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Our Tai Chi includes Qigong as one of many practices... 

"Tai Chi Form" = T'ai Chi Ch'uan / Taijiquan = a solo practice

The style we teach in TCF is the 37-posture Yang Short Form, as developed by Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing - the first person to teach his Tai Chi outside of China. There are other Yang styles, and other styles whose lineage is via other ancient families, eg Chen or Wu. China once banned Tai Chi, but has now re-introduced a 24-posture "official" form. We teach the Form at Beginners, Fundamentals, and Intermediate levels. 

"Sensing Hands" = Twey Shou / Tui Shou = a 2 person practice 

This is a Tai Chi partner exercise that challenges students to continue to embody Tai Chi principles whilst interacting with another person - an additional distraction / pressure. Contact with a partner gives immediate feedback on your internal state. They are trying to sense, and then use, any tension (lack of relaxation) in you. You are trying to sense, and use, any tension in them. Both of you are learning to relax into all types of interaction. We teach Sensing (or Pushing Hands) to those who have done Fundamentals level form.

3 minutes on the concept of Qi 

"Sword" = T'ai Chi Chien / Taiji Jian = both a solo practice ("Sword form") and a 2 person practice ("Fencing") 

We teach Sword Form and Fencing only to experienced students - typically on TCF trainings or special weekend workshops. 

"5 Element Qigong" also known as "Roots & Branches" = Ch'i Kung / Qigong = a wellbeing practice  

All Tai Chi is Qigong... but not all Qigong is Tai Chi!


Ours definitely is, as it works with the flows of energy [= emotions] inherent in the positions in our Tai Chi form. We use 5 Element Qigong as a way to become more aware of these different energy flows [= emotions] in our body, and as a way to manage or regulate them. 

We focus on our breathing, and combine this with either holding of an individual position, continuously moving between left and right versions of the position, or developing this into a flowing 'walk'. We also have specific self massages associated with each energy / emotions. All this is supported with mental imagery. 

We teach Qigong in classes which typically focus in each class on just one particular energy / emotion, which is represented by a particular "element" in the Chinese system, and also associated with a season.


There are 5 seasons / elements / energies / emotions:

  • Winter = Water = Fear {or Courage / Strength in its positive form) 

  • Spring = Wood = Anger (or Assertion / Determination in its positive form) 

  • Summer = Fire = Joy / Excitement 

  • Harvest = Earth = Love / Nurture 

  • Autumn = Metal = Grief (or Letting Go / Being Re-inspired in its positive form) 

Regular practice of Qigong (like all Tai Chi) develops and balances our Qi (or Ch'i), a Chinese word often translated as 'energy', or sometimes 'breath' or even 'life force'. Although Qi is pronounced a bit like the Chi in Tai Chi, it is a different Chinese word. The video from TCF's "Roots & Branches" DVD explains the concept of "Qi". 

"The Eight Ways of Tai Chi" = an alternative approach to solo practice  

The Eight Ways uses pure imagery to call your body to move in accordance with Tai Chi principles. There are no mechanical instructions or precise indications. 


We occasionally teach this as a great deepening practice for experienced Tai Chi students, or a great introduction for those who have never done Tai Chi before.  

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