“I found the seminar with shifu Tony very interesting. I would have liked to had an 8 hour class to practice some of the things he did. One of things I learned was how he lowered the energy from the abdomen to the lower back when I pushed on him. This creates great root. This is different from how I hold the energy. I carry the energy higher and harder to protect against getting hurt with a strike. I do not get much root with this technique. I have been working on his method since the class. I also noticed how he used the feet to create a wave off of the floor when he delivered a strike. I have not seen a tai chi player do this before. The method he used is a little different than the method I have seen used. I will also try to incorporate this. His torso strikes were impressive. He has a great fluidity in the waist. I think that works well for him and his body structure. He generates great power with those movements. We can all strive to be more fluid and at the same time connected. I was also impressed with the way he used the legs as if they were additional hands. I also like how he took away some of the mystical aspects of tai chi. He talks like normal guy just teaching something he has a passion about. I would appreciate the opportunity to have him return so we could get feedback on some of the things we took from the seminar.
Thank you for creating such an enjoyable environment to study. The Sunday class is truly one of the events I look forward to.”
“I’m really glad I didn’t miss that class. Sifu Tony Wong actually reminds me a bit of my sifu in Boston. It is really good to keep hearing about centering, relaxing, etc. I get more out of it each time, especially when it’s presented by different people. It was also nice to see more of the martial applications, although it seems that when I go up for someone to demonstrate a move on me, I seem to forget all the principles I know – something to continue to work on. Hopefully, we can have more classes like this periodically. Oh, and I definitely want to learn cannon fist at some point, after I’m finished being a slave to CSU. Thanks for organizing the class.”
“I’ve thought a lot about the special class with Shifu Tony this week, and the two things I keep coming back to are his discussions of standing meditation and the “life gate.” I really enjoyed his discussion of standing meditation. When I’m practicing standing, I find it very difficult to find my posture and focus on my breathing, while letting everything else go. I was really struck by how easy it was for Shifu Tony to find his posture and stay there, perfectly relaxed and comfortable for the entire time he was discussing that particular topic. That being said, his story about watching and trying to mimic his teacher who said the posture “was natural” underscored the fact that it’s a deceptively simple posture that takes constant practice and patience to master.
I’ve also thought about his discussion of the “life gate” and how important it is to drop the tailbone and relax the qua in order to achieve the correct standing posture (but that can also be applied to many other postures). Again, this is something I’ve struggled with, and in watching Shifu Tony, I’ve realized I’ve been focusing too much on trying to drop my tailbone. During class on Tuesday, I tried to do both, and I found it very difficult. It is, however, something I’m going to keep trying to do.
Overall, I really enjoyed the special class last week, and I feel that there was a lot of information provided but that I only focused on a few small parts. I am hoping, though, to applied what I learned to my own practice, and I’m looking forward to attending more classes like this in the future. Thank you again for arranging the special class. See you tomorrow!”
“Just wanted to say how much we really enjoyed the special class with Shifu Wong on Sunday. I particularly enjoyed watching the martial arts application. Thanks for inviting him to Boulder, and we look forward to seeing Shifu Wong again soon.”
-Robin Hodge & Boba Stankov
“This special class is very helpful for me to understand more about Taiji / Qigong and it’s application in real life. It is a good way to achieve the harmony of both body and mind. Or it will help me live naturally. I think I’ll keep my steady learning and efforts. As I learn more, I feel better. At the same time, I would like to thank you for your efforts and time put into the events.”
“Thank you for arranging the special class last Sunday.
It’s always good to have the chance to see the demonstrations and to get the teachings from different masters. Because, I believe that nobody is perfect and everybody has his/her own strength. We can always expand our horizon by watching and learning from different people especially from those experienced ones.
For example, after learning TaiChi for so many years, I was still confused about what Peng, Lu, Ji and An really are. With Shifu Tony Wong’s detailed description and demonstration, I think If I finally have a grasp of them. I was very happy about that.
Hope we can have sessions like this more often.”
“The presentation by Shifu Tony Wong this morning was incredible. He was amazing. I was
entertained and inspired. I just loved it and I learned a lot. I want to thank you so much for all
your effort to bring him here. It was wonderful even for a beginner such as me.”
“Items I learned:
Standing practice: three pressure points aligned, when looking from the side: Baihui, Huiyin, and Yongquan
Taichi 8 energies (or Taichi 13 postures): Peng, Lv, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao. I like this part most, although I feel I have still a lot more to learn regarding to the 13 postures.
