Tai Chi day at Heartlands

Cornwall Tai Chi will be hosting a day of T’ai Chi at the Heartlands Hall on

Saturday 12th October 10am to 5pm (lunch 1-2pm)

The cost will be £45 (£40 if you book in advance/ £25 half day)

  • 10am – Morning session starts: we begin with some warming up exercises followed by deep breathing to activate the internal energy. Tai Chi is not a physical form of exercise but develops a store of Qi or internal energy sometimes called the life-force, deep breathing is an important component in activating this kind of energy. We then go on to learning a sequence of flowing movements called Tai Chi dance which stimulates energy at the start of the class, this works by relaxing the physical body and opening the energy meridians and concentrating the mind. The energy tends to flow where the mind goes so learning these movements gets energy to flow around the entire body including the internal organs which generate energy.
  • 11:30am – Tea break, tea will be available
  • 11:45am – Partner work. Learning how to overcome stress is one of the most important factors in learning to relax and promote the free-flowing of energy in the body. Stress burns up too much energy and causes the body to age too quickly so we take practical steps to deal with it through partner exercises like sticky hands. You make contact with your partner’s arms and move in a circular fashion gently testing each other’s balance. With practice you learn how to relax and not tense when someone is pushing you, this skill can then be transferred into a host of other situations, even self-defence training.
  • 1-2pm – Lunch break. Bring a packed lunch or you can go to the nearby Red River Cafe.
  • 2-3:30pm – Qigong exercises and energy exercises in pairs.
  • 3:30pm – Afternoon tea break.
  • 3:45-5pm – T’ai Chi form. A meditative sequence of slow movements.

You can see some videos of our courses and classes and the various exercises we learn in T’ai Chi on our Youtube channel.

Tai Chi Easter Course in Cornwall 2020

St Just Sports Centre, Cape Cornwall Road, St Just, TR19 7JX

  • £40 per day (pay on the day)
  • book a full week for £175 and save £25 (pay in advance)

Book onto the course

The Tai Chi Easter Course is open to everyone from beginner level to advanced students and is suitable for both men and women of all ages. Over the week we will be going into the exercises we do in the evening classes in more depth and there will also be plenty of experienced students from our clubs around the country to work with.

A typical day starts with warming up exercises followed by Tao Yin or deep breathing. This activates the Dantian or lower cauldron where our internal energy is stored. We then do a partner exercise which helps the energy to travel along the spine and circulate throughout the entire body. The morning is usually reserved for the Tiaowu or Tai Chi dance form which is a flowing sequence of movements. We call this a more Yang form because it involves more movement including jumping and sweeping down close to the ground. We start with very simple movements then as your ability increases you progress to the more advanced sequences.

We have a break in the morning for tea and then move on to partner exercises. We break for lunch from 1-2pm. In the afternoon we do some Qigong which helkps to ipen up the energy channels and gives you a boost for the afternoon session. We will be doing some more partner work including Yifu Shou (sticky hands) and various other exercises designed to help us understand the differences between physical and energetic types of exercises.

At the end of the class we concentrate on the Tai Chi form which is the oldest form of Tai Chi exercise, it helps to improve your concentration and focus.

Autumn term 2019 classes in West Cornwall

Tai Chi partner exercises on Sennen beach at the Tai Chi Summer Course 2019

Our local Tai Chi classes start this week at

Penzance: St Mary’s school in Redinnick place on Tuesdays 7-8:30pm details

Helston: Monday evenings at the Old Cattle Market 7:30-9pm details

Heartlands: Wednesdays 7-8:30pm Chy An Bobel community hall details

Here are some pictures from our Summer Course 2019 in St Just

Tai Chi and pain relief – ITN Tonight documentary

An ITN film crew came to our Summer Course in Cornwall this year to film us for an ITN Tonight documentary on pain relief. You can see the Tai Chi in the last five minutes of the programme.

We went down to Sennen Cove first thing in the morning to do some T’ai Chi and warming up exercises for the course and they interviewed some of our students.

The documentary is about opioids which are prescription drugs given out by doctors to help people with long term pain. Unfortunately although these are very good in the short term, but when they are used for longer periods they become less effective and can lead to addiction and a variety of unpleasant symptoms. However some people have found that more natural methods can be effective to help people manage their pain and T’ai Chi is one of these methods. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine long term pain can be caused by obstructions in the energy meridians which choke the flow of Chi or life force. T’ai Chi exercises can really help to improve the flow of Chi and so people feel less pain. T’ai Chi also helps the body and mind to regenerate more quickly and so in the long term the amount of pain suffered is reduced and so overall less side effects are experienced.

If you are interested in looking at some alternative approach to pain relief then have a look at our Association’s main website and see if there is a class or course near you.

Free Tai Chi in the Plen in St Just for Lafrowda week

Starting on Saturday and every day for Lafrowda week FREE Tai Chi sessions in the Plen-An-Gwarry in St Just.

11am – midday Saturday 8th July to Saturday 17th July.

Plus a Tai Chi demo in the Plen on Lafrowda day.#

Beginners are welcome.

Chee Soo on the radio talking about Tai Chi

Chee Soo talking about the benefits of Tai Chi on the radio in 1977.

Chee Soo: It’s “T’ai Chi Ch’uan” is the Mandarin, in Cantonese they call it “Tai Ki Kun”, but it’s no longer tweeted as…

Posted by Taoist Cultural Arts Association on Sunday, 5 July 2015

Chee Soo on BBC television

A rare interview from BBC One’s Nationwide in 1973 of Chee Soo demonstrating Feng Shou soft style kung fu.

