1st Barcelona Tai Chi Meeting – report.
Under the bars of Aragon.
It was my first time in this beautiful place, and you can hardly find a better spot for an international Tai Chi event. The event was arranged by Marc Cortadelles Adzerias.
The training venue was nice, although the heat called for a lot of water breaks and training sessions were shorter than I’m used to. The demonstrations on Saturday night were held on the beach to the tourists and locals delight.
There were participants from Yang and Chen style, among them students of Gianfranco Pace from Sicily, another practical teacher whom i met earlier. A good teacher is reflected in his students, it is said, and it was certainly true in this case. Most students came from Sifu Joan Prat Gonzales school since he also was one of the teachers who taught at the event. The number of participants could have been higher but with the current economic situation and beeing the first event in this place, it’s hard to know what to expect. Participants were open-minded and curious to learn new things. Open meetings as this one brings people together and allows students and teachers to expand their networks. It is an opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone, as they are exposed to other styles and ideas.
While Sifu Prat focused on the correct mechanics and principles of Form and execution of techniques, I concentrated mainly on interaction and movement. The concepts of distance, positioning and timing are well known for my students, but if you are not used to dealing with more pressure and higher tempo there are a lot to take in, especially the first time around. It was clear that most people here were not accustomed to Moving Step Pushing Hands, so we worked thoroughly with the basics of Seven Star Step, Reeling Silk and extensively with the concept of the void.
Afternoons were devoted to longer freestyle sessions in Pushing Hands in which participants were given ample time to practice together and get to know each other.
This meeting has the same structure as some others in Europe, but what stands out is of course the place where it is held. One can hardly find a better place regarding climate and culture. With a little more structure and planning Barcelona can clearly be one of the “hot spots” in Tai Chi Europe in the future.
I suggest you stay tuned for the next edition.
Photographs by Albert Roig – http://iamroig.com/