(last updated: 25-02-2024)
Summer Hill Tai Chi Club provides a weekly FREE 1 hour Tai Chi & Qi Gong 'follow along' session, called "Gong Gong Tai Chi", as a Community Service for the people of Summer Hill & surrounding suburbs to enjoy some Breathing & Movement Exercise, Fresh Air & Sunshine in a Social setting (while maintaining social distancing).
Gong Gong (公共) means Public, and in this sense Community (社区).
Further, in English, I feel, the name "Gong Gong Tai Chi" has a nice, fun sound to it!
* Please note that, "Community Tai Chi hour" is NOT a Lesson/Class, and is NOT suitable as a 'trial lesson' or to 'see what a class/lesson is like'. They are nothing alike. For that purpose, please book a Lesson instead: LESSONS.
What is "follow along" style?
You simply follow along, trying to copy & mimic the movements of the Instructor moving in front of you, as best you can. Since it is not a Lesson/Class, There is NO Instruction, NO Corrections and minimal to No Directions, perhaps (sometimes): "step your left foot forward", "turn to the right" and so on. You simply try to copy as best you can - "monkey see, monkey do" style.
Remember it is NOT a Lesson or Class, The purpose of 'Gong Gong Tai Chi' is simply to come together and get some movement & deep breathing exercise, enjoying the sun and fresh air in social setting, Free of charge. Therefore as long as you are 'moving your arms and legs around', extending and bending your joints, breathing deeply, and so on, then it's all good, just try and have fun, get some movement and do your best to copy allow. This will at least provide some basic level health benefits.
As the same movements are repeated each week, it is possibly to actually pick up a basic rudamentary execution of them gradually over the weeks. Many of the simpler Qi Gong exercises can be picked up in this way.
We Change sets of exercises every 3-4 months, cycling through 3 or 4 sets per year for variety.
What if I want to actually learn Tai Chi (Taiji Quan) &/or Qi Gong, or other aspects of Tai Chi?
Of course you are most welcome to take Lessons in Tai Chi &/or Qi Gong!!
I Teach Lessons in all aspects of Tai Chi (Taiji Quan) and Qi Gong in a step by step Quality manner. See LESSONS
I also Teach Filipino Martial Arts (FMA - Escrima, Arnis, Kali), Martial Arts, Self Defence, Women's Self Defence and Muay Thai / Kickboxing.
I am a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, including Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine.
What is Tai Chi and Taiji Quan (太極拳 / 太极拳)?
Simplistically, Tai Chi or Tai Chi Chuan (Taiji Quan 太極拳) is a Chinese Martial Art that today is generally focused on it's health & healing aspects, and is practiced as an enjoyable health nourishing exercise that helps you maintain good health, relaxation & vitality. The graceful movements of this Martial Art reflect a history of centuries of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) & Daoist (Taoist) Philosophy, which western science is also gradually confirming & validating.
The regular practice of Tai Chi has been shown to have many benefits to the health and well being of people of all ages and fitness levels. It is particularly helpful for those wishing to improve mobility & balance, relieve stress, strengthen the immune system increase one's health & vitality, as well as recuperating from illness or injury.
Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳) is simply an older way of romanising the Chinese word 'Taiji Quan' (太極拳) into English. The same as we once romanised (& pronounced) the Capital of China as "Peking" (北京), and nowadays we use "Beijing" (北京). You can see the Chinese Characters are the same.
Tai Chi / Taiji is simply an abbreviated form of the full name Tai Chi Chuan / Taiji Quan
Tai Chi includes the practice of Qi Gong (see below)
Regarding Yin- Yang philosophy: It often expressed that Tai Chi is the Yang aspect and Qi Gong is the Yin aspect
What is Qi Gong (氣功 / 气功)?
Again simplistically, Qi Gong (氣功),or Qigong/Chi Kung, are forms of Deep Breathing Health Nourishing Exercises. They involve aspects of stillness, movement, stretching, flexing/tensing, combined with deep abdominal breathing. For convenience, Meditation Practices can also be included under this term.
Benefits of Qi Gong are increasingly recognized worldwide and within scientific community. Qigong benefits range from mind relaxation and sharpening, stress relief to increased energy, vitality and helping to heal degenerative and chronic diseases.
Qigong exercises integrate body postures, movement, breathing and meditation for a healthy life, spiritual advancement and/or martial arts training.
It is a 5,000-year-old Chinese healthcare modality that has endured the test of time.
Qi Gong can be practiced as a stand alone Art, however it is very often practiced together with Tai Chi, and infact Tai Chi includes Qi Gong within it's practice.
Regarding Yin- Yang philosophy: It often expressed that Tai Chi is the Yang aspect and Qi Gong is the Yin aspect
'Gong Gong Tai Chi' - General Format
The session consists of:
The same set of Qi Gong exercises and short Tai Chi form are repeated each session for a month or three, and then changed for new ones, cycling through 3-4 different sets over the year.
How To Attend
Please register via the Contact Form on this website. Mention that you are interested in the Free Community Tai Chi hour (and/or Lessons, etc)
What to bring
Always take Water breaks when you need to. Always have a rest break and sit down if you need to.
If any movements feel uncomfortable or painful, adapt or omit them. Please let me know if this is the case, I am very happy to show you a variation/modification of any movements to suit any health issues or injuries you may have - that is not a problem at all. If you know in advance something which may cause a problem you can also let me know at the start.
Below is some useful information for the Community Tai Chi sessions, such as the names of the movements and so on.
Orientation. And Mirror (Opposite) Image.
Where you are facing is your North, East is to your right, South to yoru rear and so on.
Remember when the Instructor is facing you, it is reversed mirror image, "step to your right", means step to YOUR Right, "move your right hand is YOUR Right hand", "hold a ball with right hand on top", likewise is YOUR right hand" - since the instructor is facing you it is not the hand on the same side as you are viewing.
