Now that the dark nights are back, are you going to sit inside and wait for the light to reappear? I have a suggestion, try out one of the Tai Chi classes, it might just keep you going winter with a little lightside!
My current light is the colour in my garden, the late amaryllis are out in full force and their bright pink colour really does come out on a grey day.
The garden is starting to come out at my house. I have some lovely areas where I can practise my T’ai Chi. Be it on the gravel Zen garden or the patio, or even on the grass, there are many pretty things to look at and admire as I train.
Further to the last year or so’s sojourn, we are returning to classes in September 2021.
The last year and half, I have practiced with my usual students via Zoom a couple of times a week and in June I decided to see if we could return to face to face. The six weeks of sessions ran well and going on from that I am returning on 6th September 2021 at Woodlands Methodist UR Church in Harrogate. The class starts at 7.15 pm and will run for approximately a hour.
If you feel you need assistance in releasing the stresses of life then the class could help you. The meditative effect of the movement helps you mentally and physically which then gives you wellbeing in general. Students who come into class tired leave refreshed and re-energised.
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.
Where have we heard that before? My thoughts on space from a weekend of looking for space.
In karate we create space by measuring up, measuring up is the safety mechanism used in set techniques. Without the safety mechanism, practice would be a messy affair and the uniforms are usually white!
And so we move onto Tai Chi, space in taiji is not necessarily given to your partner so that safety can be practiced. It is more likely used to let your partner fall into. Space is what you are looking for when attempting to disrupt your partner, you know, where you want them to fall into. But is it?
Space is what we are all looking for, but where are we supposed to find it? Is it where the opponent is supposed to fall? Is it the gap between you and your opponent? What is space for?
You need space for your ‘C’ shape, to make your shape you need to bring space inside. Inside what? Firstly inside your body by breathing in, the air fills the space inside, then the mechanical takes over so that you tuck under, so that once the chin is then in place you have your spinal C. So space created by filling yourself with air then needs to be kept In whilst relaxing in your chest, this keeps your back expanded and rounds the shoulders for your other C dimension.
Space in our joints. Getting space into the joints by elongating through the ligaments and moving the muscles above and below the joint. Once the space is in the joint that helps you move more smoothly if in the hips, or takes the weight if in the upper joints to allow correct position for producing the behind the pressure idiom.
The idea of space is not often thought about as you learn the set movements of your tai chi, however, once the concept has been explained a little, movement can be improved.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.