Kathi and I started Tai Chi this week. This is in additon to the other physical stuff I’m doing now such as regularly training with two historical fencing schools (ACA and Collegium) as well as yoga. I’m not sure what the aim of all this huffing and puffing is but I wonder why it’s taken until now to realise how much fun just getting out and running about in the sun can be.
The Tai Chi we’re learning is basically the same as that which we did in our two hour intro to the technique in Hong Kong. Being the physical expression of a Taoist organisation, this form of Tai Chi is completely divorced from it’s more martial counterparts and I think lacks some of the exactness and focus on precision of movement that characterised for us our experience in Honkers. Perhaps this is nothing more than the fact that we’re in a beginners class which concentrates on learning the basics and handling precision later. Perhaps it’s a result of it being a western domainated group (at least where we are) which has divorced the technique from its Chinese context and homeland. I wonder how different a beginners class of Tai Chi would be in China?
In other news, SwordPlay 2009 is coming up at the end of the month. This three-day event is an experiment in getting all the historical fencing groups in Brisbane together for an annual tournament, seminar-workshops and general mixing of ideas. It’s being pushed heavily by the ACA‘s Scott McDonald as a way of bridging the myriad of tiny puddles to make one at least average sized pond. Interest int eh event is quite high and it’s drawing participants from historical fencing schools all over the country. There’s even people coming from as far away as Hobart and Perth!
I’ve been reading a bunch of french newspapers on line lately. Of course, these are not the important dailies but the regional newspapers local to the area of France I love, Languedoc and the Midi-Pyrenees. Midi-Libre and La Dépêche are exactly the sort of newspapers I cannot bring myself to read where I live but somehow reading about cats stuck up trees and the like becomes suddenly very interesting when the articles are in a foreign language. I try to convince myself that reading these rags is improving my french as the language of local journalism is very much closer to everyday french than is the language of the major dailies.