Stephen Ramsdale

Stephen Ramsdale

Personal Trainer, 3rd Dan Tang Soo Tao black belt and Tai Chi practicioner Stephen Ramsdale has a wealth of experience in the fitness industry that he uses to benefit his clients and readers. Based in Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Stephen runs a training studio from the Brittania Garage on Caloundra's Bulcock Street.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 11:06

Again and Again

Stage two tutorial with Master Yen focussed mainly on the inner strength of Tai Chi and the mental projection of Chi well beyond the opponent.
An afternoon session with Master Liu began with the difference between practicing Tai Chi and practicing Push Hands and being constantly prepared to adapt.
Everything was related to the postures in the form with simultaneous attack and defence in every movement.
There were about 10 people who came along to watch and we did some full on practice which was great fun.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:00

Master Yen

The three disciples of Niu Chunming still living in Hangzhou are Meng Xianming and Ding Shuide and Yen Zhanfu. It was our good fortune that Master Yen gave us a tutorial on Pushing Hands.
This included great detail on the philosophical concepts and hands on practice in a range of formats. Some extremely valuable insights have added another entirely new perspective of Tai Chi. It helps explain how Master Liu does what he does.
There are a great number of very subtle aspects involved. Some time wil be needed to incorporate them into all the forms but already the results are significant.

Monday, 08 April 2013 11:13

Master Liu

Explosively strong, very small, very fast movements with circles within circles within circles characterise the awesome Tai Chi of Master Liu.
It is very difficult to see what it is he does or how he does it, but he yields and attacks in the same movement, and big movements don't allow you to escape his small movements. The next few days are going to be fun.
Earlier in the day a final session with Master Ding completed review of the short form, much of which was the potential for extra movements which don't appear in the form but are internalised as you practice.

Sunday, 07 April 2013 11:11

Xixi wetlands

A visit to the World Heritage listed wetlands coincided with the return of sunshine and very clear air with the mountains surrounding the city emerging from the mist.
We were treated with a demonstration of Yang Tai Chi by Yang Zhan Ru whose lineage is through the 4th son of Yang Cheng Fu). Very similar to our style. We demonstrated some Tai Chi and Sword for Master Yang and exchanged some ideas in the Hall of Heroes.
After some lunch it was a tour of the wetlands and we saw some Chinese Opera.
From the Wetlands on the Eastern fringe of the city we went to Master Li's daughter's house on the Western fringe of the city. A home cooked meal with three generations of Master Li's family and an evening walk along the bank of the river rounded out the day.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 11:09

Wind in the Willows

Its cold out there. With lingering remnants of the rain we returned to our new favourite shelter at Westlake for practice. The wind off the lake was freezing. At one point we thought it was snowing, but it was mini flowers blowing around in the wind.
The few locals that were out had gloves, coats and warm hats. We were not so well prepared. The practice warmed us up soon enough though. The new aspects to the form are starting to sink in and the adjustments feel very comfortable.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 11:07

Rainy Day

Early morning practice at Westlake on a rainy day we saw very few people. The awning in a building entrance kept us dry while we worked at consolidating the information from yesterday.
After breakfast it was more training with Master Ding, a quick review of the 6 moves from yesterday then about 10 more finishing with Jade Lady. Lots of info about application and possible extra moves from each position, and many many adjustments. It will be difficult to remember all we did today.

Thursday, 04 April 2013 21:57

Master Ding

5th generation Tai Chi master and recognised by many as the lineage holder of Yang Tai Chi, Master Ding spent 2 hours this morning reviewing the first 6 postures of the short form with me.
Focus was on martial applications and detailed refinements. Very enlightening.
Of course, every time I work with someone new, the emphasis changes, the application changes but thankfully the core principles remain consistent. I'm looking forward to more over the next few days.
Pictured is a student of Master Ding who is translating for us. She has been learning Tai Chi for 3 years and has excellent movement and is of great assistance in my training.
Late this afternoon we tried to practice at Westlake. It was very busy with tourists and many people stopped to watch the westerners doing Tai Chi. A crowd formed when we did the short form and a local named Lo exchanged some ideas and we did some push hands practice together. He was a Pa Qua and Tai Chi practitioner and was fun to play with.

Thursday, 04 April 2013 21:55

Tourist Town

An afternoon of tourist activities exploring around Hefang St amongst thousands of domestic tourists in the oldest part of the city. Many of he shops are traditional brand companies or display items Hangzhou is famous for such as tea and silk.
We visited the Bronze Museum, Tai Chi Tea House, Long Quan Swords, and many others.
A nearby street transforms into an outdoor food market at dusk with endless rows of food stalls of all kinds. Some stalls specialised in bugs (centipedes, spiders, scorpions etc) others more to our taste. We had several kinds of meat on a stick, mushrooms, noodle soup etc.

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 11:26

At home in Hangzhou

A late misty sunrise turned into a cool crisp morning at Westlake as I practiced Tai Chi to knock out the cobwebs from yesterdays marathon journey.
Departed Caloundra at 2:30 am yesterday and arrived at our hotel in Hangzhou at 23 hours later. Flew Brisbane-Sydney-Shanghai then caught the Long Distance Bus (100RMB=$15) to Hangzhou. 3 hours on the bus, freeway all the way, and disembarked in an unfamiliar part of town.
We elected not to get a cab (the easy way) which were plentiful at the Interchange, and spent about 2 hours finding our way. It turned we were not far from the Hotel, it just took some time to orientate. A young guy on a bike saw us looking at street signs and stopped to offer help. A nice welcome to the city.
After checkin we went next door to a very busy bar for a pint of Tsingtao before hitting our warm comfortable beds.

Saturday, 23 March 2013 10:51

No classes over Easter and School Holidays

While I am in China there will be no classes. The usual timetable will resume on Sunday 14 April. I will be posting a blog article each day I am in Hangzhou if you wish to follow the adventure.

Page 9 of 13

End of Year 2017

Stephen Ramsdale Thursday, 14 December 2017 14:27

This summer classes will continue on the usual timetable with the exception of Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Niu Tai Chi classes 8:30 am Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Niu Tai Chi Push Hands practice Thursday evenings at 6:30.

CoPP Training 8:30 am Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Tang Soo Tao Black Belts 4:30 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

PT by appointment.


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