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!

Friday, June 2

3:00 – 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!

Lunch:  12 noon – 1:30 pm

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!

Introduction to the Way of Tai Chi — Sf. George Chase
Come and learn by doing, watching, or repetition. Gain a stronger body and mind by using tai chi principles for health.  This is the gateway to all tai chi development, no matter how far you wish to take it.  Want to feel better, be stronger, have better balance, better posture and be able to relax under difficult circumstances?  You can start right here, right now. The main thrust of this workshop will be the internal work that allows you how increase your qi (life force) energy. Learn how to use it for health benefits, how correct breathing causes the body and its many passageways to relax, leading to increased vitality. Learn how rotation in your waist and lumbar spine area leads to flexibility.  We will also touch on “scooping,” silk reeling energy, and how flow in your acupuncture meridians leads to internal health by concentrating qi into the organs and your “dan tian,” through the practice of tai chi. You will also see how these things are hidden in the moving postures of the tai chi forms. Learn and experience how tai chi is a powerful moving qigong.

Introduction to Qigong: Chinese Energy Work  – Sf. Joseph Ng
This very hands-on woekshop will allow you to sense, use, and increase the mysterious life force energy that the Chinese call “qi.”  In this workshop, Sifu Ng will help you create a “qi ball” between your hands.  With a special standing meditation, you will be able to feel and reference the qi even more.  You will also learn how to apply it into your own daily practices, to increase your personal energy and power.  Learn how to feel the flow of this amazing energy.  A Q&A session follows so that all your questions can be addressed.

Chinese Five Element Theory As Used in Wu Mei Pai’s Kung Fu Strategies — Sg. Ken Lo
Sigong (lineage holder) Ken Lo will lead a workshop on the Chinese Five Element Theory and how they relate to Wu Mei Pai’s combat strategy. The Chinese Five Elements include: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. This workshop is divided into three parts: The first part will introduce the Chinese Five Element Theory and connect the theory to Wu Mei Pai kung fu’s martial strategy. In this first-of-the-series workshop, Sigong Lo will demonstrate and teach the Fire & Water elements in movement and combat application. (The other elements will be covered in workshops by Sf. Angel Lo and Sf. David Doljan.) “Fire” is physically associated with the cardiovascular system and small intestines. Psychologically and spiritually, fire relates to laughter, resolving hatred and violence, and feeling happy.  “Water” is physically associated with the hair, kidneys, adrenal glands and bladder.  Psychologically and spiritually, it relates to releasing stress and anxiety, kindness, and calmness. Martially, fire can be explosive and highly transformative, whereas water is subtle but stunningly over-powering.  Explore these energies here and relate them to your own practice.

Zhan Zhuang 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 you 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 validate 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?” you will come away from the experience with a deeper understanding of what power standing truly means.
This program is appropriate for practitioners of any art, any level. All are welcome.

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.

Hidden Treasures:  Discovering the Training “Gems” in Everyday Tai chi and Qigong — Sf. Ramsey Yunan
Internal arts such as taijiquan (tai chi chuan) and qigong are well known for providing healthy, rejuvenating effects on the body and mind.  Unfortunately, very few people appreciate the martial origins of these arts and misinterpret the self-defense aspects of the core exercises.  As a result, they are only able to access a fraction of the potential benefits available. By exploring the built-in martial arts elements of these internal traditions, we can understand how these exercises were originally designed to optimize people’s longterm physical and mental abilities so that they could remain healthy and be capable of defending themselves into old age.  Let’s examine common taiji and qigong exercises and identify the root elements.  We’ll then analyze basic standing and moving, anatomical structure and sensitivity feedback.  Lastly, we will investigate experiencing martial energy and using it to enhance our daily practice.

Principles of Movement as Seen in the Cheng Man Ch’ing 37 Short Form Tai Chi — Sf. Wm. C. Phillips
Worldwide there are many practitioners of this 37-postures short form of tai chi.  And many who do practice actually do not conform to the main principles.  Sf. Phillips believes that progress comes from understanding and conforming to those principles.  And so we will explore principles such as: “Investing in loss,” attached hand, detached hand, listening skills, and how they can be developed in solo tai chi form practice, how form can drive push hands and applications, and much more.  Advanced practitioners and beginners alike, are welcome.

