Thursday, April 30, 2009

Walking on the Earth

"Walking meditation means to enjoy walking without any intention to arrive. We don't need to arrive anywhere. We just walk. We enjoy walking. That means walking is already stopping, and that needs some training. Usually in our daily life we walk because we want to go somewhere. Walking is only a means to an end, and that is why we do not enjoy every step we take. Walking meditation is different. Walking is only for walking. You enjoy every step you take. So this is a kind of revolution in walking. You allow yourself to enjoy every step you take.

The Zen master Ling Chi said that "the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth." You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet. That is already performing a miracle. The greatest of all miracles is to be alive. We have to awaken ourselves to the truth that we are here, alive. We are here making steps on this beautiful planet. This is already performing a miracle. But we have to be here in order for the miracle to be possible. We have to bring ourselves back to the here and the now."
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Resting in the River

The Ways of Walking: Quotations, Bibliography, Guides

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Taiji Kung Fu Fan

We enjoyed a vacation in Portland, Oregon, last week. We visited with the families of our daughter and son. We also camped at Cape Lookout State Park on the coast near Netart's Bay in northwest Oregon.

Lately, I've been researching the Taiji Kung Fu Fan Form, created by Professor Li Deyin in 2001. This is a popular Internal Martial Arts fan exercise routine for middle aged persons and seniors.

Taiji Kung Fu Fan Form, List of Movements. List of the 52 movement names in English.

Taiji Kung Fu Fan Form, Section I, List of Movements. List of Movements 1-26 in English. Our Tai Chi Studies Group in Red Bluff, California, will begin the study of practice of Section I in May of 2009.

Taiji Kung Fu Fan Form, List of Movements in Five Languages. The names of the 52 will be given in Chinese (Pinyin, Romanized), Chinese characters, English, French, German, and Spanish. I intend to complete this list by June, 2009.

Taiji Kung Fu Fan Form: Notes, Comments, and Research.

Tai Chi Chuan and Kung Fu Fan (Shan) Exercise Routines. Guides, Bibliography, Links, Research, Quotations, Instructions.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form by Professor Li Deyin

Tai Chi Fan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Notes, Lore, Quotations. 65Kb+. Research by Mike Garofalo. I welcome any comments, suggestions, additions, or ideas regarding this webpage.

Does anyone know more about this popular fan form? When was it created? Are there other resources available for studying this fan form?

Our Tai Chi Study Group in Red Bluff, California, will begin studying this Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form in May of 2009. I will prepare notes and handouts for our group was we progress in our studies of this form.

Tai Chi Kung Fun Fan Form created by Professor Li Deyin (1938-)

52 Movements Fan Dance Form

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Dance, Form I

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan. Routine 1, created by Grandmaster Li Deyin (1938-). Instructional DVD, 65 minutes, by Master Jesse Tsao. Tai Chi Healthways, San Diego, California. "The most popular Tai Chi Fan form ever practiced in China. The routine was created by Grandmaster Li Deyin, Jesse Tsao's teacher since 1978. There are 52 movements in the whole routine based on the characteristic Tai Chi posture with the fan's artistic and martial functions. Master Tsao presents demonstrations at the beginning and end. He teaches step-by-step in slow motion, in English. There are plenty of repetitions of movements in both front and back view. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation." Cost: 35.00 US. Demonstration.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Instructional DVD by Professor Li Deyin. Narration in English. "
A fan routine, created by Professor Li, which combines the gracefulness, centrality and continuity of Taiji with the power, speed and fierceness of Wushu. It is designed as an addition to the exercises for health, and has received massive interest and support throughout the world. In this DVD, Professor Li provides in-depth teaching with Mrs. Fang Mishou performing detail demonstration." Vendor 1. Cost: $35.00 US.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. List of 52 movement names, directions, instructions, and notes by Mike Garofalo.

Tai Chi Kung Fun Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 4:02 min. Lady in white on a stage in Japan. My favorite! "First Form of the Xiyangmei Taiji Kungfu Shan (Taiji Shan). Recorded in Tokyo, Japan when the group headed by Li Deyin went to give an exhibition in 2006."

