Tai Chi Ch'uan & Qigong

"Whatever we meet, is the path"

img_8698Tai Chi Ch’uan – is translated as ‘The Grand Ultimate Boxing’, a reference to it’s origin as a Chinese martial art. The practice provides a physical, mental and spiritual discipline to cultivate internal energy, requiring no special equipment and accessible to all ages and ability.

‘The Form’ of Tai Chi Ch’uan is a series of slow flowing movement that is undertaken with calm concentration, integrating body, mind and spirit; hence Tai Chi is sometimes referred to as ‘meditation in movement’. The health benefits of practice are numerous and include the enhancement of coordination, balance, development of internal strength, increased flexibility and alleviation of stress.

Qigong (Chi Kung) – ( translation: Qi = breath or energy Gong = training or practice ) Closely related to Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong is a healing system of Ancient Chinese exercises for promoting Chi ( internal strength ).

These exercises are a combination of breathing techniques, short sequences of movement and static postures that decrease stress and alleviate the symptoms of many conditions. In addition, even after a short period of practice, students will notice an overall improvement in posture and balance, more energy and a general feeling of well-being.

Exercises are easy to follow, require no special equipment and are suitable for all ages and ability.

Kevin Hickson
originally trained with The Chinese Internal Arts Association and periodically with Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang and
Chen Xiao Xing, the current ‘standard bearers’ of the Chen style Tai Chi Ch’uan form.

He has instructed classes in Qigong ( Chi Kung ) and Chen Style Tai Chi Ch’uan for over ten years, holding a particular interest in the relationship between practice and the promotion of physical and mental well-being and the recovery from emotional trauma.

The main focus of practice within regular classes held in Sidmouth and Honiton:

Chen Style Laojia Yi Lu form – the ‘mother’ of all Tai Chi forms, characterised by soft ‘silk reeling’ and periodic fast ‘explosive energy’ movement.
Chen Style 18-movement Laojia form. An abbreviated sequence of the Laojia Yi Lu form. Complete in its own right and serving as an accessible introduction to the longer form.
Eight sets of Silk Brocade (Ba Duan Jin). Traditional set of Qigong set of eight short sequences of movement. Much revered and still practised widely.
Wild Goose First 64-movement Qigong.
Emulating the movement of birds, this graceful and yet dynamic set of exercises enhances balance, coordination, calmness and relaxation.
Five Animal Qigong (Wu Qin Xi) – Ancient Qigong set of five pairs of short sequences of movement based on the natural expression of tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird. 
Tai Chi Qigong Eighteen Movement (Shibashi) – contemporary short form of 18 postures incorporating principles of Tai Chi and Qigong movement
Tai Chi Health Preservation Stick Exercises (Tai Ji Yang Sheng Zhang) – outwardly graceful, inwardly powerful set of 8 movements based on traditional exercises using a long stick to direct energy, breath and intention.
Breathing meditation – traditional Qigong and mindfulness based techniques.

In addition to classes for the general public in, Kevin has also instructed for a number of local and national charities including The Berkshire Autistic Society, The Sue Ryder Foundation, Stepping Stone Project for the Homeless (Oxford), MENCAP, Age Concern and the mental health charity, MIND in Exeter and East Devon.

Above: Tai Chi classes relocate to the park during a sunny summer day this year.                                                          Photo: Tony Velterop