Ironwood Tai Chi

Frequently Asked Questions

What particular style of Tai Chi do you teach?
Primarily Yang style Tai Chi -- the 37 movement short form developed by Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing. Some of the single movement exercises are derived from the yang form. The standing meditation is not technically considered Tai Chi but the practice embodies the essential principles of Tai Chi and provides an excellent warm-up for the movement exercises.

Is Tai Chi a martial art?
Tai Chi originates from the martial arts. I offer it primarily as meditation and exercise, which is fairly common in the U.S. I will occasionally demonstrate the martial aspects of Tai Chi because knowing the martial aspect of a movement or posture can better help us understand the proper sense and alignment of our practice.
And to be precise, this practice may be found under two names:
Tai Chi: Which translated means something like 'Supreme Ultimate.'
Tai Chi Chuan: 'Supreme Ultimate Fist.' The Chuan (fist) implies that the martial is emphasized.

How should I dress for Tai Chi?
Dress comfortably, workout clothes are the best since we will be doing some stretching and movements.

What is a 'Gentle Workout?'
A gentle workout means that we are getting a form of exercise but with an emphasis on relaxing as much as possible at the same time. Different people have different experiences of increased heart rate and muscle tiredness before and after class/practicing. The one area of the body that you can probably expect to get something of a workout, at least in the beginning is the thighs. But relaxation is the first principle of Tai Chi, and in so doing, the natural structure will be regained, fascia strengthened, and a natural strength emerges. Weightlifting, many sports, and a lot of physical training activities may develop only the strength of the large muscles. Many are surprised by how much stronger and more powerful their bodies become after studying and practicing Tai Chi. And it comes from a place of ease and relaxation.

Why do you teach standing meditation?
Standing Meditation (Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung) does an excellent job of preparing us for Tai Chi. We learn how to relax, learn more about proper posture and how to increase the 'framework' in our bodies which we use in Tai Chi movements. Standing meditation provides us with an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with our minds and bodies. By intention, standing meditation is similar to many sitting meditatoin practices, but because we are standing, balancing, and holding a posture, we have more of an opportunity to feel what our body wants to tell us -- feel the feelings, make adjustments and allow for natural healing.

What is the difference between Tai chi and Qigong (Chi Kung)?
(Qigong -- most often pronounced 'chee gung', and spelled many ways -- Qigong, Chigung, Chi-gong, Chi Kung, etc.) Tai chi and Qigong are similar and depending on the teacher might blend together as one. Tai chi generally has more of a martial component, whereas Qigong focuses more on learning about feeling and moving the chi (energy) in the body. Both disciplines are good for exercising the body and promoting good health.

When is the best time to start studying Tai Chi?
Now. Every class is geared towards beginners and more advanced students alike.

Class Format
4 Principles
Watch the Masters
Reading List
Thank You
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