Entries from 5 - Training Diary


Welcome to this blog, here we will put all sorts of (hopefully useful) information about Tai Chi and maybe some other subjects too.

Read and enjoy.

Feel free to leave comments but please keep them polite, on-topic and spam free.

May all your training be fabulous.

Robert Agar-Hutton
Chief Instructor

Tai Chi Book

I've been working on a book on Tai Chi. It's at the editing and revision stage and I hope that it will get published as both an eBook next month (November 2018) and then a paperback in time for Christmas.

The current contents includes the following chapters:
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Preface
  • Learning Tai Chi
  • The Four Types of Tai Chi
  • Selecting a Tai Chi instructor
  • The history of Tai Chi - sort of
  • Internal vs. External
  • Is Tai Chi a killing art or just a bit of fun?
  • Principles of Tai Chi
  • Tai Chi Terminology and meanings
  • Training
  • How often and for how long?
  • Breathing
  • Walking
  • It’s all in the mind
  • Wisdom
  • Learning peace through studying war
  • Changing fear to love

If you are interested in a copy keep an eye on the News page of this website: https://ahmaa.co.uk/news.html where I'll put the release date as soon as I know it.

A different form

Many years ago I was in Penang Malaysia (actually, it may have been KL, it was quite a few years ago and I've been to Malaysia many times) - Anyway, I was staying at a hotel that had a fitness suite with a gym and a studio - the studio was empty so I went in there to practice Tai Chi.

After a while a Chinese gentleman came in and said hello and explained that he was a Tai Chi instructor employed by the hotel to give free Tai Chi lessons to guests. He also explained that he had a class starting shortly and that I was welcome to attend. I stayed on and he taught a Tai Chi form that was new to me, the Yang 88 move form.

During my stay at the hotel I had two or three lessons in this form (if I remember correctly) and really enjoyed it. It was a nice form and I missed doing it when I came back to the UK.

Today (Thursday morning, 19th July 2018) I spent two and a half hours training at a class in Wellingborough with a lovely instructor called Dominic Rushmore. He teaches the 88 move form and diary allowing, it is my intention to train with him and to learn the form.

Now, you may be wondering WHY do I, an instructor myself, want to train in something new with somebody else... and here we have one of the key fundamentals of being a good instructor (or perhaps, being good at anything) ... you should NEVER EVER stop learning.

Wing Chun - Chunfest

Spent the day at 'Chunfest' a get-together of mainly Wing Chun students and instructors although some were Tai Chi people too.

The day was spent playing at Chi Sao (Sticky Hands) a competitive drill where you touch hands (wrists, arms) with the other player and try to control them, off-balance them or strike them - it is similar to but different from the Tai Chi practice of Push Hands.

Despite the sun and the heat (and the fact that I did not take enough to drink) I had a fantastic day and learned a lot - I know I say this over and over (and over) again - but all martial arts training will help you with your Tai Chi ... if you understand how to let it do that.

Silat - something different

Silat is the name given to a group of martial arts from Indonesia and Malaysia - Sunday 1st July, I spent the day with Glenn Lobo, who is an excellent Silat instructor and some of his students learning some Silat basics. Why? Because I want to add new skills and because it was fun.

I suggest that you never miss the chance to learn new skills, whether it's computer programming, kite making, or learning about the Peloponnesian wars - All knowledge is good.

And FUN - I've mentioned fun before and will probably do so many more times - having fun is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself young and fit.

The power of practice

June 22nd, 23rd and 24th 2018 - I spent three days in the New Forest with a group of excellent Tai Chi instructors and students learning new things - what it was that I learned may be the subject for a future blog post but what I want to discuss here is why I went to learn something new...

You see the power in Tai Chi comes from DOING IT and the more you do it the better the rewards.

Practice something that you already know and hopefully you keep your body healthy and you let your mind increase its awareness of the moves and deepen your ability to concentrate and relax whilst doing it.

Learn something NEW and keep your brain healthy and your mind interested and alert - keeping you young.

That's the power of practice.

Why practice Tai Chi?

There are lots of practical reasons to practice Tai Chi - You can do it for physical health, for relaxation, for self defence, for... yadda, yadda, yadda ...

But, I'd like to mention something that I think often gets overlooked, it's enjoyable... You know, something that you can do without it doing any harm to anyone, and it's easy, and it can be done anywhere and (virtually) anytime. You don't need a lot of space, it doesn't make any noise, you can be wearing pretty much anything, you can do it for a few minutes or a few hours. It's YOUR decision what you do - it's your time to do something that is pleasant and makes you feel good.

Now, yes of course it will be relaxing and it will have the well-known health benefits so you get all of that too. But concentrate on the fact that you are simply doing something that you enjoy without any particular purpose and that is ABSOLUTELY your right.

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