Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chen Style Taijiquan Broadsword (Dan Dao)

Chen Style Taijiquan Broadsword. Research by Michael P. Garofalo. This popular webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, scores of links to webpages, an extensive listing of the names and name variations for each movement (in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish), selected quotations, sword techniques, performance times, a comprehensive media bibliography, and suggested instructional media for the Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan single Broadsword (saber, Dao, Dan Dao) 23 movement form. © Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, December 2007. 85Kb.

Taiji Saber

Taijiquan Sword

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Labor Passes, Good Remains

"If you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains; If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains."
- Cicero

"To have striven, to have made an effort, to have been true to certain ideals -- this alone is worth the struggle. We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can from, life."
- Sir William Osler

"The future is made of the same stuff as the present."
- Simone Weil

All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do.

"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."
- Indira Gandhi

Working: Quotes, Sayings

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rooting in Taijiquan, II

Rooting in Taijiquan
By Sifu Yeung Yun Choi

"Therefore, rooting in Taijiquan should embrace the concepts of absorption, transmission and neutralisation of the incoming force with possible counter attack.

Relaxing the muscles of the body will produce a sinking effect, which will make full use of the body weight to absorb the incoming force. Being relaxed will also minimise resistance upon impact and allow the incoming force to shift the body mass. Thus, the resulting force will be the incoming force less the body weight and will be further reduced by shifting the body mass away from the original position. In a way, this is borrowing the opponent's force to move one's own body mass and deflection will come very easy to deal with what is remaining of the incoming force.

Extension or stretching of the tendons will facilitate connection of the joints, which will assist transmission of the incoming force to the arm, shoulder, mid-section, hip, thigh, calf, foot and to the ground. When a person is in a proper Taiji posture; he or she will experience this transmission. The incoming force will travel from the hand down to the foot smoothly. A good way to test whether one is in a proper posture or not is to apply a force on that person. Tension will build up to stiffen the part that is not extended nor relaxed otherwise it will be grounded. This is how one can "listen to forces" or "interprets forces".

Once transmission is facilitated then neutralisation is easy, by moving various joints or shifting the whole body with the legs depending on the magnitude of the force. The mechanics of the legs allows the rotation of the hip, opening and closing of the thighs, bending of the knees, and flexing of the ankles for neutralisation. Therefore, the movements of the legs can be a little subtle to accommodate the weight of the body, the incoming force and to initiate motion."



Principles And Practices In Taijiquan
By Peter Lim Tian Tek


"Stability By Sinking (Wen, Chen)

Stability is a result of coordinated body structure in relation to the downward pull of gravity resulting in a net force against the earth from both body weight and downward projection of mass through a singular point identified as the root. Lowering the centre of gravity is essential to stability, we should lower it to the centre of the sphere of influence of our physical body.

Agility (Ling)

Agility is a result of non-double weighting and non-dead rooting. By only maintaining one point of substantial contact with the ground you gain the ability to move quickly, much like a ball which moves easily across the ground because it only has one point of contact with it.

The key is the word "centre". We should avoid "dead rooting". The idea is to lower your centre of gravity to your proper centre which is at the Tan Tien, there it should have a net downward force but is "hung" from the torso in the correct location. This would give you a centred but light feeling. If you are trying to get your centre to the oot of your feet, that is not centredness. Ask yourself where the centre of your body should be and there is where the mass of the centre should be. Some information on the external and internal methodologies adopted to train this. The external way of training is to force the centre down as far as it can go and then slowly the reaction force from the ground would build up the musculature to support the downward force back up to where it should be centred. The internal method would be to centre the centre of gravity first, get a proper structure to support it and when that is done then slowly lower the stance through time to foster proper development without sacrificing efficient structure and alignment."

Rooting in Taijquan, I

Rooting in Tai Chi Chuan
By David West.

"Rooting is the process of making a good connection to the ground in stances and during transitions. ... When we refer to rooting we are talking about rooting the legs (and thus the entire body) of the completed postures as well as the legs during the transitions as well. When we are trying to achieve rooting in Taijiquan, we should visualize below the surface of the floor or ground... much like the roots of a tree. The "Bubbling Well" an acupoint called Yong Quan (KI-1) located on the bottom of the foot should be used as the point from which this imaginary root extends into the ground from which to draw strength. Rooting in Taijiquan will transfer from foot to foot, but never stays equally rooted on the right and the left. The weight should remain on the outer edges of the feet and remain a slight gripping feel with the toes, the ball of the foot, and the heel. Although the Yong Quan never touches the floor, you should still focus on this area as the root of each movement. Techniques to build this skill vary from person to person. I recommend using different visualizations and thoughts to see what works best for each person."

"Rooting: The Secret of Getting Power from the Earth"
By Gaofei Yan and James Cravens

"People lose root because they use the wrong part of the body to focus their strength. For example, when the shoulder moves first in an action to strike, it is incorrect. One should use the lower body to drive the force. No matter how hard one attempts to be soft, they will never truly relax and have power until the lower body drives the force.
Even when one uses the lower body to drive the force, the root can be lost because the shoulder, as well as any other joint or part of the body may interrupt the transference of power. When there is tightness or loss of coordination between the various joints and parts of the body, root will be lost. The hip, leg, etc. must act as one! Many times things inside the body fight against each other. For example, if the inguinal crease (part where the legs connect to the torso) at the hips is tight, the flow of energy will be broken in the body, breaking the root. When one practices in this way, the tightness or lack of body unity can give one the tendency to get injured. Sometimes one locks a joint. The hips and shoulders are typical joints that students will lock which breaks the root."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Eight Section Brocade Qigong

Eight Section Brocade Qigong
Eight Silken Treasures Qigong
Ba Duan Jin Qigong
History, Instructions, Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes
Research by Michael P. Garofalo

Provides information about the history and purpose of this popular Chi Kung practice. Detailed descriptions are provided for each of the eight movements; including information on movement variations, health benefits, qigong meaning, and cautions. The document includes the most extensive bibliography, link guide, and comments on Ba Duan Jin Qigong resources available anywhere. Some animated graphics are provided in linked files. This document is updated as new information is discovered. This qigong set is the most popular set practiced around the world, and is also known as: Baduanjin, Pa Tuan Jin, Eight Silken Treasures, Ba Duan Jin, Pal Dan Gum, Ba Duan Gin, Pa Tin Kam, Otto Pezzi di Tesoro, Acht Delen Brokaat, Les Huit Exercices del la Soie, Eight Silken Treasures, Brocade Qigong, Wudang Brocade Qigong, Brocade soft qigong (Rou Gong), Eight Treasures inner qigong (Nei Gong), Silk Treasures Qigong, and the first eight Buddha Lohan Hands. This document is about 110 pages in length, 26,000 words, and with a filesize of 340Kb.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sword Dance by a Pupil of Lady Gongsun

"There lived many years ago the beautiful Lady Gongsun,
Who, dancing with her sword, drew from all four quarters
An audience like mountains lost among themselves.

Heaven and Earth moved back and forth, following her motions,
Bright as when the Archer shot the Nine Suns down from the sky
And rapid as angels before the wings of dragons.

She began like a thunderbolt, venting its anger,
And ended like the shining calm of rivers and sea.

But vanished are those red lips and those pearly sleeves;
And none but this one talented pupil bears the perfume of her fame,
This sword dancer from Lingying, the Town of the White Goddess,
Who still dances and sings in the carefree old ways.

After the dance, we chatted for awhile.
We sighed together, saddened by the changes that have come.
There were a thousand ladies in the late Emperor's court;
But Lady Gongsun's sword dance was first among them all.

Fifty years have passed, like the turning of a hand;
Wind and dust, filling the world, obscure the Imperial House.
Instead of the Pear Garden Players, gone like the fog,
Only two girl musicians remain to charm the cold Sun.

There are now man-sized trees by the Emperor's Golden Tomb.
I seem to hear dead grasses rustling on the windy cliffs of Qutang.
The song is done, the slow strings and quick flutes have ceased.
At the height of joy, sorrow comes with the eastern moon rising.

And I, a poor old man, not knowing where to go,
Walk away slowly into the lonely hills, tired, facing the sunset."

- Du Fu, The Sword Dance Performed by a Pupil of Lady Gongsun
"300 Chinese Poems" The poet Du Fu (712-770, 杜甫) mentioned in his poem "Witnessing Gongsun Da Niang's Disciple Sword Dance Performance" (观公孙大娘弟子舞剑器行) that there was a female sword dancer in the court of Emperor Xuan Zong (唐玄宗) who was probably the greatest in her field.

