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Tai Chi as a martial art and for health
“I have been studying Shen Long Tai Chi since 2005 and I still remember the autumn evening when I first entered the church hall where the classes started. I had stopped doing Shotokan karate some years previously and, although over the intervening years I had become increasingly interested in internal martial arts, I never actually saw an expert performing any of them in real life. So when I saw the leaflet advertising new Tai Chi classes to be taught in our local church hall by someone who had learned Tai Chi from Grandmaster Wu Kuo Chung in Taiwan, I immediately decided to check it out. At my first class the instructor demonstrated to us the forms and when he got to ‘ward-off to the right, grasp the sparrow’s tail’ I was already hooked. And as they say, the rest is history.
Now let me say a few words about some of the many benefits that practising Tai Chi has provided me with. First, over a period of a few months the severe psychosomatic symptoms I had been suffering from since the death of my father two years previously completely cleared up. This had a profoundly positive effect not only on my personal, but also on my professional life. Second, I find the constant process of learning new things and perfecting things we already have learned (or thought we had) extraordinarily stimulating (yes, even after 9 years of studying Tai Chi I still have much to learn and perfect). Third, I find great mental and physical satisfaction in performing the 37 forms continuously either at the class or at home. And of course, I must not forget about the social aspects of our Tai Chi. Over the years they have organized many events, from Chinese New Year parties through week-end Tai Chi workshops to the annual Shen Long Christmas dinners, which I and my fellow students always have enjoyed very much.
As someone who had practised an external martial art for 15 years before taking up Tai Chi I naturally always have been very interested in its martial arts applications as well as health benefits. And so I felt very privileged when in March 2014, the first among the Shen Long Tai Chi UK students, I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan to attend the 2014 World Shen Long Day events, including the 2014 Instructor Training Program. I saw Grandmaster Wu and his senior students demonstrating the forms and some of their applications as well as the Tai Chi sword exercises and even if I had had any doubts about the usefulness of Tai Chi as a martial art, they would have completely disappeared after seeing what I saw there. And so I very much hope that my fellow students will have the same experience at the 2015 World Shen Long Day we are hosting at Sussex University in Brighton that I myself had in Taiwan.”
G Kemenes (Hove)
Making a difference to my wellbeing
“I started going to Tai Chi about two years ago. I have a few health problems and thought I would see if Tai Chi could offer me the gentle type of exercise and movements that could be a benefit to me. Well, it certainly seems to be helping and is making a difference to my well-being. I find the slow, fluid and calm movements very relaxing and keep the body more flexible and balance the body and mind. The instructors are both very professional, warm and friendly. They have an enormous amount of enthusiasm, patience and are very encouraging, plus a great deal of knowledge on the subject of Tai Chi. The hall we use offers a nice environment. It’s bright, clean and spacious – a very nice place to train and exercise in.”
Bob S. (Hove)
Tai Chi helping me in life
“I approached Tai-Chi almost ten years ago, out of curiosity, wondering what those elegant movements in a sunset scenery meant, then after several different Tai-Chi style courses with tolerable instructors I found Shenlong! This family of martial art masters and instructors has an exceptional curriculum. You can check on this site the level of experience and competency of the teachers. After several courses I’ve learned how to exercise body and mind effectively and how to find energy through the Tai-Chi forms and concentration, not only for good health but also self defence skills. What is most important, Tai-Chi is currently helping me handle any sort of situation in life!”
Refreshed by Tai Chi
“I work full time in a very stressful profession, often for long hours, leaving me depleted of energy and drive. Since joining Shen Long Tai Chi UK about 5 years ago, I can vouch for the difference it has made to my well-being. After a class, my energy levels rise to new heights! Amazing. The classes are hugely enhanced by the teachers’ aspiration and encouragement to each individual participant, in turn, creating a very calm, relaxing environment to experience and learn this most ancient and beneficial form of balancing mind,and body. I strongly recommend it!”
