Hackney’s Clissold Centre is welcoming host to London’s ever-growing Tai Chi event
- Credit: Archant
Hackney’s Clissold Leisure Centre hosted the 10th London Competition for Traditional Tai Chi Chuan recently.
The event, organised by the Tai Chi Chuan Academy in Bethnal Green with the support from the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, has grown year after year and now almost 150 competitors from around the UK and Europe, along with 30 juniors, flocked to take part, with the youngest just seven years old!
In the day-long event, contestants demonstrated a wide variety of ‘Forms’ – traditional sequences of movements – from several different Tai Chi styles, in front of panels of judges.
Points were awarded for good posture, precision of form, fluidity and martial spirit. As well as empty-hand forms, there were weapons including sabre, sword, spear and fan, and Health Qigong (Chi Kung) competition.
Another popular event proved to be the ‘pushing hands’, with juniors and adults able to contest. In fixed feet pushing hands, two competitors square up to each other across a line and win points by making the other move their feet, using balance, timing and bodyweight rather than strength.
Moving Step Pushing Hands sees contestants try to push an opponent out of a fixed area or make them fall or touch the floor by using leg sweeps and throws. This year a large team from Spain livened up proceedings with dynamic and effective action on the mats, and noisy support of team-mates and even their opponents from the sidelines.
As every year, the London Competition was enthusiastically and generously supported by top experts in the major Tai Chi styles – Chen, Cheng Man-Ching, Wu, Wudang and Yang – with all sharing most of the basic principles yet each having their own unique features which can be seen in the postures and movements of the form.
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Part of the pleasure of the competition is to see practitioners from different styles work with each other in a competitive but respectful and ultimately harmonious spirit.
Ivan Moss, Jamal Alek, Mike Costello, Plamen Draganov, Ralph Hogbin, Simmeon Lawrence, Ziqing He of Chen Style Tai Chi Centre UK won on the day, lifting the Ronnie Robinson Trophy.
For more information on the event or the Tai Chi Chuan Academy head to wustyle-europe.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.