Tai-Chi Classes in West Wales

I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn or to further their understanding of this art, as a result fees are by donation but I would hope this will reflect what you feel they are worth and your financial circumstances. If you are interested then contact me to start a dialog.

Classes comprise of two core components.

chan si gong

The first component is called chan si gong, which translates as silk reeling exercises. These are a type of qigong (chi kung) that is specifically designed to teach tai-chi movement and will allow you to begin to develope your body in the unique way of the internal arts. They allow me to pass on my understanding of the six harmonies motion movement system that tai-chi employs. They are both extensive and comprehensive and are interspersed with joint loosening exercises which open the body to the flow of energy that these exercises develope.

Traditionally exercises such as these would be the starting point for all new students, who would only be allowed to progress to learning a form when some degree of ability and understanding had been developed. This ensures that when a form is learnt the body movement is done correctly, preventing errors from becoming ingrained. As a stand alone system they allow tai-chi to be learnt without doing martial based movements.

The video below shows edited extracts of Master Zhang Xue-Xin performing the comprehensive chan si gong he taught me. Utube will then recommend additional clips which ultimately show most of the sequence. I add to these some of the highly detailed chan si gong taught to me by Chen Xiao-Wang such as this.

tai-chi form

The second component is a 'foundation form' which is what people commonly recognise as tai-chi; a sequence of interconnected flowing movements performed predominantly in slow motion. This builds on the elemental knowledge developed in the chan si gong.

Depending on preferences and levels of ability the form taught is either a Yang style short form or the Chen style lao jia yi lu.

Yang style short form

Derivations of this form are the most commonly taught tai-chi today and are suitable for all ages and abilities. This gentle exercise emphasises relaxation, softness and posture. It develops a calm mind and can be considered as meditation in motion.

Chen style lao jia yi lu

Laojia translates as 'old frame' and describes the earliest known forms of tai-chi chuan. Yi lu means first path, meaning the first form learned in the system. Yi lu's are the foundation forms that underpin the entire system and as such remain important throughout ones development. They characterise tai-chi in that they are comprised mainly of slow movements. The laojia yi lu is one of the oldest known tai-chi forms and is the form that all the first sets of all the major styles have developed from. It is over 200 years old and is an amalgamation and evolution of several 250 - 300 year old forms devised by Chen Wang-Ting the originator of Chen style tai-chi; with many of the movements being far older than that.

The lao jia yi lu has all the benefits of the short form but is a much greater physical work out. It is far more complex, longer and more athletic than modern Yang style forms, making it far more demanding. It is an excellent vehicle for developing a comprehensive understanding of six harmonies motion and introduces more advanced techniques such as 'fajing'.