It don't mean a thing 
if it ain't got that swing

notes on living in the body with joy and curiosity

Post #5

This is Tai Chi. This is Qigong.

In Hunyuan Tai Chi, 

Spirit and Form 



like flowing 


This video by photographer Ray Collins, "Unique Curls, Hawaii 2017", expresses better than anything I've ever seen, the true essence of Tai Chi and Qigong. This is not a picture of Tai Chi. This is Tai Chi.   

Open yourself 

to the 


free of yes and no: 

learn to swim 

the great 



That poem was on my master Zhang Xuexin's school banner, which now hangs in our main practice hall. Everything I know about real Tai Chi and Qigong I owe to him and to his friend and teacher, Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang, the founder of Hunyuan Tai Chi. 

I remember once, many years ago, Master Zhang poking his index finger into his palm over and over during class, saying: 

 "Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention! This is gold!" 

He was right. It is gold. After 30 years of studying with Masters Zhang and Feng, I'm just beginning to understand. If you can truly see that video above — the integration of Form and Spirit, Mind and Energy — you will too. 

— Malcolm Dean,
founder, San Francisco Hunyuan Tai Chi Academy 


• Qigong is pronounced "chi-gung" and means "internal energy cultivation". 
• Hunyuan Tai Chi is pronounced "hun-yan dai-ji", and integrates Chen-style 
Tai Chi with Hunyuan Qigong.  

Post #4
The Backwards Brain Bicycle

Tai Chi, as the old saying goes, is very easy to do—but very, very hard to learn.
This video on the "Backwards Brain Bicycle" explains why. 
Think you know how to ride a bike?
Think again:
So what has this got to do with Tai Chi?

When you start serious Tai Chi training, you'll spend the first few years discovering that you've been programmed since early childhood to move in a certain way: 

from the outside in. 

It's a very powerful way to move. It allows us control our bodies consciously from 'control central' in the brain, and to use tools, from hammers to computers, with great skill and precision. But it has one drawback: it separates body from mind, and turns us into machines. There is an alternative way to move:

    from the inside out.    

That's the natural way to move. That's how animals move. That's how kids move. But we've forgotten how. Or rather, we've been programmed to move another way; we've been programmed to forget what we once knew, what once came naturally. Tai Chi is about regaining that natural movement, its strength, grace, power, and balance. All you have to do, like the guy in the video above, is let go of your old programming. Like riding the Backwards Brain Bicycle, it sounds easy—as easy as riding a bike. But in fact it takes persistence and discipline, as well as guidance and coaching. A good practice community is also important. That's what we provide here at the Academy in both our Qigong and Tai Chi classes. 

Tai Chi is the art and science of returning to the natural body:

• • •