Tai Chi-riquí

What else would you call a Group of people practicing and promoting the ancient martial art-for-health tradition of Tai Chi, in the Chiriqui Province of Panama ?

We are people practicing Traditional Yang-style Tai Chi in various locations within Panama's beautiful Chiriquí Province. Classes are currently held in Davíd and Boquete. For more information, email: [email protected] or call 6792-4455.

I cannot describe how wonderful it was to see and practice with these excellent Students / beautiful human beings !
No puedo describir lo maravilloso que fue ver y practicar con estos excelentes estudiantes / hermosos seres humanos !

Deng Ming-Dao


A moving door hinge never corrodes.
Flowing water never grows stagnant.

Even in the autumn of your life, you cannot give up growth. If you do, you only invite decline.
All the different aspects of a person -- body, mind, and spirit -- have one curious quality: If they cease to be exercised, they stop growing. Once they stop growing, they begin to atrophy. That is why, no matter how much you have accomplished and no matter how old you are, you must keep exercising all parts of yourself.
We only grow when we are challenged. Muscles do not strengthen without resistance. Mental faculties do not sharpen without critical thinking. The spirit does not soar without something to excite it. It may seem like a great effort to constantly try new things, but unless you do, you fall out of your heights very quickly. The constancy of physical exercise, varied from time to time into new routines, and the constancy of mental and spiritual challenges are essential to stave off the infirmities of aging.
We cannot reverse aging completely, but we can slow it down. As long as we are vital, we will not suffer as much. Although aging is natural, sometimes following Tao means more than following the route of least resistance. Why slide into old age, illness, and senility? The way of challenging oneself is also a valid but difficult path. Sometimes Tao chooses the difficult over the easy.

Deng Ming-Dao is the author of 365 Tao, Chronicles of Tao, Everyday Tao, Scholar Warrior, Each Journey Begins With a Single Step, and others.

Deng Ming-Dao


Many people are confused why Taijiquan (and also Xingyiquan and Baguazhang) can be spiritual. Isn’t a martial art for fighting?

Taiji is one of the internal arts (neijia). That means that it works with one’s inner energy (qi), cultivates the mind (yi), and is deeply rooted in philosophy (Taoism and the I Ching). While self-defense is part of its training, its relationship to Taoism means that it focuses on knowing oneself, preserving life, and gaining insight into the deepest questions of this existence.

Taiji is a continuum. It takes you away from conflict and gives you a sequence of exercises to teach moving meditation and preservation through yielding.

Taiji is internal. And by looking within, you can know all under heaven.

My Teacher's newest book . . .


I just received the advance shipment of my latest book: “The Way of Heart & Beauty.”

It’s a collection of passages drawn from the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism), and they each center on either the word “heart” or “beauty.”

In Chinese, the word xin-心means both mind and heart. Most translations render xin as mind. While that’s valid, it inadvertently excludes emotion, intuition, and the whole person. So I wondered: what if we instead used the word heart? In English, it can give us an entirely different understanding.

“A great person won’t lose their infant heart,” said Mengzi (Mencius).

What do our hearts prize? Beauty. Again, this word is often translated as a euphemism, like, “the greatest social good.” But what if beauty means beauty? “The Tao of the Early Kings was to cleave to beauty,” wrote Confucius.

I’m proud of this book. I invite you to read it.





parkinsonargentina.blogspot.com El Tai Chi puede mejorar el equilibrio y prevenir caídas entre las personas con la enfermedad de Parkinson. Después de seis mese...

OMG, now the ancient art of Taiji, like Yoga, can be learned in a weekend TO TEACH ! Maybe they should just call it something else, and not try to encourage people to "become Taiji teachers" just by taking one class ?

AN OPEN CALL FOR TAI CHI INSTRUCTORS, YOGA TEACHERS AND FITNESS TRAINERS. Do you want to work with our country's veterans to help them overcome depression, PTSD and chronic pain? We are working to place instructors in classes NOW.


Appreciating the Paradox of Aging

psychologytoday.com The way we age needs updating.


One of the best insights to Tai Chi I've read...at least it's most in line with the way(s) I'VE been taught . . .

One of the best insights to Tai Chi I've read...at least it's most in line with the way(s) I'VE been taught . . .


Easing Ills through Tai Chi

harvardmagazine.com Researchers study the benefits of this mind-body exercise.

Tai Chi-riquí @ Los Molinos

To celebrate Tai Chi continuing in Boquete, now in our SIXTH YEAR, here's a video of an earlier group doing The Form at Los Molinos . . .

Now that the roads are in better shape and the Holidays behind us,
Tai Chi will resume at The Haven Spa.

MONDAY: 10-11 Advanced class - for those who have some knowledge of the 24 Yang form.
11-12 Beginning 8 week Tai Chi class - START NOW !

THURSDAY: 10-11 Beginning Chi Kung and Push Hands.
11-12 Beginning 8 week Tai Chi class.

For more info, email Art at [email protected]

An impressive individual, and my first Sifu, is greatly missed.


