Bunhill: Another office T'ai

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The Independent Online
THE days of the executive outward-bound course, on which employees are required to risk their lives on rain-swept hillsides to hone dubious leadership skills, are numbered. The next big thing could be. . . executive T'ai Chi.

This is the latest wheeze in 'business training', specifically designed for today's over-stressed, under-exercised business tycoon. Its appeal is huge, since you can do it in the comfort of your own office without even taking your suit off.

T'ai Chi, of course, is that strange activity you see people performing in the park on warm weekends, waving their arms in the air as if swatting flies in slow motion. Although enormously popular in China, where it originated, it still commands a pretty small following in this country - especially among captains of business. But that may all be about to change.

Master Raymond Goh, a gnome-like figure who has been studying T'ai Chi since he was 11, claims to have developed a form of this exercise for executives. You will not only perform better but, claims Master Goh, the exercises will alleviate the 'plethora of problems' that the pressures of modern business life tend to cause - 'high blood pressure, heart attacks, burn out syndrome'.

The only requirements are a spare five or 10 minutes each day and an office wide enough to swing your arms in.

And for those who feel that real men don't do this kind of thing, Master Raymond has cannily included a macho extra as part of the course: the 'subtle teachings of Sun Tsu's Art of War - an ancient text still prominent in military strategy training'.

Only two problems cloud this recipe for health and business dynamism. One is that to attain wisdom at the feet of Master Goh you have to go to Milton Keynes. The other is having to bear the jibes of colleagues who see you prancing around the office in slo-mo as if doing ballet in treacle.

(Photograph omitted)