Thursday, January 26, 2017


In my most recent post, I forgot to mention a visit with my hand grip strength coach, Arnold Tobin. He's the inventor of the Thenar Glove hand strengthening system and highly regarded in his field. I first met Arnold about eleven years ago when we teamed up with Kenny Leacock, PT to provide a successful health and wellness workshop at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York.

I bought a pair of the Red Thenar Gloves he invented and had been using them ever since to enhance my hand grip strength as an intrinsic aspect of my Taijiquan training. Just prior to leaving New York to begin the 3-Year Training Program here at the Retreat Center, I upgraded to Arnold's newest Red Thenar Glove design. Similarly to Dr. Yang, Arnold is always refining his approach to fitness. Along with the new gloves, he taught me his latest hand stretch and strengthening exercises.

Arnold Tobin, Thenar Glove System Inventor
Photo credit: Jana Cunningham
The morning that I taught my students at St. Mary's Episcopal Church about three weeks ago, Arnold stopped by and shared his hand strengthening system with them. They received him with great enthusiasm! Before leaving us, he provided me with a pair of the Black Thenar Gloves and taught me additional enhanced exercise and stretch routines. He also taught me a sequence using both the Red and Black Thenar Gloves. He shared that I am the first and only person he's authorized to use the Black Thenar Gloves as well as the two glove system. I felt humbled and honored.

The Thenar Glove system is an integral part of my hand and grip strengthening strategies. It is playing a fundamental role in the basic weapons (staff and saber) drills we have been learning since September here on the mountain. There are now six Retreat Center students who use them as well.

"Success favors the prepared."
                                                               --Author unknown

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