Spiritual Development Workshop, October 21, 2018

As some of you know, I've been running a once-monthly workshop since Fall 2017 as an opportunity for participants to discuss and share the spiritual and esoteric aspects of everything we practice in class, as well as to check in regarding any blocks to your personal development that might arise as you go. 

The Taoist practices we work with are deeply effective for clearing emotional blocks and healing, but we often don't get time in class to discuss the core concepts behind these practices, or to talk about how we're doing. This is the purpose of the spiritual development workshop series. These workshops are not a substitute for whatever spiritual practices you might already be pursuing, but rather, a chance to process your own journey and receive support while figuring things out for yourself. 

After last year's workshops, I've decided to make a couple of changes to the structure. The two hours we were doing last year were simply not enough--most of our sessions ran to three hours. So, I'm making it official! I'm also bumping back the start time from 2pm to 1pm, so that we all have time afterwards to get our Sunday evenings in order. 

The new time for the Spiritual Development Workshop will be 1-4pm.
The next workshop runs on October 21st, 2018.
Suggested donation: $15

I run these workshops from my home. Please let me know by email at smithmk2@gmail.com whether you plan to attend, and that you please do this in the week prior to the workshop. (If you let me know weeks ahead of time, chances are I'll forget you're coming, and you might too!) So far we haven't had any trouble with fitting everyone in, so don't worry about saving a spot. 

At the time you contact me, if you haven't been before, I'll pass on my address. 


The new fall season of classes is swiftly approaching! I'm looking forward to sharing more internal martial arts and qigong teachings with you in the coming year.

Gillianne Shaver's Wednesday Tai Chi Continuing classes and new Tai Chi Beginners classes will start on Wednesday, October 3rd. All other classes will start on Friday, October 12th.
For any inquiries or to sign up for classes, contact Melissa at (905) 521-0043 or smithmk2@gmail.com.

*What to expect from this year's classes
*A note about upcoming workshops
*Changes to monthly fees

We've tweaked the Tai Chi Beginners schedule from previous years. Gillianne Shaver will now be teaching Tai Chi Beginners on Wednesdays, from 2:15-3:30pm. I'll continue to teach Beginners on Saturdays from 2-3pm. If you're coming in as a brand new beginner, then these are the classes for you! Intermediate and continuing students are always welcome to attend Tai Chi Beginners classes in order to revisit specific movements, or review.

Mondays from 12:30-2pm will now be the home of Intermediate Tai Chi. This class is specifically for people who have just completed (or mostly completed) learning the Tai Chi set. Participants will refine their technique, while having the opportunity to practice the whole Tai Chi set, and review material covered by Tai Chi for Beginners. While this class is recommended for people who are just beyond the absolute beginners phase, continuing students who want to focus on Tai Chi and who are looking to polish their foundation skills are welcome, and encouraged to attend.

Continuing Tai Chi classes on Monday mornings 9:30-11am, Friday afternoons 1:10-2:40pm, and Saturday afternoons 3-4:30pm, will offer the opportunity to study advanced internal martial arts sets and challenge participants to deepen their understanding of everything we do.

Monday mornings will continue to focus on Tai Chi specifically. While Tai Chi will continue to be studied in all Continuing classes, on Friday afternoons, we'll be studying Tai Chi Sabre; on Saturday, we'll work on the Hsing-I set. By request, and because I think it's an extremely important part of the training, we'll be working with Push Hands in all Continuing classes. This invaluable exercise, performed with a partner, is one of the keys to truly understanding how internal martial arts work. I'm really looking forward to delving into it deeply.

Qigong will continue to be available to all students at all levels, at the same times as last year: Mondays at 11:15-12:15, and Friday afternoons, 3-4pm. Qigong exercises and meditation allow us to sink deeply and in a relaxed fashion into refining the techniques that translate throughout all the different internal martial arts. It's an excellent starting point, for people who've never tried any of this before, and a complete practice all on its own.

This year, in addition to continuing to work with the Five Elements set we've been studying, and Eight Brocades, we'll be deepening our relationship with Six Healing Sounds, a powerful movement and meditation technique that participants can use to balance and refresh their energies in a matter of minutes. While we've worked with Six Healing Sounds in its formal setting along with Mantak Chia's Inner Smile meditation, we'll talk about how to use it as a practice on its own, and to integrate it with other practices, like Five Elements Qigong.

In addition to regular classes, I'll be offering Sunday workshops at the Regent Centre in December 2018 and throughout 2019. Workshops are an opportunity to sink deeply into your practice for a longer period of time than the length of a class. The topics will vary, so watch this space for announcements, and if any of you have a request for workshop topics, please let me know! Previous workshops have included Qigong and various forms of meditation, Lok Hup Ba Fa, Sword, Tai Chi, and Push Hands.

Spiritual Development workshops, offered once monthly from my home, will also continue throughout the coming year.

After many years of keeping my monthly rate as low as I can, it's time to acknowledge that inflation is affecting me as much as anyone else. At the same time, I need to address an imbalance in the fee structure that has meant that classes are not as accessible as they could be to people who work full-time.

As of October 2018, the monthly fee is $40. This rate applies to people who were previously paying the Senior's rate of $30. It also applies to people who were previously paying the regular rate of $60.
This rate does not apply to people who are in financial need, who are on ODSP, people under the age of 18, or students. The rate for people in any of these categories is still $20 / month.

