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Bill VandenBoom

Certified Instructor

T'ai Chi and Qigong

T'ai Chi

T'ai Chi Ch'uan (T'ai Chi for short) is a set of relaxed, slow motion movements that help to harmonize the mental, emotional, physical, and energetic aspects of an individual. T'ai Chi can be done by virtually anyone of any age or fitness level. If you are interested in more information on the specific styles I teach click this link: Styles

The slow, relaxed movements of T'ai Chi produce a serene emotional state. Relaxing both the mind and the body helps to relieve the stress and tension that so many of us experience in today's society. T'ai Chi movements gently stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and at the same time the internal organs gently massage each other. The intent of the mind directs the physical movements when doing T'ai Chi. The mind's calm focus is on each movement as greater self-discipline and body awareness are developed.

According to Traditional Chinese Medical Theory there are specific meridians or channels through which our ch'i (qi) or vital force energy flows. The T'ai Chi sets were designed to make this ch'i flow smoothly through all the meridians. When the ch'i is obstructed in these meridians there is a corresponding disharmony in the physical body. Doing T'ai Chi helps remove these obstructions of energy flow, thus bringing the whole body back into balance. This results in improving any existing conditions as well as helping to prevent possible problems in the future.

T'ai Chi is ideal for people who want to safely and gradually get back into shape as well as those who would like to balance their existing hard workout with a softer one. Studies (Scientific Studies) have shown that seniors who do T'ai Chi improve their balance and are less likely to fall. People interested in spiritual development use T'ai Chi as a moving meditation to deepen their practice. Regardless of why people are drawn to T'ai Chi, after doing the form most feel more relaxed, centered, and balanced with a greater general sense of health and well being.

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Seniors' T'ai Chi

I teach the Yang Style (described below) to seniors just as I do in all my classes. Special attention is paid to improving balance through proper body alignment and stepping. As mentioned above, several studies involving seniors have shown increased balance resulting in fewer falls. The slow relaxed movements are ideal for older adults and T'ai Chi can even be done in a chair by those who have trouble walking. When I teach, the needs of older adults and people with disabilities are carefully considered by modifying any movements that are causing undo discomfort. On several occasions I have seen students with limited range of motion improve greatly by modifying or making their movements smaller. Several seniors whom I have taught have told me T'ai Chi has helped with concentration and mental focus. It is not surprising that more and more older adults are discovering the benefits of this low-impact exercise.

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Yang Style T'ai Chi

I first teach Yang Style T'ai Chi to all of my T'ai Chi students. This is the form I learned first and is the one I have been doing the longest. I believe that it provides an excellent foundation for students starting to learn T'ai Chi. Correct body alignment and coordination as well as proper stepping are emphasized. The Yang Style T'ai Chi I teach is a "long" form and consists of approximately 108 postures which are divided into four sets.

This unique version of the Yang Style long form was taught to me by Dr. Alex Wasil and he learned it from Grandmaster Feeman Ong. This form has many similarities to the most popular versions of the Yang Style being taught today yet it has its own distinctive flavor.

To view the names and descriptions of the postures of each of the four sets and the warm up exercises click on the .pdf files (printable versions) below:

Set Descriptions

Warm Up Exercises

First Set Second Set Third Set Fourth Set

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Sun Style T'ai Chi

The Sun Style T'ai Chi combines elements of T'ai Chi, Xing Yi, and Ba Gua. It was developed by Sun, Lu-tang when he was in his 50's and he considered it the crowning achievement of his illustrious martial arts career. The rhythm of the stepping and shifting of weight in the Sun Style is unique. George Gajdos taught me this this form. The Sun Style is taught to students who first have built a good foundation in T'ai Chi by learning the Yang Style. Through the study of the Sun Style students can broaden their understanding of fundamental T'ai Chi movements as they are also introduced to some completely new moves.

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T'ai Chi Sword

The 32-step T'ai Chi Sword form is taught to students who first have built a good foundation in T'ai Chi by learning the Yang Style. Even students who have achieved a certain amount of relaxation in the Yang Style have a tendency to become stiff when moving with a sword in their hand. Learning the T'ai Chi Sword enables them to learn to relax to even greater degrees while learning basic straight sword techniques. At higher levels the goal is to project one's ch'i all the way to the tip of the sword when practicing the form. This version of the 32-step T'ai Chi Sword was taught to me by Haung Bei-yu.

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T'ai Chi Fan

The Flying Rainbow Fan form created by Madame Wang Ju-rong is taught to students who have demonstrated some proficiency in other T'ai Chi forms. It is probably the most difficult form I teach. The T'ai Chi Fan form utilizes fan techniques with the slow, relaxed T'ai Chi movements. Executing smooth and flowing movements while manipulating the fan is challenging. I studied the T'ai Chi Fan with George Gajdos of Yuen Sing School.

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Bill VandenBoom
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Certified T'ai Chi and Qigong Instructor Phone: 330-673-5026