Master Ling's Taiji (Tai Chi)
Frequently Asked Questions:
What style of Taiji will I learn?
Taiji, Tai Chi, T'ai Chi Chuan are all terms for the internal martial art that originated in China centuries ago for purposes of self-defense, health and longevity. The Yang 24 Form became a national standard in the last century and is what Master Ling's beginning students learn first. It is a good vehicle to introduce students to Taiji principles and basic movements. Group classes begin with Qigong practice and warmups to stretch the entire body. As students' knowledge and physical fitness advance, the Yang 48 Form and Chen Forms are introduced. Master Ling uses Taiji Push Hands (Tui Shou) throughout all levels of his instruction to instill in students a deeper understanding of the martial applications of movements than can be learned from form practice alone. Push Hands and Qin Na techniques are demonstrated and practiced in a safe environment for those who are interested in advancing their skills. Once students are proficient in basic Taiji techniques they may begin Taiji Sword instruction if desired. All students are encouraged to move at their own pace and attend the classes that meet their health and training goals. Private and advanced training is also available.
Do I need experience to be a student of Master Ling's?
No! Anyone regardless of previous martial arts and Taiji experience is welcome to join our classes. Just call, text or send Master Ling a message to schedule a time to meet and try out a class for yourself.
How many classes a week should I attend?
The more frequently students attend class the more thoroughly they are able to learn the movements and more importantly, the principles being taught. The numerous benefits of Taiji are only limited by the students' desire to practice and expand their knowledge and experience. Students who are not able to attend weekly classes may schedule private lessons with Master Ling or attend workshops when offered. (see Taiji Events) For a class schedule and pricing please go to Master Ling's Taiji Classes page.
Why do you wear uniforms with belts?
Traditional Taiji uniforms are both comfortable and attractive for practicing Taiji. The soft fabric and loose fit helps to keep the "qi" or energy flowing. Master Ling uses the traditional testing and ranking system used in most martial arts schools where students achieve higher ranks and belts sequentially through periodic testing. Students are not required to test or wear traditional uniforms but most find the sense of achievement with testing to be a fun and rewarding challenge. Master Ling offers his students affordable custom-tailored uniforms and logo t-shirts as options for class attire. Our sequence of Taiji belt colors is: white (no belt), yellow, green, purple, brown (3 levels) and black.
What is the best age to start taiji?
The sooner the better -- you are never too young or too old to start Taiji! Many people don't discover Taiji until they have time in their retirement or empty-nest years but most always wish they had started earlier in life. The skills learned in Taiji help younger students deal with stresses of life as well as gain mental and physical focus and resilience needed in today's fast-paced world. Martial artists and athletes of any age find Taiji an important training aid in honing their sensitivity, flexibility and energy which in turn enhances all of their other skills. The slow gentle movements of Yang Style Taiji are a natural fit for older students who want to gain strength, stamina, balance and mental agility. Regardless of age, Taiji is an excellent way to maintain a healthy and strong mind, body and spirit.
Why do you train barefoot?
Master Ling's classes are in a traditional style dojo with padded mat training area. In keeping with that tradition, you will be asked to remove and store your shoes when you enter. The mats provide a protective cushion for the feet and are cleaned meticulously daily. Students find that training in this way increases foot strength and overall health. Accommodations can be made for those wanting to train with indoor-only taiji shoes around the perimeter of the mat.
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