THURSDAYS

5:30 PM-6:30 PM

Taoist Sanctuary

(back-area classroom)

4229 Park Blvd

San Diego, California

If you or someone you know is a Veteran who is in need of exercise,

healthy lifestyle change, peace of mind, or simply a place to find friends

who know and care, then contact us or just stop by.

It is our passion and dedication to empower Veterans to take charge of their health

by teaching them Tai Chi to maintain their body, minds, and energies. 

Veterans Tai Chi is dedicated to the health and well-being of Veterans,

their families, and loved one’s. 

Veterans Tai Chi stresses the importance of the internal and healing aspect of 

Tai Chi using the mind-heart to lead Qi and Qi to lead the body movements.

They are used together with correct breathing technique and 

relaxed concentration.

It is important to understand that only when the mind, body and Qi 

are in accord can you gain the power to generate and enhance the true Qi 

and to heal. If you practice with only hands, feet and body without

the mind, you will gain nothing at the end.

 

  1. Tai Chi is based on philosophy of the I Ching and the Yin/Yang theory. On a personal level, when we were born, we were in a state of “Yuan Qi,” (original Qi) which is the Qi we inherit from our parents. When we start life, we are then in a state of “Tai Chi” and everything is divided into Yin and Yang. As we grow older, we wear out our Yuan Qi, because we are not aware of the importance of rejuvenating our Qi through physical exercise. In Veterans Tai Chi the aim and emphasis is to effectively cultivate, strengthen, refine and motivate the Qi in our body. From this fundamental philosophy, it is not difficult to see the importance of the following principles when practicing.

  2. The Mind-Heart directs the movement. In order to refine or purify the Qi through the practice of physical forms, you must realize that the mind-heart is playing a very important role. The key to it is to allow something to happen rather than to make it happen. When practicing Traditional Sun Style Tai Chi, one’s movements are required to have three internal harmonies: unity between heart and mind (Mind-Heart), unity between mind-spirit and Qi (Shen), and unity between Qi and vitality. Therefore, in Veterans Sun Style Tai Chi practice, you will feel that each move contains within it a wave of momentum- initiated by being pictured in the mind-heart, centered in the elixir field (Dan-Tien {the body’s center of gravity}), rooted in the feet and flowing through the body while being released with the hands. That is: generated through the mind-heart while the feet are rooted firmly with the earth, the power of the movements can be felt coming from the legs, directed by the energy of the waist (Dan-Tien), circulated through the body and finally manifested as life-strength in the hands and expressed as Qi in the finger tips.

  3. Movements should be in harmony, natural and relaxed. In Veterans Sun Style Tai Chi, it is especially stressed that one’s movements need to be well coordinated and smoothly connected like the flowing of water. Crucial to the proper performance of the Tai Chi Form is correct breathing. Correct breathing is abdominal breathing. Breathe naturally and deeply through the nose into the abdomen, neither holding your breath nor forcing the breath. Allow the pace of your breath to slow down. The mouth should be gently closed and your tongue should be lightly touching the upper palate inside the mouth.

When performing Sun Style Tai Chi movements, one of the distinctive features is the opening and closing hand postures (Kai-He posture). It is essential to coordinate movements and breathing, to make sure that you inhale each time you do an “open hands” posture. You exhale when you do a “close hands” posture. This helps to maximize the blood circulation to all internal organs, especially to the liver and spleen.

Another characteristic of the Sun Style is the stepping method: advancing or retreating steps are usually followed by a half step forwards or backwards. This is different from other styles of Tai Chi. When you practice Sun Style movements, you will find the body weight is constantly shifted between the two legs. Sun Style Tai Chi emphasizes the good control of balance between the transference of body weight so that all movements can be performed smoothly without a jerk, pause or sudden increase in speed. This is why Sun Style Tai Chi is sometimes referred to as “open and close (Kai-He) Tai Chi” or “lively and nimble step Tai Chi”.

INSTRUCTOR

In-House student of General Abraham Liu

Commander Jamie Ruddy FNP

He has taught Tai Chi courses at several locations in San Diego County and for MWR while deployed In Afghanistan and Africa.

Commander Ruddy FNP

began his Tai Chi studies with General Abraham Liu prior to enlisting in The United States Marine Corps in 1986.

EIGHT BRANCHES OF

CLASSICAL CHINESE MEDICINE

1. FIRST BRANCH:  Self-cultivation and mindfulness meditation, circulation of Qi (life energy).

The first branch comprises a conscious decision to take personal responsibility for one’s lifestyle and taking action to cultivate health, well-being and a natural balance in nature.

2. SECOND BRANCH:  The practice of moving meditation.

The second branch contains various practices of Tai Chi and Qi Gong as well as internal martial arts such as Xing Yi and Ba Gua. The first branch is balanced by the second branch and the second branch is balanced by the first. They work in harmony with each other to cultivate, gather, circulate, extend, expand, focus and store a balanced life energy often referred to as Qi.

