In the middle of September, an intrepid band of folks from across the Nation converged once again upon the Jemez Mountains to engage in random dangerous acts amidst beautiful surroundings. This year, the Annual IFKWES Tai Chi Retreat was focused on applications of
the art, with workshops on the Chang combat form, Push Hands (with extensive Enhanced Push Hands practice around the campfire), Da Lu sets, and, of course, Chin Na. Sifu Dug provided a well-paced, informative and fun event, which allowed all participants to enjoy themselves while learning really cool stuff. Some of the group also took the time to explore the area surrounding Camp Shaver, hiking to the nearby waterfall, and those feeling especially adventurous climbed Battleship Rock to practice their ability to stayed centered while perfoming the Yang style Tai Chi form atop a narrow promontory with cliffs several hundred feet high all around. Many thanks to Sifu Dug and everyone who gladly volunteered to help with meals and cleanup - fully exemplifying the best aspects of family and community. A good time was had by all, and we look forward to next year.
On the second weekend of September 2014, the Lotus Dragon Annual Tai Chi retreat was held at a new location: YMCA Camp Shaver located in the beautiful Jemez Mountains. The weekend began on Friday evening with a "Kung Fu Theatah" showing of Tai Chi Zero. When the movie concluded, participants were treated to even more entertainment and a bit of real life adventure as they tried to find their cabins in the dark. Camp Shaver is nothing if not "rustic."
As morning dawned, everyone congregated in the sports field to tell stories of their nighttime adventures with the wildlife and enjoy a round of Yang Style Long Form. Our first seminar of the day was the 32 Sword Form. Swords were brought out and Sifu Dug explained weapon etiquette. Throughout the day, Sifu Dug took us through the entire form, leaving most confused and a bit dazed -- thus fulfilling his role as Tai Chi Master (and giving him great enjoyment in the process). While the Tai Chi players learned sword, Sifu Aaron taught the more youthful participants a Kung Fu Form involving two short sticks.
On June 2, seven members of the Lotus Dragon family attended the TIMA Instructor's workshop and Grandmaster Look's birthday celebration. The subjects covered included the Guang Ping short form, push hands, hsing-yi staff, and tai chi spear. There were about 20 participants in the workshops led by some of Sigung Look's senior students, including Sifu Dug.
There were about 50 people in attendance at Sigung Look's Birthday Celebration. The food included sushi made to order by a live sushi chef, bbq, seaweed salad, and other delicacies.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day is a worldwide celebration of the healing and health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong. People, across racial, economic, religious, and geo-political boundaries, who share a common vision of hope & healing for our planet and her people come together worldwide on the last Saturday of April every year; and then, at 10 am local time in every time zone across the planet they begin to practice their Tai Chi and Qigong to create a wave of healing energy that circumnavigates the globe and to provide an example multicultural and international co-operation to the world.
This year the event was held again at Los Poblano's fields and was very well attended, with about 40 participants. Sifu Dug - who brought the observance of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day to New Mexico in 2007 - led the crowd in Tai Chi Qigong, the Chen Man Ching Tai Chi form, a Guang Ping Tai Chi short form, and conducted a workshop on the Five Animals Frolic Qigong form (the oldest known Qigong Form).
This event continues to be a great success and Lotus Dragon is grateful to all the participants and the Albuquerque Open Space staff to allowing us to utilize this beautiful location for this event.
Again our kung fu family will be training Tai Chi, Bagua, Hsing- yi and Qigong on the beach and in the Atlantic Ocean Sunday July 21st to Thursday the 25th. We'll be doing Tai Chi and Qigong on the beach every morning, Push-hands, Hsing-yi in the surf in the afternoons and Bagua in the park in the evening, as well as spontaneous trainings on various weapons and other advanced forms. We'll also include trips to various fun East Coast cities and attractions.
Afterward we'll be attending the US International Kuoshu Championships at the Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley Maryland which is about 20 miles outside Baltimore. This is still the best run and most organized Chinese Martial Arts Tournament in North America. We always have lots of fun with Kung fu family and friends at the Kuoshu Championships. Here's the webpage: http://www.usksf.org/
On the same weekend the National Qigong Association's 18th annual conference will be held at the Hilton Double Tree Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA, Friday, July 26 - Sunday, July 28th. There will be 24 sessions, special keynote addresses, impromptu Qigong and musical gatherings, plus all the wonderful camaraderie you would expect from the friends of the NQA. Gary Giamboi their Outreach Chairperson has personally invited our Kung fu family and asked that our family members contact him when we get there. Here's their webpage http://nqa.org/2013/01/the-2013-nqa-conference/
In January 2013, Lotus Dragon began webcasting its Saturday classes to Sifu Dug's students around the world. Using the internet, students from all over can now tune in to participate in workshops, classes, and seminars in the comfort of their own home or school. The events are conducted through powhow.com and are live and interactive, and feel almost like being in the Kuan. Not only can you watch and follow Sifu live, he can watch and correct your form in real time, as well as answer any question you may have. And, as a bonus, you get the bad jokes that you out-of-town students miss so much...
