T’ai Chi is an ancient Chinese “internal” martial art. The Chinese have been practicing T’ai Chi for health since at least 1736. Its origins as a martial art go back to the 1300’s. As opposed to “external” martial arts like Kung Fu and Karate that use movements based on muscular tension and explosive power, the movements of T’ai Chi are generated from within. They emphasize the balance of yin and yang, the redirection of energy, and yielding.
T’ai Chi is often described as “moving meditation.” Its graceful movements evolve from an internal focus on mind → intention → body. It is classified as a low-to-moderate intensity exercise. T’ai Chi practice provides aerobic, strength, and flexibility training. Its movements are easily adaptable to varying levels of ability.
The Chinese say that whoever practices T’ai Chi correctly twice a day will:
Gain the pliability of a child,
the health of a lumberjack,
and the peace of mind of a sage. (1)
T’ai Chi for Health
Medical evidence reveals that regularly practicing T’ai Chi for health results in improvements in blood pressure, stress, anxiety, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular functioning, cognitive ability, depression, lung capacity, and sleep. (2)
Who Can Practice T’ai Chi?
Everyone! However, with its slow, continuous, whole-body movements, Yang-style T’ai Chi is particularly helpful for seniors, those challenged with mobility issues, and those with joint problems. T’ai Chi can even be done seated!
All Good T’ai Chi Classes Have 3 Rules:
1. Move, bend and stretch as you are able. All Good T’ai Chi assumes no responsibility or liability for injuries.
2. Understand that this is not a competition. Relax! Relax! Relax!
3. Have fun!
T’ai Chi Classes
Practice is key to achieving the benefits of T’ai Chi. All Good T’ai Chi offers regular one hour community T’ai Chi classes five to six days a week. Beginning and Advanced students are welcome.
Classes emphasize the principles and exercises of T’ai Chi, which are immediately applicable to everyday lives. The exercises are based on Cheng Man-ch’ing’s Yang-style 37 posture short form.
Classes are FREE and are held in Montgomery County Recreation Centers in Silver Spring MD. Beginners and Drop-ins are welcome. Our lead instructor is Kirk Talbott.
At All Good T’ai Chi we enjoy learning, sharing and practicing T’ai Chi alone and together. Our favorite saying is that no matter what your level of ability is, “It’s All Good!”
There is no mystique to Tai Chi Chuan.
What is difficult is the perseverance.
It took me ten years to discover my chi,
but thirty years to learn how to use it.
Once you see the benefit, you won’t want to stop.
— Ma Yueh Liang
(1)Man-ch’ing, Cheng & Smith, Robert W. (1967), T’ai Chi, The ‘Supreme Ultimate’ Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense, Tuttle Publishing: Rochester Vt.
(2)Wayne, Peter M. & Fuerst, Mark L. (2013), The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart & Sharp Mind; Harvard Health Publications.