Newsletter 51 – April 2012

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Number 51

April 2012


April Special:

Following the huge success of the 20% off any DVD offer last month, this month we are offering 25% off any Health Series DVD.  The Health Series is:

Tai Chi for Arthritis, TCA2, Seated TCA, Tai Chi for Back Pain, Qigong for Health, Tai Chi for Diabetes, Tai Chi for Health – 6 Forms, Tai Chi for Osteoporosis

Not to be used with any other discount.  Offer expires 30 April. As Dr Lam’s New Zealand Agent, I do have his entire range in stock, which you can view at the Products link on this site.

Dr Paul Lam


Venue:   Queen Elizabeth College, Rangitikei Street, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Tai Chi for Arthritis in Depth Workshop

In this most stimulating and useful workshop, Dr Lam will be sharing with you the deeper meanings of the Tai Chi principles and how to incorporate them into your forms. He will then explore how the Qi (vital life force) works and how it relates to the Tai Chi principles.  All theories and practice will guide you on how to store, regenerate and deliver energy not only with Tai Chi for Arthritis, but also with all Tai Chi forms. This workshop will facilitate you to reach a higher level and find more enjoyment from your practice.


When you register for Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis 2-3rd August 2012, you canapply to update your TCA Instructor certificate.

You can apply to update other Tai Chi for Health programme Instructor certificates at $30 each during April.

Assignments for Instructor updates will be sent out to those who have paid for their update certificates. These people will have an additional bonus of having more time to work on their assignments.  To enable review of your assignments, please submit them by 15th July 2012. (Earlier if possible)


What Is Tai Chi for Energy?

This new energising program consists of two different tai chi styles.  Chen style tai chi is vigorous and sophisticated, containing fast and slow movements along with powerful spiral force.

Sun style includes a unique qigong (life energy) along with agile steps.  These two seemingly contrasting styles of tai chi have complimentary internal energy.  Using his deep understanding of tai chi principles and with over 30 years of experience, Dr Lam carefully composed the Tai Chi for Energy set by combining both styles to bring you greater synergy.

With regular practice and in a relatively short period of time, you will achieve better health and wellness, more internal energy and an improved ability to manage stress. The program contains warm up and cool down exercises and 16 movements.


Course workbooks are provided within course fees

DVDs for each course can be purchased from Hazel Thompson, email

Registered participants are entitled to a discount of 30% on the course DVDs once their fees have been paid in full.

Dr Lam is personally offering a 10% discount on course fees to all TCHC NZ members.

Registration forms are available from Chris Hattle


Postal            28 Wikiriwhi Crescent, Palmerston North 4412


The closing date for scholarship applications to Dr Lam’s August workshops  was 1st April 2012.  The two winners will be announced soon.



Please register in advance to ensure you are informed if a change of venue is required



When                    June 30th 2012              Saturday 10am-1pm

Content                 To prepare for Dr Lam’s August double workshops, Palm.North, NZ

Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA) & Tai Chi for Arthritis 2 (TCA2) (41 forms)

Tai Chi for Energy

Refreshments: bring your own picnic

Venue:           Guide Hall,     2 Panako Place (off College Street),

Awapuni,        Palmerston North

Cost: $40 OR  $35 for TCHC NZ members (Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc)


About the Two WORKSHOPS Listed Below

Both Instructors and tai chi students may attend.  These Workshops are Instructor training courses.  To qualify as an instructor a current First Aid certification is required

Resource book (as relevant to the course), morning and afternoon light refreshments are provided.
Participants provide own lunch (a lunch-bar is nearby)

Participants purchase DVDs relevant to the course from …..

Hazel Thompson

On paid registration to TCHI courses Hazel offers DVD discounts.

Course preparation: knowing the tai chi movements of the DVD relevant to the course

Workshop: Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis (Seated TCA)

Seated TCA Instructor Training   INAUGURAL Seated TCA in NZ

When April 28th – 29th 9am-5pm

Cost $290     ($268 for current members TCHC NZ inc)

ATTENTION! Further discounts available!!!
Have you studied at Instructor workshops I have led? If so, you qualify to attend this first NZ Seated TCA at the one-off special price of $240

Workshop: Tai Chi for Arthritis 2 & Update Instructor Training with Fall Prevention module certification

(TCA2, Update & FP)

When May 26th– 27th 9am-5pm

Cost $290     ($268 for current members TCHC NZ inc)


To register contact

Chris Hattle


postal              28 Wikiriwhi Cr., Palmerston North, 4412

phone              06  3564332

In your message include, name, phone, e-mail, course you are registering for.

