Tai Chi

With world-renowned instructor Grandmaster Ding Mingye, and Matthew Branstetter.

Tai Chi in Lexington, KY at LHAA 

Join us to explore Tai Chi through a series of workshops with world renowned Grandmaster Ding Mingye and Matthew Branstetter. Enhance body mechanics, core strength, balance and flexibility through an immersion in this time tested Asian system of healing and integrating body, mind and spirit. Our comprehensive training is designed to teach students the basic Tai Chi principles and can be easily accommodated to people of varying levels of fitness.

Workshops

Tai Chi Standing: The Body-Centered Experience | April 18

Saturday, April 18th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Standing & Walking)

The journey of Tai Chi begins, develops and comes to maturity based on fundamental principles of alignment. Each part of the body has an optimal position and relationship to all other parts. Once this relationship is compromised we begin to rely on muscular tension to hold the body upright and to move it through space. The more we rely on this tension, the more we invite stress into our lives. Tai Chi Standing is a journey of mindfulness deep into the structure of the body based on the alignment principles found in traditional Tai Chi training manuals (“Tai Chi Classics”). The meditative practices introduced in this workshop will help us to discover and release the ‘stress-patterns’ in our bodies. The more we can release these patterns, the more harmonious the body becomes. This harmony is both physical and spiritual. This workshop will introduce the role of ‘Earth’ in Tai Chi philosophy and ways we can work with, rather than against, the force of gravity. It will also introduce some of the basic physiological principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Tai Chi Walking: Moving in Balance | April 19

Sunday, April 19th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Standing & Walking)

Medical research has proven the great role Tai Chi can play in increasing balance, especially in the elderly. However, according to Tai Chi creating stability and flexibility in the legs and feet is critical to everyone’s physical and psychological well-being. This workshop will explore various key points and meridians which flow through the legs according to Chinese Medicine. We will also introduce the various stances and stepping techniques that form the foundation of authentic Tai Chi practice. Tai Chi Walking is a profound meditation on remaining calm, grounded and centered in a chaotic world. It teaches us a way to stay connected to ourselves and to the earth as we move mindfully through the changes and challenges of our lives.

Tai Chi - Integration of the Spine | June 27

Saturday, June 27th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Spine & Stick)

Tai Chi has been mainly marketed as a gentle, slow moving form of mediation. However, It is also a profound science of freeing and strengthening the spine. The peculiar genius of Tai Chi, which has sometimes been lost in how it has been taught in the West, is the way in which Tai Chi integrates the spine into every movement of the form. The subtle waves and spirals of the spinal movements help free the organs and nerves, increasing blood flow and sensitivity. As this happens, the muscles of the neck, torso, abdomen and pelvis that surround the spine begin to loosen their grip releasing an abundance of energy and vitality. Consciously feeling and directing this dynamic, fluid flow of energy (Qi) is a primary goal of Tai Chi. This workshop will introduce the basics of spinal integration and demonstrate how the deceptively simple movements of Tai Chi form a holistic approach to physical, emotional and spiritual balance.

Tai Chi - Stick | June 28

Sunday, June 28th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Spine & Stick)

The slow, wave like movements of the arms in Tai Chi are a kind of optical illusion. As we begin to train in Tai Chi great emphasis is placed on integrating the movement of the arms with the entirety of our body structure. Rather than the arms ‘floating’ independently (which puts particular stress on the shoulder joint) the movements of the arms are linked to the torso, pelvis and legs. One of the wonders of Tai Chi training is in learning how the movement of the arms through space can help us recover the natural elasticity of the ribs, open and free the hips, massage the internal organs and even stretch the fascia in the sole of the foot. Paradoxically, it is by ‘moving less’ that the arms learn to connect to and express the power of these underlying structures. By using the Taiji Stick to secure the position of the arms, workshop participants will learn the spiraling, internal stretches which form a ‘bridge of power’ throughout the body. Establishing these internal linkages is essential for understanding Tai Chi as both a healing and martial art.

Tai Chi - Whole Body Movement 1: Yang Style Methods | September 19

Saturday, September 19th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Body Movement 1 & 2)

The Whole Body Movement workshops begin to introduce some of the basic body dynamics and postures of traditional Tai Chi styles. The first workshop focuses on Yang family style methods while the latter introduces Chen family style methods. They are ideal both for beginners seeking a glimpse into traditional form training and for experienced practitioners looking for insights into how these traditional postures and movements integrate the fundamental skills of Taiji Gong.

Yang style Tai Chi is noted for its slow, deliberate movements.   Graceful, yet powerful, each movement is a chance to explore all the fundamental skills of Tai Chi.  Following the dictum “When one part moves, all parts move” this workshop will introduce some of the basic postures and transitions of the world’s most popular and one of the most accessible styles of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi - Whole Body Movement 2: The Reeling of Silk (Chen Style Methods) | September 20

Sunday, September 20th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Body Movement 1 & 2)

The Whole Body Movement workshops begin to introduce some of the basic body dynamics and postures of traditional Tai Chi styles. The first workshop focuses on Yang family style methods while the latter introduces Chen family style methods. They are ideal both for beginners seeking a glimpse into traditional form training and for experienced practitioners looking for insights into how these traditional postures and movements integrate the fundamental skills of Taiji Gong.

