Friday, December 5, 2008

Great River Celebrates 30 Years with Free Talk & New Class

Great River Tai Chi in Minneapolis, Minnesota begins its thirtieth anniversary celebration with a free talk and new classes. Take a positive step towards better health this winter with a tai chi class. Tai chi not only helps with your balance, but has also been shown to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, help guard against osteoporosis, and many other benefits!

Free lecture-demonstration "T'ai Chi for the Immune System," Sunday, January 11th, 7 pm,
•New beginner's classes starting Sunday, January 18th, at 7 pm and meet for one hour. Tuition for the 10-week class is $140. Register at door; wear comfortable clothing.
•Chinese New Year Celebration—tba
•Many more events to follow!
We're located at:
1940 Hennepin (at Franklin).
Call for further information, 612-822-5760 or see our main website.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cheng Man-ch'ing: Free Lecture

“Cheng Man-ch’ing:
Master of Five Excellences”

A talk by Barbara Davis
Director, Cheng Man-ch’ing Biography Project
Saturday, November 8th, 2008, 6:30 pm
Sun Gallery, 4760 Grand Avenue South
Learn about this intriguing master of painting, calligraphy, poetry, medicine, and t’ai chi. Cheng is most well known for his role in the spread of t’ai chi into the US in the 1960s. Come explore his life, his dreams, and his prodigious talents. Slides and movies of his artwork and t’ai chi will also be shown .
For further information, read the project blog, call 612-822-5760,
or email editor"at"

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Tai Chi Class-Minneapolis-St Paul, Twin Cities

NEW BEGINNERS' 8-week Tai Chi Form Class. In this class, you'll learn the opening moves of the Cheng Man-ch'ing Yang-style short form. Lower your stress, improve your balance, and enjoy exploring this intriguing, ancient Chinese discipline! This class will include Tai Chi Essence exercises. This class will be held Thursdays, starting October 23rd, from 6-7 p.m. Sign up for all eight classes for only $119. Register at door.
Great River is conveniently located at 1940 Hennepin Avenue South (at Franklin), above Burch's Pharmacy, just south of downtown Minneapolis, and off the Hennepin exit of I-94. We are easy to get to by foot, bike, and bus! See directions in the sidebar. Great River has been offering classes and workshops at all levels in Minneapolis, St Paul, the greater Twin Cities metro area since 1979, and instructors Barbara Davis and Cheryl Powers have presented at numerous national and international conferences.

For further information, call 612-822-5760 , or visit our website.

Special Guest Workshop--Nathan Menaged, October 19

Join us Sunday, October 19th for a "Three-Dimensional Yielding" workshop with Nathan Menaged, of Columbus, Ohio. Nathan is a long-tim student of William Chen and Tao Ping-hsiang, and has a unique and fun approach to exploring these ideas, which are applicable both for solo t'ai chi and push hands. Contact Great River for further information at 822-5760.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Innovative New Fall Class Offered

This fall is the perfect time to take a tai chi class. You've been inspired by the Beijing Olympics, you know tai chi would be a fun and interesting thing to try, but you've heard it takes years to learn well. Now, here's the solution!

This September, Great River T'ai Chi will present a special introductory six-week "Tai Chi Essence" class,
in which you can learn the basics of tai chi in a series of simple exercises. These movements are easy to learn and impossible to forget!
You can sign up for all six classes, or take them on a drop-in basis. Classes start Thursday, September 11th, at 6 pm and run for one hour. Sign up for all six classes for only $89. Drop-in for single classes for only $16 per evening.

Also: NEW BEGINNERS' 8-week Tai Chi Form Class
Thursdays, starting October 23rd, from 6-7 p.m. Sign up for all eight classes for only $119. Learn the basic moves and principles of the traditional t'ai chi ch'uan "form" in this 8-week class. Lower your stress, improve your balance, and enjoy exploring this intriguing, ancient Chinese discipline! This class will include Tai Chi Essence exercises.
Other Classes: Beginners 2 and Intermediate are held Sundays from 6-8, and Advanced class is Thursdays, 7-8.
Great River is conveniently located at 1940 Hennepin Avenue South (at Franklin), above Burch's Pharmacy, just south of downtown Minneapolis, and off the Hennepin exit of I-94. We are easy to get to by foot, bike, and bus! See directions in the sidebar. Great River has been offering classes and workshops at all levels since 1979.

