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.

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!

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.

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!