Workshops

Once registered, you can attend ANY and ALL the Tai Chi Gala workshops that you want, all weekend long!

  • First, check in at the Tai Chi Gala table in the Dining Hall. After signing the waiver, you’ll get your registration badge and any T-shirts you ordered.
  • You’ll also receive the final schedule & location of each workshop, in the Gala Program Guide.
  • Wear your registration badge to get into whatever workshops or activities you desire, anytime.
  • Once registered, you can join us for ANY MEALS FREE during mealtimes. And yes, the meals are restaurant quality buffet meals!

It is that simple!

CLICK the  +  to see full descriptions of WORKSHOPS.

Friday, June 2

1:30 – 5:00 PM ~ Welcome, Settle In, and Enjoy Yourself in a Relaxed Atmosphere.

Socialize in the Dining Hall while you wait to check in and enjoy the Friday Night Honors Awards Dinner with the other attendees and presenters! You can also take a walk on the property and settle into your cabin, if lodging on-site, or camping area.  Relax, unwind, and enjoy.  Enjoy these hours of very laid back energy, fresh air, and sunshine…

6:00 – 10:00 PM ~ Honors Awards Dinner, Taoist Incense Ceremony, Demos, and "Meet & Greet"

Be present for a mindful Awards Dinner – honoring those who have made a difference in themselves, their school, their community, their art, or the life of another with our special Honors Awards (email us your category ideas and nominations!)

THEN, join us in the evening for the Opening Ceremonies!   *SPECIAL FOR FRIDAY* You can take part in an authentic Taoist (Daoist) ceremony to honor the memory of the Great Teacher/Founder of the art of taijiquan, Zhang San Feng, and the founder of the original Zhang San Feng Festival of America – Master Jou Tsung Hwa, as well as any of YOUR teachers who have passed on. People of all faiths, beliefs, philosophies, arts and lineages are WELCOME to either participate or simply just observe. You may bring along any special symbols, or photos of any past teachers, family, or friends who influenced your path of self-devrlopment whom *YOU* wish to honor and remember. These will be placed on a memorial table. Everyone is welcome here. Led by Sf. Loretta Wollering and Dr. John Painter.

Saturday, June 3

6:00 – 7:00 AM ~ LAKESIDE QIGONG AND ABSORBING ENERGY FROM NATURE

Breakfast: 7 am – 8:30 am

Led by Shifu Violet Li:

A variety of Chinese qigong breathing exercises and daoyin stretching exercises help you greet the day with more energy than you could imagine.  Feel free, refreshed, and in touch with nature.  Feel the grogginess and stiffness of sleep leave your body as you feel the tide of energy rising within you as dawn sheds her light upon the earth.  Early morning is said by the ancient Taoists to be one of the best times of the day to absorb energy to strenghthen your life force.  Take a deep breath of fresh air…. exhale…. stretch… feel the promise of a new day and all the wonderful surprises it has in store for you…

 

8:00 AM - 12 NOON ~ WORKSHOPS GALORE COMING UP! Click the + to view.

Lunch:  12 noon – 1:30 pm

More and More info will be added as our presenter submit their info!  Check back often.

FINAL schedule/times will be available online and in print the day of the event, starting June!

You’ll receive a full program guide when you check-in or register at our table in the Dining Hall when you arrive!

Crossing The Great River – Du-dahe 渡大河  — Dr. Painter
Learn the true meaning of power in reserve for tai chi ( taijiquan), xingyiquan and baguazhang internal systems. Dr. John Painter presents a unique perspective on what is “double weighting” and how to find it and eliminate it in your stances and forms. Double weighting can be found in the legs, torso and arms. Imbalancing yin and yang, it prevents your art from being optimally functional for health AND self defense practices. Discover this easy-to-learn principle of making the entire body follow the principles of yin and yang in every aspect. Even if you practice your art only for health this information will help you understand the correct postures and actions hidden in your forms. You will be able to reap so much more health and energy from your newfound skills!

