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2014 Alan Kan TAI CHI Retreat

We are extending the Deadline to Friday, May 9, 2014 to sign up for the Alan Kan Tai Chi Retreat.
This is the 26th year of our Tai Chi Retreat. Unfortunately, registration is low this year. To assure this retreat will continue for years to come, we need people to sign up and attend the retreat. The Alan Kan Tai Chi Retreat has always been a very rewarding experience for all who have attended in the past. If this is your first time at the retreat, I’m sure you’ll have a great experience! Please Sign-up!
Thursday evening – Sunday noon, June 5-8, 2014.    
La Casa de Maria, Montecito (South of Santa Barbara)
GREETINGS! Enclosed is information on the 2014 Alan Kan Tai Chi Retreat, Thursday evening through Sunday noon, June 5–8, 2014. The cost covers room and board (except Thursday dinner & Friday lunch), Saturday morning lesson with Master Zhao Yun, Retreat T-shirt and gratuities.  We will be staying at the San Ysidro House at La Casa de Maria in Montecito, Ca.  Car-pooling is encouraged.  Please make your own travel arrangements.
Please email your registration to Theresa Shibuya at:
Please include your name, address, telephone number and email address, and indicate the the number of nights you will stay.
  1. Three Nights: Lodging for Thursday night through Sunday noon, and meals from Friday breakfast through Sunday lunch. (Thursday dinner & Friday lunch are not included.) The cost is $355.
  2. Two Nights: Lodging for Friday night through Sunday noon, and meals from Friday Barbeque through Sunday lunch.  The cost is $305.
  3. One Night: Lodging for Saturday night through Sunday noon, and meals from Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch.  The cost is $252.
  4. Day Visitors: Saturday usage of La Casa’s grounds and facilities, and meals breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cost is $140.
Please mail your check, payable to Angela Seymour and include your name, address, telephone number and email address by May 9, 2014 to:

Angela Seymour

6690 Vista del Mar, Unit A
Playa del Rey, CA 90293
Tel. (310) 821-4115        Email:
Please read below for the Registration Policies:
If you wish to register after the deadline (May 9, 2014), a LATE FEE of $50.00 will be applied for overnight stays. A LATE FEE of $30.00 will be applied for late registration of Day Visitors. Late registration cannot be accepted after May 19, 2014.
If you need to cancel on or before May 19, 2014, a full refund minus the cost of the Retreat T-shirt (approx. $25) will be given.
If you need to cancel after May 19, 2014 and/or up to June 5, 2014, a full refund minus the cost of the Retreat T-shirt and meals will be given.
Once the retreat has started (June 5, 2014), a refund will not be available.
In order to maintain a tranquil retreat environment, La Casa de Maria does not allow children at retreat functions.
La Casa de Maria asks that parents of children arrange for child care at home while they are on retreat at La Casa.
Thursday Evening: meet at San Ysidro House at LCDM, 5:30 p.m. and together we will go out for dinner nearby.
Friday Evening:  BBQ dinner in front of the house 6 p.m. until it gets dark.  If you plan to arrive Friday, please arrive as early as possible. Orientation meeting by La Casa (in lieu of registration) follows BBQ.
Expect dormitory bunk bed facility.  All bedding supplies and towels will be provided.  Ladies’ dorm and bath are upstairs; the men’s are downstairs. First come first served.  We generally do not go into town during the retreat.
  Bring:-  Small flashlight
–  Flip flop/robe for dorm-style bath
–  Earplugs (?), standard dorm equipment
–  Munchies/fruits/drinks to share for the weekend. (We’ll have a refrigerator.)
–  Comfortable shoes for walking/hiking and doing Tai Chi outdoors on basketball courts.
–  Jacket for cool evenings outdoors to look at a sky full of stars
  •  Camera and musical instrument if you are so inclined.
  •  Although bedding is provided, if you prefer you can bring your own sleeping bag.
Also available: Massage (separate cost), unheated swimming pool, tennis court, healthy and delicious meals, hiking trails, meditation room, chapel, fresh air, laughter and the magic of the La Casa grounds.
Programs are usually group activities drawn on our own talents. They tend to be spiritual, philosophical, psychological, creative or just plain silly and fun (ideas and requests welcome.)
Typical schedule from past experience:
Thursday:  Dinner out, informal program.
Friday- Tai Chi before meals. BBQ dinner, evening program.
Saturday-Tai Chi before meals. Tai Chi instruction; outdoor activities; evening program.
Sunday – Tai Chi before meals; Tai Chi instruction; outdoor activities before lunch.
Program ends after Sunday lunch.
We look forward to another weekend of great fun and fellowship.  If you have any question, please do not hesitate to email anyone of us; Theresa Shibuya at dukeandgigi@yahoo.comMark Hiraide at, or Angela Seymour at
For more information on La Casa de Maria go to:
See you at the retreat!  
Theresa, Mark & Seymour

Light staff

Watch FULL SCREEN in HD if possible…

T-shirt Summer 2013

Long sleeve t-shirt design

Which do you prefer?