Control your breath, control the match

weblog.tozando.com In sports, many believe that breathing is important, and that is the same in Japanese Budo. Moving in the rhythm of your breathing gives your greater strength and speed, and brings out the best of …

Taichi Sanisidro

Tai Chi can be seen from the outside as a pattern or structure, but what is happening inside the body must be very different.
Tai Chi is neither a fixed structure nor chaos.
Not this.
Not that.
It is a different type of organization, we can not know it just by learning a set of schematic movements.

Chung Lian Huang

El taichi puede ser visto desde afuera como un patrón o estructra, pero lo que está ocurriendo dentro del cuerpo debe ser muy distinto.
El taichi no es ni una estructura fija ni el caos.
Ni esto.
Ni aquello.
Es un tipo diferente de organización, no podemos conocerla con sólo aprender un conjunto de movimientos esquematizados.

Al Chung Lian Huang

Deng Ming-Dao


What does it mean to have a practice? It means we have the ability to remake ourselves. We don’t have to be defined by others, or by accident, or even by wealth and opportunity. We have a method, and we use it. We do what few other people are willing to do—to make many small acts each day that build into massive change. That’s how we safeguard our health and our sanity.

What does it mean to have a practice? It means that we understand that there are no quick changes. That the only way to have a chance of moving with the seasons, with circumstance, and with aging, is to make many gradual alterations. That takes patience and it takes perseverance. That steady effort is all we really need.

What does it mean to have a practice? It means that we clear our minds, that we participate in each day, that we adjust cheerfully and quickly to any changes in our lives, that we manage to continue our practice even as we answer all our other obligations.

What does it mean to have a practice? It means we are fully centered in ourselves. We are seldom overwhelmed or shocked—because we have constantly oriented ourselves each day.


Figures in Landscape Setting
Ren Xiong (1827–1857)
Album of twelve leaves: ink and color on paper

Tiny Buddha

[10/23/18]   ALL Tai Chi classes at The Haven or anywhere else in Boquete are CANCELLED until 3 December. PLEASE keep practicing . . .

Deng Ming-Dao


We talk vaguely about a person’s power. We might mention it for athletes, or maybe for a strong worker. But ordinary people don’t give priority to accumulating their power.

Qigong people think differently. They work to build their power each day because that is the source of their strength, longevity, and mental vitality.

The first task is not to lose power to stress, overwork, bad habits (smoking, drinking, unhealthy foods), poor sleep, dirty air, and extreme lifestyles. The next task is to build one’s health through a proper diet, good sleep, and vigorous daily training. Finally, one has to understand the mental and spiritual aspects, preserve one’s energy, and thereby achieve tremendous presence.

A feeble breeze won’t even move a stalk; a whirlwind topples a house. In both cases, it’s only moving air. What, then is the difference? Concentrated power. One person has the same potential as the next. What, then is the difference? Concentrated power.

If you want that, then follow Tao.


One of a twenty-part series published every Friday here on Facebook only.


Falls Prevention Awareness Day | NCOA

You don't have to be as old as these people to START getting the many Benefits NOW !

ncoa.org Get ideas to celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day in your community on September 23, 2015.

The New York Times - Well - Health

ANOTHER great article with links for the actual "studies" mentioned !

OTRO gran artículo con enlaces para los "estudios" mencionados !

Tai chi may be the activity that can help to increase your stamina and diminish your risk of injury, Jane Brody writes.

Winged Lion School of Tai Chi - Santa Fe, NM

Deng Ming-Dao


Qigong is an ancient Chinese form of health exercise. The words literally mean “breath training.” The techniques span a full range from meditative practices, slow movements, stretching, and both anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Qigong can be summed up as energy training.

Qigong has Taoist origins. Pursuing longevity by preserving, compounding, and circulating energy has been studied for thousands of years. If you want to live long, you have to keep your energy; overcome blockage and stagnation; heal from illness; maintain flexibility and strength; be undeterred by stress; and retain your mental powers. Qigong does all of that.

Like any precious resource, we can steward our breath or we can waste it. The art of qigong is the art of preserving life. We should all take advantage of it.


One of a twenty-part series published every Friday here on Facebook only.

Deng Ming-Dao

Hola Artchi !


There’s another name for martial arts in Chinese besides kung fu (gongfu) or wushu: guoshu. It means “national art,” or perhaps, “the country’s art.”

This video underscores the point. Chinese martial arts were for the people, preserved by the people, and they were a part of the people’s daily life. Look at the background of this video. No fancy gyms, no stadium with a chanting crowd, no vendors selling fast food. The video is grainy, and what we might call its corny music has playback problems. That only emphasizes how basic everything was, even as the people had great hopes for guoshu in those days. Today, we might laugh at how primitive this was. But it represents the Chinese culture I know so well: start from nothing, don’t be ashamed, and build yourself up.

