We should be starting Tai Chi in Wish Park for the summer on Tuesday 14th April 2020. That obviously isn’t going to happen so I have proposed to my students an “Introduction to Qi-gong” on Zoom. It is free and you only need enough space to stand and swing your arms so ideal for the present Lockdown situation. No previous experience is necessary so why not join us to learn a new skill ? One which I have found very useful recovering from illness when the demands of Taiji Nei-gong were just too much.
I shall base it on the (Immortal Family) Eight Pieces of Brocade or (Xian-jia) Ba-duan-jin. It comprises 8 exercises, simply because that’s a lucky number in China. Four of them have two parts so there are in fact 12 different movements but Shi-er-duan-jin would not be nearly as propitious!
Note that Qi-gong is not Tai-ji-quan though both are based on Daoist philosopy. Tai-ji-quan is a martial art which includes exercises to improve health, strength, fitness and well-being. Qi-gong is purely intended to improve health and well-being by regulating the breath and stimulating the three treasures or san-bao.
If you would like to learn more, and how to practice the Ba-duan-jin safely then join me on Tuesday evenings at 6.45.
To sign up just send me your name and mobile number. I will send you the link to the Zoom Client via WhatsApp or email. On Tuesday evening run the Zoom Client, enter the Meeting ID and Password I send out at 6.40pm and enjoy! You will be muted and you don’t even have to switch on your video at this stage but at about 7.15 I will un-mute you all for questions and chat.
I have been neglecting this blog and chatting to regular students through the WhatsApp group but I thought I should explain what is going on, during the Covid-19 pandemic, here in case anyone is looking to Tai Chi Chuan, for help in these difficult times.
We started with a class outside on the prom on Thursday 19th March as the King Alfred closed. When that was proscribed we moved on-line and had our first Zoomcast class at our usual time, 8pm, on Thur 26th. It was a bit chaotic but everyone seemed to think it was well worth doing so I shall persist – I have ordered a headset!
If you want to join us, contact me and I’ll tell you how.
I am also thinking of running an introduction to Baduanjin, the qigong set I teach. I usually recommend it particularly to the elderly and infirm as it is both easier to learn and less strenuous than Taijiquan but I have personally found it useful when recovering from illness. It is also ideal under current constraints as you only need enough space to stand and swing your arms. If there is interest I will start this after Easter in place of Tai Chi in Wish Park on Tuesday evenings.
Finally, if you want to find out a bit more about my credentials to teach I am proud to say my sifu, Dan Docherty invited me to join the Featured Instructors on his website last year :- https://www.taichichuan.co.uk/where-to-learn/featured-instructor.html
There has been a fun discussion on Facebook after someone posted video of a charlatan in a Chinese park bouncing some poor acolyte around using empty force. Dan then posted on his blog http://www.taichichuan.co.uk/blog.html an account of the famous Water Incident when a certain renowned purveyor of kong jin, Dr Shen Hongxun, was made to look rather foolish.
I first heard about mt force in a book on karate I read as a young teenager (what is now, bizarrely, called a ‘young adult’). In it an old master was said to be able to project his Qi by shouting “KAI!!!” and could use this to knock birds out of trees. I was both fascinated by the idea of being able to cultivate such a power yet disappointed at its weakness. Now if it could lift a spaceship out of a swamp… but this was a long, long time ago before Star Wars was a twinkle in George’s eye and I guess most kids dream of having super powers.
That, of course, is what brought me to martial arts. I quickly found that at Judo a good little’un could beat a big’un but a good big’un was more of a problem and I was a little’un! The answer, of course, is to train harder and longer than the big b******s and so to have gongfu – skill acquired through hard training. By the way the term can apply to any skill not just the martial arts.