Tai Chi

Venue: Jacksdale Miner's Welfare, Main Road, Jacksdale

Tuesdays at 5.45pm – Jacksdale Miner’s Welfare

Tai Chi classes were established in Jacksdale about six years ago under the tuition of Elaine Clark at the community centre. The location then moved to the existing site at the Jacksdale Miners Welfare And Dale Club. The Welfare provides a nice spacious location in which to practice, classes are held every Tuesday evening.

Tai Chi - satisfaction at it's best


During a student’s first attendance the tutor will ask if one has any ailments or nagging pains and from there she will help accordingly .Not every body is the same so certain exercises are more suitable than others, the tutor knows the boundaries of taking certain movements so as not to cause injury to the persons involved.

Elaine Clark has been practicing Tai Chi for many years and is very experienced; she has many classes throughout the local area. These areas include Selston (Tin Hat Centre), Alfreton, Sutton, Kirkby and Skegby. She also tutors a class for the deaf and blind.

Tai Chi translates as Supreme Ultimate Boxing , it is an effective internal martial art. It is also very useful for health benefits, many people may study the art solely for this area and others may want to go into the martial art aspects. One can also use weapons in Tai Chi such as the sword, staff or fan. I mentioned the word internal, Tai Chi is a defensive art and it’s principle in function is different from other martial arts such as Taekwondo or Karate (these are external).

The style in which Elaine Clark performs is the Yang style, this is focused more towards improving one’s health. All styles of Tai Chi have forms in which to practice, all are different in their own way. The form practiced at Jacksdale is the Short Yang Form ( 37 Posture), this was invented by Cheng Man-Ching in the 1930’s. A form is a series of movements with hidden applications. The reason movements were hidden goes back to China’s turbulent history of warring clans and the Mongol army. It makes it more difficult for the enemy to detect his fighting method. Although there are many movements in a form these must be done in a continuous flowing single movement from beginning to end. This can take some time to accomplish, correct weight change, balance and posture are all important when practicing the form. Once one is capable of doing form, he/she can then learn in mirror image (opposite direction), this can be a whole new learning curve.

The 18 Qi gong is also practiced at the Jacksdale, these are a series of exercises to improve one’s health. Qigong although similar is not a martial art but standing meditation. This system builds up the internal Qi energy in which all living systems have.

There is a big focus on one’s breathing in when practicing both Tai Chi and Qigong. Practitioners breathe from the navel area (belly) and not from the upper chest. The breath must expand from below therefore using the full capacity of the lungs and accessing all the air sacs within. The area just below the navel is called the Tantien, this is where the Qi energy is stored and in some beliefs, the human soul itself. It does not take long before one can experience the feeling of Qi energy, it is quite extra ordinary (especially the very fist time one feels it). It can be described as being spongy and magnetic, one can also feel very warm.

The origins of Tai Chi are still debatable but the founder is said to be Chang San -Feng. He was a Taoist monk who was an acupuncturist, he also studied the art of Shaolin Kung Fu. He is said to have witnessed a snake and crane in battle and from this he devised his own system which became Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan).The original name was H’ao Ch’uan or earlier know as Dim- Mak. The basic building blocks of Tai Chi go back even further in time to 2700 B.C. Four main styles were developed, Chen, Yang, Wu and Sun, the most popular are the Yang and Chen styles.

If anybody wishes to try Tai Chi please do not hesitate to call Elaine Clark
Classes are Tuesday at 5.45pm – 7.15pm.