T'ai Chi

Lee Style T'ai Chi
Direct experience of applying the philosophy to our everyday lives gives us the best understanding of Taoism. By practising T'ai Chi you can see and feel natural principles in action and gain insight into yourself, others and the world around you. Each style of T’ai Chi has a different emphasis. For example, some styles focus on developing physical strength and fighting ability. Lee Style T'ai Chi is also known as the Yin and Yang Style, because it is an internal style based on the Taoist principles of natural balance and harmony.

History
Lee Style T'ai Chi was created by Ho-Hseih Lee approximately 3000 years ago. This family style of T’ai Chi was passed on through the generations until, in 1933, Chan Kam Lee (a business-person working in Holborn) was accidentally hit by the ball of young Chee Soo. Chee Soo befriended and eventually became a student of Chan Lee. When Chan Lee died, Chee Soo was given the honour of becoming Chief Instructor and President of the Association. My teacher, Chris Simpson, trained with Chee Soo for several years before his death in 1994. Chris Simpson continues to teach these Taoist Cultural Arts in this traditional style and the Association continues to grow.

What is T'ai Chi?
T'ai Chi is a form of moving meditation based on natural circular movements. T'ai Chi relaxes the mind, body and spirit making them calmer, stronger and more flexible. This results in a deep feeling of relaxation, which can strengthen the immune system promoting good health, whilst helping you gain a practical understanding of Taoist philosophy and a deeper insight into yourself. T'ai Chi is a gentle form of exercise, so it is suitable for everyone, both young and old alike and people with various health problems.

What does a T’ai Chi class consist of?
A class begins with some warm up exercises. We then start with some K'ai Men (or Ch’i Gung) breathing exercises to stimulate our life energy (Ch'i). Each class is different, but we would usually include practising the T'ai Chi Dance (based on slow, natural movements) and some interactive exercises (such as Sticky Hands), to improve our sensitivity and put these Taoist principles into practice. We normally finish the class by practising the T'ai Chi Form; a more meditative set of movements which helps to store our energy at the end of the class.