Tai Chi Classes at Collinwood High!

Chris Downtown Montreal

An ancient martial art known as Tai Chi Chuan has found it's way to Collinwood High School. In our Collinwood Class we learn techniques that enable us to use an opponents strength against them no matter how big or strong. We learn to control attackers using joint locking techniques and also how to escape from them. We learn energy building techniques known as Qigong (Chee-Gong). We learn to stay relaxed and focused in the face of on coming threats and so much more. But wait a minute, are we talking about Tai Chi? Is this the same thing you see the elderly people practicing in the park?

Yes it is! Many people don't know that Tai Chi Chuan is an excellent system of self defense that in English translates to "Grand Ultimate Fist". Many videos on YouTube show of the wondrous abilities of the Tai Chi Masters. So how does that relate to the elderly who practice it? Well, the great benefit of learning Tai Chi is it is excellent for ones health,  this wonderful art is more than just for self defense.

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese exercises for building and maintaining strength and life energy known as Chi. These exercises help to nurture three aspects of our being, the physical, the mental and the spiritual. This brings our lives into balance and prevents and/or alleviates many illnesses and diseases.

Tai Chi and Qigong build the physical body through relaxed coordinated movements that stretch and strengthen muscles. Also the joints are used and exercised. Many people use these exercises for arthritis and joint stiffness. These exercises use whole body movements and deep breathing which increases the circulation and respiratory functions. Tai Chi is also known for waist movements that massage the internal organs and bring good circulation to these areas as well which helps to heal or maintain healthy organ function. The great thing about these exercises is that they can be modified to accommodate each person on their level of physical ability and they will still benefit from its’ practice.

These ancient exercises are good exercise for the mind. While performing the physical movements it is important to use visualization techniques to move the body’s internal energy, Chi. Chi is the life force that we are all born with. It is associated with the electrical signals that run through our nervous system just as blood flows through the circulatory system. Through deep breathing and mental imagery we are able to gather this energy and increase it’s presence in our bodies giving us longer and stronger lives. Tai Chi and Qigong are forms of meditation that relax and calm the mind reducing stress and bringing our thoughts into balance. This reduces the effects that stress can have on our bodies. Many ailments are directly linked to stress and can be avoided.

 While practicing Tai Chi and Qigong we return to a natural state. Our breathing is in the lower abdomen like that of a baby, relaxed. Our movements are not forced but natural, our minds clear. This brings us back to the way we were meant to be before life imposed its’ bad habits upon us. When we enter this state we are thus returning to nature. We become more spiritual. This spirituality is not religious in nature although it can be for each person what they wish. The spirituality I speak of is in accordance with nature and an appreciation of life. One gains a deeper understanding of oneself and a connection to our inner selves while at the same time connecting to the world around us, experiencing oneness. Although many times we learn in a classroom it is good to practice outside if possible to breathe the fresh air and absorb the light of the sun and the energy of the earth. Once a person learns Tai Chi it is theirs to take with them wherever they go.

The Classes at Collinwood are on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.  They are open and free to the public. Anyone wishing to experience Tai Chi Chuan is welcome to come. Age and fitness levels are irreleveant, the classes are non-competitive, friendly and inspiring. Come, wear comfortable clothing and get ready to feel great! Fore more information on Tai Chi visit www.greendragontaichi.com

Chris Burnett

I am the Owner/Instructor at Green Dragon Tai Chi and Qigong. I teach Tai Chi for health and self defense. I teach in various locations around Cleveland. I teach students of all ages from kids to Seniors and all ages in between. I have recently begun teaching classes at Collinwood High School through NLI. I am hoping to create a happy and healthy Tai Chi Community.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:59 PM, 02.06.2016