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.
Yesterday we had the good fortune to welcome Yu Dechang to our gongfu family. He has been a very hard working and dedicated student and shows great promise to develop gongfu and carry on this rare art. His dedication and cheerful character are well received by the school and gongfu brothers and sisters alike. We are looking forward to future practice and camaraderie with a new level of depth.
The serious student looking for a great art and teacher is a difficult objective, rarely achieved. However the serious teacher looking for suitable and dedicated students is even less likely to achieve. In the case that both meet their objective the opportunity must be seized. Gongratulations, thanks and welcome, Yu Dechang!
The video series you are about to watch is a walk through of some of our in-the-moment fun and research. I, (Marin Spivack), am at the time these videos were made a 22 year practitioner, 20th gen. tudi of Chenyu, and teacher of Chen Taijiquan. I have absolutely zero experience or exposure to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or any other trained ground-fighting method, and have never actually practiced it with anyone before one week prior to the filming of this video. (more…)