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!
At last we can get back to practising outside! Expecting to see the “Faithful Few” who have been training with me on Zoom for the last 12 months and hoping to see some new faces who want to learn about this fascinating form of exercise. Non-contact, Socially Distanced of course! Beginners very welcome.
We will warm up with an easy to learn Qi-gong set before moving on to some actual Tai Chi. This is more difficult to learn but more rewarding in the long run.
When: Tuesday Evenings, 6.45-7.45pm May to September.
Where: Wish Park – south, centre
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
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!
The workshop with Dan in Horsham was really good as usual and as there were no beginners the whole group got on well with more advanced exercises such as Da Lu, Reverse Flying Flower Palm and Spear applications.
However I am looking to spread the delights of Tai Chi wider and wider so am advertising a 10 week Beginners Tai Chi Course starting in the new year:
Thursday 10th January 8-9pm. Cost £10 pw or £80 for the whole course on the first evening. Maximum 6 students. To reserve a place just phone or email.
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!