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 3:59 min. Three performers in white outfits.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 3:59 min. Demonstrated by Patty Lee. Lady in a yellow outfit in a field with a backdrop of mountains.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 4:02 min. Lady in black practicing in a dance studio. What is the song used in many of these videos (by Jackie Chan)??

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 3:42. A group of Master Fay Li Yip's students performing outdoors.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 3:53 min. A group in black outfits performs outdoors in Madrid, Spain. Some members need more group practice.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 5:57 min. Two ladies in red outfits perform outdoors in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. 中國太極功夫扇

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. UTube Video Subject Search.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

I don't know about the accuracy of the following "facts" about the heart, but, if true, they are quite amazing:

  1. "The entire blood system is estimated at 62,100 miles.
  2. There are 12 pints of blood in an adult male and 9 in an adult female.
  3. 5 - 10% of the body's total energy is used to keep the heart beating.
  4. 5 - 7.5 gallons of blood are pumped per minute during strenuous exercise.
  5. A heart contracts 2.5 billion times during the average lifetime.
  6. The heart pumps 3.1 billion gallons of blood over a lifespan of 75 years.
  7. 46 of the world's largest oil tankers could be filled with blood pumped by the human heart in a normal lifetime.
  8. There are about a billion red blood cells in 2 - 3 drops of blood.
  9. 300 million cells die each minute. Two percent of blood cells die each day and are replaced."

Mew Hing's 18 Daoist Palms System

Think about it! Like this fellow once did:

Bodies Revealed

"What a piece of work is man! How like an angel, how like a god.
The beauty of the world."
- William Shakespeare

I find the following book quite useful: Strength Training Anatomy. By Frederic Delavier. Champaign, Illinois, Human Kinetics, 2001. 124 pages. ISBN: 0736041850. Revised edition of "Guide des mouvements de musculation" Paris, Ditions Bigot, 1998. An outstanding illustrated guide to muscles at work. Both male and female models are used.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Baguazhang #3

I was slowed down somewhat this week by a strained calf muscle. I reduced my training, applied heat, and massaged the calf. I did do quite a bit of weight lifting, but less walking.

Watched the DVD on Chen Pan-Ling's Bagua and Bagua Staff (very long at 6:32 min). Comments added to the Way of the Short Staff webpage on Chen Pan-Ling's staff forms.

Found some beautiful 1 pound stones for Bagua training at Gaumer's Rock Shop in Red Bluff.

I did a bit more reading and re-reading. I recommend:

Liu Bin's Zhuang Gong Bagua Zhang: Foundation Practices, Volume One.
South District Beijing's Strongly Rooted Style. By Zhang, Jie. Contributions by Richard Shapiro. Blue Snake Books, 2008. Glossary, xxix, 232 pages. ISBN:
1583942181. Professor Zhang, is very knowledgeable about the philosophy, history, and art of Bagua Zhang, and has a deep appreciation for many aspects of traditional Chinese culture. This book provides a very good introduction to this style of Bagua in the line of Cheng Ting Hua, Liu Bin, and Liu Xing Han. After providing an informative introduction to the history and philosophy (I Ching, Yin/Yang, Morality, etc.) of Bagua, Dr, Zhang gives clear instructions on circle walking, single palm changes, and twenty four movements of the eight animals. Emphasis is placed on a slow, rooted, and deliberate pace with enhanced awareness. The instructions are very clear and detailed, and keyed to accompanying black and white photographs. An unique part of this book are the sixteen Zhan Zhuang (standing meditation) exercises, and the considerable emphasis and explanations on inner work, chi gong, and mind training. Most of the emphasis in this book is on providing clear instructions on how to practice essential Bagua so as to stay fit, improve the mind, harmonize with nature, build strength and balance, and enhance one's understanding of Chinese philosophy. Dr. Zhang lived and worked his whole life in China, and published many books in Chinese. He currently teaches Chinese culture, calligraphy, chi gong, martial arts, and Tui Na massage in Seattle, Washington. A good book for older persons seeking a sound introduction to Bagua.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Tai Chi Fan

A number of my Taijiquan students have asked me about a Tai Chi Fan Dance.

