It is the philosophy of any system that holds the tactics, techniques and
applications together. Without a full understanding of the subtle concepts, a martial art
becomes a group of pre-defined movements, void of any true continuity. Esoma has a well
defined philosophy that binds the resulting tactics to create a remarkably well formed
- Joe Martin, Founder
Tai Chi for the Living Room
Taichi for the Living Room is designed to provide the student with all the health-giving benefits people expect to receive when studying other forms of taichi (24, 36, 42, 88, 108), but in 1/10 the time or less.
Taichi for the Living Room requires only one meter of space!
If you've ever quit studying taichi because you couldn't wait years to reap the benefits of your labor, then Taichi for the Living Room is for you.
Yang Style Tai Chi
The true essence of taichi is not to learn a set of pre-defined movements, nor to become proficient at self-defense, although these will manifest during the course of continual practice. The primary goal of taichi is to become more aware of the natural laws, which govern change. Not just change in the body as it affects physical, structural movement, but rather the principles of change and movement that govern every aspect of our lives and the world around us; plus how we interact through our belief systems and values.
The exercises and forms of the practice simply provide us with an opportunity to explore that process of discovery.
Many people hear about the numerous health benefits of taichi and sign up to take a class in much the same way they would go out and buy knee brace to help their aching knee. Most of our society, especially the baby boomers, are always looking for new and easy ways for someone to "fix" us. We want, know, we expect to be fixed when we go to the doctor, dentist, chiropractor or any other health practitioner. We have become the huge group of whiners, constantly complaining to someone about all the problems in our lives that we want changed, but we rarely do anything about it ourselves.
I think this is why the health club business is so profitable. The majority of the people who sign up for membership stop coming after a few months of having to do something on their own to improve their health. Of course, they are still paying for their membership and the health club can continue to increase their enrolment with out having to increase their workout space.
I'm not suggesting that health clubs are not providing a valuable service to the community; they are. But like so many other service areas, we want them to serve us. We want a quick, effortless fix. It's as though we expect to become healthier and look better just from being a member of a health club.
I have many people ask me about exercises to benefit specific areas of the body. "What's the best exercise I can do to strengthen my abs?" "What's the best exercise I can do to strengthen my quads?" In every case I tell them, it's the ones you do!
There is no magic pill or potion that is going to bring vibrant health into our lives. There's no one thing that will change our body, mind and spirit, and our relationship with our family and the world in which we live. They are all made up of interdependent parts that depend on each other for their existence. They are constantly interacting to build us up, or to tare us down. Our emotional state has as much, if not more, to do with our physical well being and overall health as how much exercise we get and what foods we eat.
Much to the dismay of most that decide they want to acquire the numerous benefits of taichi, taichi is not the slow, graceful movements that we see with our eyes. Neither do those benefits manifest themselves through continuous, fluid movement. If that were the case, many other art forms such as ballet would provide these same life-prolonging health benefits.
Similar to other art forms, like learning guitar, piano, dance, etc., there are certain fundamental mechanics that must be developed first. If you have ever taken piano lessons, you are well aware of the necessity to practice on a regular basis. During the initial few months, sometimes years, the relaxing pleasure one expects to receive from playing is virtually non existent.
Playing somewhat silly, simple songs and monotonous scales just do not provide the same self-gratification as playing the wonderfully inspiring songs of your favorite composer. In the beginning, everything seems so mechanical -- this finger on that key for x number of beats. That type of monotone playing is rarely considered more than sound. It is the subtle variations in the volume of each note, the almost unnoticed fluctuation in the rhythm throughout the song, the wonderful clarity with which the notes resonate that we are striving to attain. This, we all agree, takes time, patience, practice and a burning desire to enjoy the process of getting where we want to be.
When we watch or listen to the hypnotic melodies of an accomplished concert musician, we are moved and inspired. Sometimes we are even inspired to take up music ourselves. What we see, hear and enjoy is actually a byproduct of what the musician is hearing and feeling inside his mind and body. This is what is inspiring to the musician, this is the driving force that lures him to play again and again, this is what is so relaxing and self-gratifying.
There is so much more happening on the inside than what we see and hear. The music is an outward expression of what the musician hears and feels inside.
There is a virtual parallel with taichi. It is what one feels that is taichi.
Although, as an observer, we can enjoy and appreciate what we see when someone is doing taichi, there is so much more happening inside the practitioner that creates the health benefits and reduces stress that allows the beautifully flowing movements to manifest. To obtain this stage in taichi takes patience, knowledge and cultivation in order to harvest the fruits of one's practice; much like the cultivation of plants to yield a crop.
I mention this because so many people come to me to learn the health benefits obtained through the study of taichi. They think they can learn a few flowing movements in several weeks or months and be transformed into a person with no stress, no pain; none of the conditions that have plagued their mind, body and emotions. There is on doubt that taichi can and will transform you, reduce stress, increase energy, relieve joint discomfort, increase balance and stability, but these qualities are produced through the proper cultivation of the unique principles of taichi, not merely doing the form.
The movements we typically see that comprise the taichi form, or pre-arranged movements, were designed to incorporate these principles into a martial art for the express purpose of self-defense. Learning taichi as a martial art, without understanding the principles behind each move has little value as a self-defense.
We have evolved into a society of whiners, complaining about virtually every aspect of our lives, rarely willing to participate in the solution. We want someone to fix us, with as little participation on our part as possible. I know; not everyone fits into this category. The fact that you are reading this article shows that you want to take active control in transforming your mind, body and emotions, or spirit.
As stated before, it is how taichi feels that is important, more than how it looks; therefore my objective is to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles that are the foundation of taichi. Learning the form is not important, in the beginning. What is important? The fundamentals.
We don't learn to read before we learn to recognize words, nor learn words before we learn to spell. We don't learn to spell before learning the alphabet.
There is a systematic approach to learning.
Registration is no longer handled through the Davidson Parks and Recreation Department. For information, call: 704.907.5735
Class Time & Location
Tai Chi for the Living Room
New time coming soon
New time coming soon