PAPAMIKIE's SparkPeople Blog PAPAMIKIE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Structure of Taijiquan (Tai Chi) <BR> Taijiquan involves many things however, there are some key principles for body alignment and basic stance. I will present the most important stance after I have reviewed some of the fundamental principles of taijiquan. Relaxation is an underlying principle, however, relaxation is not quite correct. In Chinese the use the term (放 松 fàng song fong3sung1放fong3 to release; to free; to let go; to put; to place; to let out; to set off (fireworks) 松sung1loose; to loosen; to relax) fang song m... Sat, 23 May 2015 11:56:43 EST Focus drill Today in my running I brought in a drill from bagua. This is first practiced as a meditation. You focus on breathing and count backward from some number. I am currently counting back from 500. You visualize the number as you name it. As you progress you can then bring the counting focus into simple movements and then into complex bagau or taijiquan forms. <BR> <BR> I thought it might be interesting to bring it into my Chi Running. This will indicate if you can remain focused on the simple ex... Fri, 15 May 2015 07:49:36 EST Tai Chi and Qigong Part 5 I am going to denote some of the elements that I consider important as far as the physical movements involved in Taijiquan and Qigong. Please note that most of these observations will apply in someway to any taijuquan form or qigong form, but there may be some difference depending on your style or your instructor. There are some basic stances or postures (this is a convenient term in Taiji because taiji is actually a continuous movement activity, except for the beginning and end; there are no... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 12:28:07 EST Tai Chi and Qigong part 5 Basic Principles and stances <BR> In the next sections I will begin to define some of the movement principles, energy points and define some terms that I will use to describe movements for Taijiquan and Qigong. <BR> <BR> My teacher’s teacher sometimes says, “There is the way you will do this movement, and the way I do this movement. You should not do it the way I do it until you can do it correctly the way you do it.” <BR> <BR> This may sound strange, however, it is important to understand... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:14:07 EST Tai Chi and Qigong part 4 Body mechanics and Taijiquan and Qigong <BR> <BR> Many of you will know it is Curling Season (Tournament of Hearts, The Brier and the Worlds). I am a big fan of top level Curling and have been pleased that it has become more and more an athletic event. Yes top Curlers are Athletes, they train hard and they are generally in very good shape. Some readers are already thinking, “Okay what has Curling got to do with Taijiquan and Qigong?” <BR> <BR> Well there are several lessons that can be tak... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:10:10 EST Taijiquan And Qigong A Students hand book Part 3 Taijiquan and Qigong by the numbers <BR> <BR> When we learn the basic skill of math, we begin by learning the sequence of numbers; 1 comes before 2 and 2 comes before 3 and after 1. We then are taught that each number is in the sequence is one unit more than the number proceeding it and one unit less than the number following it. Once we have developed the skill of counting we are taught how to add and subtract. We can count groups of items and then add the number of things in two or more gr... Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:09:46 EST A Students notes on Taijiquan and Qigong II In this section I would like to introduce some of the elements which typically play in the background to my practice of and understanding of Taijquan and Qigong. It may be helpful for the reader to understand that while I may not explicitly address these element all the time, they are elements that play as part of the environment when I do taijiquan or qigong and / or talk about these practices. <BR> <BR> The Matter of Qi in Tai Chi and Qigong <BR> <BR> Both Internal Martial Arts and Qigon... Sat, 14 Mar 2015 05:16:39 EST A Students notes on Taijiquan and Qigong As some of you will know I have been working to prepare my lessons on Taijiquan and Qigong. My intension is to put together my “Student Notes on Taijiquan and Qigong” both in written and video format. I have been reviewing and organizing my various resource and making some test video. I video tape section of my weekly lessons, I have for nearly 5 years and so have a lot of material I have had to sort though. My weekly lessons tapes have typically been corrections and additions to my taijiquan... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 17:07:39 EST Barrhaven Run for Rogers house. This year I decided to help out rather than run. I zoomed over to help with distribution of race kits immediately after work. I got my course assignment for the 10km (I was helping to marshal the race and spent 3 hours helping to hand out race kits for the various runs. <BR> <BR> Saturday I hit the road early for my own run and then did Taijiquan and Qigong. I went over to the start location early to see how things were going and to offer to do anything that needed doing I assumed there was ... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 06:11:18 EST The science of every day. I tend to be the one who does home work with “Little Bug”. He is challenged when it comes to reading and writing. He is quite bright but his little brain seems to get ahead of his fingers for writing. Each week he has a homework assignment. We start out by doing a verbal run though the material and forming verbal answers. That is Monday. Tuesday I am out to Taijiquan and we have less time for homework. Wednesday we will do a written response notes, begin to put notes into sentences etc. Thurs... Sat, 3 May 2014 05:49:11 EST Sometimes we have a tendency to over think things. As I was browsing through my emails this am I came across a link post by a friend that suggested sometimes we tend to over think things. This idea found itself tucked nicely in with the idea that the same friends parents had screwed up so badly that she had decided to raiser her daughter exactly the opposite of the way her folks had raiser her. <BR> <BR> It is odd to me that, as I have explored east and west thinking over my nearly sixty years, I have tried to take from each philosophy what ... Fri, 2 May 2014 06:59:35 EST memorial We held the memorial for my nephew yesterday (Easter Saturday). It was very nice and went very well. Organizing and preparing have require quite a bit if time and I think been a useful diversion and activity for my brother and his wife. There is a measure of healing in projects such as this, however, now comes the difficult task of getting back to “Normal Living” and adjusting to the fact their boy is gone. <BR> <BR> We (the rest of the family) will do what we can to support my brother, sist... Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:48:48 EST One just does what one can do. I did not sleep much last night; well, even less than normal. I had to put some images into video file for the memorial for my brother’s son. My brother, his wife and their daughter are coming to town this weekend for a memorial service here (most of both families live in this area). I work with my brother, his wife and daughter, over the last few weeks to try to capture to video some memories of my Nephew’s life for a slide show presentation that will play during the visitation time. <BR> ... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:54:11 EST Remember to do those little things You just never know what some small little action will lead to <BR> <BR> <link><BR>388 </link> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 14:56:03 EST The Forth wise man Reposted form 2010 Hope no one will mind but today I am reposting to past blog. Never sure if the forth wise man is a Christmas or Easter story, but it was in my thoughts today as I did my "Post Standing" and seemed to want to come out so I will let it. <BR> <BR> We all know the story about the three wise men. We remember them at Christmas, we sing about them in “We Three Kings” <BR> <BR> There is also a story about the fourth wise man. We do not hear about him, because he never met up with his friends for t... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:49:15 EST Chi Running Series reposted by request This duplicates a post I did some time ago (Years) it is part one of a multi-part blog. The link at the end points to part 2 of the original set and from there those interested can review the entire set. Hope someone finds this useful <BR> <BR> This is part one of what I plan to be a rather long series of blogs on Chi Running. Those who are my friends and some who just stop know that I run a bit, and that I have undertaken to become a Chi Runner. I often get questions about Chi Running. Wha... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 09:02:16 EST Moving through changes This week’s major digression from my normal everyday life has been to assist my brother and sister in law with organizing a memorial. Many people on both sides of their family live in the Ottawa area so it make sense to hold a memorial here. They live down east and so Grammie and I are the boots on the ground for much of what needs to be done. I assure you this is not imposition upon us; however, it does have its own share of distress. I am also helping with the preparation of a slide show fo... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 00:09:13 EST The second worst thing(s) As some of you will know, on February 28 2014, my nephew was shot and killed by the local police. His mom called 911 because he was angry and aggressive, the police arrived and things went from bad to worse. William David McCaffrey was shot by a police office and taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries. <BR> <BR> This is a terrible set of events for my Brother, my Sister in Law, my Niece and for the Officer involved. It is of course terrible for me and my family, for my brothe... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 05:14:46 EST The universe is unfoldng Last night after work I forgot to switch my phone from vibrate to ring. It is a small thing and of little account in the normal course of events. However, last night was no ordinary night for me, nor for my family. <BR> <BR> I received several calls and voice messages asking me to call back when I received them. Due to the state of my phone’s ringer, I did not receive the messages until mid-afternoon today. My son called me and asked if I had heard the news. His voice was unsteady and betra... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 23:15:54 EST Merry Christmas It is early Christmas morning. I have been up for a while making sure Santa was by. (Sometimes Gramie falls asleep and then moves to the bed without taking care of little things. LOL) She had, of course, taken care of the Christmas Stocking and Santa Presents. <BR> <BR> I have been up working on Taijiquan. I am re-exploring the whole form in detail. Like any skill we much periodically review and update our files. I am working through a set of instructions from my teacher’s teacher. They are ... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 06:00:30 EST Bring into life what you practice. <BR> <BR> My explorations in Chi Running, Chi Walking, Qigong and Taijiquan have taught me a lot about the idea of a practice. Chi Running and Chi walking bring these activities from the arena of sport to that of a practice. The difference may seem small but actually it is quite large. The difference is that a practice is about process and a sport is about outcome. <BR> <BR> Yes of course there are outcomes in each of these practices, but the important thing about the practices is the prac... Wed, 30 Oct 2013 06:27:58 EST Taijiquan and yoga As some of you will know I took up the practice of Taijiquan and Gramie took up yoga. There are many common elements and many differences in these two disciplines. Each work on your balance, physical fitness, focused attention and vital energy. <BR> <BR> One observation if have about a differences is that Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist) has first and foremost a martial intention. I know, many schools of Tai Chi teach it with little or no focus on the martial applications; this does not ch... Tue, 22 Oct 2013 09:06:10 EST The Comfortable Spot In Taijiquan we focus our movement from our Dantian or centre. This is easy to understand, but difficult to do. This week I am working specifically on walking on thin ice. That is, stepping so that the stepping leg comes down empty, without weight. For example, as I do a single whip my body turns to the West and my left for take a slightly long step creating a narrow bow stance. The right arm has a hooked palm and a straight elbow (Yes a straight elbow to block energy) and is extended at sh... Thu, 19 Sep 2013 06:13:20 EST Markers I turned 59 yesterday. <BR> <BR> Many things have change over the years for me and my family. Most recently Gramie Leanna and I have changed our focus in life. Looking towards being in the now. I once taught the skills of Multitasking; I am now of the belief that multitasking is probably not very good for the individual. I now tend to think about being focused what I am doing. Over the last several years I have become a runner, a taijiquan player and a practitioner of Qigong. My running st... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 07:46:23 EST What is normal It occurred to me when “Little Bug” came down stairs this morning and walked passed me to lay down on the couch at 6:00 a.m. and simply said, “Hi Popie.”, that Normal is what we get used to. <BR> <BR> This may not seem a very remarkable occurrence, but I was in the middle of one of my morning Qignons, I was, in fact, “Standing like a Tree.” I often start my morning practice with Zhan Zhuan (Pile Standing) Qigong. This is probably not a typical activity in most North American households, espe... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 07:22:25 EST Mindfulness Matters Gramie has just secured the domain “Mindfulness Matters Ottawa”. She is not just sure what she wants to do with it; but is more and more what we are becoming about. She does yoga, I do Taijiquan, Qigong, and Chi Running and Walking; however, these are just the top of the iceberg. We are about being mindful in what we do. <BR> <BR> So the site will be about being mindful in everything. This will include tools, exercises, mediations, metaphors about how to be mindful; as well as, information a... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 21:07:18 EST Y’Chi For living In Chi Running and Chi walking we talk about various things you can do to co-operate with the force of gravity and the force of the road coming at you, to make running and walking more energy efficient and less injury prone. There are various focuses that you can practice to work on elements to gradually make a shift in how you move. <BR> <BR> One thing we talk about is Y’Chi (Yee Chee). This is the idea of focusing your attention at a target down the road and moving towards that target with... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:57:38 EST A few thought on comfort some things that worked for Debi I received a very large response to my blog on my sister’s death and my experiences related to it. I received many thoughts, prayers and caring words. Several people said they were going through or had recently gone through similar experiences. <BR> <BR> One thing I had to bring to the situation was experience with working with pain management, I always refer to it as comfort management because we actually want the person to learn to put his/her focus on the comfortable bits. <BR> <BR> I w... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:20:41 EST Friends you hardly know, but who are there. I am dealing with the remains of the day, for my sisters life. Due to good fortune of my life, (I almost died at 14, in fact, should have died) I have always seemed more comfortable with the idea that life and death are not very far apart on the continuum of existence. I have had a sense of my own mortality since my early teens and therefore a sense of everyone’s mortality. <BR> <BR> It is sad to say farewell, but it is all part of the journey. I was able to help make Debi’s transition easie... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 04:21:52 EST Balancing Life and Death As some of you may know, Nov 2012 my sister was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer and given a very poor prognosis. This changed many things for her and her adult girls and for me and my family. We became the primary supports for Debi and her daughters. Gramie and I and our daughter Rose became the doers when things needed to be done. Debi when through Chemo and initially things improved some. <BR> <BR> The initial scan following her first Chemo showed great improvement, however, while t... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 07:39:30 EST Taiji as a Model of Gradual Change. Most things we do have to be learned. Babys start out with some basic skills, however, even things like eating and breathing are not as natural a part of their behavior as we assume. Development is a process of lifelong learning. <BR> <BR> I have completed my Taiji form several thousand times and each time through I make small refinements. I am currently adding some movements to the end of my form and working through the front part making adjustments. I typically select a short section, las... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 10:53:24 EST Some Reflections on what is It is already mid-January 2013. The last part of 2012 seemed to fly by in a blur, but it seems that in the midst of that I have continued to progress. My time has become expensive and so I am not here as often as I have been, there are other things that have occupied my priorities. <BR> My running mileage is down, however, I am using this as an opportunity to completely transitions my shoes. My Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan continue to be an important focus. I was reflecting on the fact that I hav... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 01:53:24 EST Welcome 2013 Another year has begun. 2012 ended with a lot of difficulty and stress for me and my family. Gramie and I had to refocus on doing what we need to do to take care of your own well being. <BR> <BR> We are looking forward to all that 2013 has to offer. We will make the best of what comes our way and do our best to look after ourselves, each other, our family, our extended family, friends and others; always with a mind to keeping our focus and doing what is needed for our own well being. <BR> ... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 23:19:08 EST The Zen of dealing with Crisis One of the difficult things to do, at least for me, is to remember in the face of “all the stuff that needs to be done”, to be here now. I have been extra busy with various things surround my sisters illness. There was one more bump in the road last evening, one of those things that in my opinion is stupid and small minded and frankly made me what to say, “I am done!” <BR> <BR> <BR> Gramie said to me, so turn everything over to the girls and tell them to do it themselves, “I don’t need you... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 15:56:35 EST Kids say the darnedest things Gramie’s sister call on Sunday and asked about Debi. I brought her up to date. Chemo is working as expected. Debi is improving daily. Looks stronger, more comfortable, etc. She has another round of Chemo in two weeks. No it is not a cure, and we are looking at 2 to 18 months with a mean time of 6-8 months before her symptoms return and we have to look at what options there are. <BR> <BR> We have spoke to Aden about the fact that Popie’s Sister is very sick. <BR> <BR> One night last week he ... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 15:51:37 EST How did Gene Hackman’s voice get inside my head? I am now starting to deal with the various players involved with my sister’s situation. As I talk with social works, case managers, hospital staff etc I often hear Frank Ramsey (Hackman) talking to Ron Hunter (Washington) in Crimson tide. <BR> <BR> Hackman says, "I liked they way you put that, Hunter" <BR> <BR> Washington says, "How did I put it." <BR> <BR> Hackman says, "Carefully." <BR> <BR> It seems that often they speak very carefully; I know there is a need to be prudent, I suppo... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 13:14:52 EST Adaptation useful or not I was in to visit Debi yesterday, this is not unusual, it has become part of the patern. A funny thing happened. She was a little frustrated (that is really too strong a word) about having to manipulate the I.V. stand when moving around. You know open the bathroom door keep it open while you roll the wayward stand through the door either in front of you or behind you. Not really a big deal, just an annoyance. <BR> <BR> About 4:00 p.m. her nurse asked her why she was taking the I.V. into the... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 04:46:25 EST Big miracles or small miracles For those who have read my blogs over time, you will likely know that I am a convinced theist. I am not very dogmatic about these beliefs. When Paul said, “I see through a mirror but darkly…” Cor. 13:12 that hits the mark very close for me. I am fully convinced that my theology is more wrong, than right, and therefore will not trouble any one by attempting to correct his/her beliefs. <BR> <BR> My experience leads me to believe in miracles. I have, on rare occasions, experience events that I ... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 11:38:31 EST Tai Chi Chuan - Different takes on the same practice I had a recent discussion about Tai Chi Chuan with a friend and again I was surprised at the difference in perceptions. <BR> <BR> Tai Chi Chuan is sometimes translated as "Supreme Ultimate Fist", the developer of the Yang style was sometime referred to as Yang the invincible. I have read that it was said of him that he was so good at his fighting skill that he almost never killed his opponents and rarely maimed them. <BR> <BR> Tai Chi Chuan was and is a marital art, it is also a healing Qig... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 08:46:03 EST Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? So the rollercoaster ride continues. Yesterday we met with the oncologist. His proposed plan is to start chemo today with two more rounds, one each on Saturday and Sunday. <BR> <BR> He noted that this will not cure her, but it will likely shrink the tumor and alleviate the pain. He said he thinks it will extender her life from weeks to months and possibly as much as a year and a half. More important, it will likely make her quality of life better (reducing pain and fatigue). I pushed as har... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:18:11 EST Thoughts on life at the particular time. My sisters medical situation is not very good. The medical people have said, that she has cancer in both kidneys, her liver, bones of her chest, lungs and lymph system. We have not had the official official pronouncement; however that has to do with medical protocols and perhaps kindness on the part of the staff. You know when the doctor on call say something like, “This is what I am seeing, but then I am not an oncologist so you might want to wait and get talk with the oncologist.” <BR> <BR... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 11:22:58 EST Learning how to be still when everything is spinning We have had two adventures to the hospital related to my Sisters illness. <BR> <BR> My sister is not a very good patient; that is not intended as criticism; it is just the way it is. When she speaks to the doctor she does not want to appear weak or a baby so she down plays things. So she is an 8 on 10 for pain when speaking to her daughter, a 6-7 on pain when speaking to me, and okay when speaking to the doctor. Therefore the doctor assesses her as not needing anything, but in fact she is i... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 11:30:22 EST Stopped in my Tracks It is not my nature to do mindless eating, nor to let the events in my life stop my from doing what I set out to do. I must confess, that yesterday, I allowed both to happen. <BR> <BR> I had been over to my sister’s last week, and I thought, “She does not look well?!” <BR> <BR> Yes it was both a questions and an emphatic statement. <BR> <BR> Sunday my brother called me. He asked how I was, a few questions about my running and then he asked if I had been in touch with Debi (our sister). I ... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 15:52:10 EST Being Still on One Leg It is interesting to me how things evolve, or perhaps how I make connections as things change. It is always difficult to tell what constitute change and / or relatedness between events and activities. <BR> <BR> For instance, in the Yang Long form there are typically 108, 103, 88, 85, 113 or 150 movements; depending on how you cut things up. Many things in life are like this. How we perceive life’s events may depend on how we punctuate our experience(s). <BR> <BR> I began my current explorat... Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:27:51 EST November already I don’t generally mark time very carefully, I tend to be an in-time person rather than a through-time person. <BR> <BR> Last month was slow one for me. We had a cold or flu go through the house and it seemed to hang on for ever. Then towards the end of the month I got way behind on “Little bug’s” Green Ninja costume and had some technical difficulties with a borrowed sewing machine. <BR> <BR> I also discovered some books I had wanted to get that have been out of print or un-available that... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 13:04:21 EST Thoughts on internal arts. I was having a discussion recently with a friend who made a comment on my practices. In particular we were talking about Zhan zhuang (jam Jong), but I think the discussion was relevant each of the internal arts (by this I mean Tai Chi chaun, Ba Gua Zhang, Xingyiquan and Qigong). His comment was that he had begun the three circle Qigong (Zhan zhuang) but that after a week or so had given up. He thought it was interesting that I had managed to make it part of my practice and keep it as part of... Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:34:50 EST Another update on my wobble beam. So now walking the beam forward is mostly a foregone conclusion. Every now and then I will have a day where I seem less stable, but for the most part I can cross it as long as Gramie is not watching me. <BR> <BR> No I am not ready to stretch it across Niagara Gorge and attempt a crossing, however, most of the time I can cross it with my hands linked behind my back. <BR> <BR> I have successfully crossed it walking backwards. Some days it is still a big stretch, other days it seems easier t... Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:16:37 EST Principles of internal arts Combat Today I was reading the basic principle of Internal Arts Combat. The write outline and detailed a short set of guidelines. The are as follows: <BR> <BR> Non-opposition of Force <BR> 1) maintain a save distance <BR> 2) Move off the line of attack <BR> 3) Intercept early / avoid late <BR> <BR> Connect and join Centers <BR> 1) Blend the motions of the torso <BR> 2) Connect where there is No Relative Motion <BR> 3) Connect without alarming the Opponet <BR> <BR> Apply force whee the Opponent ca... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 08:14:17 EST Three day break - longest in 18 months I had a bit of a set back following Thanks Giving, nothing serious, just Gramie and I finally came down with the brunt of ¡°Little Bug¡¯s¡± cold. We were away for Saturday and Sunday and had Thanks Giving dinner on Sunday with Gramie¡¯s folk, Aden, Ros and P. (Ros¡¯s boyfriend). <BR> <BR> Monday Gramie spent on the couch, I did a bit of work around the house and intended to do my Qigong, Tai Chi Chuan and go for a run, however, did not fee very well and decided to take a day off. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 11 Oct 2012 14:21:21 EST Resolution Run - Motion not Notion We are fast approaching the Christmas and New Year’s season. Within much of the World New Years is a time for making plans, for setting goals and for focusing on how to make the next year better than the last. <BR> Each year I encourage the idea of a New Year’s Resolution Activity. I am a running so I tend to choose running, and within Ottawa and many cities in Canada “The Running Room” sponsors Resolution Run events. These are typically held either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. For the p... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 03:45:35 EST