Autumn Tai Chi Starting Soon

Harrogate’s Taoist Arts Organisation classes restart for Autumn on Monday 3rd September 2018 with the beginners class.  If you have never tried T’ai Chi before then this is the class for you.  20180618_192323740_iOS

Alison welcomes everyone to the class with a friendly smile and hopes that you will enjoy your journey with her.

We start at 7.15 pm with students arriving a little before hand to get any admin work done.


We train in the small hall at Woodlands Methodist Church and I look forward to meeting you there.

New concept – Control

Why is this a new concept? To some people it’s all they know, to others it’s alien. Today, I spent the day attempting control with my Tai Chi friends. I think it was initially called three star principle, and even though I was unsure what it was about, it was explained.

The main function of the initial exercise was to use the principles taught to block an attack (in this case a head punch). Some people were taught how they should be punching, some people were taught how to keep their hands up to protect themselves. I had to learn to be less square on when in an initial guard position. It seems I can punch if nothing else.

I had some success with the ward off, and then trying to off balance your opponent. The next step is then to take the control and strike. This in itself is not too difficult a concept, however, the next step is then to continue with the strikes, adding so there were 4 or 5, this was hard for me to connect with.

Any previous training I’ve had has not included a control which you had to keep, if any control at all. My initial efforts were rather dismal, if I got the control and say one strike I had not particular idea where to put the next. It’s not instinctive to me. Even with a compliant partner I was unable to grasp the concept.

Errors were

Pre-empting the strike with the ward off. Remedy : Close your eyes until I tell you when to open them. Forcing me to deal with something, either flusters you or you do get it right. I do seem to need the extra assistance in seeing what I am doing (usually incorrectly), to be then shown the way to do it.

I tend to block myself with my own perception of what I think I can do and what the instructor wants me to do. This is something I am trying to undo, being blocked in internal arts is not the correct way to be, you need to be open to everything as well as open in everything. One day, I will be able to explain this.

T’ai Chi Anyone?

Since retiring from Karate, I have been able to spend some more time doing my other hobby, T’ai Chi.  The movement is fabulous when you get it right, and even though it causes me a lot of consternation, I am going to keep at it.

My class only runs once a week, and I usually top it up with weekends away a couple of times a year.  So far I have managed to get to the Easter Weekend, the Wetherby Weekend, I have just booked for the Summer Week, and I know I will be attending the Weapons Weekend later on in the year.

My current T’ai Chi Teacher, knowing my background has asked me to start to teach a beginners class. To that end, I have attended the British Council of Chinese Martial Arts Coaching Course, passing their Level 2 (rather pleased, felt a little intimidated by the training to be honest, but he is a nice bloke :))  I have been accepted for Insurance purposes by my organisation, and I have a hall lined up!

The first Date will be 14th May 2018, anyone interested in having a go, please do stop by, it will be an exclusive affair as the hall is small, so I will only have around 10 students. The venue is Woodlands Methodist Church, Wetherby Road, Harrogate, HG2 7SG and we wil be starting at 7.15 pm.

How much sword???

Since retiring from karate, I have been concentrating on my T’ai Chi in the hope that I can get the Broad Sword form I started to learn over a year ago into my head.  We are nearly there and whilst I am not as fluid as I should be, I hope that it looks like I am doing something with that sword.

The next training sessions for it will be at Easter and I hope to report back then!

Moving on

In life things get complicated, don’t go as planned, or get exciting with new things happening.  Life for me is about to change.

It was nearly 6 years ago that I fell into teaching karate. I knew I liked to practise it myself and an opportunity popped up which meant I could do it more. I was recovering from an operation, and thought it would be quickest way to get fit again and back at my hobby.  Over the last six years, that hobby became a full time job which is very satisfying and I have really enjoyed teaching the younger students in our club.

And here is where it ends, around the same time of year as it started, I have the opportunity to start again at an old job I know well, I initially took it on to help me get to New Zealand, but now its offering more and I feel it is time to hand over mantle.

I am retiring for a while, I am pretty certain that I will be popping up in classes again, but right now I am going to have a bit of rest. Watch this space in the future, you may find me training in your class!

You can still find me on Facebook and my Karate-lady Facebook page, I’m also on Twitter and Instagram. If I know you personally and you would like to stay in touch, please let me know. I’ll be around until nearly the end of January.

Kong Su!

Summer is here

We all like the sunshine and everyone loves the summer. At Martial Arts For Life we try really hard to ensure that our classes run as normal.

We are sometimes disappointed with the numbers so we started to ask for people to book and pay for their classes in advance over the summer period.

This year we are really pleased to see a number of our school students signing up for classes to get ahead of their peers.

Thanks guys!

Demonstration anyone!

Summer is just about here and the summer fairs are appearing.  This year my club was asked to advertise at one in Tadcaster. Our club in Tadcaster is thriving and when I was asked about a demo, I thought why not.

There are a lot of children who go to the primary school involved and I rather hoped as they would all be going anyway, they would help out.

The class is around 25 children and we got nearly half of them involved. It made me feel very proud to be in front of them as they all behaved impeccably. It was hot with the sun shining and everyone tried their best.

The only problem with the day was that I’d not grabbed a picture of them in action. I did see some of the mum’s out with their camera’s. I’m hoping that someone will let me see what they took, so I can have it for social media.

Tai chi new class

Since I started teaching karate with Martial Arts For Life I have always wanted to have a go at teaching tai chi.  I started attending classes and feel I have progressed enough to help other people to see the beauty in this art.

With the help of Martial Arts For Life LLP, I am about to start on a new T’ai Chi adventure, feeling a little in awe of the picture itself, publicity shots were required!  I will be running  six beginners sessions from Monday 5th June 2017.


Easter T’ai Chi

It’s Easter and I have just spent three days training with The Taoist Arts Organisation at Bloxham School. 

We spent the weekend learning new movements for a Broadsword Form and new ideas and techniques to help improve our performance.  We spent quite some time doing Kai Men exercises which can help you fix things, teach you to move your body differently. With the help of using the breath it can have a therapeutic effect.

The food for the weekend was fabulous and we all are very well. There are many people who are gluten or dairy free and nearly all the menus accommodated that. The site is beautiful and the sports hall is large and airy and provides us with a pleasant environment. The weather this weekend was good. 

If you get the chance the Easter weekend is always a good one.

Grading time soon

Grading at Martial Arts For Life is great fun for all our students. They come and work hard, then receive their belts. The instructors love to see everyone achieve their new grades and it’s great you see them after the grading.

To be able to grade, all students have to apply in advance. It does take time to organise the belts and the certificates. To work out the grade groups and timings for the day. The instructors have to cajole some students to do it, some students let you know they will be there soon. There are those students that book as soon as they find out, and those that leave it right up to the wire.

So whichever you are, remember, the instructor tells you that you can grade. Try not to leave it to late, and don’t forget to come once booked!