Thanks a lot for organizing this special class.”
“It was truly an inspiration and delight to attend the presentation by Sifu Tony Wong.
Students, like myself, constantly read all the research and books about Tai Chi and watch all the videos available to us. But nothing can duplicate being in the presence of a Master like Tony Wong. Seeing him constantly “centered” in his every moment evokes a sense of power that is hard to describe. The class made me realize how important the Wuji form is and gave me renewed importance in the standing meditation, which now will be easier to work on.
Sifu Tony’s discussion of Qigong was quite thorough regarding the dantien. I especially like his poetic imagery of how we should visualize the lower dantien ( i.e. as a lotus blossom or Jesus or whatever evokes in you that kind of feeling). The use of imagery like that is worth a thousand words. He also taught a quick way to locate the lower dantien using the Laogong.
Many other areas and concepts were covered (peng, etc.) which will give me a direction for further study.
In this age of materialism, where everything has a dollar value put to it, this opportunity was priceless. Sifu Wong gave our club the gift of sharing his treasures with us. Thank you Laura and all who helped to make it happen.”
“Basically, I came away from the class feeling very confused. I found myself questioning my motive for studying Tai Chi. The thought that kept running through my mind was, “Why am I doing this?” I can’t remember being in a fight since I was about 12 years old and I doubt very much that I will even be in a fight again. SO, why am I devoting time and effort to learning something that is designed to defeat an opponent in a fight? Up until now I have been looking at Tai Chi as an intrinsically interesting form of physical and mental exercise, almost like a dance or some other art form. Two weeks ago the martial roots of the practice were brought home to me, however, and I felt disoriented. This feeling was exacerbated because I do not know Chen style and could not relate to the explanations for the particular move we were shown. It all seemed very much over my head and I can’t say that I actually learned anything from the class. Nor did I have any idea why we were doing the new patterns he had us practice as a group at the end of class.
IF I were a more advanced student perhaps things would have made more sense to me. As it is, after being away for a year I am struggling to get my head back into the game and, unfortunately, this didn’t help much.”
“First, thanks for organizing the event. It’s an eye opener for me to see the martial art side of the Tai Chi practice, even if my interest in Tai Chi is more on meditation side. I’d highly recommend we have this again if possible.
I also find Master Tony’s explanation on Wu Ji Stand is very helpful. I find imagining a lotus in my Dan Tian area, and it breath together with me, helps my abdominal breath more naturally, and helps me getting closer to the Wu Ji state.
Both Master Tony and you have expressed the importance of self practice. 师傅领进门 修行在个人. Thanks for pointing the right direction.”
“Added March 6, 2009 I do not have a background in Qigong and very little in Tai Chi but fully appreciated and enjoyed Sifu Wong’s very inspiring presentation. His energy, enthusiasm and expertise left me wanting to learn and practice even more.
Thanks so much for sharing him with us.”
“1. We think Sifu Wong’s presentation was a good overview. He covered a wide range of subjects and concepts from Qigong to the Tai Chi martial arts application.
2. He asked the class many times if there were any questions.
3. It seemed to us that the class was far more knowledgeable regarding the martial arts skills than they were of the Qigong involved. One comes to this conclusion based on the fact that there were many questions for the Sifu regarding the form and almost no questions regarding the Qigong. One very often asks questions about something they know a little about but very rarely ask about things they know not much about. This is because it takes a background in something to “put together a meaningful question”. It seems that the exact location of common points such as the Baihui, Huiyin, Yongquan, Mingman and Laogong are needed to understand and fully appreciate the information being presented.
4. Sifu Wong has performed another service in that he has stimulated us and given us direction in learning more about Peng. After listening to his presentation we have a new area of importance to explore now.
5. In this age of materialism it is refreshing to be able to receive the “gift” of Sifu Wong’s generousity in sharing his treasures with us. Many thanks to Laura for making it happen.”
“I really enjoyed our special class this week with Shifu Tony Wong. It was wonderful to be able to internalize some of his energy, movement and postural ways of being. The learning went deep.
The meditation reminders were also important to me, and the demonstrations astounding. He is charming and disarming, and a joy to be around.”
