Shanghai

Shanghai

What stood out most for us on our stay in Shanghai, was the size of the city and amount of people who live there. Also striking is its modern buildings and sky scrapers, together with the authentic feel of the city.

We visited Zhujiajiao, also known as the Venice of Shanghai.

There is a beautifully manicured garden alongside, and one can see a lot of work has been put into the making of this space, in the style of a manor garden.

Tai chi is practiced in Shanghai in the many parks that are in and around the city. Where ever there is a space, it will be used. The locals get out into the park and have activities like taiji; badminton; qi gong; playing instruments; kicking the shuttlecock. This all contributes to a very vibey atmosphere.

> Next China Trip blog: Terracotta Army

What stood out most for us on our stay in Shanghai, was the size of the city and amount of people who live there. Also striking is its modern buildings and sky scrapers, together with the authentic feel of the city. We visited Zhujiajiao, also known as the Venice of Shanghai. There is a beautifully …

Chen Village Museum

Chen Village Museum

During our visit to Chen Village, we spent a few hours exploring the 2800 square meters of the Chen Village Museum.  Being the birthplace of Tai Chi, the museum is a wonderful collection of art, sculptures and information about the history and theory of this martial arts.  The museum also has a way of introducing you to the tai chi Masters and their life stories.

In this video, about half way through, you will see the painting of a master with numerous hands.  It is said that when a practitioner of tai chi reaches a very high level, his skill is like that of ‘a man with a thousand hands’.  He can thus achieve a lot by doing a little, as in if he gets hit by someone, that pressure will bounce back to the assailant.

Most people in Chenjiagou Village, or Chen Village, practice tai chi.  Hence there is a widespread saying:

“After drinking the water in Chenjiagou Village, you will know how to perform one or two movements of Tai chi.”

 

Sifu Leo’s reflection of visiting this museum is:

“Well, I have read up for years on the history and the various masters and how they passed their knowledge on. It is only when you get there, to Chen Village, that it becomes a reality as you stand on the grounds where the Master’s actually trained. The museum made real the theory that I read in the books.  I recommend students of tai chi to visit the museum, as when you are physically at Chenjiagou , the teachings that you have learned in your taiji class get placed into a real perspective.”

 

> Next China Trip blog:  Shanghai and Zhujiajiao

During our visit to Chen Village, we spent a few hours exploring the 2800 square meters of the Chen Village Museum.  Being the birthplace of Tai Chi, the museum is a wonderful collection of art, sculptures and information about the history and theory of this martial arts.  The museum also has a way of introducing …

Visiting the Great Wall of China

Visiting the Great Wall of China

On our tour of China, we spent a few hours walking along the Great Wall.  We visited a popular section called Badaling, about 80 kilometres northwest of Beijing.  It is one of the most visited sections because it is the most well-maintained and representative section the Wall.

What is most striking about the Wall is the sheer size of it, and the overwhelming presence it has.  The fact that a million people lost their lives building the Wall, adds to its impressiveness.  And this fact has also lead the Wall to be called “the wall of tears”.

There is a great legend which tells of a lady called Meng Jiang, whose husband died while working on the wall.  Her tears that fell were so bitter that it collapsed a section of the wall, revealing where his bones were.  This allowed the grieving wife to bury them properly.

Another interesting fact is that in the Qin Dynasty, glutinous rice flour was used as cement to bind the bricks.

“The Great Wall symbolises everlasting strength and longevity and protection for my people” contemplates Sifu Leo.

> Next blog: Chen Village Museum

On our tour of China, we spent a few hours walking along the Great Wall.  We visited a popular section called Badaling, about 80 kilometres northwest of Beijing.  It is one of the most visited sections because it is the most well-maintained and representative section the Wall. What is most striking about the Wall is …

Wudang Mountains

Wudang Mountains

Part of our students travels round Hubei, China, was time spent in the Wudang Mountains.  Besides the beautiful scenery, these mountains are an important destination for Taoist pilgrimages, as they are one of the “Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism” and thus have many Taoist monasteries and temples.

The Wudang Mountains are also renowned for the art of Tai Chi.  Many festivals and  martial arts tournaments are held here, along side the tai chi training schools.  Here is a yearly celebration of Lau tsu that we watched:

Jackie Chan in Wudang during his movie with Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith

 

Students of Martial Arts in the Wudang Mountains

> Next destination:  Visiting the Great Wall of China

Part of our students travels round Hubei, China, was time spent in the Wudang Mountains.  Besides the beautiful scenery, these mountains are an important destination for Taoist pilgrimages, as they are one of the “Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism” and thus have many Taoist monasteries and temples. The Wudang Mountains are also renowned for the …

Chen Village Visit

Chen Village Visit

Chen is the village where the Chen Form of Tai Chi originated.

