Gerry’s Experiences

gerryDespite “dabbling” for a few months several years ago, I only truly discovered Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan recently, joining Master Ric Lum’s class in January 2013.

As a scientist and an artist I felt drawn to Tai-Chi for its beauty, its diversity and a sense of curiosity and wonder.

So far, I have come to see Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan not as a set of tasks and goals to be rushed through (of which life has plenty) but as a journey to be enjoyed at its own pace, and one which I am only just starting. This has proved a wonderful stress relief and an escape from the world of deadlines and commitments. Additionally, Tai-Chi is giving me a new awareness of myself, those around me and my environment.

*Gerard O’Connor*

Master Michael’s Musings

Master Michael Lee

My brother John and I attended one of NSW Chin Woo’s annual Christmas parties in Sydney’s Chinatown back in the 90s, and we were fortunate to have sat at the same table as Ric Lum Sifu. During the party, many fine masters displayed various styles of martial arts on stage. When I asked Ric why isn’t he performing tonight, Ric being very humble but humorous (with a smile) said that he’s not up to the high standards and didn’t feel like performing!!! It was very interesting and calming to converse with Ric that night. John and I have kept in close contact with him ever since.

A few years ago, during a profound and valuable conversation with the honourable Lum Sifu in person, being inquisitive (as I started training martial arts at a very young age, CHI “internal gung” in my interpretation feels like a warm sensation that travels through my body at control of own mind/will), I questioned about how the sensation of CHI would feel like from a Tai Chi practitioner’s point of view. Ric didn’t explain much but led us to a tree near the side of a street and showed my brother John and I the starting posture of Tai Chi Stance and instructed us to relax our shoulders and roll them forward; what came after was totally amazing as John and my arms floated up without effort or muscle contraction and with a 90 degree turn of both palms, my arms would slowly descend back to the starting position. After achieving the arm lift for numerous times, I felt revived and my vision became very bright and I was able to see objects clearly into the far distance. It was great feeling CHI for the first time, but regrettably this experience wasn’t enough to broaden my mind to learn Tai Chi Chuan as I devoted most of my free time to other sports.

My brother John had an accident 6 months ago and wanted to practise Tai Chi with Ric to aid his injuries. I volunteered to drive him twice a week to Ric until he could drive again. My first Tai Chi lesson came the same day when Ric kindly invited me to learn with John.

John and I were trying to perfect a Tai Chi hand movement called the “Tiger’s mouth” at the office when John unconsciously emitted a strong cool breeze to my forearm about 10 inches away as I was trying to show him what I thought was the correct way. I didn’t tell John what he had done straight away because I needed to confirm if it was something else, so I turned off the air conditioner and closed all the doors and windows and asked John to try it again, YES, the cool breeze was so apparent this time it felt like a small portable fan was blowing from his palm.

Approximately three months ago, I was in front of a shop with a group of friends when my friend’s neighbour was walking her dog (an Alaskan Malamute “full-grown”). The dog seemed so friendly when it came to me, so I sat down and stroked it a few times when to my surprise, without warning the dog lunged at me. All I heard next was a vicious growl from the dog, loud screams from my friends and all I could see was the dog’s mouth wide open, teeth and two protruding fangs inches from my face. I was trapped in a sitting position with a friend crouched beside me and a glass sliding door behind me. At that moment I instinctively protected my face by palming the dog’s neck with my left hand, but it jerked back sharply and bit into the index and middle fingers of my left hand. At this instance time had almost stood still as I felt the crushing jaw and the sensation of teeth sinking into my fingers; what followed next felt like I was practising very slow Tai Chi with options and plenty of time to handle this situation. I formed a fist to grip it’s fang with my injured left hand to prevent the dog’s teeth from further penetration of my fingers, pulled it’s head towards me and simultaneously circled my right hand over my left and knocked it’s head. It felt like I had only connected with the dog’s head lightly but the dog seemed to retreat rapidly. Afterwards a friend drove me to the nearby medical centre and I told her how disappointed I was that I couldn’t hit the dog hard enough as it had moved too swiftly to teach it a lesson. However, when we got back to the shop, a group of friends who saw the whole event couldn’t believe how quickly I had intercepted, tapped then bounced the dog a metre away. Funnily enough, I had experienced the effect of ‘slow motion’ in a couple of dangerous situations and while training Gung Fu intensely before; the dog attack only lasted a split second or two but definitely felt like 30 seconds of Tai Chi to me.

