During the academic year 2022 - 2023 the Confucius Institute of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki offered the students of the Institute as well as the residents of the city the opportunity to come in contact with another part of Chinese Culture, none else than Tai Ji Quan. The Confucius Institute, in addition to teaching the Chinese language, organizes actions and programs to introduce Chinese Culture further, acting as a bridge between the two countries, Greece and China. The Institute is a partnership between Aristotle University and Shanghai University.
The Tai Chi program began as a pilot after the restrictions of the pandemic from November 2022 and was embraced with great enthusiasm by the students of the Institute and beyond. The top contributors were Mrs. Tsokalidou Roula and later Mrs. Emily Bao who both look after the smooth operation of the Institute, and with great success we must say.
The courses were conducted in seminar fashion almost every other weekend meaning that the students (those who started from the beginning of the program) did a total of 15 teaching units. It is important to mention this because, as we should understand, in order to arrive at a good level, one needs to practice and invest time to be able to observe some results. Despite such very short time that the courses were actually in person, the students embraced them with zeal.
We were able to lay the foundation by working on the balance, weight transfer, direction of the spiral energy that is so characteristic of the Chen style through the practice of "silk reeling".
With great concentration and discipline during the lessons the students managed to learn a small series of movements inspired by Chen Taijiquan's first routine called Lao Jia Yi Lu.
So, we presented this little routine at this farewell celebration – a demonstration that was enthusiastically received by those present, giving the practitioners the moral satisfaction that comes to anyone who has climbed a ladder of improvement through effort.
Warm congratulations to the people who supported this whole project and especially to the Tai Chi practitioners of the Confucius Institute of Thessaloniki. May in the coming year we will learn even more and have the opportunity to attract even more friends to this beautiful and beneficial Chinese Art.