Thursday

Commodity culture

We live in a world where people are used to buying things.
If you want a tattoo, you pay someone to ink it for you.
If you want a flashy car, you go out and buy one.

The drawback with this is that people mistakenly believe that buying something means more than it does..
.

A balanced approach?

For many people, their fitness regime does not take into account agility, mobility, relaxed spontaneous movement, balance, ambidextrous body use, joint health, coordination, emotional wellbeing or psychological flexibility.
Often, injuries arise and bodies are pushed too hard.


Taijiquan is not like this.

Wednesday

How much does Sifu Waller train?

Sifu Waller trains over 2 hours a day of taijiquan, baguazhang & qigong, 365 days a year. He has been practicing since 1975.

Monday - balls & grips, massage, ba duan jin, leg stretches (set 1), psoas exercises, sword forms (2), Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), pushing peng exercise, chin na applications (solo), sealing the breath (solo), 3-tier wallbag, mother palms, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Tuesday - balls & grips, massage, reeling silk exercises, leg stretches (set 2), sword forms (2), Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), double pushing hands (solo), chin na applications (solo), dividing the muscle (solo), 3-tier wallbag, direction changes, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), cardio work (set 1), weight training (set 1), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Wednesday - balls & grips, massage, moving qigong, leg stretches (set 1), core strength (set 1), stick drills (set 1), stick forms (3), Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), da lu (solo), chin na applications (solo), cavity press (solo), 3-tier wallbag, circle walking, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Thursday - balls & grips, massage, stretches & joint work, leg stretches (set 2), stick drills (set 2), sword forms (2), Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), penetrating defences, shuai jiao applications (solo), sealing the breath (solo), 3-tier wallbag, figure of 8, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), cardio work (set 2), weight training (set 2), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Friday - balls & grips, massage, ba duan jin, leg stretches (set 1), core strength (set 2), stick drills (set 3), stick forms (3), Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), reflex drills, shuai jiao applications (solo), dividing the muscle (solo), 3-tier wallbag, 9 palaces, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Saturday - balls & grips, massage, reeling silk exercises, leg stretches (set 2), sword drills, sword forms (2), Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), double pushing hands (solo), shuai jiao applications (solo), cavity press (solo), 3-tier wallbag, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), cardio work (set 1 or 2), weight training (set 3), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Sunday - balls & grips, massage, moving qigong, leg stretches (set 1), core strength (set 3), stick forms (3),Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored), pao chui form (regular & mirrored), small san sau (regular & mirrored), silk arms (regular & mirrored), pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored), knife drills (regular & mirrored), small stick drills (regular & mirrored), da lu (solo), shuai jiao applications (solo), dividing the muscle (solo), 3-tier wallbag, baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored), Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3), constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day, reading, walking or cycling

Sifu Waller also trains partner work with his wife Rachel (that's me).
We are checking our smartphones on average 221 times a day. Recent research found that 80 percent of millennials look at their phones upon waking; this addiction is a strong one. As a result, our cognitive processing has become shallower and we have become so distracted that we play directly into the hands of the autopilot. Digital devices are the modern day equivalent of tranquillisers. They instil a trance-like state almost immediately as they are anchors for our subconscious to take over. 

 
(Chris Barez-Brown)

Friday

They muddy the water, to make it seem deep.

 
(Friedrich Nietzsche) 

Wednesday

A lot of hobbies are just mental and you have to get exercise by some other means. But if you study a martial art, not only is it mental, it's physical as well, which keeps it interesting. People also like the whole idea that it was invented by ancient civilisations, that there's a history to it, and there's a whole culture involved. The idea that some old Chinese guy up in the mountains made something up, or used this on a battlefield in ancient China, is appealing.

 People do it even if they don't really care whether they ever get good at it, or if they are ever going to be able to fight. A lot of people just enjoy the art of it. The Chinese martial arts have a lot of nice forms, they are good exercise, and they're more interesting than calisthenics. You could just do jumping jacks and toe touches, but there's a whole artistry to the form, like a dance. So, there's a lot of different reasons why people practice.

