T’ai Chi at the Phoenix
The present T’ai Chi class at the Phoenix was established by Mike Stanley, who was a direct lineage student of Master Chee So. In 2005, Mike left Coventry, and at Mike’s suggestion the Club asked his two senior students to continue the class.
The classes are held throughout the year on Friday from 7.30 - 9.00pm. If you are interested, then come along for a class. If you have any questions about joining the class, it is normally possible to speak to someone before the class starts.
The Taoist Art of T’ai Chi Chuan
What is T’ai Chi?
T’ai Chi is both a fitness system and a health art. It is popularly known for it’s solo form. This is a long sequence of movements performed slowly in a harmonious and relaxed manner. These graceful movement patterns are often featured in video and TV footage from China.
There are several styles of T’ai Chi, often associated with different family traditions or individual teachers. The style we teach is the Lee Family style, bourght to England in the 1930’s by Master Chan Lee. When Master Lee died in 1954, the lineage passed to Master Chee Soo, his adopted nephew. This is the source of the teaching we now pass on.
What are the benefits of practicing T’ai Chi?
Regularly practicing T’ai Chi will help to keep you fit and healthy. T’ai Chi promotes physical well-being by improving the circulation, increasing muscular strength and flexibility (especially of tendons and ligaments), promoting deeper, stronger breathing, and providing general support to the nervous, digestive and immune systems. Students who practice T’ai Chi often report increased vitality, greater mental clarity and focus, and experience the form as a "moving meditation" that leaves them more relaxed and calm. T’ai Chi practice also promotes better posture, balance and co-ordination.
What happens in a class?
Each class starts with a series of easy warm up exercises to prepare the body and focus the attention of the mind. During a class we will practice and demonstrate the moves that make up the T’ai Chi form. K’ai Men exercises, also known as Taoist Yoga, are introduced. These exercises and stretches are controlled breathing that help to increase the flexibility and openness of the joints and muscles. Another form of breathing exercise, known as Tao Yin, that helps develop the body’s energy levels is also practised. We will practice T’ai Chi Flying Hands, another form that is performed more quickly and stimulates the gathering of energy. From time to time we will practice Sticking Hands, and other exercises working with a partner to help develop balance and sensitivity.
Classes are friendly and informal, and we will always find time to work with beginners to help get them started. Wear loose, comfortable clothing in which you can move easily. It is also best to wear soft shoes, pumps, or socks on the mats.
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