Employee Engagement Sessions

Employee Engagement Sessions

Everything we do is with and through people, and even more so in the corporate world. It’s the people of organisations that make up the business, and the businesses success is based on how well those individuals are, and also how well they work together towards achieving the common goals of the organisation.

Thus for a productive workforce, we need productive healthy and happy people. And a trend in companies is to bring their staff together in small team buildings, or larger conferences, where they management can recognise the contribution of their people, and also communication the next steps of the business strategy.

A great way to spice these events up to keep employees engaged, is to slow them down!


Leo’s corporate wellness events do just that. He brings an element of inner health to the conference by teaching tai chi principles, like that of flow, and slowing down to gain clarity. As well as offering a team building exercise in that the group together have an experience of the practice of tai chi, developing a common memory to bring them together and build relationships.

Old Mutual offered this recently to their Ace Winners at a Durban in-house conference. Leo enjoyed taking the group through some qigong and tai chi, and brought a nice break and something different to the pace of the work meeting.

Laughs were had, a moment of solace was gained, and staff went into the next session feeling more refreshed.

 

To learn more about adding a tai chi break-away session to your next corporate event, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Everything we do is with and through people, and even more so in the corporate world. It’s the people of organisations that make up the business, and the businesses success is based on how well those individuals are, and also how well they work together towards achieving the common goals of the organisation. Thus for …

October 2017 Tai Chi Retreat near Johannesburg

October 2017 Tai Chi Retreat near Johannesburg

A time of reflection, of going within, of practicing our art of taiji, of restoring our minds and bodies, a time of laughter and friendship and so much more was had at this Octobers Tai Chi Retreat.

Melody hill welcomed us, and fed us with nourishing and o-so-yummy vegetarian food, and kept us warm around a fire at night.

The setting has become our favourite, as the green grass under the walnut trees is a soothing and invigorating space for tai chi classes.

This year we also had the privilege to learn from the psychologist Dr Ken Jennings. He spoke with us about viewing our life through our own personal lenses. He unpacked four lenses for us that are most helpful in helping us to still see the beauty in our lives, even when we are experiencing pain.

Dr Jennings outlined the four lenses into:

  1. The co-operative lense, which explains how the nature of our relationships act as a mirror to help us.
  2. The expansive lense, which is about how we evolve and grow, so that we keep learning and unlearning as we go.
  3. The perfect life lense, which is about acceptance and points to our attitudes of gratitude and appreciation, and…
  4. The random lense, where life throughs us curveballs and it’s our creative responses and ability to embrace change that helps us.

[Read more about this in Dr Jenning’s article here.]

Having gone deeper into the taiji form known as Chen, which we were currently practicing in class, this retreat yet again took our practice to our individual next level, as well as gave us a break from the daily grind of life.

We all enjoyed our time out at Melody Hill, and look forward to the next Retreat in 2018!

A time of reflection, of going within, of practicing our art of taiji, of restoring our minds and bodies, a time of laughter and friendship and so much more was had at this Octobers Tai Chi Retreat. Melody hill welcomed us, and fed us with nourishing and o-so-yummy vegetarian food, and kept us warm around …

Taiji Trip to China in 2018

Taiji Trip to China in 2018

Sifu Leo will be hosting, with Master Jesse Tsao, a group of students and friends of Mings Martial Arts Academy for a 10 day trip around China in April 2018.

Jese Tsao’s facebook post about the tour says:

“This is a private tour with no forced daily commercial shopping stops  saving time and money); our own private tour bus.
Jesse Tsao will lead tai chi and Qigong every morning for one hour before breakfast.
Non-Tai Chi and Qigong people can enjoy additional sleep or follow us to local park for sightseeing.
We arrange plenty flexible times on evenings free time for leisure or exploring as a group or on your own. These pictures are Year 2007 we practice tai chi with Xian local people.
Space is limited at 25.”

 

 

Itinerary for the 2018 Tai Chi Healthways China Tour Retreat with Master Jesse Tsao:

Beijing – Xian – Luoyang – Chen Village (Chenjiagou) – Zhengzhou – Yangtai Penglai.

Detail coming soon.

Contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468 for more info and to book your place.

 From another post by Master Jesse Tsao

Sifu Leo will be hosting, with Master Jesse Tsao, a group of students and friends of Mings Martial Arts Academy for a 10 day trip around China in April 2018. Jese Tsao’s facebook post about the tour says: “This is a private tour with no forced daily commercial shopping stops  saving time and money); our …

Cape Town Wellness taiji workshop with Sifu Leo

Cape Town Wellness taiji workshop with Sifu Leo

Sifu Leo spent a few days in the mother city, Cape Town, running corporate Wellness workshops, about the many beneficial aspects of tai chi for stress relief, and to bring the concept of flow into work, and teach some self-defense techniques.

 

Here are a few clips sharing some of the points covered:

For more info on workshops for your team building or wellness days, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Sifu Leo spent a few days in the mother city, Cape Town, running corporate Wellness workshops, about the many beneficial aspects of tai chi for stress relief, and to bring the concept of flow into work, and teach some self-defense techniques.   Here are a few clips sharing some of the points covered: For more …

Chen form of Tai Chi

Chen form of Tai Chi

On our recent Tai Chi retreat, Sifu Leo Ming demonstrated the Chen routine, on a very chilly winter’s day.

Enjoy the video recording here:

On our recent Tai Chi retreat, Sifu Leo Ming demonstrated the Chen routine, on a very chilly winter’s day. Enjoy the video recording here:

Tai Chi helps patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Tai Chi helps patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Impaired balance is one of the symptoms of those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. They also tend to fall often, and are less able to function on a day to day basis as the disease progresses.

Exercise is encouraged – yet until this research, few forms of exercise had been shown to be effective. This study, published in the  New England Journal of Medicine , was conducted in 2012.  It found that tai chi was the form of exercise that consistently helped patients with Parkinson’s disease.

These patients were taken through a tailored tai chi programme to test if this form of exercise could improve their ability to control their posture.

The other forms of exercise that were compared to the tai chi were stretching and resistance training. All the participants only did 60 minutes of exercise, twice a week, over a period of 24 week.

The results showed that “the tai chi group performed consistently better than the resistance-training and stretching groups in maximum excursion”. Incidence of falls were lowered too, and they found that resistance training also helped with this aspect.

It is interesting to note too that the effects of the training in tai chi were maintained when they checked in with the patients 3 months after the tai chi programme ended.

So if you would like to improve your balance and posture control, consider taking up the practice of tai chi, and come and join us for a free trail class.

 

To find out how tai chi can help you with managing your health challenges and improving your balance, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Impaired balance is one of the symptoms of those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. They also tend to fall often, and are less able to function on a day to day basis as the disease progresses. Exercise is encouraged – yet until this research, few forms of exercise had been shown to be effective. This …

Racewalking and Tai Chi

Racewalking and Tai Chi

“Taiji has enriched my life and improved my resilience immensely. I am grateful to Leo for all the help and guidance he has given me” shares Barbara Nell, a World Champion Racewalker.

Barbara Nell in action

Barbara has been racewalking for over 25 years, and covered a distance of some 50 000 km’s during this time. She trains on both road and track, and has worked with many coaches over the years – each contributing in their way her preparation and technique. This had lead her to achieve world records and to winning championships.

Some of her impressive achievements include:

  • the first woman in Africa to walk a 20km in under 1:50
  • held the All Africa record for the 20km women’s walk
  • has won SA Senior Track and Field Championships 4 times
  • won the SA Road Walk senior Championships 5 times
  • attended 11 World Masters Athletics Championships
  • has been the World Champion in her age group 14 times
  • won 4 silver and 3 bronze medals from these competitions
  • competed in team events and won WMAC gold medals, silver and a bronze Medal
  • in 2000 set the W45-49 5000m racewalk World Record with a time of 24:14
  • set 4 SA Senior records, and 18 SA Masters records
  • won her age group races at the South African Masters National Championships 33 times
  • won SA Masters Provincial Championships 47 times.

As part of her development in strengthening and maintaining her muscles needed for racewalking, Barbara supplements her training with tai chi and works with a biokineticist.

“In 2009, I was injured and my Physiotherapist recommended taiji to help me build strength and improve my balance in order to avoid further injury. I have worked with Leo since that time.

