Our Tai Chi classes are run by long time Crudwell resident and one-time Village Hall trustee, Carmel Straughan. You can reach Carmel on 01666 577 502 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those that have heard of Tai Chi but have never ventured to try, read on:
Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, tai chi is now practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.
While there’s scope for more rigorous research on Tai chi’s health benefits, studies have shown that it can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.
The most widely held belief is that Tai Chi Chuan was devised by Chang San-Feng, a renowned Taoist teacher who is thought to have lived during the 13th Century, spending part of his life in the remote Wudang Mountains. Today Wudang mountain is a pilgrimage destination for Taoists and tourists and there remain statues of Chang San-Feng in temples on the mountain.
In more recent times it has been suggested that the art was actually developed by the Chen family.
Although we can never know the source of Tai Chi Chuan there are some well-documented facts about the history to modern art.
The most famous practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan was Yang Lu-chan (1799-1872) who learnt his art from Chen Chang-xing (1771- 1853) while living in the Chen family village.
Yang Lu-chan took his art to Beijing where his fighting ability was in great demand and resulted in him being appointed combat instructor to the Royal Court.
Over the years Yang Lu-chan taught many students and from those students new styles developed, the five main styles are Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun and Li with variations including the widely practised Wudang, Cheng Man-Ching and less well known Hao styles.
As society became more settled and the state took on greater responsibility for personal security and military power the need for martial arts among the population diminished. Tai Chi evolved to the new situation with the emphasis moving to the physical, mental and health benefits of practising the forms.