Two years ago, when I was still living in Germany, I stopped doing Tai Chi after about ten years of practice. It was a painful decision, but I could no longer see any possibility of growth. It felt like the only reason I was going to lessons was to confirm to how good the instructor was. However, he did not notice how unhappy I was. Though I continued practising at home on my own, hoping that I would find the personal growth that would give me the strength to continue, because I always believed in Tai Chi, I found practising on my own was very difficult.

Then, my private life changed. After spending many years working in Germany I returned to Florence where I now live most of the year. I believed that a city like Florence should offer several possibilities for practising Tai Chi. So, I looked for a school near my home. I found the Master Ding Academy in Florence run by Cedric Randolph. After Cedric saw how I was practising he said: “Right. I believe we need to start over again.” At first, I felt sorry, that I had “wasted” all these years, but I quickly understood that this was not the case.

It seems to me that what Cedric said, “Less is more. Nothing is everything. If you want to be ready, relax. To be strong you have to be soft…” makes sense. Now I feel ready to put his teaching into practice and it gives me great joy. Perhaps this getting ready to understand is what I learned in those first ten years of practice.

I started practising the form, Chi Kung and the exercises with him again about 18 months ago. Now, I feel like I am flying because of the speed at which we are moving forward. It feels like I am growing a little bit day by day….


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