I. BTC CLASSES: FROM BEGINNER TO ADVANCED
The Core Curriculum at Brookline Tai Chi has changed and evolved over the past three decades. We strive for a balance of tradition and adaptation; art and science; what has come before and what is needed now.
Students who have studied Tai Chi before are welcome to study at BTC!
Many “jump into” our intermediate or advanced classes; while others find that they benefit from learning some of the Fundamentals that they may have missed. Feel free to contact us by phone or email (don.miller@BrooklineTaiChi.org) to discuss what might work best to assist you on your Tai Chi Journey.
I have been practicing tai chi on and off for 40 years, but have been taking classes with Don for only a year or so. In that year, my understanding of tai chi has deepened tenfold. Each class brings fresh insights and revelations: So that’s why doing it this way instead of that way is more powerful! No wonder that move never felt right to me! Who knew that practicing with a rock or a stick could make such a difference? Even when I begin one of Don’s classes feeling tired, tense, and distracted, I always come out of it feeling energized, relaxed, centered. I can’t recommend his classes highly enough. –Zelda S.
New students–who may have been introduced to our programs through A Taste Of Tai Chi–usually spend the first 6 months learning the Fundamentals in Tai Chi/Qigong 101and Tai Chi 102. Seniors and others with concerns about balance and falling often take Tai Chi For Healthy Aging And Better Balance, a signature program that is currently being studied as an evidenced based Falls Prevention program. This program can be taken for an initial 12 weeks, or continuing in a vibrant ongoing group for many years.
After the first 6-9 months, the possibilities widen over an array of a dozen different classes, usually starting with Peng Lu Ji An: The Four Powers, which is considered the gateway into the richer and deeper aspects of the art.
Then, students focus on developing Tai Chi skills, strengths, and qualities (the Chinese term is gong)–through Rise Up Rooted; Wood Stone Iron Silk (Tai Chi With Objects and Equipment), or Eight Essential Movements.
During non-COVID times, important interactive classes such as Tui Shou (“Pushing Hands”), Interactive Tai Chi, and Tai Chi Martial Applications are also offered. Something to look forward to again!
At this point, some students opt to learn Forms–choreographed sequences that provide an extended expression of the qualities and energies of the art–often called “meditation in motion.” Short Forms, consisting of 20-40 moves and taking only a few minutes to perform, can be learned in about six months and happily practiced for many years thereafter. We currently offer both Wu Style and Yang Style Short Forms. (Advanced students can also proceed to the more demanding Long Form; see below.)
Students with several years of Tai Chi experience usually continue with the Intermediate classes, which one never really “outgrows”. For those who want to pursue more advanced Tai Chi subjects, we offer:
Yi Quan: a powerful Internal martial art that distills the most direct methods from Xingyi, Tai Chi, Shaolin and Qigong to increase mind-body integrity, awareness, and life-force.
Wu Style Long Form: The traditionalform of theWu Style developed by Wu Jian Quan with 100 or more moves, which usually takes 15-20 minutes to perform and requires several years to learn (and many to perfect!).
Twelve Jings: After the 4 Powers (Peng/Lu/Ji/An) have been fully activated, the study of Jings continues with 12 additional qualities, including: Tsai (“Split”), Kao (Shoulder/Whole Body), ChanSi (Spiralling/”Silk Reeling”); Ting (“Listening” /sensitivity); Fa (Sudden Discharge); and Hua (Neutralization/Transformation).
Other: Periodically, we also offer other advanced “elective” courses, including:
Staff Sword Spear Knife (Tai Chi Weapons Work),
Kuntao-Silat, and others.
For more detailed information about these and other classes, see Weekly Classes.
Over the past five years BTC has offered dozens of workshops and seminars in many different subjects with visiting masters, including Sun Style Tai Chi, Tian Gong, Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi Jian (straight sword), Marriage Of Heaven and Earth Qigong, and much more. Though our workshops program understandably stalled during the past year, we expect to have some enlightening new offerings in Zoom format (and later perhaps, in person) in the coming year. Stay tuned!
TRAININGS AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS
BTC also conducts a number of special intensive programs and trainings, including:
— Tai Chi For Healthy Aging And Better Balance (TCHABB)
— A Taste Of Tai Chi (ATOTC)
TAI CHI BOOT CAMPS
For detailed descriptions of these programs, see WORKSHOPS/SPECIAL PROGRAMS page. We hope this helps a bit to understand our curriculum. BTC Instructors and the Director are always available to answer questions and help with choices and decisions. We wish you joy and growth on your Tai Chi Journey!