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SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2018




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

–Ken Van Sickle

  I. 10am-12pm:
 II. 1pm-3pm:
III. 3:30pm-4:30pm:
(all participants will get to fence with Ken!)

BTC is truly honored to host the return of Ken Van Sickle, 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 practice swords (jian/double-edged) if you have them. A limited number of swords will be available at the school.

Due to space considerations, workshops will be strictly limited to 18.  Last year’s workshop was sold out.   Early registration is essential!

Workshop I :   BTC members 75, non-BTC 95
Workshops I and II:  BTC Members 135, non-BTC 165
Workshops I, II, and III:  BTC Members 165, non-BTC 200
Late Registration:
After 5/28, if space available:  additional $35 per workshop.
There will be no Registration at the door.
To register:
Register Here!
To see Member pricing, log in before selecting a workshop.

KEN VAN SICKLE is a senior disciple of Tai Chi Grandmaster Cheng Man Ching (photo below). 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 become teachers. Ken developed a particular affinity for Tai Chi sword, and is internationally recognized as a Tai Chi sword master practitioner, and a renowned teacher of its philosophy and technique. Ken is also an internationally acclaimed photographer and cinematographer, and his work has contributed tremendously to the documentation of Professor Cheng’s legacy.

Cheng Man Ching

Previous Workshops

Sunday, October 15, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Tai Chi Boot Camp: Equipment Training with BTC Director Don Ethan Miller

This month’s Bootcamp will focus on the use of Equipment to improve Root, Zhong Ding, and the Four Primary Jings.  In the old days, Tai Chi masters employed stone balls, rocks, heavy staves and poles, ropes, sashes, and many other objects and devices to increase their internal power and chi flow. We will explore these methods, which produce an immediate upgrade in the quality and strength of our Tai Chi, even in forms and other solo practice.  An essential “missing piece” in most modern Tai Chi practice!

General: $60, Member $50

Sunday, October 15, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Taiji Ruler (Circling Hands) with Senior Energy Arts Instructor Steven Cardoza

Taiji Ruler, or Circling Hands, is both a simple yet versatile qigong practice, and a detailed introduction to the principle of circularity in all Taiji forms. In this four hour workshop, you’ll learn the basic Taiji Ruler as performed vertically, which will include the Microcosmic Orbit qi circulation. This is the most common way it is used as a qigong form. We will then explore Taiji Ruler with diagonal and horizontal circles. Examples of these circles in the Wu style short and long forms will be demonstrated and practiced during the workshop. Steven is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist with over 30 years experience in internal arts, and is the author of the books Chinese Healing Exercises and Chinese Holistic Medicine In Daily Life.

General: $135, Member $105

Saturday, October 28, 10:00am – 5:30pm
A Day of Baguazhang with Joseph Zeisky, Zeigua Internal Arts Founder

We are excited to welcome back the dynamic Mr. Zeisky, creator of Zeigua Internal Arts Method, to share the healing, empowering, and enlightening aspects of the ancient Taoist Art of Baguazhang. The sure-to-be mind-blowing day will include 3 inter-related workshops. You are welcome to sign up for individual parts or all three.

I. 10:00 am – 12:00pm: Tiangan (Heavenly Stem Exercises): Opening the Body

Tiangans (“Heavenly Stems”) are powerful Bagua methods for lengthening tendons, ligaments, muscles and fasciae. With its big and expressive movements, Tiangans help realign and strengthen bones, open the joints and energy channels for greater blood circulation to the extremities and are especially good for developing stronger legs, buttocks, and waist. Used in both Bagua and Taiji traditions for to strengthen and open the body and form the foundation for both solo and interactive work.

II. 1:00pm – 3:00 pm: Bagua Palm Changes: Empowerment

Palm Changes are short choreographed forms that encapsulate various aspects of the I-Ching (Book of Changes) and life-force energy principles. These I-Ching principles are infused into all Bagua spiral-based solo movements, fighting methods, self-defense tactics, and whole-body integration practices. Baguazhang is one of the three primary internal martial arts and its beautiful Palm Change forms are the practical ways by which it empowers the individual and awakens the body/mind connection.

III. 3:30pm – 5:30pm: Bagua Circle Walking: Moving Meditation

Circle Walking is a 4,000 years old ancient Taoist monk meditation practice for Qi-energy cultivation, spiritual awakening, and opening the heart. By smoothly flowing and walking in counterclockwise and clockwise circular directions and patterns for extended periods of time, we improve the body’s aerobic capacity and metabolism rate. From here, we can then gather, harness, redistribute, and store the new precious life-force, by holding various hand/arm positions while walking the circle. With this “higher quality” energy or “elixir”, a stronger direct connection to Source can be established and one’s consciousness and spiritual understanding will naturally and safely increase. This workshop builds upon the energies awakened in the previous two workshops and transmutes them into a form of moving meditation for spiritual awakening.

1 part: General: $95, Member $75

2 parts: General: $150, Member $115

Whole day: General: $195, Member $155 

Early registration is recommended as space is limited and some workshops will sell out.

Register here.


New! Monthly Bootcamp

Sunday, September 24, 9:00am – 12:00pm

Happening once a month. More dates to come!

Click here to sign up for Bootcamp 


Don Ethan Miller’s Old School Tai Chi Summer Training Camps
July – August 2017 

– Open to all styles and levels
– Authentic, powerful training 
– No forms, just essential Tai Chi Gong Fu 
The legendary vitality, internal power, martial prowess, and spiritual development of the old tai chi masters were not developed through a few hours of forms practice every week.  Original training included many hours of chikung, two-person practices, equipment, single-move repetition, jing development, and standing meditation.  This summer, experience a taste of authentic “old school” tai chi, and see how rapidly your tai chi gong (skill, ability, power) can progress!

Old School Training Camp Curriculum include

  • Jings Training
  • Tai Chi Equipment Training
  • Dan Lian single move power training
  • 2-Person interactive exercises and Push Hands
  • Tai Chi weapons, self-defense, martial applications
  • Standing, sitting, moving chi kung/ meditation
  • Cross Training:  Yiquan, Kuntao, Sports Science
  • outdoor training/working with nature
            …and much more!     
Groups may be divided so all participants will be challenged at their personal level of experience/ability.  Expect to work hard, sweat, laugh a lot, and seriously upgrade your tai chi!
Head instructor: Don Ethan Miller, BTC Director, has over 40 years experience in tai chi, chi kung, and other martial and healing arts. He was 4-time national champion in tai chi tui shou (pushing hands) and is the lineage holder in mohdar kuntao, the internal component of the kuntao-silat de thouars (ksdt) system.  

Schedule and Prices

I. Small Bootcamp: Sunday, July 23, 10AM – 1PM
   BTC Member 75, Non-member 90
II. Old School Big Training Week: Monday, August 21 – Sunday, August 27 
   A. Monday – Friday Mornings, 8AM – 10AM
        Single Day: BTC Member 35, Non-member 50
        Five Days: BTC member 125, non-member 150
   B. Weekend: Saturday and Sunday, 10AM – 2PM
        Single Day: BTC Member 85, Non-member 100
        Both Days: BTC Member 135, Non-member 150
   C. Full Week: Monday – Sunday (16 hours of training)
        BTC Member 185, Non-member 225
III. The Fifth Season: The Still Point 
     (date to be determined)
All prices are pre-registered; at the door, add 10/session. All camps limited to 20. Early registration is a good idea!