Summer Term 2022

There will be no classes the last three weeks of July as I am going on holiday – my first significant trip abroad for three years! After I get back, classes restart from August 2nd, with all in-person classes taking place outdoors.

A new outdoor class will be added just for the summer term which is called follow-along Qi Gong. This early morning class on Thursdays is all about vibes and being with nature as we practice simple Qi Gong movements in scenic spots around Clapton.

A drop-in option has been added to the Tuesday daytime Tai Chi classes on Stoke Newington Common as well as a cheaper advance price (drop-in £15/four advance classes £32). For evening lessons, we will be in the tree circle in Millfields Park on Tuesdays, studying with 36-step Wudang Tai Chi with a little partnerwork and martial application in the mix. Beginners are welcome at both Tai Chi classes.

The online Qi Gong over the summer is a revision term aimed at those who have studied Five Element Qi Gong before. Students will be able to certify at the end of the term if they choose.

Online Kung Fu Foundations is changing format, rather than having drop-in classes students will now book in for all the classes they wish to attend in that term at a rate of £10 per class. We continue to slowly learn the 18-step Wudang Kung Fu at the end of class in preparation for a full Kung Fu forms class that will start in September.

That’s it for the summer changes, enjoy the sunshine and see you in August.

In-Person Classes are Back!

The Tuesday Evening Tai Chi classes are back after nearly a two-year hiatus, and will start on Tuesday February 1st next week. The class will run 6.30-8pm. Anyone is welcome to drop-in and try a class for £15, or you can sign up for the four-week term for £48 here. The concession price is £40, contact me directly if this rate applies to you.

We will be learning the 36-step Secret Transmission Wudang Pai Tai Chi which is the flagship form for the Wudang Xuan Wu Pai. The form is rich and varied and we break it down into bite-sized chunks in order to learn in, while training basic skills which condition the body to feel and control qi (life force).

This is an all-levels class that is taught by me, and assisted by my most experienced student Victoria, who has been training with me for the last ten years. Between us, we make sure beginners and experienced practitioners get the individual attention they need.

The hall we will be training in is called Wigan Hall, and it is next to 1 Wigan House on Warwick Grove in Clapton, E5 9JF. You can find a map on the contact page of the website here. It’s a large space with lots of windows and radiators and students will be well spaced out within the room. There is no mask-wearing policy, just do whatever makes you feel comfortable and respect the decisions of others. Hand sanitiser will be provided at the door.

In general, it’s appreciated if you can give some advance notice that you plan to attend class. But if that’s not possible, simply dropping in on the night is fine. You can book your space by contacting me directly or paying through the website here.

After the peak of the plague, and some post-armaggedon chaos & delay, Tuesday evening Tai Chi is finally back in business. Please come and join us as we take it from the top once more.

Best wishes

Lucia/袁微容

Looking Forward to 2022

The Autumn term drew to a close in the first week of December, and below are plans for in-person and online classes next year. If you wish to train over Christmas or are looking for a gift for someone special, the Wudang Pai Tai Chi Basics series is available to buy online here.

Tuesday Evening Tai Chi: This class will return to classrooms and be taught in person in Clapton, Hackney. We will be studying the Traditional 36-step Wudang Pai Tai Chi form in an all-levels class.

Thursday Evening Qi Gong: This class will remain online, and we will be learning the walking form for the Tiger from Five Element Qi Gong.

Wednesday Morning Kung Fu Conditioning: This class will also remain online. We will be gently increasing the level of challenge as students grow stronger, and slowly learning the 18-step Kung Fu form.

Tuesday Lunchtime Beginners Tai Chi: We are online through the cold months but if there are blue skies we head for Stoke Newington Common with a flask of tea.

Retreats: The plan is to hold a weekend Tai Chi retreat in South East England around the Easter break, more details on this will be released in the New Year.

When?: I will be back online from 10th January 2022, keep an eye on the website around then for more details.

Have a great Christmas everyone,
Lucia x

Chilled Out Summer Term

I’m keeping things simple this summer, with in-person Tai Chi on Tuesday daytimes, Kung Fu Conditioning on Wednesday mornings and private lessons.

