The GBCCA Taiji Class has been running for over 10 years. It is held at the GBCCA Center every Thursday evening from 7 to 8 PM. Class participants are of diverse ages, ranging from youth to elderly in their 80s. The class was originally taught by Dr. Eleanor Wu, and has been led by Dr. Shaw Huang since Dr. Wu moved to California.
Shaw Huang has been practicing Traditional Yang Style Taiji since college. He always reminds members of the four elements of practicing Tiaji: relaxation, softness, roundness, and tranquility. Relaxation refers to loosening up muscles and joints, lowering shoulders, dropping jaws, and keeping eyes focused on infinite distance. Softness means that all Taiji movements should be soft, slow, and elastic, with minimal sharp, abrupt actions; and keeping control without reaching extremity for every movement.
Roundness means following circles and curves when changing movements, and keeping one's body stable and balanced like a rolling ball. Tranquility refers to keeping the mental status calm and pure without being bothered by worries and any other business in mind.
Shaw Huang has also been spending time learning other Taiji styles and sharing his acquired knowledge and views with class members. In this one-hour class, we always start with a few minutes of warm-up exercise to make sure our ankles, knees, and other joints are loosened up. Then we follow the traditional Eight-Section-Brocade Qigong to modulate our breathing and meridians, which, while still pseudoscientific, are being studied extensively using some state-of-the-art instruments such as fMRI.
We then start the 108-movement Xiong-Clan Yang-Style Taiji Fist, followed by the 58-Movement Yang-Style Taiji Sword and the 36-Movement Yang-Style Taiji Fan.
The GBCCA Taiji Class does not impose rigorous training like in many other Chinese Kung-Fu classes. Members simply try their best to follow the movements within their physical limitations. There is no pressure of passing tests for diplomas or certificates.
Nevertheless, with this once a week group exercise, members have already found significant health benefits. The class also holds other extracurricular activities such as excursions, and dinner parties. With time, members have built up a strong bond and formed friendships with one another.
If you are interested in joining us, please contact our class leader Susanna Wei (tel: 508-358-5625).