Monday, 12 February 2018

Tai Chi

I've been getting a bit creaky in the joints lately - to the extent that, it's okay for me to get down to shelve books on the bottom shelves, but it's a bit more difficult for me to get up again!
Before Christmas, the Cinema Bookshop got a collection of martial arts books and I found, to my delight, the David Carradine Book of Tai Chi amongst them. I was a big fan of Kung Fu when I was a kid, so I fondly imagined myself turning into Kwai Chang Caine if I followed the instructions....
Turns out it's quite difficult to do when you're trying to follow one movement per page and then having to stop to turn over.

Then I was looking through Wye Local, and I came across an advert.
Peter Howells is teaching Chen style Tai Chi, the origin of all Tai Chi, at the Masonic Hall twice a week. The classes are on Tuesdays from 6pm to 7pm, and Fridays from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. He follows the school terms, so this week there are no lessons, as it's half term.
I went along on Friday, and it was great fun! There were about 8 or 9 of us, with one chap amongst the ladies, and we learned how to do the warm up exercises, followed by some meditation, and then the three of us who had never been before sat out while we watched the rest do the form - the sequence of moves. Peter Howells explained that the Chen style is the nearest Tai Chi style to martial arts, and it's also good for strengthening your legs, which is what I was looking for.
I've always resisted going to exercise classes before, never really fancied the idea of yoga or pilates, but I think this will suit me very well - and he's a good teacher. One of the ladies who had come along for the first time had to explain to her family that she wasn't about to learn karate, because he used to teach that before he moved on to Tai Chi!

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