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About

Who am I and why learn with me?
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Jade Lady Tai Chi and Qigong is the creation of Suzette Hosken. Jade Lady offers face-to-face classes in the Melbourne Suburbs, Zoom classes, free park lessons, workshops, demonstrations, videos and articles about tai chi, qigong, and exercising with tricky bodies.

Back in the Day:

I began learning tai chi with Celestial Tai Chi College in 1995. Prompted by chronic back and arm pain to look for gentle, strengthening and calming exercise, I found that tai chi and qigong were exactly what I needed. This was early days for Celestial, who were on the lookout for future instructors and I was invited to become a trainee instructor in my first year. While still very new to tai chi, the instructor training enabled me to learn directly from both Grandmaster Eng Chor Khor and Senior Master Chin Min Lian and work on the details right from the start of my learnings. 

Tricky Bodies:

Given my history of pain, fatigue and injury, I have a special empathy for those who have their own challenges. I like to teach students how to modify the moves to suit their own bodies’ needs and ensure that the moves are achievable while being true to the original intent of the form. With education in anatomy, massage therapy and fitness, I understand the human body and its frailties well. I also well understand that we can surprise ourselves and find that we are capable of so much more than we thought.

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Teaching Style:

My classes and videos focus on the peaceful, calming and mindful aspects of qigong and tai chi while also stressing that tai chi is ‘strengthening by stealth’. Each student is encouraged to decide how hard they want to work based on how their body (and brain) feels on the day.

I like to think I’m a compassionate teacher, and will not single out students for correction (unless it is directly invited) and am welcoming of differences and limitations. Students are regularly reminded that it is quite okay to get moves wrong and completely forget what we are doing. This is human!

I teach as precisely as I’m able and aim to honour the traditions and techniques that have been handed down by spoken word for centuries. While I believe it’s important to be true to the essence and intent of the movement, this shouldn’t come at the expense of our bodies. Comfort trumps traditional techniques.

I love this quote that is attributed to Lao Tzu: “When one teaches, two learn.” I teach, but I learn with you and from you. Being open to feedback is core. I love being challenged by my students and asked curly questions. If I need to do some research to find an answer then I will happily do that.

Highlights:

I love my weekly classes, but it’s satisfying to have a few extra challenges thrown into the mix. Here are a few highlights from my time learning tai chi.

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Moomba Parade 

We were in a Moomba Parade! That was an absolute blast. This was 2009 and we designed a travelling routine, got the special silks, rehearsed many times and had a ball. The only slight hitch was that we were travelling rather more slowly than everyone else in the parade and had to jog from time to time to catch up to the group ahead. So while we caused a bottleneck behind us, we loved it. Alas we have never been invited back!

Opening of the Chuan Spa at the Langham Hotel Southbank

Celestial Tai Chi College were invited to be the 'entertainment' at the opening of the Chuan Spa at the Langham Hotel. We flowed through various qigong and tai chi forms while the beautiful people ate their canapes and drank champagne. It was great fun to train for and to perform in such an iconic location on the banks of the Yarra River. I'm not in this photo because I was holding the camera!

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Banquet Performances

It's a real honour to perform at the Celestial Tai Chi College Annual Banquet. I've performed with different groups across many years and oddly enough have got more nervous as the years have gone on. Two particular highlights were the 2015 and 2016 banquets which were very special for different reasons. The location was part of the reason for my nerves. We were up on a stage in front of well over 100 people all of who could identify if we made a mistake! Pictured here we are doing the Ba Duan Jin to music that was specially composed for this performance by Senior Instructor and Musician Wally Wilkinson.

Tai Chi Competition

In 2013 I dipped my toe into the waters of tai chi competition. Celestial competed in the International Martial Arts Games which saw a large number of us doing a lot of extra training and refining. I figured I'd put this good form to the test and entered the WTQA Wushu, Taiji, Qigong Australia Festival. I competed in 3 events and while incredibly nervous, and feeling like a complete newbie, I was happy with how I went. So were the judges - I was awarded the overall Women's Champion! I was quite delighted as can be seen from my expression. Standing next to me is chief judge Master Tara Brayshaw and between us is Rob Fennell. Since then I've entered a few more times and thought I'd retire at my last outing in 2018. But maybe I'll give it another whirl... we'll see.

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