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Moving through the actions of an abdominal ball

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After fifteen years of t’ai chi practice, a fellow t’ai chi practitioner recommended that I re-learn the t’ai chi form through our mutual amazing teacher Julian Chu, who became my teacher just this past summer. So as not to start completely from square one, I attend Julian’s beginner’s class at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings, and then join the 11:00 a.m. advanced class, at a middle school under a mile from my home.  

Last week, one of the most powerful things I learned was about connecting each body movement to the movement of a ball in one’s tan t’ien, located in the abdominal area. I previously learned that in t’ai chi, one turns from the waist, but my teacher said that when one turns from the waist, the coordination must come from the tan t’ien ball.

My teacher does not know the English word for this tan t’ien ball. I am still looking. Jon Katz