Tai Chi at Senshinkan


In the past I had practiced with a small group in the park near to Okasan’s. Since being back I have not been but once, figuring I get more from my own practice. I did not know there was another Tai chi group around until I went to Senshinkan for Kyudo. I saw on their class schedule there is a Tai Chi class on Fri mornings. I went his last week to watch. I wanted to see what they are teaching and the structure to judge that against what I had planned. Last week was a Japanese holiday, Obon. So there was not class. This week it was back on track.

I got up and after a light breakfast walked over to the Budo center. I really love that it is close enough for me to walk over in about 20 min. It is a good way to get in a little exercise and save some money. I was thinking on the way over, since getting my first car when I was in my late teens, a 1956 Pontiac, I have never been without one, except for when I first moved to Hollywood back in 1970. Even then after a week or so I purchased a motorcycle. Here I have no plans any time soon to buy a car…I would love a motorcycle again though. LZ does not like that idea and wants a car, later. I want both and another boat. Life is short and getting shorter. Right now though I would love some livable income. Anyway, one thing at a time, and when it is time it will be.
I digress…
I walked to Shisenkan, it was a bit cooler today than yesterday so it was a fairly comfortable walk.
I got in and got directions to the class from the office. Almost everyone there knows me now. It is not like there is a lot of peeps like me that come in, more so as a local. I headed up to the practice room. A little old lady asked me a few questions, was I going to the class, were am I from, etc. standard stuff. She was helpful in showing where the class was and were to enter. I have not yet came across anyone, who gave me the bad vibe people has always been kind. The class was just starting. I noted that some people still came in late, very un-Japanese. 🙂
They did a few Chi Gong drills I had not seen, then some stretching. Meanwhile in another part of the room a man, I found out later and figured out on my own at the time, was the Sensei. He was working with a couple of people. Showing them a technique and having them drill it. I was already impressed it was not just a tai chi “dance” class.
After warm ups and a short break the class split into three sections. Very new beginners, beginners and intermediate. The Sensei had the intermediate/advance people. He had them do a small amount of moves over and over, and lectured them, and drilled them, lecturing. It was good! The other groups also drilled and drilled. I was not part of the class and was just on the outside looking in, but from what I could see the class was not about just learning a bunch of moves and finishing the form. It was about understanding them, the weight transfer, the expanding and contracting of the body, balance, the application. It was a good class, it was also a large class. It made me feel there is a place for that kind of class, that kind of teaching. My program would work well.
Near the end a guy came over and spoke with me some. He started in Japanese, then switched to English. It took me a moment to realized he did that, then spoke slowly. He said he was a Tai Chi beginner, Only a couple of months. The class was challenging. Was I interested in joining the class? New students were taken every three months. I thanked him and said I am a teacher, and just watching. Also for him to ganbarimasu. He asked if I was going to starting teaching there. I explained I am just passing through and study Kyudo here until we finish relocating next month. I will be looking to teach after that in our new area.

It was a worthwhile visit. I feel better about looking to setup a class here. I need to find a location once we relocate. From what I saw today it could do well, even with my limited Japanese and also set as a English conversation/practice class. Also LZ can attend class and translate. I was told by Senpai K. That one of the Kyudojo’s has dance classes at the location when there is no Kyudo happening. This maybe a good place to setup a Tai Chi class on an off time. I am a couple of weeks away from a visit…Yosh!
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