Posted on

Reflections on European Instructor Training in the Netherlands, October 2013

GFIT-Mon.-G.4 (16)It has been quite a year for me. Last year I completed a 30-year “stint” in Corporate America. This year I began a new phase of my life and with the incredible freedom that I now have also came the challenges of beginning a self-directed life. With the structure taken away it was
now time to create the life I have always wanted. This has proved to be more difficult than I envisioned.

I had planned on laying low for the fall and gathering my energy. At first

Damien Reynolds, Golden Flower Instructor
Damien Reynolds, Golden Flower Instructor

when Master San Gee Tam asked me to come to Europe for the International Instructor Training I declined. After our third conversation on the subject, which began with Master San Gee Tam saying, half jokingly, “lets discuss what is about to be the biggest mistake of your life so far” my intuition told me that I had spent enough time gathering and it was now time for expansion. That afternoon I booked my flight to the Netherlands and I was off to the European Instructor Training. And what an incredible experience it was. Focus, community, teamwork, fun, high energy, inspiring, creative are some of the words that I would use to describe the Training. When I arrived what struck me was how everyone was so helpful and thoughtful to make sure I was taken care of and comfortable and…. that the Golden Flower Instructors and Instructor Trainees were “all charged up” to do some intensive training.

Master San Gee Tam had given us indications that the expanded curriculum was going to be introduced.  We immediately began working on that front. Ba Gua and Hsing I are now officially part of the curriculum due to their powerful impact on health. We worked on the Ba Gua conditioning exercises, Lion Style changes and strikes, Hsing I warm-up exercises and Five-Element practice. Hsing I Animal Practice was touched on and Master San Gee Tam gave us some basic leg practices to work on to condition the legs as the animal Hsing I requires very flexible and strong legs to be done properly. Master San Gee Tam also showed us medicine ball and rope work that will help build our strength and endurance but using Tai Chi principles and mechanics. Tai Chi Staff was also part of the training with Tai Chi Staff Form and Tai Chi 13 Spear practiced each day. Oh yes I almost forgot – we worked several hours a day on the Golden Flower Long Form reviewing principles and form correction.

It was a huge amount of material to cover but everyone was so focused and eager to learn that it was no problem to get through it.

 

Sheri Clawson
Sheri Clawson

Our evening sessions focused on creating and communicating. Sheri Clawson, our web site designer and a Golden Flower Student from Winston-Salem, NC attended the training. It was inspiring that she made a special trip to the Netherlands to participate, introduce the new web site, and work with the participants on the European section of the site.

Master San Gee Tam covered many personal development, communication and self-inquiry topics and really stressed our innate creative powers and some of the steps we can take right now to start to unlock these abilities.

If I had to sum up the training in one sentence it would be “MAN we covered a lot of material”. The training got me back in touch with how much I love the practice of Tai Chi and what a wonderful supportive community that I am part of!!! Thanks to everyone for making it such a great training and especially to Master San Gee Tam and Annukka for their tireless and focused effort.   Happy Chi – Damien

301