Thursday, September 25, 2008


I remember a few years ago when I was first started a 4 month Taoist Tai Chi class over in St. Marys Ontario, a fellow student asked the instructor, "Is it possible to defend yourself if you know how to do Tai Chi?" The instructor replied, "yes, as long as the person attacking you does so in slow motion." And so I have begun my 4th Tai Chi beginner's class in the last 8 years. I have successfully completed 2 of those classes learning all 108 moves but each time I didn't pursue the advanced classes due to work schedules, a move, & lack of discipline on my part. And each time when I wanted to pursue Tai Chi again I had to start all over right from the beginning because the lapses between classes was too long & my memory too short.
Tai Chi has finally come to Bayfield & the beginner's class started on a Wednesday morning in the old town hall a couple weeks ago. It's a shorter course this time covering only the first 17 moves over 16 weeks but for me starting out again that's just fine. By the time the classes end around the end of October we'll be about ready to head south again anyway so I will miss any classes after October if there are any. Looks like another beginner's class start up for me in the spring again unless I can keep up the routine on my own for the 5 months we are away. Guess I got my work cut out for me. Several instructors have told me I'm a natural at it & have encouraged me to pursue it further but I just don't seem to be a dedicated person. And, it takes a lot of time & dedication to make it to even the first instructor level. I did make it to "helper" level in St. Marys one time but we moved to Bayfield a few weeks later & I never went any further with it. Kelly says I'm a natural alright.........a natural complainer:((
Taoist Tai Chi (Taoist is pronounced Daoist like Dow-est) is a totally excellent form of exercise for both mind & body & you can read about it here... A perfect stretching & balance program for Seniors (or aging Hippies) that also focuses on improving one's memory. I highly recommend it.
Ok, time to go practice a few moves & maybe fall over a couple times & mess up the cob webs in my brain again............. HAAAAA-CHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!


  1. Wonderful to read your story Al, thanks for sharing.

    Sticking with 17 is fine, if you have to depend on yourself to memorize them [I know my friend AA does that].
    8 years is longer than me - so maybe you've also sometimes experienced that it isn't necessarily the 108 moves, but it can be just the ONE move... shifting your weight, turning 45 degrees, that settles your spine and stretches your dreary bones after driving that RV for hours on end.

    Happy stretching cousin
    Christian in Copenhagen, .dk

  2. Yea it takes a long time to be able to use tai chi as the martial art it was originally developed as. We tend to hold so much tension in our bodies that we don't let the energy move well, let alone learn how to feel it, control and release it. It takes years.

    The nice thing is you can just use it as a great exercise as well. How much practice do you shoot for? I sometimes only practice for 5 minutes in a day and since we have so many forms, I find having them on video helps a lot.

    Keep at it man. You already know it's worth it.