Tai chi for fitness
Cross training tai chi

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What is tai chi for fitness?

All students begin with tai chi for health. Some go onto learn tai chi for fitness, which is essentially tai chi for health + fitness material.

Cross training

School members who are seeking a more challenging workout can ask to study 'tai chi for fitness'. This is a more comprehensive syllabus which includes:

  1. Standing qigong (various)

  2. Moving qigong (4 sets)

  3. Long Yang form

  4. Balls & grips

  5. Core strength (3 sets)

  6. Leg stretches (2 sets)

  7. Psoas exercises (4)

  8. Self-massage

  9. Taoist Yoga (3 sets)

The training is intended to improve health and wellbeing through frequent, regular practice using low effort.

Who teaches tai chi for fitness?

Rachel is in charge of tai chi for fitness.

Tai chi for health

Faced with a major health crisis in the 1950's, the People's Republic of China turned to Yang style taijiquan for a solution. They wanted a form of exercise that could be performed by students of all ages.
The simplest way to achieve this was to remove the more demanding fitness component and the combat. Most modern tai chi classes are teaching an art that an old person could cope with...
By definition this cannot conceivably be a martial art.

Start with health

Tai chi for health offers a mild introduction to exercise; making it perfect for anyone who is seeking to improve their health and wellbeing. The syllabus is concerned with health rather than fitness.
Being healthy and being fit are two entirely different concerns... being healthy must come first.


Being healthy is all about feeling good, relaxed and at ease. Aches and pains fade. Your body is well-coordinated, mobile and comfortable to move around in. 


Fitness is different to health. Being fit entails a wider range of concerns e.g. increased flexibility, suppleness, strength, cardiovascular health/fitness, agility...
These considerations are only addressed at length in the tai chi for fitness curriculum. They may be too demanding for somebody who is out of shape.

4 areas

There are 4 areas of fitness:

  1. Cardio

  2. Strength

  3. Flexibility

  4. Coordination

In order to exercise the body properly, you need to gain aptitude in all 4 areas. Many people can lift heavy weights but they are not flexible/breathing hard after mild cardio.
This is not good enough for a comprehensive training approach.

I commend you on this approach. There are too many completely out of shape tai chi "teachers".

(Bob Klein)

Fitness level

We reserve the right to decline 'tai chi for fitness' tuition if we feel that a student is physically unable to study tai chi for fitness safely (e.g. bad back, bad knees, arthritis, chronic fatigue).
Rachel will always act with the
wellbeing of the student in mind. Insurance regulations prohibit a student from training material that is unsuitable for their fitness/ability level.
Tai chi for health will be offered instead.

Beyond the body

Tai chi for fitness training considers different aspects of

  1. Physical wellbeing
    - strength
    - power
    - agility
    - balance
    - flexibility
    - stamina
    - endurance
    - coordination


  2. Mental wellbeing
    - self-awareness
    - the capacity to let-go
    - the ability to adapt, change & improvise


  3. Emotional wellbeing
    - calm
    - detached
    - comfortable
    - without fear

    - being honest with yourself


cross-training     exercise     lower body strength     massage     muscle     physical     rejuvenation     Strength     Stretching     Vitality     yoga

Page created 26 August 1994
Last updated 02 September 2021