Talking Tai Chi With The Teapotmonk



There are those that believe to practise Tai Chi without tradition or without confirmed lineage, is simply a waste of time - or shadow boxing. It is an art that lacks substance like Bean Curd lacks solidity. But Bean Curd Boxers beg to differ. We claim that Bean Curd is the ultimate yielding substance, it maintains its shape and form, and is sold at a fair price.Additionally, it can be superbly crisp when deep fried and absorbs insults like it absorbs flavours. Bean Curd is a fine symbol of the adaptability of 21st Century Tai Chi."Be Like Bean Curd My Friend."Said Bruce Lee. (Well, something like that).At times, all Traditions need waking up. This is the aim of the Bean Curd Boxer, to shake up tradition, challenge all claims of absoluteness and giggle in the face of rigidity and dogma.To find out about the Application of Bean Curd Philosophy to your life... join us at


  • Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

    29/05/2015 Duración: 01min

    Yes, its a chameleon moment once more when the teapotmonk says goodbye to one format and embraces another. Follow the new adventures of the mOnk over at the all new and subscribe to the all new podcast on itunes and stitcher called: Empty Your Cup with the mOnk. It's all new, its all shiny, 100% guru free, freshly brewed and served in an empty cup

  • The Way of the Weapon: Why Learn Sword Tai Chi?

    17/02/2015 Duración: 07min

    This week we are going to focus on weapons, because if one element appears anachronistic to a 21st century urban warrior, then it surely is the training in sword that Tai Chi practitioners still love to promote. And the Tai Chi martial agenda is certainly broad : broad sword, sabre, staff, fan, ruler, compass, ball, poppadom, tortilla, fish-finger…the list of tai chi weapons is as endless as the debates and interpretations of the spelling of Tai Chi, or Tai ji, or Taijiquan or...

  • What Makes Tai Chi a Martial Art?

    12/01/2015 Duración: 12min

    Do you practice full contact sparring for self defense or as part of a calorie controlled diet? Do you wear steel capped Dr Martins for aesthetics or for devastating rib attacks? And are exponents of health tai chi perverting the fundamentals of the style or are they riding the waves of a new historical tide? Find out today on the teaptomonks guide to Tai Chi as a Martial Art

  • Three Reasons to Take Your Tai Chi out of the Classroom

    11/12/2014 Duración: 10min

    It's easy to remain content when you do not have to adapt and evolve, so every now and then, it's a good idea to step outside the temple and see what's happening in the world. The teapomonk presents 3 good reasons to step outside and let things happen.

  • How Long Does it Take to Learn Tai Chi? Episode 16

    28/09/2014 Duración: 11min

    How long does it take to learn the form? Why are there different length forms and what does the elusive notion of time tell us about supermarket shopping, radioactive apples and the legacy of Steve Jobs? Sometimes, when I'm in the supermarket, pondering the short shelf life of vegetables, wondering what they may have Been sprayed to make them glow from such a distance - someone will come up to me and say: Hey Teapotmonk, Id like to learn Tai Chi, but ive heard that it takes forever and a day to learn. Tell me, they say, How long does the Form take to learn? And Is it true that you remain a beginner for the first twenty years of your practice ? So I usually push my trolley to one side, return the radioactively bright red apples back into their lead containers and nonchalantly throw the question back.... Iisten to the podcast...

  • The Form: How to Learn the Tai Chi Form

    11/08/2014 Duración: 07min

    IN the last episode we looked at the structure of the form, it's roots, it's history and the way it is taught. IN this episode, I want to focus on something else...and that is one of my favorite themes: Teaching and Learning, because its all well and good saying to students, you must learn the Form, or... I will teach you the Form...when students have major difficulties not just with the techniques - but with the process of learning too.

  • Ways of Learning: The Illusion of Certainty

    17/06/2014 Duración: 12min

    How can I teach what I need to teach more effectively? How can I learn what I need to learn more efficiently? Ways of Learning is the book that will show you how, and in this sample audio chapter, you will hear the author speak on "The Illusion of Certainty". Don't expect anything other than the unexpected in this quirky, and eccentric take on 21st century education by the teapotmonk. For more visit and find out about the whole 18 chapters now available as an audiobook.

  • The Form: Ice Dissolving Into water - Episode 13

    28/05/2014 Duración: 09min

    Why do Forms differ from style to style, class to class and even instructor to instructor. And is it the postures or the spaces between them that define the tai chi form? This most symbolic and synonymous representation of tai chi. And what did Bruce Lee mean when he said…When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form?

  • What Do we Mean by Authenticity in Tai Chi? Episode 12

    29/04/2014 Duración: 08min

    What do we mean by authentic Tai Chi? What does traditional Tai Chi mean? And why are Tai Chi practitioners so obsessed in claiming exclusive access to these very elusive terms? Many people say: "Hey Teapotmonk, answer me this, if you're really an authentic teacher you must have trained in China, or learnt from a Chinese practioner of recognised lineage. How come you don't speak Cantonese like a local, and how come you don't you wear your silk pyjamas when teaching?" The truth is, I have had teachers from many different countries and I can only say that nationality by itself does not convey good teaching skills. One of the best tai chi teachers I ever had was from Chile. I don't think Chile can be credited for that. It was simply she knew how to relate to people and convey complex issues in simple ways. So when someone says, I'm looking for the best teacher- I say, forget tradition and forget nationality - and this week I'm going to tell you why.......

