|The art of balance|
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What is tai chi?
Tai chi was originally a style of kung fu practiced by the Manchu Emperor's elite palace guards.
In the 20th Century 'tai chi for health' gained popularity as a gentle but effective form of exercise suitable for adults of all ages.
Most tai chi classes in the UK are teaching tai chi for health.
Tai chi for health
Tai chi for health involves simple movements, easy stretches and cooperative partner work.
The onus is upon relaxation, balance, good posture and coordination.
Students learn how to move their body in a healthy, comfortable way without the risk of injury.
Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist)
Taijiquan is a martial art that uses the yin/yang concept.
There are 5 traditional styles of taijiquan: Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao and Sun.
The martial art is quietly challenging; requiring patience, commitment, mindfulness and composure.
Students work towards the cultivation of a high degree of physical skill and can reasonably expect to practice the art for most of their lives.
Choose your path
A tai chi student must decide whether they want to study tai chi for health or taijiquan.
We offer both options.
Each approach promises excellent health benefits, stress relief and relaxation. However, taijiquan is much more complex and far harder to learn.
It is not about anger, it is about peace.
It is not about power, it is about grace.
It is not about knowing your enemy, it is all about knowing yourself.
The perfect exercise
In modern life, time is in short supply and a person wants to get the best possible benefits from any new endeavour they undertake.
Harvard Medical School suggests that tai chi may indeed be the perfect exercise.
It combines 8 crucial ingredients.
These 8 tai chi components offer a multi-layered approach to the cultivation of health, vitality and wellbeing.
The depth of study available within a bona fide system of tai chi is incredible; a student can quite literally explore the art for their entire lifetime and still discover new mysteries, secrets and skills.
As a martial art, taijiquan is unparalleled in its sophisticated biomechanics, diversity of combat skills and variety of application.
It is quite common for people to experience stress, headaches, stiff neck, bad posture, poor balance, aching back or sore knees.
These are normally the outcome of their jobs and how they use their body. Often the cause is physical tension and poor body awareness.
Conventional exercise may make things worse.
Many health problems can be remedied using qigong and tai chi.
Rather than force an outcome, the training slowly encourages the body to relax, free the joints and restore natural balance and comfortable movement.
Is tai chi easy?
As a form of exercise tai chi is quite gentle.
It does not strain the body and no one should be sweating.
The challenge lies with coordination, balance, focus and memory.
Performing the art skilfully is not so easy.
A high degree of awareness, biomechanical skill and physical sensitivity must be cultivated.
This requires time, patience and regular practice.
Tai chi offers a wide range of benefits that will affect your everyday life:
• Get fit
• Increased stamina and endurance
• The release of deeply-held muscular tension
• Boost energy
• Improved balance
• A way to use millennia old Chinese wisdom in everyday life
• An unusual form of strength
• Emotional composure in the face of confrontation and crisis
• Philosophical study involving some of the most influential books ever written
• Cultivate confidence and resourcefulness
Most tai chi students in the UK never get past the preliminaries of the art.
They lack the knowledge and/or the tuition opportunities to explore tai chi properly.
Training at a beginner's level long-term is not good for your health and wellbeing. A crude understanding of tai chi can potentially lead to injury.
To avoid this, students need to make progress in a healthy, safe, fun environment.
They must continually develop their insights, skills and awareness.
A proven syllabus should be in place and the opportunity for each student to learn tai chi relative to their own ability.
We offer a very high standard of tuition from instructors with decades of experience.
Students work towards a comprehensive understanding of tai chi, whole-body strength and the ability to use their body in an intelligent, healthy manner.
There is a syllabus in place to ensure that the tai chi is taught in a consistent, structured, methodical way.
Our classes have a vibrant, active training environment, free from cliques and politics. There is a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere of camaraderie and good humour.
Personal safety and individual wellbeing are important to us.
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Page created 11 January 1993
Last updated 26 November 2014