LIVING TAIJI & QIGONG

Memories of Sally Clark

Please send your memories and thoughts of Sally to me (by email) and I will include them on this page. They can anonymous if you wish. Alec
Sally started Taiji classes in 2006 in Kings Heath. Having trained in gymnastics and dance earlier in her life, she found Taiji difficult at first due to the slow speed of movement. However, she stuck at it and I watched her develop as a student, then eventually, as an assistant. Because of her earlier training, when she was taught a new Taiji movement she always taught herself the mirror image of that move.     In the Spring of 2013 Sally asked about teaching Taiji and Qigong. I felt this would be a good step for her to continue her development of the practice, so she set up her first classes to begin in the Autumn that year. She had taken a couple of groups through the Shibashi sets and was planning on eventually teaching Short Form when she was taken ill in the early part of 2014.      Although her illness was very short, I visited her regularly and we had plenty of time to talk. I was deeply honoured to be asked to scatter her ashes in a place that meant a great deal to both us as we had each spent a lot of time there over the years practicing and developing Taiji and Qigong. Her favourite Taiji Form was Sabre Form. Sally spent two months embroidering this banner for my 60th Birthday, It was a pleasure being her teacher. She always had good, and often deep, questions. Alec
On behalf of the school, Barbara Tilson gave the following address to family and friends at Sally’s funeral on 17th July 2014. When I first encountered Sally around the time Alec founded Dragon Spring I realised from the start that she was an exceptional person.        Alec had issued an invitation to his students to work towards becoming a teacher of Taiji and, where most of us hung back, Sally embraced the opportunity with enthusiastic commitment: “Yes, that’s what I want to do!” She did all she could over the next few years to cover every aspect of Taiji and had recently started teaching.      She gave unstinting and dedicated support in countless ways to our teachers, Alec and Jon, such as helping to develop new courses, planning displays, and being there to talk things through. She made a brilliant assistant to Alec and they obviously got on really well.     Sally (or just ‘Sal’ to some) was widely respected and admired throughout Dragon Spring. With her gentle warmth and willingness to share her knowledge she established strong rapport with all kinds of students. She was a key figure in the Push Hands class, and the Sunday swordplay group, for instance, and in Alec’s summer gatherings at Poulstone Court – to mention just a few.     She was never arrogant or judgemental, and had an endearing humility, always acknowledging that there was more to learn. We would hear a “Ye-e-e-e-s” (this quietly drawn out as she pondered some point or other). And “Well, I may not have remembered that quite right…” she would say on occasion, with a rueful expression.     Her Taiji was beautiful – she had it all: great suppleness, balance and control.      Her kicks were spectacular.     Balancing on one leg she would seem to rise up, still and majestic as a mountain.     In movement, she would seem to glide effortlessly like a swan on a lake.     No sensation of the underlying power and drive - light and soft as a feather floating in the breeze.     While we feel sadness and regret at the passing of our dear Taiji friend who showed such promise as a teacher and mentor to the other students, let us also be glad, yes, glad, that we had such good fortune that our own paths in life coincided with that of such a rare and special being as Sally.     And let us hold her memory close, to inspire and hearten us, as we go on.
© Dragon Spring Taiji School 2013 - All rights reserved
LIVING TAIJI & QIGONG

Memories of Sally Clark

Please send your memories and thoughts of Sally to me (by email) and I will include them on this page. They can anonymous if you wish. Alec
Sally started Taiji classes in 2006 in Kings Heath. Having trained in gymnastics and dance earlier in her life, she found Taiji difficult at first due to the slow speed of movement. However, she stuck at it and I watched her develop as a student, then eventually, as an assistant. Because of her earlier training, when she was taught a new Taiji movement she always taught herself the mirror image of that move.     In the Spring of 2013 Sally asked about teaching Taiji and Qigong. I felt this would be a good step for her to continue her development of the practice, so she set up her first classes to begin in the Autumn that year. She had taken a couple of groups through the Shibashi sets and was planning on eventually teaching Short Form when she was taken ill in the early part of 2014.      Although her illness was very short, I visited her regularly and we had plenty of time to talk. I was deeply honoured to be asked to scatter her ashes in a place that meant a great deal to both us as we had each spent a lot of time there over the years practicing and developing Taiji and Qigong. Her favourite Taiji Form was Sabre Form. Sally spent two months embroidering this banner for my 60th Birthday, It was a pleasure being her teacher. She always had good, and often deep, questions. Alec
On behalf of the school, Barbara Tilson gave the following address to family and friends at Sally’s funeral on 17th July 2014. When I first encountered Sally around the time Alec founded Dragon Spring I realised from the start that she was an exceptional person.        Alec had issued an invitation to his students to work towards becoming a teacher of Taiji and, where most of us hung back, Sally embraced the opportunity with enthusiastic commitment: “Yes, that’s what I want to do!” She did all she could over the next few years to cover every aspect of Taiji and had recently started teaching.      She gave unstinting and dedicated support in countless ways to our teachers, Alec and Jon, such as helping to develop new courses, planning displays, and being there to talk things through. She made a brilliant assistant to Alec and they obviously got on really well.     Sally (or just ‘Sal’ to some) was widely respected and admired throughout Dragon Spring. With her gentle warmth and willingness to share her knowledge she established strong rapport with all kinds of students. She was a key figure in the Push Hands class, and the Sunday swordplay group, for instance, and in Alec’s summer gatherings at Poulstone Court – to mention just a few.     She was never arrogant or judgemental, and had an endearing humility, always acknowledging that there was more to learn. We would hear a “Ye-e-e- e-s” (this quietly drawn out as she pondered some point or other). And “Well, I may not have remembered that quite right…” she would say on occasion, with a rueful expression.     Her Taiji was beautiful – she had it all: great suppleness, balance and control.      Her kicks were spectacular.     Balancing on one leg she would seem to rise up, still and majestic as a mountain.     In movement, she would seem to glide effortlessly like a swan on a lake.     No sensation of the underlying power and drive - light and soft as a feather floating in the breeze.     While we feel sadness and regret at the passing of our dear Taiji friend who showed such promise as a teacher and mentor to the other students, let us also be glad, yes, glad, that we had such good fortune that our own paths in life coincided with that of such a rare and special being as Sally.     And let us hold her memory close, to inspire and hearten us, as we go on.
© Dragon Spring Taiji School 2013 - All rights reserved