A GLOBAL Tai Chi event will see martial arts enthusiasts breathing calm through Orpington and beyond.

Tens of thousands of Tai Chi practitioners across the world aim to create a healing Mexican wave effect by taking part in the ancient Chinese exercises on April 27 at 10am.

Starting in New Zealand, as each time-zone hits 10am, people will perform a two-hour session of Tai Chi and sister meditative art Quigong to ripple relaxation round the world.

An Orpington teacher is bringing the phenomenon – which will be captured on video and uploaded to a central website- to Bromley and Tai Chi novices to experts are invited to join in the outdoors event in The Priory Gardens.

Ashley Cheeseman first took to Tai Chi around 20 years ago as a way to channel unwanted aggression and finds it an effective antidote to his high-pressure day job in a security company.

He hopes to be the “crazy” person that might kick-start a Tai Chi trend in the borough. The 46-year-old said: “A lot of it is about community feeling – getting a community spirit together.

“You connect with people from different places. Knowing you are a part of something bigger – that really inspires me sometimes – this is global – you are part of a bigger picture.

”It will hopefully start the ripple – one drop in the pond, the ripples spread out – it just takes one crazy person.”

Reflecting on the benefits of the art, which aims to boost health as well as providing a defence training, he said: “It is definitely calming.

“It is all about helping people and creating different lifestyles for people.”

He praised the practice for lowering blood pressure, helping with heart conditions and weight loss as well as improving balance and acting as a tool to combat anxiety.

Mr Cheeseman, who taught Tai Chi for 12 years in Catford before setting up classes in Orpington Village Hall, added: “I think it is one of those magical things – it is there if people want it. It is very important for me to get it in the local community.”

Instructors will lead the breathing-centred exercises from 10am to 12pm in the landscaped, palm-tree-dotted Priory Gardens.

To take part in the event contact Mr Cheeseman on 07833 365 160 or info@ajc-taichi.co.uk or visit ajc-taichi.co.uk. His weekly class runs on Wednesdays from 8pm to 9.30pm.

You can find out more on the global event and follow the video ‘wave’ at worldtaichi.org.