Space, the final frontier

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.

Is 2019 Your Year for T’ai Chi Chuan?

Harrogate’s Taoist Arts Organisation classes restart for the Autumn Term in 2019 on Monday 2nd September 2019 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.

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.

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.

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!

Crocked again

Since December 2008, I have spent a lot of time ‘crocked’, first it was a hip thing which took nearly 9 months to clear up.  Then once it had i returned to regular training and was getting well into the forms etc for 3rd Dan, the syllabus was slightly altered and I had attended a seminar or two that had taught me what i was going to need without knowing it!

It was at one of these seminars in November 2010, that I had an accident, where a throw went wrong and I ended up with a sprained ankle and a slightly sore knee.  It turned out that when I returned to training in the following January 2011, my slightly sore knee was not up to scratch and I had ruptured my Anterior Cruciate Ligament.  

I had surgery for it at the end of May 2011 and hope that I can return to Karate training in 2012.  I managed to continue with the T’ai Chi after a 3 month break, but not the Feng Shou and am looking forward to getting back into that too.  I love doing the sword form from T’ai Chi.

It does not daunt me too much as to learning all the karate forms again, as I enjoy performing them, even ones that give me trouble.

Pil Seung!

December 2008 – 2nd Dan

My second Dan Dan grading took place in the cold weather which was a bonus.  It also happened when two other ladies were grading as well, Jo Fenwick and Cath Delaney were also grading to 1st Dan and 3rd Dan respectively.  It was great to be in such good company.  I also graded with a young friend of mine, who has helped me no end in getting me ready for the grading, she also graded to 2nd Dan with me.

I am sure one of the men felt he got off lightly but it was a good grading and we all performed as best we could.