Tai Chi Classes in & near Aldershot, Hawley, Farnborough, Camberley, Cove, Farnham & Mytchett
Please read info below before enrolling for a Tai Chi Chuan class as you may find that our Tai Chi Qigong classes may suit you better:
Pic above: Master Wang Haijun corrects SHTC Instructor, Cherry Collins' posture in front of the Taiji Museum in Chen Village, China
We teach the following
Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan for Improvers
Beijing 24 Tai Chi for Improvers
Tai Chi Qigong / Health Qigong for Beginners and Improvers
First of all: What is Tai Chi?
The concept of Tai Chi existed thousands of years before Tai Chi Chuan as a martial art was invented
According to the Chinese way of thinking, when the natural balance of energy is upset, sickness occurs in living things. Restoring the natural balance of energy in the body is the aim of Chinese Medicine, of which many Tai Chi - Qigong practices play a part
With this understanding, we can see that the practice of Tai Chi involves working with the energy through specific movement, deep relaxed breathing and mindfulness of the practitioner for optimum health benefits
What is Tai Chi Qigong?
Tai Chi means the balance of Yin & Yang energy and Qigong means energy work. We have seen above that when there is a harmonious balance of energy there is good health. Therefore Tai Chi Qigong is "Balancing one's energy to positively influence health and wellness of body and mind"
The emphasis is on DOING the movements by following along in a more relaxed way, within your comfort range, rather than having to study and perfect the movements according to a set of fixed rules or principles (although traditional guidelines are still followed)
You will enjoy Tai Chi Qigong if you are looking for something to improve your health or to de-stress your mind or improve your ability to relax and switch off after a busy day.
Specific sets of exercises which have been devised, tested, regulated and endorsed by the Chinese Government's Health Dept & Chinese Health Qigong Association are the only sets of exercises known and trademarked as "Health Qigong".
Our instructor has been trained by the British Health Qigong association and is qualified to teach five different sets of official Health Qigong exercises within our Qigong programme. Health Qigong has the benefit that it is relatively easy to learn, results come quite fast, it's slow and repetitive, official books and DVDs available for home study and a very reasonable price, standardised exercises worldwide making them transferable from a class in one area of the country / world to another, should you later move home.
What Is Tai Chi Chuan / Taijiquan?
Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) is a Chinese martial art, although many forms are practiced mainly for health these days.
We teach two styles of Tai Chi Chuan
Beijing 24 Tai Chi, thought to be the most widely practiced form of Tai Chi - a gentle flowing form for health without too much emphasis on the martial side of things - a half way house between Health Qigong and Tai Chi Martial Arts - takes longer to learn than a Qigong set, and longer still to perfect but not as arduous to learn as a Martial Style such as Chen Style Chuan
Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan, considered to be the most martial of all Tai Chi styles. It combines wide open stances, slow precise movements, drilled repeatedly at a snails pace and committed to memory, whilst adhering to particular 'principles' in regards how the different parts of the body move and align with each other. Unless your legs ache you aren't training hard enough. Requires considerable effort, self discipline and lots of patience and time.
So what's Tai Chi -Qigong then?
Many of our classes are called Tai Chi Qigong - This means that we use principles and simple exercises and movements from Beijing 24 Tai Chi together with exercises from Health Qigong sets to offer an interesting and unique class. It makes the transition to learning Beijing 24 Tai Chi easier, and from there - a year or two later - to go on to study Chen Tai Chi Chuan, if desired, although the vast majority of people stick with Qigong or Beijing 24
More info on the benefits of Tai Chi practice
Tai Chi is considered to be of great physical benefit. Its practice maintains good health as it provides an all over body workout, strengthening muscles, tendons and bones, increasing mobility of joints, massaging the internal organs and increasing the flow of blood nutrients and 'Qi' to all parts of the body. (For more info on 'Qi' see the FAQ's page). Blood pressure and heartbeat are regulated, stress is reduced and the practitioner gains an overall state of well-being.
Tai Chi practice also provides a workout for the mind, as each movement is different and is accompanied by a deep and present focus. The practice of Tai Chi develops our ability to be present in the moment, not a second ahead nor behind. To live in the now. This is the same present-moment awareness often sought through seated meditation. It shifts the brainwave pattern from the stress producing Beta pattern, to a healing Alpha state. No wonder people say they feel so calm focused and well after a Tai Chi class.
In addition to empty hand or 'fist' forms, we also teach the following weapons forms in our Chen Taijiquan classes: Single Sword, Single and double Broadsword, Spear, Guandao and Fan Forms.
In keeping with traditional Chinese teaching these are normally studied once the student has a good Tai Chi foundation and experience, although some exercises involving practice weapons may be incorporated at an earlier stage to introduce variety and strengthen the body in preparation for weapons forms later on.