I like Tai Chi, you know that slow moving stuff you see ‘old’ people doing in the park in China town?
I recently came back from a big workshop in Toronto the 20 year anniversary of the passing of the Master of our style. Mr. Moy Lin-Shin.
It was my opportunity to see all the ‘top’ practitioners in one room and they did not let me down. Wow, can those men and women move and generate power. Yes that slow moving stuff is not always slow, but it sure is moving. Moving me across a room like I got a push from a train. Our style is purely for health, but there are a few ‘old timers’ that took me aside and showed me some of the ways to apply that force differently.
We had a visit from Mrs. Kwan, a small Chinese lady that is a legend around those parts. She did a demo and showed some techniques to make this part or that part work better. So I asked the great question; “wow, she’s good, how long has she done Tai Chi for?” 35 years. “wow, when did she start?” age 63. “Wait a minute that lady is 98 years old?” yup.
Lets just say, HOLLY COW!!! Having been in the business of watching people move for 22 years and doing martial arts for just under 40 years. Mrs. Kwan has cemented my belief Tai Chi is a health preserving, longevity super exercise thing to do. Run out and join now! The club I teach for is non-profit so, $25/month and free if you can’t afford it.
In Kelowna we have an instructor that is 92 and she has some incredible skills also, like the ability to do 50 deep knee bends (squats) in a row and just go onto the next exercise. To see it is to be amazed.
As you know most of my day is working on sick, injured, _(fill in the blank)__ people. It’s okay if you don’t do Tai Chi, but do something and do it a lot. The stories of the people at that Tai Chi seminar of how they have recovered their health by doing Tai Chi is amazing. Things you should not be able to fix by ‘just moving around’.
I talked to one 50 year practitioner, he started at 14 years old. He was born with various ailments that caused him to have no cartilage in his knees, scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis and ankylosing spondylitis. Since he was 7 he lived on pain meds which caused several other complications. After 9 months of Tai Chi he was off all pain meds and had no pain. Now what he did to do that was a lot. He basically did Tai Chi from morning till morning, under the guidance of a true master. But even in my training what he’s done is very rare. He actually has a normal spine and cartilage in his knees!
What does it do? Well thanks to Western Medicine catching up to Eastern Medicine. Recently they have “discovered” the interstitium which we call the “Cu Li”. It’s basically everywhere and fluids move through it. Tai Chi compresses your fluids and moves them around. Think of a swamp, water does not move much and bacteria breeds and then bad things happen, apply that loosely to humans. It of course is more complicated but that’s the idea.
Also Tai Chi co-ordinates your movements better to get more of your muscles, ligaments, tendons going in the correct directions at the same time. It is fantastic for balance and body control, stress and a form of moving mediation. Of course it does work your muscles, many new people are very surprised how quickly they can break a sweat doing it.
It was a great experience I am grateful to my local club that helped me to attend. I look forward to many more years of doing and teaching Tai Chi.
Two long time practitioners pushing on a 98 year old Mrs. kwan. They could not move her but she could move them, amazing.
After Tai Chi is food, after food is the Tai Chi move the table set.
120 people from across Canada and the UK attended.
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