Happy New Year everyone and welcome to another post in our series of Members Resources.

We hope you are all keeping well and coping with the present lockdown.  We thought we’d start the New Year off with a nice exercise from our Tao Yin booklet series – Beware the Bear from booklet 1 to be precise.

Enjoy  &  Happy training !

As usual we would love to know what you think of this feature – please send us your comments/feedback.

 

 

In order to beat lockdown some of our instructors have clubbed together (with the Technical Director’s permission) to provide Zoom courses for TAO students.  Join us for a 2 hour session where we will learn and practice a Tao Yin exercise both together as a group and then in small instructor-led breakout rooms.  This course will run on Saturday 30 January from 10am until 12 noon and then again on Saturday 6 February from 2pm until 4pm.

Places are limited so if you would like to attend please contact Janet for more info and to book your place

Booking deadlines :

For the course being held on Saturday 30 Jan –  booking deadline 23 Jan

For the course being held on Saturday 6 Feb – booking deadline 30 Jan

I hope you all had as best a Christmas as you could given our current situation.

As seems traditional at this time of year I thought I’d look back at what we have achieved before mentioning the year just gone and the year to come.

I am proud of what we have achieved so far.  As a Chinese Martial Arts organisation we are unique – I cannot overstate this enough, these are just some of the reasons why :

  • Historically martial arts have always been a male dominated environment with few highly experienced or graded women – we are different : 40% of our instructors are women.  Because of our success a lot of other organisations are following suit and have a better balance between men and women.

 

  • Most martial arts organisations produce one or two successful competitors. Usually they are male and generally the organisations only compete in one or two disciplines  we are different :  we have numerous very successful competitors, both male and female, from England, France & Germany in all of the following disciplines –

Forms : empty hand and weapons in both T’ai Chi and Kung Fu

Push Hands

Chinese Wrestling

Semi-contact sparring

Full-contact sparring

Our younger junior competitors have been just as successful as our adult competitors.  This shows the high level of instruction in all three countries.

 

  • Most organisations entering competition practice solely for competition success – we are different:  competition practice itself is ONLY a very small part of what we learn and practice.  Learning the principles of movement as we do within the arts gives us a high level of adaptability which enables us to enter competition with little specific competition training.

 

  • The saying ‘Jack of all trades – master of none’ certainly does not refer to us because we cover such a wide range of disciplines. From day one most of our competitors entered into all available disciplines and proved very successful in each.

 

  • In every Europa (European T’ai Chi) competition we have entered we have competed against some of the best in Europe and won medals in Forms and Push Hands and have won more medals than any other competing organisation. This shows our strength in depth and not just relying on one or two competitors.  Our competitors have always been complemented on their technical ability in both the Forms and Push Hands and we have had competitors at world competitions in Forms winning gold medals for Open Hand and Sword Form, and in the full contact fighting winning bronze and silver medals.  The quality of teaching from our senior instructors shows that their depth of knowledge in coaching which allows these competitors to do so well.

 

  • Competitions aren’t something that everybody has to do but we should celebrate the fact that those who do compete raise the TAO’s profile for all.

 

  • All our instructors are qualified to at least BCCMA Level 2 Coaching qualification and some at Level 3 and above. They are either qualified or undertaking training for first aid, safeguarding, DBS and are fully insured.

 

  • Tui-na (Chinese bodywork system) : Our in-house Tui-na training programme gained recognition and provides a professional qualification for members who wish to go into practice.

 

So, what IS the secret? 

There is no secret – our success is proof of the sheer hard work our members put in to understanding ‘the basics’ and principles of our system and to practicing & teach those principles.  In the same way as our personal gradings record our progress through the system our combined success is evidenced by the uniqueness of our organisation.  You are all part of this success.

The TAO was set up with a committee to manage its’ day to day running in order for it to  carry on into the future – by working together we can achieve this goal.  Unlike other organisations that fall apart or splinter if the head decides to withdraw or retire, we need to recognise that the TAO is run by its members for its members and not just by a few higher graded people.  We should all feel that we can have a say and an input into its running and direction for the future.

