The T.A.O. offers a wide range of different types of class to suit the needs of different students.
Our members in the U.K. France and Germany become part of our unique group of friends following a path of learning aimed at improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
We provide high quality teaching to help people of all ages learn to benefit from the gentle art of Tai Chi.
Li style tai chi consists of a range of Taoist practices that include Tao Yin (Respiration Therapy) Kai Men (Taoist Yoga), Tai Chi Forms,
I Fou Shou
or ‘sticky hands’ technique, Whirling Hands, Whirling Arms and various Qi and
Li development exercises. Lee style tai chi consists of five
main tai chi forms. They are;
Tai Chi which consists of 140 movements which are broken up into 42 sequences
– each having individual names, such as ”Single Whip”, “Brush Knee
and Side Step” and ”Crane Exercises its Wings”.
Beginners generally learn the first 50 movements as a Short Form which is broken up into 15 sequences.
Li Style Tai Chi Flying Hands form (once called tai chi dance) which is a larger and more expressive frame consisting of 184 moves.
Li Style Tai Chi Sword requires a greater sense of balance and control due to the weight of the sword and the demands of the movements. This form consists of 164 movements.
Li Style Tai Chi Fan is a relatively short Form of 86 movements requiring greater flexibility, dexterity of the hands and wrists.
LiStyle Tai Chi Staff requires greater control of the central core movement to perform this form well. It contains 160 movements.
Li style tai chi training has five distinct areas of development that comprise the whole Art: 1.Physical, 2.Mental, 3.Breathing, 4.Sheng Qi (Internal energy) and 5.Ching Sheng Li (External energy).
tai chi was first brought to the West in the 1930s by Chan Kam Li. It was
then made popular by Chee Soo who was the President of the
International Taoist Society from 1958 until his death in 1994. After Chee soo
died the International Taoist Society ceased to continue as there was division
among the three remaining most senior students. The most senior and experienced
student was Master Tony Swanson who’s martial arts experience now spans
some fifty years. Master Swanson trained under Professor Chee
Soo from 1968 until Chee Soo died in 1994. His
understanding, experience and level of expertise in Li style
tai chi has developed from forty four years of personal commitment and
study of the Li Family System of Taoist Arts.
Li Style Tai Chi is commonly known as the Yin and Yang Style, as everything within it is in complete harmony and in perfect balance.
A form of Qigong, each exercise has a basic 'Sequence' which is performed to a set breathing pattern, and an 'Extension' to natural breathing. Each Extension has five variables which can be adjusted to suit the capability of the practitioner.
Tao Yin (Respiration Therapy)
A typical Tao Yin exercise will involve movement of the arms and body
in time with controlled inhalation and exhalation. Each exercise is
designed with a different goal in mind, for example calmative effects or
expanded lung capacity.
Some of the exercises act as a
means of sedating, some as a stimulant and a tonic, whilst others help
in the activation, harnessing and cultivation of internal Ch'i energy
and the external Li life force. Through the excellent health that is
gained thereby, they all assist in the opening up of the whole body,
enhance the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, increase the
mental capacity of the brain, give greater mind control, increase
perception and intuition, uplift moral standards, and give tranquillity
to the mind, which in turn confers inner harmony and greater happiness.
As time goes by, these exercises slowly open up the functional and
control channels that feed and activate the energy, nervous and psychic
centres, enabling the individual to have a deeper understanding,
consciousness and awareness of the spiritual world
What should I wear?
people find it best to train in light, loose fitting clothing - a
T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms are perfect. We recommend you wear
flexible / lightweight footwear.
What will I need to pay for?
Obviously class prices differ throughout the country depending on whether they are privately taught, children's classes or Adult Education classes. Some classes are 'pay as you go' while others are run on a '10 week - pay in advance' basis - contact the class Instructor for details; they will be happy to speak to you and provide all the information you need.
once you have enjoyed training with us for 2 sessions will we ask you
to join our organisation membership scheme which includes Governing Body
licence and free insurance cover - this cover is provided through a
broker approved by the Governing Body (the BCCMA) and is a bespoke
insurance cover - i.e. made to measure!
Entitlement to attend T.A.O. classes and courses and practice the Li Family Arts.
Entitlement to regular grading at no extra cost.
Right to participate in the running of the organisation and vote at the AGM if over 16 years of age.
The best discounts for classes and weekend or residential courses.
Licence from the governing body, the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts, to practice all forms of Chinese Martial Arts.
Free personal accident insurance for participation in TAO classes and other martial arts activities.
The TAO Newsletter.
Annual Membership subscription rate:
Adults - £45
Concessionary Adult Rates and Junior Rates - £35
Is my teacher an authorised TAO Instructor/Coach?
It takes an average of eight years of consistent training and practice to attain the 1st Tengchi grade, the minimum generally required for teaching. In addition to that the T.A.O. in accordance with the standards set out by our governing body, asks its instructors to obtain qualifications in Coaching and First Aid as well as having a CRB check and carrying appropriate insurance.
Once qualified, instructors continue their training with the Technical Director and their Instructor Authorisation is reviewed annually. For this reason we are confident that our instructors have an unusually high knowledge and skill base in the practice and teaching of these Taoist Arts.
All TAO Instructors are required to attend, as a minimum, 4 Instructor Training weekend courses per year. As proof of attendance your instructor will have an 'Authorisation Stamp' in his/her membership book.
Please ask to see this - your Instructor will be happy to show you