Though most of the time I just do what I do, occasionally I have the opportunity to visit other tai chi groups, doing their practises. This is always a great experience, as I get to meet new people and learn new stuff.

One very memorable visit took place a while ago, when I visited with a group doing Lam style chi kung. It was very different from the chi kung I'm used to, but that was all part of the attraction - since tai chi and chi kung have been developing for hundreds of years, there's lots of different approaches out there.

As preparation for my visit there, I bought their master's book "the way of energy" by Master Lam Kam Chuen, which was a very interesting read, with lots of good diagrams and clear explanations. As a beginner in their lesson, I did exactly what their instructor was telling everyone to do - someone actually did ask me if I did, later. I was somewhat surprised to be asked this, as I had thought it was a no-brainer, doing something different I was obviously not going to be any kind of expert at. My focus was on learning and experiencing what was on offer, to get the full benefit of doing it.

Every year, the club I go to myself, to learn and improve at, has visits from masters of various different styles, to give sessions on specific things. Sometimes it's the qigong professors from mainland China (universities of Beijing, or Inner Mongolia, or Shanghai), who really are professors of this - their job is to maintain and research and improve Chinese Health Qigong and disseminate these practises. So it's always very interesting to attend their sessions on the latest findings and follow their instruction on these.

Then there's the sessions that precede the London Competition every year, where masters of some of the different tai chi styles will give instruction on whatever is that year's theme as applied to their style. This is fascinating stuff - seeing and experiencing how and why the different styles do things differently. It's quite a unique event, to have the opportunity once a year to test out different styles in classes given by masters of each style featured. These classes are very popular, so need to be booked in advance.

Anyway, we can all learn a lot from each other, being fortunate to live in an age, where everyone wants to share and celebrate what all the styles are!