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My personal story of tai chi chuan

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It all started in 1997 when my best friend from Spain moved to China to learn Chinese. I was living in Portugal at the time, and decided to go and visit her. It would be my first trip as a student before entering the professional life. It was also my first trip to a land with such a different culture to mine, and I was mesmerised by everything I saw.

One morning, we got up very early to visit the Great Wall of China. I was really excited to be so close to see one of the world wonders and I couldn’t wait to get there. However, on the way to the train station, one scene made me forget about the Great Wall of China, and changed the course of my life. At a park on a hill, in the middle of a turbulent urban chaos, I saw some Chinese people moving in the most peaceful way I can remember. When I asked my friend what that was, she inattentively said: “That? Just some people doing tai chi.”

Soon after that trip, I moved to Ireland and started to look for tai chi classes. I went to the Yellow pages (Internet was only used by a minority at that time), and found a school in Pearse St. I got lost. I was late. I couldn’t find the place. I went home discouraged, and I joined a yoga course instead. First attempt failed.

Years later, I found Jo McLoughlin and Terry Christie. I trained with them for about 1 year in Yang style 24 movement form. They were patient and adorable, but Terry’s advanced classes were really hard on my knees, so I decided to quit. Second attempt failed.

In 2005 I found Tai Chi Ireland. I learnt wu and yang styles, and different qi gong sets. I trained hard, attended workshops, practised at home, read about tai chi…Third attempt lucky.

Since then, I’ve trained with different teachers, and now I am currently training with Master Liming Yue and other chen style teachers. I got an accreditation to teach chen style tai chi and heath qi gong by Master Liming Yue of the Tai Chi Centre, Manchester.

“Moral of the story”: Do not get discouraged, keep on trying, train, have fun, practise. If you drop out, come back. And always remember “Every movement counts”.

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2 thoughts on “My personal story of tai chi chuan

  1. Love your story of persistence Alda.

  2. Thanks, Liz. I hope you will find your way back to tai chi some day.

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