Sam's writings on taijiquan and the internal arts have been
published in various journals and on the web. Below are a few selected
articles. Click the link to download a PDF file to your
desktop. Check back to this page for updates and newly added
The Four-squares and the Four-corners
No topic is more fundamental to an understanding of taijiquan than the theory of the four
squares and the four corners. The artʼs essence, even itʼs raison dʼêtre, is entirely
bound up in the theory, function and philosophy of what in Chinese language are called
the si zheng and the si yu.
Tai Chi Language Article
An article about taijiquan terms as well as a
brief synopsis of the Wade-Giles and pinyin translation history
relating to taiji.
Shortcuts for Pinyin
This article deals primarily with pinyin notations and pronunciations for the Chinese language.
Neijia Terms with Chinese Character Notations
This article is a basic glossary of Neijia terms given with the
Wade-Giles and Pinyin English equivalents along with Chinese
Yang Family, Yang Style
An article written by Sam about the difference between Yang Family and Yang Style taiji.
Tai Chi Skill Evaluation (pt.1)
Often the subject of grading in Taijiquan study
comes up as students are interested in knowing where they stand in
terms of their development. This article presents both a short
critique of standard martial arts grading methods and a means for
establishing an accurate perspective on general skill level.
Distinguishing the Hip and Waist (pt.1)
There is perhaps, no greater stumbling block to the
mastery of taijiquan, than the murky confusion we are greeted with when
we first begin a conscious study of the hips and waist. Virtually
nothing in our western physical education prepares us for the study of
The Shi San Shi or ‘Thirteen Powers’ are
universally regarded as the energetic and conceptual core of Taijiquan
training. They are considered to be the source of all stylistic
variations of Tai Chi and the universal key which unlocks the secret of
all Taijiquan. It is said that without Shi San Shi at the root, one’s art cannot be called Taijiquan.
Way of the Tai Chi Sword
In martial lore the straight-sword is commonly respected as
the King of Short Weapons. Known also as the narrow blade, or
double-edged sword, the Straightsword was often seen in traditional
Chinese culture as a way to cut through veils of illusion, ego and
attachment and is associated with spiritual refinement as much as with
Sam's depiction of life on the road as a touring Tai Chi teacher. Contains interesting tidbits for everyone.