Because classes are running from the beginning of October, starting on October 3rd, you will owe the full monthly rate for October. Note that the classes I run are still beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving, but Gillianne is available from the beginning of the month.
My goal with this fee change is to enable me to continue to offer classes. If for whatever reason this change will make attending class cost prohibitive for you, please talk to me.

No Classes This Weekend, August 17, 18, and 20, 2018

This is a reminder that there will be no classes this Friday, August 17, Saturday, August 18, or Monday, August 20, 2018.

Classes at the Regent Centre will resume on Friday, August 24, and carry on through until the end of August, before my hiatus in September.

For those of you in the Lok Hup class, class will run on Wednesday, August 22, and Wednesday, August 29.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lok Hup Workshop, Sunday, August 5, 2018

This workshop will cover intensive study of individual movements from the Lok Hup Ba Fa set, and techniques of Lok Hup that we can transfer over to Tai Chi and other internal martial arts.

Prerequisite: previous study of the Lok Hup set, particularly the first half, up to Wild Tiger Turns Head (32). If you've studied the Lok Hup set previously, but not with me, that's fine.

Workshop Location: The Regent Centre, 150 Locke St. South
Date: Sunday, August 5, 2018
Time: 1-5pm
Fee: $60

Please let me know by email if you would like to attend: smithmk2@gmail.com

Canada Day Long Weekend, July and August Workshops, and September Hiatus, 2018

Greetings, All! This is an overview of upcoming events and breaks over the next little while.

Classes will run as usual on Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, 2018. There will be no classes on Monday, July 2.

There will be a Qigong Workshop on July 15, 2018, at Regent Health Centre. We'll be doing an intensive study of the Five Elements set we've been working on in class.

The July Spiritual Development Workshop will take place on July 22.

The August Tai Chi / Qigong workshop will take place on August 5, 2018, at Regent Health Centre, topic to be determined. The August Spiritual Development Workshop will take place on August 26.

NOTE: the August 26 date is a change from the earlier announced date.

Find more information about upcoming workshops here. 

I will be away the weekend of August 17-19. There will be no classes on Friday August 17, Saturday August 18, or Monday, August 20, 2018.  There will also be no Lok Hup class on Wednesday, August 15.

I take the month of September off from teaching each year. This is an opportunity for me to rest, pursue my own training, and come back in October with fresh ideas for class. (I am absolutely open to requests for advanced training topics, by the way! If there's a set you'd like to focus on or something you would like to polish, please let me know!)

Gillianne Shaver's schedule is pending, but Wednesday classes at Regent Centre will probably continue during this time. Watch this space for announcements about Wednesday classes!

The last class before hiatus will be on Friday, August 31, 2018. My classes will resume after Thanksgiving, on Friday, October 12, 2018. The fees for October 2018 will be reduced by 50% in light of the start date.

Lok Hup Ba Fa Training, Summer 2018

Based on the feedback I received, I've decided to start Lok Hup sessions on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. These classes will run throughout the summer. They will be outdoor sessions at my home in Hamilton, weather permitting.

I'm really looking forward to sharing this set with everyone who is planning to attend. Lok Hup is a very challenging, very special internal martial art, that draws on and challenges all the techniques we talk about in class. For many people, it eventually becomes their favourite set, and is, in many ways, the most effective of the sets that I teach.

The formal class will run from 6:45-8:15pm, with time for warmup exercises, which I might or might not lead, from 6:30pm--in other words, feel free to arrive anytime at or after 6:30pm, and expect the Lok Hup training to start at 6:45.

The cost for people who are paying the monthly fee for Regent Centre classes will be $10 per class; $15 otherwise. You will only pay for the sessions you attend. If you have to skip a session for whatever reason, then that is fine.

If you would like to attend, please send me an email at smithmk2@gmail.com to confirm. Even if you've already spoken to me about it or sent me an email, I need to hear from you again to put together an email contact list. I've set aside a spot for everyone who has expressed interest so far. Please be advised that space is limited.

Upcoming Classes and Workshops

Dear All,

This is just a quick word with a few reminders, and one point of inquiry for any of you who might be interested in additional advanced instruction.

Victoria Day Weekend
All classes will run as usual. If you have plans for the holiday, I hope you have a wonderful time! If those plans include coming to the Regent Centre for a class or two, I will see you there!

Upcoming Workshops
The Spiritual Development group will be meeting this coming Sunday, May 20 (that's 2018 if you're reading this at a future date), 2-4pm. This meeting takes place at my home. If you'd like to attend, I would appreciate hearing from you by email, if I haven't already, at smithmk2@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 17, I'll be running a Qigong workshop at the Regent Centre, from 1-5pm.

More information about these and upcoming workshops can be found here.

Lok Hup Ba Fa Training
I've had more than one inquiry recently from people interested in polishing and / or learning the Lok Hup set. I personally love this set and would be happy to arrange to teach it sometime soon, although I feel that this would be best offered separately from our regular classes. One suggestion was to run a Lok Hup workshop. I could also see it as something we might add to the agenda through the summer, perhaps as an additional weekly class, so it wouldn't interfere with the other material we're working with.

I'd like to get a sense of numbers, level of interest, time and place that might work for people. I could see this as an evening class (Wednesday? Thursday?) and potentially, depending on numbers and people's interests and needs, something we might do outside?

***NOTE the prerequisite for Lok Hup training is that you have already completed Tai Chi Beginners. Ideally it's something you would take on board after practising Tai Chi for at least a year or two.***

I would be looking to charge an additional (modest) fee for these classes, but nothing too exorbitant. I would also happily set aside a future workshop date for Lok Hup, if that would make more sense. Please let me know what you think! There is no rush.