COREhealth Tai Chi and Chi Kung clubs currently run in Sherborne and Yeovil supporting Tai Chi students of all ages from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Some come with Stress & other Health problems, some for Relaxation, Exercise & Fun, others to study for its own rewards and some out of plain curiosity.
Maximum size of attendance at any one session is limited to 15, so everyone gets personal attention and can see what is going on!
The BBC's 'Trust me, I'm a doctor' set out to discover whether Tai Chi is as good for you as vigorous exercise. They ran a series of tests on presenter Dr Michael Mosley as well as two test groups, one of which did zumba and the other Tai Chi. View this three minute clip(link is external).
"As might be expected, our Zumba group were all fitter after 12 weeks. Their blood vessels were more elastic and their blood pressure had dropped. Their blood results improved in line with people undertaking an exercise regime.
More surprisingly, the results from the tai chi group also showed similar benefits to the more rigorous Zumba group, with improvements in blood biomarkers, blood pressure and vessel flexibility.
The answer as to why tai chi might have similar benefits may rest in the fact that tai chi might not be as gentle as it seems. Previous studies undertaken by Sarah and Jet show that people who practise tai chi have a similar rise in heart rate to those doing moderate intensity exercise."
Some of the benefits of Tai Chi are:
There is no upper age limit and those with limited mobility, or who are wheelchair users, are welcome to attend. If someone has a Carer, then the Carer may accompany their Caree to sessions at no charge, provided that the Caree is a Member of the Club.
At this time, we have several members in their seventies and eighties a number of parents bring their children along to sessions and their ages range from 8 to 14+.
PHOTO CREDITS: Those at Sherborne were kindly taken by David Durant, & those at Tintinhull by Simon Champion.
With COVID 19 still impeding our lives, and vaccinations for all just around the corner, we are planning with hope, to hold this years session in Pageant Gardens Sherborne.
In the past, we have been hosted by South Dorset Tia Chi, in Dorchester - this year we have invited them to join join us in Sherborne.
The event is free and open to all students of Tai Chi, other clubs in the area and members of the public - either to watch or take part.
World Tai Chi Day is a celebration of Tai Chi, around the world with 1 hour of Tai Chi being performed between 10am and 11am in each Time Zone, starting with Western Samoa and moving west around the world with the clock.
We will be doing simple (and more complex) Tai Chi routines as demonstrations inclding Tai Chi Sword routines.
The invitation has been extend to 4 other local clubs and the hope is that many will attend.
The necessary paperwork has been sent to Sherborne Town Council for Permission to hold the event in the Gardens.
We hope to see you all at the end of April
for further details, please contact Simon Champion
The Club now has a Risk Assessment with a view to putting a "World Tai Chi Day" (One World, One Breath) in our calendar for for April 24th, 10-11am in Pageant Gardens, Sherborne.
At the same time, the Sessions Page (menu) has been reorganised to have separate pages for:
What to wear has been updated with a few images of suitable footwear.
Back in December, Trevor was kind enough to Film me doing the simple indoor exercise - useful for beginners and for advance students stuck indoors with limited space.
Best regards and stay safe
For more information / updates please contact Simon Champion
The Tai Chi Union of Great Britain
25 September 2020
Re: Simon Champion (1611)
Following the Technical Panel meeting, their recommendation is that your Grade now be an A (Advanced).
I have enclosed your new card with the Grade updated and have informed John, our Webmaster.
The TCUGB wish you all the best in the future.
(Treasurer. Membership Secretary)
COREhealth and Marshian Sessions:
Sessions run all year with the aim of running 44 to 48 sessions per year; there is usually a break of 2 weeks at Christmas and 1 week at Easter.
COREhealth Tai Chi sessions restarted, indoors, on May17th, 2021.
Planned session venues and times are as follows:
COREhealth (Beginners and Improvers)
|Wednesdays, from May 19th, Weekly, Indoors||Digby Memorial Hall, Sherborne||19:00||to||20:00|
COREhealth (Advanced, including Sword)
|Thursdays, from May 20th, Weekly, Indoors||Digby Memorial Hall, Sherborne||19:45||to||21:15|
COREhealth, Marshians, All students
|Saturday, July 3rd, Weekly, Outdoors||Pageant Gardens, Sherborne||14:00||to||15:00|
Marshians (Improvers and Advanced)
|Tuesdays, from May 25th, Weekly, Indoors||Yeovil Marsh||14:00||to||15:30|
* when available, this session will move to Tuesday Nights at the Church of the Sacred Heart Church Hall, Westbury, Sherborne.
1. Head Upright so Spirit can reach the Crown Xu Ling Ding Jin
- emptying the thoughts & raising the head
- empty, lively, pushing up & energetic
The head should be upright so the Shen or (spirit) can reach the top of your head. Don’t use Li (force), or the neck will be stiff and the chi (breath) and blood can not flow through to the head. The feeling should be natural and buoyant. Remember, if your head is not up your spirit will not be raised.
