Today we tried something new (for us) – Tai Chi Chuan. I guess there are as many branches of this martial arts as there is in Karate, Jiu jitsu, Kali etc. The one we tried were the one available, and therefor the one most right for us. There was an English teacher Dave West, who’s been living here on Bali for the last 15 years that held the class.
We got an introduction to the philosophy of Tai Chi, and the ideas of (if I remember correctly) “Stillness started moving. If there is an
up, there must be a down – if there is right here must be left” and the Yin & Yang combination. A good theoretical start before we did some basic stands and moves. We went into horse stand first. For our Wado Ryu readers that is the same stands as we use in Naihanchi. There are few doubts from where the basics of Karate originated when you do this. We were introduced to the “24 forms”, but in our 1,5 hour lesson focused only on one move – “Brush knee and push” – if I remember it correctly.
It is nice to see the martial arts aspect of the Tai Chi Chuan, and not just the healing part with old people in the park doing slow motion techniques. We did at little pair work with this move, to put it into an application. There were few in class with previous martial arts experience, and it was a big difference training with Katja vs. a random guy. The ability to relax and to move softly, and without tension is something that you develop over time. But even we struggled with the unfamiliar footwork with the leg moves and hip rotations. There are clear similarities between the “Bow and arrow” stand we used to the Junzuki dachi we practice in Wado Ruy. But how you move in and out of position was quite different.
Dave gave an excellent class this Saturday morning. We enjoyed it and will try to return to the next class his instructing.
He also introduced us to some lovely music, only 2 tracks, Sunrise & Sunset, each last about 23 min.
You find them here: itunes