Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan means 'Supreme Ultimate System'. In the Tai Chi classes taught by Cambridge Kung Fu we seek to teach this amazing system as it was originally intended; focussing and balancing your body, mind and spirit to develop a fully integrated system for living a long, healthy, happy and successful life.
The Benefits of Tai Chi Chuan
Although an extremely effective martial art, Tai Chi Chuan (T'ai Chi/Tai Ji) is usually practiced with the emphasis on improving and developing the health of the practitioner.
Tai Chi Chuan is practised by people of all ages who would like to improve their posture, mobility, sensitivity, coordination, stamina, concentration, balance and relaxation. Training in our classes includes solo and partner exercises to integrate your calm and relaxed movements and thoughts into your interactions with other people under different types of pressure.
One of the many benefits of Tai Chi Chuan is that practising is not limited by your age, ability, equipment or environment. You can practice anywhere and everywhere; at home, in the lounge, in the park, in the car-park on your lunch break or even on the beach!
The Aims of Tai Chi Chuan
Our aim at Cambridge Kung Fu is to help all our students to live safe, happy, healthy and successful lives. In addition to the physical benefits of Tai Chi, our classes aim to help students reap the sorts of benefits that are achieved through the repetition of slow movement sequences. The main benefits obtained from these exercises include an increased feeling of calm, and achieveing the ability to stay relaxed in more stressful situations. The aim is, not only the slower you move the stronger and more balanced you will become, but also the slower you move the more relaxed and stress free you will become.
Our Tai Chi Chuan Classes
There are many variations of Tai Chi Chuan, with the one studied at Cambridge Kung Fu being 'Kun Tao', which means 'Mother Way' or 'Martial Way'. Kun Tao Tai Chi is a Malaysian version of Yang style Tai Chi, with a mix of Wu, Chen and Sun influences, as taught by Grandmaster Brian Jones.
The main part of the system, and what most people think of as Tai Chi, is a long sequence of movements (the form) practised as a slow continuous flow. All the movements are designed to improve your use of your body. In our classes you will learn this Tai Chi form which combines many different movements that together produce benefits for your whole body.
The Kun Tao Tai Chi form is made up of three sections which are learnt on the right side, then on the left side, then combined to balance both sides of the body and mind. The individual movements within the form work different parts of your body, externally (the bits you can see and move) and internally (the bits you can not see, reach, or easily move) as well as developing coordination between all parts of your body and mind. This results in internal and external harmony and balance.
We also teach the 'Two Person Dance' of Tai Chi Chuan in our classes. The 'Two Person Dance' is a partner exercise to teach the martial applications of the Tai Chi form in a slow and relaxed manner. Even for those not interested in the Self Defence properties of Tai Chi Chuan, practising the 'Two Person Dance' gives your body feedback on how moving and reacting to external pressures helps you develop a state of relaxation in an ever changing and moving environment.
Our Tai Chi Chuan Teachers
The Tai Chi we teach is that taught by Grandmaster Brian Jones, who himself trained under a variety of distinguished instructors, including Grandmaster Leong Fu, Master Tjoa Khek Kiong, Grandmaster Grecco Wong, and Prof. Tatsuo Suzuki. From these instructors Grandmaster Brian studied a variety of Tai Chi styles, as well as other arts (such as Black Tiger, Wing Chun, White Crane, Tik Po Sum/Iron Body and more) and has incorporated their influences into his own styles, to ensure that they continue to develop and grow as 'Integrated Kun Tao'.
Grandmaster Brian and Master Ricky, a student of Grandmaster Brian, teach instructors from around the world in a variety of arts. Our instructor, Col Maggs is a private student of Grandmaster Brian and both Grandmaster Brian and Master Ricky visit Cambridge several times a year to give seminars to the students of Cambridge Kung Fu and also to grade students in Tai Chi Chuan.
Tai Chi Chuan Grading
The main part of our syllabus is the unarmed Tai Chi Form or ‘Solo Dance’. Once you have completed this to a basic level you will have the option to learn the weapons forms which consist of the traditional Broadsword, Narrow Sword and Spear, as well as the specialised Forms created by Grandmaster Brian Jones which are the Double Kun Tao Knives and the Staff.
For those wishing to gain an understanding of why you do the moves there is the ‘Two Person Dance’ which follows the same sequence as the ‘Solo Dance’ but is performed with a partner. For the Weapons there are ‘Two Person Exercises’ which, like the ‘Two Person Dance’, lead into the applications.
Although there are not usually grades in Tai Chi Chuan, due to the fact that we also teach the ‘Two Person Dance’ and the combative side of Tai Chi Chuan, Grandmaster Brian has designed 12 Student Grades followed by 4 Advanced Grades for those students wishing to be tested in the system.
Grading is totally optional and does not affect your progression of learning the ‘Integrated Kun Tao’ system, as you may continue learning without ever being Graded. However if you wish to teach the art, you will need to work your way through the Grades at some point.
For those who wish to progress through our syllabus there are opportunities to be graded throughout the year by Grandmaster Brian Jones. There is no timescale for Grading as everyone’s journey is different and each person learns at a different rate.
There are 12 Student Grades followed by 4 Advanced Grades. There are also several Instructor Grades for anyone who wants to pass their knowledge on to fellow students. Learn more about our ' Instructor Grades'.
- Grades 1-4 are the Beginner Grades and students working towards these wear a White T-Shirt.
- Grades 5-8 are the Intermediate Grades and students working towards these wear a Green T-Shirt.
- Grades 9-12 are the Senior Grades and students working towards these wear a Brown T-Shirt.
- Students who pass their Twelfth Grade are then on the Advanced Level and wear a Black T-Shirt with White print.
- Students who have completed the first Advanced Level Grading wear a Black T-Shirt with Red print.