Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are in the world today. Welcome to the Tai Chi Earth blog. We took some time thinking how to write our first blog post. The first step is often the most difficult one to make. Why write a blog? What can we give? We want to share with you our passion for tai chi and even more so, our passion for passing it on. When we have a new participant or a whole new group it is very tempting to try and convey all the benefits, all the wonders, how tai chi can make you feel and all the depth that tai chi has. Good thing that we resist the urge to do so, that would be an information overload and we would probably lose our voice in the trying, or by the very least be croaking like a frog after it completed singing a full rendition of the Lion King. Although now thinking about it, we would like to see that.
Like our classes and our own tai chi journey, we are just going to give it time. Let it happen, evolve. One of the wonders of tai chi is that every day we practice, we learn something new, discover a little more depth. Tai chi has its masters but maybe it is something never to be fully mastered.
Often we have described tai chi like going on a boating holiday. Years ago, we drove to the picturesque waterway called the Norfolk broads, travelling at 70 miles per hour, well mostly only on the motorway parts of the journey. We got on the boat and set off. Excited, steering the ship, looking forward to the big adventure. Then we realise this is slow, has the engine got a problem? One day went by, then another, the sights drifting slowly by, yet our senses are heightening, the summer fields giving off their perfume, the bird song, the flutter of wings as a duck takes off, a fish splashing and leaving little rings on the surface. The water lapping on the bow as we glide smoothly through the water. The warmth of the sun, a gentle breeze flowing around us. We had found jìng, in the Chinese language this can mean quiet, still, gentle. Travelling home we realised how fast our everyday lives are now, and in all this muddle, constant noise, tai chi allows us to find some moments of jìng, a meditation in motion if you will.
A ‘Tai Chi’ for everyone. Now for the meaning behind this cunningly devised title, well two meanings. The first being we have designed our tai chi programme to be all inclusive. We have had the pleasure of teaching adults, children in groups and in schools, lots of classes for children with special education needs, people with disabilities and we also hope our programmes will be used to great effect in the workplace. The other meaning in the title is that tai chi comes in many flavours. We will go into this topic in later posts, for now to name a few, there are many different styles of movement, Yang, Chen, Sun, Wu and others. Then there are variances in the way it is taught, for example, martial, detailed, simplified, as a sport, holistically and for health. There are tai chi empty hand forms, ball forms, rouli ball, stick, staff, fans and swords. You can use tai chi solo, or in groups, to give performances, enter competitions and contact in push hands. The beauty in all this, simplifying it all, tying everything together, is a set of principals which can be found in all styles of tai chi. There really is something out there for everyone.
So who is this ‘we’, we keep on writing. My name is Pete and my partner in business and in life is Marian. We have introduced ourselves on the about us page or you can just get to know us in time, the tai chi way. We are excited to be launching the Chi Forward programme – which we will be writing about soon. Chi Forward has been designed by us over the last few years, what we aimed for in our ‘flavour’ of tai chi, is a simplified version, respecting the principles, fun, enjoyable and easy to follow and learn. The main message we want to leave you with is that tai chi is for everyone, it is great for your body and mind and it is bucket loads of fun.
Written by Pete Mullender