Friday, May 11, 2007

Tai Ji Trek III: The Search for Chen

It looks like most places in Ottawa teach Yang style, or if I'm lucky, Sun style. No one teaches Chen that I've found. That's odd since anyone who's studied Chinese tai ji quan ought to know it, and teach Chen style first since it's considered the fundamental style. I've even sent emails to people in the Canadian Taijiquan Federation. Surprisingly, I received a response, but not one that really helped:

I have practiced Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan but I am not teaching it. I represent officially the Yang Family in Canada and my training in Chen Style was mainly to understand how other families practice Tai Chi Chuan.

I had friends that were teaching Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan in the Ottawa Area, but I have lost contact more than 10 years ago.


(What I don't get is why people westernize the spelling of pinyin; ie, ji quan = chi chuan. Pinyin is meant to be westernized Chinese already. Kind of silly, and makes web searches and such difficult because you have to cover both bases.)

I might have to do as Adam suggested and post something on Craigslist or what-have-you. I also need to find someone to teach me putonghua so I can advance that. Perhaps I could be lucky and find both at the same time, in the same person. Or I might just have to suck it up and do Yang or Sun style. Meh. I really do not want to learn Yang style.

Yesterday I got my EI stuff sorted, though not to my satisfaction. Apparently - even though I have 29 weeks left that I've paid into - I can only collect another 5 weeks. Something about having had to collect those 29 weeks during the 52 weeks since I opened my claim. So... essentially, the money I put in for insurance is being stolen. It's not a tax, it's insurance - it's my money. And now that I need to be insured I can't claim? Fucking ridiculous if you ask me. The thing that really bugs me is that if I had been dishonest and claimed while in China (easily done), I'd have what I was "owed". But as I was honest and stopped claiming after my contract started, I got screwed upon my return to native soil. There's a lesson in there somewhere. And the government wonders why there's fraud...

I did a lot of wandering. I was trying to find the Tai Ji Studio on Bank Street. I thought it was 107, it's actually 195... so I never found it. I'll go in next week on Thursday. It looks alright, to be honest, but I don't want to get side-tracked from Chinese wushu tai ji quan and slip into Western "tai chi". I guess we all have to make sacrifices...

Anyhoo. I saw Adrienne and chatted with her for a bit, and later on hooked up with Adam at the Oak for a pint and some pub foods. Got to hear people shrieking at televisions as the Senators scored against the What's-Its-Place Whoevers. Came back and watched Alien 3 with Aaron and August. The special edition/director's cut makes it a whole new movie, and a lot better than the theatrical release. Wonder if David Fincher is doing something in the near future. I hope so. He's a kick-ass director.

Busy few days coming up, but I'll write more later.

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