Tai Chi Classes

The First Section is the place to begin learning the concepts and benefits of Tai Chi. These classes teach the first half of the Cheng Man-Ching Yang-style short form, including foundational postures and movements teaching both the external and internal alignment of bones, joints, and muscles. In addition, fundamental Tai Chi principles, energies, and basic application concepts are covered.

The Second Section adds more advanced postures to those learned in the First Section of the form. Although it contains a similar number of postures, the Second Section has many more movements than the First Section. Therefore, it is taught in two sessions, Part 1 and Part 2. Once the First Section becomes natural and familiar, you will be ready to start the Second Section. When complete, students have learned the entire Tai Chi form.

Form Review offers an opportunity to more deeply explore the postures, movements, and principles of the form. Increased external and internal organization leads to improved health and energy flow. Additionally, warm up exercises, standing meditation, and tui shou are introduced.

Tui shou, or “push hands”, teaches the interaction of Tai Chi movement with others. Although most commonly referred to as “pushing hands”, tui sho is an exercise intended for learning more than competition. Students will literally get “hands on” with others in order to deepen their understanding of the principles and skills of Tai Chi. Tui Shou, done in a principled way, develops flexibility, adaptability, sensitivity, and mindfulness in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation. More on Tui Shou classes.

Weapons forms such as Jian Sword, Saber, and Cane are areas of study available only for students who demonstrate achievement in the postures and principles of Tai Chi.

Click here for the current class Schedule.

Class costs may vary slightly, depending on how many classes are in a session. See the current Schedule for details.

The Tai Chi Chuan form is a sequence of movements that connect from one to the next, unlike most other forms of exercise or other Qigong practices. Therefore, it is important to commit to attending each class.

Similar to studying a musical instrument, Tai Chi classes are like lessons where new information is imparted, but daily practice is where progress is made.

It is important to adopt a patient and consistent attitude towards Tai Chi Chuan studies. Everyone progresses at a different rate, but consistent practice yields the best results. Many students repeat either or both Sections. It is far more critical to develop a deep foundation than to try and rise quickly through levels of study.

“Gradually, gradually.” – Professor Cheng

Video and audio resources

Reading recommendations

There Are No Secrets, by Wolfe Lowenthal, North Atlantic Books, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9781556431128 (available through Long River Tai Chi, the author’s website)

Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, by Cheng Man Ch’ing, translated by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and Martin Inn, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9780938190455

The Essence of T’ai Chi Ch’uan: The Literary Tradition, translated and edited by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo, Martin Inn, Robert Amacker, and Susan Foe, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9780615227771 (newer annotated edition) or 9780913028636 (available through Inner Research Institute, Martin Inn’s website)

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Harper Perennial Modern Classics 2006; ISBN 9780061142666

T’ai Chi Ch’uan Ta Wen: Question and Answers on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, by Chen Wei-Ming, translated by Benjamin Pan Jeng Lo and Robert W. Smith, Blue Snake Books 1993; ISBN 9780938190677

T’ai Chi Ch’uan: A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health and Self Defense, by Cheng Man-ch’ing, Blue Snake Books, 1993; ISBN 9780913028858

Conservator of the T’ai Chi Classics: An interview with Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo ; this article is included in Cheng Man-ch’ing and T’ai Chi: Echoes in the Hall of Happiness, Via Media Publishing Company 2015; ISBN 9781893765061 (also available as an e-book)

The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff, EGMONT, 2019; ISBN 9781405293785