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We teach Tai Chi at all three locations.
Karen and her husband Jim have been teaching tai chi for nearly a decade, studying with a variety of instructors, including Jim Madra and Erica Anderson of the Natural Arts Center of Eugene who in turn are students of Sam Masich and Jan Parker.In addition, Dane, Jim and Karen Saxton are certified by Suman Barkhus to teach the CDC approved course, Tai Chi for Fall Prevention. The 8 form of tai chi for fall prevention makes a great intro to learning the more traditional forms of Tai Chi, including the Yang 108, and thus we have incorporated it into our regular classes. The 8 form is a simplified version of the 10 form, which has long been used to teach beginners the basics of the Yang forms. Unlike the 10 form, the 8 form has no kicks, and has been designed for promoting leg strength and balance. We are also teaching one dedicated applications class, in Coquille before our systema study group that acts as the first half hour of systema.
Tai Chi for Fall Prevention is funded by the Agency on Aging in downtown Coquille in our partnership with the CREATE Center, and in Bandon in conjunction with the Bandon Sr Center and Barn. We have added this class to our Coos Bay line up and the schedule is to be announced. The Area agency on aging will pay the tuition of anyone over 60, who has a doctor's prescription for Tai chi or who has a disability verified with SSI disability.
The emphasis of our program is to learn Tai Chi as both a health benefit/exercise and a martial discipline, and we draw from a wide base of knowledge and traditions, that augment our tai chi classes. Because of this, our tai chi is very effective for balance, pain relief for fibromyalgia, and also for general health benefits. In 8 form tai chi, you will never do any work on the floor or ground, but are always standing or sitting. The class starts with a gentle warm up and stretching, followed by form instruction and practice, and other drill work to promote balance, fall prevention, strength and body alignment. The class ends with a chi gung exercise or meridian stretch to help the student cool down and relax before they leave the classroom.
Students who want to progress more quickly, and who have an average fitness level may wish to attend our systema study group in Coquille, which has the same benefits as tai chi, but includes some rolling/mat work and partnered defense exercises. It is this broad martial arts background that we feel makes our program especially effective.
Tai Chi Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art, usually performed at a very slow speed, and it's health benefits have been aclaimed for centuries. Tai Chi is perhaps the second most practiced martial art in the world. It's moves are practiced slowly and carefully, with each practitioner's "form" being slightly different as they begin to interpret and tailor the form to their own body type and mindset. The idea behind such practice is twofold. The practitioner can perfect moves at a slow speed that can later be used at full speed without worry of sloppiness of technique. The slow speed is easier on joints and bones, which will allow the beginner to learn without fear of being injured. Tai chi at full speed is far from being slow and ineffectual, and its skills cross over into other martial arts training, self defense and self confidence. Within a month of beginning tai chi class, you will begin to experience the legendary health benefits of Tai Chi for yourself: lowered blood pressure, better balance, increased strength, and overall better health.
As a beginner, you learn some simple routines that you can do at home, including the 8 form from the Tai Chi for Fall Prevention curriuclum, while learning the first 12 movements of the 108 movement form(with a few movements repeated for a total of 16). This class is geared to adults of all ages, and is recommended for seniors, pregnant women and people with fibromyalgia by doctors worldwide(please note that anyone who is pregnant or has a serious health condition should consult with their doctor before starting this or similar programs).
Beginning Tai Chi teaches the 8 form by Suman Barkhus, which lays the groundwork for learning the first set of the Yang long form, plus chi gung and related relaxation, energy and stretching techniques. As a student, you learn to regain your posture, proper breathing, and the basics of supporting, resting in, waist articulation, and there is no getting down on the floor.
Interested beginners continue to learn the long form's 108 movements, for a total 30-40 minute session that can be practiced alone, or with the class.
Advanced Tai Chi focuses on the continued weekly practice of the long form. The interested advanced student will continue learning new forms, including the two person 88, sensing hands techniques, and the ancient chinese weapons of spear, broadsword and long sword if, desired. Practical self defense using the tai chi moves are offered to students of all levels who wish to learn them.
1. What is the difference between Tai Chi for health and Tai Chi as taught in a martial arts studio and how much Tai Chi training should I take?
The main difference is that instructors who study Tai Chi for "fighting" understand Tai Chi for health and Fall Prevention, but the instructors who only study Tai Chi for health do not understand the martial and self defense basis for what they teach. But don't take our word for it. Read this discussion regarding this topic
Experts recommend a minimum of 1 hour per week of Tai Chi to help seniors prevent falls, and studies show that a short course of 2 hours per week for 13 weeks, did not significantly prevent falls over the following year. Thus it is recommended that once you start a tai chi class you continue taking tai chi for as long as you can.Study Fails to show that 26 hours of Tai Chi prevents Falling Among Seniors
2. What is Tai Chi, and who can do it?
The word Tai Chi Chuan means grand ultimate fist and is a series of movememts designed to improve the health of the student/practitioner. Just about anyone who can stand and walk can learn tai chi and will see the benefits, including increased strength and balance, reduced muscle and joint pain, endurance and lower blood pressure.
3. What is the difference between Tai Chi and Chi Gung?
Chi Gung is generally done standing in place, whereas Tai Chi incorporates movement.
4. Which will I be learning in this class? We will be starting with a basic Chi Gung and as the student becomes more proficient we will move on to the full Tai Chi form. Early on we will be working on exercises that teach the basic Tai Chi movements, for a stress free learning atmosphere.
5. What is Chi and is it real?
According to Chinese medicine, it can be translated as breath: air or gas, but what is implied is the natural energy field that exists around all living things. It is this energy field that regulates and maintains the functions and stabilities of life, ie a person with good chi is healthy and a person with bad chi is unhealthy.
Cultures all around the world have known about an existing energy field around all living things.The asian cultures call it chi, and the western cultures call it the soul.
6. Will doing Tai Chi or Chi Gung conflict with my religious beliefs?
Tai Chi and Chi Gung are not religions or religious rituals. They are series of exercise practiced by 30 million people worldwide to improve the quality of life.
7. Is Tai Chi a martial art?
Yes. Martial arts are divided into two ways: hard and soft. Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and Karate are examples of hard martial arts, while Tai chi and Ch i Gung are examples of soft style martial arts. The gentler movements of the soft styles can be equally as devastating as any hard style strike.
8. What can I hope to gain from this class?
Immediately you will notice that you are calmer have less stress and more energy. In addition to gaining proficiency in a real world martial art, you will find in the long run, that you will have lower blood pressure, greater flexibility, and enhanced focus.
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Last Updated June 18, 2015 by Karen Saxton