Lee Style T’ai Chi & the TCAA

The Taoist Cultural Arts Association

All classes on this website are Lee style Tai Chi as taught by Professor Chee Soo.

The Lee style is one of the oldest forms of Taoist training which was brought to the west in the 1930’s and so it still encapsulates the traditional Taoist methods from before the modern era in China. It is a pure system which has maintained its independence from western philosophy and materialism and has not been mixed with material from other styles. The Taoist Cultural Arts Association is a non profit making Association and is the only Association in the world today still teaching the authentic and complete range of the Lee style Taoist Arts and following exactly the same syllabus as taught by Professor Chee Soo.

The main emphasis in Lee style T’ai Chi is on relaxation and health and is based on Taoist philosophy.

Costs

Anyone is welcome to join at any time during the term and we charge £5 for each lesson attended (if you do both the Tai Chi and Feng Shou classes at the Penzance club you just pay £8). If you intend to train regularly we will ask you to join the Association which costs £30 a year, this covers our Association’s administrative costs and insurance.

Clothing

It’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothing and trainers.  T’ai Chi and Kung Fu uniforms, T-shirts and shoes can be obtained from the instructor should you wish – the uniform is £35 (£20 for children’s sizes) and the Association badge is £5.

The Classes

The exercises we do in both classes are not strenuous and develop flexibility, posture and internal strength. We are not interested in competition so everyone is able to develop at their own pace. Our Arts attract a wide variety of people from all walks of life and  our style is very old and unique.

The benefits of T’ai Chi Ch’uan

The T’ai Chi exercises are suitable for anyone of any age or level of ability. T’ai Chi is an excellent way to learn how to relax even when under stress as well as developing the internal energy of the body known as ‘Chi’. Internal exercise forms are based on the philosophy behind Chinese Medicine which benefits the internal organs and energy meridians rather than the external part of the body or musculature. This helps to prevent disease as well as slowing down the ageing process. T’ai Chi exercises have been practised in China for over three thousand years. We also learn loosening up exercises, deep breathing and relaxation techniques as well as K’ai Men or Taoist Yoga, an ancient form of Chi Gung or energy building exercises that help to open up the energy meridians and increase the flow of ‘Chi’ or life-force.

T’ai Chi is not just a physical form of exercise but also has mental and spiritual aspects.

Physical

The gentleness of T’ai Chi ensures that the practitioner does not suffer the kinds of strains or muscular and joint injuries which are common with more physical types of exercise, but develops greater strength while developing greater flexibility and suppleness. Dedicated athletes will find that T’ai Chi is one of the finest ways of gently warming up to offset any vigorous exercise that may follow and it can help to speed up recovery from injury.  The nervous system is soothed and calmed which can help aid restful sleep. In China T’ai Chi is often practised as a Health Art because it has been known for centuries to aid recovery from a variety of diseases especially those caused by stress or overwork, and it can also benefit anyone suffering from overweight as it helps to break down the fatty tissue in the body thereby reducing the body to its natural weight level. T’ai Chi is also very good for the balance.

Mental

T’ai Chi can help to sharpen the mental faculties and improve acuity so that a very strong and purposeful mind is developed. Dynamic and exact control is maintained over all parts of the body and by this means one learns to keep control over the emotions. We also learn various partner exercises which provide a unique opportunity to learn how to utilize and develop internal energy as well as learning practical methods to stay focussed and relaxed in stressful situations.

Spiritual

In Ancient China there were various activities performed in order to develop the spirit, for example Archery, Swordsmanship, Calligraphy, flower arranging and so on. The emphasis of this kind of exercise is quite different to the types of competitive sports that are practised in the West, that is why we refer to the practise as an Art rather than a Sport. T’ai Chi is based upon the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Although Taoism is not a religion, studying T’ai Chi can have spiritual benefits by helping us to become aware of how we are a part of the natural environment. By learning how to control the emotions you can start to develop a deep inner peace thereby becoming at one with oneself and others around you. This naturally leads to a greater awareness and understanding of oneself, and a greater appreciation and understanding of others, all of which creates a balance and harmony within oneself and an understanding of our place within the Universe. (more details on the TCAA website)