I have been doing this podcast for a few years now, but I have never talked with someone who has studied tai chi directly from the Yang family.
Holly Sweeney-Hillman teaches in the Bedminster area of New Jersey. She is a student of Yang Zhenduo and Yang Jun. Holly is the Center Director for Bedminster/Montclair Yang Family Tai Chi Center and Senior level instructor of Traditional Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, has been teaching movement arts for 25 years and is an Adjunct Professor of Tai Chi Chuan at Kean University, Union, New Jersey.
We had a very enjoyable discussion. It is always fun for me to realize how much we can have in common with people who love the internal arts, or any martial art, even when we come from different "styles."
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Life is fragile. We live day-to-day and take a lot of things for granted -- our health, our futures, and the people in our lives.
Sometimes, we are slapped with the cold hand of reality.
One of my website members, Michael Todd, passed away last night in Port Richey, Florida.
Michael was about 50 years old, with a loud voice. He has been a member of my website for almost two years and began calling on the phone almost immediately.
"I'm working on the Xingyi, Mr. Ken," he would say.
"You don't have to call me Mister," I said during the first call.
"Oh, that's just the way I talk," he said. "I love you, brother."
Now, it's unusual for a guy you don't know to tell you he loves you right off the bat, so I was a bit leery of him at first. I just wasn't sure. But he kept calling every week, letting me know how he was progressing, and finally, we set up a live one-on-one coaching session via Skype.
When we did the live session, I was surprised at how well he had learned the Xingyi...
Are you a former martial artist, in your thirties, forties or fifties, still athletic and looking to stay in shape, develop more mental and physical balance and continue learning self-defense skills in a way that will challenge you but won't leave you injured the next morning?
Do you live in the Quad Cities area (Iowa/Illinois)?
It is time to resume your martial arts journey by trying a free practice with our small group of adults.
I don't seek "local" students very often, and what we offer is more complex than some younger guys want to study. Young guys want to learn to "fight." But we have a few more years under our belts, and we are not preparing to enter an MMA cage with an opponent who has cauliflower ears.
We are learning self-defense arts that have tremendous depth in body mechanics and in the mental aspects of maintaining balance. There is a reason these are called "martial arts."
Anyone can pound on another human being. The internal arts focus on something...
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