Most agree there are six major styles of Tai Chi: Yang, Wu, Chen, Sun, Hao and combination. Five of tai chi’s five major styles—all except the combination styles—derive their name from the founder’s surname. Along with Qi Gong we teach Yang, Chen, Sun and some Health forms that are considered combination styles.
Yang Style Tai Chi
Yang style tai chi is the most popular and widely practiced tai chi style worldwide. In England and America, at least 20 main variations of the Yang style exist and in China, there are even more. The various schools originated from the approach of a specific master or from a particular geographic region within China. Each variation has a distinct flavor, looks different from the others to a greater or lesser degree and may emphasize different technical points. All, however, will be called Yang style.
Chen Style Tai Chi
Chen Style tai chi, originating from the Chen village, is the original style of tai chi from which the Yang style was created. It is relatively hard to find Chen style teachers and adherents account for about one percent of tai chi practitioners. Unlike most tai chi, not all the movements of the Chen Style’s first level of training are done in slow motion. The Chen style alternates slow-motion movements with short, fast, explosive ones. It demands more physical coordination and may strain the lower back and knees more than other styles; consequently, it is difficult for the elderly or injured to learn. The complexity of its movements, which include fast releases combined with jumping kicks and stamping actions, makes it more athletic and physically difficult than most other tai chi styles and, as such, is often more appealing to young people or martial artists.
Sun Style Tai Chi
Sun is the youngest of the major styles created by Sun Lu-tang. Sun style is flowing and has similar footwork to Wu style where when one foot advances or retreats, the other foot follows. Sun style exhibits small circular movements with the hand and is suitable for any fitness level. It is especially suited well for learning spiral movements which is often found in Ai Gong movements. The tempo is slow so you can concentrate on your movements and as a result improve and strengthen muscles support joints.
Shibashi 18 Forms (Part 1)
Shibashi has become one of the most popular systems of Qigong and is now practiced worldwide. What appears to be flowing and effortless on the outside is cultivating deep relaxation on the inside as we learn to move in a way the unifies the whole body in a relaxed and focused way.
There are many different varieties of Tai Chi forms adapted to target particular health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, and balance. We offer seated forms as well which provide the same benefits as all forms of Tai Chi.
Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," some have called it "medication in motion." There is growing scientific evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing a variety health problems. Tai Chi is a low-impact, slow-motion exercise. As you move, you concentrate on moving slowly with gentle resistance while breathing deeply and naturally. Tai chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. Movements are normally circular, never forced wile the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.
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