Although we keep to our authentic roots in the way we pass the system down to newer members, we recognize the need to keep up to date with current legislation & requirements in order to take the organisation into the future.

 

So what now for 2021 ?

After the initial shock of the epidemic and the first lockdown the Committee have been busy updating, improving and providing additional features on both the TAO database and website.   I hope the below website features are proving helpful :

  • Exercise videos
  • Question & Answer sessions
  • Members Resources (for our newer members)

There is a new feature coming soon which will allow prospective members to apply for membership directly through the TAO website.  Membership details and information will automatically be emailed to the new member, together with their instructor, once their application has been accepted.

Once again, I am proud of our members, and how you have coped with the current situation.  Some instructors continue to learn (not only with their personal training) but via. the steep learning curve provided courtesy of teaching via Zoom.  With some instructors starting new classes by Zoom.

I have been very pleased to hear that some instructors have joined together and are running Zoom ‘courses’.   We have always been known as a ‘family system’ and this is proof that our instructors are willing to work together, as a family, to provide an outlet for those members who may feel that the COVID situation has left them out on a limb.   Our combined knowledge will always make us stronger, whether as individuals or as an organisation, and it is heartening to see that we support each other when needed.

We are looking forward to uploading more content onto the website for our members in order to help everyone work through the restraints of the epidemic.  

I urge everyone to keep working together to improve their knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts.  Along with everyone in the organisation I look forward to the time we are able to get together again to continue achieving our goals.

Happy New Year to ALL our members

Tony Swanson

Li Family demonstrations by some of our Competitors can be seen on You tube and linked below.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMGqrH0rPuo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ykgTfJqdpE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NNhDKSNLQo&t=12s

 

 

Welcome to another post in our series of Members Resources.

Ordinarily this weekend would have seen our Boston regional weekend course taking place.  To cheer ourselves up we thought we would give those members who have never attended a TAO weekend course an idea of what goes on.  Below is an article taken from our March 2006 newsletter – and guess what – we couldn’t resist giving you an article taken from a Boston course !

We then have an excerpt from our 1999 Summer School handout notes which lists the Eight Energies.

Enjoy  &  Happy training !

As usual we would love to know what you think of this feature – please send us your comments/feedback.

In this 8th session with Tony we cover two topics

Q1 is from from Elizabeth Marsh, She said ‘could Tony speak about the microcosmic orbit in one of his talks, and its significance in an exercise like the five lotus blossoms’

Q2 Sally  asks, ‘Can you explain the aims and goals of the TAO & how can these be met whilst in the current COVID situation?

 

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

 

Q1

 

 

Q2

Unfortunately due to the current situation with COVID-19 we have reluctantly had to cancel all remaining courses for 2020.  We wish all our members well and let’s hope the situation improves soon.

We hope you are all keeping well in these strange times.  We have a lovely exercise for you this month, looks easy but it’s deceptive  – so watch out !!

The exercise is the first in our set of 10 Basic K’ai Men exercises.  If you want to know the other 9 exercises in this set head over to the Publications section of website shop.

Enjoy giving it a go  🙂   –   Happy training !

As usual we would love to know what you think of this new feature – please send us your comments/feedback.

 

Sorry folks due to current COVID restrictions our next Twyford course (23 & 24 October, 2020) has had to be cancelled.  Let’s hope things will be better soon.

In this session we cover three topics from 3 different members in the TAO.

Q1.     What is Chi and what’s the best way to cultivate it?

Q2.    Regarding the movement of the body, we are generally advised to only use a percentage of our full range of movement during tai chi practice.  However, there are also exercises designed to improve our maximum available range, opening and relaxing our areas of limitation.

Could you discuss the relationship between K’ai Men and Tao Yin exercises in increasing ranges of movement to the maximum/optimum percentage of our available ranges please?

Q3.     I’ve just watched Q&A 6 and I have a handy question that you may want to use. I was thinking that it would be good to combine ideas from three different Q&As together to illuminate them: Acceptance, the 3 Nos and Honour/ Respect.

