In early February, Barrie Ryusei Karate black belt Carminha Caneira gave an introductory tai chi clinic, open to members and anyone interested among their family and friends.
Caneira-sempai has been practising Yang stele tai chi for six years now. Tai chi, as she explains, is an internal martial art, practised for hundreds of years in the East as “medicine in motion,” promoting overall health and wellness, healing, energy, and disease prevention.
Tai chi is a sequence of specific movements performed at a slow pace, aided by replenishing breaths and a feeling of calm focus. By moving through the tai chi form, we cultivate vital “qi” or “chi” (life energy) and encourage its proper flow through the meridians (pathways) in the body, promoting a state of “homeostasis” – optimum equilibrium for health.
Published medical studies worldwide have produced quite a list of ailments that tai chi has been proven to have positive healing effects upon, ranging from degenerative joint diseases to high blood pressure. Given tai chi’s wonderful relaxation and meditative qualities, it is no surprise that the exercise is also being recommended to help treat rampant modern day psychological conditions, such as depression and stress.
Carminha performing a small section of a tai chi form.
Martial artists in every discipline can benefit from tai chi, often called the grand, ultimate martial art. It offers an opportunity to bring a calm awareness to their study – a desired idyllic softening or relaxation to their techniques.
Everyone can do tai chi. The exercise is gentle and safe and beneficial for those of any age or condition, even for those who are wheelchair-bound.
Most of us are busy, completing task after task with haste as we try to keep up with social demands and economic challenges. We sometimes miss the details, and become unaware of the passage and point of our lives altogether. When you have the opportunity to slow down, even for a short time in a day or thereabouts, you may notice your life again.
After this introductory clinic, Carminha is gauging interest to see if periodic instruction in tai chi can be provided to club members within the existing class schedule