Finding Your Form in Push Hands (and Push Hands in Your Form!) — Sf. Stephen Watson
Are your form training and your push-hands play feeling like two altogether distinct pillars of practice?  Aren’t they One Art, though? During this workshop you’ll develop an awareness of creative play within form, and familiar form within extemporaneous play.  Drawing on our observations of the linking movements in our tai chi (or other forms practice), our awareness of the myriad martial possibilities within a given posture, and our exercising of the fungible intention we can bring to our form, we will develop an enhanced dynamism of  familiar form.  Our deep familiarity of our internal martial arts form will be harnessed to allow us new perspective on the fluid flow of push hands as well as provide us newfound abilities to distill order from confusion and affinity for the confusing. 

Push Hands has Preparation, Posture, Permutation, Progression, & Pause just like any other tai chi form we practice.  Our tai chi choreography has elements familiar to us from push hands as well: Connect, Control, Constrain, Compel, & Conquer.  Or, if you prefer: Listen, Link, Lead (& Launch.)  By beginning to see how there aren’t merely two pillars in our study, but one pillar practiced and polished in two ways, we can begin to develop a system of study which gives support from what is being worked on to what is not (currently) being worked on.

Expanding Your Qi Awareness – Develop Your Life Force — Sf. David Ritchie
Qi is the life force found in all things of the universe. Being able to sense qi in yourself and others is an important goal towards advancing your taiji (tai chi) practice. In this workshop, Shifu David Ritchie of Central Connecticut Tai Chi Ch’uan will teach you effective techniques to help you expand your awareness of qi. You will learn the power of “mind intent” and the role it plays in qi development. Energy follows thought. You will discover the power of sensing and rooting qi. Balance for your physical body as well as your mind and emotions. You will also discover the importance of proper structure to aid qi flow, and be taught relaxation activities that can be practiced at home.  This workshop will teach valuable techniques for beginners to advanced enthusiasts. 

1:30 – 5:00 PM ~ WORKSHOPS and ACTIVITIES Click the + to view.

Dinner:  5:30 – 7:00 pm

Learn a Short, Old-Style Tai Chi Form: Chen Style Essential 18 Form (Part One) — Sf. Violet Li  
The Chen Forms of tai chi are the oldest documented tai chi forms.  Here you can be introduced to a quick and short version of Chen style tai chi: the “Chen Style Essential 18,” which was created by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, a 11th Generation Chen Style Lineage Holder and the 9th Duan Tai Chi Master. Based on Chen Style Old Frame tai chi principles, this form has been taught and practiced by at least half a million people around the world, including the Central Government officials in China, for both health and wellness purposes. Nevertheless, this short form also includes important martial art applications. Take a look and see how great it feels.  Shifu Li is also available for private lessons during Tai Chi Gala, with special Gala discounted tuition of $40/hr (up to 2 people).  This opportunity will give you customized learning that you can take home to practice, or enhance what you teach.

Tai Chi Flowing Water Double Fan — Sf. Sandra Balint
Fans are valued in Chinese culture both as weapons and as objects of aesthetic expression.  Attendees will learn a 14 posture routine created in 2005 by Jianye Jiang, my long time teacher, with new movements added in 2009.  It is a piece that has evolved.  For the practitioner of marital arts weapons, who like me, also enjoy performing with a staff, broadsword, straight sword and three section staff, it will help bring more Yin into their exercise regime.  Its movements although soft require that the body be flexible because of a few low squats and balanced for there are a number of one legged stances.  However, all movements are doable with a nice challenge thrown in for those who like to go to the floor and those who like to add a twist to the torso.  Come experience the fascination of wielding two martial arts fan in a group.  Folding fans provided.

The Delicate Explosion of Ziran Xingyiquan  — Sf. Robert Castaldo
Explosive linear movements, delivering devastating whole-body power on target, characterizes the martial potential of xingyiquan. Crisp and efficient, focused and precise, these five unpretentious movements strike like lightning, and resonate like thunder. However, the overt physical manifestation of power belies the soft and supple actions hidden beneath: a beautifully balanced expression of yin and yang.

Utilizing the progressive series of exercises found in the Li Family’s Ziran Xingyiquan, you can learn how to achieve a higher quality of whole-body power through the use of song (relaxed energy). These exercises entrain the mind/body to move sequentially—from the legs, through the torso, to the palms—each segment imparting the highest percentage of body mass and speed into the palm. Application of these principles will, with practice, teach you how to maximize physical strength and minimize physical effort, by using correct biomechanical connections, enhanced by mental visualizations. This program is appropriate for students of any martial art, any level. All are welcome.

