(Tai Ji Tu) Birmingham Tai Chi Club

Uniquely uplifting tai chi classes

Classes are currently postponed until further notice.

It's like yoga

Tai Chi is based on the same principles as Yoga and has similar exercises. Called "meditation in motion", it's good for relaxation.

Its like dance

Practiced solo, in pairs and in groups, Tai Chi is much like dancing. But Tai Chi is not made for showing off, all moves are balanced.

It's like karate

Tai Chi represents the ideal way to move, to control your own body and to manipulate others too. Every movement has a combat application.

"Balance your Yin & Yang by practicing traditional Chinese Yang-style Tai Chi at any branch of Birmingham Tai Chi Club, for a longer, healthier life, with a little luck."

Explore traditional Chinese tai chi in Brum

Cast away the stress of daily working life by unwinding in a relaxing atmosphere to engage in the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi, also known as Meditation in Motion. If you can breathe and move a little, you can do tai chi! The moves are not physically demanding, but still do a lot for improving fitness & balance.

Why? Here's the Benefits

Where? Here's the Locations

To be announced.

Training Methods / Exercises

Tai Shou - Pushing Hands

The "Pushing Hands" exercise is usually more stimulating than solo form practice. Pushing Hands is all about the exchange of energy between two people, while one tries to off-balance the other.

Solo Forms

Solo forms are sequences of key tai chi movements, to be practiced individually, often synchronised in a group. This is an easy way to practice all of the ideal moves and postures involved in Tai Chi.

Breathing Exercises

Chi Gong breathing exercises have less stepping than solo forms. Chi Gong focuses on breathing and coordination of breath with simple body movements. Quite like Yoga, but usually standing up.

Sticking Hands

Sticking hands comes from Wing Chun Kung Fu, it's like Pushing Hands but not just pushing and pulling. There's punching and blocking, like in karate, but hands-on, balanced and non-aggressive.

Introducing Tai Chi

Tai chi or 'Tai Ji Quan' in romanised Chinese is one of the oldest and richest martial arts in the world. Tai Ji can be roughly translated as cosmos, whilst Quan means fist. The name cosmic fist hints at the spiritual/ethereal aspect of Tai Chi, whilst making it clear that Tai Chi is – essentially – a martial art. One can study Tai Chi for many reasons, but one cannot gain maximum benefit from it if the clear & distinct aim behind Tai Chi is lost: that of defence.

People approach Tai Chi from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, existing physical abilities, and many different – indeed sometimes conflicting – motivations: increased confidence; an ability to defend oneself; a relaxed attitude; a defence against future health problems; for alleviation of existing health problems; for better balance and flexibility: these are but a few of the benefits of Tai Chi.

I first became interested in Tai Chi during a two year period in China, where I taught English. Tai Chi is still a relevant part of Chinese life. If one wakes up early enough all they have to do is look through the window and every sunrise there will be evidence of Tai Chi. Sometimes when I looked at them practicing, the movements reminded me of the way people move in my dreams: slow, graceful, and yet purposeful.

Chinese cities are designed so that there are squares, parks, and other open spaces so that people can congregate to practice the sport or games of their choice. I often passed people as they practiced chess, played mahjong or badminton, or learnt to roller-skate. But the activity that really struck me and drew me in was Tai Chi.

Every time I passed a group of people practicing Tai Chi I stopped to admire the beauty, poise and poetry of those ancient and alluring movements. Very soon I decided & acted upon the urge to take up practice myself. After a few unsuccesful attempts to master the art with the benefit of online guides it became clear a tutor would be the best way forward. After many months of sometimes frustrating, often transcendent, and always challenging practice I began to see Tai Chi as a friend and guide.

Tai Chi is not a miracle cure for any of life's ills and for most it is certainly not a religion. Tai Chi is, however, a good means towards achieving more peace, and it is certainly a good defence against the emotional stresses and physical strains of modern life.

Living in China can be a demanding task and I joined the Chinese people in their wonderful art form that gives one a reminder of peace during hard times. The Chinese have used Tai Chi for centuries as an anchor as the tides of progression come out and the waves of regression come back in again. To see someone with any skill practice Tai Chi is to see waves in and out, in and out.

Yang style Tai Chi was invented by Zhang San Feng in the late 13th Century. The story goes that he watched a crane and a snake fight. Inspired by what he saw, he discarded the hard style training of his youth (including hitting sand bags, using weights etc) and replaced it with a softer training system. This softer form concentrated on the inner arts: breath control; self-cultivation; the development of Chi and utilising slow movements to perfect the perfect moves.

Zhang San Feng borrowed and adapted already established principles of Daoism such as Yin-Yang and the Dan Tians (often referred to as Chakras in Indian culture). The most famous name associated with Daoism is Lao Zi (old boy). Lao Zi is often considered to be the founder of post-prehistoric Daoist thought and is one of the most famous of all Chinese philosophers. Although Lao Zi preceded modern standard Tai Chi by many centuries, many of his ideas and principles run through the very bloodstream of Tai Chi. An understanding of his works can be a great aid to understanding Tai Chi.

The study of Tai Chi is much more than the study of a martial art. It can be seen as a gateway into the life and ancient soul of the oldest and most populous country in our world. As China becomes stronger, a thorough understanding of the east becomes more pressing. We at Birmingham Tai Chi Club offer a drop into the ocean of this fabulous and ancient culture. Tai Chi is a martial art, a dance, a million poems, a connection with the Chinese, and thus our own, past.

– Geoff

Are you ready to get started?

Get started now! Pay as you go at only £3 per hourly class (further concessions are available for the unemployed). Unlimited classes around Birmingham.

Member Registration

Fill in the form to join the tai chi club today

If you'd like to join Birmingham Tai Chi Club, simply fill in the form and we'll be in touch with you as soon as possible. Membership entitles you to unlimited reduced-rate classes throughout Birmingham each week, plus free tai chi training DVDs produced by some of the UK's leading masters. So what are you waiting for – begin your tai chi journey here today.

(form coming soon)

Tai Chi classes at a glance

FAQ

Where do I pay?

All classes are pay-as-you-go at £3 per hour, but you must be a registered member in order to attend.

How many classes do I attend?

As a registered member, you can turn up to as many or as few classes as you like. We run classes all around Birmingham and you can turn up to whichever classes you like.

Where do I ask for more info?

You can phone or email us a any time for a swift response via the contact details at the top of this page.

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