Tai Chi (pronounced Tie Jee) is a “soft” style or internal (energy based) martial art practised for health, well being and self-defence. It is a way of body learning and adjusting involving mindfulness. The body gradually becomes “sung” through relaxation of muscles, opening of joints and lengthening of tendons. The whole body becomes able to sink into the Earth through the feet enabling energy, lightness and agility. In short, we replace tension with energy. We also connect through the crown of the head to the cosmos, the “grand ultimate”  and so we use both the energy of the Earth and the energy of heaven, as above so below!

When practised it becomes more a way of being as the principles of Tai Chi infuse your life and changes it for the better. Ultimately, Tai Chi puts you more in harmony with yourself, the life around you and nature. It’s flowing gentle movements exercise and strengthen joints as well as improve balance. It can be practised by all ages and all abilities and can also be adjusted to individual needs. It is relaxing, calming, centering and strengthening and again, improves one’s vitality.

Ultimately my goal is to share my passion for Tai Chi and QiGong (energy work) and show how invaluable a part it plays in vitality and good health. In terms of self defence I practice and teach Yang style Tai Chi from the Cheng Man Ching heritage. It differs somewhat from traditional modern Yang family Tai Chi. Most of my teachers studied with Dr Chi Chiang and so my Tai Chi is heavily influenced by this. This style of Tai Chi is the “super soft” school but whilst softness is part of it, so is being relaxed (Sung) and rooted to the ground as well as connected up through the crown of the head to the “heavens”. It’s this connectedness that is behind it’s power as both a martial art and a health and spiritual practice. I also study with teachers from the Master Huang lineage, so have a good understanding of alignment and structure. I have attended many workshops with respected International teachers.

This poem from the Tai Chi Classics has been passed down as The Song of the Real Meaning of Tai Chi:

No shape, no shadow.

Entire body transparent and empty.

Forget your surroundings and be natural.

Like a stone chime suspended from West Mountain.

Tigers’s roaring, monkeys screeching.

Clear fountain, peaceful water.

Turbulent river, stormy ocean.

With your whole being develop your life.

Updated 22/03/21.

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