How We Teach

The distinguishing feature of the way we teach T’ai Chi classes in London is our team teaching method. Team teaching provides our students with a setting where the emphasis is on the clarity of the work, and makes our classes easy to follow. With two or more teachers working together in a single class, students always have one teacher to follow the movements from, while another teacher verbally guides the class and follows up on specific needs of the group.

Beginning Level

The sequence of 37 postures performed slowly and smoothly is called the form.
For purposes of study, the form is divided into 3 thirds (B1, B2 & B3), each taking 10 hours to learn. At Beginning Level, the challenge is to learn the sequence with enough attention to T’ai Chi principles to derive its benefits from your daily practice. Each class hour provides teacher demonstrations, lots of practice repetitions, hands-on adjustments by teachers, and verbal guidance.

B1

In this course you learn the movements of the first third of the form and start taking on its basic principles. The first third is a unit worth practising in its own right because it introduces all the principles of T’ai Chi.

B2

In this course you will learn the movements of the second third of the form, while being challenged to further cultivate T’ai Chi principles.

B3

This course completes the movements of the final third of the form. By the end of B3, you will be able to practice the entire form and understand its basic principles.

Fundamentals

Having learned the basic sequence at Beginning Level, in Fundamentals you work on the principles in detail to discover a more secure foundation with the result that you can enjoy more balance, straightness and relaxation in the form. The Fundamentals course is taught over 2 terms and includes working with partners. (20 hours).

Push Hands 1

“Push Hands” (T’ui Shou) translated as “Sensing Hands.” In this partner exercise, we use postures and movements from the T’ai Chi Form, and kinesthetically “listen” for our partner’s balance, timing, and tension. We learn to play with the energy of our partner’s movements, and develop relaxation and balance in our responses. (20 hours).

Intermediate Form

In this course, you’ll progress to a deeper and more internal understanding and practice of the form, allowing you to refine your timing and balance. Over 2 terms new concepts are introduced that enable us to integrate our form and push hands practice as one body of knowledge. (20 hours).

Push Hands 2

A continuation of Push Hands 1, but with the two-hand sequence and the principle of yielding introduced. In this course we establish a clear understanding and embodiment of push hands practice, refining our technique, sensitivity and awareness of ourselves in relation to others. (30 hours).

Push Hands 3

In this advanced course we focus on both form and push hands using self-observation to increase our awareness and release tension from specific parts of the body. Relaxation is emphasized with various breathing and meditation techniques used. (30 hours).

Intermediate Form Consciousness

Our curriculum alternates study of the form with study of push hands. The insights we’ve gained in Push Hands 3 are used to further refine our Intermediate Form practice. (20 hours).

Apprentice Programme

The School of T’ai Chi Chuan offers teacher training as an option to experienced students who have demonstrated their commitment to the art.

Study continues to include advanced work in the Form, Push Hands and the Sword.