In 1989 I was in San Francisco searching out some tai chi. I had been given some interesting directions to a small studio. Directions like, go down an alley, up some stairs to a door with no markings on it at all, donâ€™t knock, just walk in and then wait for someone to greet you, oh and bring a gift. A friend was with me or I would not have had the courage to do any of this.
What I found was a very small studio with about a dozen tai chi players working out. Some were standing in zhang zhen, some were moving solo and slow, and a few were pushing hands. The instructor was sitting at a desk smoking. I loved it.
All around the world, in small hard to locate studios; the kind of place where you need to walk down a spooky alley, desend some dark stairs to a basement, pass a barking dog, or really you need to know someone, who knows someone, some good tai chi being played.
There is a gem of a studio in North Vancouver, not that hard to find, that for the last 10 years, has been rented by the hour, by the students. A small group of dedicated, interested, and very interesting people come to play Tai Chi. They bring open minds, big hearts, and strong legs.
It is a true delight to play there.