Chee Soo interviewed by Bob Wellings.

Heartlands Tai Chi Day Course


We will be doing another Tai Chi day at Heartlands this term on Saturday 7th February 10am – 5pm.

Everyone from our classes in West Cornwall is welcome including beginners.

The course will be held at Heartlands Chi An Bobel community hall which you can see on the right of the picture above.

There will be tea provided plus there’s the Red River Cafe where you can have a hot lunch or bring your own packed lunch if you prefer.

For more details you can talk to us at the Healing Light festival Tai Chi information stall on 24th-25th January or ring 01736 785826 or mobile 07730399389

Directions to Heartlands


Heartlands Healing light festival 24th/25th January 2015


Tao Yin - deep breathing

Tao Yin – deep breathing

There will be a Tai Chi information stall plus a weekend of demos and taster sessions so come along if you want to meet some of the teachers from the local classes or have a look at our online resources.


Taoism – an ancient Chinese philosophy with a modern application

Tai Chi dance at the Summer Course in St Just

Tai Chi dance at the Summer Course in St Just

As China has opened to the West more and more people throughout the world are becoming familiar with Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine but few realise that underlying all these is one important philosophy which has been central to Chinese culture for generations – Taoism.

The Tao is not a thing, it is more like a set of natural principles which govern the Universe and everything in it including ourselves. It is not a religion but a philosophy, however it is not an academic study. It is unique to every individual because it represents our path through life, the lessons and outcomes we learn through the practical trials and errors each of us makes on a daily basis.

The Tao is different to Western philosophies in that it is not based on the normal logic of good and bad, right and wrong, black and white but instead it admits these apparent contradictions as two sides of the same coin. Winter becomes summer, day turns into night, the cycle goes on, neither is right or wrong but are like the swings of the pendulum, when the extreme is reached the pendulum swings back the opposite way. In this way the Taoist sees that life is a process, these apparent extremes are really just two different aspects of the same thing which evolves one into the other and back again. Once we start to recognise the pattern around us we can start to relax with the flow of the current rather than fighting it.

1024px-Yin_yang.svgAs mankind has evolved into the technological and industrial age we have found enormous benefits though the development of machinery, labour saving devices and so forth, but on the other hand factory work is monotonous, factories create pollution, and the more we rely on machines the less able we become to do things for ourselves. Food is more plentiful than every now but in modern western countries health problems such as obesity, hypertension and heart disease have become prevalent. We either learn to work alongside nature or suffer the consequences, and this is not just something that applies on the macro level but to every one of us as individuals. After all despite our computers and mobile phones we only have to look up at the stars to see that the Universe is immense, and it is only through thousands upon thousands of years of natural development that we have become what we are today, natural creatures designed by nature and living in a natural world.

Well so much for the theory which makes perfect sense and we are all aware of it on some level or another, so what are we going to do about it? Although some of the problems of our society may seem overwhelming it is the opportunity and responsibility of each of us to become aware of these patterns in our own lives. The Tao principle is something which manifests around us but is also expressed though our own nature and so by understanding our selves we can learn to communicate with it, and interact with it. This is not something we can really learn through reading books, or obeying a set of laws but by a series of experiments of trail and error we can start to develop a closer relationship with the Universe and recognise the messages it is trying to bring us.

The Tai Chi exercise called Sticky hands has been developed as a way we can learn one of the basic Taoist principles which is yielding. As we navigate our lives we meet obstacles along the way just in the same way water flowing along a stream meets a rock and flows around it. The energy inside us is a precious commodity so why waste it by struggling through life when we can take advantage of the current flowing around us? In this exercise you make contact with a partner and gently test each other’s balance, with practise you can learn in a practical application how to maintain your equilibrium even when faced with stressful situations.

Chinese Taoist philosophers like Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu were struggling with the same problems of society and civilization that we are today at a time when most western countries were still in a very primitive stage of development. Although many scholars have debated these ancient texts the true legacy of Taoism is the practical lessons of balance and moderation, sensitivity and awareness which can be cultivated not through discussion but by the practice of Taoist Arts such as Tai Chi, Chi Gung and Traditional Chinese medicine. By making us more reliant on labour saving machines, transport, technology, drugs and medicines there is one crucial natural principle that has been left behind which is very important and that is evolution. Making things easy for ourselves is actually making us weaker, not that the Taoist would advocate the opposite that life should be harsh, or that this is wrong, but that we must always bear in mind our roots and our origins and what has made us strong. After all we are the survivors, as were our ancestors, we are descended from the person who turned round and jumped off the trail when the Tiger came, some others did not. This enormous back catalogue of natural experiences has given us many dormant abilities which are no longer being developed in the modern age. For example many modern medicines are designed to eradicate the symptoms of disease and take away the pain. Now I am not advocating that we should relish pain, far from it, but it is pain that tells us not to put our hand into the fire, pain tells us when something is wrong, pain is bad, but pain is also good, and nature has evolved it for a reason. The reason is that Nature has found important lines of communication to warn us of danger and set us back on the path when we wander, and this is a natural and powerful process we can learn to understand and accept as a guiding principle within our lives, and it is not something that we necessarily need experts, specialists, or priests to translate for us but it is something every one of us experiences every day.