Thursdays at 6-7pm, 10-week course, from 23rd March to 25th May 2023 in East London Fitness Hub, 771-773 High Road, Leytonstone, E11 4QS.
Tai Chi, or Tai Ji Quan (太极拳) in Chinese full name, means Supreme Ultimate Fist. It is an ancient Chinese internal martial art based on Yin Yang concepts. It combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow and graceful movements – you flow like a cloud.
Tai Chi helps us improve balance, coordination and concentration and learn self-defence skills. It offers great health benefits and help de-stress by connecting our body and mind with nature, often referred to as a moving meditation.
In this 10-week course, we will learn basic Tai Chi movements, footwork and stances. Putting these basics together, we will introduce a Chen Style Form for beginners (Chen 18 Form, 陈氏十八式).
In each class, we will also introduce and repeat some basic Qi Gong movements in both warm up and wind down sections. Qi Gong (气功), means hard work/ practice/cultivation (Gong) of life force or energy (Qi). It is a health system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing and meditation, to help enhance the circulation of Qi, and ultimately to help improve our overall health and wellbeing.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong are closely related and integrated. Both are “internal” in contrast to “external” such as Kung Fu and Karate which focuses on physical strength and agility.
Qi Gong is very old (thousands of years) and like a big umbrella covering different systems or sets. Tai Chi (hundreds of years) was developed from it, sitting under this umbrella, with a focus on martial application.
Both are suitable for people of all ages and abilities including sitting position. We will work with your ability and access needs.
Instructor Aileen (Ai Ling, 爱玲) trained Chen Style Tai Chi for 12 years with Shaolin Master, Shifu Mark Browne (Shi Hei Long, 释黑龙), a 34th generation disciple of Shaolin Temple, China. She had the BCCMA (British Council for Chinese Martial Arts, a national governing body) Level 3 coaching qualification. She has been teaching for over 10 years.
Aileen was also one of the founders in 2013 to set up Dao Lu CIC, a community group training Tai Chi and promoting healthy lifestyle in local green space and nature reserve. Dao Lu targets groups such as older people, girls and women, and disabled people. Dao Lu runs regular weekly classes in Waltham Forest and other settings such as care homes and day centres. Dao Lu is very pleased to work in partnership with East London Fitness Hub and introduce this beautiful ancient Chinese art into Leytonstone.
To know a bit more about Tai Chi, you can listen to Michael Mosely’s Just One Thing podcast on TryTai Chi, which aired on 18th January, BBC Sounds: How Tai Chi can boost your immune system, rewire your brain and even reduce visceral fat.
Just One Thing – with Michael Mosley – Try Tai Chi – BBC Sounds
To know a bit more about Dao Lu, you can watch this film made in March 2023 to celebrate our 10th birthday: Welcome to Dao Lu: Tai Chi for the Community
You can also watch this 3 minute Dao Lu/Wendy film, told by Wendy, a Dao Lu Tai Chi student in her 70s, as part of 1,000 Londoners Project.