TAIJIQUAN (T'AI CHI)

What you do is the choreography, how you do it, is T’ai Chi
— Peter Ralston

Originally designed as a martial art, T'ai Chi today is used mainly to develop and maintain mobility, flexibility and excellent range of motion in the joints, muscles and tissues.

The focus in our classes is on becoming "effortlessly effective". In a nutshell that means that you use less energy, relax and open the joints, and so cause less wear and tear on your body while still remaining functional.

You'll learn to understand good posture and alignment, along with discussions and demonstrations of how to apply these principles of movement and structures of the body to your everyday tasks.

The five principles of movement are: Being Calm & Present, Relaxing, Grounding, Centring and Being Whole & Total

Seven main structural points go hand in hand with these principles,

  1. Keep the knees with the toes
  2. Knee presses the heel
  3. Rotate the weighted hip
  4. Pelvis between the feet
  5. Shift the weight underground
  6. Vertical spine (align with gravity)
  7. Hand up - You down (when reaching out, drain down)

You'll initially learn the Cheng Hsin T'ai Chi mini-set to practice the above, it's a short, simple form of 12 movements performed on each side. The set is a variation of Yang Style T'ai Chi that Ralston studied with Wong Chia Man and William C.C. Chen.

Other t'ai chi sets can be learned later on in your study, most notably, the beautiful Wudang sets.

Concentrating on the seven structures and five principles will get you to work on moving in a t'ai chi style, rather than simply copying movements. You'll begin to change your nervous system and movement habits...

... and develop effortlessly effective body movment, structure and power...

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