Taiji at Amsterdamse Bos

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Last February, in a cold and windy Saturday afternoon, I decided to go to Amsterdamse Bos (The Forest of Amsterdam), along with my daughter Cecilia, to shoot some photos to be published on Internations.nl’s platform. One of the organizers had kindly invited me to give a Qi Gong workshop for the members of this association.

I felt honoured and decided I needed more recent photos. Then the decision to go to Amsterdamse Bos. I had to push myself out in the cold Northern European winter, I really didn’t want to face such a freezing wind. And I had to push my daughter as well…

 

 

These were the result of the photo shooting.

I feel happy and proud I was able to push myself and proud of my daughter Cecilia who was able to catch the right magic light!

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Competing in Utrecht

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Competing is always a positive decision.

I wanted to share some thoughts about this important decision.

First of all, I think everybody  competes with themselves, their fears and limitations. Thus, deciding to compete means conquering these fears.

Second, the competition represents an effective way to reach a certain goal such as  higher skills in  performing a form. To do so discipline is required!

Third, during the competition you get to know many other martial artists. This is a nice way to explore and engage with the Martial Arts’ community.

Last but not least, after your performance is over and the jury shows your score, you must accept it with humbleness, either you agree with it or not. It’s part of the game.

This happened to me when I competed for Modern 42 Combined Hand Form, in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on Saturday, November 11.

Below you can  watch the video that my friend Marijke shot for me that day.

 

How the benefits of Tai Chi are perceived in an urban area- An anthropological study.

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Two months ago I received this message from Erika Persson, a student in Medical Anthropology at Amsterdam University College:

“Dear Monica, I am writing to you as you are listed as organizer in the Tai-Chi group here, and I have a question for you. Or rather a request. I am a student of Amsterdam University College who currently studies Medical Anthropology. As a part of the course we are conducting a visual anthropology project in which we are filming a chosen group/practice to answer a research question. Me and my research group are interested in knowing more about how the known health benefits of Tai-Chi are perceived in an urban areas, and to assess this we are looking for a practice that we could join for a meeting, and possible find people who would like to tell us about their experience regarding the activity. As it is a visual anthropology project, the aim is to film the meeting. However this will be done discretely, and not without consent will all practitioners! Please let me know what you think!”

I was very enthusiastic and so were my students. Erika came with two college mates and practiced with us. After the class there was an informal conversation about the benefits of Tai Chi in an urban area like Amsterdam.

I am sorry that the video including the interview is no longer available.

 

Feeling part of a group

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I  have recently met Giuseppe Paterniti, an Italian Tai Chi and Qi Gong master.
I came across one of his videos when I was surfing on internet, looking for Chen sword’s forms.
The thing that caught my attention the most was that he teaches in the County of Treviso (North Eastern Italy), the one I come from. Second, but not less important, was his mastery in Chen Style.
I could immediately understand that he learned directly from great Chinese teachers.
As soon as I saw his video I felt the urge to contact him and arrange a lesson, in order to resume the practice of a Chen sword form that I have been studying for almost two years with my Master Luo Liuqing, in Tokyo.
I got in touch with Giuseppe and went to Italy for a week during which I worked with him and achieved also a certification for teaching Tai Chi Chen and Qi Gong to kids (Chen Shin Kung Fu).

I found out that he stayed for long periods of time at the Chen Jiagou village in Henan province where Chen style is supposed to be born. Giuseppe taught me all the sets of exercises that kids, boys and girls learn when they first start practicing Kung Fu. He is a natural teacher, very generous and patient.
I am planning to teach this program at ISA (International School of Amsterdam), attended by my son Pietro.

Giuseppe invited me to join the alliance of TaiCh and Qi Gong schools he created, called AMHA ( Alliance for Martial and Healing Arts, http://www.amha.info).
I am currently curating the English version of the website.
The aims of the alliance sounded very inspiring to me and I can say that now I feel part of a group.

Please, enjoy the video of Master Giuseppe Paterniti.

Yang Style, 32 Sword Form

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I performed this form in Creta (Greece), last June.
I had some difficulties because of the uneven grass, some hesitations you can detect but I did my best. A good practice encompasses also “non-flat” ground and I had to take the risk!
I did not edit the video because I wanted it to be watched in its original version.
A natural soundtrack (cicadas) can be heard. It has also a natural “signature”: a white, cute butterfly that appears at the very end of the form.
I credit my daughter Virginia for shooting the video.

Xingi PaQua

I found this video on the web few years ago and I was stunned by the skills of this master.

I have been practicing Xingi PaQua since i moved to Amsterdam, with Master Tang Wei from Nanjin. He is over 80, but still very healthy and teaching with passion! Xingi , together with Tai Chi and PaQua, is a very ancient Chinese internal martial art.

Xingi PaQua is a very effective combination of the two above mentioned arts. It requires speed, coordination, balance, flexibility and strength. It is very effective on the brain as well.

Please, enjoy the video!