Taiji is a comprehensive art which includes the following in its program. We teach all aspects:
- Standing Qigong - basis of art’s health and self-defence power
- Health (Core) Exercises - to relax and loosen the body and bring the mind into the body, and qi into muscles, tendons and fascia, based on traditional Chinese health practice
- The Form - traditional Yang family form. To bring out the “spiral chi” which taiji is famous for, the form is taught in 3 stages after the sequence of postures is learnt: the yin/yang form, the open/close form & centre move form (as taught by family disciples)
- Posture testing - vital for health and self-defence but little known in popular T’ai Chi
- Philosophy - that underpins the art, drawing largely on Taoism - flowing like water; soft overcoming hard; minimum effort/maximum return
- Self-defence and martial applications - awareness & protection skills
- Pushing Hands - tui shou, da lu, san shou
- Weapons - sabre (dao), sword (jin) & staff (kun)
T’ai chi is a soft, gentle art but it’s not easy - it’s challenging. Like anything worthwhile its skills require time, patience and discipline to develop. These in themselves are important emotional by-products/skills of the training.
The standing Qigong posture, for example, is quite demanding, and yet requires relaxation. The relaxation once acquired is much deeper than that obtained from simply lying on a couch, because it has a mental component.
This relaxation-in-structure (the Chinese word is song) is much deeper, and very different from, being floppy or collapsing, as popular ideas of relaxing can imply.
The art is open to people of all ages, but does require a degree of able-bodiedness (please ring and discuss if unsure).
Classes are held twice a week at St. Ursula's School dance studio Wednesdays 7-8:45pm and Saturdays 3-5pm (see map).The cost per 4 week month (payable in advance) covers a 1 &3/4 hour class each week. You enrol in one class as your main class, but can attend more than one each week (at no extra cost).
“I would like to enter into a contract with each student guaranteeing a degree of commitment to studying this valuable and sophisticated art seriously, and for them to behave politely, ethically and with a considerate attitude to both the teacher and other students. In return I guarantee clear instruction for the development of these skills in the student (based on the program overleaf) carried out in a courteous & ethical manner.”
R. L. Bastick