3 Rules for Improving Tai Chi by Master Jou

To Help You Have a Wonderful Life...

Learn and know who you are.
Look within yourself and look at yourself openly and honestly as much as this might be painful for your ego. Learn your strengths and learn your weaknesses.

The power of the waist

The waist is also known as the Yao in Chinese. The Yao in Chinese includes the small of the back. The waist in the Tai Chi tradition is not just the waist line (where we used to wear our belts before low cut became popular) but starts at the waist line and is much thicker encompassing more area of your body below this line. It encompasses the Dantien area around the belly button but deeper inside your body. This is your center of gravity. It is your body’s axle.

The Importance of the Hips on Posture

 Psychology states that repressed unconscious emotions are stored in the hips and this  sabotages us in our conscious life.

In Chinese, this area of the inner hip crease is called the kua. On the inside of the leg where the body naturally folds. There is a kwa for each leg and they both meet at the perineum otherwise called the Huiyin in Chinese.

Living Your Authentic Self


Authenticity is a central thought in all mind, body practices. Living in line with your authentic self and nature is the key to happiness, longevity having more vitality, inner peace and success in life.

Tai Chi Helps you find your place in the world.

 Tai Chi is starting to be recognized as beneficial for people with medical conditions. Tai Chi isn’t a treatment or a cure but can be a strong support and complementary treatment. Of course, I always say that prevention is the cure.

10 principles of Tai Chi

 The 10 essentials of Tai Chi Chuan by Yang Chengfu 1883 – 1936 is a guide He created for his students to help them improve their Tai Chi practice. He combined the essential points that he found in other Chinese texts into this list.

The 5 steps to the Pyramid of Health

There are 5 phases to the pyramid of health. Following this hierarchy of health helps you understand how your environment affects you. This is a series of self-care treatments that you follow from the bottom to help you bring you back balance into your life.

The Horse Stance and Why You Should Practice it Everyday

 My master says when he was training he would have to practice horse stance for at least an hour per day. If they got up they would get hit by their master. They had to stay low. This is the traditional way of training in China. Some masters would even require that their students can stand in a low horse stance for up to 4 hours before they would teach them anything else.

What is the difference between Tai Chi and Qigong?

All Tai Chi can be Qigong but not all Qigong can be Tai Chi.

Both Tai Chi and Qigong move blood, energy and breath. The main difference is that when you practice Tai Chi there is a different intention. Since Tai Chi is a Chinese fighting martial art, Tai Chi has a martial application that Qigong does not have.

Qigong healing

In the Daoist tradition, there is a system of self-cultivation that unifies you with the Dao through the cycles of nature through the daily practice of movement like Tai Chi or Kung Fu and meditation.

The Art of Yin and Yang in Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art that based one of the core Daoist philosophies of Yin  and Yang. This speaks of opposing forces that coming together yet also separating. Through the practice of Tai Chi you achieve a balance between these forces inside your body, within your emotions and all around you.

Daoist Alchemy

 Have you ever heard about the ancient Daoists who were searching for the elixir of immortality? They searched for this through the practice of Daoist Alchemy.

First let’s define alchemy:

One of the definitions of alchemy is a process that changes and transforms something in a magical or mysterious way. It can also be defined as attaining spiritual perfection. So we can say that Alchemy is transforming an object into something more valuable.

The Unsung Females That participated in the Globalization of Tai Chi

While the exact origins of Tai Chi are still up for question, most historians track it back to several centuries ago when Taoist monks in China came up with it as a way of fighting – a much-needed skill in those violent times. Over time, Tai Chi has evolved into a “soft” fighting style and most of its application today is found in health and recreation. The slow movements, breathing, and control of energy, that are the core of Tai Chi have made it one of the most accessible forms of martial arts in the world today with millions of practitioners around the globe of any age, gender, location or culture.

The Origins of Wudang Daoist Kung Fu (Gong Fu)

The Five Tastes

We eat to live but often we live to eat. This way the taste of food becomes an important part of eating.

