Taiji Judges Seminars and the London International Competition for Traditional Taijiquan and Qigong

 

Judges in Taijiquan and Qigong need consistency in judging a variety of styles. Yet how can a judge evaluate various styles if they do not know the specific characteristics of each style? They can make an intelligent guess, but the guess may simply be wrong. This is the situation that the Judges Seminars are intended to remedy. It was a revelation, even a shock, for some of the participants taking part in the Judges Seminars Programme, that the criteria of other styles are not the same as their own. The seminars helped to broaden their knowledge and understanding of different styles and how to score fairly on a national and international competition level.

The primary principle of the Judges Seminars has always been that any competitor at a Tai Chi competition should be competently and fairly judged. In competitions worldwide, unfortunately this has not always happened. Judging can sometimes fall into an arbitrary or inconsistent pattern or the judging criteria can be ignored altogether. Over the past years the Judges Seminars have made dedicated efforts to remedy this.

The Judges Seminars Programme began in 2005. At the time, I was the Director of the Original Wu’s Tai Chi Chuan Academy in Bethnal Green in London and Chairman of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain (TCUGB). From then until 2019, the interrelated Judges Seminars and The London Competition for Traditional Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong were co-sponsored by Wu’s Academy and the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain. Each year top expert instructors and members of the TCUGB gave their support to both events. In the Judges Seminars they taught the specific principles of a variety of styles, and the practice of their forms.

The purpose of the Judges Seminar Programme is to make it possible for any Taiji practitioner at an advanced level, wanting to increase their knowledge or aspiring to become a judge, to work towards attaining rigour and consistency in competition judging. A trainee judge initially needs to attend six Level One seminars, after which they will be eligible to move to the next level. Aimed at further deepening and refining their knowledge, Level Two consists of a further three advanced seminars, leading to accreditation as a trainee judge. At this level, practitioners can gain experience of judging through shadowing expert judges at selected competition events. This can then be followed by a Level Three certification emphasising an understanding of applications and energy level. 

Due to the worldwide pandemic in 2020 and 2021 the competitions and judging seminars could not take place. In 2020, I retired from the TCUGB after 30 years of dedicated and active participation. I was subsequently invited to become the Chairman of the newly formed International Taiji and Qigong Federation (ITQF). The baton has now been passed on to the ITQF to help continue my London Competition and Judges Seminar Programme. Starting in 2021, in partnership with Wu’s Academy Bethnal Green, the ITQF will co-sponsor the renamed ‘LONDON INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION for TRADITIONAL TAIJIQUAN and QIGONG’.

The following 2022 Judges Seminar schedule is designed to continue to develop and raise the level of practice internationally. All previous TCUGB Judges Seminars participants, Judges and new enthusiasts are welcome to join. Previous certifications continue to be recognised, so previous participants can use the Programme to refresh their knowledge and build on their existing skills. 

 

STYLE EXPERTS

  • Liming Yue - Chen style
  • Ceciel Kroes - Cheng Man Ching style
  • Faye Li Yip - Health Qigong
  • Catherine Birkinhead - Wudang Style
  • Simon Watson - Yang Style
  • Gary Wragg - Wu Family style

 

The dates and Forms to be studied are:

*Discounted price for members of the TCUGB / ITQF.

Seminar I. On Zoom

Sunday 13 Feb 2022            14:30 - 16:30                 Single Whip     (£25 / £20* )

Seminar II.  On Zoom

Sunday 10 April 2022           14:30 - 16:30                 Cloud Hands     (£25 / £20* )

Seminar III.  In Person    

Saturday 11 June 2022      11:00 - 17:00          Snake Creeps Down          (£35 / £30* )

 

Price for all seminars: (£75 / £60* )

 

To register for a Judges Seminar, please go to the Eventbrite website

 

The London International Competition for Traditional Taijiquan and Qigong  will take place on:  Sunday 12 June 2022

 

 Wu’s Tai Chi Academy Bethnal Green

 2A 449-453 Bethnal Green Road

 London E2 9QH

Email/website

Gary Wragg

ITQF Chairman

9/11/2021