Everyone is welcome to come watch a class for free with no expectations or commitments. We suggest coming with an open mind: there is a very broad range spanning wildly different practices being taught as "tai chi" today, so our approach may differ quite significantly from other tai chi practices that you may have previously encountered.
We make a serious effort to train the specific taiji system taught by Patrick Kelly, the only non-Chinese "inner school" student of Huang Xingxian. Our group is led by Charlie Liu, a novice student of Patrick. An article by PK (in both Chinese and English) on HXX and the path we try to follow in this group here.
Our main aim is to develop ourselves internally, and we train taiji to establish a solid base for the deeper meditation practice. This group is for people looking to make a serious sustained effort toward that aim using the specific system we train.
Our training approach is gentler than most sports, but still places some demands on the body, especially for beginners. Anyone willing to make the requisite effort is welcome, and we aim to evolve as a group over time.
Inner sincerity is more important than any outward show, so we don't have any exotic uniforms, rituals or related "etiquette" beyond normal social common sense.
We follow a very specific and systematic approach to training refined by Patrick Kelly based on his own efforts to organize what he learned from Huang Xingxian. A typical practice session in this school would include:
Both our fixed pattern push hands (precise partner exercises used as collaborative training tools) and meditation are key components of our practice for developing the deep mind, and we introduce both from day one. We do not practice free push hands.
Charlie has trained taiji 20+ years (and external martial arts for 5+ years before that) and has barely scratched the surface of real taiji. He started this group in March 2021 to build a local community for training Patrick Kelly's specific system as precisely as possible. Tim Suh and Guillem Bernado have supported this effort by visiting to give live seminars several times a year.
Charlie began studying taiji in 2001 with Liam Comerford, a student of Zheng Manqing. Through that class he met Ben Lo (Luo Bangzhen), who he practiced with on a weekly basis in San Francisco from 2008-2010. He met Patrick Kelly in 2014 and has been training Patrick Kelly's approach since then, studying with Patrick's student Tim Suh in Chicago from 2015-2017 and attending workshops since with PK students such as Guillem, Tim, Christine, and PK himself.
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