Course Description

THE TAI CHI EXPERIENCE           Back
   The Tai Chi Experience is the perfect introduction to the art of Tai Chi because it allows you to enjoy so many different expressions of Tai Chi in one class. In this class you will actually experience the flowing, graceful and relaxing moves of several different areas of Tai Chi study, including:

 · Chi Kung simple, yet extremely effective ancient Chinese health exercises which gently stretch, tone and improve blood, respiratory and energy circulations,
 · Tai Chi Form beautiful, continuous exercises which reduce stress and increase your peace of mind with slow deep breathing exercises accompanying these gentle moves,
 · Moving Meditation- become deeply aware of your body as you learn to balance and control your movements, generating increased levels of awareness as you create a calmness and relaxation as you've never experienced before,
 · Partner Exercises- improve your sensitivity to detect and guide subtle changes in weight, movement and tension by working with a partner in these pleasurable exercises,


STUDENT 0RIENTATION           Back
   An introductory class, teaching the accepted and historic meanings of common and essential Tai Chi terms including:
   Yin/Yang, relaxation, soft, connection, flow, balance, Chi, pelvic tuck, stances, suspension/sinking, open/close, round, breathing, Taoist philosophy, meditation, etc.
   Also learn a brief history of Tai Chi, the numerous benefits of this health system, class procedures and etiquette, and the required curriculum for advancement and maximizing the benefits of your Tai Chi practice.


FREE WORKOUT           Back
   Take advantage of The School as a practice site. If you have no space to practice at home, not enough privacy or simply enjoy the atmosphere of The School, feel free to come and practice in these free classes. No instruction will be given. this is a time to meet with classmates and exchange information. Use this time to workout and practice either individually or with others. See schedule for available times.


BEGINNER'S FORM           Back
   A traditional sequence of relaxing, slow, dynamic and rhythmic exercises developed in ancient China and the basis for the study and mastery of Tai Chi, to achieve optimum health, expanded awareness and peace of mind. The Form is the prerequisite to all other programs, including self defense.
   In addition, beginning students will learn Chi Kung healing exercises, meditation and relaxation techniques. Explanations are also given of the various health benefits, Chi energy flow, proper breathing techniques and self defense uses to further the student's understanding and enjoyment of Tai Chi.


MEDITATIVE TAI CHI           Back
   In these classes you will perform the complete Tai Chi Short Form several times in succession, without stopping, for the entire hour. ( You can take a break at any time and quietly sit down to observe the rest of the class, if you wish.) An instructor will be, leading the class creating the proper timing, rhythm and state of mind and. energy flow to generate a true meditative form.
   No instruction will be given during the class. However, you will certainly team a great deal about your form through observation.
   Many students have not had the opportunity to perform the Tai Chi Form for an extended period of time in a group setting. This class will provide you with I time and place for a guided practice while focusing on the quality of your form.
   The dynamics and intense energy of a group practice is truly an amazing thing to experience. You will find your energy and spirit highly elevated, far beyond what you have experienced in your solo practice.


CHI KUNG / MEDITATION           Back
   This class focuses on the cultivation of balance ( physical, mental and spiritual) through exercises in active relaxation, gentle stretching, toning , synchronized deep breathing and visualization to sharpen awareness (internal and external), genera. te increased Vital Life Force (Chi) and enjoy peace of mind.
   These traditional and ancient Chinese exercises can be used either in a preventative or therapeutic sense to alleviate a physical problem or to avoid the potential development of various negative conditions (physical and psychological).


HOLISTIC CONDITIONING           Back
   A combination of breathing, endurance, strength and flexibility exercises using traditional Taoist Chi Kung methods as well as exercises from modem western physical therapy to provide a well rounded physical workout. This class is open to all students who wish to participate in a more vigorous conditioning program than the Tai Chi Form or Chi Kung / Meditation classes.


TAI CHI LONG FORM           Back
   This is the continuation of the study and development begun with the Short Form, with the addition of many advanced exercises and concepts designed to allow advanced practitioners to attain higher levels of understanding, conditioning and practical use of the Tai Chi art. The Tai Chi Long Form is the traditional form from which various other forms were derived.