In Traditional Chinese medicine the taste of food is categorized into five flavours.

This theory regards that eating certain flavours can help the function of the five major organs and balance your health, even treat disease and recover from illness.

Nature and the Eternal Cycles

How we practice through the seasons.

Following nature is important. Following the natural surrounding environment is the first step to being in the Dao. In Daoism nature means heaven, fate, destin, purpose and also, our environment and what we see around us. What we can use to keep us in balance. For example, it is best to eat following the season, wear clothes according to the weather.

The Beginning of a Structured Daoist Faith

We already know that Taoism, (Daoism), is a Chinese philosophy that speaks about living simply, honestly, and in harmony with nature. However, but we don’t know when Taoism actually originated. Most Taoists say a man named Lao-tzu, (Laozi), was the first to receive the inspiration of the Dao. Not many scholars agree on when he lived and some assert he wasn't a real man.

A New Church

Chang Tao Ling, ((Zhang Daoling) often just referred to as Chang Ling, (Zhang Ling) was a hermit who lived during the Han dynasty is usually credited with formalizing the first organized Taoist sect sometime around 142 CE in the 2nd century.

Bagua and the Circle of Life

Bagua Zhuang is on of the three internal styles

Bagua Zhang is translated from Chinese as the Eight Trigram Palm. It is one of 3 internal martial art styles with the other two being Xing Yi Quan and Taiji Quan. Bagua Zhuang only uses palm techniques which is different from Xing Yi and Taiji which also use fist techniques.

Daoism and Following Your Purpose

'The Way’

In Daoist philosophy this is known as following nature. It could be considered as the God of Daoism

The Dao is not the Dao once you put it into words because then it loses its meaning. The Dao isn’t one thing it is everything.

The 4 Pillars to Cultivating Health

 How to take care and improve yourself

 Most people come to the school in China to improve their health. It could be their stomach, one of the major organs, sleep patterns, knees, joints there are so many reasons why people want to start a Kung fu or Tai Chi practice to improve their health.

The Creation Cycle

The 5 elements theory relates to almost anything in Chinese culture. For example; acupressure, acupuncture, The practice of Bah Gua, Tai Chi and The Daoist Chinese philosophy to name a few. 

The 5 elements can also be looked at as the 5 phases or the 5 cycles.

Another way of calling them is the Creation cycle.

One gives into the other. They are used to describe relationships between everything that happens around us and within our bodies.

How to establish a Qigong practice in your day

Did you ever imagine you could get your Qigong practice into your day while waiting for a bus or a train?  Some people are so busy they can’t imagine when they could fit in the time to practice.

The Healing Forces of Nature and Living in the Dao

Qigong Healing Daoist tradition is a system of self-cultivation that unifies you with the Dao and the cycles of nature through the movements of Kung fu and Tai Chi and meditation.

The Daoist approach to a healthy mind and body

Qigong is a self-healing art that combines movement and meditation. Qigong has both moving forms and quiet forms. Lying, sitting or standing.

A regular Qigong practice can prevent and treat illness, reduce stress and establish balance.

Zhang Sanfeng an ancient Daoist priest said “using the natural breathing to find the immortal self….to locate the true divine self through natural breathing.” Sanfeng is the sect I follow in Wudang China.

An Introduction to Taoism part 03

Tao-te Ching and Chuang-tzu Two sacred texts of Taoism that have made a big impact on the Eastern world are the Tao-te Ching and the Chuang-tzu. These texts give you a look at the ancient Taoists beliefs around the nature of the universe and how man fits into this equation.

Taoism is also written Daoism and is a philosophy about living as simply and honestly as possible in harmony with nature.

Daoism 101

The 3 things you need to know to embark on Daoism

Oneness is an important principle in the Taoist philosophy. Everything in nature is part of the same whole. In the Taoist philosophy, we as humans are also considered nature and we are considered to be created by nature through an existential cosmic force which links us to each other and to the universe. Yin-Yang is quite well known in the western world because of its black and white circular symbol but many people don’t see the connection with the Taoist philosophy. Yin Yang suggests that opposites are needed for harmony to be maintained.