Fortifying & Dissolving the Center in Tai Chi — Sf. Richard Clear
“Dissolving the Center” is a special skill of tai chi (taijiquan)that is rarely explained or taught.   This workshop will teach you how to fortify and dissolve your center.  Applications for health and self-defense will be taught using push hands as the medium to convey the information.  Also, you will learn a fun and skill-building tai chi push hands game that will teach you how to hide your center and find your partner’s center.

New Style of Tai Chi: Traceless Center Standing Qigong Meditation “Zong Huan Tai Ji Quan”  — Sf. Erik Oliva
The Trace-less Center Tai Chi Standing Qigong Meditation is the first practice of a 4-movement form of tai
chi called “Zong Huan” (Origin and Illusion). It is the foundation of developing internal and martial strength,
health, and inner peace. Learn specific qualities of each tai chi movement principle, characterized as
subtle/abrupt; hard/soft; rising/sinking; expanding/contracting; twisting/lengthening. Throughout this
practice your ability to direct your mind and qi throughout the body for health benefits will become more
tangible as you delve deep into the meditative aspects of the form. “Trace-less Center” is a practice that will give you the most basic to advanced methods for the understanding and application of the martial strength called “fa jin”, or “explosive strength/force.”

It’s an easy to learn, stationary practice fit for limited space. Just 5 minutes of practice a day will refresh and revitalize you. The form is a combination of basic movement principles and qigong “Xin Fa,” “Core Methods,” from Chen style Tai Chi, Xing Yi 5 Elements, Bagua Qigong, and Wing Chun Kung Fu. The Trace-less Center focuses on improving blood and qi flow to the extremities, loosening the joints, and transforming every movement you do into a wholesome practice benefiting your mind and body.

1:30 – 5:00 PM ~ WORKSHOPS and ACTIVITIES

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.

How to Use Earth and Wood Elements in Martial Arts — Sifu Angel Lo
The Chinese systems of natural health (e.g. qigong, acupuncture, etc) and martial arts use a model called “the five elements.”  These are: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth.  “Earth” is physically associated with the muscles, spleen, pancreas, and stomach. Psychologically and spiritually, earth relates to abundance, resolving avarice, and feeling stable.  “Wood” is physically associated with the sinews, liver, and gallbladder.  Psychologically and spiritually, it relates to controlling anger, repressed depression and frustration, and having motivation. In the martial arts, earth is very stable, yet stealthy. Wood is often used in martial arts as blunt force striking power, and rooting into collapsing energy. Sifu Lo will demonstrate and teach you the movements characteristics of the Chinese earth and wood elements and how they interact in combat.  This short practice does not require memorizing a multitude of forms, and will give you instant access to understanding how to draw up these energies and use them in martial arts practice.  This is especially of interest to anyone studying the Chinese martial arts and how they express the five elements. Add dimension to your knowledge from the rare background Sf. Lo offers from her years of experience practicing and teaching the Wu Mei Pai systems of kung fu – systems founded by an ancient female Chinese Buddhist nun.

Special Zhan Zhuang Standing Meditation – Sf. Ren-Gang Wang
Ancient Chinese standing meditation methods are the cornerstone for developing special structure, growing and circulating the qi flow, and obtaining the elusive state of “peng” in tai chi and the internal arts. The Chinese also used standing meditations to increase intuition, the ability to project qi, and keeping the mind while dealing with intense situations. In this workshop, Shifu Wang will help you learn and feel how standing meditations can be used to correct your qi flow and bring you back to a natural and ideal state of homeostasis. Locate the tension in your body, and then release it before it settles in your tissue causing unnecessary aging and damage. Take the opportunity to get advice and corrections from an expert. You can then take this practice anywhere and use it just about anytime, for a milieu of practical reasons.

