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The lovely Rosie Wilks with her 2 ‘side kicks’, Jason and Steve, came to speak to us this week about the Marshal Art, Tai-Chi.  I was amazed to learn that it was a Marshal Art as my perception of Tai Chi is akin to the wafting of arms by Helen Mirren in Calandar Girls!  One of our members did query with Rosie as to why she did her moves so quickly?  Rosie explained that there are various lineages to Tai Chi and thus every group adopts a lineage and then tailors it to themselves i.e. speed or perhaps the distance you hold your arms apart.  All very complicated if you ask me.

Anyway, my take on it is that you plant your feet shoulder width apart, roll your knees slightly out and bend your knees.  Back is straight and shoulders relaxed as if you have a plum line holding your head up.  Thus you ‘plant’ yourself.  You inhale using your abdomen (anyone is welcome to write in and challenge this description) and as you exhale you dip your knees further.  You have to be careful not to bend your knees too far the first time or you will eventually end up on the ground!   Most movements are done from the waist.  So, as you turn your arms go with you, as opposed to you actually moving your arms. We were invited to try a few moves and as instructions were given to us, Rosie very sweetly pointed out to me that I still don’t know my left from my right.

Jason and Steve gave us some fine demonstrations, including a 29 move ‘form’ followed by some sparring.  Of note, the only way you are defeated is by losing your concentration and so the pattern of movement.  Well, if you’ve managed to follow my idiot’s guide to Tai Chi you are amazing.  It was a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, but at the same time, left you wanting to understand more about this ancient art.  Of note, a purely co-incidental fact is that the lineage that Rosie follows is ‘Yang’ which is the same lineage in Calandar Girls!  We truly moved in great circles, well semi circles on Wednesday night.

It was a thought provoking evening which ended with Rosie telling us about the classes that she and the lads hold.  Beginner sessions are on the first Monday of the month at the sea cadet hut along St John’s Rd.  I believe classes cost £5 and they would make anyone who ventures along that route truly welcome.  Rosie’s email is rosie.wilks@gmail.com and the website is http://bath-taichi.weebly.com/

Helen (Speakers Secretary).

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