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Canadian Tai Chi Academy
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    Nipissing Workshop, November 4-5, 2023
    Posted December 31, 2023
The Canadian Tai Chi Academy's Nipissing District was honoured to welcome workshop leader Rob Munden the weekend of November 4th and 5th. Day one of the workshop was well attended by members of the Sabre, Continuing, and Beginner classes. Also in attendance were Rob's spouse, Maureen, and visitors from Sudbury and Timmins, adding to the warmth typical of our group. Attendees enjoyed an included pizza lunch, snacks and baking provided by our members. Generous donations for the Callandar Food Bank were received, along with a monetary contribution for The Callander Public Library.

Rob started the first day of our workshop with some foundational exercises, including some new to our group. Instruction continued in what Rob called "The Four Directions", which provided focal technique in four moves of the set: Brush Knees, Parting Wild Horse's Mane, Repulse Monkey, and Wave Hands Like Clouds. At request from our group, demonstration and explanation were provided in what it means to "sit" and how to develop balance.

In the afternoon, Rob demonstrated techniques for "Chop with Fist" and "Turn and Chop with Fist". Rob led sets in the morning and afternoon, with many from the Beginner class doing a great job completing a full set for the first time. During breaks, our guest instructor could be found fully engaged, providing one-on-one instruction in Sabre technique, providing pointers and advice to our beginners, or sharing instructional advice and anecdotes with our district instructors.

Sunday morning's focus was on sabre. We advanced through the entire set slowly, with Rob clarifying each move in regards to positioning (blade & body) and providing explanations on their intent. The correlation between different forms were also explained.

We were also lucky enough to practice the first few moves of Lok Hup and to see some demos of sword moves. Various approaches to instructing Beginner Tai Chi were reviewed and discussed. None of us wanted the morning to end!

Rob was a joy to observe in demonstration. With gratitude, we express our thanks to all who attended and would gladly welcome a return visit.

    Yellowknife Workshop, November 4-5, 2023
    Posted December 31, 2023
We were thrilled that Doug Overholt and Susan Carson volunteered to give up their weekend to fly to Yellowknife, CTCA's most northerly outpost, to share the knowledge they've gained throughout their many years of tai chi practice.

It had been a long time since Yellowknife had had an in-person workshop with out-of-town instructors. It was wonderful to practice and commune together. (During the breaks and potluck lunches, the hall was brimming with conversation and laughter.) The potlucks were incredible, featuring a variety of exotic salads and appetizers, fruits, soups, lentil and veggie dishes, fish, snacks and desserts.

We broke down and built up moves in the first 17 moves of the set. "That was lovely," said one practitioner after Susan had broken down and we practiced Step Up, Deflect, Parry, Punch.

Amongst other elements, the couple worked us through the toryu with emphasis on slowly turning the hips to square. We received continuing level instruction regarding transitions and flow, as was demonstrated in White Stork Spreads Wings and other moves. Our group benefited greatly from personalized correction to our form. We've been conducting an informal 'Total Recall' since to try to remember what we gained from the instruction.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the workshop a success. Thanks to the organizers, the accounting, the billet, the tour guides, the cooks and bakers, the kitchen helpers and clean up, and to those who participated. There were many events happening that weekend but we managed to get 17 participants out at the height of the event.

And congratulations, Teresa, who will be part of the Beginner instructor team once we get a class going again, whatever format that will take in the future.