In September 1985, a new and “unusual” (for the time) Martial Art Class started with evening classes in the Community Hall of Kirktonholme, East Kilbride. Advertised in the local paper, it drew a small number of curious individuals at first that steadily grew as news of this Art was spread by word and mouth.
Karate, Aikido and Judo exponents came in the guise of Martial Art novices to infiltrate and expose the charlatan. However, the “charlatan” was well versed in application, and teaching “gut breaking classes” was easy as he came from the “old School” of learning. Consequently, many of the experienced visiting Martial Artists became good friends that resulted in an amalgamation of Martial Art disciplines under one roof.
Over the period of one year, the School became established under the banner of 7 Stars School of Taijiquan and on the weekend of the 24th September 2005, the School celebrated 20 years of teaching and promoting Taijiquan.
The event was held in Loch Lomond Youth Hostel in Arden which is a beautiful Castle built on the foundations of Robert The Bruce’s Hunting Lodge. People started arriving on the Friday evening for the buffet that turned out to be a very tasty meal. Many of the 58 people attending from all over Scotland, England, Holland and Belgium knew each other through workshops given by Bob although pomp and ceremony always dictate some type of formal introduction before the event.
This was provided in the form of an Introduction of the Teachers for the weekend that comprised of Chinese Culture rather than specifically Taijiquan tuition.
Over the weekend we enjoyed:
Doufen Zhou who provided Chinese Cuisine – cooking Jaozi (dumplings) that was absolutely delicious, Doufen also gave an Introduction to Peking Opera and surprised everyone in the class when this beautiful voice resonated throughout the room.
Cindy Yang provided wonderful workshops in Chinese calligraphy where you could here a pin drop due to the concentration.
Kim Ho, a maestro and endless resource of Classical Chinese Music provided a history of various classical instruments and gave a delightful display of his prowess on the Yangqin.
Gelong Karma Jiga took the participants for walking meditation through the grounds of the Castle that obviously had a soothing effect on them!
Epi van de Pol delighted participants with his “sinking and relaxing” workshops.
Chris Thomas presented an introduction to Tui Shou that lead to application.
Visiting Guests, Carine de Berum form Belgium and Hugh Reed enchanted us just with their presence.
The evening consisted of cabaret, Rock and Roll and Disco that was interspersed with surprises of exquisite gifts from the School members to Bob and his wife, and prizes of Taiji Swords and liquor to the members via competitions and ran into the early hours of Sunday morning.
Sunday morning began with an early rise, bleary eyes and not much of a will to live for most people! After the morning workshops and lunch, we said our goodbyes and wishes for the School’s success for the next 20 years.
Again this was another very memorable weekend from the 7 Stars School.
My best wishes to Bob and all the 7 Stars Instructors, visiting guests for excellent tuition, belly loads of laughs and fantastic company……………long may it continue!