​​Grey Heron Internal Arts


T'ai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung are 'Internal Arts' rooted in the healing, meditational and martial traditions of China. They make use of relaxation, mind training, breathing and postural techniques to help the student develop balancing and harmonious movements that can be practised for a variety of reasons; stress relief; good health; better and more relaxed focus and martial prowess are all goals attainable by the long term student.

T'ai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung (also sometime rendered in to English as T'ai Ji Quan and Qi Gong or in other similar spellings – or simply 'T'ai Chi' for short)) cover a wide spectrum of practices from sitting meditation to the long, complex forms of T'ai Chi Chuan; from solitary activities to martial arts.

Chi Kung is a term increasingly being used to describe an ancient tradition encompassing a wide range of practices that seem to date back in China as far as records are available. They can include meditation and gentle movement for health and harmonising mind and body to more energetic exercises which can be used for developing inner strength and martial prowess; the art can range from simple breathing to the long flowing sequences of T'ai Chi Chuan though commonly 'Chi Kung' classes tend to concentrate more on individual exercises and so can be more immediately accessible.

T'ai Chi Chuan: T'ai Chi Chuan is one of the 'Internal' Martial arts of China. It's emphasis on such principles as calmness, good posture and the cultivation of internal principles has led to it being closely associated with the Chi Kung tradition and it is now regarded by many people as a style of Chi Kung that can be practised for health, meditation and martial ability. The full T'ai Chi system includes individual exercises, flowing sequences (or forms), both open handed or with a variety of weapons; partner work and meditation
T'ai Chi has evolved in to several main family styles; Yang, Chen, Wu, Sun and others. They all share many characteristics and will all have beneficial effects.

Depending on the class and approach of the teacher you may start with just the solo movements or be taught martial applications right from the start. Either way, because of the emphasis on developing and harmonising mind, body structure and internal energy rather than muscular strength, these practices can be and are learnt by people with a wide range of abilities.

As we progress in these Internal Arts we develop mind and body as one. This leads to an improvement in health and well being and to such aspects as increased awareness of subtle aspects of posture and structure and the flow of energy in body and mind, its' energy centres and channels; this increased awareness can also help to cultivate development of internal strength and martial skills as desired and can be a tool for skilfully managing our lives.

For those not interested in developing the martial aspect, T'ai Chi and Chi Kung can become practises offering many benefits and much interest and enjoyment. If you have no liking for esoteric concepts of energy the increasing focus brings about a deepening calm and subtle changes in the body that help us develop a strength based on our own natural rhythms and structures offering a fascinating and gentle activity for all ages and abilities.

For more information on the different aspects of these arts click the links below.
T'ai Chi & Health
T'ai Chi & Meditation
T'ai Chi & Martial Arts