On the weekend of April 26th, 2013, the characteristic southern-Alberta chinook winds greeted 111 participants in Calgary when they arrived to learn the graceful movements of Taoist Tai Chi ™ arts Sword with Joe Karner as our instructor.
Our first evening started with registrations and a light supper to members who travelled from Canada’s east and west coasts, and from the USA! Our session commenced on the Friday evening in the modest-sized practice hall of our Calgary main centre. It was a memorable experience to have 100+ bodies snug in one room, each holding a weapon! We had a great time in the main hall but we all looked forward to practicing together in a bigger hall on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday in downtown Calgary we met in a convention centre and we had all the sword-room we could possibly ask for, and more. We carpooled everyone back to the Calgary main centre for supper and then met again for an evening session. The energy for learning Sword never seemed to wane (perhaps due to our cupcake fundraiser!) and we practiced until late evening.
We all showed up early on Sunday to learn the rest of the set, then the majority of us went for Dim Sum lunch and then continued sword until the late afternoon.
Joe Karner had promised we would be sore, confused and tired and he delivered that promise! The method in which he taught the moves and the amount of repetition we performed was so helpful for our memories; it was an amazing transformation for many of us who felt positive health changes by our connecting tai chi with the sword — it was a real treat for our bodies and it was wonderful to see so many people keen to practice the sword set again and again.