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T'AI CHI & QIGONG (Chi Kung) IN ZIMBABWE
These pages give information about T'ai Chi Ch'uan and it's availability in Zimbabwe. If you are teaching T'ai Chi, or a related form, any where in Zimbabwe and would like to be included on the list please contact Chris Hamblin at firstname.lastname@example.org
T'ai Chi Ch'uan is not just one subject, there are a variety of approaches, so anyone thinking of taking up the practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan would do well to watch a class first, consider how the subject is explained and what the general atmosphere is surrounding the class. To aquire a long Yang Form you are going to have to attend classes for 2 - 3 years, so it is important that you feel at ease with the teacher, the classes and the other students.
"The Opening of the Bird's Beak"
Oct 2002 :: Chris Hamblin is now resident in UK, classes are currently taught in Harare by Sonia Periera who has studied with him, for more information about classes contact her at email@example.com
T'AI CHI CH'UAN - an article by Chris Hamblin
T'AI CHI CH'UAN an introduction by Chris Hamblin
This short article below was published in a recent issue of "Vitality" the newsletter of the Association of Complimentary Health Practitioners of Zimbabwe (ACHP). (Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post ACHP PO Box GD 362 Greendale.) It gives some idea of my approach to the subject and that of the teachers with whom I have learned.
'A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step'. From the 'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu.
The T'ai Chi Ch'uan 'Form' is a long sequence of slow, graceful, flowing, dance movements of great beauty. It can be practised on one's own or within a group, the full sequence or form takes about 25 minutes. Woven into the long Yang form are repeating and developing sequences with seemingly endless changing qualities. These can be seen to mirror the processes of life and evolution.
The Yang Form (taught by the Yang Family in Beijing) comes from China, from the ancient therapeutic arts, taught alongside other fine arts as part of the education system. Preserved and publicised in several versions by the Revolutionary Government, today it is common to see large groups of men and women practising the forms in parks and open spaces, daily at sunrise and dusk.
"Twisting the Tiger's Ears" WTC & Q Day 2002, Harare
Practised correctly the health
benefits of T'ai Chi are many: it strengthens the body by using good
spinal alignment, improves co-ordination and increases spatial awareness.
In the practitioner it promotes a feeling of glowing well being, relaxation
and calmness. It promotes a sense of inner harmony and integration.
T'ai Chi does not over exert or stretch the body, the breath is never held, the forms are taught with continuous integrated breathing. (Since most of the movements are performed on slightly bent legs, study is not advised for people with arthritis of the knee joints.)
The long Yang Form contains movement sequences that derive from observations of Man, Nature and Animals. There are many symbolic and poetic references in the sequence titles such as: Stork Cools It's Wings, Carry Tiger to the Mountain, Wave Hands Like Clouds and Riding the Tiger.
The long Form emerged in China in the
14th Century AD and is an expression of ancient Chinese culture and philosophy,
it has been influenced by Taoism, Chan (Zen), Buddhism, and Confucianism.
The form as I present it is an inspiration to personal insight and is not linked to any one philosophy or set of beliefs. Occasional classes may look at and discuss extracts of writings, like the I Ching (Book of Changes containing the 64 Hexagrams see Hex 61 above) said to have originated some 3000 BC and Lao Tzu's: Tao Te Ching (The Way of Life) written around 500BC. These texts first reached Europe around 1850 AD in translations by religious researchers (Jesuit) exploring the ancient cosmology of China. Since then many western artists and psychologists (particularly C G Jung) have felt an inner resonance with ideas expressed in them.
Miriam & Chris Hamblin, Harare April 2002
Anybody is welcome to join an Introductory Class at any age. All students begin at the beginning. The complete cycle of forms can take up to two years to learn. In this school, the form is taught to the Right and then completely to the Left, which facilitates a thorough knowledge of the form, the possibility of mirror partner work at an advanced level and enhances the balance between the creative and analytical self. Quality of learning is considered more important than quantity.
There are many different approaches to this subject, the form has been passed to me as a therapeutic Fine Art. (see lineage) Some forms of T'ai Chi are linked to schools of martial arts. At the School of T'ai Chi Chu'an London where I studied with Beverley Milne, social, not martial applications were taught, the notion of self-defence being an aspect of sensitivity. The practice of the form encourages openness and a quality of acceptance towards others, transcending the emphasis on defence of the self. A variety of approaches are taught in Harare by other teachers their forms come from different roots and emphasis completely different functions of T'ai Chi practice as a result. Classes take place in Mt Pleasant, Harare during school term times and new beginners classes start every term..
Chris Hamblin is a Full Member of the Association of Complementary Health Practitioners (ACHP). Contact for more details: email@example.com
"Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain"
Oct 2002 :: Chris Hamblin is now resident in UK, classes are currently taught in Harare by Sonia Periera who has studied with him for many years. For more information about classes contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org