Over 11 generations ago, and more than 350 years ago, the Chen Family combined martial arts with breathing techniques and Chinese medicine, and created what we know as Tai Chi today, in the Chen Form.

It is still taught today in Chen Village by the descendants of this historic family.

On our trip to China, here are our South African students and our fellow US travel companions mingling with the children visiting Chen:

And the reaction to us:

 

> Next destination:  Wudang Mountains

Chen is the village where the Chen Form of Tai Chi originated. Over 11 generations ago, and more than 350 years ago, the Chen Family combined martial arts with breathing techniques and Chinese medicine, and created what we know as Tai Chi today, in the Chen Form. It is still taught today in Chen Village …

China Trip – Photos of our adventure

China Trip – Photos of our adventure

Here is the start of our collection of photos, of the adventure a group of tai chi students are currently enjoying, while on their trip to China.

They are exploring the culture, places and people to get a more in-depth understanding of the history, people and current practice of tai chi.

Here’s a video of the Fan Form that Sifu Leo Ming just shared on Facebook:

Sifu Leo Ming and 李连杰 Jet Li saving wildlife in Xian, China.
Tai chi in Xian, a small city of 10 million. The old wall was build around it, and is 7 miles long and could fit 4 cars wide on top.
Street market in the city of Louyang
Reading in the street market in Louyang
At the airport, ready to go 🙂


More photos and videos here:

Here is the start of our collection of photos, of the adventure a group of tai chi students are currently enjoying, while on their trip to China. They are exploring the culture, places and people to get a more in-depth understanding of the history, people and current practice of tai chi. Here’s a video of …

Agility as a Team Building Theme

Agility as a Team Building Theme

When asked by a corporate to help with a team building exercise, or fun and yet informative day, Leo uses tai chi as an analogy to highlight the points needed to work together effectively.

Leo had the opportunity recently to enjoy a day with the team at Fulcrum, which was organised by the advertising company Van Damm.  The MC was Bongani Bingwa and a fellow presenter was Chef Benny Masekwameng, also known as Benny the Chef.

Constitution Hill in Johannesburg was chosen as the venue, as it is a place full of history from our country South Africa, allowing a sense of perspective reminding us of memories of the past and dreams for the future.  When we understand our place in the present from this perspective, we gain a useful vantage point.

The themes from Fulcrum that they were exploring at this corporate event included: excellence, trust, relationship, agility and progress.  Leo focused on sharing thoughts on the agility segment, around how to alter your course without changing your destination.

Using tai chi at the metaphor, and with getting the audience moving and involved in the discussion, Leo shared how knowing yourself is true wisdom.  Strength comes when we can master others, whereas true power is developed when we are mastering ourselves.

“When all the team are moving, practicing a tai chi pose together and moving as a unit, it is a very powerful energy” explains Leo.  “Using tai chi to relax the body, and focus the mind, one can get the best out of your whole unit, as each person is moving as one unit.”

“I enjoyed teaching them the skills and the benefits of having the right base and platform from which to work from.  A base of tranquility, strong focus, and a clear mind to make better decisions.”

To find out how tai chi can be used as a metaphor for your teams growth, contact your Sifu Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

When asked by a corporate to help with a team building exercise, or fun and yet informative day, Leo uses tai chi as an analogy to highlight the points needed to work together effectively. Leo had the opportunity recently to enjoy a day with the team at Fulcrum, which was organised by the advertising company …

Tips for practicing the Tai Chi Sword Forms

Tips for practicing the Tai Chi Sword Forms

There are forms of Tai Chi, being a practice of the Martial Arts, that use weapons.

Specifically, the straight sword and the broad sword are commonly used in practice to enhance the understanding of this art form.

Besides the sword forms being a way to promote good health and fitness, with their energetic moves and deep lunges, they also require some mental preparation and an inner attitude to gain the most benefits.

Sifu Leo talks in this short audio clip about the symbolic meaning behind the sword that one should keep in mind during practice.  He touches on the respectful attitude required, and the inner mood that is best to develop before even picking up the sword.

He explains how the sword becomes an extension of one’s limb, and with time, how graceful and nuanced the movements become.



To learn more about the benefits of training with swords, and to explore tai chi, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

There are forms of Tai Chi, being a practice of the Martial Arts, that use weapons. Specifically, the straight sword and the broad sword are commonly used in practice to enhance the understanding of this art form. Besides the sword forms being a way to promote good health and fitness, with their energetic moves and …

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 …