Tai Chi for Health Practice Sessions…with Senior Trainer Tamara Bennett

Contact Tamara by email:

  • Saturday 21 April 2012 1-4pm (General practice session of TCA, TCE, TCD or TCK)

Venue: Leicester Hall, corner Findlay & Ramsgate Streets, Ellerslie

  • Sunday 27 May 2012 1-4pm (Sun Style 73 practice session, forms 1-33)

Venue: Franklin: The Centre, 12 Massey Ave, Pukekohe (next to Town Hall, parking in the back)

  • Saturday 23 June 2012 1-4pm (General practice session of TCA, TCE, TCD or TCK)

Venue: Leicester Hall, corner Findlay & Ramsgate Streets, Ellerslie

  • Sunday 22 July 2012 1-4pm (Sun Style 73 practice session, forms 34-57)

Venue: Franklin: The Centre, 12 Massey Ave, Pukekohe (next to Town Hall, parking in the back)

  • Saturday TBA ? August 2012  1-4pm (General practice session of TCA, TCE, TCD or TCK)

Venue: Leicester Hall, corner Findlay & Ramsgate Streets, Ellerslie

  • Sunday 23 September 2012 1-4pm (Sun Style 73 practice session, forms 58-73)

Venue: Franklin: The Centre, 12 Massey Ave, Pukekohe (next to Town Hall, parking in the back)

Investment $35 for the 3 hour practice session.

TCHCNZ member price of $30 (if you are a current financial member of TCHCNZ) If you are not a member yet, please download the application form in the “Join TCHC NZ” section of this website.

·         – Payment by internet: Tamara Bennett – Westpac #03 0406 0739577 00 (please use your name as reference)  or

·        –  Payment by Post: Tamara Bennett, Waiuku Road, RD1 Pukeoware, Waiuku 2681

·         *Please email me to confirm you have made a payment

·         The Tai Chi for Health practice sessions will run for 3 hours with a tea/biscuit break (provided).

  • There will be time to ask questions regarding the form, tai chi principles and teaching methods.


Date – Friday 3rd August

Time: 5:30-7:30pm

Venue: Palmerston North workshop venue

Dinner: Nibbles provided by TCHCNZ

*All Full Members are eligible to Vote

** Please RSVP if you plan to attend – Tamara:


What is Real Tai Chi?

By Dr Paul Lam, Founder of the Tai Chi for Health Programs, Narwee, NSW, Australia

I often hear this question asked. Some even ask whether Tai Chi for Health is real tai chi. My colleagues respond in various ways. Most explain what tai chi is and of course Tai Chi for Health is real tai chi. When discrepancies arise, others like Caroline Demoise, use tai chi principles to harmonize different opinions.  Some of my colleagues, in order to avoid a long discussion/disagreement, call Tai Chi for Health an exercise. Tai Chi is, of course, an exercise, just about anything good for health is an exercise, such as walking, swimming, running, tennis, golf, martial art… but is Tai Chi for Health real tai chi?

Almost as old as civilization, the claim that certain things are real and to exclude the ‘unreal ones’ exist in different cultures and tai chi is no exception. From the origin of tai chi in Chen’s village, there was already a dispute of what was real tai chi. Actually there is still an on-going dispute over whether Chen is the original style. For the sake of my topic, let’s assume it is. When the great Chen Fake took his Forms outside his village, he extended the Forms to a larger shape. A dispute began as whether ‘large frame’ or ‘small frame’ was real Chen style. Most Chen style tai chi practitioners nowadays practice the ‘large frame’, yet the voice that ‘large frame’ is not real tai chi can still be heard!

When Yang Lu-Chan, the creator of Yang style, modified Chen style to make it gentler and more accessible for people, he was accused of watering it down. Rumour has it that he did it to hide the real tai chi from the foreigners. He was employed as the imperial tai chi teacher, and in the Ching dynasty, the Manchurians were considered to be foreigners by the Han Chinese.  The talk around town was still alive that Yang style was not real tai chi, although the majority of tai chi practitioners were Yang stylists.  Now and then, many tai chi practitioners would have heard one branch of Yang stylist talk about how real their tai chi is and how ‘unreal’ other branches were.

