Saint Joseph's Cultural Center
A Beautiful Landmark Monument and Community and Cultural Art Center
Historic Rose Garden . Weddings . Concerts . Dance . Yoga . Taiko Dojo . Moving Ground Studio
3rd Floor Artists . African Drumming . Grass Valley Museum . Classes
410 South Church St. Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 272-4725
Located on the Corner of Church & Chapel Two Blocks From Historic Downtown Grass Valley, California
T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classes
At Historic Saint Joseph's Cultural Center
5:30pm in the main hall
New Beginner's Class Starting on
March 20th, 2013
at 5:30 PM
T’ai Chi Ch’uan for Good Health, Relaxation and Peace of Mind In the words of T’ai Chi Ch’uan Master Da Liu:
“T’ai Chi Ch’uan is a physical exercise, which originated in ancient China that promotes relaxation, good health, and peace of mind. The T’ai Chi Ch’uan form consists of a series of movements that involve turning, shifting one’s weight from one leg to another, bending and unbending the legs, and various arms movements. The movements go from forwards to backwards, and from backwards to forwards; from up to down, and down to up, from left to right and right to left. The steps are to the north, south, east, and west; as well as the northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest.
Each of the individual movements has a potential for self-defense, and some are named after that use. Others are named after the movements of animals that they imitate. The form combines these movements in various combinations, which comprise its several sections and series. The movements are directed by a peaceful mind and coordinated with breathing; executed very precisely in a definite sequence known as the form, or T’ai Chi.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan can give those who live in industrialized, fast paced societies a compensating factor in their lives. It has the advantages of regular exercise combined with a slowness of pace that western society so conspicuously lacks. The relaxed gentle movements of the T’ai Chi forms keep the body from being tense and awkward.
The T’ai Chi forms teach the practioner to keep his or her body balanced and in a central position; erect and well postured. When the body is erect every bone and inner organ is in the proper place. Keeping the spinal cord erect is the first step toward rejuvenating the body.
"Joseph's method of teaching is precise, challenging and respectful to the ancient art of T'ai Chi. His patience and dedication to his students is inspiring."
Lisa Lang, current student
T’ai Chi Ch’uan is beneficial to both mental and physical health. T’ai Chi can rid all parts of the body of spiritual and physical defects; it clears the mind and strengthens the brain, benefits the heart, promotes good digestion and sound kidneys. T’ai Chi also helps to lower blood pressure, soften blood vessels, and regulate the circulation of blood.
Muscular tension drains the fine blood vessels of the face and hands from an adequate supply of blood. The relief provided by T’ai Chi corrects this condition, pouring color and life into neglected parts as water to a flower. Adequate oxygen and blood circulation prevent a person from appearing old. T’ai Chi refreshes the skin, and makes joints loose. T’ai Chi can help both men and women enhance their personal appearance. Beauty is not confined to face but penetrates the whole body.
The first section involves seventeen movements. It is easy to learn and practice, for none of the movements are terribly intricate. But it is the most important part of the form, for it is fundamental to the development of the more advanced parts. Moreover, to receive the health benefits of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, it is sufficient to practice the first section. In fact, one can benefit a great deal by practicing only the first movement of the first section (the beginning of the T’ai Chi Ch’uan form) for the repetition of this movement is nothing less than the practice of standing meditation.
The second and third sections of the form are more complicated, and some of the movements that comprise it are individually more difficult. It is more useful for self-defense than the first section, but it can be learned easily only is one is already doing the first section correctly.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan, however, is more than mere technique, for it has deep spiritual aspects. It is very important to emphasize that the achievement of health and longevity cannot be attained simply by a mechanical application of techniques.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan, when performed correctly, affects all aspects of life, spiritual as well as physical. If the exercises are made a regular part of daily life over a period of years, the deterioration of the body in old age can be prevented or at least greatly slowed down.
The phrase T’ai Chi originally comes from the I Ching. The concept has been widely used in Chinese culture, being found in areas as varied as medical science, meditation, and prediction, as well as in the exercise of T’ai Chi Ch’uan.
The I Ching is translated into English as “The Book of Changes”, but actually has three meanings: ease, change and changelessness. The basic principle of T’ai Chi is derived from all three. First is ease, for the form should be comfortable and easy. Second is change, the form constantly changes from yin (heavy) to yang (light) never stopping. The exercise also involves mutual change; the weight always shirts from left to right, or right to left. Even though there is this unceasing change, the body is always peaceful and relaxed. Thus the exercise embodies changelessness. The state that includes both the ease of movement (yang) and ease of stillness (yin) is termed T’ai Chi.
