Teacher or Instructor?
It comes down to indulgence
vs. teaching correctly, I think. Much better the latter, because I too enjoy the
different style of teaching/learning compared to most western (esp. university)
A teacher responds to a student's learning
An instructor instructs whether a student learns or not.
A teacher is to an
instructor what education is to training:
One helps bring out that which is within, whilst the other imposes from the
Whom should you learn Tai Chi Chuan from?
A Paradigm Shift
Article from "Talkabout" magazine
A Paradigm Shift
What Is Martial Art?
The essence of art.
Art in itself is not inherently spiritual. It has the potential to express spiritual
desire. At best, it can be a reflection of spirituality. Which is not the same
as spirituality; in the same way that your reflection is not the same as you.
It may look like you (the better the reflective surface, the more faithful the
reflection) but no matter how authentic the reflection, it has none of the substance
of the real thing. In other words, martial art is part of the matter of the
earth, albeit on a subtler level than some things.
The first master of martial art is perhaps Shri Parashurama, who lived in India
about 8,000 years ago.
The original purpose of martial art was to purify and balance the grosser bodies
in the hope that the subtle system may become clear enough for Mother Kundalini
to connect us to the All Pervading Energy; the Grace of the Divine.
With the advent of Sahaja Yoga, that purpose has become redundant. A secondary
purpose was for man to not only connect with Nature, but to be in harmony with
Nature, to awaken Nature within us, to become Nature. The purpose of art is
to create beauty; in this case beauty in & of movement. On the gross level,
we have emotions, physical activity and mental activity. If done properly, kung
fu can help balance us on this mundane level. It can promote well being. And
ability to defend oneself, naturally, as a by-product.
What then is the essence of martial art?
||-to be in perfect balance
||-the ability to move in harmony with the flow of chi
||-to be able to follow, tap into, lead and direct chi
Addressing this essence is what distinguishes internal kung fu from
ordinary martial arts.
Soft internal kung fu is developed from Taoist cosmic principles. The
Mother gave birth to the universe. The Feminine Aspect rules the universe.
In practice; the theory, attitude, approach and techniques of soft kung
fu puts it on an equal footing to the hard variety. Water is softer than
earth but harnessed properly it can overwhelm even the hardest steel. In
fact, women have an innate physical & psychological advantage in the
study and practice of soft kung fu.
Art of the essence.
The truly artistic part of martial art occurs when we move in obedience
to the essence of the movement, which is beyond the shallowness of mere
form, i.e. substance shaping form not form before substance.
But what are the benefits?
An avenue for graceful expression. Expect to enjoy increased energy
levels, be less susceptible to illness and to improve your posture. Enhance
your sense of well-being; feel balanced, supple, more confident and empowered.
Just by the way, you’ll learn to defend yourself. You may feel more attractive
as a result of improved health, self-confidence and poise.
Your physical abilities will be enhanced- balance, coordination, speed,
ambidexterity, control, strength and reflexes that can spill into the emotional
& mental sides. This may become apparent in your sporting activities
or just in the way you walk.
Together with patience and harmony, you should gain a better sense of
timing, more acute perception and become more effective at “going with
The original paradigm for teaching and learning was the guru-student
association that started at least 8,000 years ago. It involved intensive interaction
and close supervision to ensure correct learning. It allowed for individual
attention and methods that best suited individual personalities. The justification
for this ancient method today remains that it is the best format for a person
to realize her physical potential.
Download "A Paradigm Shift" as PDF.
"I learned that there is a universe of difference between ‘letting go’ and
is something in being fully present
/thoughtlessness (awareness) that allows one to
continue in the awareness of all of that -"
“I can definitely say that the form of Tai Chi that
Ric Lum teaches is beneficial for someone who is not able to do any
Talkabout Tai Chi
A Spontaneous Way to Inner Balance
Tai Chi is many, many wonderful things, but ultimately (and most
importantly) it is the physical manifestation of the Way - the Tao. Tai
Chi awakens within us spontaneously the flow of the All-Pervading
Energy, the Chi. This hidden yet simple technique is based on a natural
approach to the forms of Tai Chi.
Tai Chi Chuan (as founded and practised
by immortal Chang San-Feng) had consciousness and spiritual evolution
as its primary purpose. A secondary purpose was for man to not only
connect with Nature, but to be in harmony with Nature, to awaken Nature
within himself, to become Nature.
"Doing Tai chi or thinking of
Tai Chi is calming."
The purpose of art is to create beauty, and in the case of Tai Chi beauty in and of movement.
after the first week of practice the problem was gone."
The health benefits of Tai Chi are many. Tai Chi:-
- promotes well being by integrating our emotions, physique and intellect;
- elevates our sense of being;
- is an avenue for graceful expression… you learn to dance!;
- improves your circulation and you breathe more deeply. You can
expect to enjoy increased energy levels, be less susceptible to illness
and to improve your posture. You become supple, confident and empowered;
- improves your physical abilities - balance, coordination, speed,
ambidexterity, control, strength and reflexes. These benefits can spill
over into your emotions and your mental wellbeing. This may become
apparent in your sporting activities or simply in the way that you walk;
- and together with patience and harmony, you attain a better sense
of timing, gain a more acute perception and become more effective at
“going with the flow”.
Through Tai Chi, your abilities will rise beyond that possible for ordinary mortals! You will enjoy a long and happy life.
"Shortly after the
point where I utilised Chi, however, I
started feeling more energetic, stronger -
physically and mentally."
Tai Chi Master, Ric Lum, has studied several forms of martial arts for more than 30 years - boxing, karate, tae kwon do,
Judo, lama kung-fu, Hung fist, Hung family fist, Yuet family, wing Chun, and most recently, Yang family Tai-Chi.
In his youth, he twice passed up opportunities to study under well
known Tai-Chi masters, being under the illusion that speed and power
were what martial arts were all about! His third chance to study and
fully understand Tai Chi came through a family friend. Ng Kon-Kuan sifu
graciously came out of retirement to give of his vast wisdom and
Today, Ric’s Tai Chi is the culmination
of 3 major influences: Tai-Chi Chuan, pure meditation and previous
martial art experience.
was an energy movement that did indeed come out of the softening and
surrender to Mother Earth. It was quite strong and was most surprising."
sense of detachment from outside influences takes
is always on the lookout for students who are serious about enjoying
themselves and their Art (though not necessarily serious about
themselves!). To find out more about how Tai Chi can benefit you,
contact Ric on 0407 108 447.
Download this article as PDF.
"I've noticed that my experience of
training has involved a lot more strenuous use of the
muscles in my hips and thighs compared to before."
"After 7 lessons practising
with Ric Lum I felt my energy level rising and my
migraine, which had become chronic in recent
"..after a session of Tai Chi with Ric, my leg
joint had loosened up and my lower back pain was gone."
"One day in class, about two
months after I started training, I noticed a lack of pain for the first
time while doing the form."
The kung fu salute which is now common
in martial arts is a Shaolin salute: it symbolises dragon & tiger
coming out. The left palm is the dragon, the right fist the tiger. In
this context the dragon is the yin and the tiger the yang.
But there is an older tradition which I
believe comes from the sage Lao-tze. What we do in Yuan-Chi Tai Chi
Chuan is to cup a closed left hand with the right hand. Our Tai-Chi
salute is not merely symbolic; it presents the subtle system as a
Inside the spinal chord are the 3
channels of the subtle system contained by the soul; the
sun/yang/right channel encloses the moon/yin/left, and nestled inside
the moon side is the evolutionary/shen/central channel. This is the
central path, the way of the Tao.
This mystical way is represented by the
empty space inside the closed left hand.
The subtle system is integrated.
Whereas in Shaolin, we have yin & yang meeting but not
integrated. And the mysterious path of Tao is not present.
the-Insight.com / spirituality/metaphysical
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