One of the greatest tai chi masters, the creator of Sun Style, Sun Lu-tan, had an impeccable reputation as a martial artist.  They called him the invincible monkey because he was slim and had never been beaten in a duel. Mr Sun was an expert of the other internal Chinese martial art; Xingyi and Bagua before he learned tai chi. In his book he emphasized Sun Style tai chi was pure tai chi, not Xingyi or Bagua. He went on to say that one did not have to know Xingyi or Bagua in order to reach the highest level in Sun Style. I often wonder what made Mr Sun say that in the beginning of his book. Is it possible he was criticised that his tai chi was not “real tai chi”?

So what is real tai chi? Tai Chi performed by martial artists? Or tai chi performed by champions of competitions? The answer I believe comes down to what is tai chi? Once you truly understand tai chi then there is no need to dispute what is real and what is not real. Tai chi is unique but also complex and no one can know it all. It can be many things to many people; it is an art that embraces the mind, the body, and the spirit.

At the core of all tai chi forms are the principles. No matter what style and what aspects of tai chi, as long as tai chi principles are adhered to – the unique tai chi effect and health benefit will come. True tai chi movements are ones that incorporate tai chi principles. These principles include controlling movements to make them smooth and continuous, move as though there is a gentle resistance, correct posture and weight transference, being Song (loosening) and Jing (mental quietness or serenity). The controlled slow and smooth movements help to connect the mind and body and to have better focus. Song will enhance internal energy, improve flexibility and serenity. The right posture and awareness of weight transference improve balance and coordination. These principles work well whether you are using tai chi for health and wellness or for martial arts.

A key principle in all tai chi movements is to listen to the incoming force, yield, absorb and redirect the incoming force, to gain control or to reach harmony.  This is the essential principle for using tai chi as a martial art. By understanding the incoming force; you can work out a more effective method to gain control of your opponent. Likewise, this principle is a most useful philosophy for interacting and working with others. By understanding others, you can better achieve your own goal.

I am so happy to see many famous masters of different styles meet and work together in recent years. Many of them participated in medical studies. The future of tai chi will be better served with Caroline’s idea of harmony and mutual understanding instead of tai chi people denigrating each other claiming who is ‘not real’. It will be more effective for us to look at each different way and style as an advantage to bring together tai chi knowledge from different aspects and bring tai chi practitioners together for higher and positive purposes. Working together to practice and carry out research will give us a better understanding so we can gain more knowledge and benefits.

If you are asked whether Tai Chi for Health is real tai chi, ask yourself if you have incorporated tai chi principles in your movements. Do remember progress in tai chi is through better understanding and incorporating the principles. You do not have to be perfect before you can claim you are practicing real tai chi. If your movements look like you have incorporated the principles – chances are that you have and you are doing ‘real’ tai chi. At the end of the day, what really matters is how much you have enjoyed your tai chi and how much benefit you have gained.


The New Zealand Kung-Fu Wushu Federation and the New Zealand National Tai Chi Chuan Association invite you to join us to celebrate World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, Saturday 28th April 2012

9.30am for a 10.00am start

Petone Working Men’s Club, 47 Udy Street, Petone

Bistro available for meals and bar for refreshments

Ferne McKenzie Ph 04-3891-433

Club members, their guests and affiliated members welcome


Arthritis New Zealand is having a Public Open Day on 16 May 2012 at the Waipuna Hotel, Auckland

Arthritis New Zealand is pleased to invite you to join our staff, clients, members and health professionals in our inaugural Public Open Day.

Our keynote speakers are internationally-recognised specialists and researchers including Professor Keith Rome, Associate Professor Lisa Stamp, Dr Peter Larmer and Dr Ros Vallings. To find out more about the speakers please visit our website.

Gout, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, pain management, podiatry, hand therapy and evidence-based complementary therapies will all be covered, plus there will be a tai chi session led by a Senior Trainer from the Tai Chi for Health Institute.

Cost:   Members $20

Non-members $50

Health professionals $250

To find out more about this exciting event, or to register offline, please contact Karen toll free on 0800 663 463.

Registration forms are also available to download on our website

Have a happy Easter!