Greetings. I have been writing and sending these out since 2015, and for you who have just joined us, welcome to the Gilman Studio Training Tips. These Tips are a result of my desire to share my life’s study and teaching in the area of Internal Arts and human potential.
I have taught Tai Chi and Qigong since 1973 and shared with thousands of people, and yet feel limited, as I live in a small community in the northwest corner of Washington State. I wanted to reach a larger audience on a regular basis. Thus, the Training Tips was born.
Most books on Tai Chi are written by an instructor to share his or her form. They are meant to teach the movements. They also, usually include short chapters on history and philosophy, but that is usually limited. I have written two Tai Chi books and now these Training Tips, not as “how to” books, but as “why to” books. Most people who are attracted to Tai Chi seek relaxation, focus, balance, health improvement, and a very few, martial skills. What most people need to carry on with their studies is motivation. That is what these Tips are all about. I want to encourage students to continue to practice, and continue looking deeper into this marvelous art form, and that only comes from regular and continuous practice.
I hope you read through all of these and maybe one or more will stimulate you to stay with your initial interest and enthusiasm. You can bookmark the ones you like to go back to in the future. As you grow and change, the meaning of these Tips will change, and hopefully you will find you understand them in your body, mind and spirit. If you aren’t already receiving these in your mailbox, subscribe and it will come as regular as clockwork on Monday mornings. The Gilman Studio never shares your information.
I sincerely hope you enjoy these and share them with your friends. You will make me happy. Thank you for your interest in our beloved art.
Lining up the body Make sure you line up the body so you can push and pull with the legs and trunk of your body, not just the arms. Any angle or bend in the arms and legs results in a loss of energy and effectiveness. It is especially important that the angle of the...read more
Helping the Instructor Demonstrate Being chosen as a helping partner to demonstrate an application for a movement in a Tai Chi class is an honor. This means that the instructor trusts you to help him or her explain the dynamics of the move. It is so important that the...read more
Breathing the Tai Chi Way The average person breathes about 700,000 cubic inches of air each day. In order to this efficiently, many teachers of the internal arts, including me, stress normal abdominal breathing when doing forms. This is breath in and out through the...read more
Chinese Weapons I moved to Port Townsend in 1981 and rented spaces to teach Tai Chi, in various localities. None were perfect, but that is what most teachers must put up with. In the late 1980's I met Dr. Bernard Haldane, the founder of “Dependable Strengths...read more
Christmas Tai Chi on the Wharf Got to the wharf just as the sun was clearing the Cascade mountains to the southeast. The weather was mild, and the light from the sun played patterns on the water. It was so quiet in town, being Christmas morning. I had the place to...read more
Essential Nature The study of Tai Chi Chuan is the study of our essential nature. The Real You is at the center of your being, alive, yet covered by layers of illusion that shield reality from view. The fabric of illusion is made of expectations from our parents and...read more
Tai Chi Body We want to take a look at the Tai Chi body and compare it to the more traditional Western view of beauty and health. The Western ideal for a man is sometimes represented by Hercules. Huge, powerful arms, chest and shoulders. Tools to grab something or...read more
Feeling of Space Buckminister Fuller, one of the true geniuses of our time, once said that, in proportion, we have more space between each cell in our body than there is between each star in the galaxy. Yet, when we look at our body, we see solid mass, and when we...read more
Horizon of Possibilities I recently ran across the phrase “Horizon of Possibilities” in a book I was reading. It made me put on my Tai Chi thinking cap. Who designed Tai Chi into a form – when and why? How did each individual move get incorporated, and then a...read more
Yin and Yang of Joints Tai Chi, in my humble opinion, is the perfect exercise. As an exercise, it combines relaxation, flexibility, strength training, balance, mind/body connection, philosophy for living, martial arts and socialization. Wow! I tell my students to...read more