Shefford Tai Chi Festival a huge success as crowds enjoy martial arts from across the globe

PUBLISHED: 15:15 10 May 2018

Shefford Tai Chi class at the Festival. Picture: Ian Deavin

Shefford Tai Chi class at the Festival. Picture: Ian Deavin

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A martial arts festival has helped the people of Shefford connect both body and mind.

The Japanese art of Jujitsu on display at the Shefford Tai Chi festival. Picture: Ian DeavinThe Japanese art of Jujitsu on display at the Shefford Tai Chi festival. Picture: Ian Deavin

Held at Shefford Community Hall on World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day – a World Health Organisation annual event on the last Saturday of April – there were host of demonstrations and excercises for visitors to partake in.

The day started with a guest presentation from Lee Alexander of Clifton’s ENSO Jujitsu group, who showed off the flowing movements and self-defence techniques of the Japanese art, followed by a student from the group giving a live demonstration, defending herself from a series of attacks.

A number of Tai Chi classes led by Ian Deavin took place throughout the day, including postural work and martial art techniques.

Ian explained more about the art, saying: “The first thing that Tai Chi seeks to do is to develop a healthy body with relaxed posture and movement.

A broad sword Tai Chi display. Picture: Ian DeavinA broad sword Tai Chi display. Picture: Ian Deavin

“These are the basic principles.

“This can then be used to aid movement in daily life and if the student wishes then they can progress further towards the martial aspects.”

There was also a demonstration of Wing Chun – a traditional kung fu specialising in close-range combat – from Shefford’s William Wong Wing Chun Academy as well as a yoga class taken by Rick Nunn of 9-Energy Natural Expression.

The star attraction of the day was the highly anticipated Taekwondo display. Instructor Tom Delve and his class demonstrated powerful punches and blocks before finishing with a brick-breaking exercise that wowed crowds.

Rick Nunn leads a yoga class at the Shefford Tai Chi festival. Picture: Ian DeavinRick Nunn leads a yoga class at the Shefford Tai Chi festival. Picture: Ian Deavin

Ian was delighted with the number of people in attendance and thanked volunteers for their help throughout the day.

“Even at the end of the day there were many people still up for joining in with this excellent class which proved challenging and fun,” he said.

“There was even a little friendly competitive spirit expressed by some of the participants who had stayed from the morning and were still looking to enjoy themselves with healthy movement. Grateful thanks go to the many volunteers from Shefford Tai Chi who gave their time to make this annual free community event such a success.”

To find out more, send an email to Ian Deavin at ian.deavin@btconnect.com.

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