The in-person Tai Chi classes take place on Stoke Newington Common on Tuesdays 12.30-1.30pm, students are welcome to try a class for £10 before signing up for the rest of the month. This is an easy beginners-level session that’s suitable for all health levels and term starts 20th July. Find out more here.

Kung Fu conditioning classes are online on Wednesday mornings online 8-9am. They cost £10 per session and drop-ins are welcome, the next term starts Wednesday 21st July. We do Kung Fu moves with light weights and some stancework which builds strength while maintaining softness. Find out more here.

The Tuesday evening Tai Chi class is not taking in any new students until September, and the Qi Gong class is resting until that time as well. The Beginners Tai Chi course that was planned for July has been delayed until September. It has been a tough year so far, so I’m taking things easy for a bit.

Private lessons are still running online and in parks around Clapton, and there is the online Beginners Tai Chi course for those who wish to train in their own time. There’s a steady trickle of interest coming in about retreats in the UK, do raise your hand if these are of interest to you.

Meanwhile, enjoy your summer 🙂

Spring Term 2021

The pandemic has revolutionised the way we learn, with online lessons allowing students from all over the world to train together. At the same time after a lot of time spent online during lockdown there is a growing demand for in-person lessons. Nobody knows what the new post-lockdown normal will look like yet, so after Easter I plan to experiment with short, four week terms of different classes and formats to see what the most popular options are.

So… coming up after the Easter Break we have a new in-person Tai Chi class on a Thursday evening for complete beginners. This class will take place 6.30-7.30pm in North Millfields park, Hackney. Qi Gong will remain online but will switch to an hour-long class at the later time of 8-9pm. The four week terms for both of these classes start on April 29th.

The Tuesday lunchtime Begnners Tai Chi class on Stoke Newington Common will have two outdoor classes on 27th April and 4th May to see if this class will go back to being in person or remain online. And the Tuesday evening Traditional Tai Chi class (which is ten years old this year!) will remain online with a  four week term starting April 27th.

Coming up later on in the Spring term we have a Kung Fu HIIT lesson which looks at building strength while retaining softness, and a Kung Fu and Tai Chi weekend workshop is planned for a Saturday morning at the end of April or start of May (I will check out the weather report a bit nearer the time before confirming the date for this). There are other plans in the pipeline for weekend workshops, but before all of that there will be…

EASTER REST: 2nd April to 18th April inclusive. From the week of 19th April I will be teaching private lessons and answering messages, but most group lessons will start the week beginning 26th April 2021. Have a good break everyone.

Festive Rest & New Term Dates

The school is now on a festive rest and classes will resume from January 2021. On Tuesday evenings we will be studying 13-step Dandao Tai Chi, this six week term will start January 12th. On Thursday evenings we will study the walking form for the Turtle from Five Element Qi Gong, this eight week term will start January 14th. There will be a Heart Repair Meditation for Nei Gong weekend workshop on Saturday 23rd January which will feature some follow-along Tai Chi and optional unstructured creative time at the end. You can find out more about all of these lessons and book in advance from the community lessons page here. Have a great festive rest, and see you in 2021.

Heart Repair Meditation Intensive

You are invited to join me on a journey inwards, to try a meditation style that has transformed my internal practice. Having spent 19 years training Tai Chi, Qi Gong and other internal arts, over the last year I have intensively trained a meditation that draws from Taoist observation and Buddhist emotional release techniques, and is excellent at tackling a crucial stage of internal work known as heartmind repair.

The word heartmind may sound a little strange, I use it because in Chinese, the word xin  心 is used to mean both heart and mind, and points towards a holistic worldview that does not separate out mind and body in the same way we do in the West.

Let us consider a worldview then, in which when we are hurt emotionally, our bodies receive some damage as well. We harden and form a shell over our wounds; the function of which is to protect but sometimes, long after we have healed, remains and becomes a block. Blocks that hinder qi flow in the body, free thought in the mind, and love in the heart. To repair the heartmind is to work on these blocks, which can reveal themselves through physical discomfort or actions that do not seem in line with our true selves.

