Taiji (Tai Chi)

Taiji (Tai Chi), the ancient Chinese art, involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. It is generally safe for all ages and fitness levels, especially older adult who may not be suitable for other exercises.

The benefits of Taiji include but not limited to

  • Decreased stress, anxiety and depression

  • Improved mood

  • Improved aerobic capacity

  • Increased energy and stamina

  • Improved flexibility, balance and agility

  • Improved muscle strength and definition

  • Improve overall well-being

  • Reduce risk of falls in older adults

Chen style Taiji is the most original form of Taiji, from which other styles (Yang, Sun, Wu, Woo styles) are derived. Our instructor Richard Zhu has been practicing Chen style Taiji since 2005. Not only he learned from the very best Taiji masters in China, include Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, and Ren Guangyi, but also translated the teacher’s Taiji theory text into English, and acted as the interpreter during annual training sessions in the U.S. from 2005 to 2017..

According to Richard, Taiji is interesting on several levels. On the foundational level, Taiji helps you understand the internal structure and connections of your own body. With this understanding, your movements become more focused, grounded and fluent. This is useful for any bodily activities such as sports or performing. It helps improve movement efficiency, reduce muscle fatigue and movement-related injuries.

On the next level, Taiji training helps recognize what mind is and how it operates in cooperation with body. You will realize your mind is a separate entity different from just thoughts. It has its own power over your body. On one hand, mind control helps improve body structure. On the other hand, Taiji body movements provide a clearer realization of your mind. With practice, your mind becomes more peaceful and less crowded, making an effect of “moving meditation”.

On an even higher level, Taiji helps to better understand oriental philosophy, be it Taoism, Buddhism or Confucianism. You see the scripts in a totally different angle, and the teachings in return guide you to better Taiji practice.

If you decide to participate in the journey, Richard asks for three things. Firstly, be open-minded, as the journey can be very different from your expectation. Secondly, be patient, as it takes effort and time to see the wonders. But lastly, be confident, if he can do it, you will too.