It has been a real privilege to attend the tai chi sword workshop here at the International Centre near Orangeville, Canada. Our instructor (and chef!) Blaise Baillargeon led us through the sword set, teaching each move with very calm and clear instruction. The workshop began with none other than the humble danyu! Blaise was demonstrating how important it is to find the push from the floor in order to move the sword around, telling us that the sword is an expression of the spine. For me it was a fun challenge trying to learn all of the moves in the set but I felt that this daunting task was made much easier with Blaise's emphasis on finding and completing the danyu and the toryu in each move.The practice hall was full of a wealth of experience and lots of smiling faces. The atmosphere was alive with energy and the sword set was really coming to life. At one stage Blaise had the group leaders at the front demonstrating move #25 Shake off dust in wind
when all of a sudden, a powerful gust of wind blew all of the doors open and filled the entire practice hall! Everyone seemed a little shocked. Blaise remarked “Shake off dust in wind is a powerful move”.
If you ever get the chance to attend a workshop at the International Centre, please don’t hesitate to take it. It really is an amazing opportunity to develop oneself in many ways.- Richard