Tai-Chi (Taijiquan) Classes in the Aberystwyth & Machynlleth Area

private lessons to advance your understanding

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. My lessons are tailored to the individual student's abilities but designed for people who have a genuine interest in understanding how to develope 'internal' movement and are prepared to practice. If you are interested then contact me to start a dialog.

Sessions comprise of two core components.

chan si gong (silk reeling)

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 develop.

Traditionally exercises such as these would be the starting point for all new students, who would only be allowed to progress to learning a tai-chi 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. YouTube will then recommend additional clips from the same source which when combined demonstrate the complete sequence.

I add to these some of the highly detailed chan si gong taught to me by Chen Xiao-Wang such as this one being taught here by Chen Bing. To gain the full benefit of these exercises you have to understand how to move correctly.

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 level of ability the form taught is one of the following.

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 lao jia 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 shorter forms but is a much greater physical work out. It is far more complex, longer and more athletic than modern tai-chi forms, making it more demanding and far more rewarding. It is an excellent vehicle for developing a comprehensive understanding of six harmonies motion and introduces more advanced techniques such as 'fajing'.

Chen style 38 movement form

This is a shorter Chen style form that is based on the first half of the lao jia yi lu making it a good starting point to build on. It is less demanding than the lao jia yi lu; the more challenging movements of which are contained within its second half.

Yang style short form

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