Tai Chi Chuan and Yi Chuan are the foundation on which Moving Together is built. It is through the study of these two arts that all the other things taught at Moving Together get deeper meaning.
Tai Chi Chuan
Because this work is so multi-layered, we say that the fastest way is to go slowly. We encourage our students not to think in terms of goals, but to become sensitive to what is happening to them during the process of learning. We also stress that it is important not to be judgmental during this time of exploration. Arthur stresses what he calls the Three A’s. The first ‘a’ is Awareness. We are putting our bodies and minds under a microscope when we meditate and do these introspective practices. So our awareness of ourselves expands. As our awareness expands it is common to become critical and judgmental about what we become aware of. We see that we are not perfect. But being self critical and judgmental creates tension and blocks in our bodies which in turn, makes progress very difficult if not impossible. So the second ‘a’ is Acceptance. As we become aware, we must also develop self acceptance of what we become aware of. This self acceptance develops an understanding compassion for ourselves, a love for ourselves. This letting go of self judgment also leads to compassion for the short comings of others. The third ‘a’ is Action. When we become aware without judgment, then we are in a place to take action, and our action will be clear, clean, compassionate and loving. This is what real internal development is and this is the philosophical foundation of Moving Together.
Yi Chuan – Chi Kung
The chi kung system taught at Moving Together is called Yi Chuan or I Chuan, Mind Intention Boxing, which is another name of a Kung Fu system called Dachen Quan, Great Achievement Boxing. Yi Chuan was developed by Master Wang Xiang Zhai in the early 1900s. Arthur’s teacher, Dong Yuan Pei, studied with Master Zhang Chang Xing, who was a disciple of Wang, as well as with Master Yu Peng Xi, another disciple of Wang. Arthur has been studying and exploring Yi Chuan for over twenty years. Much of the Chi Kung that is practiced through out present day China and in many of the hospitals in China can be traced back to Master Wang Xiang Zhai. At Moving Together we look at Tai Chi Chuan and Yi Chuan as two sides of the same coin.
All of Arthur’s classes start with sitting and standing meditation. During the meditation Arthur gives energy transmissions to his students. Energy transmissions (shakti in yoga systems) are usually given to advanced students at a high price. Arthur feels that it is necessary to give these transmissions as an integral part his classes so the student can release blocks in their bodies in a steady, smooth and safe manner. Because of the energy work, many students ask if he is a Master. Arthur says, “If I were the master, then you would be the slave. I am a teacher and coach. Through the practice we all can become more open and perhaps more liberated."
But Arthur also says, “Yes, I am a master because I have devoted time and energy to my practice. But remember that you are also a master. You have mastered many things in your life, so bring your “mastery’ to class and add to it.”
What People Say
Arthur is a rare find in the martial arts. He has clearly mastered the traditions. He has also made them his own, so they are not just words or platitudes. The understanding is vital, personal. This allows him to adapt the study to the present moment, to the students in the class and their level of skill and inquiry.
--Michael Clarage, Ph.D.
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