Tai Chi Anyone?

Tai Chi has been named by Harvard Medical School as one of the best 5 exercises you can do, so why would you not give it a go?

 

Have you ever watched people practising Tai Chi and wished you could do those fluid, smooth movements but thought there was no way that you could ever find that peace and calm yourself?  Well anyone can find the benefits of Tai Chi, like any skill it just takes practice and the guidance of a good teacher.

 

At Jian Taiji we have two fully qualified instructors, Ian and Janet, who have both been dedicated to studying this internal Chinese system since 1996.  We are here to help you on your way to improved health, co-ordination, flexibility and body awareness. Having two instructors allows us to give each student individual instruction and guidance to make the most out of each class – whether you are a pure beginner or have previous experience, something other classes can’t offer.

 

The system we teach, the Chen family style, is also well known for it’s martial arts roots and as you get further along the path of Tai Chi these can be introduced as part of your development.

What are the health benefits of Tai Chi?

Well, there have been many documented medical studies into the health benefits of Taiji confirming that it:

  • Boosts immune system – protecting the body against illness
  • Increases bone density – supports and strengthens the joints, essential for all and invaluable for sufferers of arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Improves balance – most illnesses in older people originate from trips and falls
  • Reduces stress – improves mental health, reduces tension and anxiety, increases positivity and aids sleep
  • Strengthen lungs – continuous “thread” of co-ordinated breath improves oxygen absorption and lung capacity helping to control symptoms of asthma, bronchitis etc
  • Aids weight loss – stimulates digestion and fat absorption and improves muscle tone

Along with all those physical benefits, the practice of Tai Chi also develops many other qualities such as self-discipline, mental resilience & focus, strength of character and confidence.

 

Sounding good? Well as we mentioned above, we teach the Chen family style which is the oldest documented style of Tai chi and started life over 400 years ago and is still going strong…

 

The History of Tai Chi

Chen Taijiquan (the mandarin spelling of Tai Chi) originates from Chenjiagou, a small rural village in Northern China. It was created by Chen Wangting in the 1600’s who, as a retired Army General, worked on developing martial arts into an all-encompassing system containing Yin Yang philosophy, Tu-na breathing techniques and Traditional Chinese Medical Theory. This became classed as an internal style of martial arts.

 

During the following decades Chen Taijiquan was passed down through the generations of the Chen family and there are many tales of their exploits as they used their skills to defend their village and make a living as bodyguards and escorting trade caravans. Due to this their techniques were closely guarded until 14th generation Master Chen Chengxing revised the numerous routines and taught the first non-family member Yang Luchan. Yang simplified the Chen family routines and his system became known as Yang Taiji, this became popularised throughout China and led to other off-shoots being created.

 

Meanwhile, Chen Taijiquan remained relatively obscure, only thriving in the village where it began. However, in 1928, 17th generation Chen Fake was invited to demonstrate his martial skills in Beijing. His ability amazed the Wushu (martial art) community with his neutralising skills and explosive power being far removed from what they understood to be Taiji. This began the spread of Chen Taijiquan through China and in recent times the world.

Jian Taiji School

Janet and Ian, Jian Taiji co-instructors, have had the good fortune to be able to train with a number of senior Chen family Grandmasters in small group sessions both in Manchester and during repeated trips to China to train at the source since 1997. They became fascinated with the philosophy, history and depth of wisdom behind this pure internal art that had been passed down through the generations of one family. Through regular practice they found enjoyment in the challenge of learning Taijiquan and a sense of achievement as they progressed and wanted to pass this on to other people.

 

This led us to start our own Tai Chi school, Jian Taiji, and we now have classes in Manchester, Stockport and Tameside where we offer progressive learning in a friendly atmosphere to improve each students individual level of ability regardless of age or fitness.

 

Want to know more about us or Chen Tai Chi? Why not have a look at our website www.jiantaiji.co.uk , find us on Facebook or get in touch on jispiral@aol.com and we look forward to helping you start on your journey…

 

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