By Matt Hudd
It has been a great start to 2018 at Matt Hudd Martial Arts as our classes have been helping people overcome barriers in their lives. At the heart of all our classes is my belief that martial arts can cater for all abilities and ages. Our youngest student is two and half years old and our oldest is 87!
This year we have seen a big surge in our Tai Chi classes, and the reasons are simple. It has been known now for some time that Tai Chi offers massive benefits to health, from better blood circulation, muscle toning, increased core stability, but also better balance, which helps reduce falls in the elderly. Tai Chi can improve the wellbeing and metal health in all who participate.
It is great to see the public and health professionals are embracing Tai Chi, and an increasing number of GPs and health professionals have been referring clients to my classes.
The great thing about Tai Chi is that it can be learnt by anybody, at any age and fitness level. You don’t have to be into martial arts at all to enjoy it, and if you cannot stand, Tai Chi can be practised seated on a chair.
The movements can be mastered by anyone at a pace that suits them, and clients with learning disabilities can join the classes tailored to their needs. This year I have been invited to teach Tai Chi in local care homes too, showing that regular practice can also benefit those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Taking part in Tai Chi classes helps children with their focus and concentration, and the results are clearly visible in my morning classes at a local secondary school.
When I started my Tai Chi training, I didn’t realise just how many other benefits it would bring into my own life, and that is what many students say in their the feedback too. In addition to the physical health benefits Tai Chi brings, people often comment on how much better and more relaxed they feel after a class. In today’s world where social media and technology seem to be taking over our minds, we often forget to check in with ourselves. A Tai Chi class will help you reconnect your body and mind – think of it as meditation with the added aspect of working nearly every muscle in your body.
One obstacle that stops the younger generation from trying Tai Chi is their perception that Tai Chi is “too slow”. That is exactly how I felt when I first tried it aged 16. Now I know it was just a lack of my understanding. The truth is that if you live in an adrenaline-fuelled world, at a hundred miles per hour pace, Tai Chi may feel too slow, but it may also be exactly what you need the most.
One of the oldest form of martial arts, Tai Chi is as popular as ever, because it is the perfect antidote to our stressful lives. We would be wise to learn a thing or two from the Chinese who kept the practice alive for 5000 years; they knew something we need to learn too.
Whether you decide to improve your physical or mental health, to master mindfulness, or to broaden your understanding of other forms of martial arts you are studying, or just to see why everyone is talking about Tai Chi, book yourself in and enjoy a FREE trial lesson – simply get in touch and quote ‘FitNet’.
Matt Hudd teaches classes for children and adults in Hereford and Ledbury: Little Dragons (age 3 – 6), Kung Fu Kids (age 7 to 12), and adult classes in Chinese Kickboxing, Traditional Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
Matt Hudd Martial Arts
Tel: 07915 450 663
Facebook: Matt Hudd Martial Arts
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.