We offer a structured curriculum that provides students with the tools for daily practice, helps students build tai chi skills, opens the doors to the transformations of body, mind, and energy required to embody tai chi principles, and develops interactive and martial abilities.
People come to the practice of tai chi chuan with diverse goals, different levels of health and fitness, and varying commitment and availability for practice. We work to provide valuable experiences to all, from those interested in a casual introduction to a unique bodymind discipline to those who want to devote themselves to in-depth and serious study of the practice.
Students begin by learning Animal Frolics qigong and basic Form Sequences as an introduction to learning the 37-posture form developed by Cheng Manching based on the traditional large-frame Yang family form. Students typically take between 6 and 12 months to learn the form and then spend a similar period on form refinement, deepening, and corrections.
After that, students can begin study of push hands (tui shou) and sword (taiji jian); further form refinement is encouraged at all levels of study.
Push hands is centered on partner work, including a range of cooperative drills as well as free pushing practice. Drills provide structured exercises to explore and develop skills such as responsiveness, listening, lightness, rooting, sticking and following. These drills also help students develop a repertoire of movement and response that can then be applied in unstructured free pushing.
Sword practice includes study of the 55-posture Yang sword form, practice of cutting drills, and fencing. Sword practice helps students develop lightness and agility in stepping, improved sensitivity, and skill in working with external forces and objects.
As students mature in practice, we introduce additional exercises and standing meditation practices. These exercises help students develop a more internal understanding of themselves and enable the fundamental physical, mental, and energetic transformations needed to truly be a tai chi player.
We offer a safe space for students of all abilities, backgrounds, genders, and orientations. It doesn't seem like we should need to say this, but in 2017, we do. All are welcome!