I know little about the subject. Therefore, I started to do some research on the subject.

I saw quite a bit online about the Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Dance, Form 1, created by Professor Li Deyin.

I welcome your comments, observations, ideas and suggestions about learning a Tai Chi Fan form or teaching seniors a Tai Chi Fan form.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Tai Chi Chuan Classes in Red Bluff, California

Taijiquan and Qigong Class and Practice Schedule

Red Bluff, California
Mike Garofalo, M.S., Instructor

Starting April 1, 2009

Indoor Classes:

Indoors, Mondays, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, Tehama Family Fitness Center

Indoors, Saturdays, 9:30 - 11 am, Tehama Family Fitness Center

Tehama Family Fitness Center
2498 South Main Street, Red Bluff, California
Adjacent to St. Elizabeth's Hospital and Medical Complex

Outdoor Practice and Lessons:

Outdoors, Mondays, 7:00 - 8:30 am, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Center

Outdoors, Fridays, 7:00 - 8:30 am, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Center

Outdoors, Saturdays, 7:30 - 8:30 am, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Center

Outdoors, Sunday, 6:00 - 7:30 am, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Center

Valley Spirit Taijiquan Center
23005 Kilkenny Lane
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Phone: 530-200-3546

Instruction Offered:

We practice the Yang Style of Taijiquan (24 Form and 108 Form), 32 Sword Form and Eight Immortals 36 Cane Form; and the Sun Style Taijiquan 73 Competition Form.

Currently I am studying Ba Gua Zhang with Shifu Kent Howard, the Shaolin Kung Fu Cane form as taught by Shifu Ted Mancuso, and reviewing the Sun Taijiquan 73 Form. I began my studies of Taijiquan and Qigong in 1986, and have been teaching Taijiquan and Qigong since 2000.

Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

Taijiquan Class Indoors Information

Taijiquan Class Flyer

Taijiquan Outdoors Practice and Class Information

Cloud Hands Blog

Green Way Blog

Cloud Hands Website

Class Schedule Changes

Valley Spirit Taijiquan Curriculum, Instructors, Class Schedule

General Information

Call Mike for more information at: 530-200-3546

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Shoes for Yoga Practice

A yoga student of mine asked me why I wore shoes during yoga practice. She said that she thought that yoga was supposed to be done barefoot.

I use the Feiyue brand shoes for yoga, taijiquan, pilates, and qigong practice indoors. The room where I teach yoga and taijiquan at the Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, recently was remodeled and now has laminate wood floors. The room previously had a rug with a pad underneath. At home, indoors, on laminate wood floors I use the Feiyue shoes. When doing weight training, spin cycling, cardio kick boxing, or aerobics indoors, I wear a sturdy cross training style of shoe.

When walking, or doing Taijiquan, Bagua, calisthenics, or short staff weapons training outdoors, I wear a sturdy cross training style of shoe. When these shoes wear out a bit, they become my gardening shoes.

I did yoga barefoot on a rug for two years. Unfortunately, I would get fissures in my toes. The fissures would get infected and then I would need help from my podiatrist as well as extra daily efforts at cleaning my feet, soaking my feet, applying medicine to my feet, and applying bandages to my feet. Since I am a Type II diabetic, foot injuries are a more serious issue for me. To prevent these foot problems I started wearing Feiyue shoes. I have not had one problem with my feet in five years since I started wearing Feiyue shoes.

Feiyue brand shoes are very light, very flexible, and grip the floor well. They will not slip or slide on smooth floors. They will not scuff floors. They are very inexpensive. They have both black or white colored versions for purchase. Feiyue offers a couple of styles. These shoes look cool! For my indoor training needs, these shoes are perfect. A number of my students now also use Feiyue shoes and feedback from them is very positive.

Other internal martial arts bloggers have also written about the topic of training shoes:

Wujimon Blog

ChanSiGong Blog

I purchase Feiyue brand shoes at Amazon.