Tai Chi At Truckstop – Let’s Do This In America Too!

Tai Chi at Truckstop

What this Highway truck stop in England is doing with tai chi is truly cutting edge!

With family all over the country, my husband and I have done a lot of traveling during our marriage. for many reasons, both prefer to travel by car so rest areas and truck stops are something we’re very familiar with.  Sometimes we don’t even need to use the restroom we just want to take a break and stretch our legs.  And at every location it occurs to me how much I want to do some yoga and tai chi at the truckstop.  There’s really nothing better to quickly and easily stretch all the muscles, and rejuvenate a travel-weary body.

 

However, since I am a bit shy and I certainly don’t want to draw attention to myself I have never carried out a solo tai chi or yoga practice on a rest area lawn.  So I almost always limit myself to some simple stretches and a short walk around the parking lot.  Yet at every location I scan the area with my “tai chi eyes” and wish the owner or curator would promote an area specifically for exercise.  If that were to happen, the visiting public would learn about and come to expect seeing various forms of exercise and stretching at those locations.  In fact, even a shy person like me would feel comfortable enough to initiate a 24 form.

So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I saw the following news article about a family run restaurant at a pit stop that is planning to open a tai chi and yoga area for truckers as well as some other upgrades to make life healthier and happier for truck drivers.  I think this Chippenham Pit Stop in England is on the cutting edge and truly thinking outside the box.  I would love to see a movement like this get started in America; it is sorely needed!

tai chi at workTo quote the managing director David Hatherell,

“the trouble was that with long unhealthy hours behind the wheel, high levels of stress involved in reaching destinations on time plus nights spent away from home, nobody wanted to be an HGV driver any more.”  “”Now we are doing all we can to ease the pressure on drivers by making the Pit Stop a real home from home,” he said.

“Provision of piping hot showers in a spotless environment followed by a good quality, good value meal in spacious, comfortable and friendly surroundings are our customers top priorities, said David.

“But there has to be more to life on the road than that which is why we are adopting a more holistic approach by introducing the exercise equipment and will arrange yoga and tai chi,” he said.

http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/latestheadlines/12974607.Chippenham_transport_cafe_aims_to_get_truckers_fit/

My hats off to the Chippenham Pit Stop – I hope your experiment proves very successful, and I would love if you keep us posted with updates here at the way of tai chi!

 

Chippenham transport cafe aims to get truckers fit (From The ...Chippenham transport cafe aims to get truckers fit (From The …
http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/12974611.Chippenham_transport_cafe_aims_to_get_truckers_fit/

 

 

 

Is It True That Tai Chi Slows Aging?

Tai Chi Slows Aging

One of the best anti aging technique that also helps to retain the same strong youthful body is the practice of Tai chi.  Tai chi is an ancient type of martial art that originated from china.  Studies carried out to establish how tai chi slows aging revealed that the practice raises the number of the CD34 cells. These are the stem cells that are responsible of the major body functions and structures.

Researchers have also conducted numerous studies on young volunteers in the evaluation of the life-lengthening effects of the practice.  The study was conducted on three groups with each group taking a different activity including  tai chi, walking briskly and little or no exercise. The Study involved volunteers below the age of 25 and it took a year to compare the anti-aging and rejuvenating effect of tai chi to the volunteer in every group. Those who engaged in the tai chi practice recorded a higher number of the CD34 cells, unlike those in the other two groups.

tai chi slows agingOne of the main reasons why the study was specifically done on young volunteers is due to their higher abilities to renew cells than the elderly.  There are also fewer interfering factors in the study involving young people unlike a study involving older volunteers.  A study involving older people is likely to be faced with numerous interfering factors such as use of medication or even some health conditions such as chronic diseases.  These studies have confirmed that tai chi has numerous health benefits.  The practice helped to treat many patients suffering from numerous ailments including fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s disease, both moderate and mild.  It also proved to be of great help in improving body balance, reducing stress as well as blood pressure.

In regards to the life-lengthening effect of tai chi these have provided scientific evidence of its numerous health benefits.  According to the researchers involved, the studies have also revealed the varying levels of impacts that will mainly be influenced by the difference in ages as well as different populations. There are many more studies that are being carried out to link tai chi with healing properties. Another recent study conducted in 2012 observed that the practice can also help boost one’s memory.  Elderly people gave a better performance in a memory test given after practicing tai chi for duration of eight months, three times a week.

Tai chi was developed in china about 2000 years ago and mainly involves performance of a series of movements that are normally done in a focused and slow motion. This martial art style also emphasizes on deep breathing which helps to improve the performance of major internal organs. One of the main reasons why tai chi is gaining popularity especially with the elderly is because when done correctly, the practice does not put a lot of strain on your joints and muscles.  Tai Chi practice also has a lower impact than other forms as exercise, making it appropriate for all levels of fitness and ages.

