What would classes in Chen Taiji consist of?
All our classes start with some warm up exercises to loosen up the joints and muscles. We then do some static exercises called silk reeling (or chansijin in Chinese) that are designed to teach the body how to move correctly with Taiji principles. These are then developed into stepping versions before we split into smaller groups to learn the Taiji form. This is the continuous sequence of movements people most commonly associate with Taiji and we teach this in smaller groups so students can learn at their own pace.
More advanced students will also learn pushing hands techniques - these are two person exercises that teach sensitivity, spatial awareness and 'listening' skills. They are the stepping stones from Taiji form to learning martial applications.
Weapons forms are also taught later on to teach the body different skills.
What do I need to wear?
Loose comfortable clothing (eg t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms or similar) and flat flexible shoes are best.
Do I need to practice between classes?
Not compulsary but highly recommended. Regular practice trains the movements into the body and enhances the physical and mental benefits. You will also be able to relax and enjoy it more when you remember the postures.
Why are there different ways of spelling of Taiji / Tai Chi / Taijiquan?
They all refer to the same system. Tai Chi is the Wades-Giles translation while Taiji is the common Chinese pinyin name. Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan is the full name but it is often shortened to Taiji or Tai Chi. The term quan means fist and relates to the martial aspect.