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Canadian Tai Chi Academy
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    Message from Canadian Tai Chi Academy
    Posted October 25, 2014

Heartfelt condolences to the family and all our tai chi friends from the UK on the passing of Jenny Smith.

She helped so many people through her absolute belief in Mr Moy's tai chi and will be sorely missed by many, although I don't think the Angels are quite aware what's in store for them.


    Liang Tse Pang's Three Treasures
    Posted August 17, 2014
"I recently received a link to a Blog called "Be Not Defeated" Here is the link to the blog and the actual article on Leung Tse Pang:

Blog                                  Article

The article contains anecdotal stories of Liang Tse Pang and certainly reinforces Mr. Moy's martial arts heritage. The fact Mr. Moy focused on health rather than martial arts is incidental and more the perception presented rather than changing the exercise content. As Mr. Moy said to me, "martial arts, training for health, same thing".

Most interesting were the references to Liang's Three Treasures, which appear to be standing meditation, dan yu and tor yu! I recommend you read the article. It's fun and eye opening. I had heard rumours that Liang used dan yu and tor yu or exercises like them. This adds further credence to that theory. I have culled a few sentences from the article:

  • The kungfu taught by Liang was called "Southern Yiquan" and his zhang zhuang, dun yao and tuo yao were called "the three treasures".

  • Using the methods of dun yao and tuo yao, one can bring out the practitioner's full potential and power.

  • Dun yao is also known as the Dragon Squat, it trains the arching and springing power of the sacral verterbrae and hips and aims at training each joint to be relaxed and extended at the same time, and therein lies the contradiction.

  • Tuo Yao trains the opening and closing of the body and the inhaling and exhaling and develops the shaking energy. Using the spine as the axis, turn the shoulders as the shaft. When training this is separated into the [read push hands] single tuo, double tuo, fixed step tuo, moving step tuo, advancing and retreating and left and right. Using this one can generate the contraction and extension, opening and closing, spiraling and shaking, and the change from being empty to firm, as well as learning the special way of using your body and the stepping.

  • All this can be attained by Dun Yao and Tuo Yao. Hence the importance that Southern Yiquan places on the three treasures.

    Tai Chi on the Sunshine Coast
    Posted June 23, 2014
Great little workshop in Sechelt last Saturday, on B.C.'s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Took in some Chinese shadow boxing with my Lok Hup on the early morning ferry as no one else was outside on the top deck. Then up the coast to meet with 22 tai chiers from our new CTCA club for a morning workshop.

First the quiz on the 5 basic principles of Master Moy's tai chi. Didn't take long to get them going, - front knee 90° to the ground (no, it's not knee over the toe everyone), 45° angle of the back foot, straight line from the heel to the head, hips square to the front, and equal and opposite forces with the arms.

Then an exploration of the simplified Tor Yu that Master Moy taught, - go back turn the trunk of the body, turning open to 45° at the back, hands crossed at the wrist (away from the body), then push down slightly with the hands and turn the hips to the front while the hands "smooth the tablecloth", ending shoulder width apart. Now just push out the arms, ending at shoulder level. And then that Tor Yu demo by 88 year old Joan, showing how the entire back stretches out when done properly. Definitely an awesome example for us all.

Finally we looked at sequencing of movement through a tai chi posture, - stand up, sit, step, then (and only then) move the arms. We tried it in Brush Knee, Repulse Monkey and Parting Wild Horse's Mane.

I knew the day was truly a success when after lunch one of the members leaving the restaurant, as they went out of sight was repeating, "stand up, sit, step, move the arms".

Thanks to the Sunshine Coast tai chiers for a great workshop and a fun day. Here is a link to a video by Gill Hedley who gives a lesson on the importance of movement and stretching to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body. Thanks to Dave Pinto (a tai chi instructor and health practitioner in Toronto) for providing this link.

Doug Overholt

    The Fuzz Speech
    Posted April 27, 2014
Here is a link to a video by Gill Hedley who gives a lesson on the importance of movement and stretching to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body. Thanks to Dave Pinto (a tai chi instructor and health practitioner in Toronto) for providing this link.

The Fuzz Speech

    Four Tips for Toryu
    Posted March 31, 2014
Here are some simple things Mr. Moy always stressed in toryu -simple but often overlooked.
  1. Going back, turn the entire trunk of the body open to 45°. Because the lower thorasic vertebrae don't have big sidebars, it is easy to turn the upper body separately from the hips. Even people doing tai chi 25 years forget to fully open up the chest and upper back to 45°.

  2. Now you're at the back, with your arms crossed at the wrist (and get them away from the body!), push down slightly with the hands. Forget about trying to sit. Push down with the hands. Simple. And what happens? You begin to sit a little bit, comfortably.

  3. From the 45° angle, turn to the front without moving forward, while opening the crossed hands to shoulder width apart. Yes, turn the hips back to square. You think you've turned all the way but you haven't.

  4. Finally, from the square position, push the hands forward and up until you have a straight line from the heel to the head and your arms are at shoulder level. Try to relax the front hip (sink into) as you push out.

In summary, Mr. Moy would count three:
  1. Turn the entire body open to 45°. Push the hands down slightly. Sit.

  2. Turn to the front and open the hands.

  3. Push out and relax the front hip.

Finally the toryu should not feel constrained or twisted. Take your time. Don't try to sit too low.

    Kanata Tai Chi
    Posted February 28, 2014
Kanata lies just outside of the national capital, Ottawa.

The CTCA Kanata Tai Chi group began in January 2013, with 2 more beginner classes since then being offered to the community, the most recent being February 2014.

There are around 30 members whose hard work, persistence and patience have benefitted from the Tai Chi exercise, along with regular meals out which have helped form a great spirit of fun and friendship among the students.

Two local groups who have benefitted from the members generosity are the Restoring Hope Mission, who are a non-profit group that provides a bed for the homeless one night a week in Ottawa.

Most recently is the David Smith Youth Treatment Centre, another not for profit organisation who provide a comprehensive treatment programme for young adults and their families affected by substance abuse and mental illness.

The welcome tea break during the class has resulted in "tea money" donated by members going to these local groups, with $100 collected earlier in the year for the Restoring Hope Mission and $200 collected for the DSYTC.

Pictured accepting the Canadian Tai Chi Academy Kanata donation on behalf of the DSYTC, Ottawa,
is Stephanie Macgregor Executive Director.
Along with Sherri Nettleton (CTCA President), Darren Pryke (CTCA Instructor),
and Natasha Hanley & Owen Marks (both Assertive Continuing Care Councillors for the DSYTC).

    All-Weather Movement
    Posted February 27, 2014
This picture appeared in the Smiths Falls Record News and the Kemptville Advance with the following caption:

Members of the Canadian Tai Chi Academy will practice in any weather.
From left Dorothy Maxim, Eleanor Beelich, Diane Hyndman and Marian Forster
who are practicing outside Montague Centennial Hall Friday, January 17th.

At the time the picture was taken, it was -17 degrees C. and windy. When the paper arrived in the Thursday mail on January 22, it was -25 to -30 C. People really noticed this photo and found it both admirable and funny. What readers did not know was that we had taken to the outdoors due to a problem with the heating system in the Hall.

    Tai Chi in Montague
    Posted February 26, 2014
It was a year ago that I received an unexpected phone call from the Brockville General Hospital. They asked, could I, or would I, or did I know someone who could teach Tai Chi to wheelchair-bound patients in Rehab.
Could I? Would I? Had to think about this.

Montague, Ontario is a remote location. How did they get my name? Brockville is 45 minutes drive from here. When could I fit this in?

Well, back in the day, I had assisted in Classes which we in The Academy would now call Sitting Form Classes and had attended various Sitting Form Workshops. And I had been teaching Tai Chi for sixteen years.

A Recreation Therapist from the Brockville General, actually lives not far from here. She had picked up our brochure at the local coffee shop one Saturday morning. LEAVE YOUR INFORMATION AROUND. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

We talked. She visited a Montague class. The Director of Programs at the Hospital had asked her to "find someone". A respected journal had recommended Tai Chi as the only - ONLY - exercise that truly improves core strength and balance.

I couldn't say no. We started in April, 2013. The following article appeared in the Brockville Hospital Newsletter during our third visit:

My Tai Chi life has now totally changed. More Blog to follow after this one. This story is a serial. Stay tuned!

Marian Forster

    From a Rencently Found Notebook (Part 1):
    Posted January 24, 2014
Mr. Moy rarely covered a wide range of topics in one evening but there was this one time when I had my notebook and he began to talk about all things tai chi:

Danyu and Toryu
Danyu and toryu train the principles of our tai chi. They are not just warm up exercises. See them in everything you do in tai chi.
Sit low, but not too low, because then you cannot turn the spine. Too high, no power. There is an optimal level of sit where you can turn efficiently.
The power is in the legs, in the waist and in the turning of the spine.
The action is like a spring, sit doesn't have to be low to be effective (leopard training).
It should be effortless to push out [in the toryu].
If trouble pushing after sitting, that sit is incorrect, sit propels the push forward, do each one like the first one.

On Doing Tai Chi
Understand the principles and relate to sensations. Understand the principles as well as the form.
We are changing our bodies, - our bone structure, circulation, tendons.
Opening of each joint, the blood can go to another area, open up all those little joints.
Sweating is very important. It opens up the pores, more pathways for circulation.
At more advanced levels, the bones change. This is the meaning of changing the tendons.
We need to make these changes in order to meditate for longer periods, you almost adhere to the ground effortlessly.
We have "low clouds" limiting our bodies. Tai chi will push away the clouds to penetrate ?

Internal Training
  • Internal training in tai chi comprises:
  • Tendon transformation
  • Spinal movement (turning the limbs, expansion and contraction)
  • Bone strengthening
  • Accumulation and protection of energy [chi]
(Part 2: The 5 Animal Forms - training the internals and The 8 Animal Appearances - external training.)