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.
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 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!
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.
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.
Unfortunately for me, both my sons decided that they wanted to give up on the karate. I continued without them, but then spent the whole of August NOT in a training class. I made an effort in September to return to regular training and all started well. I am enjoying the new forms for the 2nd Dan and learning new routines and one step etc all the time. I really enjoy it.
We have trained very hard since our Cho Dan Bo grading, since the last grading the syllabus has changed a little, now if you are 10 and under, you do not have to learn quite so much, the reasoning for this is that some of the children found it too hard to continue and would give up completely. The idea is that you would get to your First Dan Grading, then between that and third Dan you should be able to complete all the other requirements to make it a full Dan Grade, the time spent getting there is between 3 to 4 years so by then the children have the maturity required for it. No one gets anything for nothing and hard work is the only way to progress.
This new syllabus means that the youngest and I attempted our Grading March and were able to pass successfully, we are both very proud of our belts and new Uniform.
Our training stepped up but the youngest and I decided that we would take longer than the usual 3 months to get to the right standard, he is struggling with it as there is so much to learn, so the eldest went for his grading as normal. He did really well and came out with a red face and a big smile as he is now a First Dan Dan Grade in Kong Soo Do.
Classes continue and we keep on improving, there is far more to learn for Cho Dan Bo, Our arts black belt, than the others, 5 one step, you must be able to do all the 3 step, show off your skills with your Bong as well as the required forms. As if that is not enough, you always have to prove you still know everything else you have learnt over the years.
This is being a bit of a trial for my youngest, but he has got his head round it, he always leaves a class with a smile on his face though.
A Hot hot day arrived in June 2006, we had done our March grading and passed our Red Belt, without too much trouble, except the Bum cha cha forms did cause my little one a problem, the moves are so precise and you are expected to do them just so, that even though he managed to get his black stripe for them, he is still struggling now with them. However, that did not stop him doing the grading in June for Red Stripe belt.
When I says it was hot, I mean it was so hot you could have fried eggs! We arrived early at the Do Jang, usually known as The Squash and Fitness Club. There were grades everywhere, getting belts, waiting to go into the grading or just standing about chatting. Its a good sight, I saw some of the little girls from a class I help my Instructor at who have now got their orange belts and very proud they were indeed.
We waited patiently, getting hotter and hotter. Then it was our turn, we entered the grading room and found Masters Pears and Fisher. Master Johnson had not come north today, seeing as Master Griffiths Johnson is nearly ready to have their latest baby. We lined up and then the grading started, the Dan grades come in too and used this as warm up for their grading. We did line work, we did our forms, I had to do Sip Soo twice as I made an error on the first time. I knew I had and was glad I was given the chance to prove I could do it. I think my bong form went awry on the last part, but I did it all. I tried really hard with my Nianchi forms and stances and hope that they were low enough, though now I will have to make sure I attain the stance drop at class or I will be in bother. We did our breaking, elbow strike and your favourite kick, I did step side kick, As neat as I could.
We all passed, hooray, I know that we had some double graders in the earlier group, which is very good. There are some kids in that group who are very good at it. I enjoyed it as usual once I got started, the only problem I had was the frozen self for the one step. I partnered with my eldest, so there he was hissing at his mother so that she did the correct thing. It was ok and we did what we could.