25 May 2016

Sunshine on Aberdeenshire

Thanks to all who came to a busy weekend of great T'ai Chi. The weather was wonderful again on Saturday so we donned sun-block and headed outside all afternoon. Swallows, bumblebees and Monk the cat joined us. We worked on some really subtle things this weekend, so well done to all, including to the less senior students, who are really cracking on with the work. It's a pleasure to come and teach 'up north', and well worth the 19 hours travel there and back!

Aberdeenshire Thursdays May to July

Here's the rota for the next block of Thursday sessions. We'll be in the Small Hall 7-9pm and Large Hall 9-10pm at Monymusk except where stated. The price is £20 for 8 weeks or £4/week.

There’s no hall booked for 21st July through to 11th August due to summer workshop and holidays. We'll be back at Monymusk from 18th August.

26-May   Sandy   
02-Jun    Scott   
09-Jun    Janet   
16-Jun    Davina   
23-Jun    Anneke    Venue TBC
30-Jun    Marie   
07-Jul    Paolo   
14-Jul    Sandy

If you can't make the session that you're due to lead then please contact someone on the list to arrange a swap.

19 May 2016

June Staff Workshop

All Great River and The T'ai Chi Centre students are welcome to come along to learn Staff on Sunday 5th June near Hampton Court at our usual outdoor venue. Class runs 2-5pm and costs £22. Get in touch for details. We have some staffs to loan.

17 May 2016

Psychoyogi gig tomorrow

Yes, we’re expanding our horizons beyond Deptford with a gig at the Montague Arms, 289 Queens Rd, New Cross, London, SE15 2PA next Wednesday, 18 May.

There are three bands playing, of which we’re last (although we’re only supposed to be doing 35 minutes - we’re hoping to squeeze in a little more): Portia Winters, Rantipols, Psychoyogi. We’ll be playing some time after 22:00. I imagine the whole evening will start between 20:00 and 21:00.

Psychoyogi on this occasion is:
Chris Ramsing (lead vocals, guitar, composer/songwriter and generally Main Man)
Chris Sansom (bass, some backing vocals)
Ravi Low-Beer (drums)

Ten days later - Sat 28 May - we’re back at Biddle Bros in Hackney, then on the 30th we’re at Vinyl record shop in (guess where) Deptford. More details of those gigs to follow.

New Talu class in London

You will be welcome at our new Talu and stepping partner work class. We will cover Ta Lu ('Big Roll-Back') which features the corner energies- split, pull-down, shoulder and elbow. These follow on from and complement the main square energies of T'ai Chi which form pushing hands (roll-back, ward-off, push and press). We will also learn Wabu (lively stepping) which eventually leads to moving-step double pushing hands, and combined with Talu then develops into 'Thirteen Postures T'ai Chi' - the Classical route to free pushing. We will learn exercises such as knocking, to develop ward-off and roundness, and study the many ways of stepping, and when each is appropriate. This all leads to a natural sense of when to move and when to stand our ground using softness. All T'ai Chi students of any school are welcome, with at least 2 year's experience. Please get in touch for eligibility. Classes will be taught by Master Mark Raudva.

Address: 136 Streatham High Road, entrance on Woodbourne Ave. Class costs £90 / £66 per 6 week block or £18 drop in fee. Class runs from 16th June 2016 for 6 weeks, then continues after the Summer break during normal term times from September 15th. Students are welcome to stay on after tea break for Long Form as appropriate.
Days and Times: Thursdays from 16th July 2016, 6.30-8.30pm

Summer invites are ready

Traditional Crafts

I have just returned from an excellent weekend in the woods assisting at a Deer In a Day and Wild Food and Foraging. This summer will see the last opportunity for some time to do lots of beautiful traditional crafts at Joe's School before he buckles down to write his second book, meaning some courses will not run next year. If you love making things, or have friends who do, please get in touch so I can pass on a discount code for courses this year. In August will be going to this course to make buckskin, birch bark boxes and bowls and spoons. I plan to make lots of gifts and have more time with good folks in the woods. The teaching is great and the atmosphere is wonderful, much like The T'ai Chi Centre but with radically different footwear, added sticks and wood smoke! (...and occasionally mud.)

Some of the things I made over the last year, that may feature in the Wilderness Crafts course.

Aberdeenshire this weekend

I am looking forward to teaching this weekend. I will have an extremely early start on Friday, so I may be drinking lots of Yorkshire tea at Weapons on Friday night. All 3 121 slots are already taken. Have a great week, see you on Friday and at the weekend.

16 May 2016

May workshops Aberdeenshire

This month's workshops with Caroline are this weekend, 20-22 May.  Great River students of any level are particularly welcome to the Saturday sessions. All workshops are at Balvack, except for Weapons which is at Fetternear Hall.

Friday 7-10pm: Weapons, including Sabre for beginners 7-8pm (£5). Click here for more details
Saturday 1-4pm: Short Form, and related study
Saturday 5.30-8.30pm: Partnerwork
Sunday 1-4pm: Long Form
Sunday 5.30-8.30pm: Advanced Studies and Dance (more info available here).

The price is £15 (concs available) per 3 hr session. Please bring food to share on Saturday and Sunday. Get in touch with your instructor if you need travel directions or feel free to contact me with any other questions.

The revised dates for 2016 workshops in Aberdeenshire and London are available here

09 May 2016


Thanks to Mark and to all who came yesterday to work in the lovely sunshine.

08 May 2016

Inverurie and Turriff classes

Both classes restart this week, 9th May, at the usual times and places. Paolo will be taking the class while I'm away.  I'll be back on Monday 16th.

07 May 2016

Heart Work today

At 2pm, near Hampton Court train station. Email or call me for directions. All welcome. 

05 May 2016

Here's the trailer for the film about Master Cheng that some of us helped fund on Kickstarter.

Thanks and pictures

Well done and thanks to all the Scottish students. We did some really good, deep work last month, whilst observing the sun/snow/wind/hail/sun game the weather played. See you again soon.

Bushy Park on May Day, full of bird life, dappled light, snogging couples and grazing deer.

This weekend's little birch bark box, sewn with rawhide, with hazel base and lid. Currently full of chalk from Climping beach and a lump of Sanguine (red earth pigment) from Italy - pre-modern drawing materials.

A request

Please may I have any empty syrup tins (Tate and Lyle, etc) that you finish with. I need some to make charcloth, charwood and charcoal!

Also, if you trim a vine, whether grape, wisteria or similar, may I have the green cuttings? I have found vine charcoal to be superb, and it costs a lot. much more fun to make it myself in a biscuit tin. Many thanks.

04 May 2016

Change of venue for Thursday session this week

Monymusk Hall is being used as a polling station, so this week's Thursday session will be at Millbank Hall 7-10pm.

03 May 2016

Heartwork session this Sunday

...near Hampton Court Station. All students welcome, ask at class for exact address. 2-5pm, £22, tea provided.