SWORD COURSE CURRICULUM
Thank You for Joining Us!
My name is Jeff English and I’d like to share with you my journey of cultivating the voice of Destiny and moving with Nature.
(INTRO VIDEO COMING SOON)
Move With Nature
Cultivating The Voice of Destiny
TAITN’ SWORD cultivates and embodies spiral or serpent power; the power of Nature – the voice of Destiny. TAITN’ SWORD is based on the Yang Style Long Form of Taiji and the spiraling motions within Tennis. The Form is medicine and a practice in self-realization and for those interested it is a practice in mastering motion for the relaxed, but full expression of internal power. The benefits are far reaching from healing to high performance. We move to unite the breath, the body, the mind and the spirit with the Yin energy of the Earth from below and theYang energy of Heaven or Stars from above. The alchemy produces Jin or internal power and reconnects us to the power of Nature – the voice of Destiny.
I was asked, “what do the letters T A I T N stand for?
And, how do you pronounce it?” TAITN began as Tai Chi Tennis and moved in and out of various names none of them resonating with me. The last name was Tai Ten. With the name still not resonating with me, I continued moving forward with what moved me to apply Taiji to Tennis. One day on the court with Anna Sofaer I was sharing with her the new racquet form based on the Yang Style Taiji Long Form. She lit up and said, “lets make a video with me with the racquet and you with the sword;” at that point it all came together for me. I had a sword hanging in my studio that felt was of significant importance, but it had never come down from its rack since it came to me five years ago. I started working the form with the sword and I thought there is no way I can do this after my shoulder started to hurt. Then, I heard “surrender” and the sword began to take me. I find it fascinating that the “sword,” that brings up all the violence it has created through history, teaches me to surrender. It has been life changing for me. I looked at the name Tai Ten and it came: the e disappeared and it became TAITN – pronounced Titan.
I couldn’t tell you why, but TAITN resonates with me. So, after receiving Rob Higgin’s question here I look up Titan. The definition reads: “a person or thing of very great strength, intellect, or importance;” the exact opposite of what surrendering seems to imply. So why does it resonate? I look up the Titans of Greek Mythology and the creation story of the Titans come up. It says, it all started with Chaos, chaos with a capitol C, the primordial void that existed before anything else. Chaos was like a dark, empty space that had no shape or form. It was just…there. (Quora – source) In Taiji it is called Wuji.
But then, something happened. Chaos started creating things out of itself. The first thing it created was Gaia, the Earth. She was solid and stable unlike her parent. Chaos continued to create, then Gaia created Uranus, the Sky. Uranus was like a dome that covered Gaia. He was vast and majestic unlike his parent. (Quora – source)
Then Gaia and Uranus got together and created the Titans. The Titans were strong and mighty unlike their parents. The Titans gave birth to Zeus and Zeus defeated the Titans and reigned on Mount Olympus. (Quora – source)
What stands out here to me right away is that Uranus, Sky, is made out to be better than Gaia, Earth, and the Titans are made out to be better than both Gaia and Uranus which ultimately led to their demise. This myth continues to influence our civilization today. What is left out here and what seems to be nonexistent in modern awareness is that Gaia, the Earth created Uranus, Sky, from herself, within herself, all by herself by accessing the power to create from within which parallels the origin story of the dancers from the Beginning in “The Message Of The Eagle.”
So, this tremendous power to create, the power of the female and the male energies within,Yin and Yang, lives within all of us. We all are descendants of the Earth. To access this power is exactly the opposite of what we have been conditioned to think. Instead of playing to win; instead of dominating others we can surrender and when we do we relax downward into the Earth. When we relax into the Earth we discover awe for the Earth and our hearts open cultivating the alchemy of Yin and Yang, Water and Fire within; internal power. With internal power we have nothing to prove, we’ve already won. Even the Latin root of competition means to strive with. With internal power we want to take care of the Earth from which we come and each other with whom we can thrive.
I was asked, “why the bamboo sticks vs. swords?”
In Chinese medicine with each element we practice with we cultivate a certain energy. With metal we cultivate a firmness of mind. Metal is connected to the lungs and has the power of transmuting grief. A metal sword is fairly heavy and requires a surrendering so the body can relax and be led by the sword rather than trying to swing it. It requires an understanding of getting power through relaxation otherwise it’s easy to experience injury. Metal is a great teacher as is all of the elements.
The wood element cultivates the power of creativity like the power of spring. It transmutes anger and strengthens the liver. The intention. ultimately, of TAITN is to cultivate our own destiny, or our true desire living in our heart. The Sages say we come in with a blueprint to manifest in this world or we have agreed to a contract or purpose that we are to fulfill and it requires “killing the demons within, with a spiritual sword” meaning transmuting the negative energy to empower us to manifest what it is we have come here to do. The spiritual sword can be of any material or no material at all, what we gravitate towards is what is best. Bamboo is great because it is light and firm and carries with it the power to create. So, as we go along with the form we may begin to experience things coming to us that live deep within our hearts.
“This violent way of life continued until one day when some of them decided to climb to the top of a mountain to cry for help. They were the ones who, listening to the beating of their own frightened hearts, remembered the staffs of the dancers of the Beginning, banging and banging, calling life.”
“On the mountain their vision was healed and they remembered themselves, being able to feel their hearts again. When they came down they knew what to do.” “The Message Of The Eagle”
TAITN is an application of Taiji and stands for the internal power of Heart. So it turns out TAITN SWORD is true to the definition of Titan: a thing of very great strength, intellect, or importance. The sword continues to teach me much.
I would like to deeply thank Will Clift for so graciously donating his spiral sculpture to the Water & History Park on Upper Canyon Road where we practice every morning. It is a profound embodiment of the spiral power of Nature that we practice cultivating every morning. It’s wild how it has shown up in the park. Thank you so much Will! Check out his work: http://www.willclift.com. What a beautiful soul…