“重為輕根 靜為躁君….” (zhong` wei´ qing gen, jing` wei´ zao` jun)
Heavy is the root of light, tranquility is the master of restless…
~道德經, Lao Tsu Tao Te Ching, 26, modified translation~
天下有始 以為天下母 既知其母 以知其子 既知其子 復守其母 沒身不殆
塞其兌 閉其門 終身不勤 開其兌 濟其事 終身不救
見小曰明 守柔曰強 用其光 復歸其明 無遺身殃 是為習常
The beginning of the universe maybe called the Mother of the world.
Once we discover the Mother, we can know the children.
Once we know the children, we should return and cleave to the mother.
Even though the body may die, there is no danger.
Close the mouth, shut the door, and to the end of life do not strain.
Open the mouth, increase involvements, and be helpless to the end of life.
To value the lesser is enlightenment.
To cleave to the gentle is steadfastness.
Use bright intellect, but return to englightenment.
Do not ask for trouble,
This is “practicing longevity.”
~道德經, Tao Te Ching, 52, Lao-Tzu: “My words are very easy to understand” by Man-jan Cheng, translation by Tam C. Gibbs~”
“I know that I’ve heard before that everyone’s form is different, but I’m not sure that it really sank in. Every time I think I’m getting close to understanding something, I just realize how much more I have to learn. I know that I have a lot to work on with maintaining my center, but watching Sifu Tony’s forms made me realize how incredibly grounded he was. I also feel like I learned more about the martial applications of the form. Despite being told many times that its the principle of a move that matters, it had not occurred to me that the martialapplications were more of variations of the form, rather than set in stone movements. Overall, I really enjoyed the class, though I wish I could have heard better.”
“The presentation by Shifu Tony Wong was excellent, and quite moving. I appreciated how he emphasized both the meditative practices and martial arts applications. It was the first time I had ever seen Tai Chi demonstrated as a form of self-defense. I left the class energized and inspired, and have been experimenting with his suggestions for standing meditation and checking one’s balance in the midst of movement.
Thank you for inviting him.”
“As I haven’t learned mini-chen yet, I could tell there was a lot of information he covered that went straight over my head. I very much enjoyed his talk about standing meditation, and the focus on how there is no “right” way to stand as long as it is natural. I also liked that natural did not mean slouching or bad posture. His exercises at the end of the class were interesting, although admittedly I had birthday plans immediately after class so was a little anxious to leave and feel that detracted from the experience. While I wasn’t able to recognize the forms as well, the use of tai chi in general focusing on the martial side of the art was also very interesting.“
“Thank you very much for all your efforts to make our special class happen!
I have so much to learn and the subtleties are so profound within Tai Chi, the movements, the focus, the intent, and proper form. I learn something unique from every instructor and each has a unique perspective to share.
Addressing so many of the “basics” brought to light little points I don’t recall hearing before… how to find my center using the size and points in the palm of my hand, positioning my shoulders like a coat hanger to properly display a coat during standing meditation, what is natural to me may be a bit different from someone else, different hand positions for standng meditation, paying attention to being in the “ready position”, and the list goes on. Watching Tony perform his warm-up routines, understanding their intent was beautiful and awe inspiring.
Tony is genuinely a graceful and gracious individual, very willing to accomodate any and all questions. What a gift he was to our class.
Thank you for providing me the opportunity to share in the joy of observing Tony’s excellence.”-
“Thank you for arranging and bringing the special class last Sunday.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and got a deeper appreciation of the scope and meaning
of Tai Chi. The importance of integrated whole body movement during practice
became clearer, and hopefully some of it I will be able to implement and practice immediately. Watching and listening to the applications of the separate postures was illuminating. Perhaps we could do more of this in class.
I have heard a number of people making comments on the poor acoustics in the
hall; I agree: many times I too have trouble hearing all the words. Perhaps the
club could invest in a wireless microphone-speaker system which would not interfere
with movement or posture demonstrations. I would be willing to contribute towards such
a setup. “
“The workshop with Sifu Wong was quite INSPIRATIONAL and has encouraged me to RE-EVALUATE my Tai-Chi Chuan practice. Having the time to sit down with Sifu Wong and learn about both his professional and martial arts backgrounds, I now have some idea as to how much DEDICATION, in other words time, effort and understanding will be required from me to reach some of my goals in the realm of Tai-Chi Chuan.
Thank you for making the workshop possible.”
