Tai Chi and Qigong

Nicola's introduction to Tai Chi came while she was at Exeter University in 1989. She started practicing Cheng Man Ching's Yang Style Tai Chi with Angus Clark (who went on to found livingmovement.com).

She moved to the Dominican Republic in September of 1990 and carried on practicing tai chi alone. Then in 2001 (under her maiden name of Smith) she began to practice under the watchful eye of Professor Li Deyin at the Deyin Taijiquan Institute. His daughter Faye and son-in-law Tary Yip were her Masters and Nicola soon exhibited an excellence in her practice of the forms that Professor Li had developed. She also developed a deeper understanding of the relationship between the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi. Qigong develops skills in breath control, bodily strength and suppleness and promotes a sense of inner strength and calm. These qigong benefits not only help in the practice of Tai Chi forms, but also promote general health, vitality and wellbeing.

Nicola then spent the next four years training in the traditional way of intense one to one instruction with Tary or Faye every time she returned home to England. She attended every class she could with them every time she came back home for a visit. By 2003 she was proficient enough to teach the forms herself.

In 2004 she was authorised to teach under the mantle of the Deyin Taijiquan Institute, in the Dominican Republic, setting up a franchise in the West Indies with Tary and Faye's blessing.

Unfortunately when she returned home permanently in January 2006 there was no one for her to pass the school on to as no one had progressed enough to become a teacher.

Faye and Tary have continued to coach Nicola, forming a backbone to her quest to improve her style and repertoire. Under their tutelage she has won many medals in competitions -including two World Health Qigong gold medals. She has also won several years of Official British Championship crowns in both hand and weapon forms thanks to their guidance on how to perfect her style.

Nicola currently holds several classes each week, combining Qigong and Tai Chi into a learning experience that develops within the student practitioner an understanding and appreciation of the benefits and applications of each step within a form - gently encouraging a deepening of commitment, grace and skill within those in her classes.

Tai Chi

T'ai chi ch'uan or Taijiquan, often shortened to t'ai chi, taiji or tai chi in English usage, is an internal Chinese martial art practised for both its defense training and its health benefits.

It is a 'hard and soft' martial art technique that is associated with general fitness, inner peace and longevity. Many training forms exist, both traditional and modern. Most modern styles of tai chi trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.

Medical research has found evidence that tai chi is helpful for improving balance and for general psychological health, and that it is associated with general health benefits in older people.

Click here to read a testimonal written by a student of mine to how the practice of Tai Chi can improve your life.

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Qigong is practiced throughout China and worldwide for recreation, exercise and relaxation, preventive medicine and self-healing, complementary and alternative medicine, meditation and self-cultivation, and also when training for the martial arts.

Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. These sets of movements are called 'forms'. In my class you will learn how to perform some of the Qigong forms that have been recognised by the Chinese Health Qigong Association.

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Disclaimer - The therapies and services on this website are not offered as a cure or as a substitute for medical or psychological diagnosis and treatment. The information provided on this website, expressed or implied, is for the purposes of information only; it is not given as medical advice. If you have a health problem, health question or medical emergency you are advised to consult your doctor.