Unfortunately, my current class has had to close.  Very sadly I have two great students but I seem to be unable to attract and keep any more.

If events turn any better,  I may be able to restart it, but for now, it Ta ra!!!!

So we all stay home

Due to the unprecedented pandemic, we are or SHOULD be staying home for the foreseeable future. My classes are very small and I want to assure you, provided I can resume in a central location, the classes will continue once this is over. In the meantime, The Taoist Arts Organisation to whom I am affiliated with has given guidance on whether online sessions can be used to help us over this time.

To join a session, you will need a key from me. I will contact you directly, each session is approximately 30 minutes long. We will be breathing, this is even more important now, and practising our Form.

See you all soon online.

Is 2020 Your Year for T’ai Chi Chuan?

Harrogate’s Taoist Arts Organisation classes restart for the Winter Term in 2020 on Monday 6th January 2020 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. The class starts with a very gentle warm up to manipulate the joints, release the muscles and ligaments a little. There are partner exercises to attempt, followed by learning how to do the Lee Style Form, then finishing with a breathing exercise.

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

Realisation, about starting martial arts in adulthood.

This week started on a bit of sad note, one of my students decided that there was not enough time to find for my sessions, this happens, everyone has a busy life and not everyone can fit everything in. They thought they were not giving themselves enough time to practice at home so therefore thought they should stop altogether.

This realisation probably hit them after they had missed the week before and when they realised it was class again and they had not found the time to practice at all whilst not attending.

Starting Martial Arts in adulthood is a fabulous thing to do, but being able to stick at it is not always feasible unless you let yourself do it. Every man and his dog wants their little piece of you, and to be honest, learning a martial art is a very personal thing. You cannot just think, right, I am going to learn how to defend myself, this is not martial arts, or think, right I am going to use this to get fitter, this is not martial arts, or even that looks so good, perhaps I can do it? That is not martial arts!

Martial Arts is a union of mind and body in meditation, to be able to allow the body to move whilst the effort being put in is tempered to the scenario. When I am practising my arts, I am not thinking about dinner, I am not thinking about what I will be doing tomorrow or what I did yesterday, I am thinking about what my next movement may be. If I have practiced enough I sometimes do not necessarily think the next move through but just do.

Those people who know me, have seen me in some very loud situations and some very quiet ones, I strive to make both as meditative as I can for myself. Training in Martial Arts is one of the few things you can do individually as a group. If you Can get your head around that, it can open doors for you to think differently. The enjoyment from a noisy class is different to that of a quiet one. The energy made by the people and noise around you can buoy you along in the noisiest of classes. The quiet class, the energy you produce pushes you along the path in a simple manner and only affects yourself. Both options have their merits, which is why children enjoy those noisy classes.

Being kind to yourself in everything you do, helps you become more rounded, and trying to fit things around your life, even though can be problematical, should be practiced as their benefits will out way any negativity felt.

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.

Seminar with Master Johnson July 2004

The 10th of July rolled round very quickly, is it really four weeks since we were graded?  We had been looking forward to the seminar for quite some time and now it was here.  First there was the problem of dress, Full Do Bok or our very bright yellow T-shirts, easily fixed that day it was quite cold.  Then do we take our Bongs?, Better do, just in case.  On arrival at the Do Jang (better known as Calcutt Village Hall), we found that Master Johnson and some of the Coventry Crew had already arrived.  There were a few of us already there and some people were quite nervous, having never experienced a seminar with Master Johnson before personally I was matter of fact about it.

Eventually we started our warm up, doing ok so far.  Then a sit down, Master Johnson said we would not be starting to do much just yet as some of the Coventry visitors were still on their way.  He also apologised for wearing not his belt, babies have impeccable timing for sickness.

We then paired off, call it lucky, I got a Master.  Perhaps I was not as respectful as I could have been, being a very dizzy orange belt, but he was very nice about it all.  We went through the applications of Pyung Ahn Forms (Hyung), (Peaceful Confidence for those that don’t know).  It makes the forms easier for me if I know why I am doing them so this was excellent.  Master Johnson used clapping to bring us all to a stop, unfortunately for me I am concentrating that hard on what I am doing I usually missed it.  Lucky for me then that the Master I was with kept prompting me!

We kept going being shown the applications and then practising them.  After some time we went through the forms, as high as you know, I only know to Pyung Cho Dan. As the forms get higher less people are doing them, eventually we got down to the Master Grade.  He has just started to learn a new form and therefore had to try to remember it on his own.  This is difficult even for a Master!  With regard to the basic form, its the stances that are important, you really have to work hard to get them correct, they are Back Stance, Front Stance and Horse Riding Stance.  

Then we were taught a form new to most of us, It was a Dan form, Horrors of horrors, if only I could remembers its name.  The children were taught White Crane, my eldest boy can remember up to where they got to, he is doing better than his mum (as usual).  This is something special and I hope that I can get to grips with the bits I can remember.

The two hours went very quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed it, yes it was hard work, yes I have aching legs and knees and arms, and, yes I felt good after it!  I look forward to the next one, there is nothing to be nervous about.  Tang Soo Do is one of the best workouts I have ever had, two hours is slightly longer than normal but I will not flinch from the next one and I will attend my class today!

Week 16 – Often out of time

Another weeks training, its getting better honest I think. We got the chance to have a higher belt help us learn our next Hyung. I am getting behind with this now but will keep updating it occasionally. I have a friend who has been inspired back into the Martial Art he started a few years ago and gave up. So I feel that I have done some good with my Tang Soo Diary. I enjoy the classes very much and I am getting fitter. I still go to the gym and get weighed periodically. I may not have lost much weight but I have certainly improved my body fat ratio. Its down from 40.2 to 35.7%. So I am very pleased.
I have done this diary for 16 weeks mostly on rather than off. I have not done it recently but the next piece is about a Seminar with Master Johnson in July 2004.

Week 15 – Away on business

This week the kids went to their class on Wednesday with their Dad. I was away on business. They worked hard as usual I do believe.
I returned from my trip very tired but made the effort to get to the Adult class on Thursday night. I really enjoyed it. There were 7 people including the instructor. Therefore we spent quite a lot of time lined up doing set moves. They were very complicated and I am not sure I do need them yet but I tried. However I did not get them right. I found them very difficult. We went through the forms from Basic up, I managed that one reasonably well, on Cho Dan I really had to correct myself at the last bit, I went into a low block instead of the sudo block. However I did it again and finished the form correctly I hope.
We went through all our techniques and moves including the board kick, I suppose the only thing we did not do was the 3 step sparring. I still need to practice the bong form so I do not move my feet too much.

Week 9 – Yellow belts in Line

Very proud in our new belts, and we came to class with gusto. This week on Wednesday we enjoyed our class and the discipline is getting better for the children. We caused a little problem though, we take water bottles to class as in the times we get to sit at the back, we usually try to grab a drink. However this week we caused a few problems as we were not really quick enough. However, for ourselves we have decided to drink plenty before class and make sure we have some for after the class. Things seem to be getting more complicated and the moves too.
The Sunday class took its usual format. I enjoyed it and got to show off a bit. One of the Dan grades is attempting to learn a new technique which requires him to do a crab. He cannot do it very well at all. However I can manage it. Therefore I had to demonstrate to the class of what he wanted us to do. Again discipline was tighter, the children in the class, unfortunately need it. As well as the normal techniques and forms, which I managed the Basic Form correctly, therefore am feeling quite chuffed with myself, we did a couple of self defence moves for a bit of fun. Therefore if anyone tries to shake me to bits by the lapels, or strangles me I may be able to get them off me.