I currently teach at Crisis every Sunday at 11.30am-1.00pm
And some info about the practice itself:
From the first time I saw Tai chi practised, it was obvious to me there were hundred of years of wisdom behind every movement. Like most martial arts its ultimate goal is to create a bond between the body and the mind that intensifies with the years of practice. Its first and most important benefit is the enhancement of one’s sense of balance.
City lifestyle is often all about rushing from one location to another and then staying seated in front of a computer for a long time. So we basically disconnect from our bodies, engaging and challenging mostly our minds. The body is left behind, trapped in awkward positions that ultimately cause loads of problems and pain.
Tai chi is firstly a practice that re-adjusts and subtly strengthens the body while it educates the mind to send to the muscles as much energy as they need for each task they have to perform. Neither more, nor less. And most importantly this is achieved through relaxation. As the greatest teachers of tai chi have said ‘the tiger is fully relaxed but alert and ready to attack instantly’.
I have been taught and practised the Yang style and even though all positions and moves are combat ones there is no impact with an opponent. However, learning to manipulate our own strength and energy is the first step towards handling the opponent’s strength against them. This is evident in the practice of sword-form that I teach as well, where body and weapon become one and energy flows through it in anticipation of the possible attack.
I learned tai chi in Greece where I studied with Petros Kouropoulos for 10 years. Petros was taught tai chi in China in the 70s and 80′s and actually was the person that introduced it to Greece in the first place. Thus he was the most important master of the art in my home country where he taught for decades and wrote many books about it. I was trained by him and when he was too old to teach I took over most of the classes at his school which was both a privilege and honour. Tai chi is very old and after hundreds of years of evolution it seems perfected and finite. However this is far form the truth because in reality it is a practice in constant motion. Every one that starts doing tai chi in a way creates his/her own version of it because each person’s body and intellect are different hence the movement is interpreted and experienced truly uniquely.