"Another aspect of the martial dance is the "sword dance," devised by master swordsmen. Ancients sought to combine the ethos of swordsmanship with the sword dance, calling it "sword vigor." The most famous sword dancer of the Tang Dynasty was legendary beauty, Lady Gongsun. As a child, the celebrated Tang poet Du Fu once watched her dance, and the specter created by her superb skill remained forever fresh in his memory. The square in Yancheng, Henan Province was a sea of people. Following a roll of drums, Lady Gongsun appeared, rapier in hand. The sword glinted with every change of posture and stance, whispering like silk on being unsheathed and flashing at each thrust. Her dancing seemed to evince a power that could hold back rivers and repulse oceans. Years later, Du Fu watched the sword dance performed by Li Shi'erniang, one of Gongsun's adherents. Her execution of it was so reminiscent of Gongsun's original performance that Du Fu, now in his 50s, was fired with new vitality, and wrote a poem, 'The Sword Dance Performed by a Girl-Pupil of Lady Gongsun.'"
- Tang Dynasty Dances


Taijiquan Sword: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Instruction, Guides, All Styles

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword: Poems, Sayings, Quotations, Wisdom

Tai Chi 32 Sword

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sword of Wisdom

The Sword of Wisdom


Ever since the adepts handed on
The secret of the sword,
The true imperative has been upheld
Completely, truly adamant.

If someone asks me about
Looking for its origin,
I say it is not ordinary iron.
This lump of iron
Comes from receptive stillness;
When you obtain it, it rises up.

Forging it in a glowing fire,
Through repeated efforts
It is refined
And forged into steel.

When students of the Tao
Know this secret,
The spirit of light is intensely powerful,
And devils of darkness vanish.

The subtle function of spiritual work
Is truly hard to measure;
I now give an explanation for you.
In telling you about it
I divulge the celestial mechanism.

Setting to work when one yang comes back,
First have the six yangs pump the furnace bellows;
Then the six yins work the tongs and hammer.
When the work of firing is complete,
It produces the sword;
When it is first done,
It flashes like lightning.

Brandish it horizontally
And a cold clear breeze arises;
Hold it upright,
And the shining bright moon appears.
Auspicious light illumines heaven and earth;
Sprites and ghosts are distressed.

It stops turbidity, brings out clarity,
Sweeps away weird defilements;
It slays volatility,
Cuts down aggressiveness,
Destroys monsters:
Influences draining away
Vitality, energy and spirit
All vanish in the light of the sword.

Entanglements are cut off, rumination dies down,
And the web of feelings is rent asunder.
Where the spiritual edge is aimed, mountains crumble;
The demon kinds of mundane planes are all routed.

This precious sword fundamentally has no form;
The name is set up because it has spiritual effect.
Learning the Tao and practicing reality
Depend on this sword:
Without this sword,
The Tao cannot be achieved.

Opening up the vast darkness,
Distinguishing heaven and earth,
Dissolving obstructions, transmuting objects -
All is included.
If you ask me to show it to you,
I bring it out before you -
Do you understand or not?

- The Sword of Wisdom
From "The Book of Balance and Harmony"
Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1989, p. 115-117


Taijiquan Sword: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Instruction, Guides, All Styles

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword: Poems, Sayings, Quotations, Wisdom

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tai Chi 32 Simplified Sword Form in the Yang Style

32 Sword Form, Simplified, Yang Style, Taijiquan Jian. By Michael P. Garofalo. This popular webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, scores of links to webpages; an extensive listing of the names and name variations for each movement in English, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish; a detailed analysis of each posture and movement sequence with explanations and numbered illustrations and detailed instructions; selected quotations; comments on 20 Taijiquan sword techniques; a comprehensive media bibliography; a chart of performance times; and, a comparison of the 32 and 55 sword forms in the Yang style. This is the standard, simplified, orthodox, 1957, 32 Taiji Sword Form, in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. © Michael P. Garofalo, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, January 2008. 245Kb+.

32 Taijiquan Simplified Sword Form

20 T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword Techniques

55 Classical Yang Taiji Sword




The Wild Horse Jumps Over the Mountain Stream




Zhong Kui
Vanquisher of Demons
Protector of the Home

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sword Master - Character

"In ancient China, the way of the sword was widely respected. This was so not just because sword techniques and skills were difficult to learn. The main reason was that moral and spiritual qualities were required in order to attain the highest levels of its art. In order to build a proper foundation for the study of the sword, the martial artist had to master other short weapons, which meant that he had to spend a long time in preparation. Therefore the sword master (know in Chia as Jian Ke) had to have willpower, endurance, and perseverance in order to get through the long and hard years of training. It was said that the word is: "The lord of a hundred arms and the king of short weapons."
Because the sword is mainly a defensive weapon, it requires a strategy of calmness in action, and to achieve this quality one needs patience, calmness, and bravery. Sword users commonly practiced meditation to acquire the calmness they needed. In addition to these qualities needed to develop the required level of skill, sword students learned about ethical virtues from their masters."
- Yang Jwing-Ming, Taiji Sword, Classical Yang Style, p. 17

Taiji Sword, Classical Yang Style: The Complete Form, Qigong and Applications. By Yang, Jwing-Ming. Edited by James C. O'Leary. Boston, Mass., YMAA Publications, 1999. Index, glossary, list of form postures, 205 pages. ISBN: 1886969744.

Taiji Sword, Classical Yang Style: the Complete Form, Qigong and Applications. Instructional VHS videotape and DVD. Presented by Yang, Jwing-Ming. YMAA Publications, 1999. 82 minutes. ISBN: 1886969817. The standard 54 Yang sword form. This instructional media is now available in both VHS and DVD formats. Multi-language Menu: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Polish.

Classical Taiji Sword - Yang Style Taijiquan. By Mike Garofalo. This webpage includes a bibliography, links, media resources, detailed and simple lists of the movements in the long Yang Taiji sword form (55 movements), history, 13 sword techniques, comparison with the 32 Taiji sword form, and quotations. 116 Kb.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chief Star Posture - Tai Chi Sword Form




Among the first group of postures in the Taijiquan sword (Jian) form is a movement called the Chief Star, Great Star of the Literary God, Big Dipper, Big Chief Star, Major Polestar, Indicate the Major Luminary, etc. The posture is related to stories about Zhong Kui and Kui Xing.

In the Taijiquan sword form, the Great Star of the Literary God or Big Dipper or Chief Star is performed by holding the sword in the right hand above the head, extending the left hand and pointing upward with the sword fingers, and lifting the left knee in the air. The one leg is the ladle (handle) of the Big Dipper, and the hands form the sides of the cup (ladle, gourd) of the Big Dipper or Drinking Gourd; and the tip of the sword points to the Polestar or North Star. The Big Dipper or Chief Star posture is the most frequently depicted posture used to represent the Taijiquan Sword form.

For information about the symbolism, myths, and lore about this posture, I have prepared a webpage on the subject:

Great Star of the Literary God: Symbolism, Myths, Legends, and Lore
Research by Mike Garofalo
December 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Will Finds a Way

"Any significant long-term change requires long-term practice, whether that change has to do with playing the violin or learning to be a more open, loving person. We all know people who say that they have been permanently changed by experiences of a moment or a day or a weekend. But when you check it out you'll generally discover that those who ended up permanently changed had spent considerable time preparing for their life-changing experience or had continued diligently practicing the new behavior afterward."
- Michael Murphy and George Leonard

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning."
- Benjamin Franklin

"The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person."
- Norman Vincent Peale

"I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand."
- Confucius

"A will finds a way."
- Orison Swett Marden

"If you focus on results, you will never change.
If you focus on change, you will get results."
- Jack Dixon

"Gongfu is an ancient Chinese term describing work/devotion/effort that has been successfully applied over a substantial period of time, resulting in a degree of mastery in a specific field. Although the term is synonymous in the West with martial arts (though it is most over rendered Kung Fu), it is equally applicable to alligraphy, painting, music, or other areas of endeavor."
- Andy James

"An element of abstention, of restraint, must enter into all finer joys."
- Vida D. Scudder

Will Power: Quotes, Sayings, Aphorisms



"A callused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb.
Wishes are like seeds - few ever develop into something.
Willpower is the art of replacing one habit for another."
- Michael Garofalo, Pulling Onions

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Giving Thanks

My wife, Karen, and I were in Portland, Oregon, for six days over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We enjoyed visiting with our children and their families, and sightseeing and shopping in Portland. We have so much to be thankful for these days.

The Cascade and Siskiyou Mountain ranges in California have little or no snow. Shasta Lake was the lowest I have ever seen it. Lakehead is completely without any lake water. The Klamath River seems to have a good deal of water, but the Sacramento River is very low. The situation is alarming in California. Oregon mountains have snow and their streams and rivers are very high.

Bitter cold
autumn wind -
shivering lips.

I have started to study the Chen Tai Chi Broadsword 23 Movement Form.

To learn this form, I am using:

Chen Style Single Broadsword. Instruction by Master Jesse Tsao. Sample Instructional DVD and VHS formats, 50 minutes. "This routine is short and refined with clear applications. It reflects the characteristics of Chen Style Tai Chi, combining softness with hardness and slowness with quickness; dodging and yielding with agile movements, cutting and hacking with great speed. Master Tsao presents demonstrations both in front and back view of the whole routine. He teachers step-by-step in slow motion, in English. There are plenty of repetitions in both front and back view in his detailed teaching." VSCL.

Chen Tai Chi Broadsword. Instructional videotape or DVD by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye. 70 minutes. Detailed instructions, repetitions, and demonstrations. Jiang's Tai Chi Videos. He teaches a 23 movement form.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Broadsword (Dao) Tai Chi Chuan

My research and writing efforts lately have been focused on the Taijiquan Broadsword (Dao, Saber, Curved Sword, Ox Tail Saber, Willow Leaf Saber, Falchion). The following webpages include links, bibliographies, lists of movements, techniques, history, quotations, and resources.

Broadsword: All Styles

Chen Taijiquan Broadsword

Yang Taijiquan Broadsword

Cloud Hands Taijiquan

I will start learning and practicing the Chen Style Taijiquan Broadsword, 23 movements, in December, 2007.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yang Taijiquan Sword Classical 55

Taijiquan Jian, T'ai Chi Ch'uan Chien (Gim)
The Double-Edged Straight Chinese Steel Sword

Lately, I have been doing research and writing about the Classical Yang Taiji Sword Form. My work is shared on the following webpages:

”Classical Tai Chi Chuan Sword, Taijiquan Jian 55 in the Yang Style: Comparison of Names for the 55 Movements.” Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, January 2008. By Michael P. Garofalo. This document includes a detailed listing of the names/descriptions of the 55 movements of the Classical Taijiquan Straight Sword Form in the Yang Style of Taijiquan. This document includes names/descriptions of each movement in English, Romanized Chinese (Pinyin and/or Wade Giles), Chinese characters, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. The document includes source citations and a bibliography. In PDF format, print only, 225Kb, 33 pages:
Webpage: http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/Classical Taijiquan Yang Sword Form 55 List Detailed.pdf

Classical Tai Chi Sword, List of Movements, Yang Style, 55 Movements, Valley Spirit Taijiquan List, Simple List, 2 pages
Webpage: http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/Classical Taijiquan Yang Sword Form 55 List Simple.pdf

Classical Taiji Sword - Yang Style Taijiquan. By Mike Garofalo. This webpage includes a bibliography, links, media resources, detailed and simple lists of the movements in the long Yang Taiji sword form (55 movements), history, 13 sword techniques, comparison with the 32 Taiji sword form, and quotations. 105 Kb.
Webpage: http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/sword55.htm

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tai Chi Sword

Taijiquan Jian, T'ai Chi Ch'uan Chien (Gim)
The Double-Edged Straight Chinese Steel Sword

Today, I completed the first draft of my webpage on the 32 Sword Form. This webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, extensive links, a detailed list of the movement names, a detailed analysis of each movement with explanations and illustrations, a comparison of the 32 and 55 sword forms in the Yang style, selected quotations, and a comprehensive media bibliography. October 31, 2007. 159Kb. By Michael P. Garofalo. Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California.


Tai Chi Sword: Bibliography, Links, Lists, Quotes, Resources, Notes. By Mike Garofalo. 220Kb, October 31, 2007.

Yang Style (55) Tai Chi Sword: Bibliography, Links, Lists, Quotes, Resources, Notes. By Mike Garofalo. 35Kb, October 28, 2007.

List of 32 Movements of Simplified Orthodox Taijiquan Sword Form

Wudang Sword

Chen Taijiquan Sword

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Top Ten Complimentary Medical Treatments

Dr. Amit Sood, Director of Research at the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine wrote in 2007 about the 10 most popular complimentary medical treatment programs:

1. Acupuncture
2. Guided Imagery
3. Hypnosis
4. Massage
5. Meditation
6. Music Therapy
7. Spinal Manipulation
8. Spirituality
9. Tai Chi
10. Yoga

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tai Chi Sword, 32 Standard Simplified Form, Yang Style

32 Sword Form, Simplified, Yang Style, Taijiquan Jian. By Michael P. Garofalo. This popular webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, scores of links to webpages; an extensive listing of the names and name variations for each movement in English, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish; a detailed analysis of each posture and movement sequence with explanations and numbered illustrations and detailed instructions; selected quotations; comments on 20 Taijiquan sword techniques; a comprehensive media bibliography; a chart of performance times; and, a comparison of the 32 and 55 sword forms in the Yang style. This is the standard, simplified, orthodox, 1957, 32 Taiji Sword Form, in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. © Michael P. Garofalo, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, January 2008. 245Kb+.

32 Taijiquan Simplified Sword Form

20 T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword Techniques

55 Classical Yang Taiji Sword




The Wild Horse Jumps Over the Mountain Stream

Friday, October 12, 2007

Master's Manual of Hsing-I Kung Fu (John Price)

"Master's Manual of Hsing-I Kung Fu" by John Price. 2nd Edition, 2007. Redding, California. 1st edition published in 1977. Translation and compilation of the teachings of Master Hsu Hong Chi. John Price's Shen Lung Hsing-I Kung Fu website offers the book for sale: http://www.jlprice.clearwire.net Published and distributed by www.lulu.com.

"The Masters Manual of Hsing-I kung fu was first published in July, 1977. On this the thirtieth year since then I have decided to once again publish the book. The manual was the very first of it's kind. There were other martial arts books and even kung fu books but there was nothing in print in the English language even close to this book. For the first time the words, phrases, songs of the masters and the mariad other things that make up Hsing-I Kung Fu were put into a book. The book was left pretty much like the translations that were given for me to edit. In addition there are chapters that explain the Chinese mindset regarding the practice of any Chinese martial art. Wherever possible, we have used the original pictures for this 2nd edition. I also added more commentary to the text and aligned text with graphics better. The format has been changed from the half-page to a 6x9" format. It allows the pictures to be a little larger. All photo's with the exception of Master Hsu are of the students of mine."

Hsing-I Ch'uan (Xing Yi Quan): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Information By Mike Garofalo.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sword Mind

"The sword is practiced with a meditative attitude of mind. As in the short and long forms, two methods are commonly used. One way is the concentration on the lower tan t'ien, which is held there during the entire form. This method is practiced, for example, in the Cheng Man-Ching tradition. The other way relies on exercising the utmost attention and is comparable to Shikantaza in Zen Buddhist meditation. This technique is used, among others, by the Yang family and their followers, including master Fun Zhong-Wen. Both methods lead to the state of non-thinking (empty mind). Naturally, it takes many years of practicing to become accomplished in each of these methods. Understandably, a meditative state of mind is difficult to achieve in the beginning. Frequently, thoughts will arise in the first years of practicing the forms, as they do in sitting meditation. With growing relaxation and the ability to sink the energy, the state of non-thinking increases and prevails. This is an indication that the student has advanced on his or her way."
- Petra and Toyo Kobayashi, Classical T'ai Chi Sword, (Tuttle, 2003), p. 20.

Orthodox 32 Movement Taijiquan Swordplay Form: Bibliography, Links, Instructions, Lists, Illustrations, Resources, Notes. By Mike Garofalo. 90Kb. October, 2007.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yoga in the Family



My granddaughter, Katelyn, 15 months of age, likes to imitate her dad, Sean, and mom, Alicia, when they do their yoga practices. Katie's Downward Dog is looking better all the time!
[For later, right arm a little straighter - good try!]



The Bridge pose makes all of us smile. Right on girl! Good effort!
[For later, keep the right foot a little flatter on the floor - good job!]

"One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grand-baby around the finger of a grandfather."
- Joy Hargrove

"What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change,
and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure."
- Gene Perret

I enjoy teaching four yoga classes each week, and practicing on my own at home. Now I have one more way to play with my granddaughter.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mawangdui Qigong Scroll

Hi Mike

I found your pages online. I wonder if you know is there is a poster
of the Mawangdui daoyin scroll.

best wishes

Peter Deadman

Peter,

A good question. I will look around for a poster of this scroll. Any suggestions from readers?

