Lithuanian Viktor Makarovas moved to Rye in 2004 and works at the Mermaid Inn which has become his second home. Viktor had done Martial Arts and Yoga from the age of fourteen and in 2010, after a serious knee problem, he became interested in Tai Chi Chuan.
This has become a daily pleasure which, he says, makes him feel healthy, confident and happy as this is a unique art that is able to yield many benefits, and is very effective as such.
Practising Tai Chi Chuan combines martial art and qigong disciplines into one unit, and “slow” is one of the Tai Chi Chuan characteristics as this slowness in movement demonstrates the control, circulation, relaxation, concentration and balance that is required in training.
“After my knee operation,” he s aid, “for more than six months I couldn’t walk properly and found it hard to recover, and every doctor convinced me that I would limp for the rest of my life.
“This was because I had problems with my ligaments and because I was also diagnosed with arthritis, and the doctor told me I would have to use a walking stick to support my difficulty in walking – and I couldn’t believe that I would have to stop martial arts and other activities I found enjoyable.
“One day, however, in Lithuania I discovered a Tai Chi class with a master from China and after each lesson I began to feel a very strong pressure on my knees and it had a very positive effect on them. “After three months I could walk without limping again and after another two months I was able to jog. In 2015 I fully recovered and I competed in Lithuania’s national Tai Chi Chuan competition and came in fourth place!
Because of my passion for Tai Chi, and what it has done for me, I practice outside nearly every day. One day when I was practising, a woman stopped me and asked: “Is that Tai Chi which you are performing” and I replied “Yes”. She went on to tell me how I should share this with the community to keep people fit, so now I run classes at St Mary’s Centre every Monday at 11:30am, where I share my passion for it with others so they can also experience how much it can help as much as it has helped me”.
Viktor is hoping to bring his Tai Chi classes to the Tilling Green Community Centre soon. If you would like further information please contact Viktor by email email@example.com or by telephone on 07835 507080.
Photo: Sean Downey