Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Training in the Time of a Pandemic

So, you may have heard, we've had this pandemic going on. And, despite the lockdown greatly shortening my commute, I've been busier than ever throughout. Including Tai Chi - lots and lots of Tai Chi.

At the school, when the lockdown was enacted in March of 2020, we moved all of our classes online and did our best to support and preserve our Tai Chi community in those early days. Since then, we've been able to expand our online community and, additionally, now offer some of our classes as a hybrid of in-person & online students. The in-person portions of classes are still very limited in size as we adhere to our local covid policies but our students have been really appreciated the option.

More personally, during the first year of the pandemic I used Tai Chi as a way to keep myself healthy both physically and emotionally. That year, I didn't try to expand into anything new, I just focused on practicing what I already knew through a lot of solo training and attending/helping with the online classes - that turned out to be a pretty solid approach and I learned a lot despite myself.

In the second year, I finally started training some Tai Chi weapons and, over the last year, I've studied Tai Chi Stick, Tai Chi Fan, and Tai Chi Sword (in that order). As I discussed in my previous post, weapons training has opened up a whole new dimension of Tai Chi to me and there's a lot more there for me to work on. The Tai Chi Stick has been my favorite weapon so far and I continue to train it regularly but each of the weapons have their unique challenges and insights. I hope to discuss my experiences with the individual weapons in future posts because there's a lot worth going over.

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, I've started leading some partner training (push hands) with a very small number of advanced students (with covid protocols in place to make the training as safe as possible). Sifu Wu is not involved in the ongoing sessions but she is guiding me on leading the practice, which gives us a good balance of training and instruction. We've only had a few sessions so far but they've gone really well, which has been an auspicious start. Having good/dedicated students makes a huge difference. I'll try to discuss more about the partner training as things progress.

And that's it for today - stay healthy and keep training!

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