A year of this practice has helped to ‘melt’ my body inside, so everything can move freely and responsively to intention. It has helped reveal lines of power that can be used to open the body for subtle work and martial purposes. It’s also helped heal past wounds, fortified my emotional foundations, and been a valuable tool for living amongst the uncertainty and anxiety of the pandemic.

The Nei Gong we are looking at is standing stake; it’s used to build power, each internal art has at least one style of standing used to mould body and qi into the optimum state for its practice. Standing practice can be challenging, but I have found this meditation style adds ease to it, so I am pairing the two together. We’ll be training Hun Yuan standing which is particularly useful for Tai Chi but is also a good general-purpose standing stake.

The times we are living in are difficult enough, so our approach will be gentle, with students training each exercise for as long as they wish within a given timeframe. Students are asked to bring a notebook to record results, and creative pursuits or a book to read so they can stay with us in the virtual space if they finish while others are still training.

This intensive will take place online via zoom in the mornings, 7.30-8.30 am for five days from 16th November and the sixth session will take place 10-11.30am on Saturday 21st November. New students will receive an additional 15 minute introductory talk on the theory of what we are doing before the intensive starts. The retreat costs £55 at standard rate or £45 for concessions. Those who book on before 8pm on Tuesday 10th November will receive a small gift to help connect us all before the event.

I hope you can join me on this journey, together we can bring some light to the darker months.

Best wishes

Lucia/袁微容

LOCKDOWN NEWS

Lockdown has been a busy time for Wudang Pai GB, so busy in fact that we did not have time to update the news page, so this is a note on what has happened, and what is to come in the post-lockdown era.

Classes went online the week before lockdown officially started, and Zoom became our new training hall. There was need to adapt the material to suit small spaces and the atmosphere as everyone became more health conscious. The kung fu class on Thursday evenings was paused and replaced with Five Element Qi Gong, starting out with Qi Gong for the lungs and moving on to Qi Gong for the heart, to soothe anxious minds as we enter uncertain times post-lockdown.

The switch online meant we gained some long-distance students from France, Germany and Norway. Terms became four weeks as advanced planning disappeared. Online lessons rely much more on visuals, so baggy uniforms went out the window to reveal silhouette and structure. After 14 years in traditonal Taoist kung fu clothes, Lucia went full lycra for a while.

A thorough exploration was made of social media, with two kinds of free live classes taking place on facebook and instagram: the ‘Power Hour’ is more challenging training experience, and ‘Slow Flow’ is a chilled out session. New friends were made.

Lucia did her first online public talk on the relationship between the Eight Tai Chi Powers and the Eight Trigrams of the I Ching. Using videos, props, and training exercises she laid out her findings from the last 5 years research on this topic in a two hour session on a Friday night. It went well, and a workshop on building the I Ching, as well as further sessions on individual power and trigram pairs, are in the pipeline.

Lucia has also created a youtube series called Stand Stake With Me, which aims to help students build a solid standing stake practice by slowly increasing the standing stake time and depth of tuition each episode. The fourth episode is due out later on in June.

A number of co-operations with Lucia’s teacher Master Yuan Li Min occurred, the first two were two-hour Tai Chi basic skills lessons while we tested the tech set-up, then we ran a full weekend workshop on 13-step Dandao Taijiquan at the start of June. Students got to learn a whole form perfect for small spaces. This will be cropping up on the syllabus again soon.

Looking forward, we plan to keep rolling with the online Thursday evening Qi Gong classes. Tuesday evening Tai Chi will hopefully switch to taking place in parks around Hackney in July; whether the same will happen to gentle Tai Chi on Thursday daytimes is yet to be decided. The retreat that was planned for June will potentially be replaced with a socially distant version, consisting of two training day trips to a forest with a packed lunch in August. More on this later.

Life looks different now to the way it did before lockdown, with tides of change sweeping the globe. The future is uncertain, but also full of possibility. If you wish to centre yourself in uncertain times, to be an anchor for yourself and others as we sail into unknown seas, you are welcome to come and fortify yourself by studying the Wudang arts. We don’t just adapt to survive, we adapt to thrive. See you online, or outside, soon.