What is special is the emotional Benefit
“I was looking for a traditional Tai Chi class with teachers that had studied for many years and understood the true philosophy at the core of the exercises. This is what I found at Shen Long Tai Chi UK. Due to their exceptional understanding of the body and their craft I have felt very safe which is crucial since I have had extensive back injuries in the past. With their help I am reintroducing movement and flexibility to areas of my body in a safe supportive environment of teaching. What is special with Tai Chi is the emotional benefits which come with the physical and I feel it has helped me through the grieving process after the loss of my father. It takes time and commitment and if you have these qualities I know of no better place to learn Tai Chi.”
Fiona Ratti, Traditional Acupuncturist (Brighton)
A haven of peace and Tranquility
“I am in my sixth year of practicing tai chi. Under the expert tutelage of the instructors there is a calmness and patience shown to students, with the forms clearly taught, both verbally and visually. I find the lessons a haven of peace & tranquility- a welcome break from an increasingly noisy world! The focus, albeit relaxed, that is required to fully appreciate tai chi also easily permeates into other aspects of everyday life. Awareness, both of self and the surroundings is heightened as well as a quiet determination that one step is a step of progression on a never-ending journey.”
Tai Chi has helped me to Relax and find focus
“I have been learning Tai Chi now for a year and it has been absolutely amazing! The tutors are wonderful. They take time and patience to impart their wisdom and knowledge. They always spend time on each student to help them progress. I often find meditation tricky but doing Tai Chi has helped me to relax and find focus, it’s meditation in motion. The sessions are always enjoyable and fun and I’ve learned a lot about the philosophy behind Tai Chi. I actually tried Tai Chi about 10 years ago but unfortunately had to give it up.
I was lucky enough to come across the Shen Long School in Mile Oak. I actually go twice a week because I get so much out of it, and the class has a great atmosphere, warm and friendly. My balance has improved and I can see how much I have progressed over the year, this has given me a lot of confidence and improved my self esteem. Students are never pushed beyond their natural ability, but instead we are encouraged and often given a lot of one to one assistance during class where possible. I find the way Tai Chi works fascinating, it’s so different to other martial arts – the movements are fluid, soft and very natural, yet it is a powerful and very effective martial art.
Deciding to take up Tai Chi with the Shen Long Tai Chi Association has been one of the best decisions I have made for my health. I have even been able to share some of the exercises with my mother who suffers with Spinal stenosis. Whether you want to do it for health, fun or want to learn about the philosophy or just learn a martial art. This is definitely the class to be! Just be aware that there’s no hurry, it’s a constant process and progression, you feel that you are always learning. That’s why I love it!”
Alison L (Brighton)
Tai Chi : the real thing
“I’ve attended classes and workshops run by different schools and in different styles of Tai Chi. Some were good, others not; some I didn’t go back to after the first taster class. When I finally discovered Shen Long Tai Chi I realised that even the best of what I’d practised before only looked like the real thing. And that Shen Long didn’t just look like but is the real thing.”
Michael O’Brien (Lewes)
Teaching is intensive
“I had already completed a Tai Chi form about 7 years ago and decided to brush up on my skills which I had forgotten, or so I thought!I attended a taster session to see whether I would be able to switch to a completely new form and decided to give it a go. That was difficult as the teaching is, rightly, very intensive. I have completed the 37 forms over two years and gained so much, both physically and mentally from the excellent tuition of the instructors, both trained by Master Wu Kuo Chung in Taiwan, and I always look forward to the classes in their lovely hall and their other social activities.
Even basic things help
I attended the taster session and was immensely impressed by how even the most basic things we did helped me; less than a month ago I was hospitalised due to a ruptured appendix and a resulting abscess in my stomach. After the surgery I was kept in a bed unable to move for nearly a week, and a lot of my muscles started to undergo atrophy. One Sunday I played a few games of badminton with my friends and the workout (that I used to do with ease) caused a lot of strain on my hips, thighs and calves, not to mention aggravating my healing scar from the surgery. However after the short session of Tai Chi it instantaneously felt better – I was able to run back to my accommodation!
Jack (Sussex University)