For further information, call 612-822-5760 , or visit our website.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

August Practice Notes—Olympic Inspiration

If the Olympics serve any purpose, it's to inspire and awe. The same kind of honing of skills of body and mind go into t'ai chi practice. If you haven't tried t'ai chi yet, now's your chance to learn some of the basic movements and enjoy the good feeling and health benefits that the very accessible and adaptable art of t'ai chi can offer. If you've practiced for a while, use the Olympics to study how high-level athletes incorporated some of the identical principles into their work.

For more Olympic coverage, see the Taijiquan Journal blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"When will China host the Olympics?"

"Reaching for Gold: The YMCA and the Olympic Movement in China from 1895-1920"
Commemorating an achievement 100 years in the making, "Reaching for Gold" chronicles the answer to a question posed by a YMCA Secretary in China in 1908 while promoting physical culture in China.
Please join the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, the University of Minnesota China Center, and the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries for the exhibit's opening reception on Friday, August 8, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Elmer L. Andersen Library, on the U of M's West Bank campus.
The China Center also invites you to stay on campus to watch the 2008 Olympics opening ceremonies in the Coffman Union theater, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
For directions and accessibility information, please visit or call 612-625-3445.
The exhibit will be on display in Andersen Library through September 27, 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday, and after Labor Day on Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July Practice Notes: It's all About Balance

Life seems so chaotic at times, doesn't it? The noise, pressure, demands of daily life can be overwhelming, with no relief in sight, and a promised vacation or hour to oneself remains ellusive. That's where something like tai chi can help. The few moments per day needed for practice can become not just a refuge, but also a model for how to go about daily life, with calm, perspective, focus, and balance. If you can perservere in creating those pockets of time for tai chi, you can then let those skills infuse your whole life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June Practice Notes---Tai Chi as Martial Art?

Tai chi, at its core, is a martial art and "self-cultivation" discipline, meant to strengthen the body through nourishing the qi, developing mental and physical focus, and understanding body mechanics. Throughout the centuries, tai chi masters have emphasized different aspects of theory and practice to suit their own needs and interests and those of surrounding society. (It may surprise some tai chi people to know that tai chi has even been promoted for patriotism!) Your tai chi practice will be enhanced by learning something about all of its different arenas: health, self-defense, ch'i (qi) cultivation, body mechanics, meditation, and so on. Each aspect will help you develop in new ways. For example, understanding the martial arts application of a move—regardless of whether or not you have an interest in that area—will dramatically help improve your alignment, body mechanics, reaction time, and rooting. Through exploring tai chi's multi-dimensionality, you can always keep your practice fresh.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Interested in learning about tai chi? Great River's spring beginners' class on Sunday evenings from 6–7 pm, will accept new students until May 4th. Learn the basics of this fascinating Chinese art! Improve your health--balance, breathing, relaxation. (No class Memorial Day weekend.)
Summer classes will start Sunday, June 1st, with a free introductory talk "Tai Chi" at 7 pm. A new 10-week Beginners' class will start the following week, Sunday, June 8th, 7–8 p.m. (No class July 4th weekend.)
Great River classes are held at the Jawaahir Dance Studios at 1940 Hennepin (at Franklin), above Burch's Pharmacy. For more information, call us at 612-822-5760, or see our main website.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

