"I just loved this course! For me, Paul has touched the heart of Tai Chi, and inspired us to live it every day. Inspirational, definitely not stuffy, great videos and wonderful music!"
The Complete Tai Chi Course
In THE COMPLETE TAI CHI COURSE (or How to Become an Immortal) Paul Read (the teapotmOnk) offers a new approach to learning Tai Chi based on play, rather than study. Each of the 12 workshops consists of 4 parts:
1. Introduction: Preview, introduction to theme & PDF of the workshop sessions
2. Practical Session: Warm up, footwork, breathing and the Tai Chi postures
3. Applications & Contexts: Literal & martial interpretations, history & 21st century applications
4. Conclusion: Reviews, practice ideas & sneak preview of next workshop & the ebook manual
Each lesson is taught with slow gradual and simple steps, clear directions and with a light hearted touch. You choose how much of each workshop you want to learn. If it's the breathing and posture, then just focus on Session 2 of each workshop. If it's history and applications, then you'll want to look at Session 3. Whatever you choose, the course aims to open up more space in your life. In so doing, we move closer to the old Tai Chi philosophical idea of "becoming an immortal" - or slowing down, breathing deeper, becoming more aware - or more mindful - or the rush of activity that permanently surrounds you.
In THE COMPLETE TAI CHI COURSE we aim to teach not just the physical movements of Tai Chi, but their meanings, their applications and how they can help us to live more fully, so that we fill each moment with all the energy, laughter and life we can muster. Whether you are a complete newcomer to the art, or an experienced practitioner, there is something in this offering for everyone, and it is all served freshly brewed in an empty cup:
The COMPLETE TAI CHI COURSE will teach you 8 important life-skills:
1. TAKE LIFE AS IT COMES: Stop trying so hard and sweating so much. Learn to relax via simple but powerful preparation exercises
2. STAY RELAXED AT ALL TIMES: Relieve joint pain and stop muscles tightening through gentle movements that you can incorporate into your daily activities.
3. RESTORE BALANCE AND GRACE: Impress monastery dwelling friends and family as you learn to glide - like Kwai Chang Caine - over rice paper or snatch pebbles from closed hands.
4. SUPER-BOOST ENERGY: Follow along with the mOnk as he demonstrates easy breathing techniques and "qiqong" exercises.
5. LET IT ALL FLOW IN HARMONY: With good posture, functioning joints, relaxed muscle tissue, deep breath and a tranquil mind, you will learn to Walk Like a Cat and move with elegance and softness by learning the Tai Chi Mini-Form throughout the 12 workshops*
6. BECOME "WILFULLY IGNORANT": Whilst others spout knowledge and facts that have an increasingly short shelf-life, you will delve into the ancient tomes of history to discover the wisdom of "not-knowing" and immortality. Well, the 21st century version doesn't really involve 'tomes' but you do get to watch some videos about it and chat on a forum. Context, however, is important, for the moves you learn will have no meaning without it. Once a move has meaning, you will be able to pass it on, to show others and tell them about not just what you can do, but more importantly, why you do it.
7. LEARN TO ROOT: So that as the world spins crazily around, you will always have your skills with you, wherever you go and whatever you do. In Tai Chi there are no uniforms, no gadgets, no apps to download. You just need patience and commitment to derive the benefits that will enable you to breathe deeply and profoundly (even under duress).
8. LAUGH AT ALL THOSE THAT TAKE THEMSELVES TOO SERIOUSLY: We all must find our own paths. Those that insist you walk theirs are best met with a cheeky grin. Laughter, as the Immortal Taoist Chuang Tzu said, can take care of most issues.
THE COMPLETE TAI CHI CHI COURSE is not a quick fix. It is NOT a downloadable app claiming to make you a 'master' or 'guru' in a weekend. You will NOT emerge with a new exotic name, a new set of initials, a badge or a packet of incense. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved in a hurry. In this course, we will not therefore, be hurrying.
