Health, fitness, relaxation and self-defence skills all result from the practice of the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi Chuan. Under the directorship of chief instructor Sifu Gary Wragg, the London Academy offers a full syllabus covering:
- Hand form - 108 standard movements
- 108 fast round form
- 54 standard short form
- 54 round form
- Chi Kung and Nei Kung (internal strength)
- Pushing hands
- Sparring training
- Weapons forms
- Tournament training
- Tai Chi Chuan theory, philosophy and its history
- Instructors training course
As a beginner, you learn the basics of Wu's Style Tai Chi Ch'uan and the full 108 movements of the long hand form at your own pace, with a focus on the concept of 'mechanical order.'
You will develop a solid grounding in:
- Five main stances and basic excersises.
- Stepping with balanced weight separation
- Good body alignment, relaxation, co-ordination, looseness and improved concentration
- Meditation for relaxation, release of stress and tension, and to promote a state of tranquility and serenity
- The Wu style long hand form
- Basic push hands to learn control of an opponent's movements
- Self-defence applications against various attacks, eg. punches, kicks, grabs
- Basic theory and philosophy of Tai Chi Ch'uan
Gradings take place regularly to ensure you are developing well. These are not brutal examinations but friendly, relaxed assessments which help you to progress properly.
Beginners have two gradings; one after completing half the form, which is the called the half grading and another one once the form is completed. Once the second grading, the full grading, is completed the student moves up to the intermediate level.
Similarly the intermediate level has two gradings after which the student moves up to Advanced level.
The main emphasis at Intermediate is on continuity of movement. The Intermediate syllabus also includes refinement of each form, additional exercises, applications, pushing hands and chi kung.
At Advanced levels, attention moves more to the mind aspect. Sabre (dao), sword (jian) and spear (chiang) forms are learned. Classes open out into many deeper aspects of Tai Chi Chuan, along with 24 Forms Chi Kung, advanced pushing hands and power generation.
Instructor TrainingThere are five levels of Tai Chi Ch'uan attainment:
- Advanced & Senior
- Senior / Assistant Instructor
All instructors attend a special ongoing instructor training course, which is available from intermediate level onwards.
All teaching at the Academy is geared towards the highest possible standards of practice. As well as Sifu Gary Wragg, all senior assistant instructors at the Academy are registered with the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain.
The Academy is the European certification headquarters for Wu Family Style instructors.
Present senior instructors are: Tony Stadlen, Shez Dawood, Mirilee Pearl, Naomi Stadlen, Nicole Lomas, Richard Davies, Stefanie Sachsenmaier, Fiona Anderson, Luke Deefholts, Mike Selby and David Muller.
Present grade B instructors are: Stroud Cornock, Andy Salt, Timea Eathorne and Sam Leon.
Past senior instructors: Mike Acton, Dan McGiff, Peter Gravett, Shiou Chung, Don Spargo, Pat Saults, Helen Counihan, John Tollit, Jae Willis, Pete Carey, Steve Wright, Ben Wragg, Toby Wragg and Laurie Blundell.
Past grade B instructors: Giles Ingham, Andrea Rippe, Warren Gavin, Roy Constantine, Paul Fraylich, Andrew Jones, Zorica Rajic, Eike Sindlinger, Simon Love, Mary Smith, Anurag Jain and Peter Blake.