World Tai Chi Day 2008---Twin Cities

Celebrate World Tai Chi Day at Normandale Community College on Saturday, April 26th, 2008, from 9–1.
The day's events, which are free and open to the public, start with a welcoming speeches, Lion Dance, group practice and demonstrations, Spring Forest Qigong, and is followed by one-hour sessions on topics such as acupressure, fengshui, alternative medicine, I Ching, tai chi for arthritis, and many other interesting topics. The event closes with more tai chi practice opportunities and closing ceremonies. (Click on the Normandale link above for the schedule.)
Along with other groups,Great River T'ai Chi Ch'uan will be demonstrating T'ai Chi, and director Barbara Davis will give a talk on the I Ching (Yijing), the Chinese Book of Changes. Also, come visit Taijiquan Journal's booth, where you'll be able to purchase back issues, books, and other items, including "I Love Tai Chi" bumperstickers.
Normandale College is located at 9700 France Avenue South, Bloomington, Minnesota. (952) 487-8200. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Practice Tips

Spring is a good time to reflect on the ways in which energy moves. As you practice, use the trees and other plants around you as a model of the whole-body energy dynamic of ch'i. The ch'i moves up and down from the root, moving the sap and fluids and nutrients from the air and soil, that then spread through the branches and into the buds. These processes slow down in the winter, but as the sun lingers longer and the temperature rises, the ch'i moves more—a time of growth!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Tai Chi for Your Life" —Free Class April 6

Great River spring session starts Sunday, April 6th at 6 pm with a free class "Tai Chi for Your Life,"Cheryl Powers. Learn how Tai Chi practice can enhance your daily life at this free, one-hour class.
Improve your health, balance, coordination, and much more!
The following week, our spring session beginners' class, starting Sunday, April 13th at 6 pm, will give you a solid introduction this fascinating art. Tuition is $150 for ten weeks.

Registration for beginners class is at door. Call 612-822-5760 for further details or you can find more information about Great River at our website. 1940 Hennepin Avenue South (at Franklin) Minneapolis.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Great River Director's Book Reviewed

Great River director Barbara Davis' book The Taijiquan Classics: An Annotated Translaton is reviewed by Chinese martial arts historian Stanley Henning in the Fall 2006 issue (published Fall 2007) of China Review International. He writes, "Davis' chapters on the language and literature and ideas in the taijiquan "classics" provide the "icing on the cake"—the insights into Chinese culture, from which to savor her translations....I wholeheartedly recommend this book not only to taijiquan practitioners but also to anyone interested in Chinese martial arts and their place in Chinese culture."

Signed copies of the book are available; write to editor "at" for ordering information. For those who already own a copy of the book, an errata page can be found at the The Taijiquan Classics website.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keep Warm this Winter--New Tai Chi Classes

Warm up with Tai Chi! Join Great River T'ai Chi for a NEW BEGINNERS Tai Chi class starting Thursday, January 17th. This 10-week session will give you a solid foundation in Tai Chi practice and ideas. Tai Chi is an excellent and fascinating lifetime exercise, packed with practical skills, interesting ideas, and numerous health benefits. Tuition is $150, and you can register at the door.

Great River is located at 1940 Hennepin Avenue South (at Franklin), 2F. For further information, call 612-822-5760, or see our website .

New Video and Book on Cheng Man-ch'ing

Two wonderful new items about Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing have recently been released. The first, the long-hoped for "Shr Jung tapes." These were shot in New York City in the late 1960s and have only been shown at special events. Through great effort, these were edited into a coherent, thematically arranged set of four DVDs titled Cheng Man-ch'ing: The Master Tapes. Disks are Form, Push Hands, Sword, and Ch'i (encompassing informal Q & A with students, calligraphy, and flower-arranging. The DVDs, though expensive at $149, are an incredible boon for any serious student, as you are able to "be in the room" with Professor Cheng, watch him teach, and see him interact with students. Ed Young and Tam Gibbs provided translation in the original videos, and you can see many familiar faces among the participants: Maggie Newman, Ken Van Sickle, Lou Kleinsmith, Natasha Gorky Young, and others. New commentary by Ed, Maggie, and Ken make this a very meaningful presentation.

Douglas Wile has come out with another valuable book Zheng Manqing's Uncollected Writings on Taijiquan, Qigong, and Health, with New Biographical Notes (Sweet Ch'i, $11.95), this time combining Professor's own short works with those about him by Chinese students, articles from Taiwan newspapers, and Wile's own extensive essays that focus on historical and cultural context. This is a very intriguing book with much fresh material that will give food for thought.