FAQ Page

Even if you are studying Tai Chi purely for health, we will go over the self-defense/martial applications. This will enable you to better understand and execute the forms. While this is not a combat Tai Chi course, martial aspects will be taught.

Push Hands (Tui Shou) is a partner exercise that is used to build sensitivity and to truly test your relaxation. It builds internal skill that can be used for healing and for martial applications. It is easy to convince yourself that you are relaxed until you are in contact with another moving person. You’ll soon discover areas of tension and will learn to relax further. Push Hands is not taught in many Tai Chi programs, however it is imperative to full Tai Chi instruction. We will practice Push Hands in a very sensitive, relaxed way – there will be no aggressive tournament-style play in our group training sessions.

Qigong or “Energy-Cultivation”, is an aspect of Chinese medicine involving the coordination of different breathing patterns with various physical postures and motions of the body. Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes, but there are also some who teach it as a therapeutic intervention. Various forms of traditional qigong are also widely taught in conjunction with Chinese martial arts, and are especially prevalent in the advanced training of what are known as the Neijia or internal martial arts.

Tai chi is an ancient exercise that embodies China’s most profound concepts and principles of health and movement. It offers true harmony between body and mind. In Chinese, tai chi means “supreme ultimate.”

Based on softness and awareness rather than force and resistance, tai chi has been recognized for centuries as a method of self-cultivation and an unexcelled form of self defense.

Practiced at a slow and even speed, tai chi movements are widely acknowledged to help calm the emotions, focus the mind, and strengthen the immune system. In a very real sense, tai chi helps us stay younger as we grow older, thus making an essential contribution to our overall health and well-being.

8 and 13 Movement Yang Style Forms/Qigong

New Jersey Tai Chi begins with 8 and 13 Movement Yang Style Forms/Qigong.
These are short forms. You will discover that it’s not about the quantity of movement but the quality of your movement. The forms are easy to learn, enjoyable, and accessible to students at a whole range of levels of physical skill and ability. Our forms are based on principles (softness, relaxation, straightness, centeredness) that are the source of Tai Chi’s health benefits. An advanced form will be available as you progress. You will also learn Qi activation, cultivation and flow.

Tai chi is practiced as a “form,” a well-defined sequence of movements that flows from one posture to the next according to underlying principles. Tai Chi forms are learned by practicing the movements and principles in class weekly and at home every day. In class teachers demonstrate the movements, and students practice them together as a group. The teachers give you hands-on adjustments to help you feel the best alignment for the movements and postures. No special equipment or uniform is required – just wear comfortable, athletic clothing.

Regular practice of tai chi nourishes the body, mind, and spirit. As physical exercise, tai chi strengthens the legs and improves balance. Posture and flexibility in the joints are improved, so you can stand and move with less effort. The slow shifting of weight from leg to leg  helps the circulation of blood through the body, improving heart health. The quality of relaxation in tai chi, as you move through the sequence of postures, helps to regulate the flow of your internal energy, your qi, through your whole body, nourishing the health of your internal organs.

As we learn to relax physically, we learn to relax our thoughts and emotions, relieving the stress of family, relationships and work. Stress relief is a common tai chi benefit that brings many people to this art.

Placing the focus of our awareness at the center of the body makes tai chi a moving meditation, a way to be centered and grounded throughout our day.

Studies have shown these potential health benefits of Tai Chi:

  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Decreased depression, stress, anxiety
  • Increased immunity
  • Increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • Reduced asthma
  • Reduced arthritis and other chronic pain
  • Increased aerobic endurance
  • Increased bone density, better balance
  • Reduced symptoms of digestive disorders

Harvard Medical School provides information on the benefits of Tai Chi:


Properly taught and practiced, tai chi can be safely and productively done by anyone who can stand and walk. The movements and postures of the tai chi form can and should be done at your individual capacity and adapted to your current condition.

You’ll be interested to know that many new scientific studies have shown the practice of tai chi to be beneficial to people suffering from virtually all the major chronic illnesses from heart disease to diabetes.