T’ai Chi can also be thought of as The Supreme Ultimate and at the same time as The Ultimateless.
What is Chi? The full significance of this Chinese word is hard to express in a single English phrase. It signifies vital energy and also respiration, including both the breathing and the circulation of blood that carries the breath throughout the body, and it has a spiritual connotation as well. The remarkable thing is the chi combines all these aspects in a way that applied accurately to the practice of T’ai Chi Ch’uan. In the correct practice of T’ai Chi, the conscious mind concentrates on the chi, which in turn propels the arms and legs. This leads to increased awareness of the flow of the chi throughout the entire body, improving circulation and resulting in increased energy.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan is not especially valuable to one particular group of people or another, for the remarkable truth about T’ai Chi is that it has a universal value as a health practice unmatched by any other form of exercise.
T’ai Chi Ch’uan is effortless. Any age group can practice. No equipment is necessary. Appropriate in any season of the year, and in any weather, like the Tao itself, T’ai Chi is unlimited in its benefits and the conditions in which it reveals its nature.
The exact nature of the health benefits one can expect from the practice is to some extent dependent on one’s health situation and point of view. Of course there are many different situations and points of view, but the important thing is that everyone who makes these exercises part of his or her life discovers a unique value in them.
What T’ai Chi offers as an alternative to other forms of exercise is a much broader concept of health and longevity, according to which an organism flourishes only if it is properly nourished and cared for throughout its life cycle. In order for a tree to bear good fruit, it must be watered and cultivated from the time it is a tiny sprout through its branching, leaf growing and flowering stages. Strength is of some importance to a tree, so that it will not be broken by the wind, but it is only one factor in good health. It is likewise for people. The T’ai Chi exercise is a health practice that can be applied by anyone on a regular basis. They will increase muscular strength, but will also promote growth, help prevent physical deterioration, and lead to good health and a happy old age.”
If you want to learn T’ai Chi Master Liu has written: “If you want to learn T’ai Chi Ch’uan you must first be positively determined in mind. In order to achieve proficiency daily practice is desirable. It must become an essential part of your life. Second, you should find a good teacher. He or she will give you a combination of correct forms and the deep philosophy underlying it. He or she will inspire you to achieve the strong yet subtle concentration to master the form”
T'ai Chi Ch’uan Master Da Liu was my teacher. He taught me the forms and later he took the time and great care in instructing me to be a teacher. Our relationship was a traditional Master / Student relationship. Master Liu lived from 1901 to July of 2000. I studied with him in the 1980’s in New York City. Since his death I have kept alive his teachings and his lineage. I teach T’ai Chi students in the manner he taught me. However the manner he taught me was much different than the manner he taught me to teach others.
I believe anyone who can walk can learn T’ai Chi. First you must know why you want to learn T’ai Chi. Master Liu has stated that a potential student “must be positively determined in mind.” This means studying the forms is not a lark. Don’t expect T’ai Chi to conform to anyone’s concept, idea or expectation. T’ai Chi is not an idea. Most people turn to T’ai Chi when they realize that something that they cannot name or describe is missing from their lives. That is why I started.
To find a good teacher depends on where you live and who happens to be teaching T’ai Chi near you.
I teach T’ai Chi every Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:00 PM at St Joseph’s Hall in Grass Valley. I have been teaching in Grass Valley for ten years. When I arrived I sought out the other teachers in this area. We showed each other our forms and talked. I told them I was going to start a class and teach Master Liu’s form. Those teachers I met then no longer live in our community.
I don’t know how many T’ai Chi teachers are in our area today. I do know however, that all teachers of T’ai Chi are friendly, focused, and tell students about their teachers’. All teachers are willing to give those curious about T’ai Chi the freedom to observe the class without charge and maybe even offer one free class.
Finally, one cannot learn T’ai Chi from a book, or a video-tape. One can only learn in a class situation. One can only learn if inspired by a teacher.
"Joseph sincerely cares about his students. He steadfastly coaches them in the spirit of patience, compassion peace of mind, health and longevity."
Judson Fischer, current student
Tai Chi Class
in now in session.
Please come by our class and observe.
Please be very quite when entering
Next Beginners Class
will be starting
Copyright 2005 Saint Josephs Cultural Center