by Dr Khoo Cheng Choo
Our annual “Tai Chi, Wushu & Qigong in Today’s World” Conference on 22-23 September 2018 drew together a diverse forum of Tai Chi, Wushu and Qigong enthusiasts, practitioners and researchers at Macquarie University.
The two-day conference was packed with thought-provoking presentations including Dr Emily Yang’s current research on the effects of Tai Chi on stress and cardiovascular function in patients with coronary heart disease and hypertension at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) Health Research Institute of Western Sydney University.
The presenters did an excellent job of integrating their informative and interactive talks with accomplished demonstrations and audience participation.
The often complex and abstract themes of Tai Chi philosophy and practice, Qi, breathing and ‘sung’ movements were expounded and clarified by many presenters.
Ahtee Chia’s ‘Journey Towards Life Mastery Through Taiji Quan’, Rusel Last’s ‘Integration of Taiji & Qigong into Traditional East Asian Medicine’ and Rob Russo’s ‘What Does It Mean to be “Sung’ carried similar Tai Chi principles and advocated relaxed and natural flow of movements in Tai Chi practice without the exertion of brute force.
Brett Russell‘s talk and demonstration of ‘Jin Gang Chuan’s Buddha Warrior Attendants Fist’ was mesmerising and his short but effective audience-participation Qigong exercise positively sent our Qi spiraling.
Rosilah Sani’s ‘Tai Chi and Aromatherapy – Discovering the Synergy’ related the journey of a woman with chronic allergies who overcame the ailment through her integrated practice of using aromatherapy with Tai Chi. It drew interest from many in the audience as they saw the potential of using aromatherapy in conjunction with Tai Chi and Qigong practice.
Other stimulating sessions included Dr Larissa’s ‘Wushu, Tai Chi and Qigong in Australia – Who’s in Charge?’, the Round-table discussion and Ahtee Chia’s Workshop on the ‘Methods of the Five Stages of Taiji Quan Training’.
In his workshop, Ahtee explained and demonstrated breathing techniques and basic Tai Chi grounding movements and stances and how they should be executed without force. Participants then enjoyed a session of practising the movements individually and with partners under Ahtee’s guidance.
Readers will be pleased to know that a compilation of all the Conference presentations has been published on ISSUU and selected videoclips are available on ausWushu Youtube channel and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ConferenceTQW/).
Finally, it is heartening to note that both verbal and written feedback from the audience about the 2018 Conference indicated that it was a very successful and satisfying event. All participants said they enjoyed the Conference and benefited from the varied presentations related to the practice of Tai Chi, Wushu and Qigong. Many appreciated the opportunity and platform for sharing ideas. Others suggested that the programme should be published earlier on Facebook.
It is anticipated that many, if not all of these suggestions and recommendations will be taken and integrated into future Conferences.
So here’s looking forward to the 2019 “Tai Chi, Wushu & Qigong in Today’s World” Conference at Macquarie University.