Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in Marin Spivack’s UK seminar, and thought I should share my experience. Previously I had nearly 6 years of Chen Village taiji experience, and for two months prior to the workshop I was able to train with other practitioners of the Chen Zhaokui lineage. I thought that all of this would prepare me well for Marin’s teaching… (more…)
This August was a wonderful event, exhausting, inspiring, sweaty, bitter, affirming and stimulating. The attendees, around 11-12 of them of varying levels of experience and age all worked very hard and did well clarifying their understandings of the practice methods. Basic practices, form, applications and tuishou were all covered along with jokes in poor taste from basic to advanced levels. Somewhat decadent English food and beer consumption was also practiced.
People came from far and wide locations for this event as well as various UK locations. We will begin the planning phase for a repeat event in the not too distant future.
Translated by Linda Yeo (Nairobi), much thanks!
Photos not exactly in original order- sorry.
Time has flown. It has been 30 years since my late father left me. Opening the dust of memories past, the past is like the tide of the mind. I was born in Xuanwu district of Beijing in 1962. My mother is from Shandong. When I was 2 years old, my parents divorced and I was under the custody of my mother. When I turned 4 years old, I was sent to my grandmother’s home in rural Shandong province.
Marin Spivack will be teaching the first Chen Shi Taijiquan Gongfu Jia workshop in south UK, August 3-6 2018. Details and registration info here:
This workshop is (was) number 3 in an ongoing training series. This is basically something of a branch school at this point as these folks are very committed and many of whom have been training together for years and were in need of a new opportunity for progress. As of the third session this ongoing event is now attracting more outside interest.
This was the first group, or anyone to take the step to successfully arrange a regional training session. For many years I have written online about the pitfalls of Taijiquan “seminars” and the commercial circuit, and it’s negative influence on development of actual gongfu. I have maintained that authentic gongfu was not suited for the seminar format, (in any way that it HAD been done). Given the significant rarity of authentic gongfu in the west, the lack of commitment by teachers and students alike to the rigors and austerity of such training, I felt that if there WERE a demand for it, I must come up with a method of offering regional teaching that WOULD suitably teach the actual art.
By limiting the attendees to those really willing to commit to a training path and progressive sessions I do believe we have found the formula. These are certainly NOT commercial, nor introductory hobbyist “seminars”. I am so inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment on the part of the students. April 2018 workshop was a lot of fun.
This is a multi-part interview by a Podcast in Israel called “No Wax Needed” that focuses on broad variety of martial arts and martial arts related subjects. In this case their audience is not specially focused on Chen Taijiquan, or any Taijiquan. Therefore some of the areas covered might be unusual and interesting for those who are used to always talking to their small crowd of enthusiasts. Successive segments will be posted as they release them.
Saturday we had cause for celebration as we welcome another long term compatriot in the Taijiquan gongfu pursuit through the door to deeper practice and preservation of this ages old art. Nuri Friedlander has been a hard working student for a number of years now, fighting the good fight to balance a life with family, work, and practice and still find a way to show up.
Everyone has enjoyed his company and friendship. More recently he found a way to allow for more practice and somewhat shockingly made fast progress to overcome obstacles and receive from that experience the confidence to take on a greater commitment.
The great satisfaction of teaching is watching students succeed and the art take root in their bodies and lives. Like a child watching a tree sprout from seed the first time, there is a wonder in observing this very natural art come alive, again.
We celebrate the many years into the future he will nurture this seed to a tree, then a forest. I thank all those friends and family in attendance for their friendship and support of this challenging and obscure lifestyle. We are all enriched by Nuri’s progress, presence and intensity.