About Tai Chi
Tai Chi Chuan (better known as simply Tai Chi) is an ancient Chinese form of co-ordinated body movements, focusing on the cultivation of internal energy (called Chi). It aims to harmonise mind, body & spirit, promoting mental & physical well being through softness & relaxation. It is also an effective system of self defence.
When practised correctly, the Tai Chi movements (the Form) are rhythmical & effortless, forming a continual flow. Unlike most sports and forms of exercise, Tai Chi Chuan does not rely on strength or speed, making it ideal for people of both sexes, young & old, healthy or ailing. It is truly a unique art with something to offer everyone.
Tai Chi Chuan’s association with health is perhaps the most well-known. The principles and concepts behind the slow relaxed fluid movements of Tai Chi Chuan are central to its healing ability.
Whether you are part of the new wave of Tai Chi enthusiasts from the modern generation, or part of the traditionalist camp who practise Tai Chi Chuan in its full entirety, the art’s health benefits are universal to all. Tai Chi Chuan has a multifaceted approach to health. Its medicinal purposes go beyond the treatment of illness taking also a role in disease prevention. Tai Chi may at first seem only to work meticulously on the exterior compartment. Its precise and particular use of muscles, bones and joints serve to enhance tone and strength as well as improve balance, coordination and posture.
However the benefits of Tai Chi Chuan are not only on the superficial musculoskeletal component and go beyond simply developing fitness. The Tai Chi process operates on a much deeper level, working from within.
The ancient Chinese text, the ‘I Ching’, states that nature is always in motion and that mankind should follow nature, and exercise and strengthen itself continuously. It also stresses that the balance of Yin and Yang energies physically, mentally and emotionally are essential to mankind’s well-being. All Chinese Health disciplines apply this theory to their practice. Our bodies and each of our organs have within them elements of yin and yang. Both internal and external factors have a bearing on their balance. In some instances these organs may become more yang than yin. In others they may be more yin than yang. However the consequence is the same, creating an imbalance of Chi which if prolonged may lead further on to illness and disease.
Treatment in the form of needles (Acupuncture), oral remedies (Herbal Medicine), massage (Tui Na), and movement (Tai Chi Chuan) all have a common theme that is to re-establish and maintain the balance of Chi.
One of the main principles of Chinese health disciplines is to observe imbalances as they arise and address them before they develop into more serious illnesses or pathologies. For many of us, too often we start Tai Chi Chuan late with the imbalance of Chi already having become well established and seeded some time ago.
Often viewed simply as ‘meditation in motion’ or a gentle form of exercise, there have been many misconceptions about the practical use of Tai Chi Chuan for self defence. This is a mistaken view - each movement in the Tai Chi Form has a logical application in combat. It is a very potent & effective martial art system. Developing skill in Tai Chi self defence requires dedication & persistent correct practice but unlike other martial arts is not restricted by your sex, size, strength or speed.
This is because Tai Chi focuses on developing Chi (internal energy).
At a high level, Tai Chi Chuan simultaneously achieves the apparent paradox of effortlessness & tremendous power. The subtlety of such skill cannot be adequately described – only felt. Many Martial Arts attempt to transcend the physical but few achieve it.
Tai Chi is a very subtle art in which detail is vital. it must be taught properly, otherwise its essence will be lost. We are proud here in Norfolk to be students of Master John Ding and to offer the highest level of tuition with constant reference back and ongoing tuition from Master John Ding maintaining the highest standards and transmission.
Classes are friendly, groups are small and teaching is always person-centred – each according to their needs. Everyone can learn Tai Chi Chuan, which can alleviate many physical problems, especially those caused by stress and tension. It's a gentle form of exercise that slowly builds strength, stamina and flexibility. In addition, posture and balance start to improve from the earliest weeks of practice.
You are welcome to watch a class or, even better, try a taster session to experience why millions of people round the world love Tai Chi Chuan.
1. Chi Kung - a standing meditation
Helps to relax and settle the body and mind.
2. Taoist core exercises
A sequence of warm-up exercises to prepare the body for the main part of the lesson. Gently stimulates the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems.
The foundation form, distilled by Master Ding from the 108-move Yang Style Long form. Each posture is taught so the student internalises it before moving on to the next one. There is no rush - each person learns at their own pace.
4. Settling breathing exercises
A short sequence to settle the body's systems at the end of the class.
Beginners are instructed in the Tai Chi Chuan, John Ding Foundation Form, Yang Style Long Form, basic self-defence applications and Chi Kung. As you progress you will receive an
introduction to exchanging hands.
Upon completion of the form further in depth corrections and ying and yang aspects are taught moving onto open and close aspects and Tai Chi circle.
More advanced students progress to advanced exchanging hands and further applications, chi Kung two, da lu`s, broadsword, sword and spear techniques, San Sau, Tai Chi Fast Form, advanced chi kung and taoist meditation.