Class meets on Sunday mornings at 8 am, at the St. Johns Cultural Arts Center/The Dance Company: 370 A1A Beach Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080. Please contact me at: 904-806-7123
This is a short description or outline of the Tai chi program. Regardless of when you join the program, every student will go through the same process in order to progress in his/her studies. Classes are ongoing.
Jibengong are basic, foundational drills or exercises that are designed to prepare the student’s body for further study..The study of tai chi is very similar to the study of music. Notes of the basic scale are learned. Combination of notes to create chords and harmony and so on. To learn the tai chi form without the basic jibengong exercises, is like playing the radio and think one is creating music.
Kai Men Gong
Kai Men Gong are joint opening exercises. kai Men means “open gate” in Chinese and in our curriculum these exercises are taught to help the student open the 18 main joints of the body through a progressive series of drills practiced in a repetitive mode. Improved circulation, flexibility, and coordination are but a few of the benefits derived from these exercises.
Standing Practice – Zhan Zhuang
Throughout the history of the internal arts, all dedicated practitioners have embraced daily practice and study of Zhan Zhuang training. Often translated as “standing post” the term is used to describe a buried stick in the ground and the imagery aids in learning standing practice and the cultivation of stillness.. The practice is the cornerstone in the building of the Tai chi body and of internal energy.
After the above training, the student’s body is prepared for an introduction to the Yang style of tai chi.. The first section is perhaps the most important section of the 108 postures form. It is here that the above training is put into practice, and the body skills honed in this section serve as a platform for continuation of the rest of the form. Introduction to the eight energies of Tai chi start here on the first section of the form.
During the second and third section of the long Yang form, the student is introduced to practice of Ding Shi. Similar to Zhan Zhuang, Ding Shi focuses on holding tai chi postures for a predetermined number of breaths. Gradually the student holds postures from 2 breaths per posture to around 6 breaths per postures depending on the amount of personal practice. By the end of the third section, the student will have a solid grasp of the postures, Qi Gong, and be prepared for Tai chi Tui Shou or Sensing Hands (push hands)
Push Hands – Sensing Hands
At this level, the student is introduced to Sensing Hands practice. Principles, concepts and basic tai chi understanding is brought to light through this practice. Focus is on development of “Listening” skills at the point of contact.