A new chapter begins

Dear friends,
my apologies for not writing for such a long time…
The cultural clash I have been facing since I moved to Amsterdam kept me from finding fresh, new energy for updating my blog.
I consider myself lucky: once again I met a valuable Master, Amien Ko ( in the photo below).
At the beginning changing to a new teacher can be frustrating but then, little by little, you get used to him/her and start appreciating the change.
Master Ko is very into classic Yang style, even though he is very knowledgeable about competition and standard Tai Chi.
I am currently refining with Master Amien my 32 Taiji Jian (straight sword), Yang style and learning 108 Classic Yang style and 56 Chen style.
I also started teaching to a nice group of Japanese and Indonesian/Chinese ladies: very motivating!
Master Amien Ko and I in Amstelveen (The Netherlands)

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A day in Kanagawa Prefecture

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Today I attended a Tai chi competition in Todoroki Arena, Kawasaki, 32 Yang Style straight sword.
I was scheduled around 10:00 but I actually I performed around 12:00. Those two hours were very stressful, I kept warming up, sweating, cooling down and warming up again, repeating the cycle for several times, in order to be ready for the performance.
I got a very high score (8.67) with a penalty of 0.2, because my performance lasted few seconds beyond the regular time (time over!).
Something really strange occurred to me: I don’t recall the central third of my performance, as if I were somewhere else, in a different dimension. I flew away…
And when my consciousness came back into my body I was finishing the form and I had the awful feeling I forgot to do some parts of it. But then I saw my other two mates doing the same moves and I felt somehow relieved…

Today was the last time I performed as a member of Kanagawa Bujutsu Tai Kyo Kae because in few weeks I will leave for Amsterdam. It had been my “Sayonara” to Tai Chi and to Tai Chi mates in Japan.

I am still fascinated by the passion and dedication of all people I was with today, especially elder people.
This gives me plenty of hope about my future as a Tai Chi lover and student: you can practice until you are 80!

My teachers, Ra Kyo and Liu Sei sensei, closed the event performing Kung Fu and Chen style Tai Chi, respectively. Just amazing!

From left to right: Ra Kyo sensei, me and Liu Sei sensei at Todoroki Arena, Kawasaki, June the 7th, 2014

From left to right: Ra Kyo sensei, me and Liu Sei sensei at Todoroki Arena, Kawasaki, June the 7th, 2014

Tai Chi: The Ultimate Boxing

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This long video shows the main applications of Chen style (the style Tai Chi is supposed to develop from). Apparently this Master passed away not long ago.
Even though there’s no translation, you can enjoy his exquisite and deep knowledge about energy transfer in martial arts.

My intention in posting this video is to remind that Tai Chi is a martial art, the most subtle among all others.

Enjoy!

One move, one hundred moves one year later

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Two weeks ago I attended the Tokyo Trial for the 31st All Japan Wushu and Tai Chi Championship, for the third time. I performed 24 Yang Style hand form and, compared to last year, I got a higher score.

I did my best!

Even though the improvements are hardly noticeable, I worked hard during the last year, under the guidance of my sifou, Ryu Sei, to refine the form. I was able to increase my internal strength.

Tai Chi is a very subtle and demanding art! You can’t get bored!

Unique Sword

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Ra Kyo ( Luo Jing) Sensei performed this Wu Style Broad Sword form at the Kanagawa Prefecture Tai chi’s Festival, on January 13th, 2014, as special guest.
Ra sensei came to Japan about 20 years ago, from China and started teaching Wushu very actively in Yokohama area (Kanagawa Prefecture).
I met him in 2010, when I moved to Tokyo and was looking for a valuable Master, to keep cultivating Tai Chi. He is my teacher, together with his wife, Liu Sensei.
He is greatly respected by everybody in the Tai Chi and Kung Fu family!
My Tai Chi mate Tomita san shot the video and kindly passed it to me.

Ra sensei shows his enormous internal strength and amazingly combines speed, power, flexibility and grace.

The doctor who prescribed Tai chi

There’s a story about a famous doctor who was named the best doctor of his time by his patients. He humbly refused the title and told the story about his two brothers, who were also doctors. Below is a version of this story:

“I am the doctor that cures the disease when it has already occurred and is doing damage. My second brother is the doctor that cures the disease when it’s just started to occur. My oldest brother is the doctor that prevents disease. My ability to repair physical damage is easily noticeable, and the word of my ability has spread far throughout the country. My second brother’s ability to cure the disease before it does any major damage is less noticeable. He is, therefore, known only around this region. My oldest brother’s ability to help prevent disease before it occurs is hardly noticeable. He is, therefore, hardly know in his province.

Dear friends, even though I am the most famous of my three brothers, I am not the greatest doctor, because I can only repair the damage. My second brother, even though he is less famous than I am, is far greater than I am, because he is able to correct the disease before it does any damage. My oldest brother , the least known, is the greatest of us all, because he is able to prevents problems before they occurred.” (from: “Tai Chi Chuan, 24 and 48 postures with martial applications”, by Master Liang, Shou-Yu,and Wu, Wen-Ching, 1993).

I think the oldest doctor used to prescribe Tai chi and Qigong practice to his patients!!!

Eight Pieces of Brocade

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Few days ago I found a video of this amazing martial artist, Faye Yip, who performs “Eight Pieces of Brocade” beautifully.
Her mix of grace and power is very fascinating and inspiring to me! I have been looking for a nice version of this very ancient Qigong sequence for awhile and eventually I found it!
It’s so energizing and gives a deep sense of peace.
Tomorrow I will practice it with my students!

Summer break

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Dear Tai chi lovers,
Summer is here and most of us are planning to leave for their home country for few weeks, to spend time with relatives and friends.
This is a special moment of the year, a moment during which everybody who’s leaving will quit, for quite a long time, all the usual activities.
This break can be refreshing for someone, frustrating for others.
If you belong to the second group of people, then Tai chi can help you, because you can practice it wherever you find a quiet place. Practicing Tai chi will help you out a great deal when you suffer from jetlag, either when you arrive to your home country or when you come back to Japan.
I strongly encourage you to keep practicing without your mates and sensei; this is the moment when you deeply internalize what you have practiced during the class.
There’s no advancing in learning without personal, independent practice.

Tai chi can be your internal treasure, the source of refined and dynamic energy that you can store up and reuse whenever it is necessary.

Keep that in mind and enjoy your summer!

Many blessings.