WELCOME TO OUR CLASS AT THE WEST BRIDGFORD SCHOOL GYMNASIUM
We meet every thursday night of the year with just a two week break over the Christmas Period. The class meets at 7.30 p.m. and finishes at 9.00 p.m. Our contract with the
School requires that we vacate the building by 9.30 and they are quite strict about this
Entrance to the School grounds is from Loughborough Road just below the Fire Station.
In order to reach the gym one needs to follow the road round to the right and to continue
to the end where there is a parking area. For potential new members there will be someone to greet you there and to escort you to the gymnasium at around 7.15.
My name is Alan and I look after all the administration of the class. Marc is our teacher
and he is a quiet young man (comparatively speaking) who has unbelievable patience
with both new members and even the long established ones when necessary.
BASIC FUNDAMENTALS OF TAI CHI
It should be remembered that Tai Chi is essentially a martial art. It is known as an internal
art performed very softly and is based on ones ability to evade and/or deflect any aggressive action. The moves we practice are carried out very slowly, as this improves balance, fitness, flexibility and strength.
In order to facilitate this here are a few simple basic starting aids for new members:-
1) Always try to relax all muscles as far as possible to remove tension. We need to feel
soft but not floppy.
2) There is, what is known as the natural standing position This is designed so that one
can start activities with a good posture that should be maintained throughout.
- Feet should point forward with the weight evenly spread over the whole foot. Feet should be placed at shoulder width apart.
- All Tai Chi is performed with the knees unlocked (not bent). This in itself is an extremely good exercise if one is not used to it. Calf and thigh muscles are strengthened by this posture and I recommend it for every day living.
- Let the hands hang loosely by the sides with a space under the armpits as if holding an apple there.
- Drop the shoulders down and release any tensions there. This can sometimes be difficult when trying to learn something.
- Imagine that a string is holding your head from above so that your body can feel as if it is sinking down. Breathe naturally and calmly.
- Relax the fingers. Allow them to curve gently and remain slightly apart.
There is an awful lot more to Tai Chi, and I know!! I’ve been practicing it for nearly 24
years and sometimes think I haven’t got a clue. Having the patience to learn is the main
thing, and an awareness that Tai Chi is not competitive and everyone can learn at their
own pace with no pressure.
With regard to footwear and clothing I recommend canvas shoes or trainers for the feet
and loose clothing promotes ease of body movement.
If there is anything in the class which you do not understand don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Also, because of the movement of Tai Chi, sometimes it can be difficult to see the
exact movements of the teacher. In this case, feel free to move your position on the floor,
or look to one side or the other where there will be a more experienced member you can
Unfortunately costs have to be considered but we have recently decided to offer one free
starter session so that prospective members can see whether or not the things we practice
is what they are looking for. This carries no commitment.
Subsequently the basic subscription is £6 per night (cheaper than a cinema ticket and far
more beneficial), but as a result of increased membership, we can now afford to offer a
£20 rate for four weeks in advance. Classes subsequently missed through illness are credited back in the following period.
Please remember that all subscriptions belong to the members. After paying the School
gym rental, and a small expenses only amount to our teacher, we can sometimes feed surplus funds back at the end of the year through free weeks.
In conclusion, I hope you will enjoy our company. Although we are serious in our desire
to learn, we also believe that the experience should be a pleasant one. If you require any
further information please get back to me and I will try to oblige.