, or, ataoistsufitemplardruidviking


School shirts-


My address,

2715 Nathan Lane N

Plymouth, MN 55441


#rayhayward#taiji#taichichuan#bagua#xingyi#sword#qigong#yichuan#wudangsword#chinna#standingmeditation#taoistmeditation#taoistlove#semenretention#masterttliang#wailunchoi#mindfulmotiontaichiacademy#rayhaywardtheinspiredteacher#inspiredteacher#rayhaywardblog#sanshou#prayingmantis#karambit# #pushinghands#fajing#imsak#rosslynchapel#druidry #lulubooksrayhaywardauthor #patreonrayhaywardtheinspiredteacher




Thursday, October 5, 2023

9 Hacks for the New World Man


He's not concerned with yesterday

He knows constant change is here today

He's noble enough to know what's right

But weak enough not to choose it

He's wise enough to win the world

But fool enough to lose it

He’s a new world man.”


 My teacher and classmate, Master Paul B. Gallagher R.I.P., taught a two-day course called "9 Taoist Practices to Keep Spring Eternal." Eternal spring alludes to good health, abundant energy, and youthful vigor. I took this course twice in Boston and once in Western Massachusetts. 

With Master Paul's passing, I've been thinking a lot about him and all the great lessons I had with him. As I was reminiscing about his 9 Practices, I remembered a talk we had in Asheville last year, where I told him about my ideas for some advice for young men in these rapidly changing times. He loved my ideas and encouraged me to write them down.

So, if you are a young man, with your whole life ahead of you, possessing abundant energy, with millions of dreams and visions, here are 9 pieces of advice I have to offer you.

1. Foundations of Health

Know how to take care of your S.E.L.F. Sleep good. Eat good. Live good. Feel good. 

Sleep the right amount for your inner and outer health. Don't skip sleep or try to get by. Naps don't count! Eat good, organic, healthy food. You are what you eat! Live a good life, one that serves you and others. How you feel, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, is the determining factor about your daily life. If one of these doesn't feel good, fix it. The Tao Te Ching says to take care of a problem when it is small!

2. Let’s talk about sex

Learn Taoist and Tantic sexual practices so you can conserve your vital energy. Learn about your fundamental creative energy source, and how to nurture and cherish it. Learn how to give great pleasure to your lover, without depleting yourself. Learn to think first, not be led by your lusts and desires. Learn to master this wild running horse you are sitting on, one that is galloping at full speed with no saddle, reins, or riding crop!

3. Martial arts

Only if you are capable of great violence, yet discipline and restrain it, are you a peaceful person. A weak person is not peaceful, they are ineffectual. Martial arts helps you learn about power, your power, and how to manage power. Real martial arts teaches more than punching and kicking, it teaches discipline, morals, control, philosophy, patience, and social connection. Join a dojo, now!

4.Financial freedom

Master money or it will master you. Read books on prosperity, anything by Napoleon Hill, Robert Kiyosaki, Randy Gage, or Tony Robbins to name a very few. Get an accountant. Save money. Invest in your future. Learn the basics of money, economics, taxes, and finances. Use money as energy and NOT the source of worth or pleasure. By land, they're not making anymore of it!

5. Spirituality

S.B.N.R. Spiritual but not religious. Whether you are in an organized religion or not, you need to pursue your spirituality. In the trinity of body, mind, and spirit, spirit is the part of you that's not thinking or moving. Soon you will realize you are going to die. Your spiritual quest, the holy grail quest, all of our spiritual seeking, is about answering three questions, and living the answers. Where did I come from? Where do I go when I die? What am I doing here now?

6. Healing and maintenance

A Chinese medical teaching says food and sleep without exercise leads to disease. Move it or lose it, motion is lotion, rest is rust! I really don't care what form of exercise you do, if you run, lift weights, swim, hike, do yoga, dance, or practice martial arts etc. Just do something! 

Take care of your body both inside and outside. Wash regularly, groom, buy nice clothes. Invest in bodywork like massage, Thai yoga, hot stones, etc. Go to legitimate body workers and skip the "happy ending places," they'll just drain you of energy and money. Go to saunas, take cold showers, and bathe in hot springs. Try alternative, as well as conventional, medicine and healing if you are sick or injured. Remember, sleep, rest, and time are three doctors available to you!

7. Read a book

Pick up a physical book, read it, learn, and enjoy. Forget kindle, it only adds more light to your overtaxed pineal gland. Go to a library, or a bookstore, buy new or used books. Pass them on when you are done. Ask someone who you admire, respect, and imitate, what their three favorite books are, and read them! Read before bed, read before work, read at lunch, read on vacation, read man!

8. Purpose, passion, pursuit

Three super important P's! They give your life meaning and will get you through stagnation and dark days. Find out what you are passionate about. What turns you on? What are you obsessed with? What do you think about all the time? What is your purpose in life? You personally. Why are you here? What have you come to do, or learn, or change, or invent, or discover, or reveal, or, or, or... 

When you find your passion, it becomes your purpose. Or when you find your purpose, it becomes your passion. Finally,  pursue, chase, run after, woo, seduce, investigate, hunt, track, and reach for your goals, dreams, and desires! Live your purpose, passion, and pursuit daily, and you will not only have a full, productive, and rewarding life, you will inspire others too.

9. Mentors, masters, wizards, and guides

On the journey of the three P's, you will need a teacher or guide. Learn from those who have gone before you. Learn from their mistakes and get the lessons without the pain. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of pain in your own lessons! Living masters, dead masters, fictional masters are all at your fingertips to learn from. What, nobody learns from Yoda?!

Confucius said leaning and teaching are like a table cloth, The teacher holds one corner and the student holds the other three. Imitate your teacher, do what they say and do. Assimilate their lessons, understand their lessons and get them inside you. Innovate, break away from the master, become a rebel, and make your own way, which is a combination of their lessons, your experience, your insights, and your  ability.

OK young man, I'll leave you with this thought. Life is time, time is life. When you read the dates on a tombstone, the birth year and the death year are not important. The dash between the years is what is truly important, it's your life. Don't waste time or you waste your life!

Did I mention books? Here are five to start with.

Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castenada
Mastery by Robert Greene
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The Tao of Love and Sex by Jolan Chang
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker