Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sweating during Taichi practice

I used to think Taichi is an exercise that does not cause one to sweat since the movements tend to be so slow and graceful.

It is only when I started learning this interesting art form that I realise I was totally wrong. In fact, it is possible to sweat a great deal but having said so, the perspiration is quite different from those that you experience after a run under the hot sun or after a game of tennis. It is not sticky, just droplets that make you feel alive, make you energized.

Over the past two over years of practice, I have observed different parts of my body sweat at different point. During the first six months or so, sweating occurs in almost every part of the body, especially my arms, even under an air conditioned environment !

I am not too sure if it is related to tension that induced perspiration throughout the body but once I get to learn the choreographed forms, the sweat reduced gradually and now it seems to be localized sweating only at the back. I am not sure it is a sign of progress or not but the fact that it makes me feel rejuvenated and refreshed is what that matters now.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Street Art near Kreta Ayer Community Centre

For those who have been to Ipoh and strolled along the streets in Old Town, it is hard to miss the 7 wall murals with paintings reflecting the culture and rich history of this small town. It not only brings life to a sleepy town but also helps to revive some nostalgic moments.

Back home in Singapore, street art is catching on as well. Of most interest to me are those mural walls near Kreta Ayer community centre, which largely show healthy lifestyle of senior citizens doing Taichi and stretching exercises.
Old man practicing Sun style Taichi?
Old lady doing leg split
Understand from my Taichi teacher the community centre is due for refurbishment in the near future. I will definitely miss practising Taichi at this place when the time comes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


喜欢十二月份的到来,是因为这是个雨季,给常年炎热的新加坡带来一股凉意。只是最近几回沿途到联络所练太极拳的时候,巧遇上暴雨,老把布鞋给弄湿,感觉好不舒服。当然我倒可临阵缺席,当个逃学威龙,不过,一想起老师总是风雨不改, 每周一定准时出席,我们这班学徒又怎能不报到呢 ? 更何况太极拳又是一项考毅力的运动。

最近跟一位同事闲聊的时候,谈到他小时候在印度的一个小乡村练书的情况。那里的八十年代还没我们这里这么完善的设备。老师的那堂课是在一棵大树下教的。遇到豪雨打雷的时候,必须停课。相比之下,我们这里的小孩真的身在福中不知福啊 ! 我们更没有理由因为一场大雨,因天生的惰性而缺席 。。。

Monday, December 15, 2014


或许已经习惯了一惯练习三套孙式套路为准, 每当与大伙练习的时候,老强调这一点。师兄再三嘱咐练拳必须重质不重量, 应该把注意力放在每一招的细节,努力把错误改正,才能逐渐提升到另一个阶段。如果没记错的话,要很好的掌握太极拳,必须过三个阶段 -- 顺劲,逆劲,最后升华到化劲的阶段,感觉有点像练气功时的气功状态。可是矛盾就在这儿,没有量哪来的质呢 ?


Monday, December 8, 2014

Taichi for kids

Saw a young boy of age 10 performing Taichi routine using fan recently and was quite impressed. Have this wild thought it will be wonderful if Taichi can be introduced into those PE (physical exercises) classes in Singapore at lower primary level. Afterall, what beats taichi in terms of helping the kids to cope with stress coming from endless assignments, projects and examinations.
Hello Kitty doing Taichi
But there is this misconception throughout that Taichi is an exercise for the elderly, a bold initiative like this is likely to face with challenges in terms of implementation. Perhaps the use of licensed cartoon character like Hello Kitty to promote the martial art as being fun to learn and to teach on some of the principles. Think it is quite appropriate since the soft movements mimic those of cats. The mouthless character also symbolises stillness, to emphasise the importance of seeking stillness in motion and motion in stillness, a simple and yet key principle in Taichi practice.

Oops! My imagination is running wild again ...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The need to revive rare fist form

We had our usual Taichi routines yesterday practising Sun traditional form, the basic exercises for inner energy cultivation and sword form. My teacher decided to wrap up the class with a 10 minute drill teaching us the Yang style fast form. If I am not wrong, this is a rare fist form which nearly faded away from the martial art world several years back.

My teacher mastered this form from master Lin Bo Yan, who was quite well known in Singapore, or least to Taichi practitioners. A few of his students have already mastered this form under his close supervision in the past but I guess it is a wise move to spread the teaching to a bigger group. Hopefully in the near future, some of these students can take over the baton and continue to impart the skills to our younger generation. I see the need to revive an art form like this before it is lost forever.

Continue with where I left about last night's exercises. I am quite fascinated with the way my teacher conducts his class. So light hearted and yet effective. We managed to pick up the first two forms last night. Looking forward to my next class...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cultivating a detox lifestyle

Time flies. Just when I am about to get used to galloping in this wooden horse year, I am drawing so close to the end of 2014.

Reflecting on the past 11 months, the ride has been a rough one like roller coaster at work. Thankfully my regular practices have helped in terms of coping up with the stress and keeping me in a healthy form enough to maintain my past year's track record of one day MC throughout the year. Not too bad indeed.

Perhaps it is time for a renewed commitment into another year of detox lifestyle. This to me means a healthier lifestyle with proper mix of mind body exercises like Taichi and yoga coupled with balanced diet.

To be more specific, my goal is to learn Chen style traditional form by Chinese new year in 2015 and moving on to deepen my practice in this form by learning the self defence aspect of this form.

Todate, we have finished learning the sword form but unfortunately I am still not at all familiar with the moves yet due to lack of diligent practice at my end. Need to definitely put in more effort in this. Haven't been doing enough to declare myself as a good student as yet...