Tai chi is even more appealing as it involves no special equipment and can be done anywhere, in a group or even alone.  However as all recommendations for starting a new exercise routine, we recommend you consult your doctor before beginning the practice especially if suffering from any health condition such as fractures, back pains, severe osteoporosis or even pregnancy.

 

 

 

Resources:

n-TAI-CHI-large570.jpgn-TAI-CHI-large570.jpg
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/29/tai-chi-health-benefits_n_5410470.html

 

Tai Chi aging: Chinese martial art slows aging? Study finds new health benefits
Examiner.com, on Thu, 29 May 2014 20:42:35 -0700
Tai Chi and aging may have a greater connection than once thought, thanks to a breakthrough study conducted by health experts and recently published in a scientific magazine, Cell Transplantation. The new study has revealed this week that the

 

 

 


 

For This Self-Taught Tai Chi Master It Started With A Dream

Tai Chi Master

As many of you may know, this blog started by my desire to learn Tai Chi, but I am limited to attending classes due to time, location and availability.  So I started finding videos, sharing them here and on Facebook, and soaking up the comments, suggestions and knowledge from visitors and followers.  I fully agree the best course is to take one-on-one classes but when that is not possible, I thought a ‘self-taught’ method would be second best.  I also wanted to reach out to others in the same boat as I, and have a place we could gather, learn and share.  My assumptions is that I will never achieve the level of proficiency that I could if I were attending classes.  With that said, I recently saw an article that grabbed my attention because it is a slap-in-the-face of the my assumption; here is the story of a man who  became a (Taijiquan) Tai Chi Master, and did it all as a ‘self-taught’ student!  Meet Avedis Seropian, a young Armenian  man (grandson of a genocide survivor) who at age 12, started watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies, and started to dream!

Avedis Seropian enrolled in kung fu classes at the age of 12 during the Civil war in Lebanon.  His main inspiration was from numerous Chinese martial arts movie stars including Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.  He discovered tai chi at the age of 16.  He later on committed himself fully to the practice.  His commitment secured him a place at the most prestigious wushu competition in 2001 and received the highest score among other competitors from Lebanon.  He also won three gold medals in 2011 at the international Wudang Taiji Tournaments.  He also participated in the World Wushu Championships in 2013 where he won two more gold medals.  The Beijing University of Physical Education also granted him the prestigious title of Master of Internal Martial Arts’.

The numerous achievements of this world champion are most remarkable because he is self-taught.  In other words, he is his own master.  When he first enrolled for the martial arts classes, he always felt that his teachers flaunted their authority.  He decided to break off and train on his own after his first major competition organized by the international Wushu Federation.  To perfect his practice, Seropian studied extensively especially on Eastern esoteric traditions.  The first book he bought was “The Art of Meditation’.  Since platforms such as YouTube were unavailable, he used to films performances and observe critically as his friends performed.

His biggest leap was the World Wushu Championship in 2001.  He had not been past the regional levels and mainly participated in the national and local tai chi and kung fu competitions.  Since there were no swords at the time, he practiced bare-hand.  He used a philosophy that involved three intersecting circles representing ascetic paths that embodied and respected all the traditions.  The world champion’s local support remained elusive despite his international recognition.  This is because the Sports and Youth ministry does not recognize individuals or studios but only the Wushu Kung Fu federation.  In addition, participation in major championships in Lebanon is not based on an individual’s merit. Competitors are normally selected from members of the federation. Unlike in other countries, gold medal winners in Lebanon receive very little or no rewards.

According to the world champion, the federation is encountered with biased selection and corruption.  However, his motivation to work harder in martial arts is driven by the life his father and family.  He maintains a busy schedule to provide for his daughter, wife as well as parents.  Besides teaching in wushu and taijiquan classes, Seropian also works as a trans-personal psychotherapist.  He has continued to participate in numerous competitions despite his tired joints and injured knee due to prolonged training without proper gears. During the 2020 Olympics, he hopes that the IWUF will include taijiquan in the competitions to enable him to participate.

His main focus has now turned to his students.  He plans to open his own school and offer free classes to a limited number of committed students.

His main objective is to pass on his tai chi knowledge and technique, substantially.

