Tai chi is one of China‘ s most prominent and ancient arts, developed thousands of years ago and due to its beneficial impact on the health of millions of people it is still widely practiced today. Tai Chi can be described as a “low-impact exercise done in slow motion. Its effects are as gradual, natural, and inexorable as water etching out a canyon. Tai chi‘s gentleness and lack of pain and strain mean that everyone can do it and reap its benefits. Even the poorest quality tai chi practice, done steadfastly, will nourish the body and mind and give you one of the most inexpensive and satisfying meals you’ll ever encounter”.
We recognize tai chi when we see people doing a series of silent, fluid, seamless slow-motion movements. Because it looks so peaceful and relaxed, many assume that the participants are involved in some form of meditation. Some may notice that actually these graceful movements resemble some very powerful kicks, punches and chops because in essence tai chi was originally developed as a (very effective) martial art. Anyone can learn Tai Chi, young or old, it doesn’t matter what your level of fitness or flexibility is and it even can be very beneficial to people with injuries and illnesses (though do talk to your instructor about this).
Here in Yangshuo you are offered an excellent opportunity to train with some of the best masters in China for a bargain compared with prices at home. So why not take this unique chance to engage in an introductory course if you are a beginner, to further improve your skills as an intermediate or to delve deeper into this art if you are an advanced practitioner. We recommend the following tai chi schools, each with their own special qualities and approach to teaching the art. Both have highly qualified and experienced English speaking instructors who are passionate about sharing their knowledge of Tai Chi with you.
Recommended tai chi schools in Yangshuo, China
Editor’s note: I have been training tai chi since I first arrived Yangshuo in 2007. Having trained intensively with 3 of Yangshuo’s most reputable tai chi masters I learned that as a beginner planning to train for a longer period of time it is more important to choose a good teacher who carefully watches and corrects your postures than being trained by a great master who could be skipping important steps in the learning process. Not taking care of your postures while training vigorously may result in injuries, particularly the joints, and may last a while so having a good teacher is very important for beginning long-term tai chi practitioners.
Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School:
For a most traditional old world experience visit the Yangshuo tai chi school of Master Kim Wudong’s school just outside of Yangshuo on the way to the scenic Yulong River. The school is set in a beautiful area and is itself worth a visit as the buildings are all traditional Ming Dynasty and it is just like walking into a movie set. Although primarily a tai chi school they also teach meditation and qigong (a kind of moving form of Chinese yoga) as well as Chen family Tai Chi Quan. They offer a very interesting tai chi introductory course which is excellent for beginners. And for just 100Y including a local lunch it won’t break the bank too. Teachings are in English and you will get to meet some of Master Kim’s long term students. For more information about this Yangshuo tai chi school, visit their website at www.yangshuotaichi.com
Yangshuo Tai Chi and Kung Fu School
This tai chi school is based in the scenic village of Shibanqiao just a short bicycle ride from the center of Yangshuo. Here they teach traditional Chen family Tai Chi Quan and it is fair to say that their approach is sport orientated in terms of the teaching style and aims of the instructors. The tai chi school is run by Master Fu Nengbin, 5 times consecutive world champion and national champion in the push hands tai chi competition for China. Push hands is the martial application for Tai Chi that looks a little like wrestling but rather based on energy exertion than on physical power. But besides being a great tai chi master, he is a very accomplished teacher too taking utmost care of student’s postures with a deep understanding of the body principles as a whole unit rather than separate parts. Also here teaching is in English and you can mix with both foreign and Chinese students at the school. For more information about the Yangshuo Tai Chi and Kung Fu School, visit their website at www.masterfu.net
If you would like to give it a try, we suggest to go for the introductory course at the Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School. If you stay more than 2 weeks try out both schools to feel which master and environment suits you best. Grab the opportunity now you are here, perhaps you may be one of the various travelers we know who tried it out for a day, extended their Yangshuo holiday and felt Tai Chi had changed their lives!
|Getting There: These tai chi masters can come to your accommodation in Yangshuo but we recommend you visit their own tai chi school for a most authentic experience.|
|Times/Duration: Flexible but usually one or two hours for a single session to longer commitments.|
|Prices: Introductory classes: 100Y/2hr; weekly courses from 1000Y; monthly courses 3600-4000Y.|
|Booking Information: Either contact the tai chi schools directly or us at Yangshuo-Insider to get you in touch.|