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Yang style Tai Chi classes will take place inthe exercise studio, 6th Floor Swee Saw Hock building, on Mondays 6-8pm
£3 a lesson
Taijiquan or ‘Tai Chi Chuan’ literally translated means ‘Supreme Ultimate Fist’, a soft, ‘internal’ martial art which has become the most popularly practised exercise, worldwide.
Originally developed more than a thousand years ago, by Taoist monks, as a means to compliment their static meditations, it was adopted by the retired officer elite who combined knowledge of battlefield techniques, to create a fluid set of yogic/martial movements, benefitting health and longevity.
Tai Chi can and is performed at many levels, the most common being to focus on the internal to relax and tone the body and to relieve stress, a modern-day malaise which is thought to be the cause of far more serious health issues, over time.
There is a common misconception that Tai Chi is only for old or retired people but in fact, if it is learned at a young age it can strengthen the underlying body-mechanics matrix which will support many other physical activities throughout life. Furthermore, performed alone or with a group, it is fully transportable and requires no special clothing or equipment. Practitioners of other martial arts will find the specific core-strength exercises or neigong, useful as they enhance body co-ordination and Qi - the natural energy of the body, for self defence.
Tai chi is commonly taught with Qigong (‘Chi Kung’) a quiet-standing art which coupled with breathing exercises, promotes relaxation and increased blood flow/antibody counts. There is a huge body of research been carried out on both Tai Chi and Qigong, since the 1970’s which verifies their remarkable health benefits, if regularly practiced. In the last few years, cutting-edge techniques utilising brain-wave electroencephalograms and heart rate variability monitoring, demonstrate scientifically that these arts do assist deep relaxation, health and to relieve the build up of stress.
Classes and seminars in Yang Style Taijiquan, (Tai Chi) are being held weekly by Tracy Elner, who has been practicing the health, healing and martial fundamentals of Tai Chi for more than 35 years. He has taught these over the last twenty years during which he organised and appeared in the TV programme 01 for London, showing how they can be used to re-balance and energise daily lives.
Tracy began his journey with Judo and Karate when he was 9 years old, but it was a chance meeting with Graham Horwood in his teens which gave him exposure to the Chinese martial arts, firstly with Shaolin Hung Kuen and then the internal arts; Baguazhang, (‘Ba Gua’), Tai Chi. Xingyiquan (‘Hsing I’) and Yiquan (‘I Chuan’).
Graham himself had learnt with Chu King Hung one of the adopted sons of Yang Sau Chung (Yang Family 4th generation lineage holder). Chu’s earlier teacher was Han Xing Yuen, an extraordinary exponent of Baguazhang, Xingyiquan and Yiquan. The latter, Yiquan, was an eclectic art distilled by Wang Zang Zhai, Han’s teacher in the 1920s, and is essentially a formless energetic neigong exercise, focusing on standing meditation, breathing, walking and specific martial practice.
Tracy emphasises the inner work aspects or neigong in the Tai Chi which Graham taught him and which complements other martial arts, energy-bodywork and meditative practices.
Students should consider committing to a term’s (10 weeks) practice to fully benefit from Tai Chi.