So it was time for the second edition of Tyrolean Tai Chi Festival, organized by Othmar Vigl. The number of participants could have been higher, but as elsewhere in Europe, this is probably partly due to the economic situation. Anyone who has the courage to organize events like this in times like these deserves all respect. Keeping the spirit up and continuing is what makes the difference. This kind of work is contributing to the long term development of Tai Chi in Europe.
Merano is, if somewhat distant, a beautiful and cozy place. The Alps provide a powerful setting for training, this year held at a sports stadium.
Participants from Russia, Switzerland, Germany and Slovenia were in place ready to get to grips with what the teachers; Luigi Zanini – Bagua, Othmar Viegl – Wudang TCC, Aron Martin – Lung Hu Chuan, Ceciel Kreus – CC Chen TCC and myself had to offer.
Aron’s classes were very much about understanding the concepts that centerline and positioning and contained practical self defense solutions. Luigi focused among others on the “open / close” techniques, concurrency and coordination between the upper and lower body all based on his genuine background in Bagua Zhang. In Ceciels classes she dealt with the ability to listen and attentiveness to impulses and impressions. One of Othmars cryptic themes was “the Beauty of Tai Chi,” which turned out to be the beauty of the usefulness of the art.
In my own classes we practiced the relationship between orthodox applications of Handform and the movement patterns and footwork from our traditional Pushing Hands exercises. Through this kind of basic training we are able to utilize the power within the techniques in an optimal way.
Afternoons were devoted to three hours of free Pushing Hands training where everyone had the opportunity to exchange knowledge in everything from Fixed Step PH to light sparring.
The weather this time was varied which was not a disadvantage in terms of training. It can be extremely hot in Merano.
For those interested, I can heartily recommend the event. Plans are already made for the next edition.
Photos: Paul Silfversrtråle, Othmar Vigl