Category Archives: Great Britain

Fun Day in Newport, Wales: April 25th, 2015

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Over 50 members gathered together for a fun day at the Western Region Centre in Newport, Wales.

The morning focus was in making the centre beautiful again with a good deal of cleaning. There was also a beginner’s class and a national board meeting at the same time. A delicious lunch of beef in black bean sauce with rice and stir fried vegetables followed.

In the afternoon there was a continuing class for all and Lok Hup practice after that. Energy was high and the mood was happy after a full day of Taoist Tai Chi® arts.

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Filed under Events, Great Britain, National Updates

IWS Edinburgh April 4 – 8, 2015

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Spring has arrived!

Not for the first time a grey, damp and cool week in Edinburgh burst into bright, warming sunshine as the day of the program arrived.

carmen-logoIt felt that Spring had definitely and finally sprung in Great Britain. Maybe this time it was brought from Spain by our instructor Carmen Capilla. Certainly Carmen’s energy seemed to match that of the sun as she tirelessly demonstrated and helped us find greater balance in a more 3-dimensional sense.

Emphasis was placed on dropping and letting go with the whole movement coming from the feet, letting the hands go out and keeping soft. Carmen stressed the importance of enjoying the journey and not rushing backwards or forwards and encouraged us to take our time. We, in response, moved up and down, left and right and forward and back at the same time, feeling the body expand and grow.

Her sense of humour soon began to exert its effect on us adding light heartedness to the practice. Throughout the week the journey built up and the dan yu and tor yu became stronger and stronger in the set for all. The timing changed and a tangible stillness developed.

So much energy, so much stillness.

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Evening group discussions included “Why did we start practising the Taoist Tai Chi® arts and what has kept us coming?”  And responses to why we kept coming included: improved health, friendship, wonderful atmosphere, great instructors, more energy, good people, relaxation, quietness – surely, the food too.

We were all thankful for Carmen’s injection of potent, intense but soft, caring energy. Now, like the daffodils, we’re rising from the earth and blooming.

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Filed under Great Britain, National Updates, Society News, Workshop Watch

2015 International Program, Kuantan Malaysia

workshop

We have just returned to Great Britain after an unforgettable time in SE Asia where we were lucky to take part in the Malaysia International Program. The program started early in the morning of Saturday, March 7th, with a photoshoot of all participants wearing matching workshop t-shirts.

There were 90 participants over the course of the two days. A couple from USA, 1 from Canada, 29 from Australia West coast and 6 from the UK while the rest were local members.

Tony Kwong led the workshop and it was wonderful watching him being able to instruct in his first language. As we worked in small groups, Tony worked with two Malaysian women, instructing them in the moves so they could show others. I loved watching his relaxed manner with them and how amazing for them to be able to take instruction directly from Tony.

Tony worked us hard during the course of the two days. On day two, new participants joined us and we continued working on foundation moves and the opening moves of the set, right up to 5 wave hands. It was very sad to say farewell to our new found friends, what a fantastic workshop and how much we learnt under Tony’s expert guidance.

What really struck me was how lucky we are in the UK and Europe. Almost every week there is an intensive within an hour driving distance. I have the choice of attending programs at home and those within a couple of hours flight away; the folk from W Australia had flown for 5 hours and told us it was quicker and more economical than attending a program in their own country, Brisbane. The total membership for Malaysia is roughly the same as in our branch in SEE and it will be two years until the next program held there, whereas I am able to choose between several workshops all within easy travelling distance.

On Sunday evening, after the program ended, we sailed up-river in powered motorboats to see the fireflies darting from one side of the river to the other, their electric light flashing before us. We visited an old tin mining town and ate amazing local dishes. Early one morning we rose to watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain and visited an elephant sanctuary; watching orphaned and injured elephants enjoying their daily dip in the river.

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The next workshop is planned for 2017, with an optional tour, hopefully into the Taman Negara National Park. We cannot recommend it highly enough and would like to thank our Malaysian friends for organising such a memorable workshop and tour. We’ve made new friends from the other side of the world; what a fantastic opportunity and how insightful of Master Moy to realize how important this is to our well being and understanding of others. Our gratitude is to him and the legacy he has left behind.

Hopefully we’ll meet again in 2017, maybe you’ll be there too. Thank you.

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99 Years Young: Taoist Tai Chi Society of Great Britain Participant Celebrates 99th Birthday

 May Hillier (red shirt) celebrated her 99th birthday surrounded by friends in her local class. She began to practise Taoist Tai Chi® arts with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of GB in 2002 and has been an enthusiastic participant since, regularly attending the Monday morning class at St Anne’s Scout Hall in Cardiff and many social occasions such as Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations. Her favourite move is Wave Hands like Clouds and she even practised foundation exercises in bed while she was in hospital one time. May has said that her greatest regret is that she didn’t discover these arts earlier in her life.

May’s daughter, June is also a committed practitioner and volunteer and instructed for many years. May’s friend Vera (white shirt) is only a youth at 94 years old. We wish to celebrate many more birthdays with them both.

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Filed under Great Britain, National Updates, Personal Stories, Seniors, Society News, Tai Chi for All

Chinese New Year at the Western Region Centre – 28 Feb 2015


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Over 70 members and guests were booked in for the Western Region Centre’s Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday 28th February. Volunteers started arriving at around 11am to help with the cooking, laying of tables and decorating the practice hall. The dinner clashed with the Wales versus France Six Nations match but despite this, the ardent rugby fans among us still came along to celebrate with their tai chi family on the understanding that no-one was to check their phones for the score so they could watch it when they returned home.

Members and guests were treated to sesame, or prawn and sesame, toast, beef and green bean stir fry, chicken and cashew nuts, red Thai curry, and tofu in satay sauce, followed by frozen yoghurt cupcakes and fresh fruit. At the end of the meal there was a quiz, a raffle and a demonstration of the Sword set. Greetings from the branch were given by Jo Domin, from the Region by Dominique Coué, and from the National Board by President of TTCS GB Crispin Barker. The meal raised over £300 for the Fenway project and the raffle added a further £87.

After a fantastic evening, in which everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves, many of the members stayed to wash up and clear the practice hall ready for classes on Monday.

Everyone at the Western Region Centre would like to wish Gong Hei Fat Choy to all our tai chi family around the world. We hope you all have a happy and healthy year of the Goat.

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Filed under Branch Updates, Chinese New Year, Events, Fung Loy Kok, Great Britain, National Updates, Regional Updates

The University of Essex and the Universe of Tao

The University of Essex Student’s Union invited the Taoist Tai Chi Society to join them on campus to celebrate Chinese New Year.

As we celebrate our 45th Anniversary this year the University of Essex celebrate their 50th, which added to the sense of occasion and celebration.

The main squares of the campus were adorned with red lanterns and dotted with market stalls which gave the feel of being in a Chinese market place. There were students of many nationalities and cultures and an atmosphere of festivity, fun, enjoyment and togetherness all adding to a sense of all cultures moving together in harmony. We added our own banners and flags to the colourful surroundings and the pleasant bustle and energy in the square. We felt honoured to help open the celebrations at 9:30am.

In the bright morning sun and sharp cool air we were joined by many people for an open class. Everyone entered into the spirit of the event wholeheartedly, with good humour and we all shared a very enjoyable experience. We were able to reach appear to close entrance together and share information about Master Moy and Taoist Tai Chi® arts. IMG_6254small

The Vice-Chancellor of the University joined us for the first session and intimated that he would like to learn more. We very much hope he will take up our invitation to come and join us at our centre in Colchester.

After mid-day there was a small group doing a dragon dance but they were very inexperienced and welcomed and benefited from the input offered by one of our instructors who has trained with the dragon at our International Centre. If only…

Another one of our instructors was enticed to join a dance session and what a dancer! They did us proud.

Just before we were due for another session there was a gap in the proceedings. The students began to disperse so we quickly organised ourselves for a set to hold their attention. We were soon joined by some brave people who just couldn’t wait to try it out. Then, unfortunately, the rain began to drop and many left for the warmth and dryness of inside. IMG_6203small

However, we were able to encourage a small and hardy group to join us to learn a few moves and something about who we are and what we offer. Again the group was a lot of fun and really gave it there all. We were so impressed by their willingness to learn. As we felt the floor becoming a little slippery underfoot we decided it was time to close but gave out many leaflets and cards.

We had a great time and everyone we met was extremely friendly and helpful and made us feel welcome. What a great advert for the University of Essex and start to this year of the Ram.

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Filed under Anniversary, Chinese New Year, Events, Fung Loy Kok, Great Britain, National Updates, Society News

Wonderful Winter Warmer Workshop Colchester Jan 24th and 25th 2015

IMG_3153 sWhat a way to start the year. Forget the low temperatures and icy atmosphere outside; tai chi will keep us keep warm.

Led by Marsha Eberhardt almost 200 participants improved their circulation and enjoyed learning about Master Moy’s heritage and how it influences the “way we do things”: balance, roundness, softness, elasticity and working together. Our understanding of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts grew as we were encouraged to consider its place (and translation) as ‘the grand ultimate’, a teaching about the universe and how to live within the universe.

It was great to see many people who came for their first workshop. Together we enjoyed Marsha’s relaxed but direct and clear instruction and reassurance as she told us not to worry, but just to enjoy what we’re doing and keep coming.

We worked on balance and being centred. The image of being like a tree rooted to the ground helped, as did the idea of explosions, for three dimensional expansion, and getting right to the top (there’s always more up), and everything moving together. Our feet were encouraged to talk to each other. Working in large and small groups we helped each other improve.

IMG_3152 sOn Saturday the lovely evening meal was a Chinese New Year celebration with short talks and stories about the Chinese zodiac, the year of the wooden goat and the lantern festival, noisy party poppers and bubbly grape juice.

Happy New Year greetings were brought from Marsha on behalf of the FLK and International Boards, Ankie Boumans & Paul Davies for the ERC and Crispin Barker on behalf of the directors for GB. The National Board members then shared a toast with the group. Gung hey fat choy!

On Sunday we started with an hour of chanting before the workshop, another wonderfully, warming art that filled the hall with meditative sound and resonance.

With Marsha’s generous, light hearted and enthusiastic guidance we tried to stay balanced, keep the body as a column, keep our feet connected and feel the softness of it all. The start of the set and the carry tiger sections then began to seem really smooth and elastic, continuous and strong, and wonderful.

It was an inspiring workshop with an atmosphere that was good humoured and hard working. The group tasks and the general organisation seemed to work well and the food was amazing. Yes, warm instruction, warm people, warm hall, warm tai chi and hot food drove away the winter blues.

We’ll do it all again here in June when it will also be warm outside, and for 5 days! Come and join us.

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