TAI KICKBOXING           Back
   Open to any members who would like a great aerobic conditioning and toning program. No Tai Chi experience required. Attend one or both classes. Enjoy an exciting aerobic workout using easy to learn martial arts techniques of Kick boxing. Develop explosive energy, strength, endurance while burning calories and learning self defense moves. Use punches, kicks, elbows, knees, etc. in a completely safe environment while having a great time. You'll feel and see yourself change in a short time. Have fun with this total body workout taught by highly qualified and experienced instructors.


TRADITIONAL TAOIST HEALING TECHNIQUES           Back
   A variety of practical, useful and simple techniques are taught in this class that may be used to achieve a superior level of health. Acupressure, massage, Chi building, conserving and transmitting for healing, diet, herbs, Chi Kung exercises, meditation, breathing, sound and music as well as other related subjects will be covered to provide you with a well rounded background to traditional Chinese healing methods.


SHORT FORM REVIEW           Back
   A group class wherein you will review sequentially each posture of the Yang Style Tai Chi Short Form in intense detail. This is an extremely valuable class to assist you in reaching the optimum development, benefits and enjoyment of your Tai Chi Form. Review important concepts and principles of Tai Chi including:
       · Breathing techniques
       · Proper alignment
       · Weight distribution
       · Arm movements
       · Foot placement and steps
       · Relaxation,
       · Opening/closing,
       · Muscle tone, etc.
   You may attend any class which is reviewing a posture you have already learned in your regular Tai Chi Short Form Class.


PUSH HANDS           Back
   Learn a series of solo and partner drills designed. to improve the reactions, physical communication and body dynamics between two players. The players cooperate with each other, rather than opposing the movement or intention of the partner. These exercises are relaxing yet exciting and fun.
   Push hands is an excellent way to discover any areas that need additional attention in your Tai Chi Form. Special focus is directed to improving your sensitivity to detect and guide subtle changes in weight, movement and muscle tone or tension while working with a partner.
   This type of training is absolutely necessary to arrive at a balance of yin and yang in your Tai Chi applications to daily life. Push Hands training is one (1) prerequisite for anyone interested in learning the martial art o f Tai Chi since only by interacting with another will you be able to apply the Tai Chi principles in a self defense situation.
   This experience will lead you to discover how to apply the Taoist philosophy to your day to day activities to reduce stress and live more efficiently.


ADVANCED PUSH HANDS           Back
   Students who have some experience in Push Hands will benefit by adding a variety of new techniques requiring increased sensitivity and awareness. More movement is used including stepping, shifting, several hand and arm techniques that allow for more options in the application of Push Hands.
   These techniques will allow students to use Push Hands theory to improve their Tai Chi solo form practice,understanding of Tai Chi principles and philosophy, application of Push Hands in practical self-defense, and to use Push Hands effectively in tournament competition.
   Prerequisites: Completion of the Tai Chi Short Form, Minimum of 6 months Push Hands practice and Approval of Sifu.


ADVANCED FUNDAMENTALS OF THE TAI CHI FORM           Back
   This is a class for experienced practitioners to explore in depth the meaning and application of Tai Chi concepts and principles based on their extensive knowledge gained. by continuous study and investigation of Tai Chi exercises and the several traditional Tai Chi written texts, including study of the Tao Te King and the I Ching.
   Each week, one of the Tai Chi principles is emphasized through lecture, question and answer and individual exercises to insure that the student gains a thorough understanding and ability to apply the Tai Chi principles.


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH TEACHING           Back
   Learn in depth information about Tai Chi by "teaching". You will explore Tai Chi from the perspective of a teacher without the requirement of being formally accepted into the Apprenticeship Teaching Program, with its specific commitments to time, administrative work and teaching classes.
   This is also a good opportunity to discover if you would like to actually become a Tai Chi teacher in the future by examining the requirements and level of knowledge, application and understanding necessary to teach Tai Chi either as an assistant in the school or independently, outside of the school.


PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE TAI CHI FORM           Back
   Learn the multiple potential self defense uses of each posture and transitions of the Tai Chi form as a method. of enhancing your understanding of Tai Chi concepts and principles. Techniques will include: Evasions, escapes, strikes (both open and closed hands and kicking), grabs and locks, pressure point strikes, etc.
   Traditionally, students studied Tai Chi as a martial art and not just a health system. An increased awareness of the yang side of Tai Chi will assist you in reaching the highest levels of development and balance in your training by providing a guide to the accuracy of your techniques.


TWO PERSON SET           Back
   This is a choreographed series of movements performed slowly and with full control with a partner to illustrate and practice the proper use of Tai Chi postures in a traditional fighting situation. These moves will teach you the correct use and understanding of distance, range, angles, footwork, yielding to force, deflection of force and the ability to use the opponents strength against himself for the successful use of Tai Chi for self defense.
   If you have also studied the Practical Applications of the Tai Chi Form, now you will get a better sense of flowing your techniques and increase your feeling of coordination, balance, strength and. agility in performing Tai Chi.


WEAPONS FORMS           Back
   (Flute or Short Stick, Broadsword and Double-edged Sword)
   These beautiful solo weapons forms are wonderful methods to enhance the development of your body, balance, coordination, strength and Chi by the performance of the long flowing movements of the Broadsword, the subtle and. graceful changes in the Double-edged Sword and the aggressive, bold spirit and speed of the Flute. The use of a weapon aids in the improvement of your strength and flexibility while providing another example of the the Tai Chi principles.
   Each form is taught separately and sequentially beginning with the Flute Form continuing with the Broadsword Form, then concluding with the DoubleEdged Sword Form.


TOURNAMENT OR COMPETITION TAI CHI           Back
   Learn how to create your own Tai Chi form ( empty hand or weapon) and push hands techniques which can be used in contemporary tournament competition, similar to gymnastics exhibitions. This prograni is for the experienced practitioner who wishes to use tournament settings to "test" their development, understanding arid. application of the Tai Chi principles.
   Tournaments * are also an excellent method of exchanging information and techniques with other players and teachers from different Tai Chi schools thereby expanding and elevating your own level of knowledge.


TAI CHI SPARRING           Back
   The use of Tai Chi techniques including punching, kicking, locks and grabs, deflections, reversals and other strategy will be taught to confirm your ability to apply Tai Chi for self defense. This class is quite strictly supervised and restricted to advanced practitioner's only. Safety equipment ( such as headgear, gloves, mouth piece, pads, etc.) will be required to allow the realistic and danger-free use of restrained arid controlled force.


APPRENTICESHIP TEACHING           Back
   Participation is open to all students at the invitation of Sifu.
   Among the criteria for admission are: successful completion of all prerequisite courses, demonstration of a high degree of proficiency in skill and an exceptional attitude. This is a specially developed program designed to perfect your teaching skills. You will be able to teach at various levels over a period of 3 to 5 years, leading to certification enabling you to pursue a Tai Chi teaching career, either within the Tai Chi School or independently.


TEACHER INTENSIVE           Back
   Work one on one with Sifu. Instruction will be focused on improving your understanding, teaching techniques and skill level. Individual areas of personal interest will be addressed allowing, you to choose from various specializations within Tai Chi and related. health fields. This class is open only to members of the Apprenticeship Program.


TEACHER INTENSIVE WORKSHOP           Back
   A periodic workshop for members of the Apprenticeship Program concentrating on working out (form, meditation, Chi Kung, push hands, weapons, fighting techniques, sparring, etc.) to hone your personal skills and conditioning while working directly with Sifu and other advanced students.


WORKSHOPS (see workshop schedule)           Back
   Specific and individual workshops focusing on a particular aspect of Tai Chi and related training within one session. Lasting several hours, these workshops will give you the opportunity to concentrate on subjects which may not be taught on an ongoing basis in the school.
   Occasional guest teachers will help you to expand your understanding and foundation. These workshops are designed to be hands on so that you can actually practice and more easily retain the information covered.
   Reference materials such as books, audio tapes and video tapes of the workshops are available to allow you to get the most out of your training.