What is tai chi?
When Cannon Grange member Bil Mikulewicz retired seven years ago he thought a stationary bike would fulfill his exercise needs. It didn’t.
“Wasn’t good,” he said. “I was getting heavier, more sedentary, and felt myself turning into my father as he was after he retired.”
A closet fan of kung fu movies, Mikulewicz saw a notice about an introductory tai chi class at Founders Hall in Ridgefield. “I kind of knew they moved very slowly and thought 'Well, if this doesn’t work, I might at least get a funny story out of it.’” He got much more than a funny story out of it, and he will talk about tai chi, its development, and his journey to master the practice on Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., at Cannon Grange Hall, 25 Cannon Road. Admission is free.
Six years have come and gone and Mikulewicz is taking a class five days a week and has finished his requirements towards certification as a Yang Family tai chi trainer. During his increasing involvement with the movements he became fascinated with the backstory of tai chi.
“Why are the body movements so very different from how we move here in the West?” he asked. “The easy answer is it's Chinese, but the real question is what and how in Chinese history shaped that difference? I learned a little in my certification training, and that prompted me to do a lot of research on my own.”
Seen here in the West as a means to improve balance as people age, Mikulewicz says there is much more. “That’s why and how the idea of this talk originated.”