I encourage you to check out the original story (below) of this remarkaable tai chi Master, at The Daily Star

Reference:

The making of a martial arts master | Life , Lubnan | THE DAILY STARThe making of a martial arts master | Life , Lubnan | THE DAILY STAR
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Life/Lubnan/2015/May-05/296805-the-making-of-a-martial-arts-master.ashx

 


 

International Recognition of Tai Chi Chuan and Yoga

International Recognition of Tai Chi

China Pushes for same status and recognition of tai chi as yoga is for India

We sometimes think of Yoga followers and Tai Chi Chuan advocates as being in two separate and sometimes “warring” camps.  While that may be true of some individuals, for the most part that is not the case in the larger scheme of things.  The fact of the matter is, many followers of one discipline also participate in the other camp too.  I recollect recently learning how historically, the earliest mind-body teachings branched off in the two countries, one developed further into Tai Chi Chuan in China, the other became Yoga practice in India.  Though in our modern era, Yoga has taken it’s place front-and-center as the premiere mind-body tool, in recent years Tai Chi Chuan has exploded in terms of popularity.  In fact, we see at the United Nations a Chinese “push” for International recognition of Yoga AND Tai Chi Chuan.

Recently, India has successfully managed to have the International Yoga Day designated on June 21 by the UN, which China has greatly supported.  Last week  the Temple of Heaven in Beijing  conducted a presentation of attended by China’s Prime Minister Modi and Premier Li Keqiang where hundreds of Indian and Chinese youth together presented tai chi and yoga.  Both leaders thoroughly enjoyed the display of two ancient arts.  Yoga is considered as a major tool for soft democracy in India, and China is now pushing for similar international recognition of tai chi for their country.

international recognition of tai chiDuring the 68th World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva, Yoga will be among the major issues to be addressed. The assembly will begin on May 18 till May 27.  During the mega event of assuming the presidency in India, the union health minister will launch a photo exhibition known as Yoga for All, Yoga for Health.  The exhibition will also receive endorsement from the World Health organization.  One of the organization’s directors will participate in the launching of the event along side the Union Health minister.  WHO’s supreme decision making body, the Health Assembly, will be responsible for reviewing all the organization’s activities through out the year.  They will also help set new priorities to be met in the future.

There are numerous key issues that the assembly is expected to review by the end of this year. Some of these key issues include preparedness and surveillance, global health, air pollution and health, global strategy on public health, global health emergency, development and research in tropical diseases and intellectual property and innovation. The minister is also expected to attend several multilateral and bilateral meetings alongside the Health Assembly.  He will also meet with the BRICS and Commonwealth health ministers.

 

Resources:

China wants Yoga-like global status for Tai Chi - The Economic TimesChina wants Yoga-like global status for Tai Chi – The Economic Times
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/china-wants-yoga-like-global-status-for-tai-chi/articleshow/47307323.cms

 

United Nations Declares June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga'United Nations Declares June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’
http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/united-nations-declares-june-21-as-international-day-of-yoga-711903

 

 


 

Part 2 with Audio Instructions for Cheng Man Ching Short Form 37

Cheng Man Ching Short Form 37 part 2

 

Part 2 of the Cheng Man Ching Short Form 37

 

Watch the Master himself as he teaches a class in New York in the 60’s, as well as watching part 2 of yesterday’s annotated video post.  After watching the part 1 annotated video with yesterday’s  post, (you can see it here) you will want to watch today’s Cheng Man Ching short form 37 part 2  to finish out all the 37 postures of the Form.

 

Cheng Man Ching History:

Cheng Man Ching experienced great tragedy in his life, losing his father while still very young (around 9 years old), as well as getting hurt by a blow to the head and falling into a coma.  This accident may have shaped the rest of his life, since his mother started taking him with her into fields as they harvested natural herbs to aid his recovery.  Later he went on to study in depth the lore of ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine, and practiced medicine.

Part 2 of yesterday’s Short Form 37:

 

This next video is one of The Master himself, teaching students from his studio in New York.  There is no date on the video itself but here is an excerpt from Youtube from a viewer

“Posted by rubyvrooom – I first saw this video in 1998. i believe it was filmed in the early 60’s by Ken Van Sickle. Maggie Newman used to play this video and many others that were converted to VHS at her large Push Hands meets and “pot luck” in NYC. thanks for posting it. i had not seen this or the others in years.”

Resources:

On Professor Cheng Man Ching and the Yang Style Short …
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
In this video, SenseiTeacher shares some insight on Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing regarding how he evolved his 37 posture short form from the traditional Yang Style Long Form. He also shares his thoughts on his first …

Yang Short Form DVD? – Group Studies – The Dao Bums
http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?/user/54571-john66lar/
Are you looking to learn the Standardized 24 Form or the Cheng Man Ching 37 form? I have learned both but personally really like the Cheng Man Ching form. I met a teacher online named Bill Phillips that was a student of …