Dienstag, 3. März 2015

Review: Optimal Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong Teaching

Should be the first book for new martial arts teachers:

In this small booklet, which is very simple to read and quite short, are contained MANY important lessons. These lessons are mostly relevant for people who teach martial arts, and though the booklet was written by a Tai Chi teacher, any martial artist would benefit from reading it (!). It is a book about teaching pedagogy, as relevant to the martial arts - something the majority of martial arts instructors do not learn in an orderly fashion.

Buy: here

What this book teaches the reader is how to pay attention to the wants and needs of the beginner student, whoever he or she might be. By the time we become teachers ourselves, we have usually drifted away from many of these, and have forgotten some altogether. This is of great value for augmenting and improving one's teaching, and even for marketing purposes. I have personally used the concept and ideas outlined in this booklet to improve the way in which I describe my arts to newcomers and on my website.

Most importantly the author, who is a teacher himself of course, ask you, a fellow teacher, some very tough questions on the nature of what you teach, and how you choose to do it. This booklet forces you to tackle aspects of your teachings which you may have neglected, perhaps not purposely, but often because you wanted to avoid them. These kinds of harsh yet important reminders is something that the teacher is unlikely to get from anywhere else, apart from bitter experience.

Though the booklet is a very quick read overall, it took me much longer than expected, because I had to sit down and think matters through every 2-3 pages. The book really grabs your core conceptions of what you do and gives you a friendly shaking so you can re-sort them in your mind.

For one who is open to receive sound and very helpful advice on teaching, whose cup is not full, this book will prove a most useful and honest addition to his library.

Jonathan Bluestein
Author of best-seller Research of Martial Arts
Head of Tianjin Martial Arts Academy

Dienstag, 24. Februar 2015

New Workbbook: Chinese Characters for the Tai Chi-friends

Dear Tai Chi-friends,

this workbook comes in response to my students lively interest in Chinese characters and will familiarise you with the way they work by practical example and exercises. The characters used for the exercises are often taken from Tai Chi-technical terms.

Having works through this book you will be able to recognise the structure of Chinese characters independently and to look up characters new to you in a Chinese dictionary.

Order: here


- Strokes in Chinese Characters
- Structure of Chinese Characters
- Radicals
- Using a Chinese Dictionary

Here an example for an exercise:

For those of you who want to start to learn Chinese or just play around with the beautiful characters, this might be interesting.

All the best


Donnerstag, 19. Februar 2015

Mittwoch, 18. Februar 2015

Dienstag, 3. Februar 2015

Ebook: Optimal Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong Teaching

Dear Tai Chi-friends,

a lot of people can not get a printed copy and asked for an Ebook.

Here it comes - enjoy:

More info and order: here

All the best


Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2015

Article: About Taijiquan

From a lecture by Prof. Ma Hailong on the occasion of his visit to Düsseldorf 2002

Prof. Ma Hailong is the eldest son of Ma Yueliang and Wu Yinghua. He is President of the Jianquan Taijiquan Association in Shanghai. On his third visit to Europe he held a lecture in the Forum for Traditional Wu Tai Chi Chuan. The following are excerpts from his lecture.

Thank you very much for the kind invitation to hold a lecture here in Düsseldorf. Taijiquan is a system which has been a tradition in China for many centuries. The development of Taijiquan has spanned a long period of time. It is said that Zhang Sanfeng from the Wudang Mountains founded Taijiquan during the Tang Dynasty. In Taijiquan he refined the culture of his country. Today one speaks of the five Taijiquan families: Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu (Hao) and Sun. In the time of the Qing Dynasty the practising of martial arts was very popular. Rich people in those times trained in private circles and invited great masters, such as Yang Luchan (founder of the Yang-style), into their homes to train with them.

Yang Luchan was very famous in his time and was often challenged to fight. Later he gave lessons in the Emperor’s court. One day the Emperor asked Yang Luchan which of his students he could recommend. Yang Luchan said: “There are three who excel.” Each of the three had his own particular skills. “The first, Wan Chun, has particularly hard power (gangjin). Lin Shan is best at exerting power (fajin). Wu Quanyou, however, is the best at gently neutralising energy (rouhua)”. Wu Quanyou, my great-grandfather, became the founder of the Wu-style. It was he who made neutralisation a particular quality in the Taijiquan of our family. The aim of Taijiquan is to manipulate the power of the opponent in order to defeat him/her. That is in fact the essence of Taijiquan.

Learning Taijiquan is not only about learning to defend yourself but also an insight into a certain philosophy. The idea of Taijiquan is not to attack in an uncontrolled manner, but rather the attempt to hold back. This often has some affect on the entire character. My grandparents, uncles and parents, for example, never claimed to be masters. This is part of the philosophy of Taijiquan. Taijiquan is not something for pretentious people.

In many aspects the theory of Taijiquan follows the symbolism of traditional Chinese thinking. In China, for example, it is said that the square is the symbol of the earth. It represents strength and stability. The circle is the symbol of the sky. It signifies softness. Human beings stand between the two and therefore in Taijiquan the positioning of the feet is also based on a square and is an expression of stability. The movement of the arms and the upper part of the body are based on the circle and are soft and flexible. In this way while practising Taijiquan you can simultaneously unite both aspects in yourself.

The knowledge of the theory and practice of Taijiquan should not be confined to the Chinese culture. It should also be established in foreign countries. Three things are necessary for this to happen:

- A very good teacher
- A good learning environment
- A co-operative team spirit

After this, it all depends on hard work. In Taijiquan there is a saying: The teacher only guides you through the door, i.e. he/she teaches only the basics. Then it is all down to practice. The first three prerequisites already exist in Europe. Now all you must do is further develop this and practice a lot.

An important point in the theory and practice of Taijiquan is understanding the jin-power (dongjin). This really is difficult. It is necessary to be aware of how both you and your opponent exert energy. For this purpose you must focus entirely on Feeling (tingjin). It is like reading a poem. To begin with, perhaps, you read only superficially. It is only after in-depth study of the poem that it can be understood in its complexity. Or it is like listening to classical music. One concentrates entirely on the music. That is why you shouldn’t listen to music when practising Taijiquan. When I practise Taijiquan, I practise Taijiquan. When I listen to music, I listen to music. It is the only way I can be completely focussed. This is also called “Heaven and human being are united (tianren heyi)”. I am in complete harmony with my environment and don’t allow myself to be distracted.

Taijiquan is the connection of stillness and movement. When practising Taijiquan you should pay particular attention to the five aspects set out by my father: stillness, lightness, slowness, conscientiousness and perseverance. It is not possible to make progress without them. If you can put these aspects into action, you will have much pleasure in practising Taijiquan and you will achieve a long and happy life. Thank you once again for taking the time to listen to me for so long.

Freitag, 23. Januar 2015

Book: Optimal Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong Teaching

Dear Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong friends,

looking back on 25 years of teaching Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong and training a lot of teachers during that time, I collected my knowledge and wrote a small book:

Optimal Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong Teaching
(68 pages, 7,70 $)

This training manual is a useful guide for everyone interested in teaching Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong - enjoy reading.

Order and more info: here

Martin Boedicker, Germany


- On Pedagogy - Well-Being - Perception - Community - Spirituality - Martial Arts - On Didactic - Defining Content and Goals - General Teaching Concepts - Planning the Chronological Order of the Lesson - The Premises of Learning - Inside or Outside - Specifications of Duration - Learning Modalities - The Appearance of the Teacher - Group Structure - Group Dynamics - Over- and Under-challenging - Disturbances of Teaching - Reflection - On Methodology - A First Methodological Decision - Social Forms of Teaching - General Teaching Methods - Methodological Measures - Memory rehearsal - Learning Aids - Questions