We make a serious effort to train the specific taiji system taught by Patrick Kelly, the only non-Chinese "inner school" student of Huang Xingxian. Our group is led by Charlie Liu, a novice student of Patrick. An article by PK (in both Chinese and English) on HXX and the path we try to follow in this group here.
Our main aim is to develop ourselves internally, and we train taiji to establish a solid base for the deeper meditation practice. This group is for people looking to make a serious sustained effort toward that aim using the specific system we train. At a minimum, we require regular attendance at least twice a week.
Our training approach places some demands on the body, especially for beginners. Though taiji strengthens the body and heals the sick, the latter may require a teacher with more experience than Charlie. Our experience to date since this group started in 2021 suggests we are currently best suited for people in good health. Currently our approach seems to work well for former martial artists looking for something different. Anyone willing to make the requisite effort is welcome though, and we aim to evolve as a group over time.
We follow a very specific and systematic approach to training refined by Patrick Kelly based on his own efforts to organize what he learned from Huang Xingxian. A typical practice session in this school would include:
Both our fixed pattern push hands (precise partner exercises used as collaborative training tools) and meditation are key components of our practice for developing the deep mind, and we introduce both from day one.
Charlie began studying taiji in 2001 with Liam Comerford, a student of Zheng Manqing. Through that class he met Ben Lo (Luo Bangzhen), who he practiced with on a weekly basis in San Francisco from 2008-2010. Work led Charlie to Shanghai in 2010, where he sought out local taiji schools and pushed hands with friendly strangers in the park. These experiences convinced him to stick with practicing what he learned from Liam and Ben, until he met Patrick Kelly in 2014.
Charlie has been training Patrick Kelly's approach since then, mostly studying with Patrick's student Tim Suh in Chicago from 2015-2017. Charlie moved to Cambridge in 2017 and started this group in March 2021 to build a local community to regularly train with. Tim Suh and Guillem Bernado have supported this effort by visiting to give live seminars several times a year.
Charlie's main goal at the moment is his own training, and he teaches with the intention of having a good training group for his own fixed pattern push hands practice. He is much more interested in inner refinement than self defense or power. So no interest in comparing martial arts but he is quite interested in touching hands in a friendly setting to feel the most refined aspects of people who have sincerely and persistently trained the internal arts.
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