The “eight powers” of Tai Chi Chuan

The animation presented below is meant to illustrate the eight ways of power to be demonstrated in Tai Chi. In Chinese, these are called the ‘ba men’ or “8 gates.’ Here, I’ve attempted to show these 8 different styles that make up 8 of the ’13 Postures’ of tai chi chun. If you have questions, please contact, or TC.

You can see the trigrams for these 8 movements here, and in the animation:

peng ☰
liu ☷
ji ☵
ahn ☲
tsai ☳
lieh ☴
zhou ☱
kao ☶


Yin-yang visualization

The video below is a basic and balanced display of the interchangeable nature of yin and yang. Enjoy!

Those who know


There is a quote attributed to Lao Tzu, in the 6th century BCE, it says:

“Those who know don’t say, and those who say don’t know.”


Ignoring the paradox that this statement presents (as Lao Tzu was clearly ‘saying‘), I asked Gene Walder of TCSociety…

“Since many ‘say,’ and many ‘do not say,’ how is it possible ever to know?”


…and Gene replied:

“When a father teaches his son, he will say.”






Blue Moon at the Getty Center 8/31


About the EVENT___________________________

Dear Friends,

It is a good time to put ourselves in the nature of change and enjoy the wonder of the universe. We will see a full moon rising at 7:13 pm and watch the sun sets into the ocean at 7:19 this Friday evening.  I plan to spend the whole afternoon in Getty Center museum then go out to the garden area to watch moon and sun and practice Tai Chi from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

It will be around 70 degrees next weekend. By the evening, temperature may suddenly drop along the shore line. You may like to read on for more information about blue moon and places we can meet.


About the GETTY CENTER___________________________

FRIDAY – The Getty Center is open-  10:00 am  –  9:00pm
TCSociety gathering:  Garden area-  6:00  –  8:00 pm

Admission information:

  • -Admission to the Getty Center and to all exhibitions is FREE
  • -no reservations required
  • -parking is $15.
  • -groups are welcome!

Learn more about arranging a group visit.

The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.


About the BLUE MOON___________________________

About a blue moon —

It’s very rare that you would see a blue-colored moon, although unusual sky conditions – certain-sized particles of dust or smoke – can create them. Blue-colored moons aren’t predictable. So don’t be misled by the photo above. The sorts of moons people commonly call Blue Moons aren’t usually blue. For more about truly blue-colored moons, click here.

Now on to folklore’s Blue Moons. Every month typically has a full moon (although sometimes February doesn’t). In fact, our word for “month” comes from the word “moon.” Most of the time, the names for full moons coincide with particular months or seasons of the year. So whether you define a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month – or the third full moon of four in a season – the name Blue Moon accounts for times when there are more full moons than is ordinary.

Blue moon as second full moon in a month. In recent decades, many people have begun using the name Blue Moon to describe the second full moon of a calendar month.

The time between one full moon and the next is close to the length of a calendar month. So the only time one month can have two full moons is when the first full moon happens in the first few days of the month. This happens every 2-3 years, so these sorts of Blue Moons come about that often.

When is the next Blue Moon, according to this first definition? August 31, 2012.


JOIN US!!! All are welcome.


There’s a greater master over the next mountain…


The above quote comes from Dr. Yang-yang’s book” The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power,” available here:


I wanted to share the above image because I hear things like this all of the time:

“I am going to meet with this special qigong healing master.”

“We’re taking a workshop with a guru who teaches a rare yoga.”

“I heard there’s a teacher in Orange County who can share some secret technique.”


The old expression, “The grass is greener on the other side” comes to mind. They wonder if they can learn a Chinese martial art from a white person. Some think they have to go to a mountain cave and seclude themselves, they will advance their practice faster. Or some think that if only they learn DIRECTLY from Master XYZ will they learn the ‘true’ art.

While there are many possibilities, Dr. Yang-yang explains in this book a few simple keys for finding a competent tai chi chuan teacher. All of Chapter 3 of the book is dedicated to pointing the student in the right direction for finding a teacher from whom he or she can learn. If you do find a qualified teacher, be hesitant to look to the next mountain. You may miss what’s standing right in front of you. To highlight this concept, I’ll recount a scene from the movie Needle Through Brick– where several kung-fu masters sit around talking about new students. They claim they will send new students away at first. “Go study with another master,” they insist. Their point is the same as the sentiment expressed in the above image- you can always chase a dream somewhere else.

There is always another master with whom to study. There’s always another guru JUST beyond the next mountain. You can search the world over for the best of the best, and even they will point you to some one (or some thing) else as their teacher. As mentioned above, Dr. Yang-yang mentions some ways to classify a teacher, here are some other techniques for learning:

1. Make sure you have a competent teacher.

2. Follow your teacher’s other students (learn from your peers).

3. Read books about what you are learning.

4. Practice daily.

5. Meditate.


If you can practice these few things, your art will be limitless. Climb the mountain you are on first. Then conquer the next:

Beyond the next mountain, there is always a bigger mountain.

Another Computer Generated Tai Chi Demo

Below is a version of the Carnegie-Mellon Tai Chi form applied to two separate virtual characters.

The motion has not been cleaned, but the concept is there. You can see our “black and white” character performing the set, and the inset is a take on the Super-Goku character from the popular cartoon DragonBallZ. Enjoy!

More Tai Chi CG demos from B dub on Vimeo.