16 Jings with Don Ethan Miller



Two Workshops with Don Ethan Miller,

BTC Program Director and 4-Time National Tai Chi Tui Shou (pushing hands) Champion


In the concluding session of the 8-Part Jings Series begun in 2016, Don will review the Eight Gates and then complete the Second Eight Jings with a reprise of the six covered in the fall, and the addition of chansijing (Spiral- ling/silk reeling) and zhan/nian/sui (Stick/adhere/Follow). Expect major upgrades and revelations.  It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that jing!

Workshop 1:  10am-12 noon:  The Eight Powers

The Eight Powers, or Eight Gates (Ba Men), are the Primary Energies of all Tai Chi styles. They are:

  1. Peng:  Expanding/arcing upwards/bouncing/warding off;
  2. Lu: Dissolving/flowing back and down/diverting/leading;
  3. Ji:  Converging, condensing, like the prow of a ship or an axe blade;
  4. An: Downward-pressing power, utilizing gravity to create a flowing, heavy energy; sink-project;
  5. Tsai: "Pluck", to pull sharply using the whole-body energy; to grasp, using the hand linked to the root and dantien;
  6. Lieh: "Split", to use two opposing energies in the same technique; to apply forces in crossing or diverging paths;
  7.  Zhou: "Elbow", not only the actual use of the elbow but the smooth knitting of the whole body with the arms to create arcs of rooted power;
  8. Kao: "Shoulder", the use of whole-body power, integrating the legs and torso, without the "distraction" of the neurology of the arms and hands.

Workshop 2:  1pm-4pm:  Eight Advanced Jings

The Second Eight Jings expand into deeper waters, from physical skills (spiralling, tenacity), to interactive skills (sticking,neutralizing), to non-physical attributes (sensitivity, projection), to higher levels of personal and inter-personal transformation. They include:

  1. Chan Si / Chou Si Jing: Silk Reeling/ Silk Pulling/ Spiralling;
  2. Ren: Tenacious strength, pliable yet strong, like a vine;
  3. Ting: “Listening/ alert and accurate sensitivity;
  4. Zhan/Nian/Sui: Sticking/adhering/following;
  5. Fa:  Sudden discharge of energy;
  6. Jie: Receiving/"borrowing"/repelling an attack, using its own force;
  7. Kong Jing: “Empty force”, the expansion or projection of energy beyond the limits of the physical body;
  8. Hua Jing: Neutralization/transformation. On a basic level, how to dissolve and/or avoid the physical effects of an external force; on a higher level, the transformation of oneself that leads to the transformation of an entire situation, from negative/oppositional to harmony and peace.  It is the highest expression of Tai Chi and the ultimate purpose of the art.

Workshop I is open to all those with at least a working knowledge of a short Tai Chi form (any style).  Workshop II requires a knowledge of the Basic Eight Jings, either through Don's classes and workshops or by permission. Both limited to 18.  Early registration highly recommended!


WORKSHOP I:    BTC Members $65, Non Members $85

WORKSHOP II:    BTC Members $95, Non Members $120

WORKSHOPS I AND II:  BTC Members $135, Non Members $175


131 Cypress Street
Brookline, MA
United States
Map and Directions

Date: March 12, 2017

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Tai Chi Sword in the Cheng Man Ching Tradition with Ken Van Sickle




"The sword is an instrument of the Tao. Through its study and correct use, one may expect to achieve a higher level of sensitivity, as well as learn to manage internal energy through an instrument, whether it be a shovel or
a violin." --Ken Van Sickle

I. 10am-12pm TAI CHI SWORD: technique, principles, and form

II. 1pm-3pm: TAI CHI SWORD FENCING: the art of continuous change and sustained awareness.

III. 3:30pm-4:30pm: FENCING WITH A MASTER (all participants will get to fence with Ken!)

BTC is truly honored to host Ken Van Sickle, a renowned master of Tai Chi sword and one of the last American disciples of Cheng Man Ching. Join Ken for a day of sword work, sword play, sword fighting and Taoist philosophy as he guides us into the higher realms of this fascinating and empowering expression of Tai Chi principles and purpose.

Previous sword experience not required, although a beyond-beginner understanding of Tai Chi is highly recommended. Please bring wooden or other practice swords if you have them. A limited number of swords will be available at the school.

Due to space considerations, workshops will be limited to 16. Early registration is essential!

Workshop I : BTC members $75 non-BTC $95
Workshops I & II: BTC Members $135 non-BTC $165
Workshops I, II, & III: BTC Members $160 non BTC $195

KEN VAN SICKLE is a senior disciple of Tai Chi Grandmaster Cheng Man-Ching. He studied solo form, push hands, sword form and fencing with Professor Cheng from 1967 to 1975, and participated in special classes for those chosen to be teachers. Ken developed a particular affinity for Tai Chi sword, and is internationally recognized as a highly skilled Tai Chi sword practitioner, and teacher of its philosophy and technique. Ken is also an internationally acclaimed photographer, and his work has contributed to the documentation of Professor Cheng's legacy.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.