Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Tai Chi

What is Tai Chi?
Tai chi is an ancient exercise that embodies China’s most profound concepts and principles of health and movement. It offers true harmony between body and mind.
Tai chi is rooted in martial arts, meditation and traditional Chinese medicine.

As a martial art, tai chi is called “soft” or “internal” because it emphasizes moving with grace, fine tuning sensory awareness, and embodying the principle of softness overcoming resistance. Today, tai chi is most commonly practiced for the health benefits, which is the focus of TaijiFit™. There is a no sparring or contact sport.

What is TC4V's then?
TC4V's makes Taiji (Tai Chi) more fun and accessible. Making Fitness more graceful and holistic,
TC4V's is not just an exercise – it’s an experience! It combines the best elements of fitness, meditation and the ancient martial art of Taiji (Tai Chi). Feel for yourself the Mind/Body connector we call FLOW. TC4V's is Mindfulness in Motion.
 
TC4V's is the most unique workout to come along in decades. It’s a ride along the wave of your Inner Power, like surfing on your own life energy – the Qi. It combines the best elements of fitness, meditation and the ancient martial art of Taiji (Tai Chi). 

When you take a TC4V's class, you find yourself moving your body with the grace and confidence of the ancient Taiji masters who learned the secret of balancing yin and yang – strength with beauty, power with peace, endurance with flow. There is no routine or choreography to memorize or “get right.” The TC4V's instructor will lead you into the Flow using the Qi Cueing method developed by David-Dorian Ross.

Who is David-Dorian Ross?
David-Dorian Ross is the creator of Taijifit™ and TC4V programs. His public appearances introduce people to the benefits, accessibility and sheer joy of learning Taiji (T’ai Chi). Inside Kung-fu Magazine called him “the man who brought T’ai Chi mainstream.”

David-Dorian also holds the record as America’s competitive T’ai Chi Champion – winning 8 US Gold Medals, a World Silver medal and 2 World Bronze medals in T’ai Chi performance (still the highest record of any American T’ai Chi athlete).

What is Qi?
Qi (CHEE): Although it has no literal translation in English, it is most closely translated as “breath” or “air” or “vapor”, and often referred to as “energy flow” or “life force.” Besides respiration and the beating of our heart, there are numerous examples of energy in the human body.  The energy used when we use our muscles, the chemical energy used to process food.  There is energy involved in the healing process, in our nerves, and in our brains.

In Chinese medicine Qi is said to regulate a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and well-being.  In this regard, tai chi is closely related to acupuncture.

It sounds like Star Wars...is it like Star Wars?
Actually, George Lucas loosely based his concept of the Force on Qi and off ancient kung fu legends, so the connection is not coincidental.  Just about every superpower you see in Star Wars can be found in the old kung fu movies.

Whether it is the energy that moves food through your digestive system, or the energy that mobilizes your immune system, or the energy that powers your cells — all of that is Qi.

Will tai chi conflict with my religious beliefs?
Absolutely not. Tai chi is not a religion, although it does have ancient roots in Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucism.  It is a martial art that and philosophy that benefits people physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

Some people are drawn to tai chi because they believe it shares some of the best assets of many major religions, such as compassion, benevolence, and authenticity.

What is the difference between Qi and Chi?
Even though they are pronounced the same Qi refers to a person's life energy and Chi  translates to "supreme" or "best."

Then what does Tai Chi mean?
Tai refers to "ultimate" and Chi translates to "supreme", which means tai chi actually means "ultimate supreme."  Yes, it is redundant but it's a long story.

What is the difference between “Tai Chi” and Taiji”?
There is no difference.  There is no alphabet in Chinese, the Chinese language uses logograms, or characters, for words or objects. The Chinese character for Tai Chi (Taiji) is translated into syllabic words through two “transliteration” systems.

The earliest version was developed by a couple of scholars from Britain to the support the empire in dominating the colonies — Hong Kong and parts of China. The Wade - Giles System gives us Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Tao.

Following the civil war in China between the Communist People’s Army and the Nationalists, the Chinese developed an alternative system,  Pin Yin. This system gives us Taiji, Qigong and Dao.

What are the health benefits of “Tai Chi” ?
Practiced at a slow and even speed, tai chi movements are widely acknowledged to help calm the emotions, focus the mind, and strengthen the immune system. In a very real sense, tai chi helps us stay younger as we grow older, thus making an essential contribution to our overall health and well-being.
In general, the research, so far, suggests that tai chi can be effective for the following:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Improved balance/fall prevention
  • Chronic pain relief
  • Improving balance
  • Improved muscle strength
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Increasing bone density
  • Improved cognitive performance
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Improving overall quality of life


I have some health concerns so is tai chi safe for me?
In terms of physical exertion, the exercise involved in tai chi is similar to walking. Tai chi is traditionally done standing, but TC4V's can be modified to work from a sitting position. Participants are encouraged to rest when needed, and to work within their individual comfort zones. These classes are non-competitive, allowing students to progress at their own pace. If you have any medical concerns that might impact your ability to participate comfortably, please consult your physician.

What if I’m not coordinated?
TC4V's is for everyone to improve health and well-being. All are welcome regardless of ability, health challenges or previous experience.
 
What should I wear to class?
Any comfortable clothing is fine. Wear something you might wear to go for a walk around your neighborhood.

Do I need to bring anything?
No. You will not need any equipment.

How can I make up for a missed class?
Don’t worry if you miss a class. In the TC4V's program there is no progression.

What is Qigong?
Qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. In China, you can find qigong in the hospitals. In fact, in some hospitals there’s an entire qigong wing!

Qigong (pronounced “chee gong”) is an ancient Chinese mind-body practice that restores wellness, builds mental and emotional strength, reduces stress, and increases vitality.

What does the word mean?
Qi means “vital energy”, and gong means “cultivation”.  Also, sometimes translated as energy exercises.

How does Qigong fit into our Tai Chi class?
Tai chi is a branch of qigong, so when we are doing tai chi or TaijiFit™ it is a specific type of qigong.  When you see a group of people in a park performing what we call “tai chi” in a movie or on television, 99% of the time they are actually doing qigong. (Yes, this is a large part of our class.)

Qigong incorporates a variety of gentle breathing methods, flowing movements, and mindfulness meditation. Tai chi also incorporates all of these components but also mimics martial (fighting) positions.

Tai chi falls under the umbrella of qigong.  Qigong is the art of energy cultivation. Since energy is useful for martial arts, many martial arts, including tai chi, have adopted qigong. Tai chi and qigong go hand-in-hand.