“If the new guy in town walks in to the local pub for the first time, spills your pint and then spits in your face as a first introduction, acceptance and finding peace with the situation might be helpful internally as a starting point, but without addressing honour this response could be taken as an invitation to further dominance-establishing actions. Also, blanket acceptance would mean a lowering of self-respect, which in turn compromises the 3 Nos. How can we allow these three principles to be mutually supportive instead?”

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

 

Q1.

Q2.

 

Q 3.

Welcome to our September Members Resources posting.

We thought we’d help those of you who have difficulty remembering which stance and which direction you need to move in when practising the Tai Chi Form.  Below are excerpts from our Tai Chi Chuan Steps publication which shows the first 6 sequences (22 moves) of the Tai Chi Form using the points of the compass in addition to :

  • Sequence name and move number
  • Direction you are facing (smiley face)
  • The stance you need to be in
  • The direction your feet should be pointing
  • Weight distribution (pink arrow – equally weighted, green arrow – the foot with most weight on, blue arrow – the foot with least weight on)
  • Direction of travel when turning (curved arrow)

Hope you find these useful – Happy training !

As usual we would love to know what you think of this new feature – please send us your comments/feedback.

 

Click on each image to enlarge  –

 

 

 

In this session two more questions are explored;

The first developed on from the last session, Last time you talked to us about the intricate matrix of what makes Tai Chi, Tai Chi.  You also spoke of the 3no’s in Tai Chi, no pain, no stress, no fear. The Aim being we transfer all of these into our everyday lives.  Please could you tell us more about how we can live the Tai Chi more, for no stress and no fear?”

And the second questions is “ In the system we refer to principles a lot, but we also have concepts – can you explain the difference please?”

 

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

 

Question 1

 

 

Question 2

 

Welcome to our August Members Resources posting.

We have pushed the boat out in this our second post of the series to give you two images – yes I know, shocking !

  • firstly a Tao Yin exercise taken from the second booklet in our 4 booklet series of Tao Yin exercises
  • and then an article from one of our newsletters – this article is taken from a newsletter way back in 2007

We have also put another exercise is the News section which you may recognise.

 

We hope you enjoy these postings and as before would love to know what you think of this new feature and post – please send us your comments/feedback.

Click on the images to enlarge – happy training !

 

 

 

 

 

In this 5th session with Tony the questions are, how does the Li system cover so much of the various Internal martial art theories, and what makes the practice of Tai Chi ‘Tai Chi’ rather than being a well structured movement and exercise program?

 

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

 

How does the Li system cover so much of the various Internal martial art theories?

 

 

 

 

What makes the practice of Tai Chi ‘Tai Chi’ rather than being a well structured movement and exercise program?

 

 

In this fourth session with Tony we cover two more topics, ‘the difference between Knowledge and Understanding’ and ‘the contrast between training for the ego and training for the benefit of the TAO’?

 

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

The difference between Knowledge and Understanding

 

 

Contrast between training for the ego and training for the benefit of the TAO?

 

Welcome to the first post of our brand new Members Resources series.

This feature is specifically designed to help and inform our newer members with less than 5 years experience.  We hope you enjoy it  !

Our July post shows the Ten principal concepts of external posture which should be incorporated into your practice.  The images are taken from our ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ booklet.

We would love to know what you think of this new feature and post – please send us your comments/feedback.

 

Click on the image in order to enlarge it – happy training !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following requests from members we are happy to be adding a brand new feature to our Members area.

Our Members Resource posts will include specifically chosen items to inform our newer members of all aspects TAO.  We are planning to add a new item every month.

Items will include :

  • previous Newsletter articles (both instructional & experiential)
  • excerpts from our range of booklets
  • exercise video clips
  • excerpts of Forms video clips (both empty hand & weapons forms)

If you are a relatively new member (under 5 years experience) and have any feedback on this new feature please contact us

In this third session with Tony we cover two main topics, one. is in relation to Honour and Self Respect and the other is in relation to our Kai Men and Tai Yin.

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

Honour and Self Respect

 

Concepts for Kai Men and Tao Yin

 

As you may have read in our news letter our Chairman Johns Ainsley contracted Covid-19, and in his words if it hadn’t of been for the Tao Yin and Kai Men he would have been on a ventilator.  If you were wondering what exercises John used to help him with his breathing they are in the video here being demonstrated by John.

