Actually this post is more a speculation on way that things accumulate organically over long periods – the way we humans pass things down the generations as cultural knowledge. Which may help in both understanding and learning Tai Chi – especially if you find it confusing and start asking questions like “why?”.

It seems reasonable to assume from history that people and the ancestors of people have been fighting for a very long time indeed and that therefore some of them probably started to practice so as to increase their chances of survival if nothing else. One can imagine this practice as a sort of parallel activity to social or ritualistic dance – it seems pretty certain that once societies started creating armies then the idea of practice to increase effectiveness was common so perhaps was born the idea of exercises, techniques and strategy.

Fighting of course creates a lot of physical damage, but so does practice which one can easily imagine led to an interest in medicine – fighting itself doesn’t actually take long, leaving extended periods in between for study of other beneficial knowledge – such as medicine, philosophy, magic, psychology, science etc.

So in the early 1600’s in the middle of China a number of these practices and ideas came together at the Chen village in the person of Chen Wangting who created a unique synthesis of physical techniques together with many of these other areas of study including the philosophical world models of Taoism and Buddhism. This coming together of ideas and practices transitioned martial arts training from a base of individual specialist fighting techniques to a system of general training for the person to be able to deal with anything. It has stood the test of time in martial arts and  has since proven an excellent lens for wider personal development of all kinds. It is a cultural movement that continues to absorb new information from anywhere so long as it is useful.

So it is beneficial to think of Tai Chi as a practice for dealing with life, offering off shoots and byways of physical, intellectual and spiritual experience derived from the extensive traditional knowledge which has accumulated over the generations.

Welcome then to beginners – who can consider Tai Chi like any other form of specialist activity and can choose their level of involvement and direction of study dependent on their interest and needs. To compare with medicine for example one may well become a first aider, a para medic, a nurse, a doctor, a consultant? It really depends on how much you enjoy it, how rewarding you find it and so on. The training starts the same, a student only has to choose how far they wish to go.

For more on the history of Tai Chi – please see here 

Sadly in light of the lockdown on Thursday I have had to cancel all classes with immediate effect at least until the end of lockdown on Dec 2nd – if I find that there is an exception for our sort of class or venue then of course I will restart.

I am sorry for any inconvenience – please stay in touch and watch this space for information.


We have had a surprising response to restarting Tai Chi classes recently, which means that now we need to have another class to keep the numbers down and maintain our 2 metre social distancing – so I have arranged to run a weekly class on Thursdays commencing on Nov 5th.

This will be a one hour beginners drop in class to compliment the existing Monday 1-2 pm class and the Sunday 6.30 class

Tai Chi again at Shefford Community Hall

We have managed to keep our Tai Chi practice going over the summer in the park at Digswell but now the weather has started to turn autumnal  it was lovely to get back to our usual venue of the Community Hall. The hall committee have spent much time on Covid security and we are grateful for their efforts which enabled us to get back to working on our flexibility, balance, posture and relaxation.

There was, of course much welcoming and greeting of old friends from a distance. Those of us who have managed to spend time on Tai Chi at home through the “lockdown” period were pleased to once again have company and the opportunity to share conversation – even my bad jokes went down well!

Rule of Six – Tai Chi classes exempted

11 September 2020

After a bit of digging on the government website and some discussion with the responsible people on the Community Hall committee we have agreed that Tai Chi classes in the hall come under one of the many exemptions to the rule of six. Classes will therefore restart on Sunday 20th Sept at 6.30pm and Monday […]

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Rule of Six puts classes on hold – no class Monday 14th Sept

10 September 2020

I would be happy to run classes with only five students but have 7 or 8 regular students who might like to come and at the moment I cannot see a practical way to regulate the class size – so reluctantly I am cancelling the class at Shefford Community Hall on Monday 14 Sept and […]

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Classes start again at the Community Hall Monday 14 and Sunday 20 Sept

4 September 2020

I am delighted to have been informed we can re-start Tai Chi classes at Shefford Community Hall – regular weekly classes will re-commence after lunch on Monday 14 Sept from 1.00 to 2.30pm  and on Sunday 20 in the evening at 6.30 to 9.00pm. Covid security will be required which includes wearing of face coverings […]

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No Tai Chi in the park Sept 10 and 13

27 August 2020

There will be no Tai Chi in the park Sept 10 and 13 Share the post “No Tai Chi in the park Sept 10 and 13” FacebookTwitterLinkedInE-mail

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Sinking and stretching

4 August 2020

Some years ago my teacher Karel Koskuba told me to practice slowly and to notice the feelings in my body – needless to say I understood the words – but crucially not the meaning – I did not truly understand. So I am delighted that now I think I do – in a sort of […]

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STMA Tai Chi – Thursday 23rd at 9.00 back on.

21 July 2020

Hi – I have just heard that my class at the Swiss Garden has been cancelled – so I will be at the STMA doing a free class as usual from 9.00am. Share the post “STMA Tai Chi – Thursday 23rd at 9.00 back on.” FacebookTwitterLinkedInE-mail

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