Chen style Tai Chi is noted for its fluid circular and spiraling movements. Chen represents the original style of Tai Chi and is the source of the five main family styles of Tai Chi (Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu and Sun). Based on the philosophy of yin and yang, Chen style Tai Chi combines, slow and fast, hard and soft to create dynamic contrasts. This workshop will explore the elegant and powerful ‘silk reeling’ exercises that form the basis of Chen Tai Chi training.

Tai Chi - Partner Practice 1: The Dance of Tai Chi | December 12

Saturday, December 12th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Partner Practice 1 & 2)

The Partner Practice workshops are a fun way to deepen and refine the body skills of Taiji Gong. Working with the cooperation of a partner is like looking at our body mechanics under a microscope. It is not necessary to bring a training partner to these workshops as we will each work with a variety of partners to help learn how different body types express the inner principles of Tai Chi.

To master the fundamental skills of Tai Chi it is essential to work with a partner. The training partner can ‘mirror’ the body dynamics of the Tai Chi practitioner back to them, revealing nuances in structure and movement patterns that cannot be discovered through solo practice. Likewise, as the practitioner begins to refine the basic skills they can feel and assess the degree of fluidity, rootedness, relaxation and integration that has been developed in the training partner. The workshop will teach how the wordless ‘conversation’ that flows between training partners can be used to discover the ‘ground path’ and provide the subtle feedback that allows the practitioner to hone the basic skills of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi - Partner Practice 2: Resistance as a Teacher | December 13

Sunday, December 13th, 2020
$65 (or $110 if enrolled for both Tai Chi Partner Practice 1 & 2)

The Partner Practice workshops are a fun way to deepen and refine the body skills of Taiji Gong. Working with the cooperation of a partner is like looking at our body mechanics under a microscope. It is not necessary to bring a training partner to these workshops as we will each work with a variety of partners to help learn how different body types express the inner principles of Tai Chi.

According to Tai Chi there is no form of resistance training than can parallel that which involves the intelligent resistance provided by a training partner. The partner can provide subtle, varying, complex angles and vectors of force that cannot be adequately simulated by any exercise machine. Much as a massage therapist uses pressure to release patterns of tension in the client, the cooperative use of pressure between training partners can help locate and release the subtle patterns of tension in our bodies that are hidden from our normal, conscious awareness. By releasing these deep tension patterns, we begin to discover a whole new level of relaxation, balance and integrated strength. It is in these deeper levels that we get glimpses of the mythic martial power that is associated with traditional Tai Chi.

Pricing

Each workshop is $65. Enroll in both workshops in the same weekend for a discounted total rate of $110.

Registration

To reserve your place in Tai Chi please contact Shannon Brunk at (859) 252-5656 ext. 30 or use the form below to register online.

Want More Information About Our Tai Chi Workshops?

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient form of martial arts and involves the cultivation of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. Through movement and meditation Tai Chi can result in both physical and psychological health benefits.

The fundamental skills of Tai Chi: rooting, balance, flow etc., have a wide range of applications. They can be used to enhance athletic performance, recover and maintain health or to develop a calm, focused, and open psychological disposition. The key is in the great detail Tai Chi gives to the principles of body mechanics and core alignment.

Interested in other Personal Development workshops? LHAA offers several throughout the year! Learn more here.

About The Instructors

Master Ding Mingye

Master Ding, 20th generation master of Chen style Tai Chi (taijiquan), has practiced the martial and healing arts of China for over 50 years. Beginning his training at the age of 5 Master Ding has studied with some of the most renowned teachers in China including Yu Chenghui, Men Huifeng, Hong Junsheng and Li Enjui. After winning gold medals in national competitions in Tai Chi Form and Push Hands (Tui Shou), he would go on to serve as head coach for the Shandong Province representative team producing nine national champions and winners of 50 gold, 37 silver and 30 bronze medals. In 2011 Master Ding began spending the greater part of the year in Louisville, Ky and holds regular classes in Tai Chi and Qigong to students of all levels and abilities.

Matthew Branstetter practicing Tai ChiMatt Branstetter is a senior American student of Master Ding and has studied Tai Chi for over twenty years. He is a professor of Philosophy and Religion at Midway University and has taught classes in traditional Chinese philosophy, Tai Chi and Embodiment. He is a licensed massage therapist and has teaching certifications in Yoga (2008) and Qigong (2013). Matt will be providing lectures and assisting with English translations.

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Lexington Healing Arts Academy
272 Southland Drive
Lexington, KY 40503

(859) 252-5656

Massage Clinic:
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(859) 252-5656 x 31
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(859) 252-5656 x 29
Workshops:
(859) 252-5656 x 30

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