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John McBurney

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February 2021

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Shefford Thai Chi Festival

Each year on World Tai Chi day we throw open the Community Hall to local practitioners of martial arts and alternative health activities – so this year we had a gentle Tai Chi loosening at 10.00 to get us all in the mood. Ian Deavin (chief instructor of Shefford Tai Chi) took the group through some normal class exercises aimed at developing good posture and balance for people of all ages.



This was followed by a very interesting session of Yoga led by local teacher Laura Johnson who took everybody through a typical class.


At 11.00 Eileen Johnson gave a wonderful hands on seminar of Alexander Technique focusing on relaxed posture and ease of movement which had many people feeling as if walking on air. Alexander Technique is an intervention much valued for dealing with back problems and balance.


The pace stepped up at 11.30 with Ataru Shotokan Karate under Sensei Jamie Thomson and his wife Tracii – an enthusiastic group demo and participatory session with many youngsters, followed at 12.00 by Ian Deavin with a graceful Tai Chi demo of the Chen style Laojia form and Sword form.


12.30 saw us involved with ENSO Jujitsu under Lee Alexander Sensei for another interactive session including more young people, followed by an exquisite demonstration of Iado – Japanese sword drawing by Lee Alexander Sensei.


Ian Deavin followed with more Tai Chi showing how Tai Chi may be practiced in small soft movements suitable for people of all ages interested in developing better balance and healthy movement – as well as how it may be done with bigger faster movements for the younger or more martially inclined.


By 2.00 when we had all had our lunch we were in the hands of the William Wong Wing Chun Academy under chief instructor William Wong and his wife Yvoone who led us through their style - and then by popular request William took enthusiastic leadership of a fully interactive all styles self defence partner training session, followed by a similar session with Sensei Thomson which pretty much took us through to the end of the day.

Ian rounded off the event by having a Tai Chi discussion with visitors while the demonstration area was taken up by martial artists playing and having fun in a mixed styles practice.


If you run a martial arts or alternative therapy activity and would like to join us next year – or would like to know more about Tai Chi please contact Ian on the number above


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