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The Dragon's Head Blog: Three Beginner Weekends in Great Britain

The weekend of 18-19 June saw three beginner weekends occurring, in Cambridge, Colchester and Edinburgh. Over 200 people appeared to learn and practice Taoist Tai Chi® arts in these three locations.

In their own words (and pictures)….


– A very enjoyable weekend. Friendly instructors and good food. I would recommend to others. [Pete]

– What a lovely weekend! Intense, hard work but extremely rewarding. Great to meet lots of people from other branches.

– Thanks a lot for organising this, I think it helped me a lot to improve, after a few months of tai chi.

– As a complete beginner I found this really interesting. I think an overview is extremely helpful realising of course that the beginnings and basics will be taught clearly and practiced later on. Thank you to all concerned!

– Thank you very much for an absolutely fantastic weekend. It really helped me to understand the moves more and feel it deeper! Thanks a lot!

– Great to go through the whole set in such a short time and to practice the moves slowly to really have more time to feel how my body was stretching. Saw demos of foundation exercises and had had very interesting and thoughtful discussion about the tai chi culture. Thank you! [Julie]

– Thank you. It has been an amazing weekend. It has really helped to reinforce the tai chi moves and hopefully continue to help me benefit and improve my health. Thank you also for all the volunteers who gave up their time so we could enjoy the weekend. [Mimi]



A special weekend was enjoyed at the Colchester Centre on June 18/19 by over 100 people when another beginners’ event was held.

There was a nice mix of participants, some with many years’ experience, many already on beginner courses or in their first year and a good number learning balance in the 108 moves for the first time.

The weekend was led by East Anglia Region President Harry Koh and Society director Kate Mitchell. A tasty lunch and refreshments were provided by volunteers from Kent and Sussex branch.



Seventeen brand new beginners joined 19 recently-joined members and 20 longer-term members for two days of Taoist Tai Chi – a mixture of observing and practicing the physical form, eating together, helping out together, watching some videos, hearing some personal testimonials, learning something of the culture of the Society, and having a really good time at it – not always immediately obvious from the pictures, as there’s a fair bit of inner concentration too. The weekend was led by Society director Philomena Pretsell, with fellow director David Blanchard, and Aberdeen branch president Elizabeth Scott.

Comments from participants tells the story:

– We found the weekend to be energising, in a very good atmosphere, it’s been really good fun. It was really good to have a chat about the history and the background of what we’ve been doing, and that made everything a lot clearer. [Mark and Laura from North Berwick]

– It’s been a nice introduction to tai chi, and a good stepping stone for moving on, in the longer term. It’s been slightly harder than I expected, but well worth it. I can feel it more in my shoulders – my legs are OK but it’s my shoulders I can feel. I work in an office, and I don’t really do any upper body conditioning or anything, so it’s probably just my body saying ‘you haven’t used this in a while’. But yes, I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely come back and do some more. [Jerry from Edinburgh]

– I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend; very inspirational, and I plan to go to my class in Glasgow. And we’re going to look at some dates to come back to visit the Centre too. [Amy from Airdrie]

– I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been coming to class for a couple of months, but it’s been helpful to have the 2 days, and get a lot more into the flow of it, rather than just an hour and a half at the end of the working day, when you’re trying to remember what you did the previous week. It’s helped me put some of the individual moves together into sequences. I still don’t know that I can join them all up, but I’m getting more of a sense of the flow of it. [Chris from Linlithgow]

– I very much enjoyed it, and I would like to find out more about Health Recovery classes. I’m very interested in it, and I’m interested in the holistic aspects as well, and I’d just like a bit of support, so I’m looking at all the possibilities. [Lorna from Edinburgh]

– I’ve been coming to tai chi now for 1½ months, so this is the first Beginners Weekend for me, and it’s been fantastic, I really enjoyed it, and I would say, I’ve not done a full Set until the last one there, because I’ve been helping out a bit behind the scenes, but I felt in that Set, for the first time, I felt grounded and comfortable. And although I’m still getting things ‘wrong’, and I’ll have forgotten all the moves by the time I leave, it doesn’t matter – I don’t mind that, because I feel well supported. It’s a great community, so I feel comfortable, I feel like I’ve come home. I’m now doing as much as I can, because I find it very enlightening. [David from Edinburgh]

Edinburgh, 18 Jun 16 - Beginner's Weekend

We’re looking forward to meeting up again soon.



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