On average, these 12 Complete Tai Chi workshops form a comprehensive package that runs for a full YEAR - but the exact duration depends on you. Take your time, don't hurry, relax and you can study for as long as you want. Need to learn quicker and faster? Then that's your choice too. You start from the moment you begin.
If you are up for the challenge and have been waiting for the right moment to really embrace a long awaited change, then step forward and grasp the moment. It will be a life-changing 12 months.
*See FAQ below for more details
I've been teaching Tai Chi and languages since the early 1990's in both the United Kingdom and in Spain. I've also written numerous books on Tai Chi, recorded videos and many podcasts (iTunes - still have some available). Over these years I learnt that Tai Chi is really about communication. If you can communicate the lessons in an interesting and challenging way - using body, speech, gestures and the power of images and music - then the art is open to everyone to learn.
My aim therefore is to offer the elements of Tai Chi in separate easy-to-learn courses that everyone can grasp and practice immediately. For those preferring not to break things apart there is the COMPLETE COURSE that covers art and history, postures and breath as well as applications too.
If anyone can learn Tai Chi, then I believe that anyone can pass on those skills to others. Thus, over time, our efforts become immortalised. (You may have noticed that this theme occurs regularly in the COMPLETE TAI CHI COURSE). But there is something else that happens in Tai Chi that contributes to longevity, and that is the slowing down of time. We begin to notice the smaller things in life, the things that others step over, step around or don't even see at all. And in so doing, our senses awaken.
This is the experience I want to share with you on this adventure. An exploration of our senses and of time. An exploration into the rich history, practice and philosophy of Tai Chi. .
PreviewPART ONE: THE QUESTION (3:39)
Start- Workshop Details (3:51)
Start- Let's Go! (0:29)
Start- A Quick Word... (1:25)
Preview- Posture and Structure (1:21)
Start- Preparation Exercises (5:33)
Preview- The White Crane Moves (4:12)
Start- Breathing: An Introduction (4:37)
Preview- Breathing Exercises (4:15)
Start- Tips and Tricks: Timing (2:50)
Preview- Tips and Tricks: Weight and Balance (2:27)
Start- End of Part 1 (1:38)
StartPART TWO: EMPTY YOUR CUP (1:07)
Start*A 21st Century White Crane (1:58)
Start*White Crane Applied (1:53)
Start*When Yin Met Yang (7:15)
Start*Radio Guru: A World of Dust (6:30)
StartPART THREE: Recap (2:39)
PreviewIdeas for Practice (3:21)
PreviewSneak Preview of Next Session (1:33)
StartTHE WHITE CRANE INSTRUCTION MANUAL
"Thank you for teaching me to go more slowly, to step back to see better, to yield without giving up, to discover that strength is more than just muscles, to feel how another person is in order to know how I am, to realise what it is that stops me learning and living more fully, and finally to flow and simply to be. Thank you."
After about half way through the course, I can already see how my tai chi play has improved: Sometimes I begin with some Silk, or Archery or Butterfly Releases. Or maybe just breathing. Then I do a couple of rounds of the form I had previously learned, greatly influenced by the lessons in the various workshops. It's so easy to stream or download the lessons (just click the DOWNLOAD button!), that I can watch the workshops anytime on my phone, iPad or computer. Highly recommended!
Frequently Asked Questions
You will be a healthier and more balanced person, less worried about time and more concerned about ejoying the moment. Plus, you will recive a graduation certificate as an Immortal to hang on your bedroom (or Facebook) wall!
You will discover more as you begin, but I will say now that the chosen postures that make up the mini form have been selected for several reasons that will become clear throughout the course. By the end of the 12 workshops, you will have flexible and adaptable form, easy to do but profound and inspiring.
You mean flesh and blood immortality? Would you really want that? Would you really want to see everything you care and love decay and die around you whilst you remained the same, stagnant, unchanged and forever the same?
Nope. I thought not. Watch the 1 Minute Introduction videos to get an idea of what Immortality means in the sense we are using it here: longevity, good health, better physical and mental awareness, better balance, a more open heart and mind, and the capacity to laugh a lot more. And of course - the focus on extending the moment, expanding the present, living more and more in the now.