Standing Meditation — Sf. Wang Ren-Gang
INFO coming SOON!

Campfire & Kettle: Transforming Fear in the Self, Others, and the World — Sf. Stephen Watson
The campfire exists as both a beacon and a warning. Come close and the shadows recede, come closer and the body warms, come too close and the body is burned.  The fire must be fed. Offered to. Things must be given up and disappear into its space so that we may live in light. What will you offer up? The kettle is where we cook, commingle, and alchemize. It is our task to set the kettle, once low, above the fire. To to bring light, warmth, safety, and nutrition to ourselves. We rebalance the aspects of our world, grow from them, and then return them to the natural order of things (the Tao). 

In this introductory workshop, discover skills for tending these fires, arranging fears, and returning these elements to their place. Now stronger for your efforts, you can address the “fires and fears” in others. We’ll do it with soft martial applications, mental re-framing, meditation, …and a healthy spritz of woo-woo!

7:30 – 10:00 PM Demos, BONFIRE!, Drumming Circle, and Musicians' Jam Time!

Friendship Demos, followed by our BIG BONFIRE, drumming circle, musicians’ jam, and fun packed evening!  Bring your chair or mat – there will be amphitheatre outdoor style seating as well!  Don’t forget your blanket and marshmallows!

Sunday, June 4

6:00 – 7:00 AM ~ LAKESIDE QIGONG AND ABSORBING ENERGY FROM NATURE

Breakfast: 7 am – 8:30 am

Led by Shifu Violet Li:

A variety of Chinese qigong breathing exercises and daoyin stretching exercises help you greet the day with more energy than you could imagine.  Feel free, refreshed, and in touch with nature.  Feel the grogginess and stiffness of sleep leave your body as you feel the tide of energy rising within you as dawn sheds her light upon the earth.  Early morning is said by the ancient Taoists to be one of the best times of the day to absorb energy to strenghthen your life force.  Take a deep breath of fresh air…. exhale…. stretch… feel the promise of a new day and all the wonderful surprises it has in store for you…

 

8:00 AM - 12 NOON ~ WORKSHOPS GALORE! ~ Click the + to view.

Lunch: 12 noon – 1:30 pm

Dissolving Energy Palm – Hua-jin Zhang 化勁掌 — Dr. Painter
Hua-Jin Zhang or, “dissolving palm,” is a method of neutralizing punches, hooks and roundhouse punches from seasoned fighters, boxers and other martial arts. Dissolving palm can be found in tai chi (taijiquan) and all other internal martial arts. It is soft as a cloud, but very effective against even the fastest, strongest strikes. This method will open new avenues of exploration for all internal martial art students interested in the applications of their systems within the prevue of the classic writings of the founders. Come explore this amazing method of soft neutralization. See in real life, how softness overcomes hardness.  And then dissolves the attacks into nothingness…

Chen Style Tai Chi “Essential 18 Form” (Part Two) — Sf. Violet Li 
This is a review and continuation of yesterday’s “part one” workshop. The Chen Forms of tai chi are the oldest documented tai chi forms.  The “Chen Style Essential 18” is a tai chi form of 18 important movements. It was created by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, a 11th Generation Chen Style Lineage Holder and the 9th Duan Tai Chi Master. Based on Chen Style Old Frame tai chi principles, this form has been taught and practiced by at least half a million people around the world, including the Central Government officials in China, for both health and wellness purposes. Nevertheless, this short form also includes important martial art applications. Shifu Li is also available for private lessons during Tai Chi Gala, with special Gala discounted tuition of $40/hr (up to 2 people).  This opportunity will give you customized learning that you can take home to practice, or enhance what you teach.

Taoist Recipes for Getting Through this “Being Human” Thing: Transform, Transmit, & Transcend Emotions — Sf. Stephen Watson
“Your” emotions are not your own.  Emotions, our lifeblood, course through us like a sustaining stream.  Of course, any life-giving stream may also in turn be life-taking. The Taoist ideal is to learn to live in harmony with the stream. There are special recipes passed downstream to us from the ancients, formulas for befriending emotions and  transforming thoughts.  Un-dam your rivers, cleanse the cleansing watercourse, and for that which seeks the lowest way, find your highest purpose.

