T’ai Chi in the Park 2019

T’ai Chi in Wish Park will start just after Easter this year on 23rd APRIL.  I’ve changed to TUESDAYs to avoid the disruption caused by the Bank Holidays in May.  Hope this is not a problem. Time remains at 6.45-7.45pm so no free parking nearby except down by the lagoon or north of the railway.

It will be aimed at all levels including complete beginners. We will focus on Dao-chuan – the slow flowing patterns of movement known as T’ai Chi Hand Form and Tui-shou the more aerobic one or two person exercises often misnamed Pushing Hands. The Hand Form is what most people think of when they think of T’ai Chi. Pushing Hands may come as a bit of a surprise to the uninitiated but you must remember that the art is based on the theory of Yin & Yang so is both soft and slow –  yin,  but also, at times, fast and hard – yang. You can’t have one without the other, well you can, but it is unbalanced and relatively ineffective.

If you have any questions beforehand just email, text or phone. You don’t need any special clothing but dress for the weather and if it rains wear a hat, we WILL still be there!

Tai Chi donated to The Museum of Curiosity by Benjamin Zephaniah

I love Radio4! Just been listening to The Museum of Curiosity (Series 13 Episode 1) in which Benjamin Zephaniah gave an impassioned case for donating Tai Chi. It was great even though some of what he said was disputable!

Yang based styles, for example, are not always slow. Yes, the hand form is mostly done in a slow and controlled manner but some moves, such as Double Hand Sweep Lotus Leg, are quick and besides I do the whole form much quicker on a chilly winter morning than a warm summer’s evening!

As for it not being an effective martial art and “you would be better off doing Kick Boxing or Karate”, that may be true of his Chen style but my Sifu Dan Docherty, his Sifu Chen Tin-hung and several elder brothers in Tai Chi have demonstrated that a full system of Wudang, Practical Tai Chi Chuan is. (N.B. WPTCC is in the Yang/Wu family lineage NOT Chen family despite the name – see ‘The Complete Tai Chi Tutor’ by Dan Docherty for detailed lineages etc.)

Also listened to Start the Week with Andrew Marr interviewing Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Sapiens and Homo Deus. Well worth a listen though  they don’t mention Tai Chi!

Last Tai Chi in the Park for 2018

What a lovely a lovely evening for our final session of Tai Chi in the Park.

Numbers varied somewhat but that’s holidays for you! There were two evenings with only one student and one with eleven but I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. Amanda gets the attendance award with 9 sessions closely followed by Martin but neither are in the photo above.

Several players have said they will join us at the King Alfred for the winter so looking forward to seeing you all there.

Review of The Truth About Getting Fit with Michael Mosley

Enjoyed program by “Trust me, I’m a doctor”, presented by Michael Mosley on BBC1 on Wednesday night- The Truth About Getting Fit.

It looked at the latest research, staged some ‘illustrative’ experiments and ended up recommending brisk walking (Moving step push hands, weapons forms), weights (Hand stands & Nei-gong) and dancing (Hand Form, applications, freestyle push hands) unless you fancy HIT – High Intensity Training (rolls + Running Thunder Hands!). Interesting that HIT only really works heart and thighs but the effects transfer to all muscles.

Also, Getting Fit does NOT need will power, which will always let you down(!), but immediate enjoyment (Chat and catch up during 7 Stars) as a reward plus the camaraderie of a group (Keen members of Wish Wudang Tai Chi Club always go to the pub afterwards and most attend the Spring Festival meal and Summer BBQ!).

Looks like our system, Wish Wudang Tai Chi Chuan, covers all bases but then it has been refined by trial and error over several hundred years so I am not surprised, just smug!

And how did I do in the tests? 10 in 11s and PR 93 which is OK at 71.

Enjoyable discussion about Kong jin, Empty Force

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.

Christmas and New Year

Thursday 28th December – the King Alfred is closed in  the evening so no class.

Thursday 21st December – I shall be off to my eldest daughter’s for Christmas but Rik and Will have volunteered to run a session so please come if you can.

Saturday 16th December 8am – this session will be my last of the year but speak to Rik who may be around on the 23rd & 30th.

Back to normal on Thursday 4th January and don’t forget Peter’s workshop in Horsham on the Saturday 6th.

I am advertising a 6 week ‘Beginners Tai Chi  Course’ starting on Thursday 11th Jan. Continue reading “Christmas and New Year”

Welcome to Wish Wudang Tai Chi Club Website and Blog

This little site has information about Tai Chi,  the classes in Hove that I teach and a blog. I see no point in reproducing what you can find elsewhere on the web so I have included a page of links to relevant sites.

The blog will be mainly about tai chi and what is happening at the Wish Wudang Tai Chi Club in particular but I may publish wider musings if I take to this blogging lark…

Cheng Kam-yan son of Cheng Tin-hung

Jonathan posted on the FaceBook group that he had recently had the pleasure of training with Cheng Tinhung’s youngest son in Hong Kong. Some really good video of various Wudang  tuishou/pushing hands. In fixed step free-style Jonathan got a couple of draws but didn’t score once so said he ‘must train harder’ an attitude I respect!

You can see this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74LW25_qQkU or just search youtube for Cheng Kam Yan.

Great workshop with Dan Docherty

Had a really good workshop with Dan in Horsham today. Lots of applications as usual then Short Form Mirror followed by a choice of spear or sabre.

We worked through applications illustrating the eight ways of using the sabre Pi – chop, Ci – stab, Tan – slash up to groin, Tuo – push up with both hands, Ti – divert up, Liao – stir and slash, Chen – press down and Lu – divert to the side. They are often used together as in Ti Pi which is an upward diversion to a stab followed by a chop to the attacker’s arm.

We ended with the Brush Knee sequence that takes you round in a full circle. It is beginning to make sense until I try to do it on my own.

Thanks Dan and thanks for the Song coin. If I keep coming perhaps I’ll earn a whole string!