Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Shefford Tai Chi

The beginners and senior classes on Sunday Dec 15 will be cancelled.

Tai Chi - martial arts culture for beginners - some issues raised for students and teachers as observed from personal experience

It is my hope that the following will help “first timers” better understand and enjoy their early Tai Chi classes since I frequently come across beginners who attend Tai Chi sessions with absolutely no knowledge or understanding of what it is or how classes work – and it seems that this sometimes can lead to an unnecessary disappointment, and that the problem is really about expectations brought into the class – perhaps this piece will help align those expectations with the reality of a class without scaring anybody off – there is no reason to be put off, Tai Chi really is a gentle, caring activity – but it is important to understand that Tai Chi is “what it is” and not what you expect it to be coming from the outside. One might reasonable expect that by going to a class one is going to learn about Tai Chi and indeed of course one will – but the subject is so large and the range of expectations/behaviours so great that it cannot all be encompassed in an introductory class – or possibly a lifetime.

Perhaps the best single piece of advice I can offer is to “learn to look after yourself” in all the possible ways that implies and learn to work within your comfort zone – but that is a lesson in itself.

Ian with Shefford Tai Chi group on a workshop

We have been going to Belsey Bridge Conference Centre for many years and always have a good time – this year was exceptional, I guess due to the lovely mix of people who attended.

The program was based on “how to do” and becoming aware of internal feelings. This involved about 18 hours of actual training with a good measure of discussion on top. Given that this was the first Tai Chi workshop for most people the level of enthusiasm and staying power was notable – with even those who had previously chosen to do only the introductory section now deciding to learn the whole Laojia form.

The food was great ” like the best ever school meals!” and the company fun. The best Tai Chi school meals!

Everyone agreed they had learned a lot – perhaps more than they imagined possible – and now appreciated a great deal more than before – on a personal note I learned a lot as well.

Training was focused on Laojia form repetitions and corrections plus partner work leading to single push hands – again a first for many but enjoyed by all.

An experience we hope to repeat next year.

New material on Tai Chi

4 September 2019

I have recently been adding to older articles and completing new ones that have been in the pipeline for some time. There are eleven pieces about Tai Chi in general: The Dynamics of a Tai Chi Class – what Beginners can expect – A question that I am often asked is: “What will your Tai Chi class […]

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“Bad back? – most treatments make things worse” – New Scientist

1 September 2019

An interesting piece this week in New Scientist – they do not recommend Tai Chi but practice does fit the sort of activity they suggest and  I have a number of students who tell me their back pain has disappeared since doing Tai Chi. They do not offer a recipe for a quick cure but […]

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The biggest problem in teaching Tai Chi

1 September 2019

I was reflecting today on my (arguably variable) abilities as a teacher of Tai Chi – wondering how to better “get it across” to my classes of likewise variable ability, age and education – and was struck by the observation that actually the biggest problem I have is with students who think they know it […]

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Residential program

1 September 2019

Our residential program this year will take as it’s theme ” Don’t just do the exercise – feel and think about the movement in your body.” The program has the following points for students to consider: History and fore runners Shaolin, Bodidhama, Buddhism, Yoga, Chi Kung, Chin na, traditional Chinese medicine, theories of 5 elements, […]

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Master Chen Yingjun in the UK

31 July 2019
Thumbnail image for Master Chen Yingjun in the UK

Another wonderful master from the Chen family will also visit in November – someone I have trained with whenever I could and very well worth working with is Master Chen Yingjun – son of Grandmaster Chen Xaiowang. Chen Yingjun has visited the UK regularly for many years and has workshops at a number of venues […]

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Master Chen Bing in London

31 July 2019
Thumbnail image for Master Chen Bing in London

I hear that Master Chen Bing will visit the UK in August – I have met and trained with Chen Bing for only a couple of hours but that is enough for me to recommend anyone seriously interested in Tai Chi to attend his demonstrations/workshops. Tai Ji Circle will host him on Sat, 24 August […]

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