Art of Flowing Movement
Internal Strength & Harmony
Taiji is an ancient Chinese martial art that is based on principles of relaxation and meditation. It is a path of personal development which promotes good health, harmonious energy and deepened states of awareness.
Taiji translates as 'The Supreme Ultimate' and refers to the origin of all things – that from which all else has developed.
Philosophically, Taiji developed from Taoism. Tao is the primal force that creates all phenomena in the universe. This cosmic force is polarised into Yin and Yang which represents the process of continual change, always moving towards balance.
The ultimate aim of Taiji practice is to realise the self in this expanded context, to cultivate peace of mind and to harmonise with life and all existence.
Taiji is a non-aggressive self-defense system whose soft yielding movements are employed to harmonise with an opponent's force. These moves are performed with a balance of inner and outer focus, which refines our ability to listen within and act from a deeper level.
As a moving meditation Taiji coordinates body, breath and mind, which fosters inner knowledge and tranquility, and promotes the experience of stillness at the centre of all activity.
Taiji practice brings internal strength, alignment, stability and the genesis of movement from the body's vital centre. It is well known for its success in alleviating many ailments of the organs and enhancing the functioning of the digestive system, nervous system and immune system.
Health benefits include: good posture and health of the spine, strengthening of the joints and bones, increased flexibility and ease of movement, and improved circulation of energy throughout the whole body. That is, Taiji is an active form of Qigong – the cultivation and preservation of vital life energy.
It is said that Taiji was created by Chang San-Feng around 1100 AD, however its history is far longer than this. This school teaches the Yang Form, formalised by Yang Chen-Fu (1883 - 1936). The 37-step Short Form that is initially taught was designed by one of Yang Chen-Fu's most outstanding disciples, Cheng Man-Ch'ing (1898 – 1975).
Cheng Man-Ch'ing did much to promote Taiji in the West. For many years he taught in Taiwan, however in the early 1960's he established a large following in the United States, where he taught Taiji as a philosophical approach to life as well as an internal martial art.
One of Ch'ing's most accomplished students was Huang Sheng-Shuan (1910 – 1992) who was a master of Taoist medical, martial and spiritual arts and a disciple of the Taoist Sage and White Crane Master Xie Zhong-Xian (1852 – 1930). In his 30's Master Huang spent a decade training under the daily supervision of Cheng. He migrated to Malaysia in the late 1950's and taught thousands of students in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia.
Master Huang created five loosening exercises which contain all the basic elements of Taiji and help students to deepen their understanding of its principles. Also included are two fast forms called 'The White Crane' and 'The Quick Fist'.
Patrick Kelly was born in New Zealand in 1950. He was Master Huang's closest Western student, training intensively with him from 1975 until Master Huang's death in 1992. Patrick has formulated Master Huang's teachings into a comprehensive system through which he generously imparts his extensive knowledge of the internal aspects of Taiji.
TAIJI WITH SHIRSHA MARIE
Taiji in Byron Bay is taught by Shirsha Marie, a full-time martial artist and the Founder and Senior Instructor of Heart Mind Centre, (est. 1986). Shirsha began training Yang style Taiji with Roger Cotgreave in 1993 and with Patrick Kelly in 1996. She attends annual trainings with Patrick and, under his guidance, continues the traditions and training methods of the Yang Style.
* 5 Loosening Exercises * 37-Step Short Form * 108-Step Long Form * Push Hands * 8 Paths Meditation
Traditions That Have Healed and Inspired
for Thousands of Years