I enjoy flexing the old grey matter with a couple of friends in the pub with a game of chess. We are all roughly at the same level though with one of my friends is a little better than me and tends to win more than me. I enjoy the strategic thinking required in chess, and even though I don’t think anything near 20 moves ahead I play different kinds of game, from offensive to defensive or aggressive to passive. I definately think chess teaches you that there are different ways that a senario can develop and your approach to it makes a big difference. It teaches you how you can position yourself to your own advantage, counter-play, sacrifice, patience and decision- making.
I’ve been practising tai chi sword now for one year and have been learning the solo form (I probably only know 15% of the sequence of moves) which is as extensive as the tai chi long form and also the 2-man sword form which I’m just getting my grip on (I know about 80% of this form). I Imagine that by the end of 2006 I will know 100% of the 2-man (subject to refinement) and will be a fair way into the tai chi longform. I had to re-learn the shortform as I changed tai chi schools after I came back from travelling, and even though thery both taught the yang form there was a slight variation in the 3rd quarter of the sequence. This was quite frustrating to start at square one again (such is life) but I did notice that I had been slack with the general principles so it allowed me to tighten up the form for myself a bit as I gained a certain amount of objectivity from now having two perpectives.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 18 (for about 12 years) and am self taught. I’ve written my own stuff as well but would really like to play more interesting solo’s. My learning has plateaued at the moment. I’m thinking of getting a teacher to improve my techiques and to learn other styles as my current style is mainly blues and rock. I’m currently interested in learning spanish rhythms and scales.