Mike





Reproduction of the qigong exercises silk scroll (Dao-yin Tu) found in the tomb at Mawangdui, China, in 1973. This scroll is from the period around 168 BCE. Photo from the Wonders of Qigong, China Sports Magazine, 1985

"The Dao-yin Tu is the finest example of the consistency and continuity of qigong healing techniques. The majority of the exercises look so similar to the postures of modern qigong that it is possible to deduce how they were performed. The rich themes found in the Dao-yin Tu run like a fine thread through the fabric of qigong history and evolution.'
- Kenneth Cohen, The Way of Qigong, 1997, p. 19

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

32 Sword Form in Yang Style

"The Yang Style Tai Chi Sword must show unique characteristics in its expression, which is different from the bare hand form:

1. The pace of the sword movements are faster than bare hand movements.

2. A higher degree of nimbleness, calmness, smoothness, gracefulness, and skill is required.

3. The names of each movement of the sword form are special. There are some technical names from Wushu. But most names come from the beautiful movements of rare birds and animals, imagery of outer space, and fairy tales and legends. It is helpful to the learner to think in these terms of images and, furthermore, to vividly express the images in their movements.

4. Since ancient times the sword form has been called a sword-dance. However, performing the sword form is not exactly the same as a sword-dance. It does have the characteristic style of dance. For instance, it has the graceful dance movements and a strong sense of beauty felt in dance. Plus, it blends with the naturally smooth movements, open and extended postures or frames and the skill of Tai Chi Chuan. The form is more beautiful. There is a Chinese saying, “Add flowers to the brocade.” When this occurs the beauty is endless. It enables the learner to enter the realm of self-fulfillment and pleasure benefiting both mind and body."
- Grandmaster Yang Zhen Duo


32 Orthodox Simplified Sword Form: Bibliography, Links, Descriptions of 32 Movements, Lists, Quotes.
160Kb+. Researched by Mike Garofalo.


Birds Returning to the Trees at Dusk, #8

Monday, October 01, 2007

Current Class Schedule

When: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Where: Tehama Family Fitness Center, Red Bluff, California

Instructor: Mike Garofalo

Yang Style T'ai Chi Chuan
Standard Simplified 24 Form in the Yang Style
Traditional 108 Long Form, Yang Family Style

Sword
Standard 32 Sword Form
I will be adding a great amount of new material to my 32 sword form webpage during the month of October.

Qigong
Eight Section Brocade, Animal Frolics, Wild Goose Qigong

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Class Schedule Changes - T'ai Chi Ch'uan

There will be no T'ai Chi Ch'uan class on Saturday, September 8, 2007, at the Tehama Family Fitness Center. All TFFC instructors are having a meeting on 9/8 starting at 9:30 am in the Yoga/Taijiquan Room.

Mike Garofalo's Taijiquan class, Yang Style, will resume on 9/15 at 9:30 am to 11 am. We will be learning the second group of moves (8-16) to the 32 sword form.

Effective, September 5, 2007, we will no longer offer a Taijiquan class on Wednesday night from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at the Tehama Family Fitness Center.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Camping in Northern California

Phil and Marcella Garofalo, and Marcella's college friend, Jill, and I, all went camping along the Pacific coast in California, from 8/15 - 8/19.

 Redwoods
Here we are getting ready to pack our vehicles on Wednesday morning.
Red Bluff, California

We camped two nights at Humboldt Redwoods State Park in the Albee Creek Campground. The campground is located along Bull Creek and Albee Creek, near the Big Trees and Rockefeller Groves along Bull Creek.


 Redwoods
Humboldt Redwoods State Park

 Redwoods
Humboldt Redwoods State Park


We camped two nights at the Salt Point State Park, Woodside Campground.

 Salt Point
Salt Point State Park

 Redwoods
Phil and I at Gerstle Cove at Salt Point State Park.

 Salt Point
Point Arena Lighthouse


Northern California coastal forests.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Choosing a Qigong Practice

"Dear Mr. Garofalo,

Thank you for your informative blog on Taiqi.

If you have any advice to offer, I am writing to seek suggestions on selecting a Qi Gong style -- a disciple suitable for an out-of-shape novice in her 30s.

I live in the San Francisco Bay area and understand basic Chinese, so I've got of options. I am writing to you because you seem to have familiarity with a wide variety of styles, and are near enough to perhaps know of options here without having a personal allegiance.

The immediate motivators are to reduce weight, increase energy flow, and improve concentration. I enjoy breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, swimming, and dancing.

One problem is a mental-block against imitating things I don't understand. I'd prefer a style which is good at explaining itself, well documented, or for which an exceptional teacher can be recommended.

I have taken Tai Qi Quan before,and quickly fell behind the sequence. Rather than relaxing, I found myself feeling inadequate at the task of imitating the sequences. Would like to put myself in a different situation this time.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

Sincerely,
Andria J."

Dear Andria,

1. Purchase and use good instructional DVDs, videotapes, and books. These allow you to repeat, review, repeat, study carefully, and get a sound foundation. You will never fall behind anyone - classmates or teacher. After you have a solid and comfortable foundation, find a teacher and group with which to practice and learn more together. Good books help you learn the history, theory, concepts, and traditions of the internal martial art.

2. Wild Goose Qigong has more movement and flow than other styles of Qigong. It might appeal more to your background and interests in movement arts. There are many good Wild Goose Qigong teachers in the Bay area, including Dr. Bingkun Hu; and, there are many good books and instructional media on the topic.

3. Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan has a nice flow and faster pace, and is far less martial than Chen or Yang styles. There are many good books and instructional media on the topic.

4. All Qigong and Taijiquan styles require concentration, focus, Qi management, relaxation, and some understanding of Taoist principles.

5. Think "Long Run" learning, improvement, skill acquisition, and development. Take your time, enjoy yourself, and do not be frustrated by somebody else's timetable for learning.

6. As for loosing weight: increase walking and eat less.

7. Knowing how to speak/read/write in Chinese is a wonderful skill you have, and will open doors to you in your study of the internal martial arts. However, millions of people learn, practice and benefit from these arts who only speak English or other languages, and can't even say "thank you" in Chinese.

Best wishes,

Mike Garofalo

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taijiquan Class Schedule

We will have our Taijiquan class, Yang Style, at the Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, California, each week:

Wednesday 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 9:30 to 11 a.m.

For more information:

Class Program and Information

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong

I'm working on updating the Taijiquan 32 Sword Form webpage.

Cancelled Classes: Wednesday, August 15th and Saturday, August 18th. We will begin our Taijiquan classes again on August 22nd.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Taijiquan 32 Sword Form #1

"The same principles of the basic t'ai chi ch'uan form are used with both the tao and chien: natural breathing, body upright, keeping the movements integrated, coordinated, and flowing smoothly, etc. The difference is in the focus. For the tao, the broadsword, the focus is on the blade. For the chien, the narrow, double-edged sword, the focus is on the tip. The chien is considered the higher art form, and is more difficult to learn. The tao is basically a chopping and slicing weapon; little skill is needed for that It was generally the weapon of the common soldier. The chien was used by the more scholarly and aristocratic Chinese. ... Sword tai chi is a very rewarding experience at any level. It’s movements, done correctly, develop one’s awareness, timing, grace, and continued good health"
- Dorothy A. Odsen, Tai Chi Chien

Sword - Jian

The Taijiquan broadsword (Tao, Dao) or sword (Jian, Chien) forms are frequently taught to intermediate level Taijiquan students. Each Taijiquan style (Yang, Sun, Wu, Chen, etc.) has their own sword movement forms.

"To practice the Tai Chi Sword correctly, the first thing a practitioner must be able to do is to have a flexible body and wrist so that the sword and the body will coordinate and move in unity. The second thing is that the intent should direct each movement so that all the movements have applications, speed and accuracy. The third thing is to have spirit and natural breathing in each movement. In usage, it also emphasizes the concepts of sticking and adhering, running and following. In summary, in order to practice the Tai Chi Sword correctly, a practitioner must execute all the movements in an even, soft, continuous and smooth manner. All the movements are initiated by the waist, controlled by the wrist, with the upper and lower parts of the body coordinated so that when one part of the body moves, all parts follow. When one part stops, all stop. Therefore, all the movements are very light, speedy, flexible, nimble and stable. People often describe these kinds of motions as
like a "swimming dragon and flying phoenix."
- Vincent Chu, Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation Tai Chi Sword Practice

Sword - Jian

Tai Chi Double Edged Sword (Jian): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Instructions Research by Mike Garofalo. 227Kb.

Tai Chi Saber/Broadsword (Dao): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations Research by Mike Garofalo. 114Kb.

32 Standard Sword Form: Bibliography, Links, List of Movements
Research by Mike Garofalo. 134Kb.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Great White Moon Heard

Taking some time at night to rest from summer labors.

"All through the deep blue night
The fountain sang alone;
It sang to the drowsy heart
of the satyr carved in stone.

The fountain sang and sang
But the satyr never stirred--
Only the great white moon
In the empty heaven heard."
- Sara Teasdale, The Fountain

I've been quite busy lately with projects at home and at work. We were preparing in both body and mind for the First Harvest Feast, Lughnasadh, Lammas, on August 1st. See my comments and notes on the topic in my Green Way Blog.