Everyone tried to contribute. Back then, one could chance upon a master and learn a lifelong art. Someone would teach another person not because of money, but because the student was sincere and devoted. That sincerity was important to the master—not whether the person had money, position, or the athletic potential to win gold medals. There was a lot of pride in guoshu as the martial artists tried to build the health and morale of the people at a dire point in history.*

If you practice martial arts, don’t forget that the fancy silk costumes with embroidered dragons, the adoring audiences, and the media presence are modern ways. If you’re a teacher, remember that the real importance is whether a student needs help and guidance, is sincere, and has passion. Everything else is a distant second.

Yes, we take advantage of gyms with machines, better nutrition, and advanced training methods. But don’t just modernize, and don’t plunder guoshu for its commercial potential or even its benefits. There was a reason why those benefits were gathered to make the national art: because being the people’s art is still the true standard.



* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Guoshu_Institute

Deng Ming-Dao

All Students please read . . .
Todo los Alumnos leer por favor . . .


When I first started learning Taiji in 1975, I didn’t know what I was doing. I only chose Taiji because I had seen Master Kuo Lien Ying* and his students in the early morning fog, and because it was supposed to be the martial art for scholarly people. I had hoped that what little intelligence I had might compensate for my even greater lack of athletic potential. That, of course, was a naive view. Taiji does combine body and mind, but with far greater sophistication than my rudimentary conjectures.

The word “present” is bandied about carelessly these days. But I wonder if that’s at the center of this question. How are we present? To be present is to be in our bodies. That might be obvious, but our minds can be a “million miles away.” A prisoner certainly doesn’t want to be locked away and longs to be elsewhere. I imagine the boys recently rescued from a Thai cave thought often of their homes. How can we be unified in a single place, both physically and mentally? We want that because it feels comforting and good. We feel belonging and peace.

We are not in a single mental mode at all times. Perhaps here the sixty-four hexagrams of the “I Ching” are a good model. We can be in many different states, and different parts of our personalities can be in the lead at varying times. We could be unconscious (but still functioning), or we could be so absorbed in abstract ideas that we forget our physicality (I don’t know if it’s apocryphal, but there’s a story about Einstein rousing himself from thought and not remembering how to operate a doorknob to get out of the room). Taiji shows us how to balance complex movement, thought, intention, and stillness.

If we have a daily practice of movement and meditation, we can regularly return to a centered state. That anchors all our other activities. Then we can be present as we move with body, mind, and spirit in perfect balance.

Taiji IS the martial art of the mind—but it’s a mind that is stillness in movement.

Video of Chen Taiji master Lei Mu-ni (1911–1986), disciple of Chen Fa-ke (1867–1957)

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuo_Lien_Ying

Deng Ming-Dao

dón Arturo . . .


This is the story of a dedicated master who continued to ponder and change his teaching over many decades. He taught the martial art of Wing Chun, but even if you don’t practice martial arts, you’ll appreciate how he respected his tradition and yet searched for new ways to teach it more quickly and effectively to his students. If you do practice a martial art, this master’s thinking and integrity is worth appreciating and emulating.

Chu Shong Ting (1913–2014)* was the third student of the increasingly popular Ip Man (1893–1972; Ip Man is often associated with his most famous student, Bruce Lee). The Hong Kong Restaurant Workers Union invited Ip to teach Wing Chun† and the training was held in a restaurant where Chu was then a seventeen-year-old secretary. This, too, is true to old Chinese culture: martial arts was embedded in daily life and not always isolated in schools. Also true to so many stories: Chu was not athletic at all. He was weak and underweight, describing himself as having biceps the same diameter as his wrists. Ip Man still accepted him—also true to the old time masters—and Chu built himself up through a constant practice of Wing Chun.

When Chu first became a teacher in his own right, he taught exactly as he had been taught. He worked personally with each student, always playing the defensive role and working his students until they got tired. He realized that he was getting ten times the practice of anyone, and as a consequence, he felt that he was progressing the most. He kept asking himself how he could show his students to improve as much as he had.

Wing Chun has three sets, but Chu emphasized the first one, called Siu Nim Tao (usually translated as The Little Idea). He asked Ip Man the meaning of the name, but each time, the grandmaster only replied tersely: “to establish intention.”†

Chu kept asking himself: how had he gotten his stamina and power? His answer: through relaxation. That meant he didn’t tense up, he didn’t use muscular strength, and he could respond swiftly and overwhelmingly to any attack. He further reasoned that his strength came without using his “normal thinking brain.”

He concluded that he was using a different part of the brain than usual and that was the meaning to Siu Nim Tao. So he adjusted his teaching, and he eventually found that students benefitted from his methods. He used a straight spine, tucked-in tailbone, closed anus, and concentration on a small part of the brain. The body was to be relaxed at all times.

The methods coincide with Taijiquan and Taoist philosophy, although Chu doesn’t mention that he was aware of these traditions. I say that not to take anything away from him. Rather, I am reassured that he discovered the same things. When someone comes to the same conclusions independently, it underscores the truth of the discoveries.

This is the wisdom of a master who adjusts. Every good teacher does that. The surest sign of a good master is how they continue to research, practice, and drive for improvement. Good teachers change the sets and modify their methods. It’s that dedication and sensibility that I admire the most, and why I keep learning from living teachers.



* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Shong-tin

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David, Chiriqui, Panama
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