26 September 2016

Sabre workshop

Yesterday's session was great fun, thanks to all who came along. We looked at postures from the form and applications. 

24 September 2016

Sabre class this Sunday

Usual time and place, 2-5pm 25th September. Hope to see you there. 

22 September 2016

New beginners in Tooting on Tuesdays

Welcome to all the new beginners on Tuesday. Students are welcome to join throughout September and October. Here's the regulars demonstrating the Short Form whilst the new folks watch. 

Autumn equinox picture

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's woodpile. 

19 September 2016

Normal Thursday session this week

 UPDATE: The bowling match has been rescheduled so the Thursday session will be at the normal time i.e.7-9pm in the small hall, 9-10pm in the main hall.

As the bowlers are in the main hall and the yoga class is also on, this week's Thursday session at Monymusk will be in the Small Hall from 8-10pm only.

Psychoyogi gig

From Chris Sanson...
Psychoyogi are playing at Biddle Bros. on Friday, 30 September, supported by Infernal Contraption and London Beat Club. The whole bimbang kadoozer will start about 20:00 and Psychoyogi will play from 22:00-ish for an hour or so (as ever, all times are ish).

Biddle Bros. is at 88 Lower Clapton Road, London E5 0QR (plenty of buses and trains nearby) and admission is free.

Psychoyogi on this occasion is:
Chris Ramsing (lead vocals, guitar, composer/songwriter and generally Main Man)
Chris Sansom (bass, vocals)
Ravi Low-Beer (drums)
and just possibly Jonas Golland (percussion) though that’s yet to be confirmed

For a taste (with added horns and whatnot - and I’m only playing bass on the latest album, Shrine):

We're also at the Birds Nest on Thursday 10 November, but that’s a way off yet and you’ll hear about it nearer the time.


Finally finished my sycamore spoon and birch cup, nesting here in my first birch bowl. Next I plan to learn to turn wood, as I need a bigger bowl and a plate. 

China visit

Kev is just back from more TCM study in China and showed me his photos yesterday. Here's a few great ones from what sounds like a wonderful but hard working trip.

Guardians of White Cloud Taoist Temple

Some really great T'ai Chi going on. 

Shrine of the T'ai Chi Sword. 

This Taoist Temple has a school of traditional medicine and real monks actually meditating rather than selling merchandise. Kev said it had an entirely different atmosphere from anywhere else he visited. If I ever do make it to China, I plan to visit here. 

16 September 2016

Aberdeenshire Intensive 15-17 October

This year's Autumn Intensive in Aberdeenshire with Master Mark Raudva will be held at Fetternear Hall near Kemnay from Saturday 15th to Monday 17th October, 2-5pm and 6:30-9:30pm each day. 

Great River and T'ai Centre students will be very welcome so - as they say online - if you enjoyed the summer workshop, you might also like this! The format and themes will be similar to the summer intensive so if you couldn't attend this is an opportunity to share great teaching in the company of fellow students in a beautiful rural location. 

Come from the Saturday afternoon and stay for as many sessions as you can. We all bring food to share in the break. The price is £44 per day or £22 per half day session, concessions are available. We'll be warming up the hall with a Weapons session 7-10pm on Friday 14th. 

For visitors there is still accomodation available with local students from £5 per night and there are also good B&Bs and hotels in the area. Please get in touch with me if you need more information, somewhere to stay or any other help with travel, things to do & see in the area, etc.

Form at Fetternear
Food at Fetternear
Stone Circle Salutations

Life's knocks- let them tenderise rather than harden you.

September photos

Dark Mountain Basecamp at Embercombe. Wonderful people and place.

Little house boat on the lake at Embercombe, one of the few places I had a moment of home-envy.

...but then I came home.

The Pre-Norman art basket is in full swing, I will blog about it when it is finished.

Teaching in warm sunshine this weekend in Aberdeenshire. Wonderful work by all and good atmosphere - thanks to all who came and to P and D for having us again.

New partnerwork exercise, looking forward to sharing this one.

Annual fungi foray...

...always a delight to find comedy mushrooms. This is a rather cheeky orange birch bolete, next to unidentified 'lbj' (little brown job). If it's not edible, medicinal, useful or poisonous, sadly I probably haven't learned it over the years.

Lots of chanterelles, plenty of ceps, orange birch, brown birch and bay boletes, some deceivers and a bowl of brambles. We dried the boletes and processed the chanterelles for frying in butter and freezing. Some also went into a pie which was very tasty. Real thanks to the woods of Aberdeenshire for their bounty.

Class news in London

Classes resumed this week in London. I went along last night and we had a great Ta Lu session followed by working on the new Roll-Back and Press 'Dragon Walk', most excellent. Thanks to mark for a great session.

New beginners are welcome from next week any Tuesday in September or October at 6.30pm.

There are no London classes on 18th and 20th October whilst Mark is teaching in Aberdeenshire. Come to Aberdeenshire instead!

