More than exercise

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Mind, body, spirit

Tai chi is quite different from sport and conventional exercise. There is no competition, no stress, no ego, no aggression and absolutely no pressure at all.
The body is exercised in a careful, gentle, relaxed manner. Natural, healthy, comfortable movement is encouraged, with an awareness of what is taking place at all times.

Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.

(World Health Organisation)

Motor learning
For many people, their fitness regime does not take into account 'motor learning'. Motor learning is about the process of using the body, rather than simply exercising the body.
Agility, mobility, relaxed spontaneous movement, balance, structure, alignment, biomechanics, efficiency, ambidextrous body use, joint health, coordination, skill, emotional wellbeing or psychological flexibility.
Tai chi combines exercise with motor learning.

Quiet mind

With the body relaxed and the energy conserved, your mind should become quiet. Absorbed in the movements, you lose your sense of self. Everyday concerns, considerations and anxieties fade away.


Students encounter new ideas and new skills every lesson. There is the joy of discovery; of finding out for yourself what works and why.

Refinement of character

In traditional Chinese culture, tai chi was seen as a means for refining character. It enabled the individual to balance all aspects of their being.
The challenge of exploring tai chi removes conflict, macho urges and aggression. A student moves in a graceful, balanced, harmonious way and maintains composure at all times.
They engage in combat without losing their temper or being afraid.


Tai chi wisdom is all about finding balance and ease in everyday life. Rather than live in conflict and fear, seek tranquillity.

The study of tai chi is a commitment to being present, the very opposite of tuned-out, addictive behaviour. It becomes increasingly difficult to lie to oneself or escape reality if one is practicing sensitivity and balance. Additionally, there are specific qualities of the discipline of tai chi conducive to learning how to face life rather than run away from it.

(Wolfe Lowenthal)

Spiritual component

Tai chi practice possesses a spiritual component. This may be enhanced through Taoism and Zen, along with meditating, qigong, form and application.
An earnest student of tai chi becomes calmer, more harmonious. They have a sense of deep connection with all things. People seek to move in accord with events, rather than against.


Tai chi is an ideal way to regain the vigour of youth. Your body moves in a swift, sure, powerful manner. You feel younger and you look younger.
Suppleness and strength are achieved without pain or discomfort.


Conflict can take many forms, and most modern battles take place quietly and politically.
Business gurus around the world have studied The Art of War, 36 Strategies and The Book of Five Rings for their strategic insights.
These famous books demonstrate how martial arts thinking can be very effective in the business world.

Everyday life

We are faced with situations every day that require cunning, clear thinking and a cool head. Typically, there is no threat of violence, yet there may be some disagreement taking place.
It is necessary to be intelligent, resourceful and decisive. A martial artist has a keen, disciplined mind, settled emotions and the ability to see options, alternatives and possibilities.
They are not afraid to act when the opportunity presents itself.

Social support

Students in a tai chi school are encouraged to interact with one another in a healthy, friendly manner, free from the competitive norms found in wider society.
There is a supportive atmosphere of trust and care. The training hall is safe place to be. People come to relax, to learn, to have a good night.


Most tai chi students attend our classes in order to relax, acquire martial skills and have a good time. They enjoy the friendly atmosphere and lack of pressure.
It doesn't matter whether or not you are good at tai chi; just have fun.

Tai chi is a journey with no goals and no end.

(John Lash)

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Page created 9 May 1994
Last updated 16 June 2023