The key to unlock vitality and youthfulness in 3 minutes a day

Standing meditation is as simple as it is powerful for the overall improvement of your health and wellness. It enhances mental clarity, boosts energy levels and promotes inner strength.

If you practice this pose daily it will bring a feeling of being more alive in everything you do.

This idea behind standing and meditating is that the more still you are on the outside the more movement can begin to happen on the inside…healing movement.

Tai Chi Promotes Longevity

Slowing down and focusing on movement will reduce stress. When you reduce stress, you lengthen your life. It’s a simple equation.

Tai Chi has the same source as Daoism/Taoism which is based on the principle of emptiness and stillness. This non-action principle is fundamental to relaxation. When you are relaxed or as it is called in a state of emptiness, you can unite yourself with nature. This builds the Chi (vital energy) inside the body and boosts the immune system which fights disease and promotes a longer healthier and happier life.

Why do men practice Tai Chi?

Men who practice Tai Chi age gracefully

Older men can often be in quite good shape.  Often they have practiced a martial art in their youth they may even still be practicing one. The external more fighting martial arts can lead to accidents and injuries. Tai Chi honors the Chinese respect for old age while still giving power and strength but won’t get injured practicing Tai Chi.

The philosophy of Taoism Continued

Taoism according to the texts from Lao Tze is a philosophy is about letting things flow naturally, living simply and honestly. This is also referred to as “The Way” or as I like to call it “The Path”. There are 3 important principles in Taoism:

The origins of the Tao (Dao)

The foundation of Tao

Tao originated sometime around the 4th or 3rd Century BCE in China. The Scholars can’t come to an agreement on when the Tao was formed and maybe believe there is no founding date for Taoism at all.

Longevity - Live live long die short

enter the sacred temple of taichi
  • Slows down and focus on movement
  • empty your mind
  • moving meditation
  • cell renewal
  • stronger body lives longer
  • happier people live longer
  • Tai Chi brings joy

Slowing down and focusing on movement will reduce stress. When you reduce stress, you lengthen your life. It’s a simple equation.

The Taoist practice of internal alchemy

Cultivating Body, Mind and Spirit

Many of us need food to nurture our entire body, our mind, as well as our spirit. Religions seek to satisfy us with spiritual food when often we do not understand how to satisfy our very selves. Taoism suggests that almost everything in everyday life can provide nourishment for certain facets of our being if perhaps we could understand how to gain access to that nourishment.

Why should we practice Tai Chi?

Tai chi is a martial art that is basically drilled for its medical advantages, which includes a means for managing tension and stress. It emphasizes complete rest, and is a type of mediation, or what some call meditation in motion. It can coordinate the mind and body, driving toward concordance amongst ourselves and the universe. Tai chi claims to sustain the aggregate wellbeing of our bodies, psyche and soul with one daily practice. Tai chi benefits male, female and individuals of all ages. Tai chi is practiced in slow and smooth movement. It is that perfect type of exercises, it is gentle, fun and simple to people for individuals of all ages. Tai chi stresses on breathing from the gut, through the feet, with the whole body.  

Openness To Daoist Philosophy

Learning The Dao Way and Meaning

Taoism, which can also be pronounced as Daoism, does not have any substantial creator or a founding date. A man named Lao-tzu, which can also be spelled as Laozi, was the very first person to acquire the ideas behind Tao. Lao-tzu realistically means old expert and there isn’t real evidence that he ever lived.

Last Travels to China part 02

Our Second trip to China was in 2012 when we moved there to train and home school for two years. Now the kids were 11 and 13. Papa stayed on the farm in Panama and it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life living and traveling with my kids for 7 years. We started this chapter in Wudang, China.

Last Travels to China part 01

Our travels to China began in 2010. When first went to Wudang China to train Martial Arts as a family in 2010. The kids were 7, 9 and 18...