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Mind-Body Training

“Understanding these movements can help you achieve a deep spiritual awakening.” – Wang ZongYue, TaiJi Essay

The word TaiJi is a philosophical term that symbolizes the movements of life, nature, time, and space. It’s the continuous ebb and flow of change. In the context of this practice, the philosophical principles of TaiJi are explored through a mindful movement practice that embodies principles of martial arts, the fundamental physiology of traditional medicine, and the deep insights of Chinese philosophy.

This practice has both internal and external aspects. Externally, it trains efficient movement, proprioceptive awareness (the ability to sense your position in space), coordination, and general fitness. Internally, it develops a tangible, interoceptive sense of your inner body. Other internal aspects include mental and emotional clarity, breath control, and an overall heightened awareness.

TaiJi traditional weapon sequences are taught after some experience with barehand forms. Standard weapon sequences include Straight Sword, Sabre, and Spear. Each weapon has unique characteristics, and therefore develops different skill sets. At an advanced level, internal principles can be introduced, and combined with the external forms.

TaiJi curriculum includes:

• Fundamental principles, structure, movement and sensory development drills
• Barehand movement sequences (TaoLu)
• Partner practice sets (TuiShou)
• Straight sword fundamentals and sequence (Jian)
• Sabre fundamentals and sequence (Dao)
• Spear fundamentals and sequence (Qiang)
• TaiJi Stick (TaiJi Chi)

QiGong

The goal of this practice is to achieve health and well-being both internally and externally: Internally, by creating a functional balance within your mind and body, and externally, by developing a comfortable awareness and harmony with nature. Overall, these practices are aimed at strengthening one’s physical, mental, and emotional adaptability. Often referred to as QiGong, YangSheng, or DaoYin, these are easy to practice and suitable for anybody at any level and in any state of health. They are especially useful for chronic health and rehabilitation issues that have left someone weak and unable to partake in normal physical activities.

Standing Post Meditation (ZhanZhuang)

Standing Post Meditation is another common foundation for QiGong, NeiGong, as well as many martial arts. It is the practice of standing in fixed postures for long periods of time, typically up to one hour. In terms of physical benefits, this practice builds a strong and stable body structure. Internally it cultivates numerous benefits, including patience, discipline, and interoceptive awareness.

While static standing is the primary focus, advanced training does include a degree of subtle movement. There is also a progressive approach to developing the mind in terms of internal focus and external mental projection.

Health Preservation Practices include:

• Gathering Practices (CaiQi)
• Circulating Practices (XingQi)
• Circling Practices (ZhuanQi)
• WuJi Standing Post Meditation (WuJi ZhanZhuang)

Internal Refinement (NeiGong)

Dedicated practice can lead to deeper levels of internal refinement, referred to as NeiGong. While NeiGong refers more to a level of achievement than it does a specific training program, there are some training methods more suited to the overall development of NeiGong. Externally many of these practices can look similar to various forms of QiGong, DaoYin, and meditation. Internally, however, the practice is more complicated, and requires a significant amount of effort and time to embody.

The scope of NeiGong includes a fundamental knowledge of Traditional Chinese medicine theory, including acupuncture points, the channel and organ systems, and the various materials that construct the body. In addition, advanced levels of NeiGong imply experience in the Daoist tradition of Internal Alchemic Cultivation (NeiDan), as well as a good overall academic understanding of classical Chinese philosophy.

These fundamental movements are based on the classical martial arts of Form Mind Boxing (XingYiQuan), Heart-Mind Six Harmonies Fist (XinYiLiuHeQuan) and Great Achievement Boxing (DaChengQuan). All these martial arts have similar fundamentals and origins.

The practice is generally designed as simple, repetitive, singular strikes, and primarily focuses on unique body positioning, specific movement qualities, and explosive striking force. These forms can be physically demanding, and serve as a good foundation for martial art practice or general movement fitness.

Curriculum includes:

• Five Explosive Strikes (WuXingPao)
• Four Fists Eight Postures (SiQuanBaShi)
• Ten Shapes of Heart-Mind Six Harmonies Fist (XinYiLiuHeQuan)

Interested in Training?

Currently, training of this syllabus is only offered privately, or in seminars and workshops. Those receiving one-on-one instruction will have access to online support materials to aid in their ongoing practice and development.

In most cases, one or two private sessions per month are enough to maintain a developing practice. Assuming, of course, that you’re self-motivated enough to practice on your own. There’s a significant amount of material involved in these practices, so sessions can focus more on physical training, or theory, depending on your interests, goals, and level. Training includes various foundation practices, multiple solo sequences, partner drills, traditional weapons, QiGong, internal cultivation practices, as well as relevant history, philosophy, medical theory, and martial art principles.

> Contact

Email: jesselown@gmail.com

> Location

Claireville Conservation: Sessions can be arranged at my personal training centre, located on Claireville Conservation Rd, just off of Queen St (HWY 7), a block West of HWY 50.
Private Locations: If you would like to arrange sessions at a location of your choosing, contact me to see if it can be arranged.
Seminars and Workshops: Upcoming events at various locations will be posted on this site. If you’re interested in hosting a seminar or workshop, send an email to jesselown@gmail.com.
Shiatsu School of Canada: Click here for upcoming courses.

> Prices

Private:
• Single 1 hr session: $80
• 5-sessions, 15% discount: $340 ($68 per session)
• 10-sessions, 25% discount: $600 ($60 per session)
• Additional Persons: $20 for each additional person attending a private session.

Prepaid sessions are valid for one year.

Seminars and Workshops:
• Prices dependent on schedule and content.