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Awareness

Taijiquan involves the cultivation of moment-by-moment awareness, paying attention to what is taking place as it is taking place.
Unlike mainstream
meditation, this does not involve sitting.
It is an active process, involving your body as well as your mind.

The physicality of taijiquan enables you to take the skills immediately and directly into everyday life.

Holistic health

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi lists 8 ingredients that promote good health:

  1. Awareness (including mindfulness & focussed attention)
  2. Intention
  3. Structural integration (including dynamic form & function)
  4. Active relaxation
  5. Strengthening & flexibility
  6. Natural, freer breathing
  7. Social support (including interaction & community)
  8. Embodied spirituality (including philosophy & ritual)

These 8 taijiquan components offer a multi-layered approach to the cultivation of health, vitality and wellbeing.

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If you can’t do it, you don’t know it.

(Mike Sigman) 

Girl’s Night

Rachel has designed a women-specific self defence syllabus which offers realistic scenarios and a wide range of practical skills that work.
Students learn how to intuitively target vulnerable areas on a man’s body.
Counter-intuitive but logical, the training methods explore effective ways to ‘reverse’ dangerous situations.

Learn how to become dominant, rather than the victim.

I really enjoyed Girl’s Night, it was a real eye opener – just seeing those techniques which don’t involve much physical strength but are so effective was really empowering. I think you’re right, learning how to do it almost ‘instinctively’ is the aim. A great class; the first time I’ve actually thought self defence was realistic and possible.

(Karen Laws)

What is strength?

This is an interesting question.
In the
internal martial arts, the idea of ‘strength’ encompasses a wide range of physical and mental abilities.
Strength is the ability to
cope, to endure, to sustain, to see alternatives, to move skilfully, to deliver power, to see harmonious options instead of conflictive ones.

In kung fu, having strength of character is as important as physical prowess.

Helpless

Most people are not capable of defending themselves, their loved ones or their belongings.
This is a disturbing fact.

Although society still offers the same dangers it always has, the general public’s attitude towards personal protection has changed.
People are often too lazy to learn how to protect themselves.
They imagine that a cocky ‘attitude’ and a big mouth will work against a real life assailant.

Contemplation

Contemplation is the intense consideration of a very specific subject.
Rather than gloss over a matter, you commit
time to deliberately think it through thoroughly and completely.

It is easy to live a superficial life.
Yet, often something is missing and for all your possessions, it can feel hollow.
Thinking long and hard about something can provide new insights and unexpected outcomes.

Stamina & endurance

Kung fu training is renowned for improving stamina and endurance.
Students can concentrate longer and sustain prolonged physical activity without fatigue.

They gain the ability to withstand hardship and cope with difficulty.

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