Friday, 7 February 2020
Tai Chi Fan Performance
"Fan" is my favourite tai chi routine. As mentioned in an earlier post, it took 5 months of almost daily lessons and practice for us newbies to learn this 3-and-a-half-minute routine in our tai chi group. I was worried that my somewhat arthritic hands would not be able to manipulate the fan. And yes, some days my fan was dropped or flung or only partially opened.
But the surprise issue for me was how hard the routine was on my legs. At times, I could barely keep up. My legs were burning and aching. Everything was happening so fast! But once the routine is finally learned and becomes part of muscle memory, it seems to slow right down to a much more manageable pace.
There are a lot of subtle hand and wrist movements required in using the fan. These movements are not meant to be purely decorative. The teacher corrected one of my wrist movements in class, showing me how to twist my wrist in a certain way before opening the closed fan. "You must gouge your enemy in the side first," she told me.
This photo shows two of the most difficult moves in the routine --
Because we are geezers, we get to do modified versions that are not so hard on us. We don't have to hold the one-legged pose so high or so long. And we don't have to get down anywhere near so low to the ground on any move, including this most extreme one. Thank the Baby Jesus!
Here is a wonderful video of a tai chi master doing the routine. (Just pretend it's me, LOL!) I love hearing the snap of her fan! And watch for the grips and slices you saw demonstrated in the martial arts videos from my previous post --
While I was learning this routine, I would wake up in the middle of the night and that music would be running through my head on an endless loop. Talk about a crazy-making ear worm, LOL!