“One of the attractions of White Crane is the chance to learn the weapons forms, which I have fully embraced. To date I have completed the cane form and am working through the Straight Sword and Fan forms also. Whenever possible I attend the Workshops that Mark puts on and have attended weapons, cane, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and staff workshops.”
I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this club and over the following years worked my way through the grades and finally achieved 1st Kyu. My next step was to grade for 1st Dan (Black Belt) but unfortunately my job was made redundant so I had to take the reluctant step of curtailing training until I had found further employment.
A year later when I returned there had been some significant changes and my previous Sensei had given up the club to concentrate on his other cubs in the Portsmouth area. I tried several other clubs but couldn’t find one that suited me. Unfortunately, so many of the Instructors had inflated egos that prevented them from giving the best to their students. This resulted in me walking away from Karate totally.
Fast forward to 2012 and my interest in martial arts raised its head again. This time, however, it was Tai Chi that got my interest. I found a local club that trained in the Chen style and promptly joined. Although quite different from karate I enjoyed the classes immensely. This involved an hour of Qi Gong followed by an hour of Tai Chi. The following two years saw me complete the short 11 and 18 step forms and was the due to start on the longer 72 step form. Unfortunately, misfortune overtook again and my Instructor had to close the club due to ill health.
Once again I found myself searching for a new club. After some research I settled upon White Crane as it seemed to have what I was looking for and haven’t looked back since. Over three years on I have recently completed the form and am now reinforcing my understanding under the guidance of Mark and Hamish.
One of the attractions of White Crane is the chance to learn the weapons forms, which I have fully embraced. To date I have completed the cane form and am working through the Straight Sword and Fan forms also. Whenever possible I attend the Workshops that Mark puts on and have attended weapons, cane, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and staff workshops.
I am the type of person who believes you never stop learning, regardless of age. Therefore, when I saw the reference to training as an Instructor through the apprentice scheme I requested that I be considered. Fortunately, Mark was happy to enrol me and I am now officially the oldest Apprentice in the country (LOL). I now hope to move forward in my Tai Chi journey, spread the message of White Crane and endeavour to recruit more members.