Frequently Asked Questions
What does Tai Chi mean?
“Tai Chi” means “Supreme Ultimate”. This relates to the “Tao” or “Way of Nature”. The ancient Chinese endeavoured to live in harmony with nature to gain the full benefits of life. Tai Chi reflects this ideal. The full name “Tai Chi Chuan” translates as “Supreme Ultimate Fighting Art” This speaks for itself!
Who can do Tai Chi?
Any able bodied person can practice Tai Chi regardless of age or fitness level. Often seen as merely “gentle exercise for old people”, anyone can benefit from the art. The seemingly gentle, graceful movements can be deceptively demanding, and the better you get at controlling the body the more you exercise muscles you didn’t know you had! However, Tai Chi is relatively easy on the joints, and many conditions that would restrict someone in most exercise can actually be improved by Tai Chi.
How often should I practice?
This is personal. People normally start with a weekly class, and depending on their motivation to advance may start another, and practice at home in their own time. The more practice, the greater the benefit, and the quicker the advancement.
Can I get hurt?
Because Tai Chi is mainly slow and controlled, the risk of injury is very small. As with other exercise, the body may ache a little afterwards as the muscles develop. The self-defence side of the art (which is not compulsory) is relatively more controlled than in other martial arts, and injury is very rare. We work cooperatively in order to help each other progress with our practice.
When will I feel any benefits?
You can immediately feel more relaxed or energized, and the physical or emotional benefits can be experienced after a few weeks of practice. The better you get at Tai Chi, the better you feel!
What style of Tai Chi do you teach?
We teach a comprehensive syllabus, drawing on experienced gained from training intensively with various Masters from the Yang Style Lineage. Beginners start with the Huang Sheng Shyan Form, which focuses primarily on the deep release of habitual tension in the mind and body. More complex material is taught as students progress. The teachings of the famous Yang Lu Chan (“Yang the Invincible”), the founder of Yang Style, were the first to be coined “Tai Chi Chuan”.
Master/ Lineage (what is the significance)?
To learn Tai Chi Chuan to its full potential it is important to seek out a Master (or someone who has trained under one for several years). This is because of the hidden complexity of the art which can be misinterpreted, thereby watering down its true depth. When a Tai Chi Master imparts his/her entire knowledge to their chosen Disciple(s) (traditionally their son/daughter or a person of exceptional character), and they reach an extremely high skill level, the next Master in the Lineage is created.