Firstly, it has been great to do taiji as a complete contrast to my other training which is time or distance based. The sense of being in the present while doing the movement with no immediate objective in sight is very fulfilling. Doing Taiji has definitely enhanced my muscle strength and improved my balance which has been advantageous to my race walking.

Secondly, there is so much wisdom in this ancient practice as the entire body is worked and strengthened by the many graceful movements during a morning’s session.

She is also very much aware of her mindset, and finds that learning from her failures, not letting her walking define her, and having fun while training and competing, are also key parts of her success.

Recently she attended the World Masters Athletic Championships in Perth in October and November 2016. This event included more than 4000 competitors from some 80 countries between the ages of 35 to 97 competing in 31 events.

Barbara, on the podium after the 10km with the Australian Barb Bryant 2nd and the British Walker Cath Duhig 3rd.

Barbara participated in the Race walks in the 5000m track event, the 10km road walk and the 20km road walk in the Women 60-64 age group, where she won the 5000m and 10km walks and got the silver medal in the 20km.

Together with Lucia Willemse (W60-64) and Elsa Meyer (W70-74), they made up the South African team and they won the silver medal in the team event for the 10km (W 60-64) and the gold medal in the 20km (W60-64).

We agree with Barbara that “walking is a healthy lifestyle activity and one of the best forms of exercise” as she shared in the November/December edition of the SA Racewalking Newsletter. She further imparted that she “feels that individual endurance sport is a great teacher. She has learnt many life lessons from walking and competing. ‘In the end you are racing against yourself and trying to be the best that you can be. The most important thing for me is that it must be fun. I walk because I love it.’ ”

We commend Barbara on her achievements, and her multi-disciplinary approach to her training. May the grace and wisdom from the practice of taiji continue to give her the inner and physical strength to persist in being the inspiration she is to us, and to so many others.

 

To find out how tai chi can help you excel in your chosen sport, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

“Taiji has enriched my life and improved my resilience immensely. I am grateful to Leo for all the help and guidance he has given me” shares Barbara Nell, a World Champion Racewalker. Barbara has been racewalking for over 25 years, and covered a distance of some 50 000 km’s during this time. She trains on …

Bowing and Uniforms in Martial Arts

Bowing and Uniforms in Martial Arts

Learning the arts such as taiji and or martial arts has many interesting facets. One of the most fascinating is the aspect of bowing.

  • What is bowing ?
  • What does it mean?
  • Why do we do it?
  • Is it a gesture which has been handed down through generations?

Before reading further, have a think about what it means to you.

Significance of Bowing in Tai Chi and Karate

Bowing at the door when entering the class is a sign of respect. Respect for the place of training, respect for the art, respect to yourself as a practitioner.

One must be able to bow to a teacher, and also bow to oneself. If you cannot bow to yourself it means you don’t have respect for yourself, therefore you can’t possibly respect any other person or thing.

Bowing is also a sign of humility. If you can’t bow to whomever your teacher is , then it means that you cannot humble yourself.

Humility is giving up of the ego. To empty oneself. To get rid of.

So when we bow in karate or taiji, we are physically at the lowest point to the ground, with our forehead (which is usually one of the highest points) right down to the ground. We place ourselves in the ‘low’ point. We are, through physical movements, teaching our egos to dissipate.

When we strike in karate, we should be striking our own egos. Our partner is our mirror, it becomes us. We also do mirror drills in taiji, and similar consciousness applies.

Uniforms in Tai Chi and Karate

How does a small gesture of wearing uniform affect us?

When we wear uniform we are expressing that we are all equal. No one person is better than each other. No one person is more or less equipped.

We train in the same place, in the same space, at the same time. We have left / emptied our baggage at the door, coming into a sacred training space. A space for everyone, young, old, fat, thin.

So the next time we enter the dojo with acknowledgment of bowing, with wearing your uniform, and being on time for class, think about what you are suggesting to yourself.

While on the subject of identification, discipline and co-operation , please read our “credo” too!

————————————————-
You can purchase uniforms from Sifu, so please wear them to class! Contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468 for more info.

