Past News Posts
Posted By: Ed Calph
On January 01, 2010 at 00:00
I've decided to label this column "Ed's Corner." Every day, after teaching at New Spirit Middle School (70% Hmong, 30% Latino & African-American) I go to the "corner" of Cleveland & Ford Parkway to have tea. It's at the "corner" where all my best thoughts come together.
Already, this has been a spectacular New Year, with the school moving into the facilities of Macalester-Plymouth UCC. In addition, Grandmaster Wong is my "Kung-Fu Brother." We were both born in the Year of the Rat. We were both married in the same year. He has provided me with the title for the next book to be published on his teachings. A sequel to the first, it will be titled: Treasures of Tai Chi Chuan: Lessons with Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong. My intention is to have this work in print by the end of 2010.
I close this first column with this quote: "If you practice one day, you have one day's benefit. If you practice 10 days, you have 10 days benefit. If you don't practice at all, you have nothing."
I am in the process of compiling a "dictionary" of tai chi chuan, based on interviews and articles contained in over 80 issues of Tai Chi Journal over the past 20 years. It will cover A-Z (a = arms, b = body, c = chi, etc). The same format will be used to compile the forthcoming book on Grandmaster Wong's teachings, with a revised title: Dictionary of Tai Chi Chuan: Lessons with Doc-Fai Wong.
On Sunday, March 28, a reading will be offered of my favorite quotes. In addition, students will have the opportunity to ask questions on topics of interest which will no doubt be addressed in this informative compilation. I close this second column with two of my favorites: "The teacher is like a guide who gives you the key to the doorway. But you have to open it and explore the other side for yourself."
"There comes a point where the teacher you need is yourself."
The reading from the Tai Chi Dictionary that is being compiled was a fun and invigorating time! What follows are some excerpts from the reading, listed alphabetically, for those who were unable to attend.
- On breathing: "Tai chi breathing is comfortable and without burden, as if breathing in one's sleep."
- On energy: "Tai chi breathing is not the practice of forms or techniques, but the study of the water-like characteristics of its energy. The ocean has no technique: it sinks you, floats you, and surrounds you. If you jump in you are soaked."
- On form: "Take each movement and polish it like a fine jewel." "The outside of the form is like a tea cup that holds tea. It's the tea, or internal energy inside, that has the value."
- On practice: "Tai chi breathing is like the making of fine wine: time and patience are necessary."
- On push hands: "In push hands, your partner is your teacher."
- On relaxation: "Relax from the soles of your feet to the hair on the top of your head."
- And last but not least: "Eventually, tai chi becomes a part of a person's total life, so that every response will be a tai chi response." The Chinese have a saying: "The kung-fu has now got into your body. It is part of you now."