Qigong Health Exercises
Qigong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi), translated as "life energy".
Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide for recreation, exercise and relaxation, preventive medicine and self-healing, alternative medicine, meditation and self-cultivation, and training for martial arts.
Chen Family Tai Chi
Chen Tai Chi is the original style of Taijiquan a set of martial arts techniques laid out in a continuing set of movements. It comes in two styles old frame and new frame. We currently teach mainly old frame but parts of new frame do appear in the Chen 18 Form which is a mixture of both old frame and new frame movements.
Chen Style Hand Forms
We currently teach Chen 11 form which is ideal for beginners, this can be taught in two ways forward facing in one direction or with a turn to the left in the form. We find it easiest to teach the forward facing form as there is less problems than when turning as left hand or leg and right hand or leg can easily get mixed up to begin with.
We also teach a slightly longer form of 18 postures which combines both old frame and new frame movements while this can be slightly confusing its length is short enough to get over this difficulty quickly.
From here we can move on to the main hand form of Chen Family Taijiquan namely Lao Jia Yi Lu consisting of 74 postures of which many are repeated. To help the student feel they are progressing we have chosen to teach sections one, two and six first as these can be played together while three, four and five can be added in later to complete the whole form.
Chen Style Weapons Forms
In classes, the most commonly taught weapons forms are the fan forms. We started with the simple Chen 11 fan, and moved on through Beautiful Sunset to longer Chen forms. Some of our instructors also practise and will teach Sword forms on demand.
Yang Family Tai Chi
The Yang family first became involved in the study of t'ai chi ch'uan (taijiquan) in the early 19th century. The founder of the Yang-style was Yang Lu-ch'an , aka Yang Fu-k'ui , (1799–1872), who studied under Ch'en Chang-hsing starting in 1820. Yang became a teacher in his own right, and his subsequent expression of t'ai chi ch'uan became known as the Yang-style, and directly led to the development of other three major styles of t'ai chi ch'uan , Chen, Sun and Wu. Yang Lu-ch'an (and some would say the art of t'ai chi ch'uan, in general) came to prominence as a result of his being hired by the Chinese Imperial family to teach t'ai chi ch'uan to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards in 1850, a position he held until his death.
Yang Style Hand Forms
We currently teach the Yang Long Form (108) moves, the John Ding Short form, Yang 8 and 10, and the internationally standardised Yang 24 forms. At the inception of the Shen Tai Chi Academy group, we worked with Master John Ding, and his style is still taught. More recently we have been working with Master Faye Yip of the Chinese Health Association to develop the Yang 24 form and the Health Regulating Qi Gong
Yang Style Weapons Forms
Having dabbled with a few sword forms and fan forms, the only Weapons form currently practiced regularly in classes is the Yang 10 Fan form.