36 episodes

Reflections on Tai Chi, Xing Yi, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and martial arts studies

The Tai Chi Notebook Graham

    • Society & Culture

Reflections on Tai Chi, Xing Yi, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and martial arts studies

    Ep 27: John Little on the REAL fights of Bruce Lee

    Ep 27: John Little on the REAL fights of Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee will be no stranger to anybody listening to The Tai Chi Notebook Podcast - even 50 years after his death he remains the most famous martial artist in the world.

    But could he actually fight?

    World Champions in karate competition have gone on record to point out that he never once competed in tournaments. So, were his martial abilities simply a trick of the camera?

    My guest for this episode is Bruce Lee authority and bestselling author John Little.

    John has a new book out called Wrath of the Dragon: The real fights of Bruce Lee, in which he takes a hard look at Bruce Lee’s real-life fights to definitively answer these questions

    To get these first hand accounts John has tracked down over 30 witnesses to the real fights of Bruce Lee as well as those who were present at his many sparring sessions. There are over 30 years of research in this book that took him thousands of miles around the globe.

    Find out more about Bruce Lee's fights in:


    The Real Fights of Bruce Lee

    by John Little

    Pub date: September 5, 2023

    ISBN: 9781770417427


    Martial Arts

    $28.95 CDN / $21.95 U.S.

    Paper, 8.5 x 5.5", 352 pp

    22 photographs, black and white


    Baker & Taylor Publisher

    Services (US), Jaguar Book

    Group (Canada)

    Find out more about this podcast at www.thetaichinotebook.com

    • 55 min
    Ep 26: Rikard Elofsson and Miika Wikberg: A deep dive into Nordic Bajiquan

    Ep 26: Rikard Elofsson and Miika Wikberg: A deep dive into Nordic Bajiquan

    Bājíquán (八極拳) or shorter just Baji, is commonly known as “the martial art of bodyguards”. It emphasises the use of attacks that close down the distance as well as explosive close combat techniques such as combinations of elbow, knee and takedown techniques.

    Both Rikard Elofsson and Miika Wikberg are senior Baji students of Lü Baochun, based in Finland who has over 40 years’ experience in the training and practice of baji. He has trained under many of the famous martial artists who used the style, such as Han Longquan and Zhang Xuchun.


    0.40: - Rikard - Introduce yourself/how did you meet your teacher Master Lü Baochun?

    3.15: - Miika - Introduce yourself/how did you meet your teacher Master Lü Baochun?

    7.15: What makes Baji different to other martial arts?

    8.30: Old Baji and new Baji

    9.20: Trademark techniques of Baji

    10.15: How is Baji power different? Training methods and the 3 stepping methods.

    12.40: The forms and sets in the Baji system

    19.20: The history of Baji

    25.15: The mixing of Baji and Pigua

    26.09: Baji and body guarding

    29.41: Is Baji hard to practice?

    31.29: Baji and stamping/stomping

    34.34: Baji and Tai Chi being taught together

    36.25: How to train with Master Lü Baochun

    38.00: Do you spar?

    40.15: Can you add Baji to an existing skill set?

    41.05 Is there a Baji Qigong?

    42.18 Are there Baji conditioning exercises?

    43.54 Iron Body and Baji

    44.35 How do you integrate Baji with other arts?

    47.24: Baji standing exercises

    51.00: Wrap up and the Muhammad Ali influence


    The Baji Association (English):


    Bajiquan Wasa



    Baji Kung Fu Stockholm:





    • 54 min
    Ep 25: Simon Cox on Zhang Sanfeng and the Wudang connection

    Ep 25: Simon Cox on Zhang Sanfeng and the Wudang connection

    Hello and welcome to another episode of the Tai Chi Notebook podcast! My guest today is Simon Cox, who co runs the Okanagan Valley Wudang (https://www.okanaganvalleywudang.com/) with his wife Brandi in Penticton, British Columbia.

    Simon and Brandi spent six years living and training in China under master Yuan Xiu Gang at the Wudang Daoist Traditional Kung Fu Academy. While there they studied Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, meditation, herbal medicine, Daoist music, and ancient and modern Chinese language. 

    After returning to the West, they started a Kung Fu school and community group in Houston Texas, where Simon was working on his PhD in Chinese and Tibetan mysticism at Rice University. At the end of 2019, they moved up to the Okanagan Valley and began sharing Wudang teachings with the local community.

    What I really wanted to get at with Simon was an elucidation on his article about Zhang Sanfeng - exactly who was this mysterious Taoist immortal who is often credited as the founder of Tai Chi Chuan? I also wanted to find out more about Wudang mountain, and where its martial arts really come from.