 
(Tim Cartmell) 

Friday

Little & often

Rather than train for a lengthy period of time, aim to practice little & often.
20-30 minute increments, with rest breaks in-between is ideal.
Instead of pushing your body hard and putting it under duress, just do a little exercise.Resting will keep your concentration sharp and offset fatigue.
At all the appropriate holidays and celebrations
everyone enthusiastically participates.
At the proper times they go to the proper places,
and eagerly do the proper things.

How can anyone who just drifts and wonders,
who can't even be sure of themselves,
Take seriously all these rituals,
all this herding?


(Lao Tzu)

Thursday

What about tradition?

If you are a Christian, give to the poor.

If you are not, why let marketing and commerce bully you into feeling guilty for not buying presents? People are just trying to make money out of you. They want you in debt.
They want you spending more than you can afford. Your greed finances their greed.

If you recall the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol you may remember that celebrating Christmas traditionally entailed giving gifts to the poor.
This is seldom the case these days...

There is nothing miserly about rejecting consumerism.

Wednesday

A keen new starter may attend 24 classes over a 6 month period.
Sifu Waller took 1500-2000 lessons in taijiquan and baguazhang over a 25 year period. This helps to provide perspective. And perhaps humility?

Then, there's the home training to factor in?



(Rachel)

Tuesday

Is boycotting Christmas the answer?

Well, it is one option. But there are others. Why not consider a return to the essence of Christmas?

Give to those who are genuinely suffering and in need.
Give freely and without any need for gratitude or recognition.

Re-discover Christmas through your kindness and your generosity...

Friday

Popularity

Sifu Waller frequently gets asked to write a book on Taoism, Zen, taijiquan and/or baguazhang... Why doesn't he?

Because the mainstream perceptions of these subjects is quite simplistic. Think of Google or Wikipedia? Which results are favoured? The popular ones.

People want to hear what they expect to hear.

Wednesday

 It would be terrifying to actually confront Sifu Waller - his power is remarkable and I've likely only had a glimpse. More remarkable is that he is willing to teach us his Art.

 (David)
    

Tuesday

You can also understand Sifu Waller's insistence on a certain level of fitness for the martial side. Anyone that thinks Taiji is for old people has clearly no idea what the total art is about.

(Chris)

Monday

Everyday Zen

Zen koan:

One day Banzan was walking through a market. He overheard a customer say to the butcher, "Give me the best piece of meat you have." 

"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You can not find any piece of meat that is not the best." 

At these words, Banzan was enlightened.

(Koan)

What does this mean? Sifu Waller will help you here. The butcher maintains that all the meat he sells is his best. This cannot be true because by definition, best requires worst as contrast; a duality. One defines the other.

It is akin to having 'priorities'. You cannot have multiple priorities since the word priority literally means that which comes first. Everything that comes next is therefore of secondary concern?

Similarly, the phrase 'multitasking' is an IT term adopted by mainstream companies to suggest that a person juggle several priorities simultaneously. As the koan indicates, this is impossible.

In IT, multitasking is the illusion of simultaneity, not the practice of it. Now, that is ZEN.

Saturday

Physical Education

Physical Education at school should actually educate people on physical matters:

 
How to use your body in a healthy manner
 
• Sport is relegated to an after school club for those who are 'sporty'
 
Kids who have postural/gait/movement issues should be given specialist rehabilitation in order to restore healthy body use
 
Personal hygiene and cleanliness should be taught
 
Ergonomics - sitting, lifting, good usage
 
Anatomical knowledge; leverage, balance, strength, stance, poise etc
 
How to avoid strain, discomfort, injury
 
Everyday body use

Friday

Boycott Christmas?

If you have no desire to waste hundreds of pounds on pointless gifts - in a celebration of greed and obedience - then you could boycott Christmas altogether...


http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/