  • It's All About Style: Part 2

    10/04/2014 Duración: 08min

    Why do some teachers teach a hybrid form of Tai Chi? Does this amount to sacrilege or is this the way of the world given the origins of the art and how it's developed over the years? And what should a student look for in a class, if not purity and the all-important surname? Find out in this weeks episode of TCC.

  • It's All About Style: Part 1

    27/02/2014 Duración: 10min

    What should you look for when considering which style of Tai Chi to learn? Are there major differences between the different schools or do they share more than they would like to admit? And does your school offer a range of learning techniques for the different ways we all learn? Find out in part 1 of It's all about Style with the teapotmonk.

  • The History of Tai Chi: Part 3 (Episode 9)

    30/01/2014 Duración: 10min

    What caused tai chi to go west, and was it - like an exotic fruit - starting to decay upon arrival? What role played the American Secret Services in opening up the practice to American audiences and what legacy has the innovators of the 1960's left for us - bewildered and bemused - practitioners of the 21st century ? Find out on this weeks episode of Talking Tai Chi with the teapotmonk.

  • The History of Tai Chi Part 2

    09/01/2014 Duración: 08min

    In the previous episode, we started the history of Tai Chi, recognizing that little was in fact, factual, and that there was little point in attempting to substantiate the insubstantial, as history tends to lean heavily towards the partial and the subjective. And so we ended up about to launch into the -totally unsubstantiated - two-minute version of the History of Tai Chi Chuan. A version that takes into account a world suffering from attention deficiency and a world raised on a diet of social media updates and twitter length items. Therefore the Teapotmonk presents.... The Twitter History of Tai Chi in 5 Stages Stage 1: The Mongoose In the beginning, the world was composed of 10,000 things, mostly serpents and mongooses fighting each other in an unobserved manner. Later, a few human beings occupied the planet, mostly stiff and awkward types practicing single martial postures, bringing to mind those displayed by John Saxon in Enter the Dragon. Stage 2: The Pritt Stick Onto this stage comes Chang San

  • The History of Tai Chi Episode 7

    28/10/2013 Duración: 12min

    Where did TC begin and why? What were the reasons behind the splits in styles and techniques and why, after centuries of evolution do such squabbles between stylists still enrage even the most placid of practitioners. Find out in this weeks episode part 1 of The Fascinating, but schizophrenic history of Tai Chi Chuan

  • A Lack of Uniformity

    10/10/2013 Duración: 09min

    In Karate and Judo, In aikido and Hapkido, in kendo and taekwondo there are uniforms, belts and gradings. You know where you are with a Japanese or Korean Art. But in Tai Chi, there is nothing. No costumes, no headscarfs, no ninja styled fingerless gloves. So why are some classes then taught by nights in white satin and others in jeans and flip-flops, and what does uniformity say about you and your class? Find out on This weeks episode of Talking Tai Chi with the Teapotmonk

  • What is rooting? Episode 4

    02/09/2013 Duración: 07min

    *What do we mean by learning to root? *Can Tai chi claim to offering better rooting skills or training than other disciplines? *And What practical use is Rooting outside a text book glossary? All this and more in this weeks episode of Talking Tai Chi with the Teapotmonk.

  • Yielding and Sticking: Episode 3

    11/08/2013 Duración: 09min

    Last episode we spoke about what happens in a TC class and today we are going to explore the crucial concepts of 'Yielding', ' and Sticking . I'm going to try and keep the topics broad and hopefully applicable to all the different styles and variations of TC out there. and I'm going to try and make the concepts useful, as Is the way of Bean Curd Boxing...applicable to your life outside the confines of the training hall. What is BEANCURDBOXIng? Come over. To and find out.

  • What Happens in a Tai Chi Class?

    04/07/2013 Duración: 10min

    Welcome to this weeks episode where we ask the simple, but surprisingly complex question... Q2. What happens in a Tai Chi Class? A. Well, The short answer is that in a class of Tai Chi, you learn tai chi. The content of that learning experience however can vary from school to school, from teacher to teacher so much, that books and web sites and DVD's recommending one version over another, one style over another don't help an awful deal. What really helps is not how much you know about tai chi, but how much you know about yourself Let me explain that a little. What one person sees as soft, another sees as hard. What one sees as slow, another sees as fast. My dog can run pretty fast. But put against a greyhound and he looks like a tortoise. We think of a tortoise as a slow mover, but put one against a snail and youve got one speedy shelled creature - and so it goes on. I have been to beginners classes that have had an inordinately complex structure. (for me) but for the teacher they have epitomized si

  • What is Tai Chi?

    24/06/2013 Duración: 08min

    Hi welcome to Talking Tai Chi with the teapotmonk. Today we begin out journey and start our exploration of what is Tai Chi. But instead of defining it - a rather meaningless task given the enormous cultural and linguistic issues involved, I'm going to begin with a question that is not only fundamental to all beginners of the art, but of equal importance to teachers, intermediate students and everyone seeking to improve their practice. WHY LEARN TAI CHI? A. Perhaps this is the question that begins our journey, but it is also the question to which we return again and again. Why learn, why practice for decades and why invest so much time and energy into this most noble of arts? Clearly, the answer will vary from person to person, but as a teacher im aware that a greater and greater number of students cite "health" as their primary motive. At times, health is referred to in physical terms, others mentally, spiritually, philosophically or even culturally. It is a complex picture, but throughout these podcas