Preparing for Lughnasadh

Full moon at dusk tonight.
Full Moon at Dusk

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Music for Taijiquan or Qigong

"Scientific research shows that these primordial rhythmic sound vibrations do have a direct effect on brain activity. Steady beats at 4-7 cycles per second generate theta brain wave states associated with ecstatic trance. In the theta state, beta (or waking) mind activity is lowered, inducing heightened awareness. We become spirit sensitive; receptive, intuitive, present and centered in our heart's intelligence. The trance state can be likened to a waking dream. Inner visions may reveal themselves. Self-realizations and deep insights may surface. Or, we may simply feel a renewed lightness of spirit, clarity, and joy."
- Liquid Bloom, The Shaman's Eye

When I practice taijiquan, one my favorite audio recordings to listen to is:

The Shaman's Eye: Healing Rhythms for Trance Meditation. By Liquid Bloom. 67:19 minutes. Boulder, Colorado, White Swan Records, WS007. ISBN: 1714700702.

Do you have some music you would like to recommend?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mike Garofalo's T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classes

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Class Schedule
Instructor: Mike Garofalo
Summer and Autumn of 2007

Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Tehama Family Fitness Center, Red Bluff
2498 South Main Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080
530-528-8656
Cost: Free for TFFC Members, $5.00 for Nonmembers


Yang Style of T’ai Chi Ch’uan

Standard 24 Movement Yang Hand Form
http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/short.htm

Yang Family 108 Movement Hand Form
http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/longyang.htm

Standard 32 Movement Yang Sword (Jian) Form
http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/sword32.htm


Qigong (Chi Kung, Chinese Yoga) Exercise Sets
http://www.egreenway.com/qigong/index.htm


For Information Online:

Class Schedule: http://www.egreenway/tcc.htm

General T’ai Chi Ch’uan Information at the Cloud Hands Website:
http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gushen Moon

Michael P. Garofalo AKA The Green Wizard or Gushen Moon


"I first met Chang San-Feng above the forest,
near the clear spring,
when gathering clouds darkened the day,
and Mt. Shasta was silent.

His long beard was black as emptiness,
ear lobes to his shoulders,
holding obsidian in his hand,
pointing to the sun,
eyes staring into infinity,
his long body clothed in silence.

We exchanged "hellos"
smiled and bowed,
a barbarian and an Immortal,
both panting from the climb,
laughing,
ten-thousand echoes
between our rocky minds.

After billions upon billions of heartbeats past
(for he must have been 888 years old),
I was so bold
as to ask the ancient one
for the sacred mantra of yore.
He lifted his whisk,
and brushed my face,
I could not speak,
my lips were stone,
ideas stopped -
I was alone."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Meetings with Master Chang San-Feng

Mike Garofalo sometimes writes under the pen names of "The Green Wizard" or "Gushen Moon"


Is Mike really a wizard? Hah! Come, come, my dear friends. He, like like his lanky and legendary mentor, Grand Master Chang San Feng, just likes to keep on walking, gardening, dancing at dawn, playing taijiquan, creating, enjoying scholarly pursuits, Internetting, encouraging peaceful productivity, standing under the Gushen Moon, and letting others bang his brass wizard's hat.


"Standing at the Mysterious Pass
Centered in the Eternal Now,
Balanced in Body and Open in Mind,
Rooted into the Sacred Space,
Motionless as the Golden Mountain,
Fingers around the Primeval Sphere.
Dragons and Tigers are still dreaming -
Ready for Rebirth.


I breathe in, the World Breathes Out.
The Gate of Space opens;
Heaven moves and Yang is born.
The hands move out, embracing the One.
The mind settles and is clear.
The Dragon Howls,
Ravens fill the Vast Cauldron,
Mind forms melt like mercury,
Spirit rises in the Clouds of Eternity.
Yin appears like the moon at dusk.


I breathe out, the World Breathes In.
The Doors of Emptiness close;
Earth quiets and Yin is born.
The hands move in, entering the One.
The body settles and becomes whole.
The Tiger Roars,
The Great Ox is nourished by the Valley Spirit,
Substances spark from flaming furnaces,
Essence roots in the Watery Flesh.
Yang appears like the sun at dawn.


Dragons and Tigers
Transformed within the Mysterious Pass -
Chanting and Purring.
Awakened,
Peaceful,
Free."


- Michael P. Garofalo, Opening at the Mysterious Pass


Dearly respect the lifestyle of ladybugs.


Blog Search Terms: , , , , .

The Spirit of Gardening

Cloud Hands: Taijiquan and Qigong

The Green Wizard Opens the Door

One Taoist Druid's Journey - The Green Wizard's Notebooks

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rattlesnakes Rising

Snakes in Oklahoma
Two rattlesnakes in Oklahoma rise to greet the walker.

"America is the Great Satan, the wounded snake."
- Ayatollah Khomeini
Beware of wounded snakes, Ayatollah Whomever.

Yang style Taijiquan has a movement called
"Snake Creeps Down"
followed by
"Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg"
(actually a knee kick to the face or chest,
sort of Muay Thai style).

That big rattlesnake creeping down can rise,
rise quickly,
rise powerfully,
despite its wounds,
and bite the head off the Ayatollah's chicken.

Was it not the Gadsden flag that features the rattlesnake
poised to strike, and says,
"Don't tread on me."


"A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat
To drink there."
- D. H. Lawrence

Everything thirsts!
Some thrist for vengenace.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stance Keeping: Zhan Zhuang

"Body is the bow,
asana is the arrow,
and soul is the target."
- B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga Grandmaster

In yoga, Asana means posture, bodily position, or form. For example, Tadasana is the Mountain Posture, Standing Like the Mountain; similiar to standing in "Wu Ji" before you begin a Taijiquan form.


"The foundation of the internal martial arts (and many external martial arts as well) is the practice of "stance keeping" or Zhan Zhuang. In the Xing Yi Quan system, stance keeping is the very core of training and develops many of the qualities essential to the development of martial ability. ... The root of efficient movement is stillness. Therefore, a logical place to begin training is simply standing still. Standing still, one may reduce the number of variables to be dealt with to the bare minimum. The mind may naturally quiet and focus itself on the felling of correct posture and true balance. The first goal of standing is to return to the state of "not-doing" anything, thereby inhibiting previously acquired bad habits and allowing the neuromuscular system to register the feeling of natural balance until it once again becomes the predominant state. Any movement initiated from this state of true balance will naturally have power."
- Tim Cartmell, p. 58, Xing Yi Nei Gong

Xing Yi Quan: Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes



Standing, taking a posture, remaining quite still, holding the posture, settling the mind, breathing steadily, and finding center is a common practice among taijiquan, qigong and yoga practitioners. This kind of "standing meditation" is called Zhan Zhuang (Stance Keeping, Post Standing), Embracing the One, Tadasana, San Ti Shi, Wuji, Standing Like a Tree, Holding the One, Yiquan, etc..

I have prepared a webpage on this subject:

Standing Meditation: Zhan Zhuang, Post Standing, San Ti Shi
Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes, Instructions
By Michael P. Garofalo
235Kb

"The most basic method of training is zhan zhuang. Zhan zhuang is an exercise common to many Chinese martial arts, including Taijiquan. Usually, the practitioner stands with the arms held as if holding a large ball. However, the zhan zhuang exercise can be practiced using any of the end postures of the Taiji form. During "standing" practice a static posture is maintained for a period of time while using just enough strength to maintain the posture. ... Benefits of zhan zhuang include deep relaxation, strengthening of the legs, and increased internal qi. The first requirement is to have a calm mind. This can be achieved in a number of ways - for instance, concentrating on the Dantian, paying attention to one's breath, or silently counting. Through standing practice, emphasis is place upon developing awareness of maintaining the most efficient and relaxed structural alignment necessary to hold the position. Prolonged practice, along with enhancing postural awareness and tranquility of mind, greatly develops the strength of the legs. When the legs are strong and can bear weight firmly, then the upper body can relax and sink down into them, making the top more flexible. ... Taijiquan requires lightness and sensitivity in the upper body. At the same time, the lower body should have a feeling of extreme heaviness and connection to the ground. This feeling is often compared to a large tree with deep roots. While the branches move and sway in the wind, the trunk is solidly anchored by its roots."
- Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney, Chen Style Taijiquan, 2002, p. 106.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Druids Walking

"Many of the Anglican meditation manuals used by Druids in the early years of the Revival gave special instructions for meditating while walking in a garden or some other quiet area. To meditate while walking, choose a route over level ground where you won't have to bend, climb stairs, duck around trees, or do anything else that will interrupt your thoughts. A paved or gravel path in a garden is ideal. It should lead in a circle, so that you can keep walking as long as necessary. Walk slowly and smoothly, taking relatively small steps at a steady rhythm. As with the seated posture, you spine should be straight without being stiff, the crown of your head level, and your eyes lowered. Let your arms move easily and naturally at your sides."