 

In this second session of questions with Tony, the concepts of the 5 elements are expanded on in greater details.  The use of weapons is discussed and the weapons are used as an analogy to explain the different elements in this context.

These are the Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience and personal opinion only.

 

 

As mentioned in the June Newsletter here is the French tribute to François Thiemann

Our June Newsletter is now available for download here. Within this issue you will find mention of the French Tribute Newsletter.

As always it is feature rich and with a great new look this edition contains  :

Articles

  • Forward from the Technical Director –
  • The Tao that can be named –
  • Combating Covid-19 with Tao Yin –
  • Tao Yin for post-operative recovery –
  • Chinese medicine in the TAO and at University –
  • TAO schools 2019 –
  • Zoom Tai Chi class experience –

TAO News

  • Sport England SCiMA coaching & Safeguarding Registration –
  • TAO community support –
  • TAO 25th Anniversary memorabilia –
  • Tribute to François Thiemann from French TAO –
  • Photographs of François –
  • Training during Covid-19 with request for member articles –
  • TAO course calendar 2020

Enjoy !

 

During this lock down and whilst courses and classes have been suspended Tony has agreed to answer some questions from a small group.

These are The Technical Directors reflections and understandings they should be taken as his experience only

If this is successful then we will get some questions from different areas and make this a regular event or until training can begin again.

Some TAO members are holding weekly T’ai Chi classes using Zoom. If you would like to find out more or take part please message the people below. If you intend to start a class please follow etiquette and let the Technical Director know.

For more details contact :

Nik Kerwin  –  nik [DOT] kerwin [AT] ntlworld [DOT] com   :   Julie Stanton – jp [DOT] stanton200 [AT] mail [DOT] com  :  Vicki Raven

This Kai Men exercise here is part of our members release during Covid -19 Outbreak

The Link below takes you through the exercise step by step.

Kai Men

This should be used in conjunction with the videos of Tony explaining the details.

As before the first video is  performing the exercise, then the overview of the details, and then the uses in our form.

Again please remember this is for training purposes and should not replace your instructions when classes resume. Hopefully soon.

Sound Quality is poor in some places due to other training in the hall at that time.

 

 

 

 

This Tao Yin Exercise is the first of a few that we will be posting to allow Members to keep up with their practice.

Keep an Eye out for more to follow

The Link below takes you through the exercise step by step.

TAO Tao Yin Charming the snake 2

These 4 videos from top to bottom show;

The movement,  the overview, the details  then some applications in our form.

As you are a members then you have accepted the usual legal requirements but please note if you have any health concerns please seek medical advice before doing this exercise.

 

 

Most importantly we hope all our members and their families are keeping safe and well during these difficult times.

We are aware that some members will be experiencing financial hardship but for those who are able to renew their membership it will be much appreciated.  Unfortunately together with many other organisations and businesses, the TAO is also being financially affected by the current situation.

 

For those members in a position to renew their membership online there are two options :

Option 1 :  this option is not available to instructors

Payment of £45 (full members only)  via this link –  Please be aware that by renewing this way you will be setting up an annual Direct Debit payment.

 

Option 2 :   Students & Instructors

By making a bank transfer directly to the following account.  Please ensure that you state the ref. in the following format if possible  :

your membership number ‘ – Renewal

 

Bank: NatWest      –     Account: Taoist Arts Organisation

Account Number: 27712761     –     Branch Sort Code: 60-19-19

BIC: NWBK GB 2L

IBAN: GB31 NWBK 6019 1927 7127 61

Dates for your diary – next year’s International, Residential and Instructor course dates are now listed on our Course List page together with TAO Tuina qualified practitioner course dates.

Local course dates for 2020 will be added soon

Our August Newsletter is now available and as always contains a whole lot of information including :

Technical Director & members articles – our community support project – the possibility of a new Tuina course – competition news and a list of next year’s Twyford course dates

Download the August Newsletter here

The Tao Data Protection Policy (May 18)

TAO Data Protection Policy 25 May 2018-2