3. THIRD BRANCH:  Nutrition.

The importance of nutrition cannot be overemphasized the manner and amount of food we ingest is all encompassing for living in a balanced harmony with the universe.  Natural unprocessed food in moderate quantities that is prepared and consumed, grown and harvested in accordance with nature is the foundation of good nutrition.  The nutrients of nature is extracted from the elements and distributed through the body and mind as nutritive Qi according to The Five Element Theory often referred to as The Five Phases of Energy Transformations commonly called the “Five Elements”.

Ancient Taoists were also reported as being able to live on “wind and water” these ancient practices of fasting and calorie restriction are the only scientifically proven interventions that directly correlate to the attribution of longevity and improved health in old age.  

4. FORTH BRANCH: Acupressure, Bodywork, Massage and cranial-sacral adjustments.

Acupressure Massage, Tui Na or An Mo, either by one-self or another are used to enliven, balance, harmonize adjust and move the Qi  through energy channels called meridians. There are endless applications with these techniques that range in treatments for numerous diseases and  injuries to just feeling good.  The Tui Na system uses the Five Elements Theory through physical touch and energy transference to harmonize the internal organs and connect us to our “Shen” or life spirit.

5. FIFTH BRANCH:  Taoist Philosophy.

The ideas of Wuji, Yin-Yang, Tai Chi Tu, and Ba Gua as diagrams or energetic maps of the cosmos as a philosophical life-view that is manifested in to the eight trigrams and are deeply and vastly discussed in endless Taoist classics is the focus of this branch.

6. SIXTH BRANCH:   Feng Shui.

Directly translated “Feng Shui” means wind and water. This medical practice stems from the eight thousand year old observation that humans that lived with windows that allowed fresh, clean air that had blown-in over a large body of water and circulated through their homes were much healthier than those who constantly breathed stagnant and soot fill air. This branch is the ancient manifestation of Environmental Medicine.  The Eastern tradition of Feng Shui involves The Five Transformations of Energy, Taoist Philosophy and Tai Chi Cosmology. In the West the term Feng Shui as a practice has been mainly diluted into a style of decorating. 

7. SEVENTH BRANCH: Herbal Medicine.

There are thousands of plant, animal and mineral compounds used in Chinese Medicine.  The properties of these substances are listed in how they effect the energy transformations of the body. Western medicine often uses similar molecular entities for comparable maladies but from a structural and not a dynamic energy philosophy.

8. EIGHTH BRANCH:  Acupuncture.

Needles are used to balance and harmonized the Qi energy through manipulation of the meridian energy flow.

Energy Poem

The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao, the Tao that can be defined is not the real Tao. The Tao that can be influenced or effected is not the true Tao.

Before there was nothing there was Tao.

The very essence of Tao is stillness in motion.

Tao mandates stillness in every motion and motion in stillness.

As if fixed in a gaze while spinning on a wheel,

 the gaze is still as the world spins.

From Tao came Wu Ji

Wi Ji is before the beginning

Wu Ji begat the beginning.

The beginning became nothing;

 from no-thing Qi was born

Qi split into two and became Yin and Yang.

Yin and Yang divided into four and became Tai Chi,

Tai Chi split into eight creating Ba Gua;

Ba Gua separated into the sixty-four called I-Ching

I-Ching dispersed and brought forth the myriad of ten thousand things.

It is this myriad of things  that creates the dimension that is the universe we exist in today.

This myriad of ten thousand things makes up the essence of what we call the elements of the periodic table.

At the heart of the atom are protons and neutrons composed from quarks made up of bosons. The boson comprises electrical charges of various flavors.

The boson is still as a fixed conduit yet forever moving with fields of energy.

Tao contains everything and everything contains Tao.

Transcending the bosons are neutrinos that propagate through matter with beta decay-

passing through the tangible universe like light through transparent glass.

Like the properties of light; both particle and wave,

this hot- dark matter is not explained with science.

Humans have always felt Tao and never been able to grasp its touch. Scholars study, analyze and never understand; what the naturally unadulterated human- harmonious with nature and Tao, knows by instinct. The Lotus captures the infinite when looked upon with an unfettered mind-heart. The mind-heart goes out into the universe feeling a kinship with life’s exquisite beauty; the lotus flower never takes a lesson. This happens because the experience of a warm friendly-familiar sense that brings the spirit back eons creating a relationship with the soul; is a natural phenomenon when in harmony with Tao.

Tao propagates the eternal motion of the universe that springs existence to all things.

All things in the myriad; animate and inanimate, have life because Tao transcends them with infinite motion.

When the realization happens that the motion of Tao is endless- then life and death no longer exist.

This is the same moment of clarity and realization when the immortality of Tao becomes real and time becomes meaningless.

Veterans Tai Chi is a free class supported by the

generosity of the Taoist Sanctuary of San Diego.

Donations to the Veterans Tai Chi Class are accepted and applied only to overhead cost of providing this community service