Information, News, and Events
April 27-30, 2017
Posted May 23, 2017
Although we were both very excited to attend, we did have some concerns. Both my friend and I have knee injuries and arthritis and we weren't sure how intense the workshop was going to be and whether we would be able to keep up with two days of intense tai chi. Well, to our surprise, the workshop only strengthened our resolve to continue learning tai chi and to receive all the benefits as we regain our mobility, strength and balance.
Those who hosted the workshop did an exceptional job - from the signage that greeted us as we drove into the parking lot, to the welcome faces at the registration table, to the snacks and lunches that were provided - it was first class. Doug and Susan did an excellent job of including all the participants - whether you were relatively new to tai chi, had a couple of years under your belt or whether you were an instructor yourself. They were very inclusive in their teaching style, giving individual instruction (as did many of the other senior instructors attending), and used various styles of teaching so that we were not just "standing and listening".
We were encouraged to work with a partner; other times we were to watch as Doug and Susan demonstrated, and yet other times we repeated and repeated and repeated a move. I had no idea how many foundational exercises were included in "Parting Wild Horse's Mane" and "Brush Knee". My life has forever changed!!
Just as a side note, I really enjoyed the little stories that Doug shared with us as he expounded on a move, often quoting Master Moy as he explained the importance of something. It all added to the truth that "in tai chi there is a purpose behind everything we do".
So would I attend another workshop? Yes! Would my friend attend another workshop? Yes! Would I recommend it to others? Yes!
Thanks, Doug and Susan and the committee, for an excellent weekend.
Posted May 19, 2017
We were very fortunate to have Paul Clarke from Cumberland and Michael Haley from Halifax as team leaders during the daytime session. Paul and Michael work well together and led us through our paces gently but firmly! Their explanations of the "why" behind various moves and clear demonstrations of what to do and what not to do internally in all the moves was very much appreciated by the participants. As one of the out-of-town participants said, "What a great workshop! I think it was one of the best ones I have attended and I have attended a few! The information you shared, Michael, was interesting, appropriate and connected to the moves we were working on. The pace was lively and kept us engaged. Paul, your demonstrations and corrections were helpful. Great job! It was fun! Good friends and great food!" Comments from the local members about Paul and Michael: "Both are excellent teachers and we appreciated having them visit." Also; "Michael and Paul are a perfect team. They created a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, making the hours pass quickly. Their excellent instruction held my interest for the entire day, just the right balance of explanation/information and practice. I was especially interested in the explanations of why our Tai Chi instruction evolves and moves are adjusted over time to be more beneficial for various organs in the body as we become more flexible. I think Tai Chi practitioners of all levels would have gained practical knowledge to improve their form. Paul and Michael, please, please, please return for another workshop. Thanks so much for a wonderful day."
For those who had not eaten too much at the potluck supper and with some energy left over, the evening sessions included more Tai Chi with Wendy Annand leading and an introduction to Lok Hup, led by Trisha Martin and Pat Corkery. A comment from an evening participant: "I very much enjoyed learning the first few moves of Lok Hup Bafa and look forward to a time when I can learn some more. Trisha and Pat did a great job, hope for more. I hope we can find some way to make Lok Hup a regular part of our group's activities."
Many thanks are due to those who pulled this excellent day and evening together. The instructors, Paul Clarke and Michael Haley , Trisha Martin and Pat Corkery were terrific. Many thanks to the sound crew, Gordon and Ron, to Trisha for organizing the food and all the great cooks in Tai Chi. Thanks to Judith and Bernie for handling the registrations and to all those who billeted our friends from out of town and to Frank who knows everything about the Hall.
Posted May 19, 2017
Posted May 19, 2017
As usual, our members stepped up to the plate and provided us all with more than enough food for breaks, lunch on Saturday as well as Sunday. Must not forget our Year of the Rooster cake!!!!
Can't wait for our next workshop!!
Posté 19 mai 2017
Comme d'habitude, nos membres se sont dépassés pour nous fournir de la nourriture pour les pauses, ainsi que les dîners de Samedi et Dimanche. Ne pas oublier notre gàteau pour l'Année du Coq!!!
Nous avons hâte au prochain atelier!!!
March 4-5, 2017
Posted May 19, 2017
It's always lovely to work with Darren Pryke and Sherri Nettleton as well as our old and new friends from the Maritimes. Darren worked us hard on improving our Tai Chi, but also covered a bit of Lok Hup and the Ba Duan Jin to keep our minds from exploding. Darren later looked at my notes and was surprised by how much had been covered.
Because there is so much interest from our branch members in CTCA instructor workshops, we chose not to offer a one day general and one day instructor workshop. Instead, to allow as many of our instructors as possible to benefit directly from the senior instructors, we opted for the two day instructor workshop.
For us there are many advantages to a weekend instructor workshop. We can cover so much ground, we can share with instructors from other fairly nearby groups, and the numbers are smaller and more manageable than a national workshop. We are able to discuss potential solutions to instructor quandaries that sometimes are difficult to solve when you're in the midst of them.