“I am very grateful to everyone involved in bringing Shifu Tony to Boulder. It is always instructive and enjoyable to be taught by a skilled practitioner. In particular his demonstrations were very effective in connecting his words with actions. In point of fact most of his words and the concepts described are not new to me, nor I suspect to many in the club. For example, I mostly know what is meant by the 13 postures, a concept to which I was introduced (in differing words) before Tai Chi was even a glimmer in my mind. But I still don’t understand this concept in its physical sense. I feel that Shifu Tony’s demonstrations have contributed to a greater understanding both in an intellectual sense and in a physical. Intellectually, when watching the demonstrations I found myself thinking along the lines of
what was happening anatomically. I could clearly see Shifu Tony’s axial skeleton being differentiated from his appendicular skeleton – most people who I watch move, do not have clear differentiation. For example when I watch myself push out with my arms I see my spine being pulled along not of its own volition. There isn’t a clear path to the motion. Physically, the demonstrations – especially martial applications – brought home some lessons that I have not been mindful of. The visible level of relaxation in his movements as well as the clear path of energy/motion through his body are the two most prominent that come to mind. I imagine many more will come to mind as a further unpack Shifu Tony’s demonstrations. I hope that in the future more of such classes will be possible.”
“Thank you for inviting Shifu Tony to our class! I no doubt have heard before a number of things that he taught us, but here are a few that sunk in for me on Sunday:
1. The importance of the wuji stance to check if I am centered, to note where my body has problems that would block the flow of qi, and in being ready to move in any direction.
2. For the wuji stance, to lift the crown of my hear up, tuck my chin, relax my shoulders, and tuck my pelvis but then relax.
3. In the pung movement, to sink my body down while moving my arms upward.
4. I was also surprised (in a positive way) to see how movements we are learning translate into martial arts applications.”
“I enjoyed watching the event. It was difficult to hear part of what was said and being new student I felt that some of the things presented was too advanced.
But overall It was very interesting to watch a master in Martial arts.”
“There are many level on which I benefited from Shifu Tony’s visit. At the most basic level I very much enjoyed seeing the demonstrations on the healing and martial aspects of Tai Chi. I am ever interested in the martial aspect of Tai Chi (possibly because it is much easier to understand the intent then that of the inner aspect of Tai Chi). I’d love to start doing two person Tai Chi at some future date. This leads me into the next level of understanding that I took away from class.
Basically, I learned that I have really not learned very much. I imagine it’s like getting to the top of a mountain just to see that you are on top of the first of many such mountains. Oddly, I find this feeling quite reassuring. I guess knowing where you are brings a certain amount of stillness and zest for the journey ahead.
I think that Shifu Tony’s visit coincided with my being open to hearing what he had to offer. Similarly, I think I am beginning to hear and maybe understand your teachings as well.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the words to describe what I have been feeling over the last month (and more so this past week). I just know that it feels deep, radiant and peaceful.”
“Master Wong’s visit was motivating and inspiring. I heard him say many things I have heard before yet his rephrasing added yet another small but important dimension to my practice. His reminders to concentrate on opening the life gate and pursuing dantien rotation as part of the practice are well taken. I appreciated seeing applications of many postures and movements that I have practiced multiple times. Understanding the meaning behind them makes me want to execute them more fully and with the intention they deserve. I appreciate Laura and other Club members taking he time and energy to bring additional perspectives on taiji to us and hope we can make this an annual type of event.”
“The thing I got most from Tony Wong was to witness and feel an open structure that worked with great unity and awareness, and was able to transmit intention to the outside very well. I could identify some of my own stuck points and areas of frustration and see a different way to be, or more accurately, a different way to feel, through his demonstrations and in practice with him.”
“Thank you for bringing Shifu Tony Wong to class. I am still processing a lot of what I saw. Some things that came to mind it the importance of wu-chi, and that at any time during tai chi one can check into wu-chi state and ask if I am stable. We have talked about that a lot in class but it was informative to have Tony show it. Watching him made it easy to see his stability. The Peng, Lu, Ji and An practice was good and I am still trying to figure out how the Peng has a elongation or rising of the hip. It is hard for me to be solid on up. I also liked the fast breath out on certain moves, he moved a very small distance but had a lot of force, and it seemed to have a smoothness about it.”
“Thank you for inviting Tony this past Sunday. It was wonderful to see his Tai Chi. As a beginner, I don’t know enough about his movements, but they struck me as very graceful yet precise and potent when used against an offender. It is inspiring to see how one’s Tai Chi practice could possibly turn into something so beautiful and useful. I hope the club can invite more future guests like Tony.”
