Through a collaboration of the Campus Community Advisor Program and SIFCUL, PKU Shenzhen had the honour of hosting an open tai chi class held at the campus badminton courts on Saturday the 16th of May. The class was conducted by Chinese Tai-Chi teacher Professor LIU Shuhui who obtained her PhD from St. Petersburg National State University of Physical Education in Russia. She teaches martial arts and Chinese Tai Chi at Shenzhen Polytechnic University. The entire class lasted for two hours from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
Tai chi has its origins in martial arts and it dates back as far as 2500 years. The modern tai chi has evolved from being combative in nature to being used more as a meditation and calming form of exercise. In China, if you go around parks you often find people practising tai chi, showing how the Chinese still depend on their cultural roots for fitness, strength and longevity.
The tai chi class had a mixture of international and Chinese students from HIT, PKUSZ and Shenzhen Polytechnic. It is very interesting to note that it was the first time practicing tai chi for some of the Chinese students and all the international students, and this made us all feel like we were in the same boat as we all did not know what to expect.
We started with a warm up stretch so that we would not injure ourselves from the top down. She built from our neck, arms, back, waist and legs. I loved how she was always smiling and so enthusiastic, this reflected on the attitude of the class the whole time. She was so patient and willing to show us individually how to get the stance and posture right to allow us to reap the full benefits of the exercise. I must say by the end of the first thirty minute break we were all drenched in sweat.
The class from Shenzhen Polytechnic then gave us a tai chi ball performance and we were so surprised when they took a small racket with a bouncy centre and a soft ball to demonstrate with. The whole class showed a very admirable form of balance and control as the balls did not fall much from the racket. After this it was our turn to learn these skills, as we were partnered with the more experienced Chinese students from Shenzhen Polytechnic. I think what stood out for me is the fact that you can play badminton using the tai chi rackets and ball and it looks more stylish and artistic.
To end on a personal note, my fascination in tai chi began from an early age when I used to watch Jackie Chan movies from Snake in the Eagles shadow, Drunken Master, Tai-Chi and Police Story. From these classics I got a deep respect for the Chinese martial arts, the various forms there are and the deep control and meditative qualities it has. I am so glad of this opportunity PKUSZ offered us and I hope that more will come. This was a very eye-opening blend of culture meeting sport.
Written by Fortune Sanyanga
See the original article here