A month ago, I had a sore lower right back and leg pain from excessive bicycle riding and Mantis Gung Fu training but after a session of Tai Chi with Ric, my leg joint had loosened up and my lower back pain was gone. Strangely these types of pain usually linger on for nearly a week.

Ric is a brilliant teacher with such talent to analyse each individual’s capabilities and apply the relevant or necessary method to harness the correct posture for better understanding of CHI flow in each position of the Tai Chi form. Learning Tai Chi from him is so effortless and joyful that every session is treasured.

Master Michael Lee
Nam Fong Tong Long

Andrew’s Account

Andrew Rohowyjcliffsme

The interpretation of my experiences is influenced by my background as a long time practitioner of Sahaja Yoga Meditation (SY), and as a physiotherapist.
My interest in learning Tai Chi originally came from hearing that the founder of SY had said Tai Chi was invented by a realized soul, although as with all the great spiritual paths had lost much of its purity over time. When Master Ric (who’s judgment I also trusted as a practitioner of SY) told me he was teaching a very pure form I decided to give it a try. I started Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan in March 2004.

Wednesday 18th January 2006
Initially my experience was of a pleasing sense of relaxed movement. Within the first couple of lessons I noticed my attention was more focused for meditation after practising Tai Chi. I ended up having to travel much further for classes, but although at the time I really didn’t have a definite reason why, decided to continue week-to-week, then month-to-month.

I have had no bad experiences, and so can only relate positive ones. At times when practising I would get a sensation of shimmering vibrations on my hands, and lots of cool. This experience is well known to practitioners of SY as the flow of Kundalini (the subtle desire and mechanism of our evolution within) becoming stronger.

Because I wanted to get my children to do exercise (they tend to be a bit lazy), I asked Master Ric about martial arts, and he recommended Kung Fu. I wasn’t at the time able to find a teacher of some of the purer more balanced forms (Master Ric’s suggestions), and settled for “close enough”. This however hindered my progress in Tai Chi (according to Master Ric), but I continued for the sake of my kids. I was however surprised and really enjoyed being able to get fit and flexible much quicker than I expected. This was certainly at least in part due to the Tai Chi.
I have had the experience of running upstairs with the ease of feeling as going downstairs, and of running (kind of a shuffle) completely without effort after practising Tai Chi.

Only a few days ago I was practising my Tai Chi on the lawn in front of a big statue of Shri Ganesha (the elephant headed deity of innocence and Wisdom) at the SY centre. I experienced the feeling of many parts of the form expressing the dance of Shri Ganesha. Immediately afterwards, when I sat down, my previously good state of meditation (just before the Tai Chi) became a very deep state with lots of divine vibrations flowing. All this whilst the Founder of SY was staying in the house I was doing voluntary sentry duty for.
Master Ric has been at me for a long time to write my experiences down for him, as probably rightly, many are soon forgotten. I have tried to do them justice for now.

Thanks and best wishes,
Andrew Rohowyj.

Gregor’s Tome

Gregor Ptokgregor

I started learning Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan under Master Ric Lum in November 2005. It has weaved its way into all aspects of my life, providing immediate benefits in my day-to-day life and health, whilst also allowing me to catch glimpses of the eternal, ever-changing, un-changing energy of life. Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan to me is a craft so rich and intricate it will provide years of learning and development. I enjoy sharing it with others. Below are some of the experiences I have had along the Way.
– Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:18:40 +1100

Gregor's patch
the Melbourne “patch” is in the far shade of the two gum trees, facing the “wall” of the houses.

Infant Ivan?

Ivan Alibrandi

Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 13:07:18 +0200 (CEST)
A month before knowing by e-mail Master Ric I had this dream:

I was in Villa Ada, in Rome, seeking a Sahaja Yogini who practised tai chi chuan. (During this time I was, in real life, a Yang family’s tai chi chuan student but seeking a deeper knowledge and experience of the taoist way.)
At the beginning of the dream starting in the lower zone of the park I was climbing up to the high end of the park, very near a bar/cafe.
I met a woman dressed in white who was practising a bit of tai chi chuan movement. I asked her if she knew the inner mechanism of tai chi chuan.
She answered that she didn’t know well but the only thing she could tell me was that during the movements of the form the Earth absorbs the thoughts.This was in my dreams..

…several months later I was in Villa Ada, in real-life with Master Ric, in the same place as in my dream!

Tyrone’s Tale

Tyrone O’Neill

I reflect that in three months (June) it will be two years from when I first started Tai Chi.
When I began I had a curious lack of expectation. I had done a few ‘Tai Chi’ classes at a health retreat I went to in May 2010, and although what I had experienced was a very simple style of Tai Chi, it somehow pointed me in the right direction. What I had liked about the Tai Chi at the health retreat was the feeling of flowing physical movement accompanied by a sense of peace and balance. (It helped that the classes were on the top of a hill and started just before dawn, with all of us oriented to see the sunrise.) However I knew that what I had been doing there was only very initial, so I went to Yuan-Chi Tai-Chi Chuan to learn.

It look almost a year of learning, typically twice-weekly lessons with one or two brief additional practices at home, to be able – although still with many uncertainties and hesitations – to finish the full 108 sequence. Even now that I am nearly two years into my practice, I am still not yet entirely confident in my ability to complete the movements of the full form, and I expect it will still take me one or two years to become much more confident about the overall flow. However I am now aware that this ‘gross motor skill’ aspect of Tai Chi is only a very initial level of learning. And still on a physical level, there are many minor nuances of position and balance which I expect it will take many years to learn.

However it is from an internal or mental/emotional/spiritual dimension that I feel I am only just beginning my journey.

March 2012

Danya’s Page

Danya, part left foot

Danya Rose

I became a student of Master Ric Lum in May 2002, largely as a matter of curiosity and opportunity. Studying Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan has opened my eyes to myself, to others and to “going with the flow” in both literal and metaphorical senses.

Through it I have discovered great balance, in both physical and non-physical senses, and my interest in and appreciation for the art has only deepened the more deeply into it I have seen and explored.

As a mathematician, I find that Tai Chi Chuan is of huge benefit to me as a centring exercise and practice for body, mind and soul.

Student’s Viewpoint

INDIA single whippedDuring the meta-therapy meditation I felt the left side being cleansed and having the Swadisthanas activated then getting into thoughtlessness and feeling the bliss…
Aron’s Awareness

“Surrendered to the Chi working through spasmed muscles through the Dance of the 108 & felt another step… Nidra!?”
Ray’s Find

“After class I sat to meditate remembering the above. I experienced such strong cool vibrations that stopped raising and tying up Kundalini, out of Respect, because She was already There.”
Andrew’s Account

“The image that came to mind was the coiling and uncoiling of DNA strands, the double helix, and my arms and legs moved with a fluidity and connection that I had never experienced.”
Magda’s memory

It was like I had a right arm made of energy which moved alongside with the left arm.
Laura stands

“I felt the cool flow in the whole left side of my body.”
Marketa jinks

“.. the movements are our attempts at becoming one with the GOLDEN RATIO, so awesome.”
Dagmar’s Vault

In 2013 I experienced in Moravka what I had previously only read about; The flow; Tao and stillness while moving?
George’s sun?

“Meet each person where they’re at with a perceptive task to stimulate them to learn for themselves.” Shona shifts

“If you show me, then I will know what the problem is?”
Gregor’s Tome

“Dance: like sleep in its ebb and flow and gradual waking.”
Danya’s page

Parvati leads Raise Hands“I experienced the highest state of Union with the All, my inner energy united with the All Pervading Energy beyond myself;”
Parvati’s Light

It was so peaceful and then I was standing on the globe, the earth, just me and the world.
I was supported and could look down and see the whole globe under me with space all around.
many & Moore?

It is the conversations with Sifu, which challenges my brain deeply.
Shimada movement

tree 612X816“Follow what you see…Become what you follow…”
Anthony’s gift

I began doing a mirror image of the form..after doing this I went back to the piece and had no trouble performing the tricky passage.  Tims’ Timbre

“I came to Constant Balance by mistake.. and have been in his class ever since.” Virginia

Trevignano-Romano 2011

“Il Yuan Chi Tai Chi Chuan è illusione, spesso mentre si vede Sifu praticare ci si rende conto di questo.”
Claudia Confides


“the vibrations were present and strong, can’t wait till next time 🙂 May the Force be with you.”  Hanuman

Ale holdball

Despite having strong muscle pain for a few years, after more or less 8 days of intensive course I noticed a great lightness and greater balance in my posture and I found a very positive effect on my mood. This amazing experience has helped me to rediscover the unity within myself. The meditations have become more spontaneous and profound. I felt it obviously and clearly that practising Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan gives me a balanced well-being of all the senses in a very natural way.

“I felt my awareness slow to an expanded awareness of the present, I was aware of the warm sun, cool touch, soft orange the stillness I could feel my heartbeat and my awareness of being part of something greater.”
Brenda’s Recommendation

“I had a sense of being immersed in the dance, as if I had stepped out of myself.”
Tyrone’s Tale

I noticed after 4 aches and pains were just about gone!
Mick’s Mission


“Never doubt the experience, always question the interpretation.”
Lionel Speaks!

“In the summer of 2013 I had a severe injury in my lower back so I couldn’t stand straight or walk properly.
Then I met Lum Sifu and I started to learn the Way of Tao. I received a personal intensive course – learning Section One of Yuan-Chi  Tai Chi Chuan. Sifu also treated me and everything worked out perfectly.”

William’s retort to ‘hotshot’ geek’s boast about his programming wizardry:
“If you’re good at programming then I am God. But I’m not God so you can’t be any good!”

“I understand now what you meant, when you talked to me about real Tai Chi Chuan!”
Steffi Says

stefi in Watch Fist under Elbow360x324

“Today master Ric helped heal me of my cold and flu.”
Mick’s Surmise

“She was beaming out a ray of healing to all the children in the ward. All the kids slept soundly and total peace came over them all.”
Healing Rose?

Links to Students


“Ric didn’t explain much but…showed my brother John and I the starting posture of Tai Chi Stance… what came after was totally amazing as John and my arms floated up without effort…”
Master Michael’s Musings

“As for my Southern Mantis Tong Long and Choy Li Fut Gung Fu, well, I have to say that I have taken a giant leap forward…This is one amazing journey of true Tai Chi…”
Master John’s Exposition

“To truly be movement of a subtle texture our internal calmness must overcome or control the pervasive influence of the external surroundings.”
Cam’s Mem!

“I experienced during the practice a feeling of purity and silence, and in a specific moment when I turned and was facing you, came a deep sense of respect and gratitude for you and what you were doing…sometimes when I was moving my arms and hands I could feel the energy, or Chi, as having substance and I could hold and move it, almost see it. As if the Chi became more dense and possible to grasp.”
Thanks for practice today. As I said, I couldn’t find words to express how I felt during the form, only later I realized that the only way I would be able to describe it would be as being touched by Grace. I will leave like that, the rest would be empty words.
Carlos China

This is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi fan squirrel“This little critter took time out to watch Amy and friends doing Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan in Santa Cruz, California. But the interesting part was that the squirrels stayed together afterward, cuddling and playing and preening each other for the rest of our time at the park.”
Amy’s Anecdote

“You looked like you could fly, you moved like a bird that might fly away.” Maurizia

“As a primary school teacher, my commitment to tai chi seems to be directly proportionate to my capacity to create engaging learning experiences in the classroom.”
Adrian Observes

“There are no thoughts in my head, just the graceful movements. I am at peace.”
Jan Enlists

“It is a mirage to the mind because it is so hard for the mind to comprehend but it is real.”
Sara’s Sagacity

“while all parties were perfectly still and before any ‘physical’ movement, the students ‘sense’ of their center of balance appeared to be shifted.”
Gerry’s experiences


“Hi Ric, I enjoyed the class last Wednesday. I was very pleased and impressed with your approach and the emphasis given to The Way.
Your approach certainly struck a chord with me and I’m very keen to learn and develop my connection with / awareness of Chi and make that part of the external movement which, in turn, I hope to control without using muscles. I guess it’s about learning to dance as you say.
So much more to say, I feel both impatient for the next step (and the next, and the next) and relaxed that the journey has begun.
15/06/2011, Chris Crane

“..several months later I was in Villa Ada, in real-life with Master Ric, in the same place as in my dream!”
Infant Ivan?

“Yuan-Chi Tai-Chi during class always leaves me in a better place and my mind can clear and be free of burdens, worries and distractions. It is meditative for me and I feel lighter and more peaceful at class end.”
Neelica Finally

“If you apply it without having experienced the internal dynamics then you will use force / strength / speed to manipulate the opponent. – this is not Tai Chi.”
Rodney Reflects

Parvati in front

“I’ve already noticed little improvements like my posture has started correcting itself.” Tash’s tales

“The movements flow, the feeling is exquisite.”Susanne Heuberger

“I have also gained a certain resilience and inner strength of character through perseverance… And indeed, there are times when I feel as if I was in a state of meditation and I can float like a butterfly.”
Chris B Professes

“I was having fun playing in the ‘spaces’ between styles – there is more ‘movement’ in them than I had noticed before, LOADS in fact and a lot of ‘force’/’springiness –”
Sharon Expounds

“..there was a point when a work-related issue came sharply into my mind.” Dinh’s Diary

“Amazingly, my neck cricked at the point which I’d been having rigidity problems for a very long time..”
Jo’s View

“Thank you very much for your healing hands.” Miranda

ben_jon_sally_gregor.333x250jpg“I did experience an energy movement that did indeed come out of the softening and surrender to Mother Earth.”
Sally’s Compliment

“Quite early on in my learning I found that at the end of practice I would be greeted by a kind of ‘explosion of peace’, this still occurs.”
Jon’s Journey

“It is like I am sharper and I think faster and more clearly…my typing is faster… weird.” Jane Serves

“.. the monkey sees, but…”
Kyle’s Contemplation

“It feels like the wrist has become one solid but malleable rod of metal, without any joints or layers. Kind of like soft lead. Bent easily if gently pressed, hard and solid if hit with abrupt force.”


“May the Song Be Heard By All”

“I felt I was watching a dance between you and a much beloved being, maybe your Higher Self…”

More Views

“The act of trying to let go has struggle inbuilt…”

“The feeling made me joyful, as a happy surprise.”
Ben’s Brooding

“When she saw me last (in February) she complained that it was so slow she could not stand it. This time she was seriously interested and tried to follow my movements. The question is, where was the change? With me or with her?”
Sieghilde’s Version

Magda’s Memory

Magda Hribar

I began my Tai Chi Chuan journey in January 2005. I had been having some lessons in Alexander Technique for some problems with my neck and upper back, and the teacher advised that Tai Chi was a very highly recommended form of exercise.
After I commenced Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan, I discovered lots of physical benefits – I have had a lot less problems with my neck and back, and I have also felt a lot more strength and stability in my legs and feet.

Along the journey of improving my physical well-being, I have also felt mental and emotional benefits. The way that Master Ric guides us in teaching Tai Chi Chuan has improved my ability to concentrate and to focus; it has also assisted me in dealing with stress. I look forward to contining the journey to see where else it leads. I also enjoy helping others on the journey because I have found that when I am instructing someone, I am also learning, so the journey is always ongoing.

Mon, 9 Apr 2012 09:34:19 +1000

Neelica Finally

Neelica Raffel

Subject: 1st Viewpoint
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 10:41:46 +1100

It has been some seven months now since I started coming to Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan with Master Ric, (not-with-standing a near two month absence during Christmas and New Year!), and in recent weeks I have had the fortunate opportunity to attend many classes per week. The more I come the better I feel!

During this time I have had the most wonderful experiences of increased calm, an inner quietude and greater acceptance of what is. The journey to this place has not been without its hurdles, but I do believe completely that Yuan-Chi Tai-Chi has been instrumental in bringing about this shift in my mental, emotional and physical condition.

I began Tai Chi with a long-suffering hip injury that is considerably improved and causes me significantly less pain or discomfort. I have greater movement in that joint and improved balance and strength overall.

My every experience of Yuan-Chi Tai-Chi during class always leaves me in a better place and my mind can clear and be free of burdens, worries and distractions. It is meditative for me and I feel lighter and more peaceful at class end.

The greatest trap for me is to get “too much in my head”. The expression “go with the flow” has never carried greater significance than in Tai Chi. Once it comes to you, you cannot ignore it, you cannot deny it, and it will move you???..quite literally.