“From Tony Wong’s tai chi workshop, I observed that regardless of our interest in its health or application, it all comes down to the practice of the foundations which carry into our forms, push hand, fan jin, shaking and weapons. The practice of the foundations will allow me to get into the “ready” state quicker. My near term goal is to spend more time practicing the foundations and integrate them in my form and push hand practices. I also noticed from his fan jin, shaking, long pole and push hand demo, they all have a similarity where energy was released at a split second when he was in his “ready” state. It was comforting to know that there is no mystery in tai chi. All it takes is to know what to practice and it is a life-long process.”
“I appreciated having the opportunity to take the Sunday class with Sifu Tony. I also appreciate the effort involved in creating such an opportunity.
It is always useful to see a skilled martial artist move. His movements were all natural and conformed with what he outlined in his talk. Alignment and natural motion. His expression of fa jing was impressive.
It seems to me that traditional teachers always talk about being natural. Over and over natural. Contemporary teachers look for the basics of alignment, signposts to offer their students. I appreciated his discussion of the basic alignment of bai hui, hui yin and yongquan. The importance of keeping ming men open. The idea of breathing through the umbilicus. These last two points I think are especially important for me. He combined these guiding principles with the recognition that each person develops their own expression, their own personality comes out in their movement. I think I could spend a lot of time contemplating what it means to be natural. I was sorry I had to leave early due to family commitments. I was enjoying the exercises he was sharing. I would have loved to have experienced his push hands. I especially enjoyed the exercises.”
“I thought this event was exceptional and really appreciated the work you all did to bring Master Tony here. There were many things that I took away from this class. He was an energetic speaker who told wonderful stories and was able to teach in an auditory AND visual style. The important ones for me:
1. A better understanding of standing meditation.
2. A better appreciation of the martial art applications
3. The soft and powerful styles are a reflection of you, your body and personality
4. The importance of maintaining your center
5. The importance of your body position with respect to your final intention
6. There is no right and wrong way in the many forms, only the principles are important.
I think having these events once or twice a year enhances our understanding and appreciation of the art and would be well worth paying for.”
“I want to extend my gratitude to you for this excellent event. Master Tony has many layers of exceptional qualities. He is humble, patient and deeply knowledgeable in Kunfu. Also his humor and energy are great motivators.”
“I found the special class with Sifu Wong to be quite illuminating as well as inspiring to my continuing cultivation of Qigong, Neigong and Tai Chi.Beyond his deep knowledge of internal energy and martial prowess, I experienced him as gracious, generous and with a wonderful sense of humor.
The elements in the class I found to be the most interesting were:
1. His approach to the structure and internal dynamics of Wu Chi standing practice, especially his particular characterization of the lower Dantian, and the emphasis on finding one’s center directly through internal alignment of the Baihui, Huiyinn &Yong Quan points instead of externally attempting to balance left-right-front-back.
2. The relationship of static and moving central equilibrium and elasticity to the 4 Energies of Peng, Lu, Ji and An and the exercise he taught that embodies these.
3. The experience of pushing hands with him, experiencing the seamless relationship of his rooting power, waist turning, and opening/closing of the upper torso and his reminder to me to increase my sinking and rooting through the legs.
4. The martial applications of the Chen forms.”
“What did I learn:
Short answer – I don’t know.
Long answer – I really don’t know.
It was a fascinating class, but I left more confused than anything else. There were things that I think I will understand in the coming months, and things that I suspect I will never understand until they are told to me again at another time.
A lot of the class felt like understanding what ‘ground’ is. I really only figured out what it meant around Christmas, before then I thought I had an understanding but it was superficial. There were a lot of words on the class, but at the moment that’s all I could understand.”
“As a beginner, I too really enjoyed Master Tony Wong’s talk and demonstration. I think that it’s helpful to occasionally see how others are practicing and teaching Tai Chi. I was very impressed by his discussion and demonstration of his basic standing posture, and how he attempts to keep the basic posture throughout the form and the martial movements. And he is an engaging speaker as well. There was much more information that I can possibly absorb as a new student, but I did take away many visual images of his movements.
Thank you for arranging his visit; I think that it would be appropriate to invite guest speakers perhaps two or three times each year, and I am willing to contribute a modest surcharge for that purpose.”