Dr Peter Bennett

 Teacher Of Tai Chi Chuan

A decade or two ago...

...I was dividing my working week between general practice, hospital dermatology and teaching (doctors to help them become GPs and more experienced GPs to help them teach ...doctors who wanted to become GPs).

We did not know what Tai Ji Quan was...

...but rather oddly, Sue (my wife and companion of almost forty years) and I had wanted to learn it for some time.
One afternoon a flyer was hand delivered through my letter box advertising classes on Wednesday late afternoon, the only free time I had in the week.

The time suited Sue as well so, as you can probably guess from the topics on the web site, we went and met Tim. He was kind, hospitable and as his class was some way from where we lived, he had no idea how the flyer was delivered to us.

Year followed year...

...as move follows move in the form until one evening some ten years ago, Tim took me to one side at the end of a class and told me he was leaving to teach elsewhere and he had chosen me to take over the class.

If, dear and patient reader, you are thinking that it might have been a challenge for me to teach those who had been my fellow students for so many years, you are perceptive indeed.

The next few months were awkward; full of "Tim used to do the form so beautifully, but he was younger, fitter and more flexible than you" when I demonstrated and "Are you sure? I don't think Tim did it like that" when I gave corrections. They told me it was all in fun and I chose to believe them.

I was able to confirm that the old story...

...about how many Tai Ji Quan students it takes to change a light bulb was true. The answer (if you haven't heard it) is -about 245, one to change the light bulb and the other 244 to say "My teacher does it slightly differently".

The class has moved and though some of the same students still attend, age has taken its toll and students have had to moved too far away to attend.

And just as our Taoist masters have written, it is the journey not the arrival that is important.  Spookily, I am still teaching the class.

Peter Bennett