Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | July 18, 2011

Catching the Wave

A lot of my tai chi lately is done furtively at work, standing around waiting for a customer to walk through the door, I will drop my weight, do tai chi walking around the sales floor, and if I’m feeling lucky and unwatched, bust into a few postures like Brush Knee Twist Step. It adds up. When I am energized, I will apply tai chi movement and principles to everything, opening a door, we use shoe poles to get shoes down from the top shelves–those poles have been twirled quite a few times–I’d begun learning a short yang style long pole form a while ago, so that happens in the stock room too!

One of the advantages of trying to do our tai chi in our every day movement is that it helps you explore more fully the principles of tai chi and how it works, and that it helps us to understand the internalization and “small circle” process because we are trying to avoid getting attention at the wrong time. In other words, we learn how not to telegraph our moves to the opponent.

At times, I will keep the movements simple, making small circles with my right hand, the movement connected and generated by the dan tien–that is, I’m not just moving my arm and hand, it’s just the arm and hand are what is externally visible. The movements are very chan ssu chin, or silk reeling oriented.

And this is when the tai chi magic tends to happen. Not doing a set form, but staying true to tai chi principles, I will be doing spontaneous movements, and then I’ll catch a wave. A tai chi wave, a chi wave, something, but it’s that exprience of energy like riding a wave in the ocean(I’ve never surfed), but it’s a cool feeling and I suppose it’s what the masters might have been talking about with moving the chi around the body. But more like catching the wave that’s there and riding it, letting it move you.

So, if you are a practitioner of tai chi, do your forms well, stick to proper posture and principle, I encourage you to have some fun and try to catch the wave. If you are not familiar with chan ssu chin silk reeling, google it, cause it really raises your skill level and your spiritual growth as well.

Happy reeling and catch the wave!


  1. Our local parks and rec offers a Tai Chi class on Saturday mornings sometimes we have up to 50 experienced people and a few inexperienced people in the group. We put the new people in the center of the group and tell them, “Just swim with the dolphins and let us carry you”.

  2. Being more active in summer doing things around the house outside, I haven’t made the time to practice forms lately myself. I’ve been working a lot though, on single movements and silk reeling.

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