In the near future, Sifu plans on webcasting his national seminars and workshops when he starts traveling to the Sister Schools.
Click on the following links for class schedules and information:
Wu Clan Advanced Internal Martial Arts Class (Saturday afternoon)
At least three generations of our kung fu family gathered together to play Tai Chi at the Albuquerque Open Space Visitors Center. It was the annual Festival of Sandhill Cranes and Tai Chi with Cranes celebration and the sun warmed the pleasantly crisp autumn morning as more than fifty moved in unison as a meditative wave of health, life and inner tranquility. As we moved we could see nearly a hundred cranes in the field just below the center and could watch living examples of how the graceful movements of the cranes inspired and influenced the earliest of Tai Chi forms.
Sifu Dug led us through our Gentle Flexibility and Tai Chi Qigong and then the Senior Citizens' Tai Chi Set. Afterward we gather at the Corrales Flying Star for a fireside breakfast and a few wonderful moments of getting to know our kung fu family just a little better. On Saturday afternoon Dr. Paul Rossignol gave an enlightening and enjoyable talk on the phases of the Five Elements and how to use them to enhance our lives, health and practice.
On Sunday morning we gathered in at Los Poblanos fields and did the Long Form only a scant few yards from the sandhill cranes and other water fowl. There was a fresh smell in the air clean by the gentle overnight rains and the musical calls of the birds filled the atmosphere. After we finished the Long Form we practiced a few Soaring Crane Qigong movements and worked on Tai Chi Celestial Ruler in the afternoon.
Next year Sifu Dug hopes to expand Tai Chi with the Cranes, which will be in its fifth year, by inviting in other instructors in from our kung fu family from around the country to lead various groups and workshops. He has made an arrangements with Nahalat Shalom, his family's synagogue (which is very close to the Open Space Visitors Center), to use their facilities to conduct multiple workshops over the weekend of Albuquerque's Festival of the Cranes.
Please come join us at our new location at 3408 Constitution Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, just West of Carlisle on Constitution. Please Click Here for a Map and directions to the new location. There are a few parking spaces available in front of the building, and more spaces available in the rear parking lot. Access to the back parking lot is either through the alley at the Smith's gas station off Carlisle, or at the west end of the building complex on Constitution. Additional parking is available across the street. See diagram below. IMPORTANT. Please do not park in any of the nearby lots (marked below), as the owner has indicated that he will have vehicles towed.
On January 20, 2012, Sifu Dug Corpolongo received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Action Martial Arts Magazine's Hall of Honors. Sifu Dug was truly honored to receive this award, and remarked that the ceremony was conducted in a manner consistent with the best traditions of martial arts. Everyone at the event was more concerned with their responsibility and service as a martial artist to humanity than any particular award that they may recieve. This enivronment was the result of the sincerity and integrity that Alan Goldberg and the staff Action Martial Arts Magazine had promoted and conducted the event.
One of my most profound training experiences happened many years ago at Sigung Look's Santa Cruz, CA retreat. We stood in front of the breaking waves practicing our Tai Chi, Hsing-I, and Bagua techniques, in time with the crashing waves. As the waves built up, we began the technique; as they crashed and rolled into the shore, we completed the technique and then started building energy for the next movement as the wave retreated from the beach.
Imagine 500 or more competitors around you doing Chinese martial arts all day and night. They share the same love and fervor for their hobby and lifestyle as much as you. The excitement in the air is palpable, while the nervousness passes over you in waves. You learn to love the smell of Tiger Balm in the morning. You spend all night practicing, all day waiting for your chance to prove you've learned an inkling of what your Sifu has shown you.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day is a worldwide celebration of the healing and health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong. People, across racial, economic, religious, and geo-political boundaries, who share a common vision of hope & healing for our planet and her people come together worldwide on the last Saturday of April every year; and then, at ten am local time in every time zone across the planet they begin to practice their Tai Chi and Qigong to create a wave of healing energy that circumnavigates the globe and to provide an example multicultural and international co-operation to the world.This was the first time that the event was held at Poblanos Fields and was such a success that Sifu Dug Corpolongo of Lotus Dragon Tai Chi and Qigong is planning on repeating this event every year plus celebrating Tai Chi with the Cranes in November, coinciding with the Sandhill Crane Weekend at our Open Space Visitor Center, and also providing a Qigong demonstration, the Six Healing Sounds, in June for the Summer Series at Poblanos Fields. All the events are free and open to all practitioners and the general public.