About Tai Chi

Chen Style Tai Chi is widely considered to be the root of the main styles of Tai Chi that are taught today.  It evolved in Chen Family Village in China over 300 years ago and is taught around the world by the 20th generation of the Chen Family.

 

In Tai Chi we aim to harmonise the mind, body and energy, moving from the body's centre in a relaxed, but connected way.  Chen Style Tai Chi combines martial arts movements with Chinese systems of internal energy, as well as Yin/Yang theory and other ideas from ancient Chinese philosophy.  Tai Chi can also be seen as a form of Chi Kung - Chi Kung works to develop the "chi", the body's internal energy, and to open up the flow of this energy around the body.

 

When we practise Tai Chi, we use soft, gentle flowing movements to work deeply within the body, often focussing on spiralling energy (called "Silk Reeling" energy in Chen Style Tai Chi).  These principles are then incorporated into a set pattern of movements, known as the Tai Chi form, which becomes one continuous flowing movement through our practice.  Because of Tai Chi's deep approach, it brings a wide range of benefits.

Benefits of  Tai Chi

  • Health.  Tai Chi's gentle, but deep, internal movements help to exercise the joints and muscles and enable the body to work naturally.  The NHS recognises that Chi Kung has a wide range of health benefits, including rehabilitation, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and improved immune function.

  • Relaxation.  Tai Chi has a focus on relaxation through the body and calmness in the mind.  Through practice we can learn to let go of the tension and mental stress that build up through modern life.
  • Balance.  Balance is at the heart of Tai Chi practice and its soft, gentle exercises bring balance to all our movements, helping to prevent falls and reducing stress on the body's joints.

  • Energy.  Through focussing on the body's chi, Tai Chi helps to increase your energy levels and to revitalise you. 

  • Martial Arts.  We don't currently teach the martial arts aspects of Tai Chi, however, all the movements and principles we learn are the foundation for anyone who wants to go on to study Tai Chi as a complete martial arts system.

Who can practise Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is suitable for almost anyone who wants to practise it.  Exercises can be practised sitting or standing and can be adapted for many different needs.  However, if you do have any pre-existing medical conditions, please let us know by email before you come to the classes, so we can discuss the best approach.  Also, if you have any serious medical condition, please consult your doctor before you come.