- John Michael Greer. "The Gruidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth."

Walking Meditation: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

News Items: Qigong and Staff

Dear Mike,

As suggested on your Northwestern US Instructors, Schools, Workshops page, I'm letting you know of my Eight Pieces of Brocade (Baduanjin) classes which will be at the Bend Martial Arts Club in Bend, Oregon. Interested persons may contact me at bewellwithmichelle@yahoo.com.

Thanks!
Michelle


Mike,

I like your website! I am also interested in martial arts with the stick and staff. You may have my book, with Don Zier, on Aikijo (Jo: The Japanese Short Staff), which we wrote in the 1980s when we both living in Chico, just down the road from you.

Recently, I published The Stick and Cane in Close Combat. (See the link at http://ejmas.com/pt/ptframe.htm for my article that introduces the book. Scroll down and look under "2007 Articles"). From the promo literature:

"The result of a 7-year intensive study of grappling techniques with the stick and cane, the book presents more than 120 jointlocks, takedowns, chokes, holds, disarms, surprise attacks, rolls, strikes, and exercises with the stick and cane in 750 photographs. These techniques were collected and refined from those described in more than 120 books and videos on the topic as practiced in several traditions, as well as from my 35+ years of experience in the martial arts. It is the largest collection of these techniques yet published."

For what it's worth.

I am looking for named traditions of 3-foot stick or cane arts from China; you allude to some on your website. They seem to be part of larger arts, but are there any with their own identity?

In any event, I enjoyed your website and will continue to follow its links.

Tom Lang

Sunday, July 08, 2007

More Gardening, Less Taijiquan

Karen Garofalo

Karen Garofalo picks an heirloom tomato. Mary Craig gave us the starts for 6 different tomato plants.

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato."
- Lewis Grizzard

Mike Garofalo

Note the many peaches starting to ripen to the left of Mike.

"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep
contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody
could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process
of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to
observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early
peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse

Green Way Wisdom: Vegetables



Mike Garofalo pulling onions in May, 2007.



"A Theos who is understood is really misunderstood ... actually no Theos at all.

The little choices, day after day, are the biggest issue.

Stop looking for the Greenman and He will appear.

To always follow the hard, tough and rough way is foolishness.

The gardener is a priestess, the garden her temple and followers, gardening her liturgy.

Before you swear at the overgrown ivy, beware of Dionysus.

If you plant it, they will come.

The gardener fights against Chaos, wins a few battles, but always looses the war.

A gardener seeks direct experiences, seldom concepts.

Things always go downhill, fall apart, wear out ... the arrow of Time pierces everything.

Standing naked in my garden, I laughed."

- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions 615 aphorisms for gardeners and lovers of the Green Way.

Mostly resting during the hot afternoon hours in Red Bluff and reading or writing. Created a new webpage on The Green Man

Friday, July 06, 2007

Soft and Supple

Relaxation in Taijiquan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, and Notes. By Mike Garofalo. 127Kb.

Song or Sung: Loose, Relaxed, Open, Yielding, Free, Responsive. A Defining Characteristic of Taijiquan.

"First, last, and always the student must relax. Various calisthenics aid him in
achieving this. All rigidity and strength must be emptied from the upper torso and must sink to the very soles of the feet, one of which is always firmly rooted to the ground. Without proper relaxation the student can never hope to achieve the trueness of the T'ai-chi postures. The student relaxes completely and breathes as a child - naturally through the nose, the diaphragm being aided by the abdominal rather than the intercostal muscles. Man's intrinsic energy, the ch'i, should be stored just below the navel. The mind directs this energy throughout the body according to need. But the ch'i cannot circulated in an unrelaxed body."
- Robert W. Smith, Chinese Boxing: Masters and Methods, 1974, p. 26.



"Human beings are
soft and supple when alive,
stiff and straight when dead.

The myriad creatures, the grasses and trees are
soft and fragile when alive
dry and withered when dead.

Therefore, it is said:
The rigid person is a disciple of death;
The soft, supple, and delicate are lovers of life.

An army that is inflexible will not conquer;
A tree that is inflexible will snap.

The unyielding and mighty shall be brought low;
The soft, supple, and delicate will be set above."
- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Section 41 (76)
Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Touch the Root of Heaven

Breathing Out -
Touching the Root of Heaven,
One's heart opens;
The Dragon slips into the water..
Breathing In -
Standing on the Root of Earth,
One's heart is still and deep;
The Tiger's claw cannot be moved.

"As you go on breathing in this frame of mind, with these associations, alternating between movement and stillness, it is important that the focus of your mind does not shift. Let the true breath come and go, a subtle continuum on the brink of existence. Tune the breathing until you get breath without breathing; become one with it, and then the spirit can be solidified and the elixir can be made."
- Chang San-Feng
Commentary on Ancestor Lu's Hundred-Character Tablet
Translated by Thomas Cleary
Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook, 1991, p. 187.

Poetic interpretation by Mike Garofalo of expository text of Grandmaster Taoist Chang San-Feng.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Blur the Line

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."
- Arnold Toynbee

"In Hindu philosophy the whole creation is regarded as the Vishnu Lila, the play of Vishnu. Lila means dance or play. Also in Hindu philosophy, they call the world illusion; and in Latin the root of the word illusion is ludere, to play."
- Alan Watts, Work as Play

"We may play with and pass on a garden, possessing one is an illusion.
Gardeners must dance with feedback, play with results, turn as they learn.
Some gardeners don't grow old and stop playing; they stop playing and grow old.
Nature's playfulness is a gardener's delight.
A garden is a sporting field, an area for play."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions: The Maxims of Gardening

"Zen Dance is beyond religion, it manifests all of reality. It is an embodiment of meditation in motion, or movement creation, as well as spiritual practice and physical conditioning. But, like life, it is also ephemeral: Dancing is painting on air."
Lee Sun Ock, Creatrix-Choreographer of Zen Dance

“That man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sun Taijiquan Characteristics

"The Four Characteristics of Sun Shi Tai Ji:
1. The natural position of the body. The position of the body is more natural than in other forms of Tai Ji. The basic position - San Ti Shi - comes from Xing Yi. It differs from the traditional basic position - Hun Yuan Zhuang. The position of the body is higher (angle with the knees of 135°), the axis head - centre of gravity falls on only one foot and not with equal distance of the two feet, the feet are positioned one compared to the other according to an angle of 45° and not in parallel or are aligned like usually used in other schools of Tai Ji. All these characteristics respect the natural positioning of the body with two consequences. Initially a practice more favorable to health, without excessive wear (of the knees in particular). Then, a good balance between stability and flexibility.
2. Flexible and fast movement. The movement of the feet is flexible and fast: as soon as a leg advances or moves back, the other leg follows immediately. One does not find in Sun Shi Tai a horse riding stance with feet equal distance apart or the bow and arrow posture of traditional Tai Ji. In Sun Shi, one uses the free steps coming from Xing Yi and of Bagua. The centre of gravity always falls on one leg; a foot supports all the weight of the body, the other follows, free. The steps forwards are the steps of Beng Quan, and backwards the steps of Pi Quan. The steps of rotation correspond to the steps of Ba Gua. Sun Shi is light, fluid and fast. It is compared with the water which runs and with the clouds which slip into a windy sky.
3. The specific figure of Kai He. Sun Shi Tai Ji has a very specific figure; Kai He (to open - to close) which is found neither in other forms of Tai Ji, nor in Ba Gua or Xing Yi. This Kai He appears with each connection and transition. It makes it possible to control and adjust breathing and to accumulate the Shi (energy potential) in order to prepare for the next change.
4. It is an art which aims at effectiveness in combat. Sun Shi Tai Ji is truly an art of combat. The amplitude of the gestures is limited, the course of the hands are direct, natural and aims to be effective. . It is not the force of the arms which strike, but the sum total of the elastic force of each movement carried out on a correct and uniform axis of gravity."
- Master Bob Melia, Sun Shi Tai Chi

Sun Taijiquan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Instructions, Quotes, Glossary
By Mike Garofalo. 1MB+

Research by Mike Garofalo

Sun Taijiquan Website Index Page

Sun Lu Tang (1861-1933) Biographical Information

Sun Tai Chi Chuan International Competition 73 Form
Instructions, Bibliography, Links, Resources. 115Kb.

