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. The TJCC studio has comfortable carpeting and you're welcome to keep your shoes on or take them off, whichever you prefer.

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 so in time we can learn how to use the legs and larger muscles of the body in a relaxed way.

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. Also, standing meditation provides us with an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with our minds and bodies without any form of distraction.

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, etc.) Tai chi and Chi Kung are similar and depending on the teacher might blend together as one. Tai chi generally has more of a martial aspect, whereas Chi Kung 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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