I know Richard posted this on the WhatsApp group but anyone who practices or is thinking of practising Tai Chi should have a listen to this episode of Just One Thing by Dr. Michael Mosely. It looks briefly at the growing evidence for the health benefits of the martial art of Tai Chi admittedly without any actual reference to the martial side!
There is a “taster” video on the BBC Make Your Move webpages. It is simplified but gives an indication of one element of Tai Chi, the hand form, though it is not a style I recognise and shows no martial intent. Michael also mentions a video on the NHS website but I cannot find it. Please let me know if you can.
If you want to see what our hand form looks like I suggest you visit Peter Ballam’s website or come to the King Alfred Leisure Centre any Thursday evening from 8-9pm and see it for real.
The health benefits are also real and it is a practical and effective martial art but you don’t have to do any actual fighting unless you really want to. ; )
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.
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.
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!
Put the date in your diary NOW!
As you all know these are always interesting and informative so be there or be square!
It will be at Forest Boys School as usual and cost will be £45.00 from 2.00-5.00pm
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!
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.
I’m really enjoying Chinese Characters (1.45pm Mon-Fri Radio 4) although it has made no mention of taiji or any other martial art so far (Episode 4/20). It is a series of essays exploring Chinese history through the life stories of key personalities.
Even most of us sinophiles can find getting to grips with Chinese history overwhelming but these bite sized stories give a real feeling for the culture, its length and scope.
There are 20 episodes, so a month of lunchtime radio to look forward to or you can download the podcast :-
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.