Learning the arts such as taiji and or martial arts has many interesting facets. One of the most fascinating is the aspect of bowing. What is bowing ? What does it mean? Why do we do it? Is it a gesture which has been handed down through generations? Before reading further, have a think about …

How tai chi helps overcome stress and trauma

How tai chi helps overcome stress and trauma

One of tai chi’s benefits is helping us overcome stress and traumatic ordeals. It is a movement practice that can allow us to feel centered and calm.

Benefits of Group Tai Chi

Tai chi can be done with a group or individually and is often taught in groups with others. The group energy helps us to compose ourselves. Practicing taiji with others brings a unity and togetherness which is experienced both individually and as a collective.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score, specialises in recovery from trauma through understanding the neuroscience of traumatic stress.

Dr van der Kolk on StressHis research has demonstrated how effective mind-body treatment approaches are. He specifically mentions the benefits from modalities including neurofeedback, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and sensory integration methods such as dance and movement. Tai Chi is easily added to this list.

In a video (to be found here) Dr van der Kolk talks about how throwing a ball with a child can help develop the skill of adjusting to the rhythms of another, and the ability of attuning into the other person.

Doing some form of movement together with others (like working a tai chi form in a group), re-establishes rhythms which are important for treating disruptive behaviours in ourselves, This encourages us as adults to develop a biology that can sync with the biology of others around us. In other words, it helps promote co-operation.

“We get to know ourselves because other people know us. When nobody knows us, we don’t know ourselves” says Dr van der Kolk. Practicing tai chi with others can achieve just that.

The skill of being present in the moment

Dr van der Kolk goes on to explain in his next video (to be found here) about the relation between being present and healing from stress.

The main avenues to learn how to be focused and present in the here and now are practices like yoga and the traditional mind arts, like tai chi. These sequences of movements that are synced with breath work, have a meditative effect on the mind and the body.

In order to learn the tai chi forms, you need to pay attention to each part of your body and the specifics of how your limbs need to be held and moved.
This practice gives one the time to be present within your body, noticing your feelings and what’s going on in your body. This kind of awareness helps those feeling highly stressed become more present and calm.

Classes in Johannesburg to de-stress

De-stressing Tai Chi at Secret SunsetTo learn more about how Mings Martial Arts’ Tai Chi lessons can help you handle stress better, come and try a complimentary first session and speak to Leo, to find out more.

Our Beginners classes are in Parkview on Tuesdays at 18:15, Thursdays at 17:30 and Saturdays at 8:30.

For more info contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

One of tai chi’s benefits is helping us overcome stress and traumatic ordeals. It is a movement practice that can allow us to feel centered and calm. Benefits of Group Tai Chi Tai chi can be done with a group or individually and is often taught in groups with others. The group energy helps us to …

Learning Tai Chi in water

Learning Tai Chi in water

By Leo Ming

I love water and its intrinsic value to life. I am a ‘fish’.

Many years ago, while I was swimming, I thought I would try some taiji in the pool.

Suddenly it dawned on me that the principles of taiji, through the movement under water, can be transferred and combined into being one with this element.

Weightlessness and Weight

A person would gain valuable insight into weightlessness but at the same time learn about how we need ‘weight’ or “chong” to be able to be grounded. Otherwise without this groundedness, we would fall over in the pool.

It takes a long period of patience and practise to do this correctly.

Letting go

The other aspect I learnt from practicing tai chi in water, is to do with the principle of ‘letting go of’. This principle is easier to grasp when in water as we now have an element that surrounds us , catches us and holds us ‘in position. Letting go or ‘fong song’ is critical in order to progress with tiaji and to gain insight.

Many people who come to taiji do the moves beautifully, yet they still have no concept or idea of how we can ‘fong song’. This practice of non-resistance is in alignment with the tao/dao, which is a part of the understanding of taiji. It is exemplified in this saying–

“When you have movement , everything moves, when you are still everything is still.”

Join me for a class to have an experience of ‘fong song’.

To attend a session in Johannesburg, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

By Leo Ming I love water and its intrinsic value to life. I am a ‘fish’. Many years ago, while I was swimming, I thought I would try some taiji in the pool. Suddenly it dawned on me that the principles of taiji, through the movement under water, can be transferred and combined into being …