Sun Taijiquan Blog

Sun Taijiquan Dictionary

Sun Lu Tang's Xing Yi Quan (Hsing I Chuan)

Sun Lu Tang's Baguazhang (BaQua Quan)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Playing Cloud Hands and Down Dog

T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qigong, Hatha Yoga and Gardening are all me, among other things, a way of "playing." Playing to lift my spirits, playing to meet a challenge, playing for delight, playing to show off, playing for exercise, playing to pass the time, playing for keeps, playing for no reason at all.

"We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing."
- Charles Schaefer

"The true object of all human life is play.
Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground."
- G. K. Chesterton

"It is a happy talent to know how to play."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Doing More With Less Of ....

"Simplicity is power. The power to do less of what doesn't matter and more of what does."
- Bill Jensen

"The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose."
- E.M. Gray

The simplest way for the average American to free up more time to accomplish new goals (e.g., to exercise, to write, to learn a new skill, etc.) is for them to watch less television.

Will Power - Quotes

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Way of the Wizard, Lessons 11 - 20

The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons in Creating the Life You Want.
By Deepak Chopra, 1995.


Lesson 11. The wizard is the teacher of alchemy. Alchemy is transformation. Through alchemy you begin the quest for perfection. You are the world. When you transform yourself, the world you live in will also be transformed. The goals of the quest - heroism, hope, grace and love - are the inheritance of the timeless. To summon a wizard's help, you must be strong in truth, not stubborn in judgment.

Lesson 12. Wisdom is alive and therefore always unpredictable. Order is another face of chaos, chaos is another face of order. The uncertainty you feel inside is the doorway to wisdom. Insecurity will always be with the quester - he continues to stumble but never falls. Human order is made of rules. The wizard's order has not rules - it flows with the nature of life.

Lesson 13. The reality you experience is a mirror image of your expectations. If you project the same images every day, your reality will be the same every day. When attention is perfect, it creates order and clarity out of chaos and confusion.

Lesson 14. Wizards do not grieve over loss, because the only thing that can be lost is the unreal. Lose everything, and the real will still remain. In the rubble of devastation and disaster are buried hidden treasures. When you look in the ashes, look well.

Lesson 15. To the extent you know love, you become love. Love is more than an emotion. It is a force of nature and therefore must contain truth. When you say the word love, you may catch the feeling, but the essence cannot be spoken. The purest love lies where it is least expected - it unattachment.

Lesson 16. Beyond waking, dreaming, and sleeping there are infinite realms of consciousness. A wizard exists simultaneously in all times. A wizard sees infinite versions of every event. The straight lines of time are actually threads of a web extending to infinity.

Lesson 17. Seekers are never lost, because spirit is always beckoning to them. Seekers are offered clues all the time from the world of spirit. Ordinary people call these clues coincidences. To a wizard there are no coincidences. Every event exists to expose another layer of the soul. Spirit wants to meet you. To accept its invitation, you must be undefended. When you seek, begin in your heart. The cave of the hear is the home of truth.

Lesson 18. Immortality can be lived in the midst of mortality. Time and the timeless are not opposites. Because it embraces everything, the timeless has no opposite. At the level of the ego, we struggle to solve our problems. Spirit sees that struggle is the problem. The wizard is aware of the battle between ego and spirit, but he realizes that both are immortal and cannot die. Every aspect of yourself is immortal, even the parts you judge most harshly.

Lesson 19. Wizards never condemn desire. It was by following their desires that they became wizards. Every desire is created by some past desire. The chain of desire never ends. It is life itself. Don't consider any desires useless or wrong - someday each one will be fulfilled. Desires are seeds waiting for their season to sprout. From a single seed of desire, whole forests grow. Cherish every wish in your heart, however trivial it may seem. One day these trivial wishes will lead you to God.

Lesson 20. The most good you can do for the world is to become a wizard.



The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons in Creating the Life You Want. By Deepak Chopra. New York, Harmony Books, 1995. 169 pages. ISBN: 051770434X.

The Green Wizard: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes.
Research by Mike Garofalo
100 Kb, 2007

Wizard's Way, Lessons 1-10

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Standing Meditation

Standing, taking a posture, remaining quite still, holding the posture, settling the mind, breathing steadily, and finding center is a common practice among taijiquan, qigong and yoga practitioners. This kind of "standing meditation" is called Zhan Zhuang (Post Standing), Embracing the One, Tadasana, San Ti Shi, Wuji, Standing Like a Tree, Holding the One, Yiquan, etc..

I have prepared a webpage on this subject:

Standing Meditation: Zhan Zhuang, Post Standing
Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes, Instructions
By Michael P. Garofalo
220Kb

"The most basic method of training is zhan zhuang. Zhan zhuang is an exercise common to many Chinese martial arts, including Taijiquan. Usually, the practitioner stands with the arms held as if holding a large ball. However, the zhan zhuang exercise can be practiced using any of the end postures of the Taiji form. During "standing" practice a static posture is maintained for a period of time while using just enough strength to maintain the posture. ... Benefits of zhan zhuang include deep relaxation, strengthening of the legs, and increased internal qi. The first requirement is to have a calm mind. This can be achieved in a number of ways - for instance, concentrating on the Dantian, paying attention to one's breath, or silently counting. Through standing practice, emphasis is place upon developing awareness of maintaining the most efficient and relaxed structural alignment necessary to hold the position. Prolonged practice, along with enhancing postural awareness and tranquility of mind, greatly develops the strength of the legs. When the legs are strong and can bear weight firmly, then the upper body can relax and sink down into them, making the top more flexible. ... Taijiquan requires lightness and sensitivity in the upper body. At the same time, the lower body should have a feeling of extreme heaviness and connection to the ground. This feeling is often compared to a large tree with deep roots. While the branches move and sway in the wind, the trunk is solidly anchored by its roots."
- Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney, Chen Style Taijiquan, 2002, p. 106.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Way of the Wizard, Lessons 1-10

The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons in Creating the Life You Want.
By Deepak Chopra, 1995.

Lesson 1. A wizard exists in all of us. This wizard sees and knows everything. The wizard is beyond opposites of light and dark, good and evil, pleasure and pain. Everything a wizard sees has its roots in the unseen world. Nature reflects the moods of the wizard. The body and mind may sleep, but the wizard is always awake. The wizard possesses the secret of immortality.

Lesson 2. The return of the magical can only happen with the return of innocence. The essence of the wizard is transformation.

Lesson 3. The wizard watches the world come and go, but his soul dwells in realms of light. The scenery changes, the seer remains the same. Your body is just the place your memories call home.

Lesson 4. Who am I? is the only question worth asking and the only one never answered. It is your destiny to play an infinity of roles, but these roles are not yourself. The spirit is nonlocal, but it leaves behind a fingerprint, which we call the body. A wizard does not believe himself to be a local event dreaming of a larger world. A wizard is a world dreaming of local events.

Lesson 5. Wizards don't believe in death. In the light of awareness, everything is alive. There are no beginnings or endings. To the wizard these are only mental constructs. To be most fully alive, you have to be dead to the past. Molecules dissolve and pass away, but consciousness survives the death of the matter on which it rides.

Lesson 6. The wizard's consciousness is a field that exists everywhere. The streams of knowledge are compressed in revelatory moments. We live as ripples of energy in the vast ocean of energy. When the ego is set aside, you have access to the totality of memory.

Lesson 7. When the doors of perception are cleansed, you will begin to see the unseen world - the wizard's world. There is a wellspring of life within you where you can go for cleansing and transformation. Purification consists of getting rid of toxins in your life: toxic emotions, toxic thoughts, toxic relationships. All living bodies, physical and subtle, are bundles of energy that can be perceived directly.

Lesson 8. Power is a double edged sword. Ego power seeks to control and dominate. The wizard's power is the power of love. The seat of power is the inner self. The ego follows us like a dark shadow. Its power is intoxicating and addicting but ultimately destructive. The eternal clash of power ends in unity.

Lesson 9. The wizard lives in a state of knowingness. This knowingness orchestrates its own fulfillment. The field of awareness organizes itself around our intentions. Knowledge and intention are forces. What you intend changes the field in your favor. Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power. The wizard does not try to solve the mystery of life. He is here to live it.

Lesson 10. We all have a shadow self that is part of our total reality. The shadow is not here to hurt you but to point out where you are incomplete. When the shadow is embraced, it can be healed. When it is healed, it turns to love. When you can live with all your opposite qualities, you will be living your total self as the wizard.

The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons in Creating the Life You Want. By Deepak Chopra. New York, Harmony Books, 1995. 169 pages. ISBN: 051770434X.