This is a little tricky and can be frustrating at the start. However it is very good exercise for your brain & for mind-body co-ordination. And of course I will also repeat demonstrations of movements with my back to you as well.
When we have more people attending, I will try to have one or two of my Students come, so they can show the back view when I show the front view, and vice versa. Don't be discouraged, over time and practice you'll improve in this kind of co-ordination.
And the purpose of Gong Gong Tai Chi is simply to get some movement & breathing acivity. So as long as you are moving your arms and legs around, extending and contracting your joints, breathing deeply, and so on, then it's all good. Enjoy the fresh air and some movement & breath. "Just Move"
Remember, the purpose here is not to "learn" Tai Chi as such. For that purpose, naturally one can take actual Lessons in Tai Chi/Qi Gong. So don't worry too much, and over time, you will gradually pick up, at least a basic form & level, of the movements each week.
In the example above we can see that unfortunately the students have fallen into this "mirror opposite" trap
Notice the Instructor in the blue shirt: He has moved his weight to his Right, weight is on his Right Leg, Left arm extended, Right arm more bent, closer to face.
Yet, Notice the students are actutally doing the opposite to what is required as they are accidently matching the same "side" or opposite image to him - they are moving weight onto their Left (instead of Right), weight is on their Left Leg, Right arm extended, Left arm more bent, closer to face.
Green tick is the direction the students' weight should be going, ie. to the Right
Ba Duan Jin Qi Gong (八段錦)
"Heavenly Set of 8 Precious Exercises", "8 Pieces of Brocade", "The 8 Treasures"
Shibashi Qi Gong (气功十八式)
"18 Qi Gong Exercises"
One imagines that they are standing at the edge of a beautiful Lake of tranquil water, with the sun shining warmly upon you, a nice gentle breeze in the air, and a gentle smile on your face.
As a child or teen, it is summer school holidays, you and your friends decide to journey to a near by beautiful lake, quite some way from town but hiking distance via a forest
1. After walking throught a nice forest you arrive at the beautiful lake to find that your friends are on the wrong side of the lake so you "wave hands by by the edge of the lake" to notify them to come over to this side of the lake.
2. Your friends have now joined you at your picnic location by the edge of the beautiful lake in the pleasant morning sunshine, and nice fresh air of the lake and forest causes you to take in some deep lung breaths as you "open your arms" to let your lungs take in the beautiful fresh clean air, and feel the nice warmth of the sun on your body.
3. Enjoying the pleasant and relaxing place with your friends, you become happy and everyone does the "Rainbow Dance" at the endge of the lake
4. Everyone dances a bit too well and rain clouds have appeared!! You reach up and "seperate the clouds" away so that the blue sunny skies once again return (telekenisis? ... super abilities to stretch your arms up into the air? )
5. Happy again you tie some ribbons or streamers to a stick and "whirl" them around, playing .... (think of DIY Rhythmic Gymnastic 'Ribbons')
6. You find a boat by the egde of the lake and take it for a "row" on the lake. Return it safely anchored where it was located once finished.
7. The rowing was sweaty work, so time for a swim in the beautiful clean Lake water! In the water and with some balls your brought. Your run your hands through water, feeling the drag resistance of the water and then "lift up a ball" that was floating on the surface, up out of the water, and then let it fall back to onto the water, splash!.
8. Time has passed and it's later afternoon, yet the moon can be seen already in the sky. Time for some more dancing joy, the Moon Dance - including gazing backwards, up over your shoulders, at the moon
9. The wind picks up alittle in the late afternoon and they observe nearby Lotus leaves are rustling in the gentle breeze
10.Tired from dancing! Everone lays down on the grass by the egde of the lake and watches the clouds floating & drifting across the beautiful blue sky by the gentle breeze
11. Now Everyone is luaghing and playing by scooping up water from the lake and throwing it up into the air and letting it rain down upon them.
12. The wind has picked up alittle and there are some small waves on the lake, the children play by imagining they are 'pulling' the waves, and before the water of breaking waves can reach their feet they estimate how far to step back and then "push" the water back moving forwards again ... "playing with the waves"
13. They see a Dove on a rock or tree branch opening and closing its wings stretching and sunning it's chest in the last warming rays of sunset sun.
14. Suddenely they see a Dragon emerging from the lake!, diving under water again and re emerging, as it plays in the water during the beautiful sunset
15. They see a wild goose (or crane, or eagle) flying over the lake in the last rays of sunset
16. As they are packing up they notice a windmill turning in the breeze at one side of the lake. In some versions: a carnival has come to the far edge of the lake, and in the dark the can see the pretty lights of a turning ferries wheel. But it's too late for them to hike there today, as they most return home. So they just enjoy the colourful lights for a while and then:
17. After a happy and pleassant day playing together at the lake, everyone marches home towards town while bouncing balls.
18.Having farewelled friends as they pass eachothers homes, you are now back at your home. Tired, you take some deep breaths and relax for a bit before going side.
Wu Qin Xi (五禽戲)
"5 Animals Frolic"
Community Tai Chi Forms & Movement Names
(These very short forms are only used for the Community Tai Chi hour, they are not part of the SHTC Student Curriculum)
Yang 25 Tai Chi Form
* Movements 3-7, (and 17-21), are each collectively known as "Grasping the Sparrows/Swallows Tail" (揽雀尾 Lǎn Què Wěi)
Wu 12 Tai Chi Form
Yang 32 Tai Chi Form
Several Other short Tai Chi forms & Qi Gong sets will be added as they are introduced in the Gong Gong Tai Chi sessions.
Please register your interest / Contact us below
* Training is conducted Outdoors in Nature with the Elements, in all Weather Conditions *