The Story of Tai Chi
A Lecture/Demonstration by Dave Barrett
Thursday, September 19 at Trainer’s Club
5:30 to 6:30pm
Taijiquan or Tai Chi as it is more commonly known in the West, is that slow motion exercise often seen in China’s parks early in the morning. Tai Chi players move in unison, with fluid gestures and seem to be almost “swimming in air”.
What began as an obscure martial arts system has blossomed in recent years to become a worldwide exercise phenomenon. Tai Chi classes are now found in community centers, senior centers, parks and recreation programs and health education classes in many countries. This presentation will examine the nature of Tai Chi as exercise to understand the appeal these motions have for so many people.
Tai Chi is a series of movements, based on offensive and defensive martial techniques, performed as a sequenced set. Some early observers called this Chinese Shadow Boxing, as some punches and kicks were recognizable. It is the slow, deliberate pace of these motions during practice that is so special. The steps are graceful; the body’s motion is circular, fluid and relaxed. There is an elegance, a sense of ease and balance in the movements and an ineffable calm expressed by the players. There is a serenity in the exercises that can be felt by even the most casual observer.
Dave Barrett is the director of the Yang Cheng Fu Tai Chi Center in Forest Grove. He is certified by the International Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan Association as an instructor and trains directly with senior members of the Yang Family in China. In 2005 he was formally recognized as a disciple of Grandmaster Yang Zhenduo. In 2007 and 2012 he won gold and silver medals at the 25th and 30th anniversary Yang Style Association tournaments in Taiyuan, China.