Friday, July 24, 2009

Tai Chi Chuan Presented at St. Scho’s By: James U. Sy Jr.

Narciso "Hansy" L. Alojado of the Center for La Sallian Ministries (CELAM), University of St. La Salle (USLS) was invited by Grade School Physical Education (PE) Coordinator Mary Grace Villasor-Geolingo as a resource person in an introductory workshop on Tai Chi Chuan for the opening of the Nutrition Month Celebration last July 20, 2008 at the St. Scholastica’s Academy (SSA) Gymnasium, Eroreco, Bacolod City.

About 80 grade 5 students representing 2 sections joined the short workshop. Officials heading the affair were Grade School Principal Sr. Catalina Dery, OSB, Academic Coordinator Bernandita Porras, and Science Coordinator Regina Joy Lamentac.

Geolingo, the proponent of the activity, points out that health has three aspects: the physical, mental, and spiritual. Nutrition and physical exercise fall under the physical aspect. Because of Tai Chi Chuan’s low-impact, non-injurious nature it is a welcome addition to the search for optimum health.

Tai Chi Chuan (alternate Romanization: Tai Ji Quan) “Grand Ultimate Fist” is a thousands year old Chinese internal martial art that seeks balance and harmony within one’s body and the environment. It is characterized by slow, graceful movements with an emphasis on natural breathing and self healing. Medical studies, including those performed in Beijing, China, show that Tai Chi can alleviate and at times overcome a number of ailments such as tension and stress, diabetes, asthma, etc. It has also been show to cleanse the body of toxins and strengthens the immune system of the body.

Alojado, Co-Founder of the martial arts research and documentation group Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., taught the Yang Style 8 postures form. There are several versions of the Tai Chi form among them the 10, 24, 37, 42, 108, etc. but Alojado decided to focus on the 8 postures because of the limited time slot and so that the students will have a concentrated introduction to the art.

Alojado first showed the individual postures and performed them slowly so the students may catch up. He showed how the form imitates nature and get energy from it. Finally, he synthesize the 8 postures into one continuous form.

The 8 postures are beginning (fold the blanket), repulse monkey (roll the arms), brush knee twist step, part the horses mane, wave hands like clouds, stand on one leg, separate foot, grasp the sparrow's tail, and conclusion.

Alojado is also the instructor for the Arnis class at the DMA Conservatory, which is run by Geolingo for the providing opportunities that enhance creativity, aesthetic and critical thinking skills, self-discipline, leadership, teamwork and an appreciation for diversity in its students through the various cultural arts. Geolingo herself teaches the Hip Hop and Dance Aero classes while fellow St. Scholastican Therese Manaloto teaches the Voice Lessons.

The Bacolod campus of St. Scholastica's Academy (SSA) was established in 1958. St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict. Today the school has an enrollment of 1,517.

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