Sabre Sunday session, open to all who have done any Sabre, is next weekend 25th September. Usual venue St Mary Magdalene Church hall, Trinity Rd Tooting, 2-5pm, £22. this will be the last Sunday workshop of the year at this venue so do come along.

Some July and August Photos

View from the Summer workshop venue.

Keeping the wolf at the door.

Sword Form during a break at the workshop.

Lee Bay.

2 days' fishing in Dorset, plenty of mackerel to share.

Smoking our buckskins over the fire in the round house.

Basket nearing finished...

End of the day.

15 September 2016

Non-Violent or Compassionate Communication

Alison from the Culter class is keen to set up a group to practice Non-Violent Communication.

NVC is a way of communication that expresses our own needs and encourage others to express theirs too so the compassion works both ways.  It was invented by Marshall Rosenberg but has been taken up by lots of other people since then.

The plan is to have a weekend workshop in Aberdeen with an invited professional trainer then follow up with a regular self-led group probably once a month.  If you're interested, then please let Alison know, or contact me davina [at] greatrivertaichi [dot] co [dot] uk and I'll pass your details on to her.

Update: Marshall Rosenberg was featured on Great Lives on Radio 4 earlier this month. You can listen again here  http://bbc.in/2bMkh7s

13 September 2016

Classes at The T'ai Chi Centre in London resume today

Master Mark Raudva returns to teaching in South London today with the first class of term at Trinity Church hall, Trinity Road, Tooting Bec, 6.30-10.30pm. Sabre and Sword WILL be taught tonight, and Short Form instruction will also take place.

New beginners are welcome to join from 20th September at 6.30pm promptly. We will be re-covering the Short Form at greater depth for those who have just almost finished it. New students will be learning the Short Form along with these folks, rather than being in a separate group. There is a huge advantage to learning forms with people around you who already know it to some degree. As you turn and move, there's always someone to see and follow in each direction. So if current students have friends who fancy trying T'ai Chi, ask them along from 20th. New folks will probably be accepted all the way through October, and may need to book a 121 with me or one of the instructors to catch up if they join late, or if they feel it will help their study.

Dance (and Long Form) will be the focus of the session after tea. We will aim to start promptly this term. Please come and pay any term fees at the start of tea break so that I will be available as soon as the register is taken for you to grab me before everyone starts again, if you want to go through things or look at a detail. I am also avaialble if people need catch up sessions from being away on holiday, just let me know.

Thursday class in Streatham will resume this week, 6.30-10.30pm, at DDL Capoeira Centre, all details at www.thetaichicentre.co.uk. Talu session 6.30-8.30pm, all students welcome, including those who haven't come to this before. Sword will be taught after tea break, as well as a Long Form. When it's not a weapons study week, we will cover Long Form, dance questions and other advanced study after the break, continuing on from last term.

Regular classes continue each week this term until we break for Christmas holiday, date TBC. There will be no classes Tuesday 18th or Thursday 20th October as Mark will be teaching in Scotland at the 12th Annual Autumn workshop 15-17th October. So come along to Aberdeenshire instead! All TCC and GR students are most welcome for 3 days of great T'ai Chi, like a mini version of the summer intensive. Local students can put folk up for £5 a night, or there are plenty of hotels and guest houses nearby. Details to follow in a post soon from Davina. There will also be a weapons session on Friday 14th 7-10pm before the workshop, all who have some weapons experience are welcome. all the prices, times and details will follow shortly.

We've just had a great weekend of classes in Aberdeenshire. Yesterday we had our (almost) annual fungi foray which, I am delighted to say, brought baskets full of chanterelles and boletes, pics to follow when I get home.

I hope you all had a bit of a summer break and are looking forward to the coming year of T'ai Chi.

07 September 2016

Be kind
Be kind
Be kind
And protest!

05 September 2016

Base Camp

Just home from a fantastic weekend at Dark Mountain Base Camp, held at Embercombe, Devon. Am feeling equal parts wonder, gratitude, delight and exhaustion. Books, music, art, nature, fires, song, stories, a big tabby cat and wonderful people who really take care not to wreck the planet. The Fjallraven waterproof poncho the Hackney students so generously bought me as my leaving gift was perfect for the fireside, drizzle and rain and was widely coveted- so thanks again for that! I also appear to have created the shadow basket of destiny. More on all this soon.

Just got home to hungry swans. I am also really looking forward to teaching in Scotland on Friday. 

Classes resume in South London next week

Classes start 13th September and yes, there will be sword and sabre straight away. Brand new beginners are asked to wait until 20th to come along. I will still be on my way back from Scotland next Tuesday so see you on Thursday 15th.

04 September 2016

September workshops in Aberdeen

This month's workshops with Caroline are this coming weekend, 9-11 September.  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.

Reminder: the Aberdeenshire Autumn workshop with Mark is 15-17th October.  More details are available here.