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Welcome to WaterWheel Tai Chi

waterwheelOur goal is to promote wellbeing in the community and contribute to
the development of Tai Chi, Qigong, Baguazhang and Xingyiquan
as resources for everyone.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi (T'ai-chi Ch'üan or Taijiquan) is a Chinese system of martial arts
training that has come to be practiced as a popular therapeutic exercise
worldwide. It is most often seen practiced as a slow, graceful series of
choreographed movements, but includes a wide variety of exercises to
promote circulation, strength, flexibility and practical self-defense skills.

What are WWTC classes like?

Our small classes provide a community in which we work together to share our learning and experience, with no titles, uniforms or formalities. There are no expectations of prior knowledge or physical ability. Students proceed at their own pace, with no pressure to "keep up." A dialogue between student and instructor acknowledges individual needs, interests, limitations and practical goals.

Our program emphasizes a solid foundation because the most profound lessons are contained in the most fundamental exercises. We explore the purpose and mechanics of each exercise in detail so each student can feel and understand what and why they are practicing. Our intermediate Tai Chi classes include self-defense practice, but our Qigong "fundamentals" class can be attended solely as a health practice.

What are the potential benefits of Tai Chi practice?

Tai Chi is an effective, elegant and engaging self-exploration that continues to mature with lifelong practice. It is accessible to most people and yet adaptable enough to appeal to a broad range of goals for both health and self-defense.


Tai Chi and Qigong exercises are most commonly practiced to combat the effects of stress, improve posture and balance, and relieve joint and muscle pain. Current studies also indicate benefits for strength, flexibility, cardiovascular health and the immune system. Medical studies also indicate that practicing Tai Chi can reduce hypertension, chances of falling, and safely benefit people with arthritis. Most Tai Chi constitutes a low-impact, weight-bearing exercise.

As Tai Chi and Qigong become increasingly popular as forms of therapeutic exercise, an increasing number of studies are being conducted into the biological "mind-body" mechanisms that mark the vanguard of western biomedicine and the root of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The concept of proper “qi” circulation in Chinese medicine has correlates in the Western understanding of oxygenated blood, bioelectricity, neuropeptides (such as endorphins) and hormones. The common theme in these two models is the importance of free communication inside the body. Tai Chi and Qigong practices aim to encourage this very kind of circulation.


In spite of the image television commercials project about Tai Chi practice, it is capable of improving and maintaining mental and physical performance even in young, athletic practitioners as well as help them maintain these gains as they age. Tai Chi training includes cardio-respiratory conditioning, flexibility training, isometric and isotonic strengthening, and relaxation techniques.

At WWTC, we understand that most participants come to us to improve their health, fitness, and wellbeing. Pursuing self-defense skill can be an integral part of that work. No student is ever pressured to participate in an activity he or she does not feel comfortable with. However, every inch of the Tai Chi series has applicable function in self-defense, and it is impossible to teach Tai Chi thoroughly without discussing its intended function.

Self-defense is approached in a cooperative and noncompetitive manner. Our emphasis is on developing whole-body integration, sensitivity and an understanding the techniques’ deep structure. Our goal is to learn how to walk away from any dangerous encounter as easily as possible.

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