PatrickPatrick Harries Nov 3, 1945- Nov 29, 2019

One of Patrick’s enduring passions was practicing and teaching Tai Chi and Chi Kung.

Patrick’s Chinese professor, Bao Naijian, with his wife, Men Xiaomin, emigrated to Shaftesbury in 1986 where Patrick attended classes at Port Regis School until Bao’s death in 1998.

Patrick obtained Bao’s initial accreditation as an instructor, which he valued above all others. He was also a British Council for Chinese Martial Arts  Level 2 Coach, a Tai Chi Union for Great Britain Advanced Coach (of which he was an Honorary Vice-President), an English Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong Association Accredited Coach and a Long Fei Taijiquan Association Instructor Member. (GB).

In 1994, he established COREhealth Tia Chi and Chi Kung classes in 1884. At its peak, he ran a gruelling weekly schedule of 15 Chi Kung sessions teaching 70 students in West and South Dorset. He also ran 2 Tai Chi sessions for 15 students in Yeovil and Sherborne where he taught us 6 hand and 2 sword routines and started the Fan routine. He had an eye for detail, and was a stickler for adherence to the Tai Chi forms.

He often quoted Bao’s earliest short English remarks “stay down” and “body turn”, but had his own is personal favourites - “Relax”, “you can go lower”, “no girly slaps”, “bounce” but above all his futile admonishment, with eyes turned upwards, to “Practice”. Behind this, was a kindly, persistent, calm encouragement to all his students to improve, relax and to be “in our comfort zone” for at least 1 hour of the week.

And there were the “changes” - after each course he attended with Master Huang, Tary Yip, Simon Watson or Tai Chi Caledonia - refining and adapting all the subtle details that kept Tai Chi fascinating to him.

We knew when we were doing well when small or tiny corrections were voiced - and you were doing really well if you there were no comments - we joked that the lucky student was wearing “Harry Potter’s cloak” of invisibility. Just occasionally there was a “good” or “well done” but usually it was “there or there abouts” and “let’s call it Tuesday” (or Thursday).

His enthusiasm took us away to Potters Bar, Ashburton, Dillington and other locations as well as celebrating World Tia Chi days at the end of April.

Teacher, master, mischievous and, at times, irascible friend - Patrick made changes to all his students lives and we will remember, honour - and yes - PRACTICE what he taught us.

COREhealth Tai chi has continued since your first stroke in 2016, Patrick, and as it says in the last move of all the forms you taught us…

Shou Shi {Sho Shu} 18 December 2019, Simon Champion