Tai Chi Conference June 2011

This year’s Tai Chi for Health Conference was held at  St. Mary’s of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana from June 13th – June 18th, 2011.
A total of 13 different classes were offered: Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention Instructor Training Course, Tai Chi for Diabetes and Osteoporosis Instructor Training,
24 forms, Depth of 24 forms, Sun Style 73 Forms, Depth of Sun Style 73 forms, Combined 42 Forms, Yang Style 40 forms, Tai Chi Fan, 42 Sword Forms, Chen Style 36 Forms
Depth of Chen Style 36 forms. Each student preselects  a class from this menu which they spend the week studying with a Master Trainer.
In the evenings after dinner there are also some very fine two hour evening classes.  This year’s classes included Understanding Intention in Push Hands, Baduajin Qigong, a Short Fan set, Eastern Head Massage, and Teaching Tai Chi for Health Effectively.
Each day began with a group meeting that usually included three 5 minute talks on a theme of the day plus a tai chi demonstration of a form.  As a part of the Thursday morning meeting, I joined Master Trainers Susan Scheuer and  Marty Kidder and Senior Trainers Bob Feeser, and Maureen Miller in presenting the Combined 42 forms.
At the Friday morning meeting, I gave one of the five minute presentations titled “Senior Trainer: The Gifts of Teamwork.”  In that talk, I spoke of the process of becoming a Senior Trainer and the “gifts”  I had received from it both in terms of confidence and improved skills as well in  helping our Master Trainer to grow our local “tai chi community.”
After these morning meetings the tai chi workday began.   I had chosen the Combined 42 forms with Master Trainer Susan Scheuer for my week of study.  This is a luscious form that combines movements from the four major styles of tai chi: Chen, Wu, Yang  and Sun.  It is considered a “well-balanced, and enjoyable form and has been adopted by most major international tai chi competitions.  Although I had studied this form at a previous conference,  I wanted the opportunity to  correct my form, and deepen my understanding of it.  The class was a mixture of students like myself (with previous experience) and those studying this work for the first time.   This blending  of skill levels and backgrounds presented  an interesting challenge for the Master Trainer who managed to bring  depth work into the class while also making it understandable to the novices in the group.
For my evening classes, I took “Understanding Intention in Push Hands” on Monday evening and “a Short Fan Set” on Thursday night.  The “Push Hands” class was extremely well run, and perhaps the fastest two hour class I have ever attended.  Master Trainer Mearl Thompson made a point of setting up ground rules from the beginning to insure that no one got hurt.  My Thursday evening class called” A Short Fan” set was presented by Master Trainer Ileina Ferrier.  It was a playful two hours that taught fan movements and skills and was frequently punctuated with laughter as fans spun madly out of control.
The week seemed to fly by, and no matter where you walked on the campus,  tai chi seemed ever present.  Of equal importance to me at these conferences  are all the wonderful people, some who come year after year, and some who count this as their first week long conference. .  It is always both a chance to renew old friendships and create new ones.   As a true tai chi addict, I look forward to these Conferences with great joy and expectation and I’m never disappointed.  Perhaps I’ll meet you at one of these yearly gatherings.

Categories News | Tags: | Posted on August 9, 2011

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