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2010 • 5 Section Taijiquan Full Curriculum Intensive
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

(l-r) Mario Deslisle, Jill Heath, Annie Rousseau, Adriaan Blaauw, Sam Masich, Jennie Brown, Diane Vermette,
Tim Stanley, Kevin Heckendorn, Marianne Meyn, Linda Szeto, Nicole Brunet, Réal Lalande

Sam's Weekly Report

Week 4: Getting it all together

Our last weekend featured a full treatment of the 5 Section two person bare-hand form as well a work with the '5 Words of Self Composure', 'Core-principles', warm-ups and stretches and finally, a look at the 5 Section form curriculum through the via group performance. Jill assisted me, co-demonstrating the partner form.
Here's a pdf of the names of the movements in the paired form. You can download list for all the forms on the 5 Section Taijiquan page.

Its a big challenge to find the synchronization points and rhythms required for a really good taiji demonstration and the 5 Section forms provide an opportunity for one of the most interesting demos going. By now, everyone in the class can perform every role in the full seven person demo.

The month went by so quickly and with so much intensity its hard to believe the class is over. It has been a joy, a privilege and a wonderful learning experience for all of us.

Thanks very much to all the intensive participants for their attention and hard work, to Jill and Adriaan for their excellent teaching contributions, to Réal and Diane for their incredible hospitality and to the Centre de Tai-Chi Gilles Vaillant. This was a great Canadian experience!

Giant Canadian wild-goose practices qigong while watching taiji class!
Week 3: Sixty-four in four!
We took the whole of our third week to delve into the 64 movement two person Wuduan jian form. We were joined by Matt Case and Trude Smoor for this part of the intensive.

It was a pleasure to hear the sword-sliding-sounds of seven duos five hours a day for four days! This is the most advanced routine in the 5 Section Taijiquan curriculum and everyone put some serious mileage on their blades.

The basics Jill taught as part of her solo sword lessons proved to be extremely helpful as Adriaan assisted me in teaching the partner routine. You can learn more about Jill in the 'Feature Teacher' segment of the current issue of Strange Horse.

Here's a pdf of the names of the movements in the form. You can find all the forms on the 5 Section Taijiquan page.

Sam shows Diane the target...

Mario tries to hit the target...

Linda does!

Week 2: Just keep going
We are missing Tim who is in Morocco for one week but otherwise the group is intact. We concentrate on yang, chen and sword and manage to finish them all by Monday. Of course there will some more polishing but by now it is becoming clear how the forms are interrelated and how much variety there is in the curriculum. Jill, Adriaan and I are enjoying linking the Core-principles throughout.

While Jill teaches the solo sword, Adriaan and I prepare for next week's two person sword intensive, merging the partner form and jue-jian concepts together. We share our beautiful island with geese and ducklings and on the Saturday we are surrounded by wedding parties who come to take photos in our lush surroundings. Its doesn't stop us though, we just keep going.

Sam practices tree-gong!

Week 1: Its a HOT ONE!
We are training in an idyllic setting, surrounded by water and big shady willow trees. And we need the shade with temperatures averaging 31°C!

It's a new way of teaching for me, trading off with assistant instructors Jill Heath and Adriaan Blaauw.
I start the day by teaching some Core-principles and the 5 Section yang form. Adriaan follows with the chen and Jill begins the afternoon with the solo sword. Both do an excellent job. Adriaan is very clear on every detail, patiently repeating those elements that will communicate the 'chen-ness' of the form to this predominantly yang-style crowd. Jill demonstrates her impressive grasp of the sword clarifying the subtleties of hand grip and cutting action.

Sword practice is looking up for Linda and Jennie

I generally end the day with jue-shou and jue-jian practices, seeking to tie the day's Core-principles themes together. We all feel it. Hot long days. But we are ready for more!

Congrats on the first week to the very hard working: Jennie Brown, Nicole  Brunet, Mario Deslisle, Kevin Heckendorn, Réal Lalande, Marianne Meyn, Annie Rousseau, Tim Stanley, Linda  Szeto and Diane Vermette.

Work hard, rest hard!