    Enjoy the episode! You can find out more about The Tai Chi Notebook here:





    Okanagan Valley Wudang www.okanaganvalleywudang.com

    • 50 min
    Ep 24: George Thompson on Tai Chi and Taoism from Wudang mountain

    Ep 24: George Thompson on Tai Chi and Taoism from Wudang mountain

    Episode 24: Tai Chi and Taoism on Wudang Mountain with George Thompson

    George Thompson is a film maker and Tai Chi teacher who studied on Wudang Mountain in China under Master Gu.

    His videos at https://www.youtube.com/@George-Thompson have been watched by over 15 million people and has over 200K subscribers. He runs the Wayfinder Academy at https://www.wayfinder.academy through which he teaches online courses for balanced living.

    In this episode I ask George what it is like to live and train Tai Chi on Wudang Mountain, what Wudang Tai Chi is like and what lessons he’s learned from Taoism.

    You too can learn from George’s teacher, Master Gu, 15th generation of Wudang Sanfeng Pai of Wudang mountain via his online learning site at https://www.taoistwellness.online/

    Click on the 7 day trial option, then use the coupon code TAICHINOTEBOOK when you sign up and you’ll get a lifetime 8% discount. That’s equivalent to one free month a year!

    You can get a similar discount from George's website https://www.wayfinder.academy/ using the same discount code TAICHINOTEBOOK when you sign up.

    Social: https://www.instagram.com/thetaichinotebook/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taichinotebook/

    Web: https://thetaichinotebook.com/

    • 39 min
    Ep 23: Mike Ash on using Xing Yi Quan for combat

    Ep 23: Mike Ash on using Xing Yi Quan for combat

    In this episode I catch up with my old Xing Yi training partner Mike Ash who has been doing marital arts for years. We talk about how we met, Mike's training history and the different martial arts he's trained in over the years as well as his latest adventures in Yang style Tai Chi and Chi Kung. We also discuss what makes a martial art popular and the current trend towards MMA, why Tai Chi is still so popular and why Xing Yi isn't in comparison.

    Enjoy the episode and check out thetaichinotebook.com for more articles about internal arts.

    • 49 min
    Ep 22: Graham Barlow on the Tai Chi Classics. Part 1

    Ep 22: Graham Barlow on the Tai Chi Classics. Part 1

    In the latest episode of the Tai Chi Notebook podcast host Graham is left all on his own without a guest, so he’s decided to pick up a book and read it to you! He’s gone for The Tai Chi Classic, one of the core works which make up a collection known as The Tai Chi Classics. Graham goes through the text a paragraph at a time and gives his interpretation of what the classic is saying. We hope you enjoy!

    The Tai Chi Classic

    In motion, the whole body should be light and agile,with all parts linked as if threaded together.

    The chi should be activated,The mind should be internally gathered.

    The postures should be rounded and without defect,without deviations from the proper alignment;in motion, your form should be continuous, without stops and starts.

    The jin should berooted in the feet,generated from the legs,controlled by the waist, andexpressed through the fingers. 

    The feet, legs, and waist should act togetheras an integrated whole,so that while advancing or withdrawingone can take the opportunity for favorable timingand good position.If correct timing and position are not achieved,the body will become disorderedand will not move as an integrated whole;the correction for this defectmust be sought in the legs and waist.

    The principle of adjusting the legs and waistapplies for moving in all directions;upward or downward,advancing or withdrawing,left or right.

    All movements are motivated by Yi,not external form.

    If there is up, there is down;when advancing, have regard for withdrawing;when striking left, pay attention to the right.

    If the yi wants to move upward,it must simultaneously have intent downward.

    Alternating the force of pulling and pushingsevers an opponent’s rootso that he can be defeatedquickly and certainly.

    Full and emptyshould be clearly differentiated.At any place where there is emptiness,there must be fullness;Every place has both emptiness and fullness.

    The whole body should be threaded together through every jointwithout the slightest break.

    Long Boxing is like a great riverrolling on unceasingly.

    Peng, Lu, Ji, An,Tsai, Lieh, Zhou, and Kaoare equated to the Eight Trigrams.

    The first four are the cardinal directions;South; Heaven, North; Earth, West; Water, and East; Fire.

    The second four are the four corners:Southwest; Wind, Northeast; Thunder,Southeast; Lake, and Northwest; Mountain.

    Advance, Withdraw,Look Left, Look Right, andCentral Equilibrium

    are equated to the five elements:Metal,Wood,Water,Fire, andEarth

    Taken together, these are termed the Thirteen Postures

    • 27 min

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