The Green Wizard: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes.
Research by Mike Garofalo
90 Kb, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Refine

"T'ai Chi Ch'uan bases itself exclusively on gentleness, softness, naturalness and bringing you back to your original nature. Daily training makes the muscles and bones become softer and more pliable, and it especially causes the breath to become natural. These are the results of disciplining and refining the ching, ch'i, and shen to the end of your days. How then can you consider dispensing with your kung or wish to suffer bitterly."
- Chen Yen-lin, 1932, Cultivating the Ch'i,
Translated by Stuart Alve Olson, p. 30.

I find that emphasizing the quality of "Sung" while practicing Taijiquan or Qigong is very useful. For me, "Sung" includes meanings such as relaxed, loose, pliable, yielding, responsive, open, soft, flexible.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Baguazhang - Wudang

"Baguazhang, originally called Turning Palm is a very tradtional Wudang style of wushu. Since the propogation of Baguazhang by Dong Hai Chuan (1813-1882) over one hundred years ago during the Qing Dynasty, there have been many inheretors of the style. Presently, there are styles which have originated from Yin Fu, Cheng Ting Hua, Liu Feng Chun, Li Chun Yi, Huang Bo Nian, and Jiang Rong Qiao.

The basics of Baguazhang is walking in a circular fashion utilizing the walking in the mud step. The stepping of Baguazhang is centered around the cyclical changes of motion. The basic stepping method includes raising, lowering, hooking, opening, advancing, closing, blocking, crossing, and turning all of which is the manifestation of change within Yin and Yang. Baguazhang is based on circular movements with hitting points. The practitioner spirals to the left and turns to the right whereupon the opponent cannot come near. The two main palms are the dragon and ox-tongue palms.

The main fighting characteristics of the style is to push, to hold, to carry, to cling, to move, to grab, to encircle, to intercept, to hook, to hit, to block, to close, to weave, and to poke. The basic palm mentods include the Eight Mother Palms, the 64 Palm style, the Eight Animals, Dragon shape Palm, Swimming Dragon Continuous Palm, Nine Palace Palm, Thirty Six Leg Methods, Seventy Two Leg Methods, etc...

Baguazhang also has an extensive array of push hand methods and weapon sets utilizing the Bagua Broadsword, Bagua Straightsword, Cresent Moon Knives, Bagua Spear, Bagua Staff, etc."

Yongian Taiji Martial Arts, Introduction to Wudang Wushu

Bagua Zhang: Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Resources, Notes

Wudang Qigong

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tai Chi Sword (Jian, Dao)

"The same principles of the basic t'ai chi ch'uan form are used with both the tao and chien: natural breathing, body upright, keeping the movements integrated, coordinated, and flowing smoothly, etc. The difference is in the focus. For the tao, the broadsword, the focus is on the blade. For the chien, the narrow, double-edged sword, the focus is on the tip. The chien is considered the higher art form, and is more difficult to learn. The tao is basically a chopping and slicing weapon; little skill is needed for that It was generally the weapon of the common soldier. The chien was used by the more scholarly and aristocratic Chinese. ... Sword tai chi is a very rewarding experience at any level. It’s movements, done correctly, develop one’s awareness, timing, grace, and continued good health"
- Dorothy A. Odsen, Tai Chi Chien

The Taijiquan broadsword (Tao, Dao) or sword (Jian, Chien) forms are frequently taught to intermediate level Taijiquan students. Each Taijiquan style (Yang, Sun, Wu, Chen, etc.) has their own sword movement forms.

"To practice the Tai Chi Sword correctly, the first thing a practitioner must be able to do is to have a flexible body and wrist so that the sword and the body will coordinate and move in unity. The second thing is that the intent should direct each movement so that all the movements have applications, speed and accuracy. The third thing is to have spirit and natural breathing in each movement. In usage, it also emphasizes the concepts of sticking and adhering, running and following. In summary, in order to practice the Tai Chi Sword correctly, a practitioner must execute all the movements in an even, soft, continuous and smooth manner. All the movements are initiated by the waist, controlled by the wrist, with the upper and lower parts of the body coordinated so that when one part of the body moves, all parts follow. When one part stops, all stop. Therefore, all the movements are very light, speedy, flexible, nimble and stable. People often describe these kinds of motions as
like a "swimming dragon and flying phoenix."
- Vincent Chu, Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation Tai Chi Sword Practice

Tai Chi Double Edged Sword (Jian): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Instructions Research by Mike Garofalo. 227Kb.

Tai Chi Saber/Broadsword (Dao): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations Research by Mike Garofalo. 114Kb.

32 Standard Sword Form: Bibliography, Links, List of Movements
Research by Mike Garofalo. 134Kb.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Higher Level of Kung Fu

"Practicing Taijiquan is the same as other Qigong practices: from regulating the body, breathing, mind, Qi, and spirit, it aims at the goal of eradicating the layman nature and returning to the original pre-birth nature, from Taijiquan practice to comprehending the meaning and goal of life. It the goal is not as such, then it is near sighted in Taijiquan practice. From regulating the body, you are looking for the comprehension of your body's physical structure and function. From keeping the body loose, soft and calm, you are searching for the higher level Gongfu of internal vision."

Taijiquan Theory of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming: The Root of Taijiquan. By Yang Jwing-Ming. Boston, Massachusetts, 2003. References, glossary, index, 270 pages. ISBN: 0940871432. Page 91.

"Body is the bow,
Asana is the arrow,
Soul is the target."
- B.K.S. Iyengar

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Walking

"My father considered a walk among the mountains
as the equivalent of churchgoing."
- Aldous Huxley

"If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
Only if you understand it in this way
Will you merge with the way things are."
- Tung-Shan

"It is good to collect things; it is better to take walks."
- Anatole France

"It is good to have an end to journey towards;
but it is the journey that matters in the end."
- Ursula K. LeGuin

"A fact bobbed up from my memory, that the ancient Egyptians
prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the mad.
It was a mind-altering drug we took daily."
- Paul Fleischman, Seedfolks


Walking: Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes

Walking Meditation

Walking Quotations

Walking in the Garden

General Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Standing Meditation, Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Post

Standing Meditation - General

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Feedback From Readers in May 2007

"Michael Garofalo has created a wonderful, informative website."
- Flow Like a River, http://www.smileforachange.com:80/river/

"Thank you for your years of hard work to advance Taiji! So valuable!"
- Don C. Reed, 5/10/07

"By the way I am astounded at the amount of information you have in your database/website."
- Vic in Danville, IL, 5/8/07

"Eine der umfangreichsten und tiefgreifendsten Fundgruben, die ich über Taiji bisher gefunden habe. Ein muss für jeden Englisch sprechenden Taijiler."
Taiji-Netzwerk, 5/15/07

"Dear Mike,
I want to thank you for the wonderful, beautiful, and inspiring quotes and thoughts on your website. I have been using some of the quotes and ideas to help give inspiration to my monthly newsletter. I send it out to many people, and would like to mention your link and even say a few words about you if that is all right with you. The focus on nature, the garden, and the mysticism of all life is really unique and beautifully presented.

I often find favorite poems there that have helped me in my life; I pair the poem with a great photograph either from the web or my own collection, which leads writers into an essay about creativity, inspiration, and gratitude, for instance. Thank you for your hard work, and I wish you well in your own creative journey.
Blessings,"
- Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., Author of "Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story & Don't Call Me Mother," www.memoriesandmemoirs.com, 29 May 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Martial Virtue

"Philosophical ideals in the martial arts:
1. To strive for perfection of character
2. To defend the paths of truth
3. To foster the spirit of effort
4. To honor the principles of etiquette
5. To guard against impetuous courage."
- Herman Kauz, The Martial Spirit: An Introduction to the Origin, Philosophy and Psychology of the Martial Arts.

Seven Essential Principles Of Bushido (The Way Of The Warrior):
1. GI: the right decision, taken with equanimity, the right attitude, the truth. Rectitude.
2. YU: bravery tinged with heroism
3. JIN: universal love, benevolence toward mankind. Compassion.
4. REI: right action - a most essential quality. Courtesy.
5. MAKOTO: utter sincerity. Truthfulness.
6. MELYO: honor and glory.
7. CHUGO: devotion. Loyalty.
- Taisen

"It is said that a calm and stable mind can achieve anything. This is an idea that I hold strong to. If we are not thinking with our wisdom mind then we are thinking out of impulse and reaction, like most animals do. This thinking out of impulse is known as the "emotional mind" (xin). The martial arts are very much a tool to shape reaction, both mentally and physically. Through diligent practice, and study of the martial virtues one can begin to act from the wisdom mind.

The virtues fall into two categories; morality of action, and morality of mind. Of those that are associated with action, there is:

Humility
Respect
Righteousness
Trust
Loyalty

as well as those which are associated with the mind:

Will
Endurance
Perseverance
Patience
Bravery."
- R. Scott Moylan, Wu De Quan


"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thought. With our thoughts, we make our world."
- The Buddha