Wudang Tai Chi & Qi Gong Back in the Park

The clocks have sprung forward so classes in Wish Park have restarted for the Summer of 2022 – Tuesday evenings 6.45-7.45 pm.

A Beginners Course will run after Easter from Tuesday 19th April for 4 weeks, cost £25. For more details and to book your place  email, text or phone using my contact details on the Classes page.

January 2020 Beginners Tai Chi Course

Make a fresh start in the New Year learning this wonderful, ancient, martial art  with the Wish Wudang Tai Chi Club.

We are holding a 10 Week Beginners Course starting on Thursday 9th January 8-9pm at the King Alfred Leisure Centre. Cost £80 or £10 per week. No experience necessary.

You will learn the slow flowing pattern of movements known as the Hand Form. This is just the Yin or health giving side of the art but as you  progress you can also start to learn the Yang or martial side if you so wish.

Maximum 6 students. To reserve a place or get more information just call, text or email Tim.

A few thoughts on practise weapons

I have a few cheap wooden sabres for students to start learning weapons with but some have asked about buying their own. This I would highly recommend as every blade or spear feels so different and you can customise the grip and even the blade.

If you are only going to do forms then cheap wooden broadswords are adequate. The problem is that if you don’t learn the applications you can never give your form proper ‘yi’ or intent. Even sliding deflections as in ‘Pick a star on the left’ will soon damage a cheap softwood sabre such as

https://www.taichilink.net:8445/catalog/broad-sword-c-1_4/wooden-broad-sword-tai-chi-sword-p-12 £15.99 +p&p but they do come in two lengths 26” or 28”.

Better but still not made to practise applications at speed is this one made from oak:

https://www.playwell.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23_106_203&products_id=1935 £18.99 +p&p but it is only in the shorter length.

Cheap metal display weapons are much more expensive starting at about £60 and for real, live bladed, folded steel you can pay hundreds. They are also much heavier, of course, but better balanced with a larger range of sizes. and come with scabbards. Tai Chi Link (see above) has a number of seconds with slight damage at 10-15% off so you can instantly look like an old hand!

You could, of course, go up to London and visit Shaolin Way in China Town and choose exactly what you want. They didn’t have a big range when I went but that was in the last century… Alternatively if you want to do a bit of research on-line there are several other websites in this country and abroad and, in the U.S., sites where you can pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Don’t forget you may have to pay duty on top but my son has found what he wants this way.

And finally you could consider the latest type, made of abs plastic, so OK for sparring and applications but which I have not tried such as:

https://www.playwell.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23_105&products_id=7330 £36.99 + p&p. They look interesting but for the fact they are plastic, a material I try to avoid. On the other hand if they can survive applications & sparring and last a lifetime they are probably relatively environmentally friendly.

Happy hunting.

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!

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.