What is Taijiquan and Qi Gong?

Taijiquan is a renowned martial art and health system from China that incorporates graceful flowing movements with self defence applications. The style I teach is Yang Style Taijiquan, which includes the commonly seen 24 Step Form, the 32 Step Straight Sword Form, the Long Form, the Sabre Form and the Spear Set. Our style of Yang Taijiquan from the Ou family in Foshan, southern China, also includes the 21 Step, 41 Step and Fan forms.

Michael working on ‘Part Wild Horse’s Mane’ from the Yang Style 24 Step Form

In addition, I also teach various Qi Gong sets, including the ‘Eight Section Brocade’, ‘Lohan Qigong’ and ‘Nei Yang Gong’. Qigong (“energy cultivation”) shares many similarities with Taiji in that movements are generally slow, relaxed and done in close coordination with the breath, but sets of movements are instead repeated and used more for therapeutic and relaxation benefits than the more martial approach to Taiji. Both of these systems are excellent forms of exercise and can be comfortably done by young and old, beginners and experts.

To learn more about the health benefits of practising Taiji and Qigong, I would strongly recommend ‘The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi’ by Peter Wayne, as well as the many research papers freely available on the internet.

From left to right: Michael, Sifu Tennet, Master Ou, Master Frearson in Foshan, China after a morning of Taijiquan training

I have been practising Taijiquan since 2001 with my teacher Sifu Paul Tennet, via our chief instructor Master Derek Frearson in Leicester. Our Yang Style Taijiquan lineage comes from Grandmaster Ou Rong Ju in Foshan, southern China, who has sadly passed away. I had the good fortune and honour of training directly with Grandmaster Ou in China on several occasions and am forever indebted to him for his generosity and excellence.

Seminars & Retreats

In partnership with Dr Jan Söhlke, I also run Qi Gong seminars and retreats. The three main Qi Gong sets that Jan and I teach are the ‘Eight Section Brocade’, ‘Lohan Qigong’ and ‘Nei Yang Gong’. In addition, Jan is an avid Chen Style Taijiquan practitioner, whilst I practise Yang Style Taijiquan. These two styles complement our Qi Gong teaching in many ways. If you are interested, please contact either me or Jan at michael@northumberland-acupuncture.com or jan@northumberland-acupuncture.com respectively.