About Tai Chi
Tai Chi (or Taiji) is a soft martial art, based on the principles of 'yin and yang' and Daoist philosophy. Using slow relaxed movements and minimal force, it is the perfect aid to maintaining and improving health and fitness. The ‘Tai Chi Form’ is a sequence of movements which are performed in a standing position. Tai Chi is often referred to as ‘Meditation with Movement’ and has been the secret to health and long life in China for hundreds of years.
Different styles of Tai Chi have developed from the different families who practised the art. We teach the Li / Lee Style of Tai Chi taught to Mark Popplewell over a 40 year period training with several high grade students of the late Grandmaster Chee Soo (1919 – 1994). Chee Soo was President of the International Wu Shu Association, Chinese Cultural Arts Association and International Taoist Arts Society until his demise in 1994. Chee Soo was taught the Daoist Arts by his adoptive uncle Li Chan Kam – the last surviving member of the Li family who was skilled in the arts.
All our local classes teach these aspects of Tai Chi:
Warming up sequence
Tai Chi short form, 50 movements
Tai Chi Fei Shou, flying hand form
Stances and steps
Kai Men, 'open door' stretching and opening exercises
Daoyin, 'guide and stretch' meditative breathing and stretching exercises for health and healing
Most classes also teach:
I fu shou, 'sticking or pushing hands'
Tai Chi long form, 140 movements
Introduction to weapon forms, Tai Chi silk, staff or sword
Some classes (especially the Saturday courses) also include:
Weapon forms in more depth, silk, staff or sword
Applications of tai chi for self-defence
Lun Shou, whirling hands
Lun Bei, whirling arms
Feng Shou sabre form
Daoist Meditation / Inner Alchemy
We hold regular gradings for which no additional fees are charged. A grade is a reflection of the standard reached by the student and a reward for hard work and commitment. It is not a source of income for the instructor. The early grades may be taken in class and the higher grades are usually taken on Saturday courses overseen by Mark Popplewell. You can train to be a tai chi teacher by progressing through these grades. For more information contact Mark
Benefits of Tai Chi:
The benefits of Tai Chi are many and varied. Practised on a regular basis it will help you to feel more relaxed and calm in your day to day life. It can help to combat stress, anxiety and exhaustion as well as improve flexibility, core strength, balance and posture. The essence of Tai Chi is self-development and with the opportunity to take part in gradings if you wish it can be a great way to build up your confidence and self-esteem.
Li Style Tai Chi and Feng Shou Kung Fu, West Yorkshire