How I Found Tai Chi
I was inadvertently introduced to Tai Chi by a colleague of mine several years ago. It was an off the cuff recommendation at the time but it went on to have a significant impact on my life. He thought Tai Chi would help me stay active while also being gentle on my tired and abused body (I had previously spent nine years in the military). I left the office that evening and searched Youtube for an instructional video and was amazed at how graceful the movements were but most of all at how calm I felt after practicing.
I practiced using only that Youtube video for a few months before I received a DVD for Christmas. A few months after that I decided to join a local class and from there my understanding and learning increased dramatically. I now found not only was Tai Chi keeping me active, it was reducing my stress levels, combating my anxieties and (most incredibly!) helping me release emotional trauma I'd stored up in my body and mind over the preceding years.
Perhaps the most significant of those years was 2008. I spent the summer of that year in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. I was a proud member of The 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment fighting in the infamous 'Green Zone'. The fighting that summer was vicious and it was both the best of times and the worst of times. While it offered us all profoundly valuable lessons on life and friendship, it also caused a lot of pain and suffering. In the end, it was War that became my catalyst for Peace.
My experiences in Afghanistan helped me realise I needed to step out of the cycle of fear, anger and aggression I was in and I gradually began to embrace my own secret desire for peace, calm and contentment. I left the military, and it was soon after my new colleague made his wonderful recommendation: Tai Chi.
After studying with Master Wang Zhi Ping in Yangshuo and Master Yuan Xiu Gang in Wudangshan, I now hold regular weekly classes in London. I also host classes for young people with learning disabilities in Essex and Kent and private tuition is available, too.
You don't need a background in Martial Arts to feel the benefits of Tai Chi, it's accessible to all.
If you would like to know more about my transition from combat veteran to peaceful warrior, you may be interested to visit my other website www.keithjabraham.com, which offers a blog, podcasts and services aimed at developing greater self-mastery and healing from trauma .