Although the Hungarian capital has the most tai chi practitioners in the country, there is another location that occupies a special place within the life and history of the Hungarian Taoist Tai Chi community. This is Sopron, close to the northwestern border with Austria, where Taoist Tai Chi celebrated its 15th anniversary on May 7, 2016.
The celebration started with a large-scale open-air demo on one of the main squares of Sopron, with over 80 participants. Luckily, we had wonderful weather and lots of passers-by had the chance to see us moving together and to learn about the opportunities to practice Taoist Tai Chi® arts in Sopron. After the one-hour demo that consisted of three whole sets, the celebration continued with a banquet, topped by a cake, and a small commemoration in the Society’s club. Then followed a three-hour intensive in the local university’s sporting hall. The official tai chi bag, an item long waited for, was also introduced on this occasion. (The income from the sale of these will be donated to fund the restoration works at Fenway.) After lots and lots of danyus and “wave hands like clouds”, we closed the day with a friendly chat and some cleaning in the club.
All Hungarian locations were represented by at least a handful of members; altogether 87 people were present at the intensive. It was a great pleasure to see fresh members of the society coming to the event. In fact, three of the participants had not even finished the beginners’ three-month course in Budapest, and yet they were enthusiastic and eager to celebrate with the Sopron branch and practice together.
The event provided a great opportunity to look back and reflect a bit on the history of Taoist Tai Chi in Sopron. In the first days, instructors traveled here from the capital only once every month. Only one year later, Sopron had its own beginner instructors, and beginners’ classes were organized on a regular basis. From this point on the community started to grow. In the past 15 years, this branch has developed into a hub that hosted international workshops and now has more than 100 local members. Hopefully, this success will continue and in the years to come, even more locals will have the opportunity to learn about Master Moy’s teachings and improve their health through Taoist Tai Chi® arts.