How many years have you been practicing Tai Chi?
I’ve been training in the art for over 14 years now and have run my own school in Catford London for 10 years. What stimulated your interest? It was actually my local doctor, after some changes in my life I had stopped going to the gym that we trained at and was actually becoming aggressive, my doctor suggested to me that I try tai chi or swimming. Luckily for us I took up tai chi rather than swimming.
What does TC mean to you?
It’s a way of life within a normal life, I don’t need any tools or equipment and I can practice the art whenever and wherever I want to “now that it’s total freedom”. What is the most important aspect to you? To stay healthy is probably the most important factor for me.
Do you have any personal goals with TC?
I don’t have any goals I just enjoy what I do and watching the people I train become healthy and happy in their life, and people who wish to further the art become training instructurs and then go on to open their own schools, I’ve actualy got 3 of my students who all have their own schools now.
Who or what inspired you?
My interest in martial art goes back to David Carradine from the Kung Fu series. With his never ending passion and drive in this art form which I can honestly say has never faltered over the years of knowing him What do you make of tai chi’s current popularity? I think that the amount of classes that have opened within the last five years has increased massively, but there is a varying quality of what people are teaching.
As a teacher how do you feel about the martial aspects of Tai Chi?
Personally I think is very important that students understand where the art form comes from, I actually teach my students both the soft aspect and the hard aspect of what each move is. Some people actually react better to knowing the martial side of the art form where as others prefer the soft side giving people both I think is very important.
What are your views on competitions?
Competitions are a personal preference. When I visited a very great friend of mine who has since sadly passed away, her house was full of trophies from tai chi competitions. When Linda asked me how many competitions I’ve competed in I said none and to this day I have still never entered a competition and have no ambition to, I have nothing to prove.
What direction would you like to see TC take in the future?
I would love to see tai chi taught in schools and factories as the benefits would be spectacular in these areas.
Ashley Cheeseman contact details in out instructor listing.