Some of us have known each other for years so getting together is rather like old home week. We have that response as well when we see Darren and Sherri, not just for the Tai Chi wisdom they have to share, but because they have become friends and trusted advisors over the years. The workshop was a real chance to celebrate our CTCA family.
Posté 19 mai 2017
I can still hear: stretch, stretch and stretch and it's my turn to say it now!
L'organisation était excellente: Merci à Rod! Thank you Rod!
Posted February 13, 2017
But how was I going to be able to teach a blind person? I did some research on the Internet, though could not find the "how to" information. I then contacted Awareness Tai Chi and requested advice from Kevin and Shelly. Kevin had already discussed a similar situation with Master Moy, but had never experienced it first hand. Master Moy told him that the help of a second person would be required.
Posté le 13 février 2017
C'est alors que Louise une non-voyante nous fait la demande de s'inscrire au prochain cours de débutant... Je me sens interpellée... Comment faire? Je fais des recherches sur l'internet et ne trouve pas le « comment faire ». Je contacte ensuite l'Awareness Tai chi et je demande des conseils à Kevin et Shelly. Kevin me dit avoir déjà discuté d'une situation semblable avec Maître Moy, mais n'a jamais eu cette expérience. Maître Moy lui aurait dit que ceci se ferait avec l'aide d'une 2e personne.
Posted January 15, 2017
Two of Master Moy's objectives that he wanted us to follow were: "Help Others" and "Bring Tai Chi to All". I believe that taking it to outreach classes, such as seniors' homes, residences and even nursing homes fully embodies these objectives. These places have the very students that are unable to attend regular Tai Chi classes, either because of limited mobility or the inability to leave their places of residence; therefore, they need our help just as much, or more so, than regular mobile participants. By using our experience, skills and compassion, we can attempt to fulfill Master Moy's two objectives. Over the years, some of us have worked with these students and been rewarded by their incredible improvements - more flexibility, balance and, in many cases, a stronger sense of vitality, to name but a few.
Because I am enlightened by seeing the results of these students' practice over a period of time, I am always eager to encourage continuing students and other instructors to share this experience. Therefore, it was with great delight I heard that Lise wished to accompany me to three of my outreach classes at the beginning of December, during her visit to Nova Scotia. Each class is one hour in duration.
The first day was spent with residents of a continuing care facility. This facility has an Activities Coordinator who is always in attendance to assist when necessary. None of the students are able to stand for more than about 10 minutes and some of them not at all. Therefore the majority of exercises are seated adaptations of various Tai Chi foundations and a few of the set sequences (such as partitions and brushed knees). These students are also benefiting from donyus at the support bars that run along the corridors; these exercises are done with careful supervision and physical support.
The second day, my largest weekly class (average 24-28 students), is held at the local Lifestyle Centre under the auspices of the Parks and Recreation department. The group is comprised of students living with MS, Parkinson's, post-operative conditions, post-stroke and heart-attacks, and various back and joint pains. Some have partial paralysis in arms and/or legs. A number of them arrive with the assistance of wheelchairs, walking frames and canes. Because the allocated space has mirrors and support bars, students are able to connect visually with how they are moving. Progress is noticeable to them, which encourages them to strive with more vigour, including attempting the first 17 moves standing, although the seated set is always fervently welcomed.
The third day was at a seniors' residence where participants are mostly quite mobile and self-sufficient but endure the normal aging challenges. Because they have a lifestyle that inhibits them from travelling too far from their home base, they accept the classes as part of their routine senior activities. However, they always verbalize results of feeling stronger, more balanced and general well-being.
My overall experience with Lise was being reawakened to the purpose of taking Tai Chi out of the club environment. I saw through her eyes the benefits these classes can bring and received a perspective refreshed by her involvement and reaction to what I was doing.
Lise's participation in this short journey with me stimulated me again to appreciate the differences between instructing in the health improvement area and the regular stream. Having Lise along helped me reacquaint myself with how I was approaching these students and critically analyze how I was, not only presenting myself, but also how I was passing along Master Moy's objectives. Thank you, Lise, for being there.
Assistant Instructor Lise Malenfont writes:
My name is Lise and I have been practicing Tai Chi in the Edmundston, NB area for about 8 years. I have a personal goal of providing Health Promotion Tai Chi instruction for people with limited mobility.
I recently had the opportunity to attend three classes in Bridgewater NS with Trisha Martin. The participants in each of these classes had different activity levels. It became clear to me that the instruction needed to be adapted to each group as well as to each participant. Some need to be encouraged while others need limits so they don't hurt themselves or take a fall.
The first group was the most limited and instruction was based on the foundation exercises, with lots of encouragement and good stretching. The exercises were done primarily seated. I was surprised by the participants' lack of flexibility and noted that their range of movement increased during the session.
The second group was the least limited and were generally younger. They were quite keen on their exercises and participated actively. Some of them were also more advanced with the standing 17 move set and were determined to get it right. Trisha was able to show me how to assist a participant with paralysis to gently stretch.
The third group was stronger than the first group, but not as strong as the second. These folks were in an independent living facility and they needed a little more motivation to participate. They are fortunate to have two participants able to lead the sessions when Trisha is not available.
Although there was a lot to see and learn, I came away with the following observations: