Lantern Festival Celebrations - held Sunday 4th March 2007
During this year's annual Taichido.com/Wheels.net Get Together,
as part of the Lantern Festival Celebrations Gary's tai chi
master (and Mark's original master) Ray Wood came out of semi-retirement
to give a workshop on Tessen, the martial art of the war-fan.
He first explained that the form is actually of Japanese
derivation and not, like Tai Chi, from China. Developed originally
by the Geishas as a defense weapon, the art was then taken
up by Japanese Warlords who used the fan, with the ends of
the thirteen ribs sharpened like razors, as an offensive weapon.
It is very hard to describe the class that followed. The first
wave of attack from the Fan is as a noise weapon! Upon opening
it cracks like thunder. These fans are not your average split
bamboo and paper affair. That are about twice the size of
the items normally seen and in place of paper its main constituent
is sail cloth.