FAQs for New Students – Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Taoist Meditation

Before you join read these

Do you teach children?

  • Lessons are for adults from the age of 18 years upwards.

Do I need experience to join?

  • No previous martial arts, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or meditation experience necessary, our classes are aimed at beginners.

Am I too old for Tai Chi or Qi Gong?

  • If you are able to stand and move for an hour,  you are able to practice and benefit from Tai Chi, no matter your age. Our students range from the age of 18 to 91.
  • We also teach chair based Tai Chi and Qigong, as the majority of movements can be adapted.

What do I wear?

  • Loose fitting and comfortable clothing e.g. tracksuit bottoms, t-shirt, sweatshirt.

Do we need to lie down?

  • Tai Chi and Qi Gong are done standing and moving, no floor work.
  • Meditation is carried out seated on a chair, bring a cushion if you find this more comfortable to place on the chair

Are there special shoes?

  • No special shoes are necessary.
  • You can wear socks, bare feet,  plimsolls, flat/thin soled trainers or martial arts shoes.
  • No heels of any height.

What is a Qi Gong set?

  • A Qigong set or routine are standing up ‘yoga-like’ exercises that repeated on both sides of the body.
  • The word ‘set’ describes a series of movements e.g. Earth Qi Gong for Women has 10 movements in the set.
  • Each movement will have a short sequence that is usually repeated 2 – 8 times on both sides of the body for symmetry.
  • Each movement can be practiced individually or can be put together as a whole routine.
  • Each movement will relate to a specific function in Traditional Chinese Medicine e.g. to stimulate the lung meridian.
  • Generally Qi gong is easier to learn.

What is the Tai Chi form?

  • There are two types of Tai Chi training, the Tai Chi drills known as silk reeling exercises and the Tai Chi form, which is a performance of choreographed movements.
  • As beginners we learn a ‘right handed’ form, also known as the ’empty hand’ form as no weapons are held.
  • The word ‘form’ describes a series of martial Qi Gong movements put together in a continuous pattern or choreography, performed in slow and focused manner.
  • The form is broken down into named movements e.g.  Move 3 Lazily Tying Coat.
  • Each form will have a number of movements/steps e.g. Chen 18 Form, Chen 74 form.
  • Each movement can be practiced and repeated individually or the whole form can be performed as one unit.
  • Generally Tai Chi is more taxing on the mind to learn.

What is the Difference Between Tai Chi and Qi Gong?

  • Qigong is an ancient Taoist exercise practice (formally known as Dao-yin) used as a preventative and restorative exercise health system for mind and body. From circa 4000 years ago.
  • Tai Chi uses the principles of Qigong movement as a basis for an internal martial art, practiced today mainly for health benefits. From circa 300 years ago.
  • The Relationship Between Wuji, Taiji and Qigong by Yang Yang, Ph.D

Do you need to be fit to do Tai Chi or Qi Gong?

  • The beginner courses are suitable for beginners, no matter of fitness level or physical condition.
  • Each student works within their own range of motion and capabilities.
  • The movements can be adapted to the individual, everyone is welcome to join the classes, we are happy to accommodate all levels, abilities and encourage beginners who have not exercised in a while.
  • The movements can be deceptively demanding, always work within your own ability and range of motion.

As with all forms of exercise please seek guidance from your Doctor before joining a class. Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation are not a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment.

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