Firstly I would like to say ‘Thank You and Well done!’ to all the students who have stuck with me through Zoom and outdoor classes since the first lock-down in March 2020.
After much discussion we have decided to re-start classes at the King Alfred Leisure Centre on Thursday 23rd September 2021 so the last class on the promenade will be on the 16th. This, of course, assumes restrictions remain relaxed. Numbers will be strictly limited to ensure safe distancing can be maintained as much as possible. Pair work may only be done in training bubbles.
As before the epidemic the first hour, 8-9pm, will be for Hand Forms and Pushing Hands which players may choose to do solo or paired. The second hour, 9-10pm, will concentrate on applications and the three weapons forms and techniques. There is to be no sharing of equipment.
Beginners are welcome to the first hour but please phone, text or email to be sure there is space.
Tuesday evening Qi-gong classes will revert to Zoom as the weather deteriorates. Date to be confirmed.
I’ve been listening to Just One Thing on Radio 4 over the past few weeks. Each episode suggests one thing you can do to improve your mental and physical health each week and the evidence to back it up.
This week it was on the importance of balance which tends to deteriorate from age 35-40. Not just for preventing falls (2nd most common cause of accidental death according to the WHO) but also for benefits to mental health. I’m thinking ‘Great, Tai Chi is known to be good for balance and falls prevention’ but he was talking about standing on one leg while brushing your teeth… Then he spoke to Professor Dawn Skelton at Glasgow Caledonian University who said “Tai Chi is one of the best activities to improve your balance!”.
Prof. Skelton also mentioned that, starting at any age, regular practice was key. This reminded me of a comment by my taiji sifu Dan Docherty that regular practice in China meant daily whereas in the west it meant once a week! In my experience of teaching over the last 20 years you can sure tell the difference between those students who practice daily and those who only do a weekly class!”
This doesn’t mean you have to practice for an hour every day though – most people just don’t have the time. No, just 5 minutes, once or twice a day will bring so much more benefit than only attending a weekly class. Who knows, you may even get to enjoy it and see it as something to look forward to in the daily grind!
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!
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.
Great to see so many new faces at Tai Chi in the Park this evening. Hope you all enjoyed it.
We covered: Stances, Seven Stars & Four directions Pushing Hands, the first twelve moves of the Short Square Form, Wave Hands in Clouds. I also explained that there are 5 elements in the Wudang System: Hand Forms, Weapon Forms, Pushing Hands, Self Defence Applications and Nei Gong.
If you go to my teacher Peter Ballam’s site through the Links page above you will find video’s of all the Forms and Pushing Hands. If you want to find out more about Tai Chi and the Wudang Style in particular then visit my Sifu Dan Docherty’s site.
I should have mentioned that we shall be at WISHFEST with an information desk in the Health & Wellbeing Area again this year. There will also be a demo at 4pm (England will hopefully be in the World Cup final not the third place play-off!) which you are welcome to join in. If not, I hope to see you all again next Monday.
Hopefully that was the last of the winter weather so we can look forward to a beautiful Summer of Tai Chi in the Park starting on Monday 14th May. We shall concentrate on Dao-quan and Tui-shou, that is Hand Forms and Pushing Hands.
I shall put some cards/posters around in the hope of attracting some new participants to the finest exercise system and martial art in the world. If you are reading this thinking about taking up Tai Chi then please do come and join us. It is a small friendly group you will quickly feel at home in and if you are interested in the martial rather than just the health side please let me know. Check out the pages on this site and the links to my teachers for more information or give me a call on Brighton 276695.
When: Monday Evenings 6.45-7.45pm.
Where: Wish Park – in the middle on the South side.
Cost: A measly £5 (Discount for members i.e. regulars to the Thursday class)
Weather: If it rains wear a hat, I will be there!
Parking: If you must drive be aware that there is limited Pay by Phone parking in Saxon Rd. The rest is residents only from 7 until 8. You can also park, for free, by Hove Lagoon if you don’t mind a little walk.
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.
Just had first booking for the Beginners Tai Chi Course and it was first proper message to my new email at this new site. Woohoo! This is often the most popular course of the year as people make New Year Resolutions and look for ways to get fit and work off those extra pounds put on over Christmas.
Many people don’t think of Tai Chi as aerobic enough to burn off the calories but the Tui-shou or pushing hands exercises and weapons forms certainly can. It depends how fast you do them! Continue reading “Introduction to Tai Chi Course starting 11th February 2018”