The Chinese Internal Arts
issue 32 Summer 2001
*** this issue has been archived off ***
( only selected articles remain)

CIA residential weekend

Students and tutors of the Taijiquan and Qigong training courses in the beautiful grounds of the Epsom College.

Inside This Issue
* Foreword
* Regular events
* Chen Xiaowang Seminars in Berkshire
* Sabre Form with Chen Yingjun
* Epsom Weekend

Saying of the month:
Freedom from desire leads to inward peace.
[Lao Tzu]

Chen Xioawang Seminars in Berkshire

This was the third visit from Master Chen Xiaowang to our Association. We had organized seminars on a range of topics: Yin-Yang Qigong, Laojia Form, Chan Si Gong, Two-person Spear, Spear shaking and Qinna (joint-locks) - see pictures from some of them below. The seminars were well attended and on several occasions Master Chen performed impromptu demonstrations (Spear form, Pao Chui form and others).

Master Chen leading the Laojia class

Taiji Spear demo

Chan Si Gong master-class

Yin Yang Qigong

Some people need all the correction they can get!

Two-person spear practice

Fun was had by all during the Qinna workshop!

Chen Taiji Sabre Seminar with Chen Yingjun

This was the second visit from Chen Yingjun, son of Master Chen Xiaowang, to our Association. Last year he taught the Chen Taiji Sword form. This year Chen Yingjun taught Chen Taiji Sabre form. All those that attended had managed to learn the whole form - well done! As we did with the sword last year, we shall teach the sabre form next year on the third Friday of each month starting in April 2002.

This course will take 6 sessions and is suitably for those who couldn't attend Chen Yingjun's seminar and would like to learn the form or for those that know the form and would like to get corrections. This form is very useful in training the correct dantian rotations that are necessary for a correct Taiji movement. This is due to the 'slashing' motion of the sabre being controlled from the centre.


Epsom Weekend
Advanced Tai Chi and Qigong - Friday 10th - Sunday 12th August 2001
by Karen Pounds

The first thing that struck me as I drove into the Epsom College grounds was the lovely surroundings. Beautiful trees and stretches of well groomed lawn, together with this fantastic old building that was to be our home for the next couple of days.

Taijiquan group practising pushing hands

When Karel and Eva arrived we were shown our accommodation. Some of us were in bunk beds. I was a little unsure at first. But I soon got the knack of climbing in and out of the bunk by climbing onto the chair, then onto the table, then hurling myself up onto the bunk on Sunday morning, two days later, I found the steps that were hooked onto the side of the bunk! Still, it kept me fit and it was good balance training.

The 'school' dining room was regimentally lined with long benches and looked like something from Tom Brown's school days. But it certainly wasn't gruel we were fed - the food wasn't bad at all (school dinners just aren't what they used to be!).

Eva had drawn-up a punishing schedule, starting before breakfast and finishing at 10 o'clock in the evening with meditation (there was lots of snoring on both nights). Karel said that he would start his training at 5 o'clock each morning and that anyone was welcome to join him. On both mornings a few of us looked for him, but unfortunately we were unable to find him - the grounds were very large and we must have just missed him! Maybe next time Karel?

It's not often you get the opportunity to focus on your Tai Chi for several days at a time. And it was great to be able to eat, sleep, and breathe Tai Chi for two whole days. There was lots of discussion on teaching styles and techniques and training tips, as well as alternative therapies and reading material.

Karen and Ashley setting the pace

If I could share just one of those training tips with you it would be the idea of doing the entire form, or section of a form, while concentrating on one idea or principle. For example: [ Moving from the centre. [ Shifting weight. [ Stepping. [ Relaxing of shoulders, elbows, abdomen, face, feet, and legs. [ Open/Close. [ Yin/Yang (empty and full). [ Centering of the joints - concentrating on correct alignment. [ Keeping an even level (not sinking during the transitions). [ Cultivating the feeling of well being. [ Continuity - 'flow' of movement. I found it an invaluable experience to spend time with more experienced players and teachers. It was also an ideal opportunity to share ideas with others from various backgrounds and with differing views and experiences. In fact it was great just to spend time laughing and chatting with Tai Chi friends (and meeting new ones).

Examining the anatomically correct drawings

The weather was great and the sun shone for most of the weekend. You certainly know who your friends are when no-one tells you that your sun-block hasn't rubbed in and you look like you've had a huge fright (thanks Katherine)! In amongst the laughter and joviality was lots of hard practice - Chen and Yang style forms, qigong and sword forms. And sometimes it was great just to watch. It wasn't all Tai Chi though. There were Birthday celebrations (and scrumptious cake) for Leslie Wilson, and a Guernsey 'Good Luck' card and teddy for me! Thank you.

Kathy leading a Qigong group

The weekend was an experience that I will never forget, and everyone I've spoken to say they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The general consensus was " can't wait until next year." Congratulations and a big thank you to Karel and Eva. The weekend was a resounding success!