Obviously a serious t'ai chi student would want to train in person. Still, progress can be made through written communications. Perhaps this is because all Cheng Hsin work deals with a student's perception and experience, even when those are grounded in one's body and actions. Whether you study it in written form or in workshops, an open investigation of body-mind principles will create useful new distinctions in your experience -- physical, mental, and energetic.
So who is this course for? It is for those who practice a set of t'ai chi movements but who want to go deeper with it, make more progress and develop in the ways they dreamed when first taking up t'ai chi. It is also for those t'ai chi players who want to improve their relationship with their body and develop a more effortless and effective level of physical skill in whatever they do.
This course was created for you by Master Peter Ralston. Ralston began studying t’ai chi at the age of 19, having already had a decade of martial training, and having achieved several black belts in different arts. Over the years he studied with top teachers in the US and Asia. In 1978, when he won the full contact World Championships held in China (the first non-Asian to do so) he was acknowledged by the World T’ai Chi Conference as winning his fights with t’ai chi (apparently his name was the only one mentioned at the conference). As far as it's known, no one has ever used t’ai chi so effectively in such a full contact tournament. He has studied and taught t’ai chi for 40 years, and is considered by many to be the most authoritative mind in the field of internal martial arts today.
Ralston has gone beyond the superficial, digging down deeply into what makes t’ai chi or any internal art powerful. He has managed to discover and demonstrate unifying principles of skill, power, and structural effectiveness. Uncovering the truth about what is effortlessly effective and what is only fantasy has made his approach popular among sincere and open-minded practitioners. Honesty and direct experience have always been Ralston's guiding principles. Through decades of intense and open investigation and personal experience, he's become uniquely qualified to help others understand and master this art.
In this course study and exercises move you through essential material relevant to a good t'ai chi set. You will work with the basic principles and structural design of an effective body. You will also tackle the important role of mind and perception in any body development, and train a few feeling-image exercises or "energy" exercises along with your mechanical trainings.
You're the one who will learn to apply this material. You will also be encouraged to contemplate our considerations, and to develop a deeper understanding of what is being said, the universal principles involved, and how they apply in your experience. In theory, you could simply study books and apply what you can, but a step-by-step program of daily training is far more likely to produce success. Master Ralston will be available to answer questions or help in your understanding, but most of the work is up to you.
Those of you who have already studied a Cheng Hsin t'ai chi set (such as at the month-long Retreat, or the Camps in Europe) may use this course to concentrate and refresh their studies. Review always yields greater understanding, and a daily commitment will give structure to your training.
The cost of the course is $79 for the six-week course, and is due in full prior to the starting date.