What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art practiced as a series of individual movements flowing smoothly from one to another in sequence. It is practiced primarily for health and wellbeing with major benefits being enhanced balance and fall prevention. By practicing Tai Chi, the body becomes stronger and more supple and the mind becomes calmer and better able to deal with adversity. Breathing deepens and there is an increased feeling of wellbeing.
We teach the long form (108 movements) of Yang style Tai Chi. This form is broken into three sections so you learn the easier, first section in the beginning class, the more challenging second section in the intermediate class and the balance of the moves in the advanced class.
The Beginning Class
This class is for people with minimal or no Tai Chi experience. You will learn and practice the Tai Chi basics of relaxed movement, body centering, weight shifting and slow, deep breathing as well as the first seventeen moves of the form.
Every week we go through the entire first section but also teach the individual movements one at a time. At the end of about six weeks most students have a general understanding of how to perform this section; however, you may stay in the beginning class as long as you wish.
The Intermediate Class
Having improved strength and balance in the beginning class, intermediate students move on to the slightly more difficult second section. There is a lot of repetition of moves from the beginning class so the second section is easier to learn. Students learn how to make the movements more continuous and flowing, relax the body more deeply and initiate each move from the waist/core. If you have already practiced Tai Chi for several years you might find this class a good place to start.
The Advanced Class
Advanced students learn the third section and practice the entire 108 movement form. This may sound daunting but it is not as difficult as you might imagine. We often break this class into smaller groups to focus on the needs of students at different skill levels. This class is 90 minutes: the first hour focused on Tai Chi and the optional last part devoted to the arts of Hsing-I and BaGua which are sister arts to Tai Chi.
If you have questions about which level is right for you, ask us for a recommendation of where to start. Black belts Carol and Ken Emerson have been teaching Tai Chi in SaddleBrooke for nine years and have studied martial arts for over 30 years.
Classes in SaddleBrooke
HOA 1 Fitness Center
Beginning: Wednesday 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., Friday 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Sunday 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Intermediate: Thursday 11:00 a.m. to noon (New!), Saturday 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Advanced: Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information contact Carol or Ken Emerson at 825-9206. Fee is $11 per class or six classes for $54 if you buy the series of six classes.