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.
Yield An online student recently asked me for a definition of yield (Lu). It got me thinking about this important technique – what it is and how to apply it. Yield in Tai Chi means to give way in the face of pressure. For instance, put a round ball on the floor...read more
Pay Attention Life is a journey, filled with constant changes. It is how we perceive these moments that determines how effective and joy filled our life can be. Tai Chi can be an important piece of the puzzle of life. I would venture to say that most Tai Chi players...read more
Slow and Steady Wins I trained to be an actor, graduating from The University of Arizona with a degree in Theater Arts. I then worked a couple of years in television until the Viet Nam war was in full swing and I dropped out. It wasn't until I moved to Port Townsend...read more
Face the Future We probably don't want to give too much energy to the idea of healing the body through the internal arts. The word healing is backward looking, healing something from the past. I think we can replace this concept with the idea of working toward a goal...read more
Perfect Morning Practice Went to the Park this morning, as it was raining lightly and I could practice in the Gazebo. I had an idea. It was to practice all the Tai Chi forms I know, as I have been focused on the Partner and Solo Forms, and haven't put much time into...read more
Robins There is a technique I use to increase the strength of the legs, as well as the connective tissues of the ankles, knees and hips. I call it Robins or Bobbing, and it involves standing with all the weight on one leg, touching the other toe, and moving the body...read more
Glass Half Full A glass that has nothing in it looks empty, yet it is full. Full of potential. That is true power - the power of emptiness turning into fullness. Fullness has nowhere to go but toward emptiness – yet even this is power, as any movement is a source of...read more
Balloon Breathing Exercise Breath is the source of life. The more we breathe, the more we are alive. Here is a simple, yet powerful exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime. If you can't do the whole exercise, you will gain by doing any part of it. Just do it....read more
Lower Center of Gravity One of the essential points to all the internal arts is to lower our center of gravity in order to become more stable and to enable us to get under our partner, so as to cause him or her to lose balance. Hormones have something to do with this....read more
Tai Chi Thoughts This is a random collection of thoughts about the practice of Tai Chi. They all might not mean something to you at this moment, but they are important to contemplate. This list is included in the Tai Chi Manual posted at my site. 1. Back is always...read more