2. Sink the Chest & draw up the Back Han Xiong Ba Bei
- hollowing the chest to raise the back
- hold in the chest & pull up the back
- depress the chest & raise the upper back
The chest is slightly sunken so that the chi can sink to the dantien, If the chi gets stuck in the chest, the body will become top heavy and you will be easily uprooted. The back should be lifted or plucked up to avoid promoting a hunched back (kyphosis) and also as a way to release power (jin) through the spine.
3. Relax the Waist Song Yao
- relax & loosen the waist
- loosening up the waist
The waist is the commander in charge of your whole body. If you can relax your waist then your legs will have the power and your lower parts will be stable and strong. It is said that the origin of the postures (jins) comes from the waist. If you lack power, the defect is in the legs and waist.
4. Coordinate the Upper & Lower Body Shang Xia Xiang Sui
- synchronize movement of upper & lower body
The classics tell us that “the motion should be rooted in the feet, released through the legs, controlled by the waist and manifested through the fingers.” The whole body moves as one unit, nothing broken or disconnected between upper and lower body. Opening the Mingmen on the lower back (yao) and turning from the hip joint (kwa) helps this union between upper and lower body.
5. Sink the Shoulders & drop the Elbows Chen Jian Zhui Zhou
- sinking the shoulder & weighting down the elbow
Your shoulders should be completely relaxed downward and open to the sides, the opposite of this is uptight with the shoulders lifted up and in, this is a powerless state. Sink the elbows, this means that your elbows move downward and stay relaxed, if you raise the elbows the shoulders also go up. Keeping the shoulders and elbows down gives your body internal power that can be used to throw your opponent far. The health benefits of this principle are too numerous to name here.
6. Move with Continuity Xiang Lian Bu Duan
- continuity joined & unbroken
- continuously & without interruption
From beginning to end Tai Chi movement is continuous and not broken, after each movement its starts again circulating without any end. It is circular in motion like a continuous wave without limits. The classics tell us the circulation of (jin) is like pulling silk, everything is connected together. The form does allow for a brief rest at the end of the movement before going onto the next. The classics tell us the jin is broken the yi is not.
7. Stillness within Motion Dong Zhong Qiu Jing
- move with tranquility
- seek quiescence within movement
In Tai Chi we use stillness to control movement, even though we are moving, there is still stillness. It is good to practice your form slowly, with calmness and awareness. Meditation alone always seeks movement in stillness, but in Tai Chi Chuan we seek stillness in movement. Tai Chi is known as moving meditation.
8. Distinguish between Empty & Full Fen Xu Shi
- distinguish between substantial & insubstantial
- separate empty & full
This is one of the very first things you will learn in Tai Chi Chuan. If the weight is on the right leg, then the right leg is substantial and the left leg is insubstantial. When these can be separated and consciously acknowledged, you will be able to turn lightly without using any tension or stress. If you cannot get this concept your step will be heavy and slow and your stance will not be steady, then you will easily be thrown off balance.
9. Use the Mind (Yi) & not Force (Li) Yong Yi Bu Yong Li
- using intention & not physical strength
- use your will & not your force
When practicing Tai Chi Chuan your whole body relaxes. The tai chi chuan classics tell us to use (yi) the mind, and not (li) force. When you practice tai chi chuan the whole body relaxes, not even letting one ounce of force remain anywhere in the body. When this is achieved you become agile and able to change easily. The classics say when you are extremely soft, then you become extremely hard and strong. A person with these qualities will have arms like iron wrapped in cotton and the weight of them is very heavy. This is a powerful state of being in Yang Tai Chi.
10. Harmonize the Internal & External Nei Wai Xiang He
- coordination of the internal & external
- match up inner & outer
Called the 6 harmony’s, we will start with the 3 Internal harmony’s (San Nei He)
- Shen / Yi (Spirit / Mind or Intention) - When the spirit (Shen) is raised the mind/ intention (Yi) can focus.
- Yi / Qi (Intention / Energy) - Now that the intention (Yi) is high, the energy (Qi) is full and follows.
- Qi / Li (Energy / Body) - When the energy (Qi) is activated, the body is pulled, these are the 3 Internal Harmony’s.
The 3 External energies (San Wei He) are
- Shoulder / Hip.
- Elbow / Knees.
- Hand / Foot.
As you move, the external body co-ordinates as you relax (fang song) the shoulders into the hips, the elbows into the knees and the hands into the feet. Relaxing into the movements sends the energy and blood (QiXue) out to the limbs, now the whole body is nourished, regulating blood pressure, relaxing the soft tissues and veins/arteries and calming the entire nervous system. The mind and body are now working together through the 6 harmony’s as we practice our form. The Tai Chi Classics say the body moves as one unit, however in applying these 6 harmony’s we can see that although the body moves as one unit, it does not all move at the same time.