Metal Qigong — Sf. David Doljan
In the Chinese systems of natural health (e.g. qigong, acupuncture, etc) and martial arts, there is the systems of the five elements.  The constructs are: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth.  “Metal” is physically associated with the skin, colon, and lungs.  Psychological energies related to it are: overcoming depression/grief, gaining courage, and the ability to let go of what no longer serves us in our highest good.  In the martial arts, metal is a very direct, yet refined, advancing energy.  Knowledge and practice of the metal element will coax the life force energy (qi) to express these powerful qualities of the Chinese “metal element.”  Sifu Doljan will use his advanced abilities to perceive qi energy to guide you to feel and use the circular force of Metal Wu Mei Pai Martial techniques and how to apply them in physical (and mental) combative situations.

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!

An Introduction to PKC (Physical Knowledge Control) — Sz. Charlie Pasquariello
The PKC program was initially created for Military, Police, and Correctional Officers, but has since been adapted for Civilian use.  Many students join a gym or martial arts class so that they can learn how to defend themselves, and yet… most schools jump into teaching forms, techniques, and applications without preparing the student for the realities of 24/7 self defense situations.  PKC offers a stripped down, easy to learn process for anyone who wishes to gain a practical knowledge of self defense in a compressed amount of time.  In this workshop you will learn:
~Overview of the Civilian PKC program
~How to asses environments in your daily life
~Dressing for success (consciously making tactical clothing choices)
~Posturing/Command Presence
~Using verbal and non verbal cues to de-escalate a tense exchange

~Deciding when and how to engage physically

Chinese Yoga with Healing Qi — Sf. Jianye Jiang
Chinese yoga, or “dao yin,” is the origin of today’s qigong. Come and learn gentle, yet effective, stretching exercises that make you feel younger and freer.  Learn how to open up areas that got blocked from past strain, injury, or psychological stress.  Discover what it feels like to lead your qi “life force energy” through newly opened areas to deliver increased energy and ability to relax. Come and join a teacher who has studied some of the most powerful systems of qigong known to exist.  Breathe, stretch, heal, and discover the fountain of youth.

Intro to Soft Style Martial Arts — Sf. Joseph Ng
What is a soft style martial art?  Come and see how there are energy and strategy-based martial arts that do not rely on brute force like so many people mistakenly think as the be-all and end-all of martial arts.  You will be introduced to this idea with the Invisible Buddha Fist system.  Learn all about the “four levels of essence,” and what true structure is.  Understand the difference between energy of muscle and tendon.  Discover how one uses “cotton” (soft/yin) followed by steel (hard/yang).  Be able to understand what is true yin and yang.  At the end of the session, you will use soft style “chi sao” or push hands style practice with each other and discover real applications by applying yin and yang concepts.  Use this knowledge to add amazing dimension to what you know, or discover what you don’t know.  Q&A session follows at the end.

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! BRING ANY DRUMS OR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS YOU OWN – we’ll also have a few drums and percussion instruments for you to use and share.

Sunday, June 4

6:00 – 7:00 AM ~ Yi Li Gong – 8 Simple Exercises That Work All Parts of Your Body

Breakfast: 7 am – 8:30 am

Led by Shifu Erik Oliva:

Yi Li Gong, or “Mind Intent Practice,” focuses on subtle, non-aggressive stretching and twisting to ensure a comprehensive, light, yet complete workout in a meditative manner. Enjoy 8 simple exercises that workout your: feet, knees, hips, waist, spine, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

Based on Chinese medical qigong, explore this practice for health, preventative practice, and longevity. Feel your circulation regulate, relieve stress, tone muscle, loosen the joints, and strengthen your abdominal core.  Use it to alleviate pain, refresh yourself and revitalize you mind while improving various conditions you might be experiencing.

This is also great to instill an inner sense of calm, improve your balance, flexibility, control, and ability to maintain a quiet but sharp mind.  A great way to start your day and augment anything you practice!  All are welcome.

8:00 AM – 12 NOON ~ WORKSHOPS GALORE!

Lunch: 12 noon – 1:30 pm

Standing Dao Yin — Sf. Yancy Orchard
“Dao yin” are ancient Chinese exercises, many of which date back to 400 C.E. Dao yin are characterized by gentle, smooth, rhythmic movements performed in various positions. These movements are meticulous and coordinated with relaxed, diaphragmatic breathing, focused awareness, and specific visualizations.
Dao yin translates as “guiding and leading.” Using movements, breath, and intention, you will learn to guide your awareness inside your body. Regular practice results in an increased awareness of health, activates the energy flow of the acupuncture meridians, transforms your consciousness of internal tension, and gently enhances your movement toward physical, mental, and emotional harmony.
This course fuses Dr. Orchard’s soft tissue and breathing physiology knowledge with the traditional dao yin stretching and strengthening exercises as practiced by the Li family since 1580. These exercises stimulate the myofascial tissues, internal organs, nervous system, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, and qi meridian system. You’ll experience the difference this makes in how you function and feel.