The Taoist metaphor of water offers us a method to see our emotions not as blockages, distractions, or as WHO we are.  Water, our feelings, are HOW we are.  Fluid, dynamic, necessary to life….and always changing.   Together we will develop concrete practices to welcome the emotional waters that come, transform them into a higher, creative, and constructive use… transmit them to others in a new form, and eventually transcend them in order to understand the whole of one’s life experience.

Taiji (Tai Chi) Saber — Sf. David Ritchie
The Taiji  Saber, said to created by Zhang San-Feng, is a single-edged curved weapon that was popularized by Yang Chien Hu,  the son of Yang Lu Chan, creator of Yang Style Taijiquan (tai chi chuan). Traditionally, saber was the first weapon taught after years of empty hand taiji (tai chi) form practice. Saber practice helps develop root, extension of qi energy (internal power), increased body movement, and smooth strength (ie. tendons and joints are relaxed to maximum extent while the body and limbs are moving naturally). Tai Chi Saber follows all the ancient principles of tai chi. If you own a practice saber (or broadsword) please bring it along; some wooden sabers will be made available to loan to you if you do not have one. A DVD is also available, so you can take home everything you learn in this workshop and then some.

Tai Chi Applications — Sf. Wang, Ren-Gang
INFO coming SOON.

Qi Gong Double Fan — Sf. Sandra Balint
Fans have long intrigued man by their myriad uses, such as accessories to clothing, theater and dance props, simple and effective cooling devices, farm winnowing tools and to the martial artist, as a small but compact and effective weapon.  In this class we will discover yet another use:  as a conduit to increase Qi flow. In 2009 I created a 20 Fan Form Qi Gong based on Jianye Jiang’s Beginner Qi Gong set.  It is simple, doable and elegant way to generate healing Qi.  Come experience the pleasure of moving two martial arts fans in harmony with ourselves, each other and Nature. 

Zhan Zhuang: An Introduction to Power Standing — Sf. Robert Castaldo
Power standing is a method of holding static postures while employing various types of mental imagery to enhance internal and external strength. The Chinese call this method Zhan Zhuang, or “Standing as a Post.” Mindfully holding static postures allows one to refine balance, improve structural stability, and release unnecessary tension. The heightened mind/body interaction improves strength and speed, as well.

You will be guided, step-by-step, through a progression of exercises designed to reveal and validated the hidden power of Zhan Zhuang. By answering the questions, “What is this exercise suppose to do?” “How does it do that?” and “How do I properly train it?” attendees will come away from the experience with a deeper understanding of what power standing truly means. This program is appropriate for students of any art, any level. All are welcome.

10:00 AM - 12 NOON ~ The Rare Gongfu Chinese Tea Ceremony
1:30 – 3:00 PM ~ Tai Chi Tug-of-War; Circle of Healing, Gratitude, and Manifesting Positive Energy

Tug-of-War:  Use Your Rooting Skills to help your team win!

FUN!  What more need we say?  All are invited to use their physical and energetic rooting skills to be a kid again. You might want to bring a pair of protective gloves to wear!  Dig in your heels, grab that rope, and laugh like a kid again!

Closing & Energy of Gratitude Ceremony — w/ Shifu Loretta Wollering & Tai Chi Gala Staff

A low-key, casual, but meditative way to close off the weekend’s energy. Both empowering and healing. Join Sf. Loretta in this interactive moment to silently offer our gratitude to the good that is in our mind, body and life, and focusing on expanding the good that is present for us and others. Feel free to meditate, pray, contemplate, or just breathe… in a moment of goodness, and circle of qi and light. Step into the center of the circle and absorb the positive and healing qi that is directed to you.  A very metaphysical experience.  Special “grounding” techniques will be shown that you can use, to center your energy thereafter and keep your spirit feeling strong as you depart this year’s amazing weekend.  Manifest a beautiful remainder of the year for yourself.

