Easter Course... I know its ages ago but...

I spent some of my Easter weekend at a boarding at a Boarding School, on my Tai Chi Club's Easter Course.  The aims of the course were to teach the first 30 moves in a Fan Form, and progression of The Form.

As with all the courses that the Club does, we always do a breathing exercise or 'Kai men'/ 'Tao Yin'.  These help with many things, they help by assisting you in massage your internal organs with the movements you are asked to do.  They all have some health benefit even if they are done physically, that health benefit increases once you learn the art of the internal movement.  The exercises we practised for the weekend, there were three all were to assist in helping the lungs.  

The plan idea was to inhale and fill, then squeeze the air out of the lungs.  I must admit that for three or four days after the course, I was coughing away to myself on and off.  That can be the effect you see.  The idea was to clear the lungs!

The Fan Course was great, we were shown how to hold our fans correctly and the basics of the movement.  Those of us who are not as proficient with the expression were just to learn the actual steps and moves that should be with them.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, until the Scissor stance forced retirement.  Out of the 30 moves, I had got to 20.  I am currently attempting to catch up with a little help from a video, my hand written notes and my friend who attended with me.  She is very good!

As I was unable to continue with the fan I then worked on the Form.  My Form progression is ahead of my grade, but all practise is good practise, even if you only learn the movement.  I am now trying really hard to produce the expression that the Technical Director wants.  I think I am going to have to video myself to see if it is there.  I have been told that my Form is very smooth (that I take as a compliment, thank you!).
I have also taken that "It's coming along" from the Technical Director.  I feel that my coming along is taking forever, but I am positive about how it is fitting together and feeling better when I perform it.

Part of learning Tai Chi with the Taoist Arts Organisation is that you can learn it as a set of movements, and you can learn it with the martial applications.  The "Expression" required is how the Martial aspect of it works.  Expression works as in the way you move your hand in your ward off, Thumb to little finger, and how you produce the strike internally.  Often the movements are very subtle and are not easy to see, but when practising with a partner you can feel how it should work, provided your partner is not fighting it. If they fight it, you have to work hard to produce the result.  But I hear you say, its a martial art! Exactly, if your partner is fighting it and you do get it right, the results will be spectacular.  Once behind that pressure of the fight, then the expression will multiply with that to produce a possible explosive effect against your partner.

The whole point of the internal system is that there should be no effort in producing the effect!

Please note that to be able to pursue Tai Chi with the Taoist Arts Organisation, you should regularly attend classes run by one of their Instructors.  Information shown here are my views on how I think the movement is performed and may not be the prescribed version.


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