Yin Yang Medical Qigong — Sf. YuZhi Lu
After researching many forms of qigong in China, Master Jianye Jiang amalgamated the most effective aspects of these qigong practices in what he calls, “Yin Yang Medical Qigong.”  Much of it comes from the philosophy of the natural and martial study of White Crane, Wild Goose Qigong, and the remarkable “Fragrance” Qigong.  This qigong set involves movement and stretching.  This qigong unblocks and strengthen your qi (acupuncture) meridians, develops your energy and helps heal your internal organs. Masters Jiang and Lu also have videos on this topic to help you take home what you learn and have it as a daily practice.

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

Millions of people across the world practice their tai chi form unaware of the martial roots of the movements. This has earned tai chi the label of “a gentle Chinese exercise;” a name which does disservice to this once grand
martial art. Locked inside every tai chi form are martial applications, designed to put the tai chi energies and principles into context. Without this knowledge, tai chi form is little more than an empty book filled with blank pages. With this knowledge, it is your key to unlocking the formidable power within. Join Sf. Wang while safely practicing with others to get the feel of how each application works, both as a stand-alone technique and as it applies to push hands — the precursor to actual tai chi sparring. Bring your questions and leave with the edge of new knowledge and techniques.

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, Sf. Sandra created a 20-movement Fan Form Qi Gong based on Sf. 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.

Tai Chi Ti Feng & Neutralizing Ti Feng — Sf. Richard Clear
Ti Feng is a tai chi (taijiquan) term that directly refers to the principle of “Catch and Release.”  In this workshop, you will learn how to ti feng externally and internally.  Emphasis will be placed on what to capture, how to capture it, and then on how to release for effortless power.  Methods to counter ti feng and to neutralize ti feng will be taught.  Countering and neutralizing will include an emphasis on the double-weighted error and how to avoid it.

10:00 AM – 12 NOON ~ The Rare Gongfu Chinese Tea Ceremony

(Please have $35 materials fee handed to Master Lo to reserve your space and consumption of expensive teas, BEFORE the tea ceremony.)

Many Westerners have heard of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Few however, know about the older Chinese Tea Ceremony. The art of drinking and serving tea plays a major cultural role in China. It inspires poetry and songs. Mutual love of tea cements lifelong friendships. For centuries, the ritual of preparing and serving tea has held a special place in the hearts and minds of Chinese aristocracy, intellectuals, artists, and poets. In this fascinating immersion, Master Ken Lo will treat you to the rare and beautiful Chinese Tea Ceremony.

You will learn how the ceremony emphasizes the tea, rather than the ceremony itself. “Ceremony” doesn’t mean that each server will perform the ritual the same way; it is not related to religion. Each step is meant to be a sensory exploration and appreciation. Using the Ming Dynasty method, you will learn how to steep hand picked whole tea leaves into a remarkable beverage with multiple layers of fragrance and taste. You will discover that beyond the tea itself, the ceremony is actually a lesson in taste, ethics, culture and civility. Master Lo will also be serving rare collector’s teas, commercially unobtainable.

Come discover a high art that contains the poetry, calligraphy, painting, and music of the Chinese literati scholar, all present in this extraordinary presentation.

NOTE: Due to the length of the ceremony, this workshop is a two-hour  presentation, scheduled to run to the beginning of lunch.

TO PARTICIPATE and sit at the tables, please have $35 cash already handed in to Master Lo, to cover materials fees for the consumption of some extravagantly rare and thus, expensive teas.  If you wish to just observe and be in the meditative atmosphere without participating, you may do so by quietly standing or sitting at the sides of the area.

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:

Dr. Painter in Earth Palm Bagua

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.

 

Special Thanks to: http://www.SelfRealization.com for their sponsorship toward TaiChiGala.com.

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