Dr. Painter’s Gathering of the Baguazhang Circle

JUNE 5-8, 2017

This 4-weekday workshop follows the Tai Chi Gala. Led by one of the world’s leading authorities of baguazhang (pa kua chang), Dr. John Painter. This powerful Chinese internal martial art, based on the 8 trigrams of the I-Ching, is known for its sophisticated spiraling martial applications. Read below what incredible treasures are in store for you…

 

“Unlocking the Nine Healing Circles, Earth Palm Bagua Power, and the Flying Dragon Fist Weapon!”

There will be three sessions each day for a total of four days. The first session covers a powerful method of circle walking used as a Qigong exercise. The second session will introduce you to the many layers of spiraling palm, aka “Earth Palm,” as a health and martial art method. Evening sessions are devoted to training in the flexible weapon known as “Flying Dragon Fist.” Here is an overview:

Morning session

Nine Healing Circles Qigong: The Complete Art
The method was part of the late Master Li, Ching Yuen’s practice of Qigong from his Baguazhang tradition. Ancient masters of “not too much fire,” (wuhuo) — an early term for what is now known as qigong — also discovered that certain visualization exercises coupled with breathing and physical movement could stimulate the flow of energy in the body’s meridian system. One of these methods practiced by the Li family of Sichuan province China was the Nine Healing Circles. The beginning stages of the Nine Circles Qigong comprise a simple form consisting of nine movements that are easy for anyone. These movements are believed to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the entire meridian-energy system to match the natural timeline followed by our life force energy.
Includes:
The true principles of Qigong come from the mind (lecture)
The Eight Palms of Jiulong as a health exercise
The Eight Palms as Yixingong internal training
The Eight Palms as Aerobic Circle Walking
The Eight Palms as core strength development
The Eight Palms connection to the qi (energy) meridian system

Afternoon Session
Earth Palm of Jiulong Baguazhang
Earth Palm, aka “Spiraling Palm” or Luoxuan Zhang 螺旋掌, has a distinctive appearance via the palm when reaching upward or downward, as if screwing a lightbulb into a socket. “Spiraling Palm” indicates that the arm and/or body can rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, depending on the starting position of the arm. Defensively in Earth Palm, the arms can be used to deflect and/or catch an opponent’s arm, leg, body, or weapon with a spiraling or wrapping energy that dissipates force without hard contact. The body can also be used as a rotating cam-shaped cylinder to deflect strikes and kicks, dissipate powerful impacts from shoulder and body blows, as well as connect physically to the opponent (magnetic body / cili quti) for throwing and projecting methods. Offensively, the rotating palm edge, forearm, upper arm, or shoulders can be used to strike the body, neck, or head of an opponent a forceful blow. Earth Palm as a striking method (zhang-da) makes use of whipping energy that radiates through the arms and palm from the torso, using tactics of whole-body power. Beginners have to train concepts of relaxed tension (song) and perfect the spinning stepping patterns that are associated with this palm’s use.  Here you will learn how.

You will discover:
Health benefits of coiling movements – stationary, linear, and circle walking
The power of the spiraling jin of Earth Palm
How to neutralize all attacks with circular spiraling power
Lost Earth Palm methods of spinning and rotating behind the enemy
How to use Earth Palm arm methods, such as an-jin pushing defensive actions
How to use Earth Palm as fa-jin striking

Evening Session
Jiulong Baguazhang “Flying Dragon Fist” Weapons Training
This amazing Li-family flexible weapon is a fantastic training tool for the development of precise hand/eye coordination, body/arm dexterity, and adroit footwork. Shigong Painter uses the Flying Dragon Fist to help baguazhang, xingyiquan, and tai chi chuan (taijiquan) students learn to combine core body movements with complex circular tactics for barehand self-defense applications.

Students who use the Flying Dragon Fist make rapid progress in the understanding of what the masters call luoxuan zhengti-jin or “spiraling whole body force.” We will introduce you to this amazing training-tool basic technique. Students must supply their own Flying Dragon Fist.

Contact Mike Leach, Gompa office Mgr., for simple instructions on how to make your own Flying Dragon Fist!
Email:  Thegompa@aol.com.  Please put “Flying Dragon Fist” in the subject line.

 

 

Dr. Painter in Earth Palm Bagua

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This