A Brief Introduction
Tai Chi Chu'an (tie-chee-chwan) originated in China more than 700 years ago. Translated it means "Supreme Ultimate Fist". "Supreme Ultimate" because its benefits to practitioners are very far reaching and life enhancing, and "Fist" because it is, in a classical sense, a martial art.
We honor the martial art origin of Tai Chi and closely adhere to the many related principles, but we do not teach Self-Defense. Our primary focus is to practice T'ai Chi for the many wonderful benefits it offers both mind and body.
These benefits include:
- Improvment of balance, coordination and posture
- Increased flexibility -
- Development of graceful movement
- Stress reduction
- Enhanced concentration and focus
Often described as "moving meditation" the basic practice of Tai Chi is a series of 108 linked postures, (some repeated often), with each posture blending into the next so that the entire series or "Form" is one long unified pattern. Catch the Sparrows Tail, Wave Hands like Clouds, Repulse the Monkey, Part the Wild Horse's Mane and Snake Creeps Down are some of the traditional Tai Chi Postures that we practice.
We practice the Yang Style of Tai Chi. The other four major styles are Chen, Sun, Wu and Hao. The different styles originated within different families or clans over time. The styles are mostly differentiated by the sequence of postures in the respective Forms, the individual postures themselves, and the theories and philosophys that support the differences. In addition, there is often slight variations and nuances within each style from teacher to teacher. Though these external differences exist, the principles that Tai Chi is based on, is a common thread running through all the different styles The Yang style originated with Yang Lu-chan (1799-1872). His grandson, Yang Cheng-fu (1883-1936) was in large measure responsible for the popular transmission of the Yang Family Style of Tai Chi throughout both the East and West. Yang Style Tai Chi is known for it's uniform, slow pacing throughout the whole Form with no real variation in speed. The movements are extended, graceful, gentle and flowing, while still maintaining its Martial Art focus.
Our classes include videos of different styles and teachers along with handouts and discussion on the history, philosophy and principles of Tai Chi. When we are indoors, we practice to beautiful